I Know It’s Still January, But Have Your Goals Taken A Detour Already?

Posted: January 20th, 2010

Photo by Spiicytuna (Flickr)

Photo by Spiicytuna (Flickr)

I had one of the best starts to the new year I’ve ever had in my life. Of course, I had a list of my goals as a freelancer, but I went further to write out a plan of attack that went flawlessly that first week.

Then week two came by and, as the old saying goes, shit happened (unrelated to work by the way).

Normally some kind of event that distracts you from your work would be an end to your goals. After all, you have to deal with a challenge while trying to get that work done in the meantime. By the time the challenge passes you are already busy catching up to the work and returning to your normal work cycle and you eventually forget those goals.

So it’s time to save them again for next year? Well, not if you plan it right.

I’d love to share the challenge I was having but it strays from the point of this post. Let’s just say it was very distracting. Anyway, I’m still on top of my goals for the year and I’ll share my ways of sticking to them without taking a permanent detour.

View Your Goals Like A Project

Your goals as a freelancer are very important in order to give you a direction and motivate you to grow into the freelancer and even the person you want to be.

Your work and projects are also important to keep the hot ramen noodles coming daily on the dinner table.

If you don’t see your goals as a freelancer as equally as important as your work then you might be content with ramen noodles everyday rather than a nice juicy prime rib to go with those hot ramen noodles.

In other words, working on your goals are a huge project with a one-year deadline.

What could be the financial outcome to you by completing them?

Set Aside an Hour A Day Towards Working On Your Goals

All of us have an hour to spare during the day. OK, maybe it’s harder for freelancers to spare that hour but the truth is we all can somewhere. Sometimes we may even have to work that extra hour on top of all the work we have.

Consider this. If you worked on your goals an hour day, that’s 365 hours a year (I know, math expert). Imagine what you can do or learn in that time. Do you think you’ll be able grow in your freelance career?

If you want to get anywhere in life, not just freelancing, you have to work hard. And not just the typical eight hours a day, five days a week. Sometimes that means burning the candle on both ends. It is hard but I like to refer to a quote that keeps me motivated to work those extra hours:

“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
– Newt Gingrich

Also, it isn’t always easy to stick to an hour a day routine but you can easily stick to a 7 hours a week one. If that means working weekends, well, take it from Newt and do it.

Realize That You May Not Get To All of Your Goals

Hey, sometimes our list of goals is like a huge plate of hot ramen noodles. We may be hungry as hell but we can’t finish the entire plate.

As far as I know, there are still only 24 hours in a day and there probably won’t be enough time to accomplish everything you set out to achieve.

Dont’ stress it. It happens and is quite normal. This is definitely not a reason to get down on yourself if your goal list isn’t being checked off as fast as you like.

Just as long as you are progressing in your goals, that’s all that matters. Keep to the hour a day rule, though, OK?

Don’t Let A Setback Throw You Off

Sure you may stumble into a roadblock that derails you from working towards you goals.

Sometimes the hour a day rule will have to be broken.

But remember your goals are as important as your work. If any kind of setback occurs, of course, get the work back on track but don’t hesitate in getting back to those goals either. Go even one step further and work the overtime needed to get your goals back on track.

Remember goals=year long project.

* * *

How do you keep to your goals as a freelancer?

Have you had any kind of challenges that interrupted pursuing them and what did you do about it?

What flavor of hot ramen noodles do you like the best?

Leave a comment below. I want to hear your responses!

More on the author, Johnny Spence
Johnny is the founder of The Freelance Rant and a freelance web programmer with 8 years in the business. Have a visit at his company Oscarrr!web or see what he's up to on Twitter.

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