The one where I share my theme for the year, along with some top tips for achieving your goals in 2017.
Hello and welcome to episode 25 of the Creative Me podcast.
Happy New Year
I have three important words for you: happy new year! It's New Year's Day; the first day of 2017, and I thought I take the opportunity to record a happy New Year message.
I'm going to give you some top tips for sticking to your goals for the year. I'm also going to share my theme for the year with you - that's the main show topic.
If you are on my email list, you've probably heard what my theme word is already, but I just wanted to explain a bit more about it and encourage you to set a word for your year as well.
If one of your goals for your business this year is to increase the size of your email list I encourage you to check out listgoal.com. It is a Chrome extension that talks to most major email service providers. I am not going to tell you too much about it now, as this is going to be a short episode. However, if growing your list is important to you, and you use Google Chrome, this extension will help you enormously. I've been using it for the past few weeks, and it is helping.
My second top tip is to get an accountability buddy.
I've talked about my accountability partner, Jo, a few times on the podcast (check out episode 2 Group Hugs Optional). If you need some help achieving your aims, I can't tell you how important having somebody keeping you accountable is. Ideally, it will be someone who understands your struggles but will kick your ass when needed.
Tip number three: find the project management tool, or list tool, that makes tracking your goals and breaking them down into tiny chunks easy.
I love Workflowy and Trello. They serve two different purposes for me. Trello is my project management tool and Workflowy is my list/brain dump/trusted place.
These systems might not work for you. Perhaps you are an Asana person. Whatever your tool, find it and use it to track and achieve your goals.
My final top tip and the theme of this particular episode is set a word for your year. A theme word.
Theme for the Year
My word is identity.
Early in 2016, I was exploring a new niche; I was re-training in surface pattern design. I knew I needed to niche down and focus on one thing to become recognised for it. So I picked a niche and went for it.
I loved it and still love it, and see it as part of my future, but it turns out it wasn't the right niche for my business. I had some success designing fabric and launched successful stationery subscription box.
But it was not the right niche for me. I had a massive learning curve to conquer with surface pattern design. If you are going to be selling products, iterating and learning in public isn't the best way to go.
I'm still passionate about surface pattern design. I'm still keeping up my illustrations in my spare time, but it's not what I'm focussing on as my business.
I am now focused writing and blogging. I really want to help people become better writers and bloggers and to conquer their fear of technology when it comes to getting their message out.
Going back to my theme of identity for 2017: it's about establishing my business identity and ensuring people know who I am and what I do. That way, I can help the right people.
I think the word identity also stretches into my personal life a little bit. 2016 has been a bit on the rough side (I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me), but I've had some back problems, so I've been in a lot of pain pretty much on a daily basis. I've not been able to exercise. My painkillers have made me exhausted, and I've piled on the pounds.
However, I've put some steps in place for 2017 to make all of that a lot better. Health and wellbeing will be a key focus of 2017, and it will come before everything. I think that feeds into identity - being the best version of yourself.
Initially, I set my word for the year just for my business then I realised that it flows into my personal life as well.
Will you consider setting a word for your year? If you do, have it prominently displayed on your screensaver, mobile phone wallpaper, your office wall - anywhere you will see it often.
Anytime you need to make a decision about anything think about your one word. Decisions should align with your word.
That's it for me today. I hope you've enjoyed this short and sweet episode.
By the way, I am thinking about starting a Facebook group - what do you think?
Thanks for listening, I hope you'll tune in next week.