Over the last two years, I fully focused and reaching my goals and building a business I love. I not only launched a successful website, shop and my first big product. I also wrote and published my very first book together with a German publishing company. All this was possible because I figured out a strategy that works for me and allows me to not only set achievable goals but also CRUSH THEM one after the other. So today I want to share my proven strategy for success with you and show you how to approach goal setting in 2018 and moving forward 🙂
Goal Setting in 2018
The first and most important thing is to have and focus on goals that truly matter to you right now. There are all these rules out there about how to set SMART goals. But the truth is if you just set goals for the sole purpose of setting goals. You are setting yourself up for failure right from the get-go.
Set goals that truly matter to you
Having said that please put away the list with the 100+ goals you want to achieve before you die. That’s not what this blog post is about!
- What do you truly seek right now?
- Which area of your life bothers you the most?
- What do you want to change about yourself, your surroundings, your work?
- What is it that annoys you?
And on the same line:
- What is it that truly excites you?
- What do you love doing?
- What would you love doing more often?
These are the questions you need to ask yourself. And these are the questions that are hard to answer. Because more often than not we are not being truthful – even to ourselves.
Finding out what is important to you might be as hard as pursuing it. So spend some time figuring out what you want for yourself. I personally love drawing mind maps for this part of the journey. Since I’m a visual person and they help me see more clearly what I want (or don’t want for that matter).
For example: For me personally, traveling to Japan is most certainly on my ‘things I want to do before I die’-list. But it is not so important to me right now that I’m willing to focus the next few months on making it a reality. And that’s ok! So moving on. I started my online business in 2016 and it grew a ton since then. Both in regard to content as well as to income. But while it brings in a nice and steady side income I’m still not able to support myself fully with it. Which brings me to my main goal for 2018: turning Wundertastisch into a full-time income business.
When you have figured out what you want more than anything right now let’s move on to the next step.
Turn your goal into manageable chunks
If you have a goal like me, which requires you to work towards it every day for the rest of the year we need to take an extra step. Breaking our big scary goal down into smaller goals. I do and recommend this because it’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up on your goal completely before you have even started tackling it.
So let’s get back to my example: turning Wundertastisch into a full-time income business in 2018. You might assume breaking the goal down would look like this:
- Cover all your monthly business expenses by June 30th, 2018.
- Cover all your personal and business expenses by September 2018.
- Make at least 1k â¬ in profit (net income after all personal and business expenses) each month by December, 31st 2018.
Sounds easy enough, right? But how exactly do goals like this help you? The only thing it does from my perspective is to increase the pressure as well as the chance for failure. Because let’s assume I don’t crush the first of the smaller goals. Let’s assume I miss it by 100â¬. Does this truly make me a failure? Does it represent my progress in a healthy way? I don’t think so. And chances are high that I lose my motivation after the first three months and stop working on it all together.
The thing is progress is not linear. So while you might make great progress in the first month. You could hit a plateau in the next. And so on. So try to not put the pressure of numbers on yourself and focus on what needs to change in your daily routine to hit your big goal instead.
Which is why I prefer to break my goals down like this:
- Increase the traffic to my website, shops and landing pages by …
- publishing new blog posts weekly.
- publishing new Etsy listings weekly.
- by sending at least two newsletters to my list weekly.
- cross promoting my content
- Increase my conversion rate by …
- creating lead magnets that capture potential customers for one specific product.
- writing blog posts that introduce my products to the public in a genuine way.
- Quarterly product launches.
- Redesign website to put my products front and center.
As you can see my goals are action driven instead of end goal-driven. Let’s talk about why this is important next!
When we set our lofty goals it’s easy to get lost in them. While visualization can be very helpful I want to make sure you take action towards your goals continuously. Don’t just cling to your dream and think about what you will gain when you accomplish your goal. Start working towards your goal now and therefore start feeling the first successes right away!
By for example going for a 30min walk three times a week you are nourishing your body with oxygen and a mild workout. This truly brings you closer to your goal of losing 10 pounds. While thinking about the nice bikini you will purchase for yourself when you have reached your goal will not.
So set yourself up for success and define ‘action goals’ instead of end goals.
Don’t give up!
The first of biggest hurdle you have already overcome if you did part one correctly. Focusing on a goal that truly matters to you. Because if you didn’t you probably won’t last two weeks!
Secondly, hold yourself accountable! You can do this in multiple ways. I for one like to announce my goals publically. While the debate is big if this is a smart move or not it works for me personally. Since I hate unfulfilled promises. So when I tell someone I do something, I do it! No matter what!Set action driven goals instead of just end #goals and live the life of your dreams! Click To Tweet
You also could have a progress log. So every night you document what you did that day to get closer to your goal. Put it very visible next to your bed and force yourself to write in it each day. Even if you did nothing today, write it down. That way you motivate yourself to do at least one tiny thing each day so that you don’t need to go to bed unaccomplished.
You are unique as a snowflake
While goals are similar and the ways to reach them might be too. No one has the exact same drive, desires, and roadblocks ahead of them as you. Which is why you need to figure out what works for you. So what I want you to do is start on your goal setting and achieving journey and adjust it as you go. Document what you are trying to do. Look at your results regularly (I like to do so monthly) and adjust your ‘action goals’ accordingly.
For example, do you remember my personal action list from before? I created it based on my personal experiences and what has and hasn’t worked for me so far. The past year I focused a lot on product creation. While doing so traffic became more and more secondary and while the numbers didn’t decline they didn’t grow either. So now that I have products I can sell,
- I need to get more eyes on my products (more traffic),
- sell more (increase conversion rate)
- while maintaining the growth of my product portfolio (quarterly product launches and weekly Etsy listings).
Currently, this strategy works great and increased my traffic by 57% compared to the month before as well as doubled my Etsy income. But in a month or two I might hit a plateau. When I do I need to make a plan what needs to change or be added next to keep increasing my income (main goal).
Because if you keep doing the same thing over and over again even if you know it doesn’t get you closer to your goal you are definitively doing something wrong. Doing for doing’s sake is a waste of your time and resources.
So be smart,
- review your progress regularly,
- keep doing what works for you
- and adjust or replace what doesn’t.
I believe you can do everything you set your mind too as long as you don’t give up and allow yourself to learn and grow consistently! So let’s make 2018 our year and crush our goals together! â¡
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If you loved what you have seen so far, feel free to pin the image below to one of your Pinterest boards so you can revisit this blog post later on. â¡
Kerry Saeuberlich says
Hi Sandra, I love receiving your emails they inspire me. I am currently unemployed, but gone back to study from home. I am also working on starting my own business part time making soy wax candles. I have always wanted started a bullet journal but always never got around to it. But you have inspired me and I thought well lets give it a go, I love it and always adding new pages, and I am heading towards my goals. I use it instead of my diary. It keeps me on track with my study, and my candles. Thank you so much, you are a amazing lady, good luck with all your dreams and goals.
Sandra Pinkert says
Hi Kerry, thank you so much for your kind words. They mean the absolute world to me â¡
I have been there a few years back myself and I totally can relate to you. That being said it sounds like you are doing everything right! You are cutting back on costs by being woman enough to take on help and study back home. You already have an idea of what you want to do and are starting to work towards it. That’s incredible!!! The most important thing is to keep moving forward and don’t give up. Starting your own business is hard and can sometimes be totally overwhelming. But if you stick with it, keep learning and give it your all it can be the best thing you ever did!
Always feel free to reach out! I love to chat about creative businesses and meet like-minded people â¡
Many thanks again and I wish you a most successful 2018!