Get Your Goals On … Are You Ready To RUMBLE In The New Year?
Here we are at the tail end of the year. Another year soon to be wrapped up and put away.
Now it’s time to RUMBLE with some new goals. You don’t get in your car without knowing where you’re headed. And you’re not going to get very far in your freelance business without concrete goals.
Knowing how to set goals that serve your purpose is a real skill. You want to avoid vague ideas that never materialize. You also want to strive for something that you can realistically accomplish. So you need to figure out what will challenge you but not defeat you. What will make you grow but not be inconsequential.
In other words, you want to pick a good fight. You need to be ready to RUMBLE …
Starting with “R”
I love big goals. I’m a great person to brainstorm with. But while fun, these don’t make the best goals. Why? Because they’re not REACHABLE yet. And that’s the “R” in RUMBLE.
You may aspire to be a six-figure copywriter making a very comfortable living each year. But is that going to happen immediately if you’ve never written copy before? Not likely. You need shorter term goals first … learning to write persuasive copy, finding your first clients, meeting deadlines, building business relationships, sharing the learning curve with your peers.
Wherever you are on your copywriting journey, think about what the next step is. How do you get there? What can you do on a daily basis to make that happen? (Check the AWAI Article Archives for lots of goal topics.)
So think “Reachable.” Another word for realistic. Set your goals accordingly. It doesn’t mean you can’t have big goals; it just means you have to make them fit with where you really are.
Needing the “U”
When you decide on a goal, do you really understand what it’s going to take for you to get there? That’s the “U” – UNDERSTANDING.
You must understand that you may need to use your resources to reach a new goal. It can be physically and emotionally demanding. It may require financial investment. It may require more time than you actually have.
“Time” is a big one because everyone underestimates what it will take. It’s best to plan ahead for blocking out time blocks. Get out your calendar and pencil in two hours three times a week to work on copywriting. Let your family know this is specific time set aside for that goal. Chances are they’ll support you and hold you accountable!
Good intentions don’t last long when you have to face the work of reaching a goal head on. Understand what you are getting yourself into and adjust your goals. Naturally, you want to stretch yourself – but you don’t want to break, or worse, give up.
A Most Important “M”
The next thing you’ll want to consider is how MEANINGFUL your goal is to you. Goals don’t work well if they are something you think you “should” do or something someone else wants you to do. Your heart won’t be in it.
Without meaning, a goal is just another chore on your to-do list. And there’s not much motivation in that.
Unless your goal is really meaningful, you’ll be making every excuse you can to justify not doing it. Don’t set yourself up for that scenario. Make it something meaningful or cross it off the list. It’s not worth your time and energy.
The Beneficial “B”
You’ll also want to make sure your goals are BELIEVABLE. Can you really picture yourself attaining that goal? You have to believe in it to make it happen. Others don’t have to believe it, but you do. Why would you want to spend time on a goal that even you think you can’t achieve? Without believability, you are doomed from the start.
Here’s a bit of strategy: compare what you want to happen in the future with your current level of skills and resources. What’s missing that would make your goal achievable and believable? Fill in the gap and you are one step closer to believing – and making it happen.
The Laid-Back “L”
Now let’s backtrack a little and think about finding the balance. When you first commit yourself to a goal, you have it foremost in your mind. It becomes your focus and sacrifices seem easy because you are focused on your target.
But then time passes and you still haven’t reached the goal. That’s okay because some goals take time to achieve. The thing to watch for is how rigid you become. You might just need to switch gears and get a little more “laid back.”
The world we live in is changing all the time. Your own circumstances are changing all the time. And if you can’t be flexible and adapt to those changes as they come along, you’ll break like a dead tree in a high wind.
Sometimes, you just have to LIVE IN THE MOMENT. That’s the “L.” Living in the moment means being open to change and new opportunities. It also means living your life without putting your goal on hold.
It’s fine to set the goal I mentioned earlier: two hours after working all day at your regular job three times a week. But when you’ve done that for a while and the entire family is revolting because you are never around, then it’s time for a little R&R. You probably need it.
Going out for a movie or even just some ice cream can give you a much-needed break in routine. And the time spent with your family will help you reconnect and feel more energized. Then you’ll be able to get back to work with renewed purpose.
So find the healthy balance. Even with set goals, you need to Live in the Moment once in a while to get refreshed.
The Electric “E”
Finally, we come to the last letter in RUMBLE – E. And that’s EXCITEMENT. Never forget to make your goals exciting.
The question is … what is exciting to you? What makes you excited at the very thought of it? That’s the goal you will move heaven and earth to achieve.
On a daily basis, the work it takes might get tedious. But then when you sit back and envision the big picture, the excitement should come to life.
That’s what gives you the energy to keep going when you fall into a slump. That’s what ignites your passion when you even imagine it.
Don’t bother setting goals that don’t excite you. They’ll get old and boring, and you’ll feel bad for abandoning them even though you should.
Get the Jumpstart!
I am giving you guidelines here to formulate the goals that will change your life in 2013. If you want more specific goal “how to” information, check out The Only Sure Way to Make Progress This Year by Cindy Cyr. Or this article that is specific to copywriting, A Goal Plan That’s Designed to Ensure Success by Rebecca Matter.
I want you to hit the ground running when we ring in the New Year because that’s the only way to get the jumpstart on your dreams.
So let me ask you again …
Are you ready to RUMBLE? Are your goals Reachable, Understandable, Meaningful to you, Believable, Live in the Moment, and Exciting?
If so, it’s gonna be a great year …
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