Virginia Beach portrait and lifestyle photographer specializing in comfortable portraits and candids
conceivable [put them into words],
achievable [you have the time and energy]
statements of intent that propel you toward your vision [you have to have a vision…].
As a small business owner, I am my own boss. Although I’m not as intimidated by myself as I wish, setting goals is the best way to keep me motivated throughout the entire year. Or at least until November. I am a terrible dreamer; I’d much rather be DOING things. But I’ve learned that DOING goes a lot more smoothly when you take some time to PLAN. I’ve always loved being organized, but the dreaming and critical reflecting harder for me. I’ve come to realize that there is no perfect time to set goals, especially in the wedding industry. But because it is the season of reflection, dreaming, and planning, I’d love to share some of the things that help me think through my goals!
1. Refine or Create Your Vision Statement
There is no way you will be able to make goals if you don’t have a direction. Whether you call this a “why” statement, or a vision statement, this is so important to your planning process. Back in college, I was on a leadership team that spent THREE DAYS refining our vision, goals, and steps. REFINING – not even creating NEW ones. This is a process. It’s not something you can sit down and write in an afternoon. Consider your values. What motivates you. Why do you do what you do? Once you have your vision, you’re so much closer to being able to articulate your goals!
2. Finish the statement, “If I had more time, I would…”
Creating business goals are really important, but don’t forget about your personal life. A healthy and exhilerating business is propelled by times of refueling, rest, and personal time with friends and family. You’ve all probably heard the idea of working to live vs. living to work. One thing I notice about both scenarios is that you’re meant to be working. Work is a good thing, but there is life beyond our occupations and paying that part of our life due attention is important.
3. Consider Your Financial Health.
As fun as goal setting can be, we must be practical. Creating goals sometimes ends up being us spending money we don’t yet have. For example, setting a goal to photograph a destination wedding could mean that I’ll end up spending extra money on personal travel surrounding that trip. Sit down and consider the financial burdens we have [bills, debt, charity], the ones we’re to face [continued bills, debt, and charity], and the ones we’re creating for ourselves [by setting goals].
4. Goals Need Steps.
Whether you call them Steps or Systems or Processes or some other word, you will not accomplish your goals without them. I take that back. You may accomplish them, but it will be an uphill battle. In an article from Entreprenuer, the author states that, “goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress…Committing to the process is what makes the difference.” So remember to also set measurable and time restricted statements of intent that propel you toward your goals.
5. Your Goals Define YOUR Success
I feel the need to put this reminder in the list due to the nature of…any human. That is, to pass judgement on others or oneself when comparing our successes to our peers. When you set your goals, you are defining your own success. When you accomplish your goal, you can say without a doubt, “I am successful,” or “This year was a success.” Looking at other people who seem to have accomplished more or less means absolutely nothing. They have different goals. Passing judgement on whether they have exceeded your standard of success, or have not lived up to your standard is totally absurd.
So, take the rest of the day off, prepare for the new year in whatever way you choose, and give yourself time and grace to work through the good and the bad of the past year. Tonight, let’s lift a glass to 2015!