I know what you're thinking. CASSIE what the heck! But I need ya to hear me out. I was in a group the other day where a woman was talking about feeling so down and disappointed in herself because she didn't meet her goals or expectations. It really hurt my heart to see her tearing herself apart for not meeting them.
So today I wanted to share a secret with you: We will not meet our goals every time we set them, and you know what? It's okay. We will not meet everyone else's expectations all of the time, and you know what? That's okay too.
One thing I've had to work on this year is giving myself some grace. 2020 has definitely been a tough one and has definitely looked different than any other year before. I became a woman who works a full time job, owns and runs a side business, and has family responsibilities of raising a child, cultivating my marriage, caring for dogs, and keeping house. That's not enough right? Throw a pandemic in the mix. I transitioned from maternity leave to working fully remote for my full time job (and you know my extrovert personality died a little inside). Which means I haven't had a lot of contact with people outside of our immediate family. I felt (and sometimes still feel) lonely and isolated. I'm stuck in the house, and some days have absolutely no motivation.
It has been a major transition and it's fucking hard y'all. There was NO WAY I was going to hit every goal I set. There have been times where I have felt down and disappointed in myself because I didn't hit them. BUT It's what I do afterwards that is the most important.
What do you do when you don't hit your goal? Give up? NO. Go radio silent online? NO. Talk about not hitting your goals? YES. When you are open and honest whether it is with yourself, your social following, your clients, or your family, it feels good to talk it out. These people are the ones that may have a different perspective or see things that you didn't at the time, but they will still tell it to you straight when its needed. It also means taking the time to re-evaluate your goals and ask those important questions:
Why did I not hit my goal? Was there something that came up in my personal life that made me shift my focus and priorities? Was there some other priority that came up in my business that made me shift my focus? Did I lose motivation? Did I procrastinate? Was the timeframe I set too long/too short? And lastly, when I set this goal again how can I adjust it so that I hit that goal?
After you've answered those questions (and then some), is when you can start planning your goals again and how you can achieve them successfully.
I know its hard to not be negative about missing a goal. BUT what we need to remember is to: Celebrate the small things too. Don't forget to celebrate and recognize those small things that are helping you to reach that bigger goal, or that are just a general win in life.
For example: My biggest goal this year was to reach $3K in sales for my business. Back in March and April I was extremely discouraged. No one was wanting to book sessions because of the pandemic. I also felt really odd promoting my business in such a hard time for everyone. But promoting my business means I made my following aware that I was still there and would be ready when they needed me. I didn't book my first session of the year until JULY! That is wild in the photo industry. Usually I am bustling around like a crazy lady by then. But I had to remember that those 2 sessions, were helping me get to my overall goal for the year. So I celebrated that and made sure to share those wins with my community, so they could celebrate with me.
Some of my small wins worth celebrating this year in my personal life:
I got more quality family time this year than ever before.
I've gotten to watch my kid hit his big milestones (crawling, saying mamma and dada, learning to crawl, and watching his personality develop)!
I've spent more time outside than ever before.
My husband and I have gotten to be more creative with in-home date nights.
I've read 5 full books so far this year.
and so much more!
Some of my small wins worth celebrating this year in my business:
I became a full fledged business in the middle of a pandemic!
I booked my first two sessions in July! (I didn't have any other work for the rest of the year!)
I got to photograph a pregnant mamma and her family before their 2nd baby came into the world. I got to photograph 2 amazing families before their husbands deployed for 6 months & 1 year.
I got to connect virtually with new creatives in my community.
I got to see and reconnect with some of my amazing returning clients for another year of family photos.
I got video done for my business.
I shot 2 weddings this year!
I booked my first wedding of 2021 this year!
You see? Those seem like small things, but when you add all of those things up? They help me progress towards my larger goal personally and professionally.
So in ending this, I wanted to leave you with a piece of knowledge: We are all human. Give yourself some grace. We won't hit our goals all of the time, and we may have to set them again and again, but it will be worth it (no matter how small the win is).