I don’t know about you, but sometimes my life feels busy and like I’m not really accomplishing anything. One way I try to remedy this is to stop, sit down and look back, especially at the new year. Seeing what did and didn’t work and deciding what I want to accomplish going forward brings some much needed clarity in my life.
I typically use a variety of goal setting/planning strategies every year:
- A year in review post like this one (see past years in review)
- YearCompass, a booklet I fill out each January
- A Google sheet that I update each month (recently consolidated; find 2020, 2021 and 2022 here)
- The 12 Week Year (see below)
I had several business goals for 2021:
- Complete checklists for each part of client journey (lead to satisfied customer). This has been on my list before! I consolidated my documentation to three places — Google docs, ClickUp and a new WordPress “docs” site where I document all of my processes. I worked on this throughout the year and while it’s not 100%, maybe it will always just be a work in progress?
- Use ClickUp effectively (learn and consolidate). I started to use ClickUp more, but found I was spending too much time there, so I took a step back. I still use a variety of checklists and templates and hope to strike a good balance in 2022.
- One new blog post per month and one updated blog post per month. I wrote nine new blog posts and updated eight old blog posts in 2021. I really enjoyed updating the old posts — it was like spring cleaning! I have a ton of content ideas for early 2022 and hope to keep a consistent schedule throughout the year.
- One newsletter quarterly. I actually bumped this up to monthly(ish) and sent nine newsletters, plus one extra about my new course. I want to keep growing and emailing my list in 2022.
- Regular social media posting. For the first few months, my goal was five posts per week on Twitter and LinkedIn. After a bit I tried to add Instagram to the mix. It was DIFFICULT and I jumped ship. I took a cue from MissingLettr and created a similar process using Canva and Publer that I now do for every new and updated blog post I write. I create 9 Twitter/LinkedIn posts per new/updated blog post (and I also try to do one IG post). I started #tweet100 in December and it’s been hard as well. Someday I hope to find a good social media posting balance.
- Help my contractor further develop her skills. I purchased a few courses for her at the beginning and end of 2021. She spent some time on maternity leave during the summer. Later in the year, I got her a copy of Profit First and also recommended her as my replacement for an agency I’d been working for since 2017.
- Set 12 Week Year goals. Yes!! Check out this blog post, presentation and goals for Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 of 2021.
In September, I started individual coaching with Alastair of The Recognized Authority. My goal is to specialize and I hope to make progress towards that in 2022.
I launched several websites for some amazing clients in 2021! Here are a few of my favorites:
I also launched my first course, The 20-Minute Testimonial Process. There are so many business owners out there doing amazing work but not asking for or using reviews and testimonials in their business, so I created a course and process that business owners can implement.
I love talking about finances, so I always dedicate a section in my review for it! In 2021, I:
- Maxed out both my Roth IRA and HSA
- Added a bigger chunk to my SEP IRA than in previous years
- Used YNAB in my business along with the Profit First principles
Early in the year, I tweeted about finance on Fridays (#FreelanceFinanceFriday) but it was largely unsuccessful, so I bailed.
My goals for 2021 were to:
- Organize a few meetups. I scheduled and ran a few meetups in the early and later parts of the year. Check out the recordings at wppittsburgh.com. In 2022, I want to continue to organize and participate in meetups.
- Participate in a mastermind. I participated in three masterminds in 2021 and hope to continue to do so in 2022.
- Teach a WP course. I taught two non-credit courses and one credit course at my local community college.
I also spoke at a few virtual meetups and conferences and was on some podcasts!
- Elementor — the Whats, Whys and Hows (Carlsbad WP Meetup)
- Working with CPTs, Custom Fields and Dynamic Content in Elementor (South FL WP Meetup)
- Using The 12 Week Year to Effectively Set and Reach Your Goals (WordCamp Santa Clarita)
- Practical Strategies for Grieving as a Freelancer or Agency Owner (WordFest)
- E157 – Improving Email Deliverability, Open Rates and Personalization (WPMRR)
- Podcast E397 – Interview with Rene Morozowich (Kitchen Sink WP)
- 073: Computer Science & Problem Solving with Rene Morozowich (Women in WP)
In 2022, I’d love to be able to see some WordPress people in person if possible.
One of my favorite activities is reading business books (I know, I know). I read several in 2021 and wrote blog posts about the best. I read a few fiction books and started but didn’t finish several other books, making my final count nine. I want to read (and finish) more books in 2022 and continue to write/publish reviews on other good business books.
After reading my 2020 Year in Review, a WordPress friend of mine (Paul Oyler) reached out and shared his grief support group. I joined them online in the first quarter and then worked with the leader (Lisa at Pittsburgh Transformation Center) individually during the summer months. Both of these were super helpful in working through the grief of my father’s passing in 2020.
My only written personal goal for 2021 was to do more offline craft projects. I did okay — I took two workshops, made a shadowbox and made bread twice (although I know that technically bread isn’t a “craft”). Short side story: my dad made paska (Ukrainian Easter bread) for many years — first with the church and later by himself at home. He had a 40qt mixer and would make 12 loaves at a time, then share with friends and family. He didn’t leave his recipe, but I found a similar recipe and I’m trying to find my stride with it.
If you’ve read my past years in review, you know that I often mention camping! This year my partner and I rented a Getaway House for a few days and it was magnificent. All of the amazing parts of camping (like sitting by the fire) but without all of the difficult parts — Getaway Houses have heat/AC, big beds with sheets, indoor plumbing and hot showers and all of the amenities you need.
Early in 2021 and for the first few months, I tried some at-home workouts with not much success. During the summer, I went back to the gym but once school started, I didn’t feel comfortable going. A friend of mine had been doing Beachbody workouts at home all year and had great results, so I signed up with her coach Kait. I’m working my way through Morning Meltdown 100 right now. I still feel ridiculous doing the workouts at home, but not having to travel to the gym, be indoors with so many people PLUS seeing how good I feel after about 30 minutes a day keeps me going! Plus there is an online community where other members post their progress which keeps me motivated.
This year we were also able to do a bit of traveling — to see my sister, my partner’s parents and my aunt and uncle.
These are my ongoing personal goals — being creative, working on offline projects, getting outside, moving my body, spending time with my loved ones and traveling.