As I planned for all areas of my life for 2022–self-care, community, business, creativity, etc.–I thought about how I want to go about my New Year’s goals differently this year.
In the past, I’ve followed the rules about being specific. This often involved numbers. Whether that was a number of followers, an amount of revenue, or numbers of engagement. And while numbers are important, they help us to see results and trends, they are also the most anxiety-inducing thing in my life.
I use numbers to decide whether or not I’m enough (anyone else?). If I have X followers I’ll be enough. When I hit $X then I’ll have enough. X% open rates will mean that I’m doing enough. Want to know the truth? It’s never enough. Even if I hit the goals it’s not enough and when I don’t hit those goals…well, bring on the Christmas cookies and dairy-free ice cream while you’re at it.
Last year I had the goal of reaching six figures in my business. Why did I have this goal? I didn’t need to hit $100,000 for my family to be taken care of. Actually, we can live off of MUCH less than that. I chose this number because I heard it on all the podcasts, I knew it was big and pretty and would mean I was successful. So how do I feel at the end of 2021 just falling short of it? A bit like a failure. But this year was anything but a failure. I got to work with amazing brands and help them feel confident in their brand strategies. I educated folks with my online course (which I also launched this year), I prioritized self-care, and got off of social media. I even went back to my roots and started painting again.
My business did great, my personal life developed in new ways, and because I was just shy of a number that means LITERALLY nothing, I feel like I wasn’t enough. I had failed.
Our society is trained to measure everything by the numbers. Heck, being a former marketing director, I’m trained to measure everything by the numbers. But the numbers don’t mean everything. They are simply guidelines to see what direction you’re going, the arrow on a compass.
This year I have a few numbers in play that I would love to hit. These are my minimum numbers. What amount do I NEED to make each month? How many hours a week would I like to be working? How many blog posts can I write a month that create quality and not just quantity?
As a minimalist small business, my goal isn’t exponential growth. I don’t need to make $1 million or even $100,000 a year to be happy, healthy, and provide for my family. Instead, I need more time to pursue all of my passions. I need less stress so I can be more present with my loved ones. I need to create space for self-care so that I’m at my best with whatever project I’m working on.
I’m no longer looking at numbers I have to hit to be enough. I’m looking at numbers to guide me in the right direction. Is this working? Am I adding value? Am I using my time and energy in the best ways possible? Not, what big numbers can I hit to impress others? Maybe without the numbers, I’ll finally feel like enough.
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