The Problem with 2020 Goals (And Why You Should Set Them Anyway) |By Ryland

How To Set Goals For Small Businesses

When JP & I first started out in this photography business our eyes were fixed on all things NOT weddings.  Those would be way too long & stressful! We wanted nothing to do with them! Since weddings were decidedly out of the picture we set a 2016 goal to establish ourselves with another offer – the home portrait.  “People are going to be all over this!” we thought; so we got to work. We did a few home portraits for friends, created several packages, advertised this offer on our website and social media, & got a few sessions booked!  But as the year progressed it became pretty clear that home portraits were not our long-term future. Right around the same time we felt a few nudges toward weddings & two weeks later we had a phone call – “Will you shoot my best friend’s wedding?”  Now what? This wasn’t one of our 2016 goals!  

Everyone says that we should set goals.  We’re told that they are a fundamental part of being a productive adult & especially a business owner!  We easily let our goals become the standard by which we measure ourselves – either to success or failure.  And so naturally, we either obsess over them to ensure the fulfillment of success, or try to avoid them to prevent the shame of failure! 

Friends, don’t do this to yourself!  Yes, goals are problematic, but here are two reasons why you should set them anyway…

How To Set Goals For Small Businesses

First and foremost, our goals aren’t meant to be the standard by which we measure ourselves.  They are meant to keep us moving! The worst thing which can happen to us as humans is that we stop moving – stop growing.  So hold your goals loosely. Yes, set SMART goals (more on that in an upcoming Structure Creates Freedom course!), create feasible plans to achieve your goals & do structure a routine to facilitate success, but remember that the process is incredibly important!  Your identity is not in your goal! Instead, your goal should be growing more into the person you want to become.  So when it comes time to evaluate a goal, first ask yourself if you grew in the pursuit of your goal.  Let that be your litmus test – to learn from success or failure. Then step up on your growth and keep climbing!  

Second, we often set goals wrong, setting ourselves up for routine failure.  Don’t pick all your goals for 2020 in January then get started on all of them all at once.  None of us can predict the future and a year is a long time! As much as you can, set 1-3 goals on a three month cycle.  What relevant goal can I achieve in the next three months? Once complete, reflect, grow, pivot (if needed) and determine another relevant goal for the next three months to build on your last one.

I don’t want to think about what would have happened if JP & I had stuck to our 2016 goals and continued saying no to weddings.  This whole thing would probably be dead and gone just like that home portrait goal! While our home portrait goal was a failure, it pushed us to continue growing until the Lord redirected our steps to something even greater.  2020 is so similar to 2016 friends!

We’re working toward some bold and new growth around education! But now we have four more years of wild growth under us to confidently stand on and reach new heights.  

So get out there friends!  Set bold goals for yourselves, but hold them loosely, knowing that real success is confident growth!  You’ve got this!  

Cheers!! Ryland

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