I admit it: the reason for this post is a selfish one.
As 2016 begins, I’m already feeling the heavy rush that comes with stepping out of vacation mode and into the thick swarm of new year noise. I have lots of work, little time, and a packed schedule for weeks on end.
So setting a vision for the year – writing down specific goals and milestones to measure? Yeah, it’s on my to-do list. Somewhere.
However, I already regret starting 2016 without deeper reflection and focus. So I’m trying to carve out white space to really concentrate on goal-setting. And my process is beginning with some research.
I wanted to know: How are the most successful people online able to set laser focus? What advice would they give on goal-setting? Here’s what I found out.
“Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself. Don’t be afraid to draw attention to that single, sterling quality that elevates you above mediocrity.” – Demian Farnworth
The Copyblogger article “10 Ways to Build Authority as an Online Writer” by Demian Farnworth not only inspires writing greatness, but also personal greatness.
As soon I read this quote, I shared it on every social platform possible, copied it into a word document, and printed it big and bold to hang above my desk. If I have a (really long) mantra for 2016, this would be it.
Because reinvention IS scary. Attention IS scary. But not as much as mediocrity. Something serious to keep in mind when thinking of the year ahead.
“For any movement to gain momentum, it must start with a small action.” — Adam Braun via Marie Forleo
In the video “How To Change The World & Live Your Purpose“, Marie Forleo and her guest Adam Braun of the organization Pencils of Promise, an organization that has built more than 200 schools across Africa, Asia and Latin America. They talk about how to unlock your deeper meaning and much, much more. It’s a great watch.
This quote is perfect for those of us (ahem, me) who look at big goals and feel completely overwhelmed. By praising our own small actions, and taking those small actions seriously, we can make true change.
“Life isn’t about the 50 vacations you’ll take while you’re on this planet. It’s about the 25,000 days between them. Stop creating a life that you need a vacation from. Instead, move to where you want to live, do what you want to do, start what you want to start, and create the life you want today. This isn’t rehearsal people. This is YOUR life.” – Dale Partridge
Like most of you I’m sure, Facebook can feel like a messy mix of old friends, memories and new news. I rarely stop for more than a moment to pause and read each post.
But this recent post by Dale Partridge caught my attention and made me think. Because for me, this has been the goal all along and the reason I quit the agency world and started Cursive Content Marketing.
Yet it’s super easy to slip back into the work-work-work-OH YEAH LIFE-work-work-work pattern, even when you’re driving that pattern yourself as a business owner. So this is another quote that I will continue to revisit as I set my 2016 goals.
“Most of us like to play it safe. Who wouldn’t? But when we set unchallenging goals, we’re almost sure to fail. … Only goals that take us outside our comfort zone enable us to rise to the occasion. The rest just leave us standing still.” – Michael Hyatt
This quote is for the slacker inside all of us. The one whose resolutions include vague ideas like “being healthy” or “creating more time for myself”.
Goals are not the same as tasks. They’re not the things that we will or should be doing simply by continuing on our same path. They’re meant to challenge us and make us bigger and better.
In his article, Hyatt also mentions that goals and resolutions need to be measurable so that we can judge our progress. This is important, because while it makes goal-setting a little more challenging, understanding our own personal progress is essential to growth (and to maintaining momentum).
“I started to share my goals with others; but more importantly, I reviewed those goals on a daily basis. That’s right — every day I would read my goals, making sure I was staying on track. … The difference in the direction my life took from that point on is beyond remarkable to me.” — Joe Pulizzi
In his book Content, Inc., Joe Pulizzi describes all of the many influencers who helped create his goal-setting system, which includes separating goals into six categories: Financial goals; family goals; spiritual goals; mental goals; physical goals; and philanthropic goals.
I love that idea, but what I especially love is getting into the practice of reviewing your goals on a daily basis. It keeps you accountable, and it keeps the goals top of mind always. It makes it easier to judge your daily actions against your long-term vision.
“I pick 5 major goals, and I create a vision board for each goal and also set 5 milestones I need to pass in order to meet the goal. … Just think 5×5. That gives you 25 milestones you can be working on the whole year. Centering your energy around 25 things per year is a way to equip yourself with immense focus and clarity around what’s to come for you.” – Natalie Macneil
So all the advice in the world is awesome, but it falls flat if you don’t take action on it.
That’s why I like this super-specific quote from the always-inspiring Natalie Macneil. Because now that I’m inspired to craft my 2016 goals … I guess I need to write them down. And I like the ideal of breaking them into a 5×5, measurable vision board for the entire year.
If you’re like me, you now have homework. If you’re more proactive, your goals for 2016 are already set. Either way, I hope these quotes inspire you to get at it or keep at it. Cheers to a super amazing 2016!
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