It finally rained in Los Angeles this weekend. Though it’s not my favorite weather element, it was much needed and I fall a little more in love with this city after it rains. When you can smell the freshness; the water mixing with the dirt and the dry earth, washing things away and making things new again. It was fitting, really.
Because March feels fresh to me. More so than January 1, even.
There’s just something so new and “clean slate-y” about this time of year. It doesn’t harbor the same pressure that the first of the year does. We’ve had some time to consider what we really want out of this new year and we still have time to make big changes.
Though we don’t have many seasons here in California, this feels like the start of a new one—both literally and figuratively. And for that reason, I’m revisiting some of my professional goals.
Here’s the thing about goals: I absolutely love them. I love setting them, I love tweaking them, I love reaching them. As a personal development junkie, it should come as no surprise that goals are my jam. Perhaps they’re your jam, too. Or maybe not. I realize that not everybody feels the same ardent love for goal-setting that I do—but I also believe that there’s an inherent value in proactively and purposefully setting personal and professional goals. There’s value in actually saying out loud (and writing down on paper) how you plan to change and grow for the better.
How likely are you to change at all without that?
It doesn’t need to be difficult either.
Here’s how to set goals that you can actually accomplish:
- It’s okay to dream big—but scale back from there. Maybe your goal—like one of mine—is to write a book. That’s fine, but that’s a big goal with a lot of small, little goals built within it. Ask yourself what you can do in just the next 30 days to get closer to that goal.
- Consider different categories (e.g., work, relationships, health, etc.). You might focus on one category per month, or one small goal per category. It’s entirely up to you, but it’s helpful to categorize your goals to make sure you’re growing in every important (to you) area of your life.
- Be realistic. What can you reasonably accomplish in one month? Also, consider that this will be different for every person, and even for you from month-to-month. For instance, I’ll be out of town for two weekends in March—I’ll be taking my schedule into consideration as I plan out my goals for the month.
- Anticipate—and prepare for—setbacks. What will be hard for you? What obstacles might stand in your way? Most of us are smart enough to know where we will struggle as we seek to make big changes—think about those struggles before you get started and brainstorm ways to avoid them or move past them when they inevitably appear.
- Consider the next right step for each one of your goals. What is the one thing you can do today (or this week) to move you toward completing your goals? Once you’ve done that, figure out the next right step after that. It’s important to not get too far ahead of yourself. Think about what you can do right now, and just do it.
So, what are my goals this month?
Well, at the beginning of the year—really, toward the end of last—I knew that I wanted there to be a shift in my business. I wanted to give greater focus and priority to my own writing. I wanted to make sure I was telling stories and actually sharing them with the world.
I can’t say that I’ve been entirely successful. Though the content on my blog has changed a bit, I’ve still had no real plan, no real focus. I’ve just written, hit “Publish”, and hoped you liked what you saw.
And my copywriting work hasn’t slowed down either (both a blessing and a curse, of course). In March alone, I have six copywriting projects due. I also have three articles due, as well as my regular work with Career Contessa.
Though I’m thankful for the work, it’s become clear that I haven’t actively prioritized seeking out the work that I want to do. So, I’m reassessing, setting new goals, and moving forward with a plan.
These are my major goals—and the first small action step I plan to take toward each—in March.
Pause freelance projects (except for existing projects or anything I’m truly excited to pursue)
I’ve said “yes” to a bit too much lately—occasionally even doing projects for free—so, I’m understandably feeling a bit stretched thin. That’s my fault and I want to work to remedy this in March.
Of course, I already have some project commitments in the books, and I will honor those. But I won’t be saying yes to any new projects this month.
Action Step: Say no to incoming projects.
Create business and monetization strategy for the blog
Yes, this thing you’re reading right now.
I’ve been working through ByRegina’s Epic Blog Planner to gain clarity on my updated target reader, find a focus for my blog, and plan content for the next year.
I will also be spending #50WorkDays with Regina, beginning April 6, planning how to best monetize my blog (without compromising the authenticity and voice of my content).
Action Step: Spend three hours per week updating Epic Blog Planner to plan content through May.
Update website copy
This has been on my to-do list for far too long. And, as my focus and audience changes, so too will my services. My website doesn’t currently reflect that, and it’s understandably confusing to some.
As I wrap up current client projects and plan for a new direction, I also plan to share those updates on my website.
Action Step: Re-write “Work With Me” page copy.
Write and submit one personal essay
This is the writing I love and the writing I want to do more of—and so, this is likely the most important goal I have set for the month. (Spoiler alert: I may even walk you through the process of writing and pitching a personal essay of your own right here on the blog!)
My goal is only to write and submit one—a relatively easy goal to meet if I prioritize and stay committed.
Action Step: Pick a publication to pitch.
Create one digital product
This one is still a bit under wraps—as I don’t plan to launch it until later in the year!—but it’s been on my list for awhile and I want to make it a priority this month. Wish me luck!
Action Step: Braindump information for the product. Use this to outline later.
March is a great time to reassess any goals you may have set at the beginning of the year. Reflect on these last two months and ask yourself if the work you’re doing, and the actions you’re taking, are getting you closer to the things, the accomplishments, and the life you really want.
And if not? Change it up. Right now. Let’s do it together.
What are your goals for March—and how do you plan to reach them? Let me know in the comments below!