can you believe it? 2020 is allllmost over. i think i speak for most of us when i say good riddance, and hello 2021! whether your business took off these past 12 months or you’re looking to make some big changes in the coming year, learning how to plan and set goals is suuuuper important. so sit back, grab a pen and paper and let’s chat goals!
1. set attainable goals
when planning for the future, it can be tempting to go all in––why not make those dreams come to life, amiright? but if there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, many things can get in the way of success (thanks, covid).
when it comes to setting goals, make sure they are actually attainable. can you make ten times your salary this year? maybe. can you double it? probably.
it’s helpful to start out with goals that don’t necessarily require a lot of steps. start small, such as a few things you can adjust rather than a complete overhaul all at once. that way, you can see successes right away!
there’s absolutely nothing wrong with setting the bar high and challenging yourself. just make sure you can actually reach it––without a miracle.
make sure to look over your reflection of last year and take the time to set statistical goals (aka money + numbers!) like how much you want to earn, a goal to save for a new car, an amount of weddings you want to shoot, etc!
but then also choose some emotional goals! i like to set goals around spending more time with family, having more self-care, and doing things that make me happy!! make sure these are on that list so you can build your business up while you build yourself up!
2. write them down
studies have shown that there is power in getting that goal out of your brain and down on paper. at least, thats what works for me anddddd tons of others!
without getting too much into the science of it all, transferring your goals into written form not only provides something physical you can reference as a reminder of your intentions, but it also deeply encodes the info in your brain so you’re more likely to remember it. brain magic!
but don’t just write it down––put your goals where you can see them! tape them to your dashboard, add a note on your computer, stash them in your camera bag. do whatever you can to keep them in front of you!
if you haven’t already, get your spreadsheets and documents organized!! right before the new year i like to hop into my spreadsheets and make a new tab for the upcoming year! this gives me time to set it all up ahead of time so when clients come in, their info has a place to go! you can find my free download of the client gift spreadsheet here – this is where i store each of my clients info so i can send gifts and keep updated on where they are in the process with me!
keeping everything written down, organized, and all together before working on those new goals is the perfect way to spend your time crushing those goals and not worrying about the back-end of it all!
3. stay accountable
ever made a goal but never told anyone, so that way no one would know if you didn’t achieve it? well, no more my friend!
2021 is the year of progress so it’s time to find a friend, business partner or a mentor to craft and share your goals with.
your mentor will be all about checking in, asking about your progress and getting you back on track when you need it. they are also there when you have a tough day and wonder just what the heck you were doing setting up all those goals.
4. be timely
what’s that saying? a goal without a plan is just a wish? accurate.
when it comes to setting goals, you gotta have a plan and a timeframe! not only do timeframes give you a sense of urgency so you can work hard, but they give you a sense of accomplishment when you find success.
you don’t have to be so strict that you plan down to the hour. how about “by mid-year, i will have booked 5 new clients.” see what i did there? i gave myself a goal and a timeline and it’s not so restrictive that i feel discouraged before i even start.
i like to break my year into quarters, then have a focus for each of those quarters! as a photographer serving couples for their weddings AND a photography educator, i have not only one focus but two for each quarter! this doesn’t mean those focuses can be more or less than the other too! first quarter of most years is my time to tackle back office tasks. it’s my best time to work on my website updates, refresh client emails + blogs so it’s all current, update profiles + portfolios on websites, etc! i usually then spend second quarter on photography education of my own, working with couples + shooting weddings! this is when summer wedding season starts to kick in and i get to focus on being a wedding photographer! third quarter is more weddings + couples as well as supporting other photographers through their busy seasons (hello freebies!) and fourth quarter is a lot fo desk work again! like editing, booking season for next year (aka spending time connecting with potential clients, sending agreements, having client meetings etc! this is the time i use to invest in my client experience for potential couples!)
but thats for me and my business, for where it is now! there is also the huge benefit to being able to constantly update (and upGRADE) your goals! as the year and the quarters go by, you can expand and change those goals and you and your business grow!
because things always change (as we know from 2020…) it’s great to keep all these goals in one place – i like to have one main master journal for myself where i do my yearly refresh and set goals for the next year! i keep it nearby and check it often, but use other planners and notebooks for day to day or weekly lists + goals! then i can look over them all over the years and be able to see all the growth that might easily be missed!
as always, YES this calls for some celebration!! girl, you are getting your goals in gear!! don’t forget to celebrate! you’ve got an amazing year coming up and it’s always a good time to celebrate!
as small business owners, it’s not uncommon for us to brush over our successes and press on to the next big project. but recognizing and celebrating our achievements is big.
so stop for a breather, tell a friend, make an insta post, have that glass of wine and up the ante for the next big thing.
are you still unsure on how to set your goals for 2021? check out my photography mentor program so that you don’t have to plan next year alone! book a call with me here.