Recently I was chatting with some friends.
And we were discussing what we are hoping for in 2018.
I feel blessed because I can have these conversations with like-minded people.
Which can be helpful as an independent consultant.
As our type of business can be lonely.
A big topic we talked about were the things that worked and didn’t work for us in 2017.
So that we could improve for the coming year.
As it turns out, there are specific things we do that contributes to our success.
Would you like to know what we do?
I am happy to share.
I hope you may find value in them.
Here are the 6 things that help me shape my 2018 year.
Thing 1: Setting Goals
I love road trips.
The last time we took one, we were on Vancouver Island and the lower mainland of British Columbia, Canada.
Before we started, my husband and I planned which particular stops we wanted to make and our final destination.
And because we knew where we were going, we completed our road trip.
Even when we temporarily detoured, we knew how to get back on track.
Without these destinations in mind, we would have been like a leaf in the wind.
I apply the same principle to my business as a consultant.
I set goals.
If you want to set goals for your business, read my previous article This Is How You Earn a Multi 6 Figure Income A Year As An Independent article.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
– Carol Lewis
Thing 2: Being Organised
Because I set my goals, I know what I want.
My next step is to take action, every day, towards my goals.
I realised being organised is a trait that has defined the success I have experienced in my craft and with my clients.
I am purposeful about how, where and when I invest my energy.
And because of this trait, I have been able to
- continuous grow my craft,
- have a successful business,
- attract like-minded friends, colleagues, clients; and
- increase my confidence in my abilities and goals.
So, how am I organised?
I dedicate my attention to prioritising my goals and actions; daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly.
I create my “Project Me!” Success Plan for the year.
And I schedule blocks of time in my calendar dedicated to my goals and action items.
“No business can succeed in any great degree without being properly organized.”
– James Cash Penney
Thing 3: Meditating
Running an independent consulting business can be stressful at times.
And if I don’t have a way to control how I think, it can affect my physical well being.
In 2004, I became very ill. I wasn’t processing stress factors well.
My medical physician suggested meditating.
And it helped.
Since then I have experienced
- less anxiety,
- clearer goals,
- less self-doubt; and
- fewer health issues.
If you are new to meditation, you can download an app to help you.
Or you can start by simply focusing on your breath for a couple of minutes each day.
The better you can control your mind, the better you can control your actions.
Which will have a positive impact on your business and life.
“You have the answer. Just get quiet enough to hear it.”
– Laurie Stevens
Thing 4: Journaling
In the past, I limited my journaling.
I only tracked what I needed to get done and what I achieved.
But over the years, I have improved my system.
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
– Peter Drucker
I also include observations, learnings, and my emotional temperature.
By journaling, I can track my days and measure them against my goals.
And as a result, I have improved not only as a person but my business as well.
But over the past year, I learned of a new approach and did a serious overhaul of how I journal.
Now I have a system that better organizes my efforts and measures my progress.
If you are interested in starting a journaling practice, I would suggest the system my business coach introduced me to, The Self Journal.
Thing 5: Getting Feedback
We don’t know what we don’t know.
Till someone helps us.
No matter how much experience and education we have, we can always use some help.
I used to have a bad habit of describing my work and career as ‘very stressful’, ‘extremely busy’, or ‘really hard’.
I bought into using the typical descriptive words I heard other career and business focused people use.
Then one day a colleague asked me why I was doing what I was doing?
Why was I investing so much time and energy, if it was so ‘hard’?
And why do it if it seemed to be having a negative impact in my life?
At first, I was offended.
But I respected this person.
He role modelled having a successful business and lived what I considered a prosperous and healthy life.
So I sat with the feedback my colleague gave me.
And I discerned his feedback was a gift.
As a result, I asked for help and made radical changes in what success was for me.
And I sought help in finding new ways to achieve my revised definition of ‘success’.
So now I do my best to listen to feedback, seeking it, and accepting it.
But I am careful who I listen.
I seek feedback from those who have my best interests in mind.
Those who I share similar values and goals with.
Those who I trust.
And the group I trust and listen to is varied.
Because each one has a perspective on a different aspect of my life.
- As a consultant in my craft.
- As a business owner.
- My role with the various relevant people in my life.
- My aspirations.
- Who I am aspiring to be.
Therefore, I collect feedback from my
- ideal clients,
- you, my readers,
- trusted advisors,
- best friend; and
Most importantly, my life partner.
They all have different perspectives and feedback to provide me.
I can’t express the gratitude I have for these people.
I hope I am and continue to be as giving and helpful to them.
“Feedback is the breakfast of Champions.”
– Ken Blanchard
Thing 6: Reframing My Mindset
Earlier in my career, I thought I had to sacrifice to be successful.
I thought I had to work hard.
And that I was at the mercy of my career and business circumstances.
Then I realised there are two ways to look at every circumstance.
One is positive, and one is negative.
And I learned that my mind could only hold one thought at a time.
But I can choose the thought I will hold in my mind.
I am in control of what my mind focuses on and how I perceive the circumstance.
So, to get me through ‘uncomfortable’ situations, I change the ‘story’ around them.
I choose to find the so-called ‘silver lining’.
My outlook and how I chose to interpret those moments, define them.
“A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you.”
– Joyce Meyer
Are you looking forward to 2018?
Especially as I use the following 6 things to shape it:
- Setting goals
- Being organised
- Getting feedback
- Reframing my mindset
And create a supportive environment.
An environment where I can flourish and create an exceptional year for myself, my clients and readers.
What are those things that will help you shape your 2018?
Let me know. I would love to learn from you.
Thanks for reading!
Founder and President
Stand & Deliver Inc.