Happy 2015! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that your year is off to a great start!
Unfortunately, this year has started a little slow for me. I’m a week behind with this since I spent the first week of the year with a sinus infection. But, I’m back and ready to take 2015 by storm. What about you?
I always love the start of a new year as it gives us the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with a new set of goals and ideas.
In addition to setting SMART goals for the year, I always set three guiding principles for the year.
No, these are not New Year’s resolutions. These are principles that I will focus on daily to help me achieve my very specific goals. In fact, I typically add these words to my bulletin board and keep it up all year as a reminder.
I modeled this after Chris Brogan’s three words exercise. This is my fifth year doing this. And, if you’re curious, here are my guiding principles from the past four years:
My Guiding Principles for 2015
So, what words will serve as my guiding principles for this year? Here they are:
But, in case you were wondering, running a business doesn’t get any easier. It’s not all downhill once you take that terrifying first step.
In fact, as Michael Burcham, former head of Nashville’s Entrepreneur Center, puts it, entrepreneurship is like getting onto a roller coaster — as you go along in your business, the highs get higher and the lows get lower.
I couldn’t agree more.
I tell you all of this to say that it’s time for me to up my game. It would be easy to coast along and continue as I have been.
But, I’ve got some big goals this year for Blue Kite Marketing and if I want to achieve them, I can’t rest on my laurels or be complacent. I need to be bold, get out of my comfort zone
and take some courageous steps to get to where I want to be.
Obviously, given the point above, this has a lot of business implications. However, this one is really more personal in nature for me.
Last year came with some unexpected life changes and personal challenges. And despite that, my husband and I kept up with all of our commitments — from both a business and personal
perspective. And, as a result, it left us tired and depleted.
That has to change this year.
It sounds selfish, but we have to take care of ourselves first if we want to help others — both through our work and in our personal lives.
It’s kind of like the instructions you receive on an airplane in case of an emergency — put the oxygen mask on yourself first before assisting those around you.
We care deeply about helping our friends and our city, but we are not useful to anyone if we are utterly worn out.
We have both discussed at length what we need to do to take care of ourselves first. But ultimately, it means that we have to stay focused on our personal and professional priorities and then get better at saying “no” to the things that don’t fit.
I’m an achiever. I view goals like hurdles that have to be jumped. Once I clear one, I’m already sprinting toward the next hurdle.
While that’s a good trait to have as an entrepreneur, it also can be incredibly discouraging. It makes it seem like the job isn’t ever done.
There is so much value in rewarding success and recognizing how far you’ve come.
For instance, even though I didn’t hit EVERY goal in 2014, we reached many of them. Here are just some of the things we accomplished last year:
- We hit our revenue goal for 2014.
- We launched our new website.
- We worked with
eight fantastic new clients and continued to work with several existing clients.
- We added three new members to our team.
- I joined Stan Smith as co-host on the Pushing Social Podcast.
- We launched our new weekly e-letter. (Get it here!)
I didn’t realize just how much we had accomplished until I stopped and looked back at our goals and started crossing them off.
This year, I want to get much better at that. We are going to stop, celebrate and reward both personal and professional accomplishments.
Not only does that make achieving goals more rewarding, but it also makes life a heck of a lot more fun! And, I’m all about having some more of that.
It’s Your Turn
Do you select three words or principles to guide you through the year? If so, I’d love to hear yours! Share yours in the comments or link to your post where you wrote about this as well.