At the start of a new year, we begin hearing about resolutions, themes, and goals our friends and colleagues want to focus on. And while I could launch into my list of what I’d like to accomplish in 2017 in work and life, this isn’t about that.
It’s about what we do once we figure our goals out. It’s so easy to make grand plans and start strong, but taper off before February hits.
So what’s keeping us from succeeding? From observations of friends and acquaintances, as well as considering this in my own life, it’s often that we want things to be perfect.
Don’t wait for perfect.
Don’t try to be great on the first try.
Don’t be afraid of a crappy first draft.
Make a plan, then start.
The Creative’s Work Process
Creatives often have a fear of not creating perfect work, and that can be paralyzing. Along the same lines, when we as entrepreneurs have a lot riding on our success, it’s easy to put off starting because we aren’t sure of what could happen, whether that’s investors, family commitments or any other number of things.
You could fail, or you could succeed beyond your wildest dreams. Either way, I’m positive you’ll adapt and learn and push your way past insecurities.
Setting the Right Goals
So you have a big goal. It could be raising your Series A of X amount, building a companion app for your product, or taking the plunge and entering entrepreneurship. Whatever it is, setting a daunting goal without the right planning is setting yourself up for failure. And not the right.
Setting big goals are often a way to watch new year’s resolutions fail. But breaking up these goals and dreams into smaller tasks can make it seem a bit less scary. That being said, how can you break that amazing, monumental goal into manageable chunks? Decide on something you can do each day or week to make this a reality. (I’m a paper and pen type of person, so I’m going to suggest getting a big piece of paper, but grab whatever will help you brainstorm.)
Write your goal across the top, then think through the events or tasks that need to happen. It can be simultaneously overwhelming and exciting, but it’s important to see this. It could be getting a business license or buying a domain name.
Once you have the smaller tasks and goals down, you have a starting point. Which in some ways could be just as overwhelming! Take it one step, one day at a time. Ignore everything except what you’re doing at this very moment. Whatever it is, taking that first step can get you over the mental barrier.
Your first website mockup or branding strategy isn’t meant to be perfect, it’s meant to be a starting point.
And don’t forget the most important part: celebrating every goal you accomplish. Self-care is so important, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship. Pick something that motivates you; it could be taking a day off with your family or a coffee date with a friend.
It doesn’t need to be big, but there should be something to help you celebrate each accomplishment. As an example, mine are coffee, Whole Foods hot bar, or new running clothes. (What can I say, I’m pretty easy to please.)
I began this piece saying that I wasn’t going to talk about my goals for 2017, but I believe I do have an overarching theme: It’s OK to not be perfect. Don’t wait for a perfect first draft. That’s why revisions exist. Aside from the fact that perfection doesn’t truly exist, the weight of striving for perfect can be paralyzing. It’s time to begin thriving with the creativity we have and the dreams we have for 2017.
I’d love to hear your goals for the year! Comment below or tweet at me, @hjmoyer.