I love the New Year. It’s the perfect time to take stock of the past fiscal year and set yourself some great new goals. In the last few years I have developed a few strategies that help me to implement my set goals with discipline. Goals and discipline in their implementation are essential for successful freelance work. With this article I would like to show you some of my strategies for the upcoming turn of the year. I hope you will find some ideas and suggestions to put your goals into practice.
The year in review
Before I write down new goals for next year, I start with a review of the year. In a quiet moment I analyse the list of my goals from the previous year. First I check whether I have reached the set goal. If I have not reached the goal, then I look for the reasons. In the course of a year the focus sometimes shifts and it may be that an originally set goal loses importance. If I was not able to reach an important goal due to bad habits, I note down the consequence and an action plan in the next step to reach the corresponding goal in the new year.
A practical example for freelancers:
Target from the previous year:
Work more efficiently due to less distraction
Reading of new e-mails and messages while processing orders. Short-term customer requests are pushed in between.
Interruption of the workflow leads to longer working hours and can affect the quality of the work > Less satisfied customers > Loss of sales
Change of the e-mail account from “push” (automatic retrieval of new mails) to manual retrieval. E-mails are now only queried at fixed times.
Many people set themselves the same goal every year in the hope of achieving it. Very few people worry about why you did not reach this goal. My year in review strategy helps me identify and learn from mistakes and bad habits. The action plan defines what I need to do to achieve the goal next year.
As you have certainly already stated in the first point, I ALWAYS write down my goals in writing. This is not only beneficial for the review of the year. Writing down my goals helps me to execute and structure them. But how do you best structure your goals on the still white sheet of paper?
Sorting according to areas of life
My goals should advance me in those areas of life that are really important to me. To find out which areas of life are most important to me, practising the Wheel of Life has helped me a lot. I then divide my specific goals according to the Wheel of Life into self-realization, career, finances, fitness/health etc.
Formulating goals correctly
The other day I found an old piece of paper. One of the things it said: “I want to be even more successful next year.” Today I know that there is no worse way to define a goal. It is not measurable and not specific at all. In the meantime I take a little more time to define a goal. I usually do this with the SMART method. This method helps me to define goals clearly and achieve them better.
After I have written down all the goals, I try to build an emotional bond with each one. To do this, I regularly close my eyes and try to imagine what it looks like when I have reached the goal. According to the quote from Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it! «
The control of success
A navigator can only reach his destination by controlling the route. This is exactly the same with my personal goals and the goals for my freelance work. I make sure that my goals are visible every day. There are many possibilities (Post-it on the wardrobe, desktop wallpaper or in the appointment planner)
I have created a “navigation book” for myself. This book accompanies me over a whole year. On the first pages are my annual goals. The following pages are reserved for my to-do lists. Each week has its own page. The trick: Whenever I add something to my to-do-list, I flip through the pages of my annual goals. When I write down my to-do list, I automatically know that at least one item should appear in the list that leads to the achievement of my annual goals.
What are your New Year’s resolutions?
Especially as freelancers we have to take our future in our own hands and plan it conscientiously. Bad planning endangers our existence as freelancers. Maybe some of my tools and strategies for planning your new business year can help you. If you also know some tips and tricks, I would be very happy about your comment. So you too can help other freelancers by using this blog. With this in mind, I wish you a successful start into the new year and look forward to welcoming you as a reader of this blog in the next one.