One of the highlights of my Christmas here in Malaga was getting to hang out with this pretty lady, a 3 month old Beagle pup. We spent a lot of time out walking and exploring the city, the beach and people watching in cafes. There's nothing like 3 walks a day in the fresh air to get some serious headspace and time to think. In short, I got a lot of clarity over the festive period around what I want out of the next 12 months both personally and in my business.
2019 felt like a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Settling into life in a new country, buying an apartment, turning 40 and dealing with all the emotions which come up around a big birthday. Writing it down it feels like I crammed a lot into those 12 months but the good thing is a learnt A LOT and at the end of the day that's the most important thing. Ride the waves and learn as much as you can along the way.
Heading into 2020, we are not only at the beginning of a new year, but also a new decade. Did anyone else find the build up to this new year a little overwhelming? Social media platforms were swamped with messages urging us to reflect on the last decade and start thinking about our big goals and aspirations. The word pressure springs to mind!
Writing a goal list might feel good but you need intention and action to make it happen
Getting our goals onto paper, listing them out feels great in the moment and can be a good motivator, but what happens when that initial "buzz" wears off? The caveat with goal setting is that we of course have to take action and steps towards reaching the goals we set or they just end up gathering dust (usually in a gorgeous new notebook we bought for the purpose). I have the notebooks to prove it.
There can be something very cathartic about goal setting but I began to wonder over Christmas if setting goals alone really works? I recognised I needed something else to navigate me in the right direction.Something which would keep me connected to myself, my vision and how I want to feel as I take the steps forwards without sinking into overwhelm or procrastination.
One of the words I chose for 2020 is FLOW and an intention connected to that is to BE PRESENT. I am aiming to create more balance and flow in my life and I want to get away from that feeling of forcing and striving to make things happen. Essentially I want to try and live in the moment more and I know that this will support me in life and business.
When we get intentional about what we want, we take control of working on how we feel and how we show up. If we don't feel good about what we are doing, we simply won't do it. Putting an intention behind a goal creates an emotional connection. Think of it as your goal's best friend.
So this year I am taking a new approach which I hope will support me and keep me focused without the usual new year crash and burn. I have realised that we can set all the goals we want to but if we are not working on our mindset and creating foundations which will support us, it's simply a waste of time and energy.
I am focusing my attention first and foremost on how I want to feel and live. It takes the focus away from "I must achieve this and that" and will hopefully help me to live in a more present and mindful way.
Goals are focused on the future. Intentions are focused in the present moment.
Setting intentions gives us room to breathe and space to enjoy the journey rather than just focusing on the destination. I also think this approach helps to boost our confidence and self esteem especially as entrepreneurs and business owners. From this place we can be quietly confident that we are taking action, working towards something and still staying in a place of flow which feels way better than the "hustle"which has become something of an overused hashtag.
One part of my business philosophy is to show my clients how to market themselves in a way which feels good and much of this is linked to living intentionally according to your beliefs and values. What we stand for personally filters through into what we do professionally and how we show up inside and outside of our business
So how you can you use intentions to support your business and life goals this year
Let's start with January to keep things simple! You can then repeat this process as a monthly task throughout the year
1 - Choose your word for the month - Pick a word which really resonates with you. Does it evoke emotion, energy and excitement? What do you want to create more of this month? It might be confidence, visibility, joy or focus. Keep your word in mind as you go about your life and commitments each day and start to notice how the meaning of the word changes as the month progresses. If you meditate you can even sit with your word and focus on what it means to you at the beginning of the day for just 5 minutes to help you get connected.
2 - Think about what your ideal day would look like this year - This will help you to start intentionally creating a reality which fits your vision. One of the reasons you chose self employment is probably because it gives you flexibility to create your own schedule. Perhaps you were craving a better work/life balance.
When you're writing out your ideal day think about
How you want your day to look and flow?
How much time do you want to be in work mode?
What does an ideal morning look like to you?
How will you incorporate self care and other non work related activities into your schedule?
3 - Make time for reflection - At the end of the month do a mini review and ask yourself these questions
What was your biggest learning from the month?
What "wins" are you celebrating?
How do you feel with your progress?
Do you think you are on track?
What do you want to do differently next month?
4 - Get clear on your business philosophy - This is a paragraph about who you are, what you do and who you help through your business. It should be short but focused and really connect you to your why. Getting re-connected to this will help you to stay on purpose and also support you when it comes to setting goals. You can check in to see if they really support your business philosophy.
An exercise to help you set goals with intention
This super simple exercise shows you how to support your goals with intention so you are more likely to stay on track
Let’s say your word for January is visibility and you want to focus on developing a visibility plan and showing up more consistently over the next 4 weeks
My Intention for January - Commit to building my visibility so I can grow my business, my community and create new opportunities
Your monthly goal might be - Start incorporating more video content into my marketing
Your weekly action might be - Plan out and commit to creating 1-2 videos a week for IG TV or Facebook
Your daily action might be - To show up on stories a least once a day so you
If you do this exercise monthly it will help you to be more intentional about setting and meeting your business goals but most importantly it will help you to run your business in a way which feels good to you. Less hustle and more flow.
I hope this helps and look forward to hearing how you get on this month
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