With the onset of each new year many of us sit down and write out what changes we’d like to make. Our lists range from fitness goals to spiritual desires and almost always have career aspirations included. But do you ever find yourself getting to December and looking back at your list having to ask yourself – what happened over the past twelve months? I certainly have, which why today I going to share with you some of the ways I’ve successfully set and achieved my goals throughout my life.
Planning for my future has never been something foreign to me. At six years old I had what I thought was a solid plan for life – I’d grow up, attend Stanford, write for the newspaper, graduate and head to law school. It all seemed so simple in the words of my girl, Lauryn Hill. What I realized over the years is that simply having goals is not enough. In fact just writing them down isn’t enough either. There has to be actionable items to go along with your goals in order to see them come to past.
Make Your Goals Actionable:
Each year since 2013 I’ve themed my years. From discipline, to growth, to last year’s theme expansion; I have used themes to align my goals with purpose. By doing this I ensure that my goals are not shallow like “I want to make more money,” but rather actionable, “I want to make $5,000 per month with Sweet Knowledge Clothing Company by expanding my customer reach.” See the difference? At its core my goal is certainly about increasing my income but initially there was no plan. The difference between my first goal and the second is a WAY to make the goal happen. It is great to write your goals out, but even better to be detailed about how to see them through.
Believe In Your Goal:
There is nothing I don’t believe I can do. I do not doubt myself often, in fact one of the attributes I notice most about entrepreneurs and self-made people (a term I don’t love, we’ve all gotten help from somewhere or someone), is that none of them ever thought they would not succeed. In 2011 when I initially created the idea for my clothing company, no one was really making apparel specialized for HBCU students. When I approached an existing company about an early collaboration they told me there was no sustainable market for my product. If I had believed their thoughts about my goals – I wouldn’t be here now or being featured as of Buzzfeed’s 21 Black brands to follow. Sometimes we set goals without ever actually believing they can occur. That my friend is not a goal but merely a wish. And wishes are for birthday cakes and genies. You’ve got to know your goal will happen.
Think Big But Realistic:
There is nothing wrong with going big. Going big is how Facebook became a thing and how the iphone continues to outsell every other phone on the market. In the midst of thinking big you must also be realistic. I had a goal of being a millionaire by 30, this itself isn’t crazy. To be honest it’s been done several times over. However, I was a person who graduated during an economic downturn, had never checked my credit, and didn’t even have a credit card. I couldn’t have handled a million dollars. Nor was I creating a product that had million dollar profit potential during my twenties. I was hanging out, became a mom, and trying to land a job. So while it was an admirable goal I didn’t plan accordingly – and had to come back to reality. Goals should encourage you, not stress you out.
Keep Them Visible:
You’ve seen people have vision board parties, you’ve heard of moodboards, all of these things work tandem with the idea that seeing is believing. I cannot say that I annually create vision boards or that it has ever been my go to method. I am however a dedicated list writer. I’ve got notebooks full of my plans and goals. What this does is keep my mind stayed on the prize. It also allows the goals to become more real rather than just an idea. If you can see something you are more apt to continue to strive toward the finish line. Recently I heard fellow entrepreneur, Lo Miller of Can’t Stay Put, say she writes her goals down daily. I’m thinking of incorporating this into my daily ritual because it creates accountability and also helps you weed out what you’re truly aiming for.
My goal with this post is to encourage you to set that plan you’ve been dwelling on into motion as the year begins. Don’t allow another twelve months to go by with stagnant goals and caviar dreams. Make the life you want happen. And be sure to keep an element of chic in everything as you do it!
Share some of your goals with me, I’d love to support you on your #PathToPoppin!