How to Get Back on Track in the New Year

Alright, raise your hands, who loves the fresh start of the New Year? I DO!! Yep, I’m one of those people. I will sign up for a gym membership and be there with my Nike’s on January 1st (no shame). How long I keep showing up to the gym everyday, well, now that’s another story.

This past fall I went through a little bit of a rough patch. I stopped keeping up on the blog and pushing out posts on a regular basis, which is against everything I teach and preach!! What the hell happened? Sadly I’m sure you can kind of relate. Ever wake up one morning and realize that 3 months pasted and you haven’t crossed one thing off your to-do list? That was me (I’m blaming Netflix).

I did a ton of self reflection about this period of time when I “fell of the wagon” and thought I’d share a few of my lessons learned. At some point as a small business owner you will encounter one of these periods so even if you feel like you’re killin’ it maybe save this article for a rainy day?

CLARIFY YOUR GOAL

If I’m honest with myself I can say that I really didn’t have a clear direction or goal in mind with my business. Let me explain….I own a brick and mortar retail shop, it’s super cute and definitely doing pretty well in our community of about 40k people so I’ve got that as one business project. Me, being a multi-passionate person really wanted to do more with the knowledge and skills I acquired from running my successful wedding photography business and a brick and mortar store.

The problem was that I didn’t have a clear vision of what my business would look like or what services I would offer. Moving into 2019 I knew I needed that very clear goal so I did some soul searching and asked myself a few questions -

What talents and skills that I have could I share with others?

What talents and skills do I have that would benefit others and would they pay for that service?

What do I want my life to look like? How do I want to spend my days?

How much more work can I realistically take on without sacrificing my time with my family and activities that make me feel alive and happy?

Needless to say these are not easy questions and please do not get anxiety over trying to figure out the answers. Sometimes, this process takes time. It did for me - several months so be sure to give yourself grace.

MAKE A PLAN

Once you know what your goal is, it’s time to get strategic and work backwards. Yep, with your goal in mind think about what steps you have to take to achieve that goal. Write down these steps. If they feel like big steps break it down into even smaller achievable baby steps.

For example - If your ultimate goal is to start your own bakery and open the doors on June 1st, 2019 brainstorm as many steps as you can that it will take to get there. Maybe you don’t even know what you need to do yet so start small. Your first step might be to find out how to start an LLC or find an attorney or business coach who can help you get the paperwork filed you need to officially start your company. Write in your planner that for week one you will do some research, week two make some phone calls and maybe in week three have a few meetings.

One step builds on another and before you know it you are no longer at the bottom of a ladder looking up at your big goal. Take one rung of that ladder at a time and keep yourself accountable. If you don’t get something done one week that’s okay, do two things the next week. Remember that YOU are the only one who can make your dreams come true.

EXPECT AND PREPARE FOR SETBACKS

Girl, nothing in life that is worth anything comes easy (and honestly we would want it to? If it did would it be as rewarding?) I’m gonna use the analogy of the ladder again. Imagine that each rung is a step up, a step closer to your ultimate goal. Every once in awhile you are gonna end up having to take one step back down that ladder. It’s inevitable.

Along your journey there are going to be set backs or even something you might consider a failure (spoiler alert: there is no such thing). I am here to tell you that EVERYONE experiences hardships and setbacks. But the difference between someone who achieves their goals and someone who doesn’t is that they stay on that ladder.

Don’t let any setbacks or disappointments push you off that ladder. If you need to rest for a bit before you start climbing back up that’s cool but, don’t give up. Keep climbing girl.

Natalie Weber Hamilton