2020 Goal Setting

Tips of how to Goal set for the year ahead
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Tips of how to Goal set for the year ahead

I know, I know. We’re getting into that time of the year where people are starting to give up on their 2020 goals. Why am I writing a 2020 Goal Setting post now?

Because sometimes you have to go through things a few times and be not good at them before we become awesome at them!

Honestly, a lot of things didn’t work super great for me in 2019. And that’s ok. Sometimes you have to be kinda terrible at things and do them wrong a bunch of times before you actually get them right.

How I wasn’t terribly good at Goal Setting

I’ve always written lists, and I would often judge myself, usually harshly, on how much of the list I was able to crank out. It didn’t work super well because I would usually write one long list Mondays and be defeated before the rest of the week had a chance to begin.

This strategy, although straightforward and simple, doesn’t work because all projects aren’t one and done type of projects. Sometimes they can involve a lot of steps, i.e. setting up a website!

Last week I went to a Tuesday Together meeting at the Rising Tide Society. It was about setting up your 2020 for success. We reflected on the past year and then wrote plans for the future. If you haven’t done this yet for your business or for your personal life, I’d encourage you to think about it now!

As much as I want to be that cool laid back artist that just has things come to them,  it’s not an effective strategy if you want results. Honestly, the most successful people have clear visions of where they want to go and what they want to achieve. They know their endgame… And their endgame is measurable.

How to be better to Goal setting

Having measurable goals

The first mentor I had asked me to write goals. I wrote really fluffy intangible goals like, “I want to be a successful photographer.”

That wasn’t a great goal at all.

Success means different things to different people. If you find yourself with intangible goals, it’s time to dig deeper. Ask yourself why you want that, and keep digging and asking yourself why until you come up with something measurable.

If I asked myself what it meant to be a successful photographer, I would have said something like, I want to continue to take better photos and get paid for it (because I wasn’t at the time). If you want to be paid you should also specify how much!

Since writing that first goal, I’ve been taking better photos and getting paid. So hooray!

How crazy should I get with my goal

A problem I had with goal setting before is not knowing if I should have realistic goals or far out there goals.

I think you should have both.

Easy wins build confidence and far-out goals make you stretch yourself, which is how we all get better.  They seem big and daunting at first, but once you get some easy wins under your belt, you feel like yeah. I can do more. I can totally do bigger goals!

Write down ALL the things that are in your heart and light you up. Don’t limit yourself. If you have a dream, write it down, figure out how to break it down, and then go for it.

Break big goals down into smaller pieces

Say I want to make 100k in my business this year.

That’s 25k per quarter = $8,333.33/month

I would write down all the different ways I have of generating revenue and other ideas I have for generating income. I would come up with projects every quarter that would generate 25k in revenue.

This could be:

  • 5 clients, I sell 5K commercial photography packages to
  • 25 clients, I sell 1K packages to
  • A workshop to have diversified streams of revenue.
  • Offer teaching or mentorship.
  • Some seasonal offerings or something else not mentioned!

If one offering is selling better than another, I can double down on what’s working. If things aren’t working, and troubleshoot that until you hit 25k per quarter.

Basically, make a plan on how to get it done. If I don’t have a plan of attack, it becomes something that I’ll get to eventually one day when I finally decide to get my stuff together. And honestly, that can be months from now. Do yourself a favor, and plan it out.

Review your goals regularly

Planners are my secret weapon to break things down and review my progress on a regular basis.

Right now I use 2020 Powersheets. I’ve been asked which planner is the best. My honest answer is the one that you will use and look at it. All plans and goals work if you work on them. The problem is that we give up somewhere along the way when things get hard. The Powersheets are filled with encouraging messages to keep going, bit by bit. It also comes with stickers, and since I’m a kid that grew up in the ’80s, I’m all about the stickers!

It prompts me each month and season to think about goals and review the previous month – both the things that worked well and the things that didn’t work well. I force myself to do them. Sometimes I do it on the 10th of the month and not on the first of the month, but I do them.

It helps me track where I’ve been and where I’m going. Then I can clearly see what I’ve been avoiding for a month and what I was able to get done right away.

Build Productive Habits

When I don’t have structure, I waste time. So I made myself a habit system as a structure. I have morning and evening habits. They help keep me energized because a big complaint I had in 2019 was not feeling like I had enough energy to do things I wanted to do.

Morning Habits:

      • Wake up at 6am
      • Morning Ollie hug
      • Make myself coffee, breakfast, and take vitamins/supplements
      • Make Ollie breakfast and walk him
      • Stretch
      • Journal/Plan out the Day

Evening Habits:

      • Evening Ollie walk
      • No screen time 1 hr before bedtime
      • Take Magnesium supplement
      • Meditation
      • Stretch
      • Read before bed


These habits worked out so well for me I decided to make other regular habits in my calendar.

I first schedule all my non-negotiable values. Then I schedule other life things.

Things automatically set the calendar:

  • My workouts – Keeping up my energy and strength
  • When I groom and give the dog meds – Taking care of my family
  • Meal prep days – Taking care of my family and our health

Then I fill in other important things:

  • When I’m working, projects
  • Meetings with other people
  • When payments are due
  • Fun events like my Artist Dates

When you have clear goals and values, it’s easy to break them down into scheduled events. Then it comes easier to add structure to your day.

Celebrate – and think about what’s next

Once you reach your goals, celebrate! I believe this is one of the most overlooked aspects of writing goals.

Maybe you don’t need to throw yourself a parade when you dropped off the mail, but if you did something big like launching a new product, offering, class, or that took a lot of effort, then cheers! You should do something nice for yourself and take a moment to look back at how far you’ve come.

With that momentum, you can think about what you want to do next. Do you want to tackle something new, improve a process that didn’t work well, spend more time on a goal that isn’t going as well as you like, take some time off to recharge your creative juices and then get back in the game? It’s up to you!


I know that was a lot. A lot, a lot.

Know that you don’t have to do it all right now. You can start with a few habits and/or goals and go from there. But planning and setting the intention for your year is really important. Days can easily turn into weeks and months with no progress on your dreams.

If you’re not great at it right away, that’s ok. It took me a couple of rounds to really “get it” and see results. You’re not alone!

It’s also worth mentioning that being kind to yourself when you don’t hit the goal goes a long way to help pick yourself back up again when you get down. Don’t beat yourself down in negative self-talk. Talk to yourself like your best friend. Hey friend! You tried! Great job! Now you have more data and information about what does and doesn’t work for you so you can try again with more knowledge moving forward.

2020 Goal setting should be fun thinking about all the possibilities that are ahead for you!

I’m cheering you on my friend! Please let me know if you have any questions for me!


Other Related links:

How I do business pitches

When you should hire a professional photographer

How to Spring Clean your Business

2020 Goal Setting

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