Here in Big D, kids went back to school this week. Back in my day, we didn’t start school until after Labor Day. The calendar, and the hot weather, still say summer. But backpacks were stuffed with school supplies, lunches were packed and the school doors were opened.
Despite the continuing summer weather, the unofficial start to fall has arrived. The energy changes, the traffic changes, the mood changes. The relaxed and laid back atmosphere we enjoyed the last few months disappears to be replaced with the frenetic pace of school days.
When I was growing up, I loved back to school. I imagined meeting cool new friends, learning from smart, enthusiastic teachers, and hanging out with all my friends. (I know, I was and still am a bit of a nerd.) Honestly, I was usually ready to start something new.
I didn’t learn about setting goals until much later, but I always had visions of what I wanted the school year to be like. Some of these hoped-for ideals were ridiculous! Like outfitting myself in beautiful, warm wool sweaters I saw in the fashion magazines. Wool sweaters in Texas in September when the temps still reach 90 is absurd, not to mention that I am highly allergic to wool!
The new school year allowed me to create new study habits, new personal routines, and learn from new people. It was a natural time to make a fresh start.
Now I view the start of school as an opportunity to tweak my routine, to hone my habits and to reset my goals. Forget New Year’s Resolutions! Back-to-School is an opportune time to wipe the slate clean. Drop the unproductive routines you’ve developed over the summer and create fresh, productive habits.
Follow these steps and supercharge your business:
- Review the goals you set for your business at the beginning of the year. (Don’t have goals written down? Start now. Researcher state that people who write goals down have an 80% success rate!) Are your goals still valid? Have you accomplished them or have they changed?
- Update your goals for the remainder of the year. Remember to give your goals a timeline and to make them achievable and measurable. (Ex: Increase my blog page views by 75% by December 31st).
- Review your Power Goal – the overarching goal that drives your other goals.
- Look at your calendar and your daily to-do lists. Are you checking off all the items on your to-do list? Are there unchecked items that show up repeatedly? If so, you need to evaluate why you don’t get them done, and if they truly need to be completed. You may need to explore the possibility of virtual assistance if you cannot complete your daily tasks. [Learn more here: Big Business Breakthrough]
- Finally, think about your daily habits. Have you let summer’s relaxed routine creep into your habits? Are you sticking to your exercise and eating plan? Have you let your spiritual meditation time slip away?
Once you have evaluated where you are and set new goals for your personal and business, it is time to create new habits.
Like many solopreneurs, your daily routine may be structured around your children’s school day. Don’t make the mistake of creating a new routine for yourself that isn’t compatible with your children’s schedule. For instance, don’t sign up for the 7:45am yoga class when you know you can’t drop your kids at school until 7:40am. You don’t want your new habits to cause more stress and strife in your life.
Take advantage of this time of transition to make meaningful changes to your daily routines. Remember that your daily business tasks and personal routines should all contribute to your Power Goal. Be ruthless. Don’t continue to indulge non-productive practices.
One final thought: just like my absurd notion of wearing itchy-eye inducing wool sweaters, make sure your goals are meaningful for your life and business. No matter what anyone else is doing, your goals have to make sense to you and work for your life.
Have a great school year!