The New Year is approaching, but you still have a tiny bit of 2017 to plan for success in 2018! What are your goals for this next year? How do you go about getting ready to tackle each and every one of them? We asked these experts to share the ways that they set up their goals for a new year.
Schedule changes of environment. Nothing creates a creativity block like staying in the same place at all times. Schedule days of the week when you will work outside of your home office. This could be at a local coffee shop or simply a different room in your house.
Start each day early and create a routine. It can be tempting to start your day late, but as kids get home from school and neighbors return from work it can create unnecessary distractions.
Don’t be afraid to set unattainable goals. If you reach all your goals then you’re likely under-performing.
The Career Introvert
Set aside a budget next year to invest in support for you. It can be for a new course or a coach or a cleaner. It just has to be something that will help you work better. You are a business and you need to invest in it.
Create a super goal! This should be something that you want to achieve by the end of next year all other goals, projects and tasks that you do should
in some way lead to that super goal.
1. Use a wall-mounted dry erase board to write down weekly goals. Keep it near your desk. There is satisfaction in setting small goals that are achievable, checking them off and then erasing them. This removes the stress of staring at big goals and worrying how to accomplish them.
2. Create a vision board for inspiration. Look at it daily as a reminder of why you’re putting in the hard work. One of my vision board images is my novel as a New York Times bestseller. It could happen!
3. Write your 2018 goals in a journal (or keep a gratitude journal) and then look at last year’s journal to see what you have accomplished so far. It’s motivating! Oh, and try not to get too distracted by household chores. This one is hard…the laundry basket is always calling!
Lainika E. Johnson
1. Be Realistic – Is your home the best place to get meaningful work completed? Do you have a space that is yours and only yours, uncluttered by family items? Consider the logistics of your workspace. You may need to rent a small virtual office or look into a co-working space.
2. Set Work Hours – Having no start and end time will create more stress than having to go to the office everyday as your work and home life start to blur. Know how many hours you have to work so that you can properly set each day’s agenda appropriately.
3. Close out 2017. Don’t bring any of your current work into the new year. Starting with a fresh slate and clean desk on January 1st creates a sense of readiness.
1. Set a To-Do list the night before
2. Implement backwards design. Set your end goal first, then draft a timeline with small, measurable goals to meet that big goal.
3. Focus on what motivates you, and build your goal around that.
1. Update your business plan – Your business plan is the roadmap for your business. Take time to update your strategies to fit the new year. Make SMART goals based on your plan to keep your business moving forward. Schedule your priorities on your calendar to track and hold yourself accountable for how you spend your time.
2. Have specific work hours – If you’re juggling parenting with working, it is essential to set ground rules to have specific work times. Hold firm to boundaries and make sure they are working for you. Create a routine that works for you and your family.
3. Create systems – Creating systems and automations will help you recognize efficiencies in productivity. Cut out distractions that eat up your time like responding to email or surfing social media. Use tools to help organize your processes to cut down on time required to complete tasks. Consider outsourcing mundane tasks to free up time needed to work on business building activities.
1) *Set up a clutter free zone in your work space.* This is where you will always work. It’s dedicated, differentiated, and sacred. You have to always keep it clean and un-cluttered to help with you focus and concentration.
2) *Find your totem.* In the movie Inception, a totem is something that keeps you in check with what’s real or not. In your work-at-home life, you need an item that reminds you that you are still in work mode so you’re not distracted. Pick a candle, a plant, a book, or anything that you can set in front of you while you are in the work hours. So whenever you do get distracted, the item will bring you back to reality.
3) *Don’t forget to take breaks and move around.* Meditation is a great way to take a break from mentally strenuous work. There are many apps like Headspace or Simple Habit that will make it 10 times easier to meditate during your busy lifestyle.
1. At the beginning of the year, make a schedule for when you intend to work while at home. Reexamine those times every month or week, but build a routine so it becomes easier to get going and to shut off each day.
2. Make an agreement with anyone you share your living space with about how and when they can reach you when you are at home. This will help you maximize your productivity while maintaining the flexibility that working from home offers
3. Do a self-assessment of why you work from home and what prevents you from getting the most productivity and enjoyment from your work situation. Once you’ve done your assessment, build a plan for how you can maximize your productive hours and create more satisfaction in your work situation.
Notes from Leslie:
I love the tips from our experts, as many go beyond the basics of setting a goal and having a plan. All these are important in terms of reaching goals, but when you consider most people give up within a few weeks, you know there has to be more to reaching goals than setting one and making a plan. Many of these tips talk about setting yourself up for success by have a home office that inspires you, a routine you can stick to, and having tools and systems to support you. I agree with all of this.
While these tips provide support to achieve your goals, there is no easy coasting or magic button. It takes work, and so along with these ideas, you need to make a commitment and be accountable to yourself. That means you can allow excuses to waylay your goal. Stuff will happen. Frustrations and failures will occur. They’re a part of achieving things. Don’t let yourself off the hook. Find ways to push yourself when you feel like giving up or think you’d rather watch a Netflix movie than work on your work-at-home goal.
The good news is that steady effort can make a huge difference in reaching your goal. It doesn’t take huge quantities of time. What it takes is regular, consistent work. If you can do that, you can be a Work-At-Home Success in 2018!