It’s important to reflect on your status quo from time to time to see where you’re right now and to decide on where you are heading. I am a supporter of doing business with structure and purpose (and probably an over-planner). Creating goals obliges you to think about actionable steps to reach them. If you don’t know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, you can’t move forward. You will spend your days aimlessly switching from one thing to another and that, my friend, will result in nothing. You will be stressed out, unsatisfied and unable to improve. But there’s also a downside to goals.
Related post: 10 ways to find inspiration for your next design project
Why shouldn’t you fix on numbers in your goals?
You likely had your share of goal creating posts already. Blog and business gurus urge you to track your blog statistics (monthly views, social media followers and so on). Bloggers publishing their monthly income and telling you how they doubled their income every year and how you can do it too.
While I think, it is necessary to look at your statistics, your spendings and earnings, followers and page views, I also think that it’s rather unhealthy to fix yourself on these numbers. How many pins or tweets you get on a blog post doesn’t tell you anything about how many people actually read this post and more interesting if they got something out of it.
Once you start tracking numbers, you inevitably start comparing your numbers to other people’s numbers in your field. You will create goals based on the numbers you see others make. And by doing so, you will ignore a very important point in your business: The Why.
Why it’s important to not forget your why?
Instead of focusing on numbers you should focus on why you are doing this. We are often busy looking at competitors and what they are doing and completely forget to concentrate on our own business. Every once in awhile, we need to force ourselves to look back at the starting point to remember the trigger that led us to make the jump, despite fear of failure, of existence, or of bad timing and go for it. I am absolutely sure, you didn’t start a business because you wanted to reach 10K followers on Twitter. I am sure it had more to do with creating a business on your own terms, doing something you’re passionate about, and inspiring others.
What does success mean to you?
The second thing you need to consider when you start creating goals is what success really means for you. People tend to put money at the top of their success list but often it’s not the actual amount of money you make that means success but the freedom it gives you. So why not put this in your goal whatever it means for you and in your situation. For me the total of my bank account isn’t tangible, it’s the things that I can do with this money that I can envision.
You always need numbers to measure something. But success, in my opinion, is something you can’t measure. Success can mean freedom. It could be spending more time with your family, being able to travel or just setting your own schedule. And success could also mean impact. This could be inspiring, motivating, or helping others.
If a blog post you wrote inspired somebody or made them smile, isn’t that worth more than social shares?
If you are able to spend time with your kids, isn’t this worth more than a thousand clicks?
My goal in writing this post is to make you think about your goals in a different way. I know, in the end, numbers will always be important because we want to make a living with what we do. But don’t let these numbers become an obsession and kill your passion. And when you’re setting new goals, write down one goal that can’t be measured, just one.