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007: Goal Setting For Success in 2021

So, you know it's time to set your business goals for 2021, but maybe you don't know where to start or perhaps you're not even sure that you've got the time. Well, today we're going to get all set up to nail our 201 goals. Let's dive in.

Why do we need to goal set for the new year?

Well, if you think about it like a GPS, you've got your destination - that's where you want to go, and you've got your origin - that's where you are right now. And if you kind of think about it, if you were going to go on a journey in your car with your GPS, it's fundamental that you would know both of those things before you start out. Otherwise you might have an awesome journey and drive around and have a lot of fun, but it's unlikely that you're going to reach a destination that perhaps you'd really want to get to. It's also really vital to know your destination so you can course correct as you go along. It's like the idea that if you took off in an airplane from LA to New York and you were just one degree out whilst you were on that journey, instead of landing in New York, you'd land in Delaware, it's quite a distance away.

And that could be the difference between you hitting your business goals and you really not achieving what you'd set out or what you envisaged.

And really, if you don't think about it ahead of time, it's impossible to know whether you're going to get there or not. How can you measure progress as you move along if you're not sure what progress would really look like?

And remember, of course, that iterating as you go along is absolutely fundamental to your success. And that's true for all entrepreneurs, new or not, whether you're a coach, a consultant, a creator or a course creator. And if you're sitting there thinking, “I just haven't got the time. Sounds good, Jo, I think I'd quite like to do that, but you know, I’m so busy it's taking up all my time just making sure that I've got something to go out in my social media next week and it's Christmas and it has been new year”.

And all of these other reasons that we give ourselves that we think we don't have the time, but bear this in mind, actually setting your goals and being really, really clear will save you so much time longer term because it will avoid you doing the wrong things, putting the energy into the places that aren't going to serve you.

Prioritize goal setting now it's January, it's the perfect time.

And I'm going to really help you and guide you along to make this as easy as possible, so you can achieve your own success. From a practical point of view, goal setting is so important to help you create your roadmap to success, and also to allow yourself to be accountable for what you're actually trying to achieve.

But many of us believe that creating our businesses isn't just practical, but also spiritual. If you're a little bit woo, like me, I think about it from a universal energy point of view.

If you direct your energy towards what you really want, you're going to be so much more in line with the law of attraction and actually creating what you visualized. It’s where you need to get really, really clear about what you want in detail so ultimately, you'll recognize the opportunities when they do come along, and you'll also have a sense of trust in how it will unfold. And that ease is such a marvelous place to be because it helps us feel enthusiastic and calm as we move through our business and our lives.

And in my experience, when you really get into the vibe of inspired action, it's a game changer when you're working on something that just doesn't feel good and it feels like hard work…unsurprisingly, doesn't always yield the results that you wanted. And yet when an idea comes to you like divine inspiration, you get this feeling of excitement and suddenly the momentum in your work just takes place and things form literally like time didn't even exist. That sense of flow. I adore that way of working and I'm finding that as my life as an entrepreneur is unfolding, I've found that when I get into that state of inspired action, wonderful things unfold. So, I'm so excited when I'm going to cast my vision for 2021. Right now, I don't even know what that looks like. And that's the beauty of the law of attraction and energy. It isn't always our job to know the how right now. It's just the what and the why and let, how unfold with a sense of beautiful trust.

So how do you go about it? How do you set your goals for 2021? It does feel like a really, really large task, but really, it's just a matter of asking yourself the right questions and really thinking about the answers in detail.

To help you do that, I've got you covered. Drop into the show notes where there's a link to my free workbook called 21 Questions for the Solopreneur CEO to nail your goals in 2021, where there's 21 questions that you can answer to make sure that you get your goal setting done for this year. And I'm going to take you through the details of them now.

So first up, review the past, how did it go for you in 2020?

This is a bit like I talked about with the GPS, really knowing what your origin is, where you're starting out for the new year. So, look back at 2020 and ask yourself this - what did you love and accomplish in 2020. Now, be fair and be kind to yourself. You are doing a great job and you are where you need to be right now. Don't start worrying about the things you didn't do. What did you do that amazed and excited you? It's so common for us to not give ourselves the credit we deserve for the things that we've achieved. I know that I so quickly pass over what I've done. And instead look at the things that I didn't do or didn't do well enough. And that's not what this question is about. This question is an opportunity for you to recognize and acknowledge how far you've come and how much you have achieved. So, write those things down and give yourself that wonderful feeling of knowing that you are capable, and you are strong, and you can do this.

Next have a think about what was challenging and not just what was challenging, but what you can learn from it.

What are the things that you could let go of? The things that didn't serve you in 2020? And I know what a tough year 2020 was. We were all in it together. We were all finding a new way and there are so many things, twists and turns we took, that actually in retrospect didn't help us along our way at all, whether they were practical things we did that were in the wrong direction, or whether they were emotional cul-de-sacs that actually knowing now what we do know, we wouldn't do those again. This is a chance for you to put them down on paper and to know that in 2021, you're going to be on top of it.

So, thirdly, what were the key decisions that you made in 2020?

Maybe you didn't make decisions, maybe you procrastinated, maybe you avoided making decisions. Being a decision-maker for your business is so critical as you go forward. And if that's something that you need to build upon a little more, go back to episode #3 of Action Taker Tribe podcast, where I talk about why you need a CEO Day and some of the areas that you really need to think about when you want to be your decisive CEO for your own business. And think about what the key decisions you did make last year that have really served you, perhaps you made a decision to have a really strong work life balance and that was really empowering. Certainly, for me, that was something that I had to be decisive about because it didn't come as naturally as I thought it would.

Next up section two of your questions is all about creating a vision for your business and for your life.

Open your mind to the possibilities and get really clear on what you want. Visualize it, get excited by it. For example, what would your perfect day look like as the boss of your business? What would it feel like when you wake up in the morning? What's the first thing you would do? What kind of coffee would you drink? What exercise would you do? How would you feel? Make it really real to yourself. Get really excited by it and think about what you'd like to achieve in your lifetime, in your business. What's your big dream? How does it really look? What are you playing for? And we're not just talking about achievements in terms of material things, we're talking about relationships, feelings, we're talking about everything because business is life, particularly as an entrepreneur, we can't separate the two and your vision needs to incorporate everything that you see for yourself in the future.

So, when we talk about getting detailed, let's say again, how do you spend your time? What kind of house do you live in? What do you eat, what do you wear, how are you acting, what the quality of your relationships, how is your health? What are your finances like? Get clear on all the details.

Now last year, at the same time as this, I did this exercise and what really amazed me was just how many things have come true over the last year in ways would never have expected. Like being able to run in the woods every day was a dream of mine, instead of being on the subway to my corporate job, doing a long commute into central London. I really dreamed that I could be more flexible with my work so I could spend more time with my kids. Now, this is where the ‘how’ we could never have anticipated because who would have known that COVID would have come along and had been the cause of so many positive changes in my life?! But I am now in those aspects living my dream. I do get to choose. Sometimes I even have to remind myself that the choice is mine, that this is what I wanted. So, I can put my mobile phone down. I can walk away from my laptop. It is time to run in the words, it is time to pick up my kids from school or time to home educate. Whatever it is, I have the flexibility and I am in control.

And also, be really clear to yourself:

What does winning or success actually look like?

What does it mean if you win? What does it mean if you get what you wanted? And this doesn't need to be the ultimate success, but all the milestones along the way, because when we know what success looks like, we get the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate. It's so important to take a moment and to cheer ourselves on, to celebrate with our friends and our colleagues and our families and know that we are stepping into our own vision of our perfect future. Along the way, find out what your milestones will be. You'll only know that if you know what it is you want to achieve in the end.

Next up, we're going to talk about 2021 goals. We're going to break it down a little bit more

...because these big visions, the long-term goals, really, they can sometimes lead to procrastination because they are so big, and they feel so unachievable or even overwhelming. And that is not the intention. We want to keep feeling excitement for those goals. So, in order for us to avoid that overwhelm [can you hear that noise in the background? That's my cat. She's climbed in the closet with me while I'm recording podcasts. Note to self: let the cat out next time, but she's hanging out with me and being a good little friend and she got jingle jangle bell. So, I'm sorry if you've got a little bit of noise in the background, but nonetheless…] Let's focus back on 2021 goals. And we don't need to feel overwhelmed. We just need to break it down. So what are the key business goals we want to achieve this year? And really you don't want more than three because we want to be able to actually focus on them and achieve them in all the ways we need to.

And in fact, you also need to say, what is your first priority out of those goals? Now, if you're not sure, ask yourself why you want the goals so much, why they're ‘musts’ for you. And by feeling into your intuition, certain goals will come to the surface for you. And they are the ones that you need to prioritize. But don't play small, challenge yourself.

Ask what could you do in 2021, if you were unstoppable?

Make sure that you've got a good combination between goals that can be achieved and ones that are going to stretch yourself to achieve things perhaps you never thought were possible.

In the next section, we're going to drill down and become even more detailed about how we're going to goal set for 2021. And this is about being practical and being productive. So, what habits do you have that you want to nurture because they're going to help you towards your goals and to your ultimate success and which ones do you really need to remove?

And that idea is what could derail you, what do you need to overcome? And it's a good opportunity to think about it now, because otherwise we just wander into the same problems. And instead of moving forward, they'll end up stopping us in our tracks. Now it's different for everyone, but some really common ones include things like a problem with your money mindset or perhaps a lack of decision-making or procrastination, or for some, it's a fear of being seen, of being visible. Or for others it might be that you're easily distracted, and you do a lot of social media scrolling instead of deep work. Whatever it is, think about it now ahead of time and create a plan to solve it before it crops up. Whether that means you need to seek out a coach or some external help, or maybe you need to create some accountability for yourself, or maybe you just need to recognize it when it crops up so that you can literally overcome it in the moment.

And now let's look back at the goal that you just set. What was the one goal that you really wanted to achieve first in 2021? Now break it down into three key tasks that you really need to do to nail that goal. What tasks really move the needle because it's easy to write three random tasks down. But question yourself on the validity of those tasks when it comes to really leveling up your business. Get comfortable with prioritizing, because not all tasks are equal. You need to get into that state of action and flow. And often that means to do the hard thing first. Work out what it is you've got some resistance to, that you know is a real needle mover - and make sure that that's the first thing you're going to do.

Next up, ask yourself, how can you be more productive?

What is it about your business that's slowing you down because you haven't systemized it or outsourced it? These are fundamental questions for all entrepreneurs at all stages of growing our business. And now's the time to reflect and understand where your time is getting absorbed in ways that are either low value or areas that you're not really qualified to do. Now's the time to start putting in place those systems or those people who are going to help you move your business and scale it up to the next level. Even as a solopreneur, there's things that you can do to start deciding when it is that you're going to hire your first VA or how you're going to create systems in, let's say your social media activities that'll just make things so much easier for you throughout the year.

And now we've covered these three key areas. Here's a really important question for you.

How will you dedicate your energy into your overall vision throughout the year? So, you're working on your business and not always in your business.

How are you going to stay accountable to your own goals and course correct as you move through the year? Now set yourself up really well to have checkpoints throughout the year that enable you to revisit this. This is your opportunity to course correct, to iterate, to change things as they need to be as you go along.

Now, I'd love to invite you to come along to my free solopreneur’s CEO masterclass, which is taking place this January. Check out the link in to make sure that you've got all the information you need so you can come along to that.

And you can also download my free 21 questions for the solopreneur CEO to nail your goals in 2021, that's a workbook. And I'll put the link in the show notes for that too. You can also tune in to my Instagram account, which is @iamjo.ingram from the 4th of January for 21 days to get a question done every single day with me.

So, I hope you've enjoyed this episode. Please subscribe and review, particularly on Apple podcasts. Please have an action filled week and we’ll speak soon. Bye now!

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