I had an epiphany last night. It was the final 6 month check in with the Designers Round Table group. The goal of the group was well, to create a goal and work to meet it. I had the pleasure of chiming in first and I humbly admitted that when it came to my original goal – I did not meet it. I did improve my business increased billings which let’s face it, we all have to pay our bills, but when it came to my dreams of having my first official publication of the newly branded ‘myNote’ (previously known as the iNote), things have made a turn.
The original instigator of the DRT, Jenny Poff, was brilliant in her response, “You are not alone, we all have, or either are, right there with you.” When I reflect on the challenges of why I couldn’t meet my goals, they all seem like excuses to me, since we are our own worst critics. Perhaps these excuses should really be viewed as symptoms of a larger problem.
- Lack of a clear plan. I started the group with my first goal of “No Heart Attacks”. The dream was so big and daunting that when I thought of all the elements that go into creating a solid publication start up I had a real hard time defining each main goal and then all the minor ones that come before the big one. I am a brilliant larger picture thinker… when it comes to the details, that is harder. I like to work on what I love, so I have a tendency between procrastination and avoid working on those details I don’t like.
- Doing it all myself. Fact, we tell our clients that they need to look to the specialists in their areas for support, so why do we ourselves not take our own advice? I think a key reason, budget. Whether it is lack of one or a small one. We are smart people and yes we can learn how to do things, but let’s be honest, will you use the skill again? Or let’s get to the heart of the matter, will you actually be any good at it to warrant all the time time and effort into developing the skill. Will your project be subject to your lack of understanding and skills? Yes. So here is the gist of it – when it comes to any project worth doing, it deserves being done well. We talked about the 3 elements of a project that can NEVER be done together: Great, Fast and Cheap.
- Limited time in a day. Squeezing more work into an already full schedule. REALITY CHECK: The whole “Life Balance” theory is a sham! If I had no sleep and ignored my family, maybe I could reach all my dreams. This begs the question, what are your dreams? Do they not include a happy personal life? Whether you have kids or not, I am not going to get into the debate here, fact is we all choose what we do in a day. I have made the choice to run a business, be in a marriage which is constant work and add on top of that children. At the base of everything, they do come first in the big list of priorities. My day gets cut up into chunks where I give to my husband, kids, business/clients, community, passion projects and what seems to get forgotten, time for my own well being. As much as I despise being held to a schedule, my challenge is to schedule specific tasks into a day (see #1) so bit by bit things do get accomplished.
- Saying Yes. This is my biggest downfall. At the end of everything I realized that in order to stay sane, the pace and list of commitments this past couple of years I simply cannot keep up with. The fact is, when I have my hands in so many baskets, I can’t invest enough of myself in each in order to do well in everything. I really think I have been doing a half-assed job. My motto has always been to ‘Just Show Up’. Yes, that is part of it, but simply being a body isn’t enough to make headway. I have started to clear up my plate on my end by being more selective on what is worth investing time into and I will be dropping and letting go of some big commitments in the new year.
So my goal for 2014 is to gain clarity, and the first step will be to start letting go.
I have my list of two big commitments that I will be dropping and finishing up. And the next will be to reflect on the above ‘excuses’ and taking heed. I will:
- Create achievable goals.
- Budget, account and ask for help for anything worth doing. I am opting for Good and Cost Effective (a.k.a. Cheap) – and avoiding the phrase “Fast”.
- Schedule in tasks from #1 into my day.
- Say “No” to more non-billable work unless I am willing to drop something from my #1 list.
Perspective is a brilliant skill that I think we all need to incorporate in our every day, not necessarily at the end of a year. But bottom line, no matter when you choose to reflect, take into account of your excuses/symptoms and simply make solid choices. Your choices are your own and only you are accountable to yourself in the end.