It’s the end of the year. Everybody’s talking about their goals, resolutions and plans for next year.
But we all know what happens. We start off with the best of intentions. We state our lofty goals just before the clock strikes midnight. We have the highest of hopes, and then we get back to work on Monday and everything slips back into the routine of daily grind we’ve become comfortable with.
It’s easy to immerse yourself in the daily grind.
Customer questions need to be answered. Orders need to be made and shipped. New products need to be photographed. This week’s blog post needs to be drafted.
These are all essential tasks, but getting ensnared by our to-do lists can make it easy for us to lose sight of our larger, long-term goals for our handmade businesses.
How to make the daily grind serve your long term goals
While you can’t avoid the day-to-day activities of working in your business, there are some easy ways to make sure you work ON your business along with them.
First: figure out what your long-term goals are, and get specific.
“Fix website” isn’t a specific goal. “Update homepage sliders, create subcategories, and adjust on-site SEO” is more like it.
“Make more money,” isn’t a specific goal. Make 25% more than last year, is.
Second, break down your long term goals.
If a certain amount of income is your goal, how much product do you need to be making and shipping out on a weekly basis? (And would it be possible for you physically fulfill that many orders?)
If you want to be featured in a major print publication, how often do you need to be pitching magazine editors?
Third: schedule that shyte in.
Repeat after me: if it’s not on your calendar, you aren’t going to do it.
Even if you only allow yourself one hour every week to work towards your long-term goal, it needs to be scheduled in.
Better yet: figure out a way to integrate it with your daily tasks.
For example, if one of your long-term goals is to systematize your business, take the time to record your actions as you do them.
If you are hoping to get into boutiques as a wholesaler, take 5 minutes to search for potential stores while you’re already on Instagram doing your daily social media marketing.
Finally: figure out if there are any daily grind tasks you can automate or delegate.
If you are spending too much time making graphics for your blog posts, for example, you might want to consider hiring a freelance graphic designer to do that part for you. That way you can take the time to strategize the overall focus and goals of your blog, rather than spending all your time in the grind of tweaking each post to “pinnable”-perfection.
And a bonus tip…
One thing that’s really helped me personally is to write my long term goals out on a physical piece of paper (or you could type them and print them out, either way works) and put them somewhere you are going to see them everyday. Then, when you get distracted by the daily grind, you will always see your goals in your peripheral, reminding you to pay attention to them.