January Blues

January Blues

This time of year can be tricky, I look back over the changes of the last year and see that progress has been made but there is a nagging doubt, is progress a good thing? Is progress even progress? Am I barking up the wrong tree perhaps and should my focus be more personal, less business-y? Is my life ebbing away as I chase shiny pennies? Self doubt creeps in and I need a fresh start!

When you work for yourself, time off presents a different challenge to those who are employed. Like many of you, I built my property portfolio while working. Other people had mysterious pastimes and hobbies in their spare time (sports, holidays, friendships even!), I spent my twenties and thirties with a tub of magnolia paint and a screwdriver for company. This gave me balance as my previous life as a Teacher was mentally and socially demanding.

Now that self-employment has progressed to overtake my previous occupation I hold a peculiar work life balance that involves confirming bookings over breakfast, answering queries in the midst of family events and leaves a gaping hole in my day at times like Christmas when business is quiet. This could be called 'merging passion with profession", or it could be called not knowing when to stop. I thoroughly enjoy my business and feel at a bit of a loss during down time.

As Christmas stretches out into New Year I am glad that family duties have been fulfilled and I am looking forward to setting some new goals in January. (both business and personal) I have booked a week 'masterminding" in the French Alps (err…skiing ) and hope that I can work out where I want to be at this time next  year. 

The Beginner"s Guide to Goal Setting (Thanks to Michael Hyatt)

Keep them few in number.  You really can"t focus on more than 5-7 items at any one time.

Make them "smart." This is an acronym, as you probably know, and it is interpreted in various ways by different teachers. They must be:

Specific—your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.

Bad: Write a book.
Good: Write a book proposal for The Life Plan Manifesto.

Measurable—as the old adage says; " You can"t manage what you can"t measure."

Bad: "Earn more this year than last."
Good: "Earn £5,000 more this year than last."

Actionable—every goal should start with an action verb (e.g., "quit," "run," "finish," "eliminate," etc.) rather than a to-be verb (e.g., "am," "be," "have," etc.)

Bad: Be more consistent in blogging.
Good: Write two blog posts per week.(or perhaps just get the one in on time!)

Realistic—you have to be careful here. A good goal should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense.

Bad: Qualify for the PGA Tour.
Good: Lower my golf handicap by four strokes.

Time-bound—every goal needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that goal. It could be by year-end (December 31) or it could be more near-term (September 30). A goal without a date is just a dream. Make sure that every goal ends with a by when date.

Bad: Lose 20 pounds.
Good: Lose 20 pounds by December 31st.

  1. Write them down.This is critical. When you write something down, you are stating your intention and setting things in motion.
  2. Review them frequently.While writing your goals down is a powerful exercise in itself, reviewing them on a regular basis is what turns them into reality.
  3. Share them selectively do not share them with anyone who is not committed to helping you achieve them (e.g., your mentor, mastermind group, or business partner).

Happy New Year Everyone,  Charlotte

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