When I think about it, 2017 was a really transformative year for my business. I started out the year freelancing under my own name, but in April I signed all the paperwork and re-branded as Overlock Design Company, LLC. Since then, I’ve been working on honing my brand, teaching myself new skills, and getting my business organized with contracts and standard processes.
I am super proud of the growth and clarity I’ve experienced throughout the year. But it definitely wasn’t the direction I had planned when I started 2017 off.
My 2017 Goals (They’re… bad.)
When I went into the year, my goals were either really loose, or really ill-advised. I wanted to have a fantastic year, but my goals were really narrow.
Here’s my 2017 goals list, with accomplished goals crossed off:
- 24 hour response time
do 5 small projects make $20,000
- take weekends off
invest in learning & training. max $1,000
- find a va
- find a business coach
- start a podcast
- start making themes again
As you can see, I didn’t get very far. I actually failed at accomplishing most of them. And that’s okay.
Where I Succeeded.
Fortunately I had a pretty steady stream of work, so my “small” projects goal was easy. So was the income. In fact, for the first time, income this year wasn’t really a concern. ??
Where I Failed.
2017 was a year of a lot of failure. At least, where my goals are concerned.
I failed at at 24 hour response time because it’s unrealistic. I can either jump every time I get an email, or focus on working and actually getting things done.
I failed to completely take weekends off because, as much as I want to step away sometimes, I’m actually really passionate about what I do. If I’m not working, I don’t feel like I’m getting enough done.
I failed to find a VA, or a business coach, because I realized I don’t need them. At least, not yet. There’s plenty of time in the day to tackle things (and still get in my 8+ hours!), if I focus and get shit done.
I also failed to start a podcast, or start creating WordPress themes again. Simply because I didn’t have the oomph to get started and realized it’s not really what I wanted to be doing.
What I Learned.
All of these failures were lessons learned. They helped me realize that my time is valuable. That I work better with fewer distractions. That if I apply myself and buckle down I don’t need to outsource.
One of the biggest things I learned is that setting broad goals for a whole year with no plan in place to accomplish them is silly. I’m honestly lucky I accomplished any goals at all.
My 2018 Goals
This last quarter of 2017, I really bucked down on organization, process, and how to achieve growth. And it’s been superbly helpful. As I’ve been reading more and more about goals, and how to set better goals, I’ve realized that yearly goals don’t really work.
A year is just too long of a time to focus on. You lose motivation. Breaking down your goals and setting them quarterly gives you a chance to focus on smaller tasks, and achieve more throughout the year. Which is why this year, I’m focusing on Quarterly goals.
My goals for Q1 2018 are:
- Start a Weekly Email Newsletter
- Get 3 Clients on My Retainer Packages
- Develop my WordPress How-To Course, One-Week Website
- Launch the One-Week Website Beta
And that’s it. Four small, specific goals to tackle between now and the end of March. From there, I’ll evaluate whether or not I achieved those goals, what worked, what didn’t, and how I can improve.
My biggest goal for 2018 is to get better at setting goals, and use them to grow myself & my business.
What are your goals for 2018? Are you setting quarterly goals? Any tips for goal-setting success you care to share?