:Mindset / Success and goal setting

How to navigate unfinished goals

unfinished goals unfinished goals

As a creator and small business owner, having goals that stretch you to new levels is essential. These goals also keep you on track for your bigger business vision. It’s part of the process to fall short of some goals sometimes. And although it’s inevitable, it can feel really disheartening. Read on to find out how to navigate unfinished goals in a way that feels inspiring and sustains growth in your business.

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The steps to take to navigate your unfinished goals

Reevaluate the details

With any unmet goal you have, it’s important to first take a look at how it’s written. The consider what exactly the goal is measuring. And lastly why you created the goal in the first place. Using the SMART goal structure can be an effective way of structuring goals. Using this method your goals are easier to track and attain. Ensuring that your goal is specific, has a clear way to measure it, and is realistic for the time frame you’d like to achieve it is an important part of the process.

Without a clear structure for how you’re writing a goal, it makes it more challenging to assess how close you are to it. And to assess what external factors might need to shift. It might be something as simple as tweaking the timeline. Or changing the metric with which you’re measuring. Perhaps instead of measuring the success of your course by the number of students enrolled, you start to look at the number of positive reviews instead. When you make shifts to your goals in this way it can feel like a relief. So really take your time with reevaluating your unmet goals. 

While you do, make sure you’re also looking at your “why”. When you’ve had a goal in place for a while, it can be easy to be attached to the goal itself and lose sense of why you wanted to achieve it in the first place. For many creators, the drive to share knowledge with others and increase their streams of income is at the root of creating courses. And in setting some of those goals in the first place. Zooming out to focus on your why is a great way to get unstuck and find inspiration in your goals again.

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Revise for the present moment

Once you’ve reviewed your goals, made sure they’re written in an efficient way, and reconnected with your “why,” it’s time to revise. You need to make sure the action you’re taking in order to meet the goal makes sense.

Perhaps your goal is to garner a certain number of followers on TikTok. The obvious course of action would be to post content to the app every day. You can continue to do what you’ve been doing in pursuit of your goal. But it’s also helpful to look at other ways to approach it. Maybe there are some approaches that you hadn’t considered before.

This evaluation requires thinking outside the box. And while it can feel challenging to come up with an alternative solution there are some easy ways to bring a fresh perspective. Try to let go of the attachment you’ve formed to your initial approach. Make room for alternatives. Take some time away so that you can return to it with fresh eyes. In the TikTok scenario, this could look like taking a week off of creating new TikToks. And instead, go to other accounts that your audience follows and engage with them in the comments.

Getting outside feedback can be pivotal too. You can do this by sharing your goals with a trusted friend or mentor. Ask them for honest feedback or ideas on how you can go about achieving the goals you’ve set. This might show you something you’ve never thought of before. Similarly, consider finding someone who has “already done it.” That is, someone who has achieved what it is you’re looking to do. This can also bring fresh inspiration. At the very least, give your brain breaks with regular meditation. This has been shown to enhance creativity and can give you a wider perspective on ways to achieve your goals.

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Trust the process

Despite all the effort that you can put in when it comes to reworking a goal, sometimes certain goals just fall out of alignment with the overall mission of your business and what you’re creating. That is okay and it’s even an inevitable part of the process. Not every single goal you set is going to be met. Try to look at changing goals as a sign of growth instead of failure. This allows more flexibility to adapt to the current moment. And to adapt to other unforeseen factors that either didn’t exist or you didn’t consider when you first set the goal. 

If the goal still does feel on track with your greater vision, then it’s important to stay in a place of possibility with it. Be patient with yourself and trust the process. This is integral to your success sometimes. This is especially true with goals that can feel wildly out of our control, like going viral or having a certain number of positive reviews on your course. If it’s really a goal that feels expansive and in alignment with the larger picture of your business, then stick with it. The only way it won’t work is if you give up. 

Use your unfinished goals to your advantage

Overall, unfinished goals are an invitation to expand your capacity and expertise as a business owner and creator. Your goals are meant to stretch you and bring you to new heights. And that process can be really uncomfortable sometimes. Use these tips to keep your flow going and for those unfinished goals to come to completion. 

Author: Nicole Quintana-Wolf, Nicole is a former public school teacher turned Teacher Wellness Coach and entrepreneur. Catch her on Instagram @wellnesswith_mswolf for live meditations, tips to master your mindset, and more.