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If you follow some of the same bloggers I do, by mid-December there were tons of great blog posts written about setting goals and intentions for 2014. As we enter the last nine days of the month, I’ve noticed the gyms are a lot emptier, the e-mail responses have been slower, and the inquiries to hire a designer to build a brand in less than thirty days has died down. We all set goals throughout the year—personal, financial, spiritual, business, and so forth. Goals seem to become more unattainable as time goes by or often fall by the wayside when we reach unintended roadblocks. I want to chat about a few problems I’ve encountered with my goals and expectations. I also want to discuss what’s worked for me and what made me fall flat on my face.
Make Obtainable Goals
I know this is said in every post but it helps increase success rates in my goals. At this point my life, I have a good understanding of what I will do and how I will deceive myself in thinking I can take on the world. If you’re unsure, try to write smaller goals or goals that help you improve a skill you already have. For example, a few of my short term and long term goals are the following:
Break Things Down
I could go on and on but my goals are things that help build my strengths in my weak areas and areas of expertise. Knowing what you want the outcome to be and accepting it may change over time is a great way to think of things prior to setting goals. My goals are also pretty well-rounded. Instead of listing out things like attend design/development conferences or take a Skillshare class, I’ve been able to list these things underneath my larger goals. Viewing things from this perspective allows me the flexibility to add smaller milestones while still keeping my eye on the main objective.
Manage Your Expectations of Others
I collaborate for a living. I co-own a branding agency with my husband. I feature designers here every one to two weeks. I love collaborating on projects because I love seeing what other people think. More often than not, this love for collaboration has gotten me burned. I’ve been involved in projects that are cancelled without any reason. I’ve been abandoned in the middle of a project. I’ve been stood up for meetings. I’ve had e-mails go unanswered at the worst possible moment. These things happen and I really began to question my love for collaborating. Accepting that I cannot change what others do and only learn from these experiences hasn’t been easy. I really haven’t talked about it here on the blog mainly because I was extremely disappointed. The reality is that it happens to everyone.
There’s a victory in letting go of your expectations. – Mike White
It has taught me to be a better judge of character. I now know how to ask the right questions when proposing or being proposed for a collaborative project. I also work best with someone who has the same drive and tenacity as I do. I get thoroughly involved and I love to see things through to the end. I love to work with other creative professionals who have the same drive or love for their profession. It always makes for a successful project and they are usually pretty fun as well.
Small Victories Are Still Victories
I’m all about celebrating and I enjoy being petty in that way. I am the friend who gives you a gift for finishing your finals. I send people random notes, cards, and texts all of the time when they’ve accomplished things that are usually overlooked. If you cross something off your goal list, celebrate, even if it took you longer than you originally though. Having a positive attitude towards goals helps you get over the initial fear of writing them down. Don’t think of everything as failing. Don’t let other people’s failure stories drive you away from what you want to do. Learn from what they have to teach you and do your best to plan for the best. In the end, any task completed is worth a small celebration, even if it’s just doing a finger disco at your desk.