kim england

New Year, New Goals.

It’s that time of year when the mass majority of us come up with New Year’s Resolutions. Lose weight- join a gym, stop eating so many cookies, less beer or pay some quacky doctor for a quick fix or fad diet. Call family or friends more. Get organized. Whatever it may be, it is important to set one for professionally as well as personally. It helps you stay focused. It helps you grow as a person. I am no expert for sure, in fact, in anything but “try, try again”. However, I set a few. I do every year. I set them and I see them through. In fact, this year I jotted 17. Silly I know but when everything changes, you need to as well. Personally, it’s not to lose weight or join a gym. I do that regularly. It is my “me” time and I enjoy it. I also enjoy cookies, so I have a good balance going right now.

My inspiration to even write this came while I was watching tv at the gym listening to that annoying Palin whine about who gets the picture of the dog in her divorce settlement. Who cares! WHO CARES! She should have utilized that tv spotlight for something more interesting like what she can contribute to the world. Was her goal to be on tv today and whine about that?

So what is my personal resolution? I know, who cares, but if you do, you will read on…Set daily realistic goals.  The Palin thing is not realistic for sure.  So instead, I tuned her out and listened to some awful music my kids downloaded and set my mind to finish my 3 mile run.  Set a goal. Try to achieve it. Next goal. Meet a deadline. Check. Make a few calls. Check. Check!  The 17 resolutions on my list are realistic and I am an over achiever, but these goals require other things to happen first. So, realistically I will work towards 1. The other 16 will come- go surf fishing, get a porch swing, try that hothouse yoga stuff….(that’s last…and if I have to push it to 2016…darn) I am not saying live your life by a list or everything has to be a goal. Trust me, I did that for years. You can’t control happy, but you can set expectations.

Professionally, it’s a little easier because it involves only the love of your work. Nothing else. If you love your work and what you produce, it’s easy to keep coming back for more! So here goes…I have 3. Make a list. Come on Debby Doubter. You might be glad you did. Clip it on that really crowded white board above your head.

1. Drop what’s not working for you and move on.

Don’t invest a lot of energy into trying to make the unworkable workable. Move on. Something better will turn up. That website that you keep trying to make work for your audience or that really old and dated marketing brochure…move on, how can I help? Rebranding with a fresh logo, new business card and media kit was just the new energy my client needed to land a $100k project. Her professional career and skills need no shine from me, but with a fresh pantone and new logo, boom! It’s like that hallway in your house that has all the smudges and knicks and splash of some unidentified party mishap, preventing you from focusing on the photos hanging there.

2. Give something back.

There are all kinds of worthy organizations that make a difference. Find something that matters to you, and give what you can. Make this the year that you serve on a committee, be a mentor, volunteer, or make donations to a group in your community. Nothing will seed and grow goodwill for you and your business. Try boxing food at a local food bank once and you will see the good it brings. I bring my kids along. My daughter, born salesman/lawyer or as she told her guidance counselor, “6th grade superstar”, struck up conversation with the man next to us who low and behold needed a new brand identity and website. Huh, imagine that. Oh, and Evie has already mentioned commission.

3. Schedule Time for You.

What the #curse is that? As a business owner, mother, dog owner, hamster cage cleaner and club sports driver of all ye’ stinky. There is no time for that. Someone told me at Christmas how important it is to take the time for yourself; a healthy work-life balance demands time out. And so next month I will start a “meet with yourself” and I will stick to that commitment. If you won’t invest time in yourself, who will? That same someone also said have no expectations. And in gratitude for your best advice, here is mine to you. Random act of kindness or gifts have no expectation of reward. Love is always bestowed as a gift – freely, willingly and without expectation.

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is like maintaining a good relationship- professionally or personally; you have to keep working on it.


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