If you’ve ever felt terrible at reaching your goals, it could be that you’ve just never had a strategic plan in working towards them. You asked for education on how I set, track, and review my goals, so your wish has been granted! On episode 15 of All Angles Photography Podcast, I’ll walk you through how to set goals in a way where they’re attainable, create supporting actions for the goals, and create tasks that will help you work towards that goal on a smaller scale.
This is the exact flow for goal setting that I’ve used in 2022 and 2023. Now is a great time to set goals and create a plan to make them happen, so either keep reading or listen to the episode below.
You don’t want goals that are surface-level, you want them to be smart goals! Let’s chat about what each letter is for!
Specific – What will actually be accomplished? What actions will you need to take? You want to avoid words like increase or decrease. Dig deep into how you specifically need to reach the goal.
Measurable – What data will measure the goal? How much? How well? This could be quantitative (money earned, the number achieved, etc.) or qualitative (testimonials, feedback, etc).
Achievable – Is the goal doable? Do you have the necessary skills and resources to attain it? Your goals are meant to inspire motivation, not discouragement. So for example, if you only booked 5 weddings last year and your goal is 30 this year, that might not be as achievable. Usually, growth is on a gradual incline, so just make sure you’re setting achievable, realistic goals.
Relevant – How does the goal align with your broader business goals? Why is the result important?
Time Bound – What is the time frame for accomplishing? What is the quarter you’re hoping to accomplish this?
I wanted to give the visual above to give you an idea of where we’re going with goal setting. The goal is the tree trunk. Your supporting actions are the branches. Your tasks are the leaves. This all works together, so now that you have a few goals mapped out, let’s dive into supporting actions.
After brain-dumping goals, break them down into supporting actions. Let’s say you have a goal to reach by the end of 2023. Your supporting actions will guide you into what you should be focusing on each quarter or month, for example. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are stuck or not making any progress, so supporting actions ensure that you have manageable steps that will help you stay focused and move forward with the tasks you set.
This plan of action is the dump list of tasks you need to do and when in order to work toward the supporting actions that are getting you closer to reaching your goal. Your tasks are the necessary steps on a smaller scale, like daily or weekly.
The T in smart goals stands for time-bound, which we’ve talked about. So setting deadlines with a timeline will hold you accountable and make sure that you are staying on track. When setting deadlines, it’s important to be realistic and give yourself enough time to accomplish your goals.
You can track your progress in a variety of ways, including writing your progress down in a journal or using a tracking app. I love to digitize everything, so I use Notion to write my goals, supporting actions, and tasks so my entire task list is all in one place. Doing this has been helpful for my mind, but you can do this however you need to that works for your brain.
I recommend having a planning meeting/review every 3 months to make sure that you are still on track to reach your goals. Reviewing your goals can also help you adjust and adapt if your plans change or if you need to adjust your timeline for getting the goal completed. This leads me to my next point.
Life is unpredictable and things don’t always go according to plan or how we were hoping. Being flexible and adaptable ensures you keep a healthy relationship with your goals. Your goals do not define you as a success or failure. Really, your goals should be motivational to encourage you to continue growing. It should never be something you feel down about if you don’t reach them.
I’ve had goals translate into a new year, so this is your encouragement that you are the CEO of your business and you can determine when you reach your goals and how you plan to continue working towards them on your own timeline.
Finally, it’s important to celebrate your achievements – big and small. Working towards reaching your goals is hard work and it’s important to take time to recognize and celebrate your accomplishments. Additionally, in my quarterly meeting, instead of viewing my tasks or goals not met as things I haven’t gotten done, I choose to focus on what I have gotten done. This has been a healthy shift for me, instead of looking at everything I still have to do.
To give a tangible example of one of my goals in 2022, here’s how this gets mapped out.
Create and launch a podcast in quarter 2 in order to begin positioning myself as an expert in education for photographers.
I wanted to grow this side of my business as a whole, beyond just 1:1 mentoring, and start to serve photographers with the knowledge I have in this way. The podcast would help me work towards other goals like my coaching program, digital products, etc.
I recommend having 3-5. My supporting actions for the goal above looked like brainstorming podcast names, creating a podcast script board in Notion, beginning to think through who I wanted to interview, and purchasing a course learning how to podcast.
For the goal above, some of my tasks were to create a scheduler for guests, reach out to guests, research which course to purchase, research which recording and hosting platform I should choose, choose the name of the podcast, record the intro, and figure out my marketing strategy. These are the little things you can be doing every day or week to work towards your goal.
That’s it for this episode! I hope these tips on goal setting are helpful to you. I feel like 2023 will be the best year yet – so if I can serve you in any way, reach out on Instagram and I’ll see you guys in a couple of weeks for another episode.
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