Set Goals, Not Resolutions

Have  you made resolutions for the new year? What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to change? Where do you see yourself 12 months from today? Where do you want to be in 24 months?

We know that making resolutions does not accomplish anything. If we are serious and determined about making changes or accomplishing something, we will do more than simply resolve to do it. We will make it specific and then schedule it.

Do you want to start your freelance business this year? Do you want a different type of client? Do you want build your creative expertise? Do you want to step up to the next level? That’s great! Now, get going on it!

One key to accomplishing anything is to decide to do it, and then to schedule it. You will not take action on an idea until you make it real by writing it down and putting it on your calendar. You will not change anything until you take action. Because we’re holistic people, ideas, plans and actions work together. A goal that is only written down is a resolution — an idea. An idea that is written and scheduled is a goal. Placing action steps onto your calendar will motivate you to move forward. Calendars do that. They are motivators.

In Freelance Road Trip terms, a goal is a destination. When you complete a string of accomplished actions you reach your destination (you achieve your goal!). Getting from where you are to your goal requires time, navigation, and fuel. It’s easy to sit in the back seat and allow someone else to drive, but then you are at the mercy of the driver, going where they want to go. As a solo creative, you are the driver. You can idle, burning up fuel and accomplishing nothing, or you can move forward, build momentum and accelerate.

Another key to accomplishing your goals is to have a grander purpose for your goals. The grander purpose is your vision — your Why. With a Why, your goals and your efforts to achieve them become meaningful. Your purpose is your ultimate goal.

One of my goals is to completely pay off debt and be entirely free from owing anyone anything. That purpose drives the smaller goals that lead up to it: pay off the car, pay off the mortgage, plan my spending, and such. Why do I want to get my debt paid off completely? To be free, ultimately. Freedom is one of my values and part of my Why.


4 tips for achieving your goals

An effective approach to achieving your goals includes these four things:

  1. Set appropriate goals. Good goals are worthy, meaning that they move you along the road toward your destination. They are appropriate and fitting for you, and will provide both a personal and professional reward. Also, others will benefit when you reach a goal. People need what you have to offer. You won’t be offering anything without reaching some goals.
  2. Begin where you are. You may not be where you were hoping to be at this point in time, but no matter. Where you are is the best place to start. Where you are gives you clarity on what to do next.
  3. Begin with what you have. Don’t put off forward motion until you feel ready, or until you can afford it or until you have all your ducks in a row. (It is my observation that ducks never line up.) Step out in faith. Use what you have now: your knowledge, your skill, your experience, your desire. Do what you know to do. Build from there.
  4. Schedule your goals. Give each goal a deadline. Then, break it down into smaller steps and schedule each step on your calendar. On the day you have planned to do a step, do it.


Start now and keep going

Accomplishing goals and achieving purpose is done in a series of small steps. You can take the next small step. Step out in faith, with determination to keep going, one step at a time.

The more you take action on your goals, the more momentum you build, and your freelance road trip becomes exciting. You build competence and confidence with each accomplishment, no matter how small. Each step and goal achieved are mile markers on your road to achieving your ultimate purpose.


Your Action Step:

Choose one goal, and schedule 1-3 small action steps you can take on it this week. This will get you moving forward. Schedule more steps for next week, and every week until you reach your goal. Share your goal and this week’s actions steps in the comments or in the Freelance Road Trip group on Facebook.

More about goals:


Goal-setting is essential for success

Goal-setting is personal

Technologically Incorrect: Why I Still Use A Paper Planner