Do you set yourself goals, either in your personal life or in your business?
It's not something I've even really thought about, to be honest, but this year it's come much more sharply into focus through my membership of the Content Marketing Academy (CMA).
In June I attended the CMA conference in Edinburgh, and at the end of it we were encouraged to fill out an accountability form. Six months later, Chris Marr posted them out to us so we could see what goals we set ourselves and, more to the point, whether we achieved them! There's mine in the picture!
I also wrote a blog afterwards, Working as a freelance editor – the next five years, where I set out three goals for the year. The year end is always a good time to think about how things have worked out and how we'd like the next year to be. But how many of us actually write anything down?
We're not a year down the line yet, so this is my six-month review. I think the end of a calendar year is as good a place as any to reflect and plan.
For CMA members, those orange envelopes dropping though our letterboxes have been a prompt for retrospectives, reviews and generally assessing how we've been doing.
Writing my goals down definitely galvanised me into action, along with being a member of the CMA and having an accountability group to (in the nicest possible way) make sure I get on with it!
Overall I think I've done fairly well with goal number 1 – I've published 27 blog posts in six months, which is almost exactly one a week. They have been well received, and there's been a noticeable increase in traffic to my website. This is blog number 28!
With goal number 2, I think I'm more engaged with my communities – both editorial and business. I'm using social media regularly, particularly Twitter, to talk to colleagues and potential clients, and I've also set up a Facebook page for my business. Being in two accountability groups has also really helped me to think further ahead and, dare I say it, think more strategically about my work, rather than being reactive.
Goal number 3 is a work in progress. I'm definitely clearer on the type of work I enjoy and what I'm not so keen on, and in 2017 I plan to shift the balance more in favour of work that gives me pleasure and pays better. Who wouldn't want to do that?
Overall, not too bad I'd say. There's definitely room for improvement, and over the Christmas and New Year break I'll take some time to plan for 2017 (in between Christmas films and chocolate oranges, of course!)
I'm now off to do the final preparations for Christmas AND my son's Christmas Eve birthday. I hope you enjoy the festive season, however you choose to celebrate it, and that 2017 brings you health and happiness.
How has 2016 been for you? Has it gone to plan? Do you have bigger plans for 2017? What's the one thing you'd like to change in your work next year? Let me know in the comments!