As we settle back into a comfortable swing of business, many wedding professionals are finding that they spent most of 2021 rebuilding and recovering from a tumultuous couple of years. While vital to keeping one’s business sustainable, it may have meant putting a pin in something you’ve been wanting to pursue for a while.
It might be starting a side hustle, seeking higher education, launching a podcast, or introducing a new product line to your existing business. Whatever it may be, you’ve got big goals!
This year, wedding pros have faced an unprecedented busy season. As a result, most of us hardly had time to come up for air, let alone take on a new venture. But as things start to quiet down and we head into the off-season, it’s time to build momentum and start turning your dreams into a reality.
Here are three steps to make progress on your big dreams before the calendar year ends.
Break down your big goals.
There are only a few months left in 2021, so the goal is not to check off all the boxes and do all the things by the time January rolls around. Instead, be realistic about what you want to achieve and break down your goal into smaller, attainable objectives for the year.
Launching a podcast doesn’t happen overnight. You need to choose a name, record an intro, find guests, schedule recordings, edit new episodes, create a social media account, and so on.
Likewise, introducing a new product or service takes time. You need to perform market research, flesh out a product overview, create a realistic timeline, hire support, develop and test the offering, market the launch, and build a sales funnel.
As you break down your lofty ambitions into bite-sized tasks, start to consider what you can achieve before 2021. For example, if you want to earn a certification in 2022, perhaps you need to begin researching deadlines, filling out applications, and studying for an exam — all of which you can do this year. Manageable objectives help you take real action right away. Progress is progress!
Add milestones to your calendar.
Once you know what to do, you need a system to ensure that you make time for it. I recommend setting aside a couple of hours each week to work towards your goal, more if you can swing it. Set a repeating appointment with yourself to keep yourself on task and on time.
Think about it: With just a few hours a week for the rest of the year, you could easily invest 20+ hours into your new venture. By the time the new year rolls around, you’ll have laid all the groundwork for a solid foundation to build upon.
Plus, you’ll give yourself the time you need to be detailed in your efforts. You don’t have to worry about rushing to fit everything in at the last minute. Instead, you’ll have the time and space to ideate, reflect, and adjust as needed before hitting the ground running in 2022 (or sooner if your schedule permits!).
Pick a reward for yourself.
Rewards are a powerful motivator, and the right reward can make sure you get the work done. If you have a certain milestone to meet by the end of the year, consider what will keep you pushing through the slower weeks.
Is it a vacation you’ve been pushing off? A new laptop or device that would make life easier? A day at the spa to unwind? Whatever you choose, keep it in the forefront of your mind. Let it inspire you when you don’t feel like doing the work.
If you have many small milestones, you may even have smaller rewards to keep up the momentum along the way. A manicure, a gourmet coffee, a babysitter for adults’ night out — even minimal “prizes” can light the fire and inspire progress.
As 2021 winds down, use these last weeks to position yourself for success in 2022 and prepare for your growth journey. As Lao Tzu famously said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Don’t wait to take that first step. Do it today and keep it up for the rest of the year! There’s no such thing as too early or too late; there’s only right now.
Elizabeth Sheils is the co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, the first software platform to bring together wedding planners, couples, and vendors into one system for managing and paying contracts and invoices. Elizabeth is also a lead wedding planner with award-winning firm Bridal Bliss, where she manages the Seattle team. In addition to recognition by Special Events in its Top 25 Event Pros to Watch series, she also earned a spot in The BizBash 500 for 2021.