There are some habits I do religiously with my business that I’ve never stopped, but there are a couple I started last year and then got pretty spotty with- namely blogging and daily reading. Maybe, you too, are ready to reset and restart your goals.
It’s funny, huh? Someone who blogs for others but quit on herself. The handyman always has 100 personal undone projects. The hairstylist often has bad roots. The writer writes for everyone else and puts off her own need to create.
When you do a job for others, you put your time into your clients first and tend to yourself second. It seems like the right order of priorities.
I was blogging and reading on the regular some time ago. Then, work started pouring in during shutdown months, as business owners took a look at their marketing and messaging. My dedicated time to write for myself and nourish my mind with knowledge shifted to more work time. I didn’t know where to squeeze in the extra work and was trying to figure out my true workload limits. If someone could please show me how to get 8 hours of sleep in 3, I could do it all!
If you work for yourself, can you agree with me that last year started with shock and awe of, “What the frick is happening?” followed by several months of treading water and faster learning curves that you ever dreamed you were capable? For a final act, we were all catapulted into the alternate universe of now where everything feels like a movie in fast-forward.
I’m here to tell you that if you are struggling to keep up, and you feel some days like you want to keel over, you are not alone. But friend, I’ll share with you that we have to take massive action to get back on track and slow down the speed. Nothing burnt is good- toast, eggs, hair and certainly not you nor I.
Here are a few steps I recently took to reset and restart on my own terms.
This step hurts a little, but it’s an honest conversation with yourself. We all have the same 24 hours, and we have more control that we think in what we do with that time. By writing down what you must do to be at your optimal self and what you need to not do, it pushes your mind to affirm that you can jump off the hamster wheel or work and life. A statement may look a little like, “I need to engage physical activity 4 times a week, so I need to stop taking calls or answering emails after 5:00.”
By putting a boundary around one activity, you can create time for another. For my goal of getting back to some regularity of blogging, I will time block a few hours each month where the only business I’ll tend to is my own. I will not make that time block available to anyone for calls, appointments, or networking.
I did this just last week and once in the spring as well. I relieved myself from other people’s work to sit with my own business- my goals, my roadblocks, my current projects, and my time. I went to bed on time and took my mornings at the pace I wanted. I put on my away vacation message, although I was sitting at home. The few days of dedicated time to no one’s business but my own gave me great clarity and rejuvenation. I got through a ton of tasks and reordered of my time and steps without interruption. I didn’t stop working, but by not doing client work during this time, my mind was very focused and creative. I gave my best self, often reserved for my clients, to myself.
When you are trying to realign your business goals, take a new action, or restart an old action, there’s nothing better than releasing the pressure valve by talking to someone who understands the position you are in. Find a business friend who is on par with where you are or where you want to be. Tell the person what you want to do and where you are stuck. It’s a beautiful gift to have access to other minds to help us break out of the confines of our own thinking and offer encouragement and truth when we need to hear it.
People feel like they fail their goals all the time, but often it was their goals that failed them. Goals should be challenging yet attainable. Consider your baseline.
With me, for instance, if I haven’t blogged regularly since February, writing a goal for myself a weekly blog each month would be going from a current baseline of zero out of four weeks to four out of four. If I set a goal of creating 3 hour time block each month to start and dedicate that to blogging, I know with confidence I can produce 1-2 quality pieces of content in that time. When I reach that goal with consistency, I can reassess if I need to up the goal or simply maintain it.
Consider your top goal to start or restart. How much are you currently engaging that business behavior? What would be a realistic increase, and how will you create the environment to accomplish it?
Don’t just think about it. Write it down in a visible place, so you have a daily reminder of your course of action. What do you need to reset or restart with your goals to gain maximum return of your time and jumpstart your joy? If your goals involve getting your messaging or copy in order, I’m here for you.