We've reached July and that means we are officially halfway through 2020. This year has been a wild one to say the least, and it’s a safe bet that the goals you set in January have changed over the past several months.
Now is a great time to pause and take stock of what you’ve accomplished in the first half of this year. Go ahead and make a list of all that you’ve accomplished, both personally and professionally. Chances are your life looks really different than it did 4 months ago. We need to celebrate how far we’ve come and remember all the things we’ve achieved thus far this year.
Let’s look at December 2020. Fingers crossed we are out of the woods with the pandemic but as we all know there are a lot of external factors that will play out in the next six months we cannot control. So let’s focus on what we can control - ourselves and our actions.
Take a few moments to think about the end of this year. Where are you? What are you doing? What have you accomplished? Write this down or share with someone as if it is already December and this has already happened. Then, start to work backwards.
If by December 2020 you’ve gotten an amazing podcast started, for example, and you’re hosting awesome guests each week, go back to November. What did you have done by then? All your marketing might be set up and guests may be confirming their time slots to record. Keep going back to October. What was done by then? By September? By August? By the end of this month?
This exercise can help you better understand what needs to be completed and break things down in timelines instead of a master list with everything lumped together (which can get overwhelming). Things take TIME to build. By setting up our goals in a timeline format, we can work towards them sustainably and effectively.
Another great way to structure your goals and make them more attainable is by making them SMART:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Actionable/Achievable
R - Relevant/Reachable
T - Time bound
SMART goals can keep you on track and realistic with your goals. Back to our podcast example- you won’t confirm all your podcast guests by the end of July. But you could confirm one, and start working on your marketing plan.
The most important part of your goal setting is consistency. If you want to start a podcast, then you need to take the time each week to get the work done. You’ll face bumps in the road- maybe a guest you’d love to have on says no or never gets back. But consistency is key. Keep reaching out, keep working towards the end result and moving forward.
The best way to be consistent is to create a schedule. When will you work on your podcast? A couple days each week? Hold yourself accountable for getting the work done and know that it doesn’t have to all get done right away.
Maybe you have a week where you simply don’t have time to focus on the podcast - that’s ok. We will inevitably get off track as life gets in the way. We have to be ok with that and forgive ourselves so that we can continue to move forward. Goals don’t happen overnight. It takes consistent work over long periods of time to create success.
So take some time this week to pause - to think about where you’re going and where you are now. Make those goals SMART and work backwards to better organize what you need to get done. And even better, find someone to hold you accountable, who will be a support system for you to stay on track.