How I Spent my Vacation: Goal Planning for 2018
Last week my husband and I dropped off the toddler with my in-laws who live in Long Beach, and we headed to San Diego. Specifically, the Gaslamp district to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel. I reserved a suite overlooking the San Diego Bay and planned out all the places I wanted to eat in Little Italy & downtown San Diego. After hitting a few breweries on the way into town, we ended up finding out that the reservation we made was for a week later. And on top of that -- the Hard Rock Hotel, and all hotels in downtown were booked because of a conference. We quickly called a few places and ended up in a hotel right in downtown La Jolla.
Fun fact: I never knew until now - La Jolla is actually part of San Diego, not its own city. I lived in Oceanside for a few years during college and I had no idea about this.
I'm actually glad it happened because I had never visited downtown La Jolla before this trip. It is a quaint little section of San Diego with really great food, and the La Jolla Cove had sea lions and tide pools - so I was in heaven. Definitely not something I could have seen in downtown San Diego. It was also more our style then the busy downtown area. Our hotel did not have a suite available, nor did it have a hot tub, but we managed to make it through the few days. <3
Goal Planning: Where Do I See Myself Next Year?
The reason for our trip was more than just to get away from the toddler - we wanted to figure out a game plan for where we “see ourselves in a year” and really take a look at our goals for the next 12 months.
Of course, figuring out business goals & strategy is one thing, the next step is to figure out why you want to achieve your goals and to write down all the steps it will take to get there (aka tactics), and plan for what type of rewards you want when you hit your goals.
These are all important steps in goal planning because it gives you a little bit more incentive to hit your goals.
I figured out early on in my freelance career that simply completing a goal is not enough incentive for me. I say this as an entrepreneur, not as an employee who has other people to answer to. Freelancers have a lot of goals when working with clients, which means that sometimes their own work can get pushed back.
Remembering the WHY and incentivizing yourself with small rewards (like an online class if I blog 4x by 4/22) definetly helps keep you on track. Rewards shouldn't be huge, or too small. Something that makes sense for each goal.
Saying No to Others and Yes to Yourself
I have spent my career focused on the brands of other people, and now that Ryeson is headed to school part-time (soon to be full-time) I'm ready to focus a little bit more on myself and where I see myself this time next year.
I have found this means saying NO to a lot more things. Possible clients that aren’t the right fit, networking events that I am too tired to go to, or writing assignments that pay too little, or that don’t fit into my passions - food, travel, family, social media or drinks (beer + wine).
This means I am saying YES to expanding my brand… And, a few other tricks up my sleeve. :) I realize I am such a people pleaser that over the years I have taken on too much work that wasn't in my best interest, or the client’s. If I'm not truly passionate about something it's not fair to my clients or myself.
Getting to the WHY of Your Goals
This was the first time my husband (who is a Systems Engineer at Cisco) and I sat down and really think about where we want our lives to be this time next year. We started off with an exercise in writing down our dreams for the next year, picking out the goals and figuring out WHY they matter to us. This process allowed us to look at our goals in more depth than simply writing them down.
The WHY is what will motivate us to actually accomplish the goals (other than monetary rewards) and turn some of our goals into ongoing habits. Sometimes we had to break down our WHYs even more. This is where it is beneficial to have a partner that is there to help you push yourself to the real reason you want to accomplish your goals.
After a break to eat tacos and head to the La Jolla coves, we dissected our goals into everyday tasks that we needed to do in order to get to our main goal. From there we had check-ins and rewards at those check-ins to make sure we were moving forward, vs doing all the work at the last minute.
... Now that I am back home it is time to get to my task sheet and hit the ground (or my keyboard) running!
If you want to talk more about my process, connect with me and sign up for my Social Media Newsletter, or email me if you already have!
I have some goals around creating a few online courses (along with an in-person social media class or two) to go through the steps to help other brands with their own goal setting.