New Year Goals
How important are New Year Goals anyway? Do they do any good? Don’t people just fail fast? Studies show that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail, so just calling a goal a resolution can make you feel like you’re a failure!
What should you focus on if you even establish New Year Goals? I’m going to make some suggestions and hopefully stimulate some ideas for you in this article. This next year I’m focusing on simplicity, accountability and connection. I tend to be very driven, so focusing more on simplicity and systems is important for me. I will once again be reading Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and Atomic Habits and highly recommend you do the same!
Known For or Known As?
One of the most thought-provoking questions I was asked recently was what I was known for compared to what I was known as. I wondered what the difference was. After some soul-searching, this is what I discovered: I was known for my work as a professional musician, composer, educator and speaker. But what I wanted to be known as in the next ten to twenty years is a keynote speaker that uses music and media in my presentations. My messaging was not clear enough in my multiple websites and social media platforms to communicate that message.
The focus on being a professional keynote speaker in no way discounts all my other work and products. Those products and courses are provided to create residuals and expand my messaging and impact as a speaker, helping others move forward in their lives and career. Also, I still perform music, but it’s not my main emphasis or focus in my messaging.
Evaluate Your Platform
Take some time to evaluate your messaging in what you’re known for and what you want to be known as. This is a great exercise to spend time thinking about, especially this time of year. When you scale down what you want to be known as, you can simplify and streamline the type of work and focus you should prioritize for the coming year.
This will take some thought. Even though our previous year was like no other you or anyone else has ever experienced, evaluate how you used your time and energy. If you do a web search, you will find so many massive companies were born out of recessions. Companies like General Electric in 1892, General Motors in 1908, Disney in 1929, Trader Joe’s in 1958 and so many more. Today, I see a huge push toward anything virtual, including movie streaming with many providers purchasing intellectual property for same-day releases both online and in theatres. Many businesses also have added subscription services. It will be awhile before movie theatres fill up again and even though there will be those who want to go to the theatre, the market is forever changed. (see: Enlarge My Territory)
My Personal Evaluation
My personal evaluation of my messaging online resulted in me launching a dedicated keynote speaking website. (DeborahJohnsonSpeaker) I’m often asked, What is it that you do anyway? With multiple websites touting multiple programs and lots of product, there was confusion! With a dedicated speaker website, the GoalsForYourLife website could still focus mainly on membership, online courses and content and DJWorksMusic would still focus mostly on music, shows and original musicals.
There are other web domains that I own, but most are forwarded to these main websites. The hardest part of launching my dedicated speaker website was to keep it simple. If you are an artist, you can understand the temptation of throwing in everything you’ve ever done, which soon creates overwhelm and confusion for most any reader! A part of any New Years Goal should be to create messaging so clear that it’s bullet-proof. This is not always easy, especially for creatives! (Keep your mind sharp with music! Check out Wayfarer's Journey!)
Work With the End in Mind
Working with the end in mind is one of the all-time great principles of planning successfully. It’s how Grammy Award winning artists like Beyoncé get ready for concerts, how actors get ready for stage productions and how businesses get ready for product launches.
Set a target date for a goal or a project, then work backwards. When producing world premieres of my original musicals, we had six weeks to rehearse a cast, per union rules. It was a tight deadline with specific goals to get the show audience-ready. Of course, you don’t have to create as tight of a deadline, but some sort of deadline is a great tool to keep you moving forward. I tend to work with self-imposed deadlines, but most any type of deadline will do the trick to get you moving and keep you going! (see article: Busyness to Intention)
Create One Word of Focus for Your Year
As a part of a recent planning your year webinar I hosted, I inserted the task of focusing on one word for the year. (Or a short phrase!) I had participants write the word(s) they chose at the top of each monthly calendar page that was provided. This was after we spent time evaluating both our personal and professional core values from both areas should be in sync to create consistency and authenticity.
This same exercise would be a great exercise for you to do if you haven’t done it yet—it’s not too late! My focus word for my year is pro-active. Pro-active applies to creating projects, pursuing leads, helping clients and continuing my professional development. If I move ahead in all those areas consistently with a pro-active approach, the habits and systems I’ve created both personally and professionally will do their job to move both my life and business forward. Stop and create your word now—you will be glad you did! I wish you much success and tremendous growth in the new year!
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