It’s that time of year again!
The time of new years’ resolutions and goal setting. Everyone seems to be doing it, myself included. However…
…it can get overwhelming and we usually revert to our old ways once the first burst of motivation fades and we get caught up in our day to day lives.
I decided this year I would take a completely different approach.
Previous years I would come up with a long list of resolutions such as getting up at 7am every day, exercising 5 times a week, losing 10 pounds, starting each day with yoga, meditation and journaling, keeping a daily habit tracker to stay on track etc.
In other words: I set the bar so high for myself that all I did was setting myself up for failure.
Besides that I would primarily be focused on my goals and all the practical steps I would have to take to achieve them. Resulting in a huge to do list which would leave me feeling overwhelmed rather than excited for a new year.
A different approach
So this time around (inspired by business coach James Wedmore and Dutch influencer Celine Charlotte) I decided to take a different approach to goal setting for my music business.
I shifted my focus from all the things I have to do in order to achieve my goals, to what kind of person I have to be to manifest my goals and desires.
If that sounds a bit out there to you, bear with me.
To manifest something you’ve never had, it is likely that you’ll have to become someone – a version of yourself – that you’ve never been.
And no, I’m not talking about changing who you are in an inauthentic way.
I am talking about breaking with old patterns, finally getting out of your comfort zone and broadening your horizon, adopting a different mindset, tackling your money blocks, letting go of that job or person that’s been holding you back etc.
In other words: the question isn’t so much what your goals are (because I’m pretty sure you already know what they are) but more so: what do my goals and desires require of me? Who do they require me to be? What kind of business owner/entrepreneur do they require me to be?
I began with reflecting on the past year. I wrote down everything that happened, my successes and my failures. What worked and what didn’t work. How I dealt with certain situations. Which steps I took that I am proud of. The lessons I’ve learned along the way about myself and my business.
I wrote down which projects and tasks gave me energy and which didn’t, as well as behavioural patterns and thought patterns I’ve noticed in myself that have been holding me back in one way or the other.
I basically wrote down what kind of business owner I have been the past year.
And then the next question I asked myself was: taking all of this into consideration, what kind of entrepreneur should I be in 2021 in order to manifest my life and career goals? What should I continue doing and what can I improve on? What would the successful version of me – the version of me who has already achieved these goals – have done to get there? How would she think, which decisions would she make and how would she approach challenges?
To keep this blog to the point I won’t go in depth about all the insights I got from these exercises, but let me share with you my biggest takeaway.
My biggest takeaway
While I was reflecting on the past year, I realised I often find myself thinking ‘I don’t have enough time’ and/or ‘I don’t have enough money’ to achieve my career goals and grow my business to the next level.
Besides that I had to admit to myself that I find asking for help uncomfortable. Mainly because I don’t want to burden other people and also because working with others can come with new challenges, such as what kind of expectations will they have of our cooperation, will they do a good job etc.
I started to see that all these things combined form the root of a behavioural pattern I have of doing almost everything in my business myself and, subsequently, overworking myself.
While I should focus on the core (income producing) tasks of my music business – making and releasing music, performing live, creating content and coaching (which are also the things I enjoy doing the most) – I spend a lot of time on handling all other tasks as well.
Besides being an artist and coach, I am also the technician, manager, social media team, email marketing expert, customer support etc of my business. I’ve been doing things this way for a few years now and feel I’ve reached a plateau in the growth of my music business.
And not just that. For us artists it’s especially important to leave space for creativity. Personally, I find it hard to be creative and write songs when I feel tired and overwhelmed because I work too much.
All in all there’s no denying it anymore: it’s time to make a change!
Therefore one of the intentions I decided to set for 2021 is to be an entrepreneur who always looks for ways to keep things simple, who delegates and asks for help where needed (even when it feels uncomfortable) and who isn’t afraid to invest more in hiring help.
And I can just feel that setting this intention has lit a spark in me. I now feel excited for this new year!
You know, at first I didn’t really feel like going down the rabbit hole of goal setting this Holiday season, but I can honestly say I have really enjoyed this approach to goal setting. For the first time in years, instead of leaving me overwhelmed, it actually gave me clarity and direction!
If this inspired you
Has this inspired you? Here’s how you can do this for yourself:
Reflect on the past year. Write down every relevant development: successes, achieved goals, failures, disappointments, lessons learned etc.
Put into words what kind of business owner you were in 2020: what are you proud of? Where could you improve?
Lastly, set your intentions for the new year by describing what kind of entrepreneur your goals require you to be in order to achieve them.
Some final thoughts
Now before I wrap this up here’s a few final thoughts.
Please know there is no right or wrong way of goal setting. This is what has worked for me, and I am sharing it as inspiration.
I also gave myself permission to do it whenever I felt like it. Contrary to previous years I did not put pressure on myself to finish it before a specific date.
And last but not least: done is better than perfect! The way I see it, our goals and our development as business owners is a continuous work in progress anyways. Don’t overthink it. Just start and see where it takes you.
All that’s left for me to do now is wish you a wonderful and healthy 2021, filled with creativity and opportunity. May your wildest dreams come true!
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