Surely as a solopreneur, you’re ready to take on the new year with new goals to set! Below are tips to keep in mind when planning your 2021!
Goal setting is both very difficult and very important, especially for a solopreneur. When you’re pursuing your dreams and working on projects alone, every minute of the day is immensely valuable – and you can’t afford to waste time rushing into the wrong trajectory.
Smart and effective goal setting attempts to align our actions and intentions with our dreams, so we can continuously move towards them. What sets good goals apart from bad goals is scope and achievability.
A goal is meaningless if it’s too lofty, or too grounded. While solopreneurs need to set high expectations for themselves in order to motivate themselves, astronomical goals will often just further contribute to the feel in that you aren’t getting anywhere, and lead to burnout.
This 2021, set your sights on goals that don’t waste your time and move you in the right direction.
1. Clean House and Cut Excesses
Retrospection should always be the first step towards any meaningful change. As solopreneurs, we’re often too busy thinking about our next steps to take a moment and reevaluate our failures and shortcomings. We tend to barrel forwards, taking along bad habits and maladapted coping skills.
Take the new year as an opportunity to make a clean cut from 2020 and previous years, and analyze your decision-making, your work processes, and your day-to-day operations. What’s holding you back? What could you be eliminating to make it easier for you to work? What habits did you subconsciously develop that you should confront and eliminate in the new year?
A couple of simple examples include:
- Installing and adhering to monitoring software to cut down on unnecessary doomscrolling and social media consumption.
- Setting boundaries and limits around communications and lengthy meetings.
- Cutting down on unnecessary subscriptions and email notifications.
- Consolidating different services and monthly costs into smaller or simpler packages and reviewing your toolset.
- Eliminating tools you don’t really need.
- And more.
Where are you spending money with little to no return on investment? And more importantly, where are you spending time with little to no return on investment? Answer and act on these questions before tackling any other goals and intentions.
2. Identify Your Greatest (and Least Useful) Time Sinks
There are very few tasks the human mind can focus on for hours on end. Even though many entrepreneurs and solopreneurs find themselves working well over the standard 40 hours a week, they cycle between tasks and activities, or take breaks during the day to freshen the mind and think new thoughts.
Some of these breaks may run a little too long or become unnecessary distractions. Identify and separate work-appropriate restorative activities from private hobbies, and unhealthy time sinks.
Sit down and formulate an average weekly schedule, taking into account your own personal productivity levels throughout the day, identifying your best hours, your biggest typical daily slumps, and techniques that have helped or hindered you in the past. Try out new ways to improve your productivity, manage stress levels, and avoid bad working habits.
3. Announce Your Intentions Selectively
Setting goals and keeping them to yourself may be a good idea, as announcing them to the world can sometimes give you satisfaction similar to having already achieved them – taking some of the edge off, in a bad way.
However, announcing them selectively to your greatest friends and supporters can be a great way to ensure that you’re holding yourself accountable to your word, and showing real commitment towards your goals.
It also acts as a sort of additional level of clarity, giving you the opportunity to consider whether your goals really are achievable, and whether they accurately reflect the commitments you want to make this year.
4. Leave Room for Mental Sustainability
Putting too much on your plate is not a sign of strength. A wise solopreneur knows that the path towards success is best run as a marathon rather than a sprint, and young hustlers stretching themselves too thin usually end up burning out before their big break. If you want to hustle sustainably, you need to leave room for mental health.
That might not mean therapy or yoga sessions, or in-depth personal meditation. Maybe your coping habits take on a different shape or form, and that’s fine – so long as you find something that works for you. Sometimes, it’s not just what you do, but what you don’t do – and who you don’t talk with. Cut out the toxicity, separate yourself from both the naysayers and the yes men, and put your health first.
5. Find the Workspace of Your Dreams
The global pandemic has changed the way we work and communicate and relegated many to the home office – with mixed results. While many Americans embraced the change, others struggled with a poor transition, feelings of isolation, and endless distractions.
Coworking spaces provide an alternative for many to continue working with others and collaborate in a safe environment, without further expanding their own office space or relying solely on virtual tools.
Coworking spaces have adapted to COVID through novel hygiene protocols, strict social distancing measures, and by catering towards companies and entrepreneurs looking for ways to leverage space to create satellite offices for workers who cannot risk a lengthy commute.
6. Define and Refine Your Skillset
After a particularly difficult 2020, it’s time to stop spreading yourself too thin and focus on what you know. It’s good to learn and branch out but try to consolidate your efforts into projects that carry a personal value or are specifically within your area of expertise and knowledge.
Doing something daring can pay off, but there’s a time and place for such risks. Consider utilizing 2021 as an opportunity to hone your skills in a direction you’re comfortable with, define healthy boundaries, set achievable goals, and come out stronger than ever before.
Final Solopreneur Tip
Most new year resolutions fail and fall apart due to their excessive scope and vague nature. Take the time to identify targeted goals that matter to you, are specific to your personal and professional interests, and allow you to grow as a person and as an entrepreneur.