6 Ways to Smash Your Goals in 2018
Want to smash your goals in 2018? Me too. Usually this is the point at which I get out my notebook, jot down a few New Year’s Resolutions, then find some experts to tell me how to actually fulfill those resolutions.
But this year I’m turning to the true experts around me: women who smashed their goals in 2017. Here’s what I learned.
Surround yourself with people who have plans too.
Jewelry designer Allison Priebe founded Queen Bee Designs 15 years ago, and since then her pieces have shown up everywhere from Sex and the City to Hillary Clinton. But in recent years, Allison found her passion fading a little. “I was doubting myself and feeling low,” she tells us. She decided to go on a few mini-journeys to get her creative juices flowing — and found herself spending time with people she calls “movers.”
This worked. Allison, as she describes it, got her fire back. “There’s a saying: We are the five people we spend the most time with,” she says. “I think we must have a vision for where we see ourselves and how we want to get there, but we should also surround ourselves with people making things happen.”
Be willing to say YES and try something new.
After Anne Bramblett finalized her divorce last January, she realized she had a freedom she hadn’t known for two decades. So when, on a summer trip to see friends in Austin, Texas, Anne saw a dream job in her field being advertised, she applied for it. And — surprise! — she got the job.
“I have a job, friends and home that I love, but I knew if I remained stagnant I would lose an opportunity for huge personal growth,” she says. “And now I am moving to the most creative, energetic city in the world.”
Focus on production-oriented goals
For freelance writer Jessie Kwak, 2017 was her most productive year yet. She published a novella and a short story collection (Corporate Notes from the Zombie Apocalypse, if you’re looking for a laugh), finished writing a novel, and turned in a book on productivity to a small press. What was different this year? Jessie focused on goals of productivity rather than milestones.
“I used to set results-oriented goals like ‘finish the draft by the end of the month’ and I’d feel overwhelmed whenever I fell behind,” she says. “So this year I set production-oriented goals, like ‘write for 30 minutes each day.’ Production-oriented goal setting is really helpful for nebulous personal goals. It's easy to get a win, which keeps your momentum up.”
Get in the right mindset about your goals.
After eighteen years of struggling, Rebecca Pappas finally lost 50 pounds in 2017. She attributes her success in part to seeing a doctor for an eating, exercise and accountability plan — but the biggest factor, she believes, was a change in mindset.
“I did a lot of praying and self-talk,” she says. “I’ve realized if I control what I allow to go into my mind and not agree with the negative thoughts and words that pop up sometimes, I am strong — and with hard work and perseverance I can accomplish what I set out to do.”
Build goals on what you love — and outsource the other stuff.
In 2017, Amie Williamson’s side hustle became a sustainable business. A key factor, she says, was figuring out what to focus on to make Sticky Design Group run more efficiently. “I outsourced the work I hated, like bookkeeping,” she says, “to free up time to work on what I love, like branding & logo design.”
She plans to continue this model, outsourcing more work to other writers, social media experts and ads specialists. “As I approach 2018,” she says, “I am finally running the business and it’s no longer running me.”
Aspire to experiential goals, rather than material things.
When a house fire destroyed much of Whitney Sumrall’s home and belongings, her family of six celebrated a very different kind of Christmas. “We didn’t have all our stuff,” she says, “and we realized we actually enjoyed it more.” So they decided that in 2017 they’d spend money on experiences rather than things.
Key to achieving this as a goal, she says, is planning ahead. (Theater tickets, flights and cabin rentals are all awfully expensive if you do it last minute!) And then — importantly — resist the temptation to run out and buy more stuff. “We can’t keep falling for the impulse buys,” she says. “We get more fulfilment and more joy out of experiences.”
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