I’m all about setting goals. I believe in the power of publishing your goals, and I believe that it doesn’t diminish them when your plans change.
This is the internet, after all, not something chiseled in stone.
I’ve been thinking about 2020 and all the mountains I’m going to climb (rhetorical, mostly) since late November.
But before I get into those, let’s review all the things I said I’d do in 2019:
Reviewing my 2019 goals
In this post written exactly one year ago, I made some pretty big commitments. Let’s see how they panned out.
2019 was the year I focused on daily habits.
I can safely say I’ve built several habits that are second nature by now. I write every day, and I’m proud of that, because even my modest “200 words per day” goal created about five times more words written by me than I’ve ever written in any other one-year period of my life.
I failed to upload 261 videos, however. Failed by 90%. But upon reflection, I realize that a goal like that without some strategy behind it was doomed to fail. I haven’t given up on video, at all. I’m just going to be more strategic about it in 2020.
My yoga practice has been reestablished.
Spreadsheet-loving Kathleen wanted to track the number of yoga sessions I went to in 2019. That Kathleen died and was replaced by regular spreadsheet-hating Kathleen and I can’t tell you whether I went to 275 yoga classes or not. I’m guessing not.
But to call it a failure would be to completely ignore the fact that yoga has become so embedded into my routine that I block off time in my calendar for it.
I still agree with last year’s post where I stated that chasing a number on a scale is unfulfilling. I’d even say it was dangerous, because although I do weigh myself regularly, I haven’t seen the scale budge in over a month. So if I were solely focused on the scale, I would say that yoga is somehow not working for me.
But again, that’s completely not true. I’m a better person after I’ve done yoga than I am when yoga isn’t a part of my day. I’m happier, more relaxed, more able to roll with the punches, and more fun to be around.
Plus I can see myself doing yoga every day until I can’t move my body anymore. I can’t say that about any other exercise except walking.
I finished all the Pulitzer-prize winning novels, but I’m not sure I’d recommend that particular challenge to anyone else.
My husband likes to give me a hard time about this goal. He thinks I should start another list. “Read all the Man Booker prize winners!” he liked to say.
But I’m done with lists.
I’m working through my bookshelf, because if there’s anything I like more than reading, it’s decluttering. And I’m doing something I didn’t allow myself to do when I was reading through the list: I’m putting books down that I don’t want to finish reading.
You can’t do that if you decide you want to read all the books on any particular list. “I started all these books” is not what I was going for. I was going for the fame and prestige that came with finishing all the Pulitzers, and that did not disappoint!
My business goals shifted (as they do).
At the beginning of the year, I thought I’d sell 100 copies of this collection of templates I have that help me do my job faster.
It turned out, my audience didn’t want templates. Didn’t want shortcuts. Didn’t want anything other than to get some help with their marketing!
The templates are still available, but you have to dig around (even I had to dig around, and I put those there!) for them, because they’re not useful on their own.
Clients that work with me get access to them, but even they don’t use them without some guidance.
So I didn’t sell a hundred copies.
Of course I didn’t.
But I used those templates to streamline the processes I go through with my clients, which allowed my amazing contractor Emma to step in anywhere she noticed a bottleneck to help get things done.
Plus, I gained a lot of clarity on the things that I could offer that light me up, and I’m not sure I would have the confidence without trying several different directions.
Now I know that I want to primarily focus on coaching and done-with-you webinars. I’m taking other jobs (copywriting, designing websites) as they come, but what lights me up is helping people I know and admire build an engine that helps them make more money on the things they already know how to do.
I wanted to do 600 things to move my business forward, and that number is laughable today.
That must have been spreadsheet Kathleen again, because I absolutely stopped keeping track of the things that move the needle. I couldn’t tell you how many things I did, but I somehow doubt it was 600.
I do understand my rationale, because I was trying to avoid fake work, but still.
I thought I wanted to put a spending freeze on myself. Turns out, I just needed to spend more strategically.
I invested in my business in 2019.
I bought courses. I attended events. I spent strategically and I have no regrets.
Again, I understand my rationale at the end of last year.
But “do not spend money” is the wrong mindset for someone growing her business. It makes me think I don’t have enough, and that kind of panic is the wrong attitude at this stage.
I’d argue that panicking about running out of money is the wrong attitude at any stage, but that’s another story.
I didn’t set an income goal.
Because I was writing my goal list when I was eight months pregnant, I was already feeling a lot of stress.
Now that my youngest daughter is eleven months old, I’m grateful that I gave myself both the space and the grace to leave income goals off the already full plate of things I wanted to accomplish this year.
2019 was a good year.
I’m happy with the way this year went, both personally and professionally. I’m happy that writing and yoga are daily habits, and I’m happy to have systems in place to grow in 2020. I’m happy with the way my schedule works, and I’m still happy to be working from home, even though that means I sometimes only leave the house to go to yoga.
I almost never think about goals in terms of “one word” that would guide me through the entire year, but this year, a friend offered a good perspective, and I came up with one.
Well, two actually.
My 2020 words: simplicity and visibility
I’m going to be more conscious about simplifying my work and getting more visible.
Overcomplication is a way to “play work” instead of getting things done, so in removing friction I’m asking if every step is necessary.
One way I do this is by hiring someone I absolutely trust. “Here, Emma, take this completely off my plate,” is something I’ve been saying more and more.
I don’t care how things get done, I only care that they get done, so it’s no longer my job to create processes. That helps empower Emma and simplifies my life.
“We’re not operating with organs in coolers” is something I like to say when we start to stress out about something. Marketing is as important to a business’s survival as oxygen, but that doesn’t mean we allow things that aren’t emergencies to keep us up at night or respond to 10PM emails.
When I release myself from having to do everything, it opens me up to decide where we’re going. Emma will help determine how we’re going to get there.
Visibility is trickier.
I’m someone who is most comfortable when I’m working behind the scenes. Hiding, basically. But I can’t hide anymore. I’m committing to:
- Going live on Facebook every Monday and Wednesday at 8:45 Mountain time for “The Leveraged Expert.”
- Using my photos on Instagram, which I know does not sound like a big commitment but if you look at my Instagram, it’s mostly pictures of the back of my kids’ heads and the dog, so stepping out and being visible in this way is frightening. In fact, it’s so frightening that I’m allowing myself to use the professional photos until they run out, giving me ample time to (gasp) snap a picture of myself in real time.
- Showing more of myself in my advertising. Again, that doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but I finally, after hemming and hawing for ages about it, got a Facebook page for KathleenCelmins.com, so being more IN my ads is a big step.
The goal with visibility is simple: to keep reminding people that I’m here, and I’m someone who knows a thing or two about leveraging your expertise to make more money without learning something new.
I’m going to write a book this year.
A new-to-me friend, Erin Donley, is a ghostwriter and has written a bunch of books for people in the last decade or so. Plus she worked behind the desk of a very popular self-help bookstore, so to say she knows something about writing business books is putting it mildly.
So I’m going to hire her to help me find my topic. I was talking to her last week, and she said that everyone has a book in them, but it’s often not the book they think it is. Which is a compelling hook.
I’m going to write my book myself, but I’d feel a lot better about the topic after I talk to her. Plus, I’m relatively certain that whatever she charges for the one-off brainstorming session will be cheap compared to spending 2020 writing what will turn out to be the wrong book.
I’m going to host one business retreat this year.
By 2023, I’ll be hosting quarterly business retreats, but in 2020, I’m hosting one.
There’s nothing like getting a bunch of really smart people in a room (or a house, as the case will be) for a weekend and provide the structure and the snacks for the magic that can be created when we give ourselves the space to see the big picture, to zoom out, to find out where we’re going so that by the time we get on a plane to head home, we’re working toward the next step.
I’m really excited for this, and will discuss it a lot more as we get closer, but I realize that no one is thinking about what they’re doing in November when they’re planning out their entire year.
There’s already a sales page, of course, which is part of my motivation to make simplify a theme for the year. My guess is, this retreat will hold space for 15 people at the very most. So I didn’t need a sales page. I needed to send emails.
I’m going to grow my income to $20,000 net per month
And my goal is to get there by the end of the first quarter. I’m not daunted by this. In fact, if anything, I’m excited and anxious for everyone to get back from vacation so we can talk and figure things out and let’s work together!
I’m really loving coaching people from idea to offer, and would love to help more entrepreneurs in the year ahead to get their ideas out of their head and start making more money online.
I have ideas for how to do this, and I’m excited. Really excited.
If you want to grow your income and want to brainstorm some ideas with me, get in touch! I’d love to help you figure out how to head up the income ladder.
Yoga poses: crow to plank, wheel, and broken toe
Crow to plank:
I can hold crow for one second.
I’m going to work every day to get here:
View this post on Instagram
This is one of those poses I used to be able to do before two kids ruined my body and I want to get that narrative out of my head once and for all, so I figure the best way to do that is to actually get to a pose I could do before kids then I will have my body back once and for all or something.
This is wheel:
View this post on Instagram
This is one of those poses that seems impossible to do. Mainly because every time I’m in it, heat radiates through my feet in a bad way and I look around and no one else is in pain, and I so want to get to the place where Heather is, the instructor who finds this pose to be her favorite.
Here’s a great tutorial on how to do it, but unfortunately no Instagram embedding because it’s not that visibly impressive.
More than anything, my goal for the year is to make progress.
That means leaning in to things once they get hard instead of looking for a shiny object to distract me. Find my edge as they say in yoga.
I did a lot of spinning my wheels in 2019, looking for friends in all the wrong places. Trying to schmooze at networking events. Trying to do too much when I would have been better off resting and nesting instead of thrashing and trying to fit myself into some Chamber of Commerce box.
I’m emphasizing the quality of my friendships instead of lamenting the lack of quality friends in my close orbit.
I’m committing to travel, but not in the same way as 2019.
I’m happy to find out how I can support the people who are close to me.
In short, I’m ready for this year.