Craft a business you love. Defeat Overwhelm. Get the free e-course:

productivity

215: Goals vs Systems: How to reach your 2018 goal

There’s a big difference between setting your business goals, and achieving your goals. Learn the difference between goals and system and how to achieve your 2018 goals at TaraSwiger.com/podcast215

Play

You need a goal. And a system.

What if you don't need a goal to do what you need to do? Let's talk about what a goal is good at, and not good at, and get you ready for the rest of the year!

Welcome to the second half of 2018. This is the perfect time to look at the goals you set in January and be real with yourself. Are you truly working on them? Have you made progress? What do you need in order to work on them?

Today we're going to talk about what to do AFTER you set a goal…and we're going talk about some advanced-level stuff – maybe you don't need a goal at all.

A few weeks ago a Starship Captain said, “You know, I can't really think of a goal. I feel like my business is going in the right direction, if I just keep doing the work I know to do.”

YES! That is what it's all about!

See, a goal is not the POINT, a goal is just a tool to help you get what you want.

A goal should:

  • Inspire you to kickstart work you haven't done before (or get more consistent with the work)
  • Clarify the direction you want to go, so all your actions can line up to what you actually want
  • Make it obvious what you need to do and what you need to commit to, to make it happen.

This is why not reaching your goal is sometimes just as productive as reaching it. You can learn from a goal you don't reach. Maybe you learned that your timeline or expectations were wrong. Maybe you learn you don't actually want that goal. Maybe you learn you need a different business model, or you need to work on totally different projects.

The GOAL of a goal is to bring you that clarity, to help you learn the lessons in your business.

I wrote a whole book about, and lead people through the process, of setting a goal and breaking it down into a plan because I've found that having a set goal, and then working towards it, is the fastest way to learn from your business.

Setting a goal AND creating the plan makes you:

  • Get specific about what you need to do
  • Organize your time so you can do the stuff
  • Try stuff you might otherwise put off
  • Create systems so you can be consistent in all aspects: making, marketing, photography, shipping, etc

For MANY of the makers and artists and essential oil educators that I work with, setting a goal and then breaking it down into a doable plan is the first time they've gotten serious about their business. It's the first time they've really looked at what they even want, and what they're willing to do to get there.

Without a goal it's easy to just keep reading articles, researching, wondering why people aren't buying, and then go read another article. With a goal, you have to take action (or you realize you haven't been taking action!).

And here's the cool thing about all this – after a goal gets you taking action, getting organized, creating systems for getting things done…you don't always need a goal to keep going.

In fact, the system itself can keep you reaching your next goals.

In his book How to Fail at Anything, Scott Adams, writes that systems are better than goals. Systems of action, applied overtime, bring about better results that one of goals. When you don't reach a goal, you feel bummed, but when you're working a system – every day that you do the work, you can feel great and accomplished.

What's a system?

Posting on Instagram is a system. My podcast, with it's transcript and free downloads and blog posts and youtube videos and audio version on iTunes – that is a system. I don't have a goal to put out a podcast, I have a system that gets it out consistently

Now, I disagree with Scott, because I think he doesn't address a major issue in accomplishing anything – activation energy. Activation energy is the energy that it takes to START something. What I've found in working with hundreds of women in creating the business they want is that a big, exciting, motivating goal can help you over the hump of activation energy. It can inspire you to spend that energy and move forward powerfully and quickly. A system isn't that inspiring 🙂

But after you're over the activation energy, a system is what you need in order to keep moving forward. A system about when you work, what you work on, how things get done.

Today I'd like you to look at where you wanna go in your business and your goals for the rest of the year – where would a system help make it easier?

I made a worksheet last year about staying consistent that will help you spot these places for systems. You can get that worksheet  here:

Wanna get more consistent?

Enter your email and I'll send you a FREE workbook to develop your own consistency habit (and challenge).

    I want to…

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Powered By ConvertKit

     

     

    How to listen

    • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
    • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
    • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

    Find all the podcast episodes here.

    208: How to get stuff done when you don’t want to

    As creative business owners we know that our best work comes from when we’re most enthusiastic about our work. But that doesn’t mean we can sit around and wait for enthusiasm to strike. Learn how to get things done in your biz even when you don’t feel like it at TaraSwiger.com/podcast208

    Play

    This week I'm going to talk about something I haven't figured out yet. I'm still working on it, and I know we ALL go through it. How do you get stuff done when you really don't feel it and when you know your best work comes from your enthusiasm?

    Links I mentioned:

    How to listen

    • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
    • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
    • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

    Find all the podcast episodes here.

    184: Sane Holidays: 3 questions for the busy creative

    The winter holiday season can be the busiest and MOST profitable time of the year in your creative biz. But it can also be the most overwhelming, and least enjoyable time of the year. Learn how to have a busy, profitable, enjoyable, and sane holiday season at: TaraSwiger.com/podcast184

    Play

    Welcome to your busiest, and potentially your most profitable time of year! And…also potentially the LEAST sane time of year. If you are dreading the holiday season and busyness and scramble, I wanna help you get you ready to have a killer season and fantastic good time.

    As we leap into Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas, I hope this collection saves a bit of your own sanity.

    On CraftyPod:

    On Karina Dressess:

    I gather all my favorite sanity-saving posts on this Pinterest board (new articles are added all the time!).

    Don’t forget to sign up below to get access to Holiday Sanity Guide in the Black Friday Bundle!

    How to listen

    • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
    • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
    • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

    Find all the podcast episodes here.

    How to get back to work after a break

    Now, I’m just back from time offline, and I’m following it up with family visits and the holidays, and it’s hard to get back to work, you know? I’ve found it’s very easy to slip back into just doing the daily grind, doing exactly what I was doing before… but motivation is a bit harder to replace. So how do you get back to work after taking time off? Listen to my tips at TaraSwiger.com/podcast135/

    Play

    The Starship, my online community for makers and artists who want to become their own business expert, is open right now. It has access to all of my classes, a 24/7 forum where you can ask your questions, a weekly live chat where we hold you gently accountable and give you immediate feedback, and an Accountability Partner Program, where you can be matched up with an accountability partner. Check it out here: https://taraswiger.com/starshipbiz

    Now, I’m just back from time offline, and I’m following it up with family visits and the holidays, and it’s hard to get back to work, you know?

    I’ve found it’s very easy to slip back into just doing the daily grind, doing exactly what I was doing before… but motivation is a bit harder to replace.

    So how do you get back to work after taking time off?

    Links mentioned in this episode:

    How to listen

    • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
    • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
    • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

    Find all the podcast episodes here.

    How YOU Get Stuff Done

    How do you actually get done the things you need to do for your business? Are you more likely to do something if you "owe" it to someone else, or if it's something you personally want to do? Or, maybe, do you rebel against the idea of a To Do list altogether? Learn more about your own tendency and how you can use it to get more done - including a FREE resource guide! - at TaraSwiger.com/podcast122/

    Play

    Get more goodness and support the podcast: http://patreon.com/taraswiger

    How do you actually DO what you want to do in your business?

    Do you need to understand WHY you're doing it?

    Do you need to be held accountable?

    Or do you rebel against anyone telling you to do anything (even when you really want to do it)?

    This question fascinates me, because it's at the heart of why some people build their business quickly and others struggle along without ever taking much action. This has been such a popular topic that I thought we'd revisit it this week for the podcast. Make sure you read to the bottom in order to get your FREE guide to getting stuff done for Questioners, Obligers, & Rebels!

    When I talk to makers and artists who are frustrated that their business hasn't grown, it's very rare that they have NO idea what they should do. Instead, it's that they aren't taking the actions they feel they need to take, they aren't doing what they want to do.

    The best explanation I've ever found for WHY some people struggle to get stuff done, is in Gretchen Rubin's book Better Than Before (it's all about habit change, and working on your business really is about habits). She defines the Four Tendencies, as a reason for why some people get stuff done (or change their habits, or work on their biz) and others don't.

    I've talked about this before on the podcast (listen in here), but this comes up so often, I wanted to revisit it.

    According to Gretchen (and backed up by my own experience working with hundreds of makers and artists), we react to expectations (ie, people telling us to do something), in one of four ways. The way you react to expectations tends to be consistent across your life.

    Upholders:

    These people do everything that's expected of them, easily. They both meet external expectations (other people telling you what you should do) and internal expectations (things YOU want to do). I have met very few Upholders, and I think it's because they don't seek out biz support – once they know what to do, they just do it.

    Questioners:

    These people (uh, myself included) don't care to meet external expectations unless they understand WHY. But they have an easy time meeting internal expectations… if those expectations are built on understanding the rationale behind them. In other words, we questioners can do anything if we can turn it from external expectation (you telling me to do something) into an internal expectation (I understand why, and now WANT to do it, because it makes logical sense to me).
    These people need to know WHY they are doing anything in their business (“because experts say so” isn't enough). Because I'm a Questioner, I create all of my classes and books for Questioners – I don't tell you what to do, I tell you why something will benefit your biz, then I give you a bunch of questions related to your business, so you can see how to do it in your OWN way. This is why I've built the Starship experience to start with you getting clear on your goals and your path – so that you decide what you want to learn and what you want to do next, and feel motivated to do the work because you can see how it fits into the bigger picture.(According my unscientific study, about 1/3 of the Starship members are Questioners)

    Obligers:

    These people (maybe you?) have a pretty easy time fulfilling external expectations (if someone asks you to do something, you will), but have a tough time fulfilling internal expectations (say, working on your business, just because you want to). In fact you may fill your days doing things others care about more. So you feel frustrated that you never seem to make the time to work on what matters to YOU. Ugh, this is frustrating.

    The solution?
    Get someone to ask you about what you really care about.
    In other words, externalize those internal expectations.
    You can do this with a group (like the Starship), where you tell us your goal and then check in as you work through it (this is why we have the weekly live check-in and forums) or with a single person (an accountability partner). After learning that about 2/3 of the Starship members were Obligers, I upped our accountability-providing, by creating the Accountability Partner Program – you just fill out a short form, and I match you with a partner. The two of you work together to decide when to check-in and then you simply tell the person: This is what I'm working on, I'm going to be done with it by X date. That, alone, can suddenly make you feel like you “owe” someone and so you work harder on your business!

    Rebels:

    These people tend to feel constrained by any kind of expectation. They tell me (we have a handful in the Starship) that “As soon as I write something down, like a goal or to do list, I suddenly do NOT want to do it.” In fact, creating a schedule or a must-do list is going to ensure that a Rebel never does anything.

    The solution?
    I'll be honest, I have been thinking about this for over a year and quizzing any rebels I meet. Gretchen doesn't offer any solution in her book, and I had a hard time coming up with one. Joeli is a self-described Rebel who has made MASSIVE momentum in the last year of her Starship membership (you can get her full story if you sign up here) and she says what works best is making a big list and then picking, each day, what feels fun (instead of telling yourself you HAVE to do something that day), and setting goals that are more about paying attention and learning, than about measuring. (For example, set a goal of “noticing what already works in my business.”) In other words, for Rebels, taking the pressure OFF is often a good motivator for working harder (but if you already feel bad about how little you get done, this might feel REALLY scary). This is why we focus, in the Starship, on finding what works for YOU and giving yourself permission to not do what other people tell you “have” to do.

    So how do you get stuff done?

    I hope you see that the answer lies not in forcing yourself to work in ONE way, but in finding what works best for you. No one of the above is better than the others (although I think we all secretly wish we could be Upholders!) – the key to productivity is acknowledging your tendency and then setting up your work day and expectations in a way that works for you.

    If you think that more accountability, question-answering and a community of encouragers would help you in your business, check out the Starship – it's opening next week! 

    Sign up below to get a FREE guide to go with this episode!

    How to listen

    • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
    • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
    • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

    Find all the podcast episodes here.

    Feeling unmotivated? Here’s how to Get More Done

    I hear from SO many people that they just don't feel motivated to work on their To Do list - from the daily small tasks to the bigger goal-oriented projects. That's why it's so important to have a system of identifying your goal, breaking it down, and checking off your To Dos. This week we're revisiting a popular podcast from the past, with an all-new transcript and a FREE guide to go with it! In this episode we’ll discuss The principles for Getting More Done How to stay motivated when you don't feel like working The process I use to make progress on my quarterly goals Want to get more done? Get my FREE distraction-free guide to getting more done.Grab it here: TaraSwiger.com/podcast119/

    Play

    Get more goodness and support the podcast: http://patreon.com/taraswiger

    I hear from SO many people that they just don't feel motivated to work on their To Do list – from the daily small tasks to the bigger goal-oriented projects.

    That's why it's so important to have a system of identifying your goal, breaking it down, and checking off your To Dos. This week we're revisiting a popular podcast from the past, with an all-new transcript and a FREE guide to go with it!

    In this episode we’ll discuss

    • The principles for Getting More Done
    • How to stay motivated when you don't feel like working
    • The process I use to make progress on my quarterly goals

     

    Want to get more done? Get my FREE distraction-free guide to getting more done.Grab it here.

    Check out the other posts + podcasts in this series:

    Links Mentioned

    How to listen

    • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
    • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
    • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

    Find all the podcast episodes here.

    An Important Distinction: Tasks vs. Projects

    taskvsproject

    Ever since I started preparing for my class on getting more done, I’ve been obsessed with what holds people back from doing what they want to do, or feeling good about their workday.

    One of the biggest frustrations people have is that they just can't seem to get through their To Do list, no matter how hard they seem to focus.

    After hearing this again and again, and looking close at what they actually PUT on their To Do list, I think I've discovered the problem:

    There is a difference between tasks and projects.

    A BIG DIFFERENCE.

    It’s the difference between you feeling awesome and you feeling awful.

    I go into detail about that distinction in my class, but I want to make sure you *get* it.  No matter what system or process you use, you need to distinguish between a Project and a Task.  

     

    The difference between Tasks and Projects:

    A task is a single thing that you can do in one session. A task might be labeling your products or making a single item.
    A project is bigger and includes multiple tasks. It might be designing and printing new labels, or making enough items for a craft show.
    (Answering a few emails: a task. Getting to Inbox Zero from Inbox Million: a project)

     

    This is where a lot of people get overwhelmed. They try to work on big projects, without breaking them down into tasks. And for some people, this works. They don't have to think through breaking it down, their brain does it automatically. But for many makers and creatives, you can only see the big project and try to tackle it all at once. This is a recipe for overwhelm and feeling bad about your workday.

    The solution: Just recognize the distinction!

    Look at your list right now – is it full of projects?

    Take a minute and break each project into its tasks!

    P.S. If you want to be sure that you're breaking down the most important projects (the ones that will move you towards your bigger goal) into tasks, and that you actually DO all the tasks, check out the Map Making Guide. It walks you through this process, and includes an e-course, so you're prompted to work towards it, a bit at a time, over the course of a week.

    Get More Done: a sneak peak at the CreativeLive class

    getmoredone

    Play

    If you are listening to this episode as it’s released, on August 19th 2015 – first of all, thank you! You’re awesome. Secondly, if it’s between 9am and 4pm PST, go to CreativeLIVE.com right now and click “watch live!” and you’ll be able to watch me teach! Live!

    If you’re not listening RIGHT at that moment, I wanted to give you a sneak peek at what I’m teaching, so that you can start to have a more productive day RIGHT NOW. If you like what you hear, you can purchase the class here and get anytime access to over 5 hours of videos, the full 20+ page workbook, and a discount to Lift Off!

    Imagine that it’s the end of your workday. You close your computer, walk away from your sewing machine, put away your supplies. You take a moment to look back at what you just got done. Instead of feeling frustration, or that it’s never enough, you feel calm. You feel GOOD. You’re proud of what you got done, and you know that it matters – that it is moving you, bit by bit, towards your goal.

    That is what I want for you, and that is the aim of this class. So that soon, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, you’ll get done working, and you’ll feel GOOD.

    In this episode I share the Three Keys to Getting More Done. 

     

    How to listen

    Find all the podcast episodes here.

    FOCUS: How to get it and keep it

    Focus

    Play

    Distracted by the internet? Find it impossible to focus? You are not alone.

    Today I share 3 of my best tips to get focused on your work, avoid distractions, and keep your focus until you get a project done. This is vital for productivity and making progress in your business and so many of us struggle with it. If you'd like to learn more about getting stuff done, join my upcoming class with CreativeLIVE. It's totally free to watch live on August 19th, and you can sign up for reminders (and get a cool Holiday Sales Forecasting Calculator) here.

     

    How to listen

    Find all the podcast episodes here.

     

    How to get stuff done – part 2

    How to get stuff done part 2

    Play

    How do you actually get your list of things done?  It’s a balance of knowing what to do and finding the time to do it. This is the third piece of the How to Get Stuff Done series. Find Part 1 here and How I Get Stuff Done here. In this episode, we'll discuss how to find and implement a system and routine that will work for you.

    We cover: 

    • The two different kinds of “working time” you need to plan for.
    • My favorite tool for improving focus.
    • How to make each working session productive and efficient.

    Want guidance and worksheets so that you'll finally actually make a system that works for you? Join us for Wrangle Your Time, where you'll learn how to put together a system that works for you.

    Resources mentioned

    How to listen

    • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
    • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
    • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

    Find all the podcast episodes here.

     

     

    1 2