How we set goals
Welcome to The Digital Brew, a podcast about making your business more awesome online.
Your hosts are Angela (a copywriter) and Stew (a web designer). Pour yourself a cuppa and let’s get started with today’s episode…
In this episode, we talk about how we set goals.
So, we’re pretty much in no-mans land at the moment. At least, that’s what it feels like when you’re between Christmas and New Year. Like 2019 is so over already, but it’s not 2020 yet.
Which is why we thought this would be the perfect time to share a little bit about how we set goals for 2019 and how we’re setting them again for 2020.
(Plus it’s a good excuse to make Stew sit down and actually think about goal setting for a bit. Muahaha!)
I (Angela) have been pretty big on goal setting for the last 5-ish years. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been intentional about writing down a list of things I want to see happen in the next year. I’ve also started doing a word for the year, which I’ll talk about in a bit.
But first, let’s talk about goals.
Where do I write them? Maybe this is a bit different to most people. A few years ago, I would write them down in a notebook – pretty normal. In fact, I still have the ones I wrote down in the beginning of 2015 (just before we had kids!).
But last year, Stew and I started adding our goals as notes on Google keep. It’s digital, so we have them there for reference whenever we want to take a look, we won’t misplace a paper copy, and they’re shared so we can keep each other accountable.
So, what goals did we set?
We won’t share all our goals, but here are a few we wrote down at the end of 2018 and some notes to show what we have/haven’t achieved:
- Most weekends and evenings back by July (getting there…)
- Maleny holiday with Stewart September (nope)
- One week in May away in Melbourne (yes, but not with Stew)
- Daily walks (fizzled out after a couple of months)
- Wean Bazza by end of year (yep!)
- Both kids toilet trained (a little over halfway there)
- 16k monthly revenue (mostly there… occasionally it’s been over this)
- Get known for one or two things (yes!)
- Launch highly profitable and systemised packages (yes!)
- Launch digital product offers (yes… but only just getting started here)
- Launch community (nope)
- Start weekly podcast (yep! 😉 )
- Trial a fitness program (yes!)
- Save 2K per month (yes but was depleted… see below)
- New car (yep!)
- 10.30pm bedtime (pretty much yes)
- Nathaniel fall asleep on his own (yes!)
- Feel healthier by the end of the year (nah)
- Read one book to kids each day (yep yep yep!)
- Go outside for at least 10 minutes per day (yes)
- Make a home cooked meal 3 times per week (yes, usually more)
- Write lullaby album (work in progress…)
As you can see, there’s a mix of personal, family, and business/career goals, all blended in together.
I really like having them all in one place because it’s important to move forward in all those areas. Imagine spending a whole year just moving forward in your business? Or ignoring your career and doing family for a year? I mean, that might be fine for some people and phases of life (like I pretty much did when baby #1 was born) but it’s not for me right now.
So, how many of these came true for us? Quite a few. Even some big ones or ones that seemed really unlikely at the time of writing our goals have happened. It’s amazing to look back and see how far we’ve come in just a year. And I definitely feel like writing the goals down helped us set our intentions and make decisions that get us moving in that direction.
The stuff that didn’t really happen? I feel okay about. We made solid progress in some areas and will get there on the important stuff. Some of the goals became less of a priority or didn’t really make sense anymore as the year went on. So that’s okay.
Funnily enough, we DID end up getting a new car… because the old one broke down quite suddenly in October this year. Otherwise we might not have achieved that one. And it’s a very good thing we’d been saving a bit of money each month because it meant buying a new car wasn’t as painful as it would’ve otherwise been.
All in all, I (Angela) definitely want to keep writing goals each year.
We also have some bigger, more long-term goals planned out and written down somewhere. The main one (that I made back in 2017) was to move to our ideal location within 10 years, so 2027. It’s really exciting to see how much closer we are to that each year.
Actually, something I want to do soon is plan even further ahead than 10 years so we have a little more long-term direction. After all, we are in our late 20s, so there’s a looong road ahead of us. The better we plan now, the more we’ll be able to make the most of it.
For 2020, here are some goals we’ve written down so far:
- Plan 3 novel ideas
- Plan 3 business book ideas
- Upsize house
- Attend PT twice a week
- Plane holiday with stew
- Maleny holiday with stew
- Family holiday at beach for 2 weeks
- $25k monthly revenue total
- Join a good mastermind
- Run 1km without stopping
- Read for one hour per day (at least)
- Write a simple plugin
- Level up design skills, maybe do weekly design challenges or something
- Stop being such a motionless fatty boombah
- Learn more patience (take a chill pill)
- Slow down and be a better dad
How do these goals make us feel right now?
As for me (Angela) I feel realllllly stretched but excited. The book ideas make me feel excited to do some writing and planning for myself (not just client work and business stuff, yay!). But also a bit overwhelmed… can I really come up with 6 good ideas? Or even 1?
Upsizing our house will almost certainly happen because we have to move in March and we need an extra room and more backyard space. We’ve outgrown our small 3-bedder!
I feel like 2/3 of the holidays will happen – two holidays with just me and Stew might be a stretch, but it’ll depend on how generous the grandparents are feeling with their time 😉 They don’t seem to like taking both our 2yo and 4yo at the same time, particularly not overnight. I mean why is that? What’s up with that? Our children are angels… great sleepers… perfect darlings.
The monthly revenue goal sounds scary. It’s a little more than double my current monthly average (although some months I have gone well over this). But with TDB bringing in clients and projects in 2020 and working on projects with Stew (not just by myself), we’ll have almost double the manpower (almost because Stew isn’t full time yet because the kids are in day care 3 days per week, not because he’s less of a human than me ;-)). So even though the revenue goal sounds big, it’s probably do-able. Hopefully we’ll get there by the end of the year!
Running 1km sounds a bit crazy for me even though it’s not a big deal to most people (my PT doesn’t do much cardio – we’re all about the weights!). But I wanted to include something that would stretch me physically and improve my health. The plan is to learn a bit more about good running techniques and build up to it. At the moment, I could probably run 200m so I have a lot of work to do!
This might be a good time to mention that I heard from one of our listeners, Mal Gibson (also my Uncle who runs Herdz, horse supplements and supplies online):
“Hi Angela and Stew – love your work. Yes – we do set short and long terms goals. Without them the business would be directionless. No – don’t always reach them but at times we have far exceeded what we thought we could achieve. Never underestimate the possibilities. All the best for your business and I look forward to listening to your next podcast.”
Was so good to hear from Mal. He’s been doing this business thing a LOT longer than us so it’s really encouraging to hear that he sets goals, too. And also that they don’t always work out the way you expect… and sometimes you go way beyond what you thought possible.
Okay, so let’s talk about words of the year…
In 2019, I had 3… freedom, opportunity, serve. Based on a Bible verse that really jumped out as being quite powerful for how I wanted the year to go.
“For you were called to be free, brothers and sisters; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.”
I knew that 2019 would bring more freedom and time than the previous years, and I wanted to focus on making the most of that time, not wasting it, but using every opportunity to be productive and serve my family and my clients. I didn’t do this perfectly, but I think for the most part I was more productive than ever before. I’m getting better at it! It’s been all about learning how to make myself get more done and find a little bit of balance to serve both family and work in amongst all the craziness.
For 2020, my word that I’ve chosen is strong.
What’s interesting about this is it’s not a word I would’ve ever associated with. Words that more naturally fit me would be gentle, soft, and squishy!
But that’s starting to change – and I want to focus more on becoming strong. Not just physically, but mentally, and in my brands and businesses.
That’s because I’ve noticed that when you’re strong, you’re resilient. You can build something that lasts longer and weathers a lot more change and challenges. And the same thing goes on a personal level – mental and physical strength mean you can get through rough patches with more ease than you would otherwise.
In my business, that’s about looking at ways to make it more sustainable long-term. Looking at risk management, making the brand stronger, building in systems and processes for everything so that if something happened in the future that meant either of us couldn’t work, the work could continue on.
Mentally? I want to keep challenging myself and putting myself out there. I want to make sure I don’t shy away from challenges that might scare me. That might mean showing up as a guest on another podcast (which totally freaks me out because I like being in control and having things pretty scripted!). Or going to more networking events. Or learning about a topic that really stretches me mentally. When I do that, it makes those things less scary and means I’m able to reach for bigger things.
And physically. I’ve never been sporty… ever. But in May 2019, I signed up with a PT and have been seeing her twice a week for strength training (when we’re not sick or on holidays!). It’s been really interesting to see what my body can do. I’ve felt pain in muscles that I didn’t know existed! But I’ve also said goodbye to 4 years of constant back and hip pain (thanks babies/pregnancy/sitting in a chair all day). In 2020, I definitely want to keep this going and maybe even add in some at home equipment if we have space for it.
Oh and just like my word for the year in 2019, 2020 has some lovely Bible references, too.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Stew isn’t really that into words of the year… but maybe I’ll be able to get him into it in the future 😉
So, let’s wrap things up with a few key takeaways.
First of all, to state the obvious… make sure you set goals!
Make them big, but think about how you’ll achieve them – break them down and make sure they’re doable.
Include a mixture of personal, family, and business goals.
Come up with a word of the year if you like that kind of thing. But if you don’t, that’s okay, too!
If you don’t like setting goals or it doesn’t come naturally to you, find someone who does it well and buddy up with them. They can help you talk through some positive changes you’d like to make in your life and what goals could make sense for your year so you can move in that direction. Plus, they can help keep you accountable.
Share your goals – whether on a podcast (like this!), with a friend/family member, on social media, or any kind of safe space.
Another little hack is to make your goals accessible and visible so you can look back on them throughout the year. If you’ve got a big, important goal, make it visible in your workspace or home. Change your password so you have to type it out every day! Without being too woo, it really does help you keep focused on where you’re headed.
Have a wonderful Christmas/New Year and we’ll catchya in the next decade. (Haha, sorry… bet you haven’t heard that one before.)
Thanks for tuning in to The Digital Brew with Ange and Stew. Make sure you head over to thedigitalbrew.com for more episodes, detailed show notes, resources, and our newsletter. And if you feel like this episode has helped make your business more awesome, pop us a review. We’ll catch you next time!