Everywhere we look people are talking about creating goals for the new year.
At its core, goal creating is about change and transformation.
Creating transformation is a good pursuit anytime — not just at the beginning of a new year.
No matter what you want to achieve, creating goals formalizes a game plan to help you get from point a to point b.
Setting new goals creates growth opportunities to help push beyond your self-imposed limitations by exploring the unknown.
Do You Suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome Like Barracudas?
As an entrepreneurial business owner, it is easy to get sucked into “shiny object syndrome,” which can derail you from reaching your goals without you even knowing it.
Does shiny object syndrome describe you?
If you find yourself darting after the latest trend consistently - then you are definitely afflicted with the shiny object syndrome.
Since you and I both are entrepreneurs, this next statement won’t come as a surprise…
Most entrepreneurs are highly motivated and want new developments to occur fast, which can sometimes lead to this disease of distraction.
Like barracudas that chase shiny objects in the ocean, we can all find ourselves lost in a sea of options without producing our desired results when we ping from one fad to another.
Here’s an Underwater Tourist Fact: Shiny objects attract barracuda’s attention. Their intended prey are silvery fish, but any shiny thing can take them off course fast.
Barracudas get a bad rap as a menace of the ocean because of their shiny object syndrome.
Their ability to go after the wrong thing leaves them hungry and “off course” in the vast ocean.
It must happen to them a lot because they are known for darting after “shiny objects” going up to 35 miles per hour.
With their ability to accelerate into bursts of speed, they sprint towards what they think could be their next meal all the time.
Just like barracudas, you probably have experienced that adrenalin rush when you chase after the latest how-to _____ phenomena.
When you follow these distractions, you can find yourself “lost” in the ocean of entrepreneurial businesses.
So if you do this, you’re not alone.
But, sadly, sometimes those businesses “drown” when they don’t reach their goals.
Your “how-to _____” blank could be anything from… how-to create webinars, how-to use YouTube, how-to write your own book… etc.
Whatever it is that attracts you and draws your attention away from building your business can hurt you more than help you.
Dive Into Your Goals Without Getting Lost at Sea
It may sound cliche, but it is possible to dive into your business goals without getting lost at sea.
When you are intentional and don’t chase after the latest shiny object, you can see great success.
But how do you do this?
You need to create a strategic plan that helps you map out ways reach your goals.
And you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to plan well.
In fact, the best method I’ve found to help me stretch and grow is by studying and following formulas that have worked well for others and then taking action on them.
Plan Your Dive, and Dive Your Plan
As a passionate underwater tourist (aka scuba diver) that uses copywriting and marketing to connect businesses with their customers, I tend to see the world—both business and personal—through the lens of diving.
Whenever I get ready to explore the depths of the ocean, I don’t just dive in and hope things will work out.
I plan my dive.
Or as they say in the diving community, “Plan your dive, and dive your plan.”
This same simple process is vital for success in anything we pursue.
We have to plan our _____, and then take action on our plan.
I left that blank on purpose because you can fill that blank with any one thing you want to do.
And if you follow the formula, you will see results.
Plan your _______, and then take action on what you’ve planned.
So what’s in your blank for the next four quarters?
Is it launching a new business?
Are you going to create a new product, service, or online course?
Perhaps your blank is focused on growing an email list, writing a book, or delivering your signature speech.
Use my DIVE acronym so you can have success diving into your goals:
In diving, if you don’t have a plan, you can wind up in a bariatric chamber, severely hurt, or worse yet - dead.
If your business operates on a wing and a prayer, or you follow the spray and pray it works method - it can and will fail.
Let me encourage you to dive into your goals by creating a plan to follow - and then follow it.
I guarantee you’ll see results.
Need a seasoned copywriter and marketer to help you create a plan?
Schedule a free 30-minute conversation with me and we will discuss your needs.
You've probably figured out that I'm a copywriter and marketer who is passionate about scuba diving. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Playing underwater tourist makes me do a happy dance. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Finding lessons from diving that apply to business and life that can help others is my jam.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In my 12+-year diving "career," I've always wanted to go diving on my birthday.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
With more than 600 dives under my belt, January 19th never seemed to work out for a diving adventure.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I'm hopeful that this year is different.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Weather permitting, my dive buddy husband and I are jumping into the deep blue.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I can't wait.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Similar to the Most Interesting Man in the World ad, "I don't always book dives for January, but when I do... it is on my birthday!"⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Crossing my fins for good weather on Saturday, Jan. 19.⠀⠀
Want to learn lessons from diving that can apply to your business? Download my free 180 Power Words That Sell, and you can receive period tips and insights from me.
’Tis the season when everyone reflects on where they have been over the past year.
We all seem to play the reflection game in one way or another.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably asked yourself, “What did I accomplish?”
And then you dive a little deeper unpacking the “wins” and “losses” to analyze what you could have done differently.
When you’ve walked through your year in review, did you discover that it went the way you expected?
Did you create a mental or literal checklist to see how it aligned with your game plan for the previous year?
Perhaps you took pen to paper - or put fingers on your keyboard - to write out a review of the past year before you set goals for the new one.
Or were you like many who flew by the seat of their pants without a game plan?
Diving Into Your Past
Even if you didn’t create a plan for the last year, you probably spent more than a few minutes over the past few days and weeks thinking about what happened in your world.
The phenomena of diving into our past helps us move forward to a new future.
Reflection is a trend that seems to captivate us all whether we want it to or not.
As a scuba diver, the way I improve my diving skills is by reflecting on my previous dives, evaluating how they went, and planning the steps I need to make my next dive better.
This concept applies to everything I do in business and my personal life, too.
If I want to improve and reach my goals - I have to dive into my past before I can move forward.
Since I work better following a formula, I created an acronym to help make the most of my review.
But before I share it with you, let’s look at what is happening around us right now.
Everyone Is Reflecting
When you watch TV or listen to the radio, all the major news stations and news magazines are focused on recapping the past year.
They are looking at the major happenings and milestones and reviewing the legacies of those who are no longer with us.
They are pouring over the new trends that surfaced and projecting about new ones to come.
You can also read emails and social posts from your favorite bloggers and entrepreneurs sharing insights about 2018 and the new year to come.
Just today I was standing in line at the pharmacy, and I saw a shelf full of magazine covers addressing reflection and new year’s resolutions.
It is quite clear that reviewing the past year before moving forward is essential for growth.
But why are new year’s resolutions so intriguing and how did this phenomena begin?
When Did Reflecting Become A Tradition?
A quick search of Google shows that this tradition isn’t something created by a marketer to sell things.
(Although, I wouldn’t put it past any business owner or entrepreneur to find a way to capitalize on this phenomena.)
According to the History Channel - and many other online sources - New Year’s resolutions began more than 4,000 years ago.
But the way each new year was celebrated has changed over time due to a lot of influence from religious groups, different cultures, and various leaders.
Dating back to the Babylonians, you can find celebrations of the new year held in March with an 11-day festival when the crops were planted.
In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar moved the holiday to January to honor Janus, the Roman god of beginnings.
The Jewish New Year celebrations—which some sources say started in the 8th to mid-6th century B.C.—are celebrated on Rosh Hashanah through the High Holidays and culminating in Yom Kippur.
The history of new year celebrations and the practice of reviewing the old year is deep and wide encompassing both religious and secular practice.
It is interesting to note that this centuries-old tradition leads to the same storyline even today; everyone resolves to do something differently in the coming year.
At its core, new year’s resolutions are about transformation.
As Carl Sagan once said, “You have to know the past to understand the present.”
Dive Backwards to Make Forward Gains
Before you dive into your new year, let me encourage you to take a moment to pause, reflect and review this past year.
When you analyze the past, you can uncover any mistakes or bad habits that you want to change in the new year.
You’ll also find things you did well and need to celebrate.
I’ve created a simple acronym to help you focus on the right things.
Of course, I felt compelled to use the diving term ‘scuba’ to do this.
Write down your reflections for each these elements. When you are done working through this list, post the results in an area where you'll see it every day, so you can focus on your key learnings.
Search - Search for the top highs and lows from your past year. List out your top five "wins" and your top five "losses." Do this for both your personal life and your business.
Celebrate - Celebrate any success you experienced. Take time to celebrate any big and small accomplishments. Don't just glaze over them. Make sure you reward any achievements. Doing so can ensure long-term success.
Uncover - Uncover roadblocks you encountered and things you could have done differently.
As you look at your list of highs and lows, determine what you could have done differently in each situation to ensure success. Realize that even your highs could use improvement. Note every observation and write out how you plan to approach it better in the future.
Balance - Look for specific projects you balanced well, as well as ones you could have juggled better. If you’re an A-type personality, like me, finding balance in your pursuits is sometimes hard to do. (Hint: This step is critical for reflection.) When you celebrate the areas you practiced balance, you can also uncover areas you need to focus on being more balanced.
Action - Be intentional and take action on what you’ve uncovered through your SCUBA reflections. Don't just make this a one and done exercise. Use what you've learned as a roadmap to guide where you're going in the future.
Learning from your past can set you up for success in the future.
As Winston Churchill once said, “ Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
Let me challenge you to dive into your past using my SCUBA acronym.
You can easily uncover areas you want to improve and activities you want to repeat when you practice SCUBA diving.
Make the most of your time by SCUBA diving into your past today.
On Dec. 1, I experienced an unexpected tragedy.
The impact of this experience only I know or understand.
But my husband and parents know the depth of my feelings.
My heart was broken into a million pieces as my best friend of 24 years died unexpectedly.
I tried to hold in my pain by pushing into my client work to mask the feelings deep in my spirit.
But as the days and weeks have passed, I learned that not working through the stages of grief wasn’t helping me.
Little things started coming to mind at the most inopportune times... distracting me and pulling me off my A-game.
I thought I was masking my pain well, but it became clear that not selectively telling others what was wrong only made me look stupid.
After much discussion and prayer, my husband and I decided I needed to talk to someone.
So I reached out to my pastor and scheduled a time for a conversation.
I shared high-level thoughts about what I was going through with a few friends.
I also confided in a dear friend about my raw emotions.
Thankfully she listened, consoled, supported, encouraged, and prayed over me.
And when my husband and I went to meet with our pastor - he did the same.
During our meeting, my pastor told me that what I was going through was normal.
Here’s what I’ve come to realize... it may take me a long time for this gaping hole in my heart to heal, but time can and will heal all wounds.
Insights for Business and Life
It also has helped me gain these insights that you may find helpful:
I feel better just writing this out.
And I’m hopeful that my thoughts help someone in whatever they are going through in life.
From business colleagues and personal friends to complete strangers - we all need to treat each other with kindness and respect.
Let me encourage you to find ways to encourage, support, and love others with kind words and thoughts.
You only have one life to live.
Impact others positively and live your life well.
Not that long ago, Marina Barayeva-host of Marketing for Creatives-interviewed me on her podcast.
With more than 80 episodes, Marina has interviewed some of the best marketers in business including Dr. Michael Hudson, Liz Pineda, Mike Kim, Pia Silva, and Dorie Clark... just to name a few.
So you can imagine the honor I felt to have my episode air on her podcast's first birthday!
Listen to my interview as I share tips and insights for writing product launch copy.
You are certain to discover the copywriting secrets that can help you sell more when you launch your products.
Get my free checklist for your next product launch to guide you through what you need to do when.