Each new year brings with it a set of new aspirations. With more than half of the year behind us and the fear of the unknown in front of us, the overwhelm may begin to sink in. If you are wondering how you can feel so stuck when you were intentional about setting your goals, you aren’t alone. I, like many creatives, listed out my lofty goals year after year. What I learned is my intentions were not backed by implementation. Picking a word of the year and cutting and pasting magazines is no substitute for putting a plan into action.
Side Note: My word of the year is “prepared” and I spent 4 hours on my vision board.
That being said, it’s you and your actions, not woo thinking, that will get you to where you want to be.
So, just how do you integrate implementation into your yearly goals? Here’s a start:
Identify Your Intentions
The fastest way to feel bitterness towards your work is not having clarity around why you are doing it in the first pace. Is your goal to impact more people in your community? If so, is running yourself ragged to get a “k” behind your follower count going to get you there? Let your why precede your what and how.
Saying yes to everything and everyone can mean saying no to things you need, and want, to do. Participating can be a nice way to procrastinate. Time is your greatest asset and you can’t afford to give it away freely. Now, I’m not suggesting you cancel all your coffee dates, but I am encouraging you to be more intentional with your time. Turn off notifications on social media, seize the constant scrolling on your smartphone, and maybe spend a little less time on Netflix. Most of the time we waste is by no fault of others, but what and who we allow to disrupt or to-do’s.
Without patience, you will constantly feel like you are under pressure to perform. When our mind is only focused on the end-result, we are unable to physically and emotionally take in the process of creating. The process is where skills are sharpened, ideas evolve, and lessons are learned. If your goals are not being met within a set time period, pause; then ask yourself if this means you need to change course to realistically hit a goal.
Take Steady Steps
You’ve got your goal in mind, but did you break it down? The only way to make your goals happen is to pair them with actionable steps. What can you do on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly basis that will make you happy come December 31st? Want to expand your network? Just don’t say you are going to attend more events.
Instead you should:
Have a game plan
Create a list of people you want to meet
Take note of what you have in common and how you can help one another
As an introvert, I have the tendency to get intimidated easily. Before I attend a meetup of any kind, I take mental note of who I want to connect with and why. Then, after meeting them, I have a follow-up plan to extend the conversation. It’s a process, but it has a purpose.
Celebrate Your Wins
With so many measures of success, it’s easy to forget our impact. Just remember, balance sheets don’t include a line for blessings received. Profits aren’t the only proof you provide value. Not every mission needs monetization. Not every prize needs to be under your possession. Not all gratification is instant.
No matter how hard the journey is or how defeated you may feel, try not to get too distracted or distressed.Someone wants and is waiting for you to win your way. If that’s not worth celebrating, I don’t know what is.
So, what will you accomplish THIS year?
Photography: Kari Shea
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