Category: mentoring

goal chunking: my secret weapon for 2018

Filed in for photogs, mentoring shot by on at

For someone like me, who struggles daily with staying focused on tasks, having systems in place is the only way I will ever accomplish anything. I’ve learned that about myself over the years. If I don’t write it down or map it out, it just isn’t going to happen. Last year, I set very lofty goals for myself, and I thought I did a pretty great job of mapping them out, but I only accomplished 50% of what I set out to do, so I know my systems need work. Don’t get me wrong, some of the things I was able to check off my goals list were HUGE and deserve to be celebrated, but only for a quick minute; I’m all about looking for ways to improve and move forward.

When I took a close look at the goals that I set but did not accomplish, I realized that they all had one thing in common: soooooo many action steps. There were so many things that needed to be done to reach those goals and I didn’t do a good enough job of mapping out the steps. I needed a more clearly defined plan! Another thing I noticed with those goals that required a ton of steps was that if I shifted my focus to working toward another goal, I kind of lost all momentum and never went back to the really big ones. So, this year, I’m really excited to give goal chunking a whirl. I think it’s going to be a better fit for the way my brain works. :)

Goal chunking is basically just mapping out each goal with clear action steps and then focusing on accomplishing all of those steps before moving onto a new goal (within reason, of course; like, my day to day business tasks such as answering emails still take priority). It will take serious discipline for me to train my brain to work this way, but I think it’s really going to be a game changer for me.

Okay, so this is the template I created for goal-chunking, and an example of how I’m using it to map out a really big goal that I’d like to accomplish this year:

The box at the top of the page is where I write in my goal, and the lines below are all of the steps I have to take to achieve it. For example, one of my really big goals for 2017 was to launch my pet photography website. Well, actually, I’m just gonna go ahead and be real here…I’ve been “working on ” this goal for like 5 years, lol. It has been on my list every single year and it never happens because there’s so many steps involved and I lose interest and get distracted. Using the template forces me to give serious thought to what I really need to do to make this goal happen and map it out in a way that is easy to keep track of. Each step is like a mini goal, and I can check them off as I go. Without breaking it down this way, my goal “Launch Pet Photography Website” would be an abstract concept that would literally NEVER happen. This method makes me feel like there’s actually a chance of it happening for the first time ever, and I’m pretty excited about it. :)

What do you think of goal-chunking? Do you think this template would be super helpful for you, too??  Let me know your thoughts in the comments!!

 

3 Important Steps in Goal Setting Prep!!

Filed in for photogs, mentoring, personal shot by on at

A brand new year is almost upon us! So, naturally, the Internet is abuzz with the topic of goal-setting. I wrote this post around the same time last year all about why it’s so important to set goals, along with a few tips for how to set yourself up for success! If you’ve never physically written down your goals, click over to last year’s post to read my thoughts on why I think it’s 100% necessary. It’s definitely worth setting aside the time to do it!!  This year, as I’m preparing to put pen to paper and set my goals for the upcoming year, I thought I would share what that process of preparation looks like for me. There’s no wrong answer when it comes to doing pre-goal-setting work; this just happens to be the method that resonates most with me. :)

So, let’s dive right in!!

Step 1: Re-Read all goals set at the beginning of the current year. 

The first thing I do is pull out all of my lists of goals – both business goals and personal ones – and I read through them to see what’s still on there that I didn’t accomplish. Whatever I didn’t accomplish, I’m going to re-evaluate to decide whether or not it’s still a relevant goal. If it is, I will flag it to move over to my goals for the new year. If it’s no longer relevant, I just scribble it out. For example, one of my business goals for this past year was to grow our Boothtastic Facebook page to 2000 followers and launch an ad campaign to promote our booth. I did not accomplish that because I focused my energy in other places, and have since decided that this particular goal is no longer relevant because we’ve changed the way we offer Boothtastic to our clients. A lot can change in a year as things grow and evolve!! So, this goal that I previously set for myself gets the good ‘ol scribble de doo. Make sense? :)

Step 2: Read through all journal entries for the current year.

I keep a journal for most of the year. I say *most* because I usually let go of journaling around September-ish when my shooting/editing schedule starts to really ramp up in intensity. I’m totally okay with this; it’s a natural part of the rhythm of my job and something I’ve come to accept and expect. But the knowledge and insight I gain from reading those journal entries from January – September is so incredibly helpful. It gives me a birds eye view of where my head and heart were at throughout the year. They show me what I learned, what I celebrated, and where I struggled, and all of that plays a huge role in shaping my goals for the new year.

Step 3: Make a list of what went well and what did not both professionally and personally. 

This step is super important. If you don’t take the time to reflect on what you did right and what you could have done better or differently, how will you ever grow? If you want to evolve and become the best version of yourself, you have to stare down your shortcomings and dream up better ways to do things. It’s equally important to say “Hey, I did a great job with _____!” Know your strengths, know your weaknesses, and know that they can change/shift over time. I wrote down a whole bunch of goals at the end of last year. I accomplished some of them and failed miserably at others and I find it very helpful to look at the reasons why. Did I have enough support in place to accomplish my goals? Did I give myself enough time to complete tasks? If I set out to do something, but didn’t make it happen, there’s a reason for that. Knowing what it was will help me be even more successful in the long run.

I typically take a couple of days to work my way through these three steps, but once the pre-work is done I can move on to the best part: setting intentional, actionable goals for the new year!

Last year, I wrote a “2016: What Worked and What Didn’t” blog post, and it’s so cool to look back on that and see how far I’ve come since then! I’m working on the 2017 version right now, so I’ll be sharing that early next week. :)

Have you set goals for yourself yet? If you know what you want to accomplish this year, make sure you take the extra step of writing it down. Writing down your goals is the KEY puzzle piece! If you have never set goals before or have absolutely no idea whatsoever what your goals should be, don’t fret – that’s way more common than you might think. I’ve been there myself! Following the above steps will definitely help you organize your thoughts. If you need more personalized help getting organized, just shoot me a message! —> info@ayresphoto.com

Happy New Year, friends!  This year is filled with so much promise and I’m so very excited to see it all unfold.

Let’s connect on Instagram!!