I Didn’t Make My Goals, Why Bother Making More?

Goal-setting. This is the final topic in our mindset buster series, and it’s a great one to talk about. I was speaking with a client and she was telling me about how she sets goals for her business and her personal life every year, like I’m sure many of you do. She, however, was saying that she always feels like a phony and a fake when she sets these goals because she can never achieve them.

Does this sound familiar? This was me for many years. I hated goals. They felt rigid and prescriptive. I was much more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of gal. You
might be the type of person who can just live in the present and pull things off. If you’re happy working that way, rock on.

However, if you’re a little frustrated about how your life is going or feel like things are a bit out of control, then we should talk. Goal-setting can definitely help alleviate that feeling. The problem isn’t so much in the idea of goals; it’s actually in creating the goals themselves.

Scared of not reaching your goals

My client didn’t see herself as good enough to achieve her goals. She felt like she wasn’t doing it right. She had totally developed this stigma that she was not one of those people who could set or meet goals. She had developed this mindset where she didn’t want to set any more goals because she felt she could never meet them. Like with all of these mindsets, they are hard to see. They are hard to acknowledge. It becomes our way of being. So let’s take a moment to break this one down. Maybe you can find a nugget that might be helpful to you.

My client didn’t see the point of setting goals because, in the end, they didn’t get done and they just made her feel bad. It’s like when you’re a kid and you touch a hot stove and get burned. You remember that and you don’t touch the stove again. It’s good that you learned from the experience. So, it made sense that my client didn’t want to set more goals. It’s a normal, healthy reaction after a negative experience.

Look at why you aren’t meeting your goals

My question for you today is to ask yourself, “What is happening with these goals? Why is it that I’m not reaching them?”

I know most of you are not slackers. It’s probably not just because you’re lazy and not doing the work to meet your goals. There’s something else going on. What I’ve found is that most people struggle with setting good goals or SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that reminds us goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound in order to be great goals.

For example, if you set a goal of doing something “better,” that’s not specific enough. What does that mean? The same applies to setting a measurable goal. What does that mean to you? Does that mean more money? More time with children? You have to specifically define what that means to you.

Are you setting achievable goals?

I’d like to focus on the third point: achievable. This is the component of the SMART goal setting that seems to be the most difficult. Someone may set a goal of earning $20,000 a month. My question is whether that’s achievable or not. In order to figure out if a goal is achievable, you have to look at a few things.

First, consider the cost of your widget or whatever you are selling. I have a client who is a sleep and breast-feeding coach for new moms. If she sells her services at $25 per hour or at $100 per hour and can work so many hours per month, it will affect how much she can earn in a given amount of time. The first step, then, is to simply do the math.

Second, you want to consider your personal circumstances. If you set a goal of working out an hour a day, but you have twin infants and a toddler, no family or friends to provide support, and no extra money to spend on childcare, you simply cannot achieve that goal. If you set a goal of losing 20 pounds the first two months postpartum like a celebrity, but you don’t have someone measuring and cooking your food, a personal trainer telling you what to do each day, and someone managing your schedule and your image like that celebrity, it’s probably not going to happen.

The point is to move you forward

Remember that goals are supposed to help motivate. Sometimes people set goals that are not very motivating. They say, “I should do such-and-such.” If you hear that word “should,” get rid of the goal. It’s probably not worth achieving. Remember you want to be able to get behind your goals. They should keep moving your forward. They should excite you. If you find yourself dragging your feet, your priorities may have shifted since you set your goals. Take some time to revisit them and make sure the goals are helping you achieve the successful, happy life you deserve.

Not sure about goal-setting? Don’t even know where to start? Get in touch, I love helping you find clarity on your goals and priorities!

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Why Clarity is Your Key to Success

Taking time off usually gives me clarity, as if often does for my clients. Clarity can give a big breakthrough in your thinking and planning. I teach many different aspects of success but gaining clarity in your business and life priorities can be life changing.

A Real Life Case Clarity Study

Recently, I had a coaching call with one of my clients whom I hadn’t spoken to in two weeks because of the holidays. It turned out to be a lesson in how to gain clarity.

When we stick to our regular routine of making steady progress and evaluating our steps, we don’t often take the time to step back and look at the entire picture. However, when the routine gets interrupted, say by a holiday break, often something shifts in our thinking and that’s exactly what I noticed with this client.

Shortly after we began our conversation, I noticed a difference with her. As a coach, I’m trained to notice these things and I could tell that her energy was different.

I said to her, “You know, we’ve talked about goal setting and I notice that you’ve lost a bit of motivation.”

My client agreed, admitting that she didn’t feel as motivated as she did before. She admitted that she was struggling with that because she was ready to grow her business and do whatever it takes to get to the next level. However even as she spoke those words, I could tell she really didn’t believe them. She was trying to motivate herself but she wasn’t winning the battle.

I asked her: “What is sapping your motivation? You’ve been doing so well with your goals that have been set. Your client base is good. You’ve been meeting some financial goals.” Any outside observer would say that she is running a successful business but she just wasn’t feeling it.

At first glance, she thought it might be her inner drive for perfection, which was leaving her feeling that she wasn’t doing enough. While I agreed that this characteristic in her could possibly be part of the reason she was feeling a bit derailed, I didn’t think this was the entire reason for her lack of motivation to advance to the next level in her business.

After further discussion, another thought occurred to her. She recalled that she has some very big long-term goals that involved big life changes. During our talk, she recalled how very committed she was to reaching these major goals in the next couple of years.

I helped her drill down in her thinking and feelings by asking: “If you continue on this path of achieving more clients and growing your business, what will that mean to your long-term personal goals?”

As we peeled back the layers, we realized that the goals she had been setting and meeting were going to result in her business growing larger. Although this would bring her more income, it would also require more infrastructure – more staff, a larger office, and increased overhead costs.

When she looked at this squarely, she decided that it would be a huge amount of work, which was not worth the effort to her at this time. What she really wanted was to use her current business success to enable her to make the larger life changes that she wants down the road. Pouring a huge amount of time, money and effort into taking her business to the next level now was really not going to get her closer to the long-term personal goals she has set originally.

The crux of the problem was that the immediate goals she was setting for herself were not aligned with her longer-term goals, which she hoped to achieve in the next couple of years. Although her immediate goals seemed fine on the surface and she was capable of growing her business using them, they were starting to bump up against priorities for her personal life. She realized that her personal goals were going to take a lot of focus and energy, which she didn’t want to divert toward growing her business at this time.

This realization and understanding gave her the clarity she needed to make the right business decisions and renew the sense of purpose and direction that is often lost when we get off track.

She learned that she had not been checking in with her longer-term goals when she was making shorter-term plans. It’s not that she had forgotten her personal long-term goals; they were always with her. But she had not compared her smaller incremental plans, leading to more business success, with the long-term personal goals to see if they lined up well.

To remedy her situation, we brought the personal goals into focus and made short-term business goals that lined up nicely with them.

By the end of the call, she was happy, relieved and fired up! As you can imagine, she felt that a great weight was finally lifted. She knew exactly what to do each day to work out the life she wanted for herself. That’s what clarity does for a person.

The Moral of the Story

What this client was going through is not unusual. I have often seen that over time short-term goals seem to be in sharp focus while long-term goals seem to get out of focus.

When my client realized that this had happened to her, she understood why she could not muster the motivation to expand her business at this time. This gold nugget of clarity saved her from compromising some of her personal life goals. The relief in her voice was refreshing and her energy was renewed. She now knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that her time, money and effort needed to be focused on her personal life’s priorities.

Goals shift and evolve over time—or they just get buried under the pile of daily work. It’s key that we schedule the time to review our goals, both short-term and long, to decide if they are complimentary or contrary to each other. This, of course, holds true for comparing personal goals and business goals as well.

Need help gaining some clarity? I can help! Contact me today to schedule a discovery session to find out if coaching is right for you. Let’s align those long- and short-term goals to get you what you really want out of life.

 

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Where to Start if You Want to Grow Your Business

Today’s topic is for all my ladies who have dealt with desiring intelligent, purposeful business growth but aren’t able to see the path forward that will lead them there.

Right now, I am currently working with a lot of fitness studio owners who I am trying to help with this crossroads. Fitness studio owners, as well as many of the other mompreneurs that I work with, are “bootstrap” business owners.

“Bootstrap” business owners are those that start their businesses often times by taking small loans from themselves, family or sometimes banks and then really get in there and get their hands dirty. These entrepreneurs are very strong, self-reliant and driven people who are ready to really do all that it takes to move their business in the direction of their vision of success.

These individuals have often invested their personal assets (from college or retirement accounts) or that of close friends and family who really believe in them, their ideas and their future success. And though it is a wonderful thing to have those around you willing to genuinely invest in your dreams, it also has a tendency to put a lot of extra pressure on them to perform well enough to be capable of paying those loans back.

Once they get their business open, these are the business owners who are working ALL of the time and relying on their perseverance and grit to get them through and past the first year of business. They handle all of the marketing and networking while also being the one teaching the classes so they don’t have to pay someone else to do it and lose valuable profits. This business model is passionate and inspiring but it also very quickly leads to burnout. And especially in the case of a fitness studio owner, it leads to not only emotional burnout but also physical. Handling everything on your own takes a real toll on both your body and your mind.

Now, I’m not against doing the hard work for your business and occasionally making a crazy sacrifice for your dreams. I think that is something that is within every true entrepreneur, but if it is to be done, it’s important to have healthy boundaries around it. There needs to a plan and a defined beginning, middle, and end to the push you are making. It cannot be forever because not only is it simply not sustainable or healthy, but it can also very quickly form bad habits.

Beyond Bootstrapping

It can be hard to know what steps to take once you finally decide that your bootstrap time is coming to an end and you need to grow your business. What do you do now? What does true “growth” even mean? This is important, so read it twice if you need to, but growing your business needs to be an intentional choice. This is not something to come to by accident or just to let it grow in all directions without any guidance because it can (and will) take over. If you let your business run you instead of the other way around, it will eventually start to feel like the “job” you left years ago because it was controlling your priorities and running your life.

After you have decided you are ready for growth, you need to sit down and really make some S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

The traits of a S.M.A.R.T. goal are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results, and Time.

Here are some things to think about as you get started:

  • Decide what portion of your business you want to grow and how you intend to watch or measure that growth as it happens.
  • Do you want to grow sales or profits?
  • Are you looking to up the numbers of products, programs or services you delivered versus last year?
  • What about the possibility of expanding your business resources or space?
  • Now, consider the option of hiring some addition heads and minds to help you in your business.
  • Could you use a business partner or office manager?
  • If you decide you aren’t ready to commit to a full-time employee, have you considered the option of a freelancer or online contractor to free up some time and help you accomplish some goals?

Asking and answering some of these questions for yourself can help you to really understand what your own definition of a successful business looks like and ensure you are able to see the path to growth and to enable yourself to really act on that path. So, what is your next step? Not sure? Still don’t know where to start? I’d love to help you make some plans and goals to get your business to where you want it. Contact me today for a free discovery session and let’s get started!

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Setting Goals for 2016 – What Do You Want to Get Done?

It’s here. The end of 2015. Is it just me or does it feel like it just got here?

Last week we talked about acknowledging and appreciating your ground covered and things accomplished this year. We also talked about taking the time necessary to reflect as to why you maybe didn’t accomplish some different things you had initially set out to do? Did you struggle to find the motivation or inspiration to push yourself just the little bit further? Did you learn something from your audience or market and decide to switch gears to some new, different goals?

The holiday season is usually the time that I sink in and slow down just a little. I don’t take on new crazy goal setting or new challenges. I slow down and enjoy family, food and some time to just breathe and reflect. So this week, we are just going to do an exercise with thinking, no pen or paper required.

Things to consider really thinking about:

  • Why you do your business?
  • What knowledge and skills you have acquired so far in your career?
  • How is that going to affect your life and business next year?
  • How is your life going to change next year?
  • Is it going to be the same?
  • Are you expecting a new baby?
  • Have kids leaving for college?
  • Are you going through separation or divorce?
  • Moving states or cities?
  • Job change for your partner or spouse?

Your lifestyle is absolutely going to impact your business and the goals that you set for yourself. Help yourself by consider your life and the changes you will experience before setting any goals for 2016. Considering your life and any changes can help you make your goals more realistic and achievable.

Are you hoping / planning for growth in your business in 2016? In what manner? Is this finally your year for scaling up? Considering some new employees or a new partner? How about a new passive income stream or branching out your services by offer a new live event or presentation? Could you benefit from a new marketing strategy?

This is not putting pen to paper. This is just about really thinking on your goals and hopes for 2016. Time for reflection on 2015 and projection for 2016. What most fires you up and gets you most excited? These are what will help you bring new business and profits. It feels great to acknowledge yourself and the work you put in to yield your results. Productivity makes us feel powerful and good. Stressed out and overwhelmed happens when we are stretched too thin.

Think about what you want your life to be like in 2016. Not goals. Separate. Just what you want your life to be like in 2016. Is your business too demanding for you right now? Is it taking over your home life? Your marriage and time with your children? Are you taking care of yourself and your mind, body and spirit? Taking care of family and life and business can be too much sometimes. Acknowledging when it’s too much is a powerful thing.

How do you want to FEEL at the end of 2016?

We will talk in January about how to make that happen for you and your business. We will discuss how to create an action plan to get you there. But for now, Happy Holidays and thank you so much for listening / reading along with me in 2015!

When I resume podcasting in January, I will officially have been podcasting for 7 years. Holy cow! I think that is a huge accomplishment and maybe deserves a celebration! I am bad at thinking of that stuff though, so please let me a comment with any ideas you may have!

And also, if you have any questions or have a big decision to make this year, I’d love to help you. Find out more about working with me.

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6 Questions to Close Out 2014 Like a Boss

6questions
The end of the year often brings us full circle as we think about the things we have accomplished or fallen short of in the past year. To start 2015 off right, let’s take some time to review 2014—celebrating milestones, reflecting on lessons learned, and looking forward to 2015.

Here are the 6 questions we need to be asking:

1. What mistakes or failures occurred that you will let go of in 2015?
Everybody makes mistakes. Since there is no handbook for how to run your business, these mistakes are inevitable. Beating yourself up them is not the a way to get the energy you need to push forward. It’s important to learn from your mistakes, but it’s time to let go over them so they don’t control your actions in the coming year. Be purposeful, and be done with them.

2. What can you do to celebrate?
You set goals every year, but do you ever take the time to literally list out the accomplishments you had in a year? Pull out your business plan and review your personal goals. Then celebrate your successes, even if you didn’t quite achieve the goals you set. Progress counts, and that’s the fuel that will help you in your goal setting for next year.

3. What did you learn this year?
What an awesome thing to always be learning. I’m sure this year you learned a lot about yourself, your spouse, your kids, your priorities. Take a moment to think of the things you learned—whether it was intentional or by accident.

4. What is the most unexpected or surprising thing that happened to you this year?
Sometimes we get blindsided with unexpected events. Some are good, and some maybe not so good. Take some time to reflect on things that happened this year and how they impacted your goals and plans. Use this opportunity to give these things a chance to be felt and considered, given their proper place, and let go.

5. How close have you come to meeting your business and personal goals for 2014?
Check in with yourself and measure your progress. Take a look at where you got off track and whether the goals you set were right on, or need to be tweaked. Be honest with yourself so that you can move powerfully into next year with the right goals in place.

6. Considering the lessons you’ve learned this year, what will you do differently in 2015?
When you answer this question truthfully, you are on your way to setting powerful goals for the coming year. We are always learning, and if we put that new knowledge and wisdom into action, we’re absolutely setting ourselves up for success.

That’s it! I really hope you’ll take these questions and use them to close the book of 2014 and be ready to open that brand new one for 2015. And as always, I welcome your comments and questions!

Need some help with your goals for 2015? Ready to make a big decision? I’m here to help! Kick off your new year with some personal coaching!

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High Payoff Actions: Beyond The Comfort Zone

High Payoff Actions: Beyond the Comfort ZoneWe talked in a PREVIOUS POST about how in order to be successful, we as mompreneurs need to learn to recognize when comfort is driving the choices we make.  Staying comfortable, or in our comfort zones, is something we all struggle with as we juggle all the responsibilities of business and family life.  Well, today we’re going to talk about making that shift to basing our choices on our goals, which are rooted in the values, priorities and vision we’re committed to.  I like to refer to these choices as “high payoff actions,” or HPAs.  HPAs utilize your top moneymaking talents and your very best gifts, deserve your utmost attention, and result in you creating the opportunity and life that you want.

 

Let me give you some examples of what I consider high payoff actions:

 

Directly asking a client to hire you.

Creating a service or product to market to your clients.

Making a follow-up call to someone who has already expressed interest. 

Fulfilling a customer order or completing a customer project. 

Researching your niche market for awesome ideas to emulate. 

 

I would suggest that you aim to do between one to three HPAs each day, at the beginning of the day.  Do what’s most important first, and don’t allow yourself to get distracted along the way by something easier or by what we sometimes refer to as “bright, shiny objects.”  Sure, it’s interesting, but it’s not necessarily going to help grow your business.  Sure, it’s comfortable, but if you’re feeling too comfortable, take a look at your day and be sure you’re incorporating some of these high payoff actions that will ultimately drive you toward success.

 

Now I know that some of you are squirming right now, and if you are, that’s a really good indicator that you’ve probably identified an HPA worth doing.  Some momentary discomfort is so worth it, girls.  You are choosing to act on your goals, deliberately and intentionally, in order to grow, and that’s the reward!  And the really cool thing is that every time you grow outside your comfort zone, you are effectively pushing those boundaries outward to increase the total area of what will feel comfortable to you in the future.  Each time you try something new or accomplish something bigger, you make that circle wider.  So what feels uncomfortable in the beginning will feel successful later, and how sweet that success is!

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

What “bright, shiny objects” pull your attention away from high payoff actions? 

What HPA really makes you squirm?  How can you incorporate that into your day? 

 

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Notes on Commitment

So when you start something new, it’s usually easy to start it. You get excited about the possibilities. You have a lot of energy to give you a boost in the right direction. You haven’t ever done it before, so you don’t have an established pattern of resistance to break through. So that’s how things start.

But then, a few days, weeks or months into your new program or plan, it’s easy (and entirely natural) to want to bail on the whole thing. Very compelling thoughts creep into your head…thoughts that would allow you to rationally give this new commitment up, see it as wrong-headed and ill-planned, realize that the goal you planned isn’t that important to you anyway. Worse yet, sometimes we even start telling ourselves that we don’t deserve this thing that we thought we really wanted, or that we’re not truly capable of accomplishing it, given our weak nature. And hey–wouldn’t it be easier to just go back to “normal” and the way things always were? After all, you’re used to it and it’s always been enough or okay for you in the past…and it’s sooooooooooo much easier than change.

Well, that’s all normal.

But I’m committed to breaking through what’s normal for me. I suck at blogging. Only post randomly when I feel like it. Yet I know how important it is to blog frequently and on a regular basis.

And to combat that second paragraph, I’m writing this one. See, I signed up to write 10 blog posts in 10 days. I am walking out the door as soon as I hit “publish” to go have a drink with a girlfriend (a very rare treat since I normally can’t stay up past 9pm…). And since I promised two girlfriends I’d write everyday for 10 days, and as easy as it would be for me to justify this “special evening” as a good excuse to forgo my commitment, that just won’t do.

So there. I blogged.

Yahoo! Feels awesome to follow through on my commitment, even when I didn’t really feel like it and had lots of other really good things to do.

Cheers!

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