As cheesy as it sounds, goals really start to manifest once you write them down. Thoughts become actionable. So I started to write on my wall (with washable markers, of course).
My wall includes 5 sections:
- My main focus
- My other commitment
- A list of who I want to be with long term goals
- A month-to-month life plan to reaching those goals
- A personal page section (habits to stop or start, things I want to learn, how I decide to keep people in my life, and my values).
Read further if you want to see what I put into each of those sections and how you can make your wall :)
For those of you who know me, I'm a super visual person and I love lists. I'm a very independent person and writing my goals, values, plans, etc. on my wall helps me map out my decisions because I truly believe everything that I do should push me forward. And if it isn't, then I'll drop it. Whenever I'm feeling down, I honestly redo my wall and it brings me to a better mood to think about my goals and all of the things that I know I can accomplish.
Recently, there's been a lot of people asking me, "How do I find what I want to do?", and my answer has always been the same: take a night to write down a life plan of YOU. This works for a few different reasons: 1) If you want to find a business you can be passionate about, 2) if you need help making decisions and 3) if you want to actually take the steps to who you want to become. (I know sounds super cheesy, right? But trust me, it works!)
If you care to read through this, I'll explain how I use my life map and then explain exactly what I put on my wall and why.
I use my life plan for all three reasons. People always approach me saying things like, "You're doing so good, it seems like you have everything figured out". Truth is, I'm still figuring out exactly what I want to do too. I know that I can do something much much bigger than my jewelry business and I get closer everyday. Writing down my values, strengths, and interests helps me to connect the dots of what I want to do. This is all information that is inside of our heads, but without really writing it down, it's often hard to make that connection. Once you start to brainstorm and put all of these things together, it's easy to find something you can be passionate about. The hard part is spending the time to do this, but if you aren't willing to spend time on yourself, then I'm not sure what else I can do for you!
I also use my wall to help make decisions for myself (I'll explain this below showing you the sections of my map).
Most importantly, my wall is a consistent reminder of who I want to become and the steps that I need to take. It's so easy to get lost in everyday shenanigans, but once you write everything down, your goals become clear and it's much easier to do the things you need to do to become the person you want to be. Yes, everyone wants to be a millionaire, run their own business, travel, etc...but what are you actually going to do to make that happen?
SO now (without showing you my wall exactly because it's kind of personal), my wall has about 7 different sections.
The first section is what source of income is most important to me now. What motivates you? What makes it easy for you to wake up but hard for you to go to sleep? What thing in your life inspires you?
That would be my jewelry business, Kolohe. Here I write down things like: what I currently have (stores I sell in, different channels, etc.), what I want to have (goals for my business), and what I need to do (how will I reach those goals). You can write down any information you feel is important to your business/job/whatever is the main focus for you right now. This maps out your main focus and shows you each section you should be focusing on.
The second section is my other commitment. How else are you building your empire?
This is my club, Hawaii Student Entrepreneurs. I never thought I'd join a club, but I wouldn't be where I am today without joining HSE as a freshmen. The first two years in HSE, I've traveled for free for entrepreneurship programs, received many awards, and have made lasting business connections that help drive me forward. HSE has done a lot for me, and now as President, I'm able to pass that forward to other student businesses. Here, I write down goals I have for HSE just to keep myself reminded of long term plans.
(**If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! I will always include a gift giveaway in my blogs, so use the code "GOALS10" for $10 off our products...seriously, I'm giving you $10 to spend on jewelry so treat your sister, mom, or girlfriend!)
The third section is titled, "Who do you want to be"?
Underneath that title, I wrote down things like:
- well known entrepreneur
- mentor to others
- community focused
- RICH (of course)
- public speaker
I then narrowed it down and made a list of a few long term goals that I have. I wrote down things like:
- Get a place for my younger siblings
- have multiple revenue sources
- make at least 6 figures
- get Mom better
- retirement for Dad
The average millionaire has seven streams of income and so finally, I jotted down a few ideas that I could use my skills for. This list so far is pretty short and includes Kolohe (of course) because I am good at my business, and a small business consultant because I enjoy helping other businesses. Although short, I wrote it down to keep myself thinking and brainstorming ways that I could put my different skills to use to have different sources of income.
The fourth section is my month-to-month goals for the year.
By writing these down, you can keep yourself on track and use it to refer back to your progress. For example, my goal for 2019 for Kolohe is to make at least $100,000 in revenue. It's almost three months into 2019 and we're about 30% to reaching that goal (woo!!). But now, I have to make sure to keep myself on track. So for each month, I wrote down a revenue goal and then specific goals each month. For March 2019, my revenue goal is $10,000 and my specific goals are: to finish the ABC product proposal, finish the Coastal Co. partnership, find a manufacturer in Bali (we leave in 2 weeks!), and do a crazy amount of research on my e-commerce analytics/online advertising.
This doesn't at all have to be related to your business. This can be monthly goals for grades, a job your working, or just personal growth things. But, it should be written down to hold yourself accountable each month.
This is my favorite of my wall because I LOVE checking off that I reached my goal. If in the middle of the month, I see that I'm not doing so well on the progress, then I'll make a list of things that I can do to make sure I reach that monthly goal.
The fifth and last section of my wall is my personal growth.
This includes my daily habits that should be stopped (procrastination, parking tickets, unnecessary spending, etc.) as well as habits that I want to start (pay more attention in class, surf more, learn to say no, drink more water).
It also includes things that I want to learn about: investing/stocks, politics, psychology, etc.
My biggest strength is my biggest weakness, and that is that I cannot say no. I am a yes girl and I like to take on each challenge and opportunity. Sometimes, I need to take a step back and say no to things and people in my life. So, I've developed a checklist of how to decide whether to say yes or no. I ask myself these questions based on my values:
- Does it promote family? Family is so important to me and everything in my life should be promoting my family one way or another.
- Does it benefit business? I am obsessed with my business and other than my siblings/family, that is my main focus. Everything and everyone in my life should be benefiting my business, whether through small or big ways.
- Does it align with your values and goals? Why would you do something that doesn't? Why would you be with someone who doesn't have the same goals as you?
- Will it bring you more stress than happiness?
- Do you see it around in 5 years?! Everything in life should move you forward. If you honestly cannot see this person or opportunity or decision affecting your life in 5 years, then don't spend wasted energy on it.
These questions help me decide whether it is worth it for me to put my time into a person or a project. At the bottom of this list, I wrote, "Stay focused, stay hungry, stay undistracted" to remind myself that anything outside of this list is a distraction that doesn't relate to me or my goals.
Lastly, I have a short list of my values. I am very picky about who I surround myself with because I truly believe that you are the product of your 5 closest friends. Your network is your net worth! Who are your top 5? What do they do to push you forward? My list of values include:
- Thirst to learn
- Non-static (is this even a word?!)
- Selfless, thinks of others emotions
- Non-average !!!
And there you have it, a small secret to your success! The next step is the smallest step forward. It's up to you to make the decision to build yourself each day or let life happen. Be the CEO of your life!
Become aware of negative thoughts or habits, and stop them. Become clear of your goals, and do the things you need to do to become the person you want to be.
And if still, you tell me that nothing inspires you, then you're probably not looking hard enough.
Visualize what you want. Be so committed to what's best for you, your goals, and your heart that you're willing to sit through the most uncomfortable pain of growth and change, that you refuse to accept anything less than complete alignment.
If you read through all of this, thank you! I would love to hear your thoughts and especially see your walls! Let me know if you