Screw The Goals - Get a System!
I know, I know. The interwebs and your in-boxes are awash with unsolicited advice about why you should set goals or new year intentions.
It feels like everyone (and their granny) are forcing you to think about the looming next 365 days and (allegedly) get you ahead of the competition curve. Am I right?
I don’t know about you but:
1) I absolutely hate being told what to do when I am frantically trying to stay sane with everything else I’ve got on my plate - and that includes life stuff outside of business (OK, I’m a control freak! -isn’t every small business owner?)
2) My brain is too focused on finishing everything else, you know, those ‘to-do’s’ that continually appear at the top of your list but keep getting bumped down, mainly due to denial…right?
3) ”I want to work for 75 hours each week and spend all my time writing up strategies and goals” - said no-one ever!
If I had a dollar for every time someone said,
“I wish I could find more time to relax with my family, but I can’t because I'm so busy running my business”.
Honestly, this is why goal setting can have a detrimental effect and keep us stagnated, never daring to actually be bold, go forth and make our sh*t happen.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m the kinda gal that would normally advocate a good bit of goal setting but only if it’s done the right way - yes folks, there is a wrong way and this is why most people fall at the first hurdle and go into complete meltdown.
We Want Instant Gratification
The “marshmallow test” is a great demonstration of how long-term goals and bigger rewards get overlooked for instant gratification, a fact of human nature that sometimes gets in the way…even as adults - don’t kid yourselves.
...and whilst goal setting seems like fairly sensible advice on the surface, I know for a fact that you are mumbling under your breath that you have far better things to do with your precious time like making sales, so you can pay your bills and buy alcohol this month rather than getting hyped up about the next 3,6 or 12 months.
I bet you have struggled to keep up with the pace of change for the next big trend, reading loads of articles about the latest marketing must-have for 2016 [complete with year of your choice]; you need to do webinars, you must do video, you must drink green juice 5 times per day to detox, what’s the color of your ideal customer avatar’s underwear?
...and the list goes on and on and on.
Quite frankly, it’s bloody exhausting!
Ultimately, setting the wrong goals in the wrong way can catastrophically hinder your productivity and leave you in a constant state of “close but no cigar” and that, my friend, is a ‘crap’ feeling [say in Scottish accent for maximum effect].
You Need a System
This is exactly why you need to get yourself; a smooth running, sanity making, clawing back time with your family and friends....system.
A system once set up becomes your own personal blueprint for business, run your way.
A system is great for generating good habits and, unlike goals, actually increases feelings of achievement.
Now you might be thinking, what the heck do you mean by a system? That’s easy.
If you are a blogger it could be, write one sentence or paragraph every day.
If you are all about social media you could ensure that every day you find one new contributor to add to your twitter or feedly.
A system is just doing one thing every day that gets you closer to your version of world domination. It doesn’t have the guilt attached if you don’t reach that elusive goal - instead it is a habit forming baby step made even more powerful if written on an actual piece of paper.
Yes, it can take time at the beginning to systemize your daily, weekly, monthly and annual tasks (I’m not handing out a magic elixir here) but...
Just imagine the joy of sanity, falling in love with what you do all over again and being super nice to be around again, instead of having endless friends and family avoid eye contact with you for fear of you unleashing a tongue lashing of unmitigated frustration, headed firmly in their direction.
Hey, now don’t think I’m saying everything will be perfect, my resting bitch face is still a staple regardless of how systemized I am, but...
I can now take time out, guilt free I may add AND I’m a whole lot less frazzled.
Take back control of your day rather than letting those left-field external pressures, time sucks or dafties dictate your day.
Focus on what you can control by creating your own blueprint system and forget those half-ass’d goals that just make you feel overwhelmed and well, less than successful.
If you want to know more about automating (without becoming a socially inept robot) and getting that blueprint started, then take my free quiz: What’s Your YOUPrint!
Disclaimer: I use UK english and Scottish slang so if you are on the other side of the world reading my blog (that would be amazing btw) and my spelling or phrasing seems off, then don’t panic and please don’t write in.
Mega thanks to Cat Paterson - The Straight Talking Ginger - for her epic guest post on how to create a system, not goals. If you want to read more about how to be a proactive business owner, check this out.
Hey hey, I'm Cara - Pinterest marketing evangelist and lover of all things Squarespace website design. I team up with online entrepreneurs to get tons of website traffic into sales funnels (marketing speak for getting eyeballs on your website and turning them into customers).
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