It’s a New Year! For so many people that means resolutions and fresh starts. I’m not a huge fan of resolutions – for me they’re usually too vague and I quit before February. But since I discovered goal-setting, plus a system to check in on them regularly and actually follow through, I’ve been hooked! As a Virtual Assistant, you want your hard work to matter, to grow, and to be impactful, and setting goals can help you do that in 2019.
So first let’s look at what kinds of goals you might want to set as a Virtual Assistant, then we’ll walk through the ins and outs of setting them, and I’ll show you how I keep my goals at the top of my priority list and make consistent progress.
What goals might a VA set?
We’re going to stay away from broad and totally unrealistic goals and dial in on some specific and attainable ones. But first, if you have no idea where to even start, here are some categories to get your brain going:
- Time Management goals
- Financial Goals
- Skills Goals
- Life/Work Balance Goals
- Bravery Goals
- Other Goals
You certainly don’t need to set goals in every category. Instead really think through what’s hardest, what’s going well, what’s getting in your way, and what your family needs, then look at the categories that fit those things with the mindset that you want to increase what’s good, bolster what’s not, and keep your family in focus.
Now that you’ve got your top 1-3 categories, let’s get more specific.
I need to Avoid Time Wasters
I need to Maximize Work Time
I need to Streamline My Workflow
I need to Stick to My Schedule
I have a Goal I Want to Meet (pay off a debt, buy a car, have x$ in savings)
I need a Certain Income Every Month
I want to Leave My Full-Time Job
I want to pay for private school
I want to pay x$ extra on the mortgage each month
I need to increase my rates
I want to learn a new skill that will make me more marketable
I want to increase a skill so I get more done in less time
Life/Work Balance Goals
I need to stick to my dedicated working hours
I need to find reliable childcare
I want to put work aside during family time, physically and mentally
I need to keep my house cleaner/make more home cooked meals
I want to be comfortable reaching out to people I know
I want to offer my services to my family and friends
I need to reach out to clients I don’t know
I want to ask my friend to put in a good word for me
I want to work on my communication with clients
I want to increase my network
I need to streamline my processes
Being more specific about what you need or want to do helps you work towards goals that you can really accomplish this year.
Now you need to make these wants and needs into goals that are:
- Consistent with your family goals
- Within your control
Remember, we aren’t going to set big, lofty goals that we ditch by February. Instead, we’re going to focus on what’s important and what our family’s need.
Since the number one fear for new VAs is finding clients, let’s turn that abstract idea into a solid goal:
My Goal: I need to find more clients so that I can earn income this year.
See how that’s vague and not necessarily within your control?
So let’s break it down into what’s really going on:
Financial Goal: I want to earn $1200 a month, or $300 a week
Bravery Goal: I want to reach out to 15 potential clients a week until my hours are full
Time Mangement Goal: I need to spend my working hours finding and reaching out to potential clients first, and learning new skills second
Life/Work Balance Goal: I need to use my designated work hours to work on my VA work 4 days a week
The financial goal isn’t 100% within your control – you can’t make a client hire you and pay you! But, it does give you something to aim for and it will inform how many hours you need to have set aside and how much you will charge. If it’s a hard and fast need for your family, you can find other ways to earn that income while you build your VA network – a part-time job, transcribing, babysitting, etc.
Next, you’ll need to find a way to check in on these goals…but that’s for next time.
I use the Brilliant Life Planner to set and track my goals. I love the entire goal setting system in the front that walk me through the process, not just for work, but for life, family, health, etc. And most importantly the pages every week that show the progress I’m making and how I dealt with the hard stuff, plus a place for gratitude and memories.
Want to see how I plan a week, keeping my family in focus? Check out this post on my VA Schedule for Busy Moms