So…here’s the thing about goals: sometimes we don’t reach them.
Or at least, we don’t always reach them to the level we wanted.
This is something that I – a recovering perfectionist – really struggle with. But in 2018 I had the chance to be reminded that sometimes almost perfect can be valuable, too.
Last year I made a deal with myself to set monthly ‘virtual coffee dates’ with other business owners.
This was an important networking step, but it also benefitted my mental health.
Running a business can be isolating. Just because I’m a solo founder doesn’t mean I want to be on my lonesome all the time! So I set this goal to help me branch out and meet other business owners.
And yes, when I say “coffee date” I mean business. I bring the mug. Sometimes I even go as far as to clink it against my webcam.
Ok, maybe that part is a little frivolous. But I’ve already told you how I beneficial it can be to have fun with your goal-setting process.
Now, this is the habit I had the hardest time with in 2018. I kept up with some coffee dates but I didn’t consistently set one every month.
So have I failed at this habit? Technically yes…but let’s think about this.
No, I certainly didn’t make a coffee date every month.
But I did set up some coffee dates, and those meetings allowed me to connect with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
The meetings are fun for me and they benefit my business immensely. In these meetings I swapped key strategies with other business owners, received valuable insight into challenges I was facing, and helped my coffee dates workshop their own challenges.
I also had the chance to connect with business owners on a personal level. One of my coffee dates gave me a “business wingwoman.” Now we plan business retreats where we focus on our business goals and create strategies to make those goals happen.
The coffee dates have also led to opportunities. I just did a joint webinar with one of my virtual coffee pals on – you guessed it – habit building.
Even though I didn’t perfectly reach this goal, I’m proud of what I achieved.
I reached out to people who inspired and intimidated me; people whose podcasts I loved or businesses I admired, and people who I thought were way too cool to collaborate with me.
I put myself out there. I challenged myself, and I reaped some pretty awesome rewards along the way.
Isn’t that what goal setting is all about? Getting out of your comfort zone and doing the thing?
I know that what the habit-building process I went through was just as valuable as the goal that I set.
And sometimes this is how it works with building new habits. Arguably, it often goes this way.
We set goals because they help us get to where we want to go. Maybe we need a little extra motivation to do the thing we know that we should do. But sometimes we fall just a bit short of the bar we set for ourselves.
And that’s okay.
Even though I didn’t get all 12 coffee dates scheduled in 2018 I know that any progress is better than none at all.
But wait – does that mean that you don’t really need to give 110% to reach your goals?
If you set a goal, go for it all-out.
Determination and creative strategies helped me reach goals that I once thought impossible, like really setting a fitness habit. Or reading 100 books in 52 weeks.
Just remember that what you build along the way to your goal is valuable. Even if it’s not exactly what you wanted it to look like.
I’m planning to keep setting coffee dates in 2019. What’s one goal that you didn’t quite reach, but are planning to bring into 2019?