Welcome to 2021! Obviously not much has changed, we still wake up the same everyday and have to experience the same lives we have had for the past 365 days. But even though it may feel the same, we have the power to start this year off in a more positive way! I am starting a new yearly habit that I hope will help me reach my goals better than any other year. I am not the New Year’s Resolution type and I wrote an entire blog on why I do not make resolutions. But I do make goals for the year and some people will say that’s the same thing, I will respectfully disagree. For me, goals are long term and something you can work on in many ways. A resolution is usually short-term change that is targeted for something specific, like weight loss. I create goals that do not have an end date and I don’t put pressure on myself to reach every goal within the first six months of the year. My goals are ideas that can influence more growth and they can easily change as time goes on! Most of the time my goals will snowball into different goals as time goes on and years pass. Here are some tips that I use to gather my goals and start working towards them in a positive way.
1. Envision who you want to be in 10 years
This is something I got from Rachel Hollis in her book, Girl, Stop Apologizing. ANYTIME I set goals I start by thinking about my life in 5 to 10 years from now. What do I want to look like? What job do I want? What type of car will I drive? What will I eat? What priorities will I have? I think of literally everything to the shoes I want to be wearing, the job title I want and the type of coffee I drink. You don’t have to go into this detail but I want you to picture future you. Maybe in 10 years you see yourself 20 pounds lighter with a nice car and a stable 9-5 job. Maybe you work from home with your own business, have 10 kids, and attend a workout class every Friday. Maybe you want a whole new career as a successful Real Estate Agent with a modern apartment and lots of friends and fancy clothes with a Vegan Diet. YOU CAN BE ANYTHING! But this will reveal where your goals should take you. If you’re so focused on how you look, maybe your goal is to get a sustainable fitness routine and diet for 2021 while working and being with family. If your vision is career focused, it can be focused on promotions, money, education, etc. But try to set goals that will help you reach the dream (but still realistic) you. These goals do not have to be huge and life-altering. You could have a goal of walking for 30 minutes everyday. Or eating less meat on a weekly basis. Or dedicating more time to your side business or your family each week. Envision who you want to be in the future and pick goals for this year that will get you one step closer to that person.
2. Don’t limit yourself but stay realistic
I never limit myself with my goals. If I want 10 goals, I will create 10 goals. But you have to be able to focus on all of your goals on a daily basis and keep track of your growth. If you only have one goal, that is okay! If you have five or six goals, that is 100% okay too! But make sure you can reach all of them with your work life, home life and the reality you’re living in. I have SEVEN goals, but one is as simple as waking up at 7:00am every weekday and doing my perfect morning routine every. single. day. Two other goals I have are graduating with a certain average and getting a job that makes me happy but also pays my bills after school. My goals are not extreme or difficult, but I have enough that will help me reach the person I see in my future. These are goals I have been focusing on weekly in my life now, but I turned them into S.M.A.R.T goals (my PR profs would all be crying happy tears to see me using something I learned in real life). SMART goals= Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. You don’t have to hit all of these requirements, but goals should try to fit in this five categories.
3.Write them down and read them constantly
These goals are your new children (or pets). You need to focus on them, check in on them, and take care of them. I ALWAYS write down my goals and whenever I lose sight on what I envisioned for this year, I read over them or even write them down again. Don’t just think about what you want to reach, but write them down and bring them into existence. If you seriously want to reach your 2021 goals, they need to be your new way of life. Goals take a lot of effort and dedication no matter how simple they are. Get a notebook, whiteboard, use your phone, sticky notes, laptop notes… anything. But write it down and use all of your ideas to brainstorm the year you want to have.
4. Create a Pinterest Inspiration/Manifestation board
This is new to me but I just love the idea and it’s super simple (and free). For those who have a Pinterest account, you will know you can create “boards” where you can save photos that others have shared on the app. Use this to create an online dream, goal, mood, manifestation board for your year. Add what you want your year to look like and involve! This is something fun to get you motivated and you can look back on the board to see what hopefully came true.
5. Be okay with not reaching your goals
We are all human and sometimes life screws us over. You can set whatever goals you want but you need to be okay with maybe not reaching them this year. But that doesn’t give you permission to give up on them, whatever you don’t reach continues onto the next list. We don’t create excuses either. If you don’t actually try to reach those goals or you don’t actively make your goals a part of your life, then of course you won’t reach them. The only time a goal should carry over to the next year is if something happened and you weren’t able to put energy into one goal, or you reached every other goal but one fell short as you balanced life. Ask yourself if that goal really mattered… Was it really important if you set the goal and didn’t reach it? Should that be where your priorities sit? Maybe you just need to alter that goal or take a step back and re-create that goal in a more simple way. You know when you didn’t actually try, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t reach every goal you set in 365 days…. that’s what 2022 is for! Give yourself grace.
Conducting a Social Media Audit
I have seen this a lot on social media with successful bloggers and realized it might actually be worth the time and effort. I just did this today and if you’re a blogger or own a business that relies on online engagement and social media…. this could be something you need to try.
Understanding your audience is VERY important for any business. This audit will help you understand your audience, what content is working for you, and where your focus should be in 2021 to continue that growth. I looked over my blog statistics and my Instagram statistics to help me understand my audience. Again, I wrote down everything in a notebook with my goals so I have everything I need for personal and professional growth all in one place. On Instagram, any business or blogger account provides all of this data for you.
What I looked at for my audit (Using blog platform and Instagram account):
– What is my best performing blog content based off of reads and engagement?
– What are the least read blog posts and what do they discuss/share?
– What Instagram posts had the highest impressions (focused on type of content and theme)?
– What hashtags did I use with the most popular posts (organized into each theme/type of content)?
– What posts got the most profile visits?
– What are the most liked photos?
– Who is the audience of my account/blog? (Gender, age, location)
– What is the best time of day and week day to post on Instagram for my followers?
– What is my engagement rate for the past 30 days? (To find your engagement rate: # of Interactions received divided by total followers multiplied by 100%. Mine is 3.31% for the end of 2020. Anything over 1-2% is good! This number will change on how many people follow you and how many people engage with each post.)
Doing an audit is not difficult and you don’t need to be good with numbers to figure out your stats. The whole point of me doing this social media audit is to see who my target audience is (88% women aged 24-34 living in Canada, The United States, or Europe) and what content is performing the best (1. Motivational Quotes 2. OOTD posts 3. Skincare Posts). If you know what works for you and who interacts with your content the most, you can set goals to increase these stats for 2021. For example, increase engagement with each post, increase followers, increase how many times you post on certain days, or increase the brands you interact with. Dedicate an hour to this audit and see what you can find that will help your business, blog or side hustle online.