Why Goals Are Important + How To Set Them

Goals. We all have them: yearly goals, life goals, small goals and large goals. It’s really important to have goals and to know what we’re working toward. The word “goal” scares the crap out of a lot of people. What if I fail? What if I can’t do it?

Remember: FAIL – First Attempt In Learning. So it didn’t work out the way you wanted to; don’t quit. Rethink your strategy.

What if I can’t do it?nevertheless she persisted

Once you form a goal, break it down into the smallest action steps. You don’t decide to build a house and all of the sudden: BAM a house appears. You have to start with the foundation. Or, on a more broad spectrum the piece of land. Look at the big picture and then set smaller goals, steps, and plans that will help you reach your long term goal.

In my opinion, if you only look at the big picture you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Of course, it’s super important to have those big picture dreams and goals, but in order to reach them focus on smaller steps that you can celebrate achieving along the way. If you achieve several small victories, it’s fuel for your fire to keep pushing through!

Everyone’s goal setting strategy is different.

That’s the really cool thing about people, we’re all different. I’m not going to tell you the right or the wrong way to set goals and make plans.

This is what I have found works for me:

I use the SMART system. Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Time-bound.

I have big picture goals, yearly goals, quarterly, and monthly goals. I have smaller action steps built into my yearly and monthly goals to support my long-term goals.

Long term:

  • Hire a creative professional that I trust to help with editing, designing, and finishing so that I am able to focus more on what I love: Photographing and Community.

2019

  • Gross Income goal
    • Broken down into monthly numbers to reach the long term.
  • Start a Facebook community for EKP clients.
  • Build and grow an online creative community.
  • Grow social media following.
    • Broken down to monthly numbers for each platform.
  • Send a newsletter every month.
  • One Studio Special per month.
  • Read 12 books.
    • 6 business/personal development driven
  • Consistently post each week to blog.

2019 Q1

  • Post to EKP blog each Friday.
  • Send out 3 EKP newsletters.
  • Keep a running list of events, jobs, and general “asks” I’ve said no to.
    • 2018 was (unintentionally) YEAR OF YES! And I’m grateful for the experience, but now it is time to dial it back in and gain control. I learned a lot; now it’s time to utilize what I learned.

January

  • Finish the Being Boss book.
  • Finish Watch Me Disappear.
  • Build the EKP Facebook community for clients/potential clients.
  • Build social media following.
    • Instagram – 1,167
    • Facebook – 2,158
    • Newsletter – 285

Yearly goals are pinned up to the cork board behind my desk for me to evaluate and craft into smaller task lists. I use The Chalkboard Method to map out and visually SEE my quarterly goals. I see my board every.single.day. It is the first thing I see when I, or anyone else for that matter, walk into my office.

It keeps me accountable.

I see the metrics I’m tracking, the goals I have set, tick boxes to fill in when I’ve completed tasks. Anyone who Chalkboardsteps foot in my office sees this board. I have clients, friends, and collaborators that are in the studio often. They aren’t afraid to keep me accountable; they notice if I’m not filling out the board. And (lovingly) get on my case about it.

This is the time of year a lot of people are focused on resolutions and frankly resolutions are a load of shit. The actual definition is: “a firm decision to do or not do something.” I don’t know about you but that seems like a rule MADE to be broken to me. Instead, try setting a goal.

Resolution: I am going to lose 30 pounds this year.

GOAL: Make a conscious effort to make healthier choices.

Resolution: I will not buy anything frivolous for the entirety of 2019.

GOAL: Try to take a step back to evaluate when I add random things to my cart – online or in-store.

Goals are positive and don’t set you up to completely drop them by February 10th. They’re also healthier because you’re giving yourself some leeway and wiggle room.

Restriction leads to binge ONE THOUSAND PERCENT OF THE TIME. This could be in regards to food or business. If you restrict intake and a plate of cookies appears: BAM it’s gone within 20 minutes. Say you’ve set rules so strict and resolve to make 200% more this year than last: there is a good chance you’ll fall short because you’ve not made action steps or tracked progress in any way and next year you say f*ck it. I couldn’t do it last year, why try this year.

I want you to consider your resolutions, if you’ve made any. Try to rewrite those into trackable goals. I am more than happy to help if you’re having trouble.

It is also important not to beat yourself up if you don’t hit a number goal. Either you did the best you could and fell short; and that’s okay! Or you didn’t do the best you could and you fell short; and honestly that’s kind of what you get.

In 2018 I fell into the former. But in all honesty in 2017 it was the latter. I didn’t hustle as hard as I could have and I also spent a lot of frivolous cash. It was my own fault. I realigned strategy in 2018 and got my act together. It was a lot of catch up work. But now, in 2019 I’m set up for success.

What goals have you set in 2019?

EK

why goals are important

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