Unless this is literally your first time on my website, you will already know that I love a bit of planning. To me, goal-setting is like a drug. It’s something I treat myself to at the end of a hard day/week/month/year.
There are so many times that I’ve got way more pleasure out outlining goals than I have actually achieving them – I’m away that’s insane. I’m working on it.
Before I get into sharing my intentions and goals for the year, I just want to have a mini rant… If in previous years your goal-setting experience has been influenced by the ever present SMART acronym, PUT IT IN THE FUCKING BIN RIGHT NOW.
Nothing is less sexy than a SMART target.
Yes, they might be “relevant” or “achievable” but they’re not “exciting” or “interesting” or “inspiring” (and those three are way more important when we’re talking about something you’ll be working on long term.
(If you’re really like “I can deal with a life without acronyms”, check out CREATIVE goals – Challenging / Recorded / Explicit / Affirmative / Time-based / Inspiring / Valuable / Enjoyable. Find out more about this system here.)
My real focus this year is on creating a life I actually like, but that’s pretty vague, and vague doesn’t translate so well for my Asana obsession, so I’ve tried to break this down into things that will make a real impact (AND will still allow me to tick things off a list, because that’s pretty essential for me)
Goal: Buy less
Tactic: No grocery challenge
I love food. I love thinking about food. I love buying food. I love talking about food. I love researching recipes. I love planning meals. I love cooking. I love eating.
Apparently, I also love overbuying, hoarding, and throwing lots of stuff away… so this year, I want to get much more intentional with the food I buy.
For starters, I want to shop more sustainably (i.e. from my local butcher and grocer rather than big chain supermarkets). I also want to create less waste.
That’s where the No Grocery Challenge comes in – a fun ebook and experience created by the ever-inspiring Sarah Von Bargen. In a nutshell, it’s all about committing a set period of time to using stuff up, rather than buying more. (She does a No Grocery Challenge the last week of every month, and shares all her great cooking ideas over on Instagram)
I’m 100% jumping on this bandwagon. I was given an extra push of accountability this month already – my freezer broke at the end of December, so I’m madly trying to use everything up before buying a new one. It’s been a month since I bought anything more than a bottle of milk, so I’m doing pretty well!
Tactic: Book ban
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll already know that I’m committing to buying ZERO new books this year. It’s already difficult. The Universe is 100% trying to test me by shoving a bunch of inspiring reads in front of my face, but so far I’m staying strong.
My goal is to read as many of the books that I already own as I can – trust me when I say there are enough to keep me going!
Tactic: Magical tidying with Marie Kondo
Over the holidays I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and bizarrely enough, the day after I finished her show came onto Netflix. I took it as a sign to engage in that big declutter I’ve been wanting to do for a while.
I feel like one of the final stages of adulting is casting off all of the cobbled together things you accumulate in your first home. Furniture cast of from relatives, things you buy on sale just so you have something… you know what I mean.
I’ve already worked through my clothes, books, paperwork and bathroom and although it takes a bit of effort, I’m loving the results. Not only do I feel much more peaceful in my space, but I actually feel excited about the things I own (meaning I’m less in need of a shopping band aid)
Goal: Connect more
Tactic: Upping my content game
Doing what I do, the most obvious way to connect more is to take my digital content to the next level. For me that means:
- Bringing interviews back to Your Biz, Your Rules
- Adding a weekly blog post to the mix again
- Sending out emails more consistently, and not just when I have breathing space in my schedule
- Staying “on it” on Instagram, both in my grid and in Stories
It’s worth noting that when I say I’m upping my content game, I’m also talking about engagement. It’s all very well to promise to publish more stuff, but if you’re not create actual relationships with people at the same time, it’s kind of pointless.
Tactic: Commit to 4 in-person events
This one feels way uncomfortable. I’ve been boycotting anything remotely networking-related ever since I left the corporate world, but the more time passes, the more I’m feeling the need to spend time with people who “get” my everyday life.
So far, I’m signed up to go to Gemma Went’s Elevate Live event in May, but if you have any suggestions of other fun, pitch-lite businessy events in the UK, get in touch here.
Tactic: Start a personal development + business boosting book club
In case it isn’t clear simply from all the book-related goals on this list, I love reading. I also love talking about reading, so a book club feels like the perfect fit. I really wanted to create a space to talk about all the fascinating self-help and professional development books I read each year, and more importantly, some accountability for implementing the changes I read all about.
This is actually a goal I can tick off already – the Content Arsenal Book Club became a thing at the beginning of this month and I’m loving it already! If you fancy joining in the fun, do it! It’s 100% free – the sign up link is right here.
Goal: Do things that make me happy
Tactic: Sign up for a weekly yoga class
When I commit to working out, I COMMIT. Meaning I get so obsessed I exhaust myself. That’s where yoga is a bit of a life-saver. It’s the perfect intersection of mind fitness and body fitness, and it’s something I want to give more attention to this year.
Right now I’m participating in Adriene Mishler’s free 30 day yoga experience (find it on Youtube right here), but from February I’m going to be going to a real-life-in-person class – stranger danger be damned!
Tactic: Bring back movie night
When I was single, I used to create these epic movie marathons for myself with great snacks, fun themes and all the coziness you can imagine. When a boy got involved, I hit pause (mostly because there’s a limit to how many superficial action film sequels I can stomach).
I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to treat myself to a guilt-free solo film night every single week. I CAN’T WAIT. I feel like it’s been years since I last enjoyed a good musical…
Tactic: Book myself in for a monthly massage
Just a little bit of pampering to ease those “constantly over a computer” muscle aches. Doesn’t really need more explanation does it?
Tactic: Read 100 books this year
For years now I’ve been setting a reading target for myself over on Goodreads. Last year was the first time I upped it from 52 to 100… it felt INSANE but I did it, and this year I’d like more of the same.
Goal: Lean into icky stuff
Tactic: Mindset essentials
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll probably know that last year was the year I really started to accept that yes, perhaps, I have some mindset shit to work through. During that time I experimented with a whole bunch of different techniques for keeping my brain bulletproof, from EFT, to hypnotherapy, to meditation, to counselling and more.
In 2019 I want to kick it up a notch and turn all of those things I’ve learned into a simple set of rituals that keep me in the right headspace.
Tactic: Upping my coaching sessions
Last summer I started working with the ENDLESSLY FABULOUS Lisa Carpenter. She is both scary and amazing as a coach, and I couldn’t be without her, so I’ve decided to double down on my sessions with her.
Tactic: Supercharged “inner work” focus every 90 days
In case it isn’t clear from this somewhat epic post on goals, I’m a big fan of planning stuff. I usually revisit and redefine my priorities every 90 days, and pick 3 main goals to focus on for the next quarter. These tend to be super BUSINESS focused, but for this year I’m promising myself that one will be all about the messy mind stuff.
Goal: Stay focused
Tactic: Closing the doors to 1:1 clients
This one feels both scary and liberating, because about 90% of my income comes from 1:1 work… but it doesn’t always light me up. I said a loving goodbye to most of my clients towards the end of 2018, so now I’m only working with two.
My “keeper” clients are both inspiring, entrepreneurial women who run businesses that really interest me, plus they’re all about giving me the creative autonomy I crave.
I may take on one one-off client project quarter if it’s something particularly exciting, but that’s just a maybe right now
Tactic: Open 3 coaching intensives a quarter
The lightened client load will give me more space to do the bits of my biz that make me giddy. One of those giddy-making bits is my content intensives.
In a nutshell, I spend half a day jamming it out with someone, helping them map out and set up all the content plans, workflows, systems and habits that will help them show up in the best possible way, connect with all the right people, and make some money from doing it.
(You can book yourself in here if you fancy it.)
Tactic: Testing + tweaking Content Arsenal launches
In reality, this is my big work-based priority for 2019. The Content Arsenal is a membership community and training hub that helps people break down all their content goals and get them done in an easy, fun way. It’s my passion project, but something that I haven’t given my all to yet because of other commitments.
This is the year that I change that up… and I’ve decided to use it as a bit of experiment. I’ve scheduled in 4 different launches, using 4 different systems, so that I can hone my sales system and get it working on automatic.
Geeky? I know, but I think it’s also going to be the thing that opens a lot of doors for me from a freedom perspective.
Goal: Take up space
Tactic: Be selfish
“Selfish” is my word of the year for 2019 – read all about my resistance (and commitment) to it here.
Tactic: Uphold boundaries
This one is not in my comfort zone AT ALL, but it’s something I really intend to work on. A big part will involve saying no to client projects I don’t want, as well as sticking to the working hours I’ve set for myself.
I feel like those are the two “danger zones” for a recovering people pleaser like myself – I don’t think this is going to be easy!
Tactic: Amp up my visibility
I’ve already talked about my super duper content plan for the year, but when I say “visibility” I mean more than that.
I mean opening up when things get difficult (instead of retreating).
I mean saying yes to slightly “out there” opportunities (instead of backing away slowly).
I mean going out there and connecting to strangers (online – I’m not a crazy person).
Again, not in my comfort zone, but something I really want to work on.
I’d love to hear all about your SMART-less goals too, so be sure to head over here to Instagram and drop me a DM.