Alright, it’s mid-January. Presumably you had celebratory plans for the New Year. The holiday season as well as the celebrations are done and over. That was fun. PS. If you’re still rockin’ in the New Year, cut it out ‘cause it’s time to get back to work!
Statistically, this is the time of year when most people have given up on their New Year’s resolutions. As a baker & solopreneur with a full-time job, this is typically the time of year when I fight this trend, and I sit down and establish a few professional goals for the New Year.
While most people have resolutions, I have goals.
For starters, I feel as though saying goal versus resolution just makes you feel better about yourself by focusing on forward momentum. I equate a resolution with a behavior or trait that I need to change about myself because I’m not good enough just the way I am. For instance, some people resolve to go to the gym more, or to refrain from social media for a specific period of time. That’s fine. We should all be more physically active and unplug occasionally. But that’s a resolution that can sometimes feel a bit lofty. No one wants to feel guilty come February when you really want to catch up with friends on social media. No one wants to feel badly about herself that she didn’t stay on track with exercise. Goals of going to the gym more often and staying unplugged more during the week are healthy aspirations that I like to incorporate throughout the year, not just for a change in the calendar year.
Most of my holiday season, which begins on November 1st and lasts through January 1st, is spent surviving. Despite the holiday season whirlwind, I still feel creative and have great ideas for my business that I want to do; new recipes that I’d like to try, etc. However, because it’s such a whirlwind season, I have to tell myself, ‘not now.’ I pause and put this idea on hold until the New Year.
Well, the New Year is finally here and it’s time to stop thinking about these vague ideas and to start writing them down. The next step is to break them down into action items in order to accomplish them.
I don’t know about you, but for me, nothing beats that triumphant feeling that I have accomplished what I set out to do!
Why is it important to have a plan? As someone that feels the need to have a ‘to do’ list before I get my week or even day started, I feel as though I need to have a plan of attack for the year. Otherwise, I’ll look back on the year & wonder what I’ve managed to accomplish, or feel as though I’ve wasted a huge amount of time not working towards my ultimate goal.
Right now, my biggest goal is to bake full-time. I foster my goals and dreams by sharing them with other people. A source of inspiration for me is to create career goals throughout the year came. This came from a women’s mastermind group that I belong to. There’s nothing like the excitement of sharing your dreams. This brings me to the topic of accountability.
Once you establish your career goals, you’re going to need a support system or an accountability buddy to hold you accountable for accomplishing them. Your support system can be as large as you’d like. My support system consists of 7 other women. One colleague lives close by and randomly sends me emails to check on the status of my goals. The rest of my support system included other members of the mastermind group that I meet with face to face once a month to describe how my goals are coming along. It’s a lot of pressure! But it is just what I need to feel as though I am being held accountable.
Figuring out how you’d like to implement your support system is up to you, and depends on your level of comfort when it comes to being ‘nudged’. What’s important is that you tell at least one person what you’d like to accomplish, make them hold you accountable and establish a regular ‘check-in’.
Now, I guess it’s time for me to state and put into action my New Year’s Goals. I prefer to start by setting smaller goals that require me to check-in quarterly. My First Quarter Goals is to set up an Etsy shop. Easy, right? Nope! I dipped my feet into the Etsy water back in October and realized that it’s a far more time-consuming undertaking than I had originally planned. Spreading this goal out to be accomplished over a quarter is far more focused than telling myself that I have the whole year to accomplish it.
As a reader of this blog, you’ll hold me accountable and of course, I’ll be ‘checking in’ with you on the status of completing this goal!
About the Author
Erica Clark is the owner of Chez Bonser Patisserie, (CBP) a bakery that makes delicious, homemade baked goods and ships cookie packages throughout the country. Erica was inspired to launch her business 4 years ago at the urging of family members and colleagues that frequently commented that she needed to share her baking skills with a larger audience! You can view her menu, and follow her on Instagram to see the latest treat she’s baking up!