It's Goal-Setting time! (it's fun, we promise!)
The Panhandle is a small business podcast, but in addition to owning a business and doing the podcast, I got a life! Some days I feel like I’m killing it and others I just want to forget about.
With a year coming near an end, I’ve been pondering what life will bring in the new year. Something that has helped me, both personally and in business, is setting annual goals. Many people use the start of a new year as a time to set resolutions. I don’t know about you, but if I skip a Monday workout, I quite easily tell myself “well, that didn’t work out. I’ll try again next week.”
So I can imagine if I didn’t ace all my new year resolutions in January I’d just give up for the remaining 11 months. No, I need time, I need grace, and I need redos. Twelve months is a perfect timeframe for me to set realistic goals and actually succeed at reaching them, or at least making good progress.
Setting a Date for Setting Goals
My husband, Nathan, and I do this together. In December, we line up an overnight babysitter and go on an extended date. We’ve each done some thinking leading up to this date about what we want our goals to be, and at dinner we hash them out in draft form. Then, we finalize them at breakfast the next morning, getting them neatly written or typed out when we return home and hanging them by our computers, where we spend more hours that we want to, so the list is not forgotten. We have different categories of goals and these will be different by person and couple, but I find it very helpful organizing goals into categories. Here’s ours:
Goals for us as a married couple
This captures things we can do to improve our foundation as husband and wife because the stronger that foundation is, the better leaders will be in business and the better we will parent and nurture our children! An example of something that falls on this list for us is an overnight date at least once per month. We actually like each other (!!) and we needed to be reminded of it at least monthly without noise or other distractions. It can be as simple as sending the kids to the grandparents and cooking together or as elaborate as getting a hotel in downtown Pensacola and going to our favorite restaurant. But next year I want to change it up and incorporate cultural experiences into the date night mix.
Goals for us individually.
Personal growth is vital to my happiness. Unless I intentionally allow time for it, it is the first thing I’ll let go when times get busy. These goals always include fitness and health goals, but they are attainable, like exercise 3x per week – not exceeding my Peloton output every day, seven days a week! I want to learn how to play the piano, but I am keeping that for when I know it can actually happen. This just isn’t the season for it. Keep this list for things that you can do without overextending yourself or setting up false expectations. Some years, thanks to life’s changing seasons, we have more room for personal growth than others.
Goals for your kids.
Yes, we decide what we want to help our kids accomplish! Some goals they get excited about, others not so much. We wanted Quinn, our youngest, to learn how to swim this year. Check! We also wanted Beau to train for and run a 5k, but we’ve not yet done that and it’s unlikely we’ll fit it in before the end of the year. Instead, we shifted our focus on hiking and we have worked up to 5-mile hikes, which is progress toward the goal and that counts!
Goals for the family unit.
This is a fun list and includes planning fun things for us to do together as a family. I’ve been doing research for local nature or outdoor adventures that we’ve never done. The lighthouse in Pensacola, the Arcadia Mill in Milton and the Juniper Creek Trail in north Santa Rosa county are just a few examples. We also are working on more read-aloud story time as a family in addition to the time we spend reading bedtime stories. We’re planning a fun family vacation in 2022, too, that will be educational and memorable on many levels. This is a goal category you can get the entire family talking about.
Financial Goals or Business Goals.
These two go hand in hand for us since our business does impact us financially. And, this goal category takes the longest to hash out because it includes review of financials and new year budgets and even discussions with your management team and/or business partners. Nathan and I have a few ventures we do together, so we create a category for each revenue producing activity. These goals help us make decisions more easily when they are presented to us, whether expected or not.
We review our progress and make necessary adjustments on a quarterly basis because I can guarantee, not all things go as planned! While this review is an excuse for a date, it also often serves as cheap entertainment. There are some years where our intended goals, well, remain only to be in written form. Sometimes opportunities present themselves that you never expected (like buying a garbage business when you have zero experience in the waste industry) and other times things outside your control derail your plans, like Covid. That’s okay. Work done in working towards a goal is still work done, and we’re always better for it than if we’d had no plan or objective in place. One of my biggest fears is complacency, and if anything, practicing annual goal setting keeps me from growing stagnant.
So, what about you? What have you found works best in setting yourself up for success when staring a new year? The days are long but the years are short, isn’t that how the saying goes? That means to me…clock’s ticking. We are guaranteed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year while we’re breathing. Let’s make it count! P.S. This is not a suggestion to bust your butt to accomplish unfulfilling goals. Be thoughtful. Consider what makes you happy. And go after it.
Crystal Boyles is the owner of Adams Sanitation. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) by trade and lives in Holt with her husband, two children and Teddy – their dog!
It’s the Christmas season and we want to give you plenty of heads up about our schedule between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day – as there are going to be a lot of changes for that week. Thank you for understanding and allowing us to spend a little bit of time with our families to celebrate the Christmas season!