7 STEPS TO CREATING THE YEAR OF YOUR DREAMS
By Claire Bone • SELF-IMPROVEMENT | BUSINESS | PLANNING
December 13th, 2018 • 12 Min. Read
When I began my entrepreneurial journey, nearly two years ago, I struggled to gain my footing in my business. My husband would ask me, no beg me, to please create a plan to use as a guide for our business. I would go to my husband to complain and every time he’d calmly ask me about my plans and goals and every time I would mutter something snarky under my breath about how planning was clearly fo’ suckaz and go about my day and continue, you know, not crushing my goals.
While attending an industry event with my husband, we found ourselves in a booth about discovering your dreams and goals. With courage and determination I begin the arduous task of putting my dreams and goals down on paper. In that short exercise I slowly came to realize that jotting down some plans and goals for our business might not be such a bad idea after all. Since returning home from that event, I’ve come around on the whole idea of planning and goal setting. In just a couple months of implementing more strategic planning in my business, I’ve seen my goal growth nearly double for the final quarter of the year. Get comfy friends, I’m gonna share with you the 7 steps I’ve taken to overhaul my business and plan for an epic upcoming year.
“IN JUST A COUPLE MONTHS OF IMPLEMENTING MORE STRATEGIC PLANNING IN MY BUSINESS, I’VE SEEN MY SALES NEARLY DOUBLE”
1. HAVE CLEARLY DEFINED GOALS
*This is the hardest part of this activity, but one that will make or break your success.
You might have a clear picture of your goals and how to get there, but most of us may need to take some time to redirect our focus to be sure our actions align with the goals we have for ourselves. It’s not unusual to be trucking along on a goal you set for yourself a year or more ago only to sit down and realize that with a new year fast approaching, your priorities and needs have shifted. Your goals need to as well.
“MOST OF US MAY NEED TO TAKE SOME TIME TO REDIRECT OUR FOCUS TO BE SURE OUR ACTIONS ALIGN WITH THE GOALS WE HAVE FOR OURSELVES.”
Reassessing Your Goals
Here are a few sample questions you can begin asking yourself:
How did I do on my goals last year?
Were they unachievable or too easy?
What’s changed in the last year with my business or life and how can I adjust my goals this year?
What could I have changed to accomplish my goals?
What distractions do I let in my life that keep me from accomplishing my goals?
What more could I have done?
What are my excuses?
***Don’t stop here, keep asking yourself exploring questions — then try and answer them. Make this a habit in your life. Remember that the quality of your life is defined by the quality of questions you ask yourself.***
To begin you need to think long and hard about the goals you want to accomplish for the year. Be sure to set a base goal and a stretch goal. The goals you create for your business now will be the map that guides you through the next year. If you have never set clear goals for yourself or your business, now is the time to start. A great tool that I used to kick off my goal setting was the S.M.A.R.T MAP Goal Setting Method created by Ben Ward. It’s probably not the same SMART Goal setting method you think it is!!
S.M.A.R.T. MAP YOUR DREAMS
This is a working document. Take your time and really think through each step. Be sincere, and authentic. Give yourself permission to edit. This is going to change EVERYTHING!
Begin by working your DREAMS through the S.M.A.R.T. MAP.
The “S” stands for SPECIFIC. Start by asking yourself the question; What one dream would I dare to dream if I knew I could not fail? Write down one or two specific dreams you want to accomplish.
The “M” stands for MEANINGFUL. Write what achieving your dreams would mean to you. The “M” is about attaching enough emotion to your dreams to overcome all roadblocks you will face and which will carry you through to the finish line. Your reason needs to be bigger than your excuses.
The “A” stands for ASSETS. Identify any assets/resources you have that will help you accomplish your dreams. These assets can be friends, time, equipment, education, money, network, family, etc. Take it a step further and list the assets you are missing that are needed to help you achieve your dreams
The “R” stands for ROADBLOCKS. Identify what roadblocks will stand in your way to accomplishing your dreams. The “R” allows you to get very clear on what can stop you. This step will help you manage your expectations and help you see the rugged path before you.
The “T” stands for TAKE. Write what it will take to accomplish your dreams. What will you need to sacrifice to make your dreams come true? The world asks for something in return. Take it a step further and list what actions you need to stop taking and what actions you need to start taking to accomplish your dreams. Get specific.
State your dreams in a complete sentence. This is simple. You just have to do it.
Choose a realistic date to accomplish your DREAMS by. I WANT MY DREAM TO HAPPEN BY….[Choose a date]
Print out your dreams, post them around your home, and read and work on them daily.
2. CREATE A PLAN TO TAKE ACTION
It’s no secret that successful people are most often planners. Even if being a planner isn’t something that comes naturally to you, it’s a learnable skill anyone can adopt in their life. Creating a game plan for your business and your life is a proven way to kick start your year. Like a lot of things, though, effective planning takes practice. It’s okay if you are not perfect at this when you first begin. Remember, it’s a process!
“CREATING A GAME PLAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR LIFE IS A PROVEN WAY TO KICK START YOUR YEAR.”
I noticed changes in my business within a month when I started to implement a plan. As a natural free spirit who loves overthinking and strategizing, I often struggle with taking action and implementing all the exciting goals I dream up. Who can relate?
Every week I put all of my ideas down on paper. Then, with my monthly and weekly calendar in front of me, I’m able to create a doable plan to put my ideas into action. I’m also able to compare my sales with my calendar and take note of which ideas and strategies worked and what I should tweak or change in the next month. Those goals you set for yourself earlier won’t get done without a solid plan. If you need to, accountability from friends or family can help you become the master of your plan and achieve your goals.
“THOSE GOALS YOU SET FOR YOURSELF EARLIER WON’T GET DONE WITHOUT A SOLID PLAN.”
3. RESTATE AND REVISE YOUR WHY
Do you know what your WHY is? As Simon Sinek stated, “Your WHY is who you are, wherever you are.” Make sure your WHY goes beyond “My family” or “I want people to feel pretty” or “I needed something for myself.” Those are really awesome things…so awesome! I went to a training on discovering your WHY that helped me understand my WHY. You see, a really good WHY guides your actions and defines your contribution and intended impact. It’s inspiring to share your purpose, cause and belief with others. Notice that really inspiring WHYs are always outwardly focused. Below is the basic architecture of a great WHY statement.
My WHY is to…[State Your Contribution], so that…[State The Intended Impact].
During that training I found that “My WHY is to help people know they belong, are valued, and loved, so that they know they are truly important and have the confidence to do amazing things.” My business helps me live my WHY every time I have the opportunity to connect with a customer and serve them.
4. EXPECT AND EMBRACE THE OBSTACLES
Yup, I said it, embrace ‘em. Learn to love those aspects of being a business owner that drive you nuts. Can’t get the inventory you need? No problem. Your sales aren’t where you want them? Ain’t no thang. Technology is on the fritz and nothing you post is being seen? Got you, boo! Remember those plans you made earlier? Well, make sure that you always have a plan B…or C or D if necessary and sometimes that’s very necessary! Because you’ve planned for obstacles, they can’t have the power to take you down. Always be ready to take action if your first plan doesn’t come to fruition. Being ready for challenges doesn’t mean they aren’t disappointing, but they certainly don’t sting as much when you are ready for them. The challenges we face make us stronger and wiser, so learning to appreciate them when they come along is a huge asset that will go a long way in ensuring your success.
“BECAUSE YOU’VE PLANNED FOR OBSTACLES, THEY CAN’T HAVE THE POWER TO TAKE YOU DOWN.”
5. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT KIND OF SUPPORT
Find your tribe! Don’t just surround yourself with “Yes” people. Find people who are encouragers, motivators and challengers to lift you up and make you a better person. Not sure who those people could be? Reach out to people in your industry and ask questions! Most influencers and mentors are aware of people within their groups who could offer advice, give perspective, and who are good at encouraging others. Go to local training events and meet new people, your tribe is just waiting to be found! I met my tribe and have fostered an amazing group that has been a major cause of my growth in the last eighteen months. When I am discouraged, they lift me up. When they want to give up, I remind them of what they are capable of. Together, we are stronger and more willing to take risks than we would be without the support of the group.
“TOGETHER, WE ARE STRONGER AND MORE WILLING TO TAKE RISKS THAN WE WOULD BE WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF THE GROUP.”
6. DWELL ON THE GOOD
Make a conscious decision to think about the good things in your business. I am a natural Eeyore type and can easily slip into a negativity Jacuzzi, just swirling in the negative thoughts. Guys, you know what cures me from dwelling on the bad? Focusing on the good! Celebrating victories whenever and however they come, big or small will be fuel for your heart and your business. Get out of the negativity Jacuzzi, friends. The water in there is gross and will make you look 25 years older, I swear. Dwell on what’s good and I promise you’ll begin to glow from within, sister.
7. ATTEND ALL THE THINGS
Maybe you noticed that I mentioned this industry event I attended a number of times in this blog post. That’s because anytime a group of people with a common passion and goals comes together – great things can happen. Amazing growth and learning has come from every training event I’ve attended and has left me a total training junkie. Think of event and local trainings as continuing education – practically every profession has continuing education available, your business is no different. Budget and plan for trainings; they are incredible and can be game changers in your business. When I hear about being a learn-it-all, know that attending trainings as often as possible is an essential part of learning everything you possibly can to succeed in your business.
You got this friend 😃😘
These seven steps are simple, and executed consistently have the power to completely transform and overhaul your business. Make a promise to yourself to give these things a try and I promise you will find that your business will take on a new life you never knew was possible this year. You got this!
Claire Bone has been a LuLaRoe Retailer for over two fun filled years. When she isn’t being a Super Skirt Selling Ninja or writing to encourage other Girl Bosses, she can be found chugging iced tea while watching Gilmore girls and wishing Rory had picked Jess.