Instead of doing my typical annual goal setting that involves choosing launch dates, making revenue projections, and dreaming up all the new things I’m going to do in my business, I took a different approach this year.
It actually feels like I was forced to take a different approach because I’d filled my plate so full in December that I wasn’t able to slow down and make the type of plans I normally do at the end of the year.
So here we are, already coming to the end of January, and I’m just now starting to lean into the goals I have for 2023. And they look much different than any goals I’ve ever set before!
Instead of focusing on numbers and launching, I’m focusing on what I’m letting go of that hasn’t been serving me, and what I’m leaning into this year. Many of my goals for this year are focused on slowing down, getting out of the constant hustle mode that got a little out of control last year and creating space in 2023.
This feels pretty vulnerable for me to share, because I’m used to only talking about things I’m an expert in, and this new type of goal setting is very new to me.
But I know I know these are going to be tough goals for me to stick to and sharing will increase the likelihood that I do. If you’re like me and struggle to slow down or ever take a break from your business, I hope this post helps you too!
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Normally, I start getting the urge to start setting goals and thinking about the upcoming year in early December. But in 2022, early December had me in a position where I was in the middle of launching my own summit, and in a higher pressure part of producing a client Summit.
Planning launches and how I was going to make money just sounded terrible to me at the time, and it was not going to happen with everything else I had on my plate. Around that same time, I also saw a live video on Instagram from Jordan Gill of Systems Saved Me, sharing the things she was leaving behind and stepping into in 2023. I was so inspired by the types of things she included in there! It was all focused on things that would support her, her team, her business, and her people so well without adding a million things to her to-do list, like my goals normally do.
Then I reached out to my coach Kaitlyn Kessler, who is an absolute gem, and I shared how I was feeling about goal setting and asked what she usually does. She shared that she usually thinks more about what she wants the year ahead to feel like, what she wants to embody and embrace, and what she needs to let go of to make that happen - rather than planning launches and things like that.
She gave me some questions and journal prompts to work through, and I have pages and pages of notes, but in this post, I’m going to share some of my biggest takeaways from that reflection, including three things I'm leaving behind, and three things I'm stepping into this year.
You’ll notice a theme with these - one of my biggest focuses for 2023 is creating space. To think, to rest, and to say what I’m here to say.
The first thing and the biggest thing that’s important for me to let go of is the constant hustle. This is going to be hard for me, but I want it so badly for myself, for my team, and for my family. Up until now, every time I come up with an idea for my business, I get so excited and want to do it immediately. I jump right in, but then by the end, I’m promising myself that I’m never doing that again. The types of projects aren’t the problem, but the way I go about it, wanting to move fast and be extra by adding tons of bells and whistles.
I want it all to be perfect, and I condense the timeline, or I say yes to too many things and then in the end, my to-do list is just jam-packed. I'm working nights and weekends, my team's tasks are overflowing, and it's just not how I want things to feel. I generally have a lot of fun in business, but I don't want it to just feel like I'm constantly hustling and scrambling.
This also goes along with how task-driven I am, every second of the day. If I look at my to-do list for a day, a week, or a month, my go-to reaction is to think, “I could fit more stuff in there,” and I do! I never give myself whitespace to rest or reflect or make things we already have better or anything like that. All I do all day every day is move from task to task, and I am starting to see how it's not letting me be quite the business owner I want to be or create quite the business that I want to have.
I have a great business, but I'm determined to make some changes, which I’ll get into, and the first thing I know I have to let go of to do that is the constant task-based hustle, with no time to rest or think or be creative. This one is going to be really hard, but it’s so important to me.
The next thing I’m letting go of in 2023 is working on Saturdays. (Are you noticing a theme here?) I got into the habit of working Saturdays after my youngest was born a year and a half ago. I wanted to keep her at home with me instead of sending her to daycare, and that meant cutting back my work hours pretty significantly. The only time I could ever work for more than an hour at a time was on Saturdays when my husband was off work.
For a long time, I looked forward to those Saturdays every single week as a chance to be able to really dig into a project, and honestly just get a break from constantly switching back and forth between mom and work modes. For the last year or so, we've gone through a few different childcare situations that made it possible for me to work more during the week, but I still kept working on Saturdays!
These days, between the 16 hours per week we have with our babysitter, the work time I get in before the girls wake up in the morning, and then the work I can do while the little one is napping, I don't need that Saturday work time anymore. And surprisingly, I don’t want it either! After taking a fully disconnected break over the holidays to just be with my family, I remembered how much I love it and how fun it is, and I want more of that.
I want to be able to go have little family adventures or just hang out with all of us together on Saturdays instead of working all the time. We don't get that on weeknights when we're running around to activities, trying to get supper made, baths done, clean the house, and all that. And we don't get that time on Sundays because we're at church most of the day. So I want that time on Saturday mornings for us to be together.
Even though that is a big desire of mine, I'm also trying to be realistic about it, because we are losing our current childcare at the end of February, and I don't have a full backup plan yet. Those Saturdays might have to come back, but I'm taking a break until then. And if I do have to start working on Saturdays again, while we work on getting consistent childcare, I'm going to start them with the intention that it's a temporary thing.
The third thing I want to let go of is feeling like I'm bothering people by showing up and worrying about what people think so much! (Please tell me I'm not alone in this - seriously, send me a DM!)
I can get so up in my head before I do something like posting to Instagram stories or posting in the Facebook group. Those are two of the main places that I have to connect with people, but my mind puts me through so much drama every time I go to post. I’m always worried that people are going to hate what I post or think it’s dumb or get mad at me, but I am done putting myself through that!
This is something I've worked on with my coach, Kaitlyn, and if you feel like this a lot, too, she has an episode of her Effortless podcast that you have to check out: it's called How to Step Into More Thought Leadership without Feeling Annoying. (Isn’t that perfect!?) Overall, through my work with Kaitlyn, I’ve accepted that I need to stop worrying about it and say what I have to say. I know I'm doing a disservice to the people who want to hear from me when I don't show up. This year, I’m creating space for myself to show up confidently and let it filter out the people who don’t want to hear from me - because they don't need to be there, right?
The things I’m letting go of are creating space for the things I do want to keep or start doing in 2023:
The first thing I'm stepping into is giving myself the time and space to think. I don't give myself this time AT ALL right now. I am someone who has all of their ideas either in the car or the shower because that's truly the only time I'm ever just with my thoughts.
If I'm at my desk, I'm working on tasks. If I'm away from my desk, I'm doing mom stuff, but also probably still working my way through a task in my head, even though I can't actually do it without being at my desk. I do have a recurring task once per month to review numbers and do some reflecting on how things have gone, but literally, all I do is grab the numbers as quickly as possible, post an update for my team and move on to the next thing. I literally do not give myself space and time to think or brainstorm or problem solve. It's all just action.
I had this realization recently when I was talking to Kaitlyn about something that felt like it wasn’t working in my business and I said to her, “I know I can figure it out, I just need to think about it, but I don't give myself that time.” She stopped me to point that out, and it was so eye-opening for me. There are so many things I could improve and change if I literally just gave myself time to think about it. So that's gonna start to happen.
I am also stepping into taking time off this year. This realization, again, came from a conversation I was having with Kaitlyn on one of those days, where I just felt like everything was going wrong and I was set up to fail. In hindsight, it always feels really silly, because I know I didn't get this far by accident, and when I look at our numbers, everything is fine, but it was just one of those days. In a moment of panic and frustration, I said to her that I felt like it would be easier to go find a six-figure job than to keep up the numbers I'm having to hit in my business to pay myself and my team.
She stopped me, laughing, and pointed out that I had basically just stated that it sounded easier to me to just go land a six-figure salary job than it would be to just take a break. It was a big wake-up call that made me realize that I hadn't taken any time off in over 9 months! I only took one or two weekends off in all of 2022. That’s it!
I know that’s not healthy, and we would never expect someone working in a traditional job to work like that. If it were one of my employees, I would change their passwords and make them take a break. So why do I think it's okay to work myself like that?
Long story short, I am building in breaks. The first thing I did when I started my 2023 planning was to block off an entire week each quarter when I am going to be off. Whether we go on a little family trip or I sit and crochet during my normal work time, I am taking a break for at least one week per quarter. I owe it to myself, to my team, to my family, and all of our clients to be able to take that time off to disconnect so I can show up stronger.
I want to get that Monday excitement back that I used to feel, and you can't have Monday excitement when you never give yourself time off. I know I need to give myself space, and what I've been doing is not healthy, so hold me to it!
The next thing I’m stepping into is more business related. In 2023, I am going to start owning how awesome our offers are. We have the best virtual summit-related offers in the industry. There is zero doubt in my mind that we have the best resources out there. The level of thought and care and detail that goes into every training and template we have, the amount of templates and resources we have for literally everything, and the level of support we give our Accelerator clients aren't matched anywhere else. It's just not. And I've been operating as if that weren’t true.
I feel weird when I talk about our offers, but I know that program is the best way we can help people, and I need to start sharing it more. I don't know how yet or what exactly that will look like, but I'll figure it out in all the time I'm giving myself to think.
So that’s that! In 2023, I’m creating space for myself by ending the constant hustle, working Saturdays, and feeling like I'm bothering people by showing up. And I'm stepping into giving myself time to think, taking time off, and owning how incredible our offers are.
This post has felt like one big ad for my coach Kaitlyn, but I can’t stop shouting her praises! If you're more of a tasks and systems-based person who could use a little (or a lot) more ease and not-too-woo mindset coaching in your life, do yourself a favor and check her out. You're welcome.
Thank you so much for reading all the way to the end. If you liked this post and would like to see more content like it, come let me know on Instagram!
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