Happy New Year!
Oh my goodness. I don’t know about you but I’m so excited and feeling all the good vibes for 2022. Let’s reflect on your business and life in 2021, and then talk about your goals for 2022.
When I think back to 2021, these are my thoughts: Honestly, 2021 was a very difficult year for me emotionally. There were many external circumstances and practical constraints in my personal life and career that created new challenges for me in 2021.
I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, but 2021 was hard, especially the last 4 or 5 months. But here’s one thing I realized, even though life was hard. The business felt simple, effortless and immensely fulfilling.
I felt like I had full control and agency over. I realized I knew how to create results in my business, and how to manage my thoughts and brain so I can continue creating and repeating those results. This is why 2021 was our first six figure year ever! We created nearly 104,000 USD in sales this year.
Let’s break down this conversation into the following parts:
1) First, we will talk about reviewing and reflecting on your 2021. Who did you become? What results did you create? How did you do that? Where could you improve on?
2) Creating your vision for 2022. What are your goals for 2022, and are you setting goals that are actually helpful for you and your business?
3) Finally, releasing expectations in relation to your goals, and operating from the energy that is most conducive to you creating amazingness and the vibes you want in 2022.
When it comes to reflecting on my year (or month or week or any other arbitrary time frame), these are the two key questions I ask myself, and I’ll also share with you some of the responses to each of them:
1) What worked really well?
2) What did not work?
I’m gonna define “working well” as things that helped me create sales calls/bookings and sign clients.
The things that worked well include:
That’s just the action or strategy side of things.
On the other hand, when it comes to the mindset, thought work and identity, some of the thoughts or beliefs that helped facilitate the actions and strategies include:
The reason why I have a list of thoughts that I will choose to think about, no matter what, is because it is similar to an action plan, which is doing the things you say you’ll do in order to help you create the results you want.
It’s equally, if not more important, to have thoughts that you will commit to thinking even when things feel hard and you want to default to self doubt, perfectionism or comparisons. Or even default to thinking that things aren’t working and that you won’t sign clients. These are thoughts that helped me feel confident and kept me going even when things felt hard.
Then, I look at my year from the opposite angle and ask myself, “What didn’t work? What action items or strategies did not feel aligned with me or did not yield the results that I wanted? Why is that the case?”.
For example, I found that my audience did not enjoy guest interviews on the podcast as much as the solo episodes. I’ve had conversations with several clients and audience members, most of whom share that unless the title of the guest interview episode was really intriguing, they were more likely to skip that episode. The analytics of the podcast reflect this too.
As I’m thinking about the podcast, some things I can learn from this are:
1) It may make more sense for me to prioritize solo episodes instead of guest interviews, especially if my own business priority is to grow the business.
2) If I believe that a guest can add value to our show, I need to be super intentional about how I position the episode. How can I create a more interesting and compelling episode title? How can I hype up the episode more? How can I encourage the guest to promote the show more?
3) I learned that guests naturally don’t feel inclined to promote the show more than once. So after their episode is published and they promote it then, the guest will rarely ever promote their episode again after that release date.
Which makes sense, because I, as the podcast host, did not create a culture among my guests that incentivizes them to keep sharing their own episode with their audience.
Likewise, I do the exact same thing with my solo episode. I literally only talk about the episode once every week, on Tuesday morning, when the episode is first released, and then I’ll never share about it again. As you can see, from one result alone, I could already pinpoint several lessons and takeaways.
It’s important to acknowledge the unhelpful thoughts because it lets you see where you’re spending so much energy in doubt, which then leads you to create even more doubt and to take action from that doubtful energy.
With this awareness, you can start to be intentional about looking for evidence of success and creating more success. You get to decide what you think, what energy you want to operate from and hence what results you want to create.
I know that a thought that was not helpful was comparing my results with other business coaches who seemingly got quicker results than me. When I saw business coaches creating 100k in 2021 quicker than I did, my immediate default was to think that I’m not a good business coach.
That thought was not helpful at all.
I had to be extremely aware whenever this thought creeps up, even if it’s remotely in the back of my mind, and then make efforts to self coach on it in order to stay focused on creating quality content and coaching for my audience and clients.
The more I feel shame about myself as a coach, that’s not going to help me create incredible content or coach my clients. That’s why I need to take responsibility to continue self-coaching and getting coached over and over again on my thoughts, so it doesn’t contaminate the quality of my actions and how I show up and serve my people.
After I look at what worked and what didn’t work, I can then make an informed and empowered decision on what are my goals for 2022.
Because now I have taken the time, clearly and calmly,, from the right energy, to look at the ‘data’. Now I can make decisions from this data instead of blindly setting goals that’s based on ego or emotion.
Before we jump to talking about goals for 2022, I also want to talk about being mind blown at who you’ve become in 2021. Really relishing in what you’ve created, the hard stuff you’ve navigated, and who you’ve become in just the span of one year.
I’m immensely grateful for who I’ve become in 2021. It was not an easy year for me, especially in my personal life and career, yet I do not feel dissatisfied by any part of my 2021.
Even in those areas of my life that felt completely out of my control or did not turn out the way I expected. Even when things were hard and currently still feel hard, I’m still grateful for everything that happened, every result I created and every decision I made. I’m grateful for the actions I took and the thoughts I committed to thinking, in all areas of my life.
I’m grateful that despite this being the hardest year in my relationship thus far with my boyfriend, now fiancé. For those who may not know, he proposed to me in mid-December, which is super funny because we actually decided to get married and started wedding preparations in October. Like, everything is already planned and good to go, before the proposal.
Despite this being a really, really difficult year for the relationship, I’m just grateful we made it. Sure, I guess you can say that being separated for 19 months made the relationship stronger, but I’m just grateful. I’m literally damn grateful for my 2021, in every area of my life, no matter how difficult it felt during the year. Incredibly grateful.
Feeling grateful is a super important part of reflecting on your 2021. Because it helps you operate from more of an abundant headspace rather than lack.
If I continued to think that this year was hard. Next year will probably be even worse. But I guess I’ll try my best to crush it. Like. That just doesn’t set you up to think quality thoughts and take quality action.
But if you literally drown yourself in gratitude, it really shifts your perspective. You start to acknowledge how far you’ve come. Because let’s be honest. That version of you on January 1, 2021? They’d be amazed and speechless at who you’ve become by December 31, 2021.
If you keep on looking down on your results for 2021, that version of you on January 1 2021 would be so sad. That version of you 12 months ago would kill to become you today, 12 months later. It’s really important for us to acknowledge that and fully recognize that we’re a completely different person from 12 months ago. We did that. You did that.
The energy behind picking a goal is really important. Because what I see happen is that when you pick a goal out of ego or in the high of the moment, the goal may make you feel hyped for the first few days but then it starts to overwhelm and stress you out.
My take on goal setting is to pick a goal that doesn’t overwhelm you or make you question whether you can hit it or not.
Don’t pick something just because other people on Instagram are talking about it. Don’t set goals just because you think that’s the benchmark or standard you’re supposed to be striving for.
Rather, pick a goal that makes you feel both excited and also calm and confident and focused.
From the results I created in 2021, I decided on several 2022 goals that feel easy, doable, or repeatable.
First, I want to repeat my 100k goal.
Meaning, I’d like to create 100k or more in 2022. Given that I have several major uncertainties in my personal life and career, which I’m still currently making decisions about, I don’t want to increase my goal too much from 2021.
With so many things happening outside of my business, I don’t know if I have the energy or time or even emotional capacity to set a 150k or 200k goal.
I’m actually really happy to set a 125k goal for the year. Who knows, maybe I’ll blow that goal out of the water. But right now, for my own energetic capacity, I know that I’m in a position where it feels better to set a lower, and achievable goal, rather than letting my ego get in the way and say double the goal or something.
Another goal I set for 2022 is to become a coach who consistently coaches my clients to create quality and consistent results.
In 2021, I was amazed at the results my clients created. From their first 5k+ month to doubling the investment of our program to signing their first high ticket clients ever, all the way to landing speaking gigs and corporate opportunities.
On top of that, I can confidently say that all of my clients walk away from our programs feeling like a genuinely happier person with a better life.
Many of them work at a 9-5 , are navigating major life events like family issues, career pivots, break ups, and all the ups and downs that come with being a human being on earth. No matter what their life looks like, they are still committed to creating results in their life and business.
When I looked back at how I coached my clients to create results, I realized that this is definitely a goal for me in 2022. To do even better.
I see it as my responsibility as a coach to always improve my skills as a coach. This year, I’m going to make decisions that will push me to step up as a coach.
For example, I’m going to make “thinking time” a weekly thing. I will take time every week to reflect and analyze coaching calls and session notes, and to think about what is currently keeping my clients stuck, and how I can coach them through it next week.
Also, I decided that for most of 2022, we are going to only enroll 1:1 clients because I see that inside a 1:1 container, we can go deeper with the client on all areas of their life, beyond just the business strategy and mindset.
My intention is to milk these opportunities to work with 1:1 clients so I can challenge myself as a coach and coach my clients hard. And simultaneously, take those skills into my group coaching program and coach my group program clients the same way I would with 1:1 clients.
But the reason I have decided that after the March 2022 group program is closed for enrollment and we won’t open up another round till maybe September 2022.
The reason I decided that is because I believe that 1:1 coaching is the best way to grow as a coach. Because you have more opportunity and space to coach on a variety of topics and thoughts , beyond just the business strategy and mindset.
That stuff is important, but inside my programs, we go beyond that and coach holistically so you can walk away as a completely different person with a firm sense of who you are and you have a strong grasp on your identity as both an entrepreneur and person.
I want to go deep with my 1:1 clients and take this as an opportunity to become the best coach possible for the client. Then simultaneously, as I work with 1:1 clients, I will apply the same coaching skills when I coach my group program clients so that the quality of my coaching is consistent for every client, irrespective of whether they’re in the 1:1 or in the group program
Finally, another goal I have is to get the podcast out to more new listeners and to increase my webinar signups for the Cheryl Theory webinar, both of which I know are my best work and are of incredible value to people.
After I know what my few key goals for the year are, I will create my action plan and belief plan that I will commit to in order to make those goals happen.
For example, for increasing the podcast listenership goal, my super simple action plan looks like:
1) Creating a schedule for me to work on the podcast every week. I feel like we did really well this year in terms of being able to create weekly episodes. We only missed two episodes this year, because I intentionally wanted to rest.
But let’s be honest. I literally feel like I’m scrambling every weekend to write my podcast script and then record it, and send it to my podcast editor on Sunday, who may or may not feel rushed because the episode is supposed to come out Tuesday morning.
I will create a schedule or be more intentional with my time so I can feel less rushed during the podcast creation process.
2) I will talk about the podcast more. Like, literally. I will share it more on Instagram stories, and feed posts. I’ll share it on my personal Instagram or Facebook accounts which honestly i don’t use but hey, Im gonna talk about my podcast moving forward.
I’ll share it on LinkedIn too. Those are the only social media platforms I’m on, so I’ll start there. Oh, and Twitter. While I’m not going to create content for those platforms, I do want to repurpose graphics or copy and paste captions that allows me to easily share the podcast.
3) Create a culture among any future guests on the show to talk about the show more. It’s not the guest’s fault for not talking about their interview much. Because I did not lead by example. So yes, another area of improvement for me
4) More creative ways to promote the show more. This is different from talking about the podcast more, because that literally just means increasing the frequency of the number of times I talk about the podcast.
Here, I want to have more fun and be more creative in terms of talking about the podcast.
For example, can I do more video content? Can I record a 60 second clip of me reading the episode script? Maybe I can record the entire video of me while recording the audio version of the episode and post the video on YouTube? Make some super fun social media graphics? Make stickers specifically for the podcast? So much to explore and so much fun stuff ahead!
Some beliefs I will commit to thinking include:
This is the example of my action plan and belief plan for one of my 2022 goals.
The last thing I want to add here is that when I look at my analytics for the podcast, I can see that there is a gradual increase in monthly podcast downloads month after month.
In January 2021, we had 510 downloads. Our highest month was November, which was 1333.
There was a more or less upwards growth trend from the start to end of the year. Even though I don’t really think I want or need to set a specific numeric goal for the goal of growing the podcast, I do know that I will still look at my analytics every now and then to gauge what are content topics that generally seem to interest you all more.
But at the same time, I also trust that if there’s a topic that I know people need to hear, even if I think that the episode may not get as many downloads as a more popular topic, I will still go ahead with the not as sexy topic because I know that the right people will need to listen to that episode.
I want to encourage all of us to operate from a place of service and doing things we believe in, rather than from a need to be validated by our audience or social media metrics.
I hope that this can give you some new perspective or ideas on what goals you may want to set in 2022.
Specifically, I’d love to encourage you to set goals that you believe in and allow you to take the highest quality action and to think the highest quality thoughts, rather than operating from a place of ego, comparison or self doubt, which can then affect your capacity to show.
Here’s what I see happen often at the end of the year or at the start of a new year.
“I only did this in 2021”
“I should have gotten this result.”
Here’s what I want to say about thoughts like this.
So you’ve created a specific result. Why do you have to talk about it in such a belittling way?
Okay, you said you should have done this by now. Why are you entitled to that result? Why did you say you should have made this happen?
The reason why these thoughts tend to come up for a lot of coaches and entrepreneurs is because they start to question if they’re doing something wrong. Or if they’re not doing enough. They start thinking that they don’t want to do it incorrectly because then it’ll take longer than it should
But the thing is, why does it matter how long it takes? Sure, you may say that you don’t want to invest time and money but not see a return. You may also say that you want to know whether you’re doing things right or wrong.
The question then becomes: how would you even know what is right or wrong? Like, how would you ever truly know?
Because buying another course or investing in another coach isn’t going to give you that answer.
If you’re spending so much time questioning what you’re doing and operating from doubt, that’s going to heavily influence the results you create.
For example, the more you’re doubting your Instagram content, the more you’re going to either half ass your content or show up with little confidence, or not post anything at all.
On the other hand, if you’re choosing to think a different thought, such as: I truly believe that my message can help someone, that allows you to show up with that confidence, firmness and deep belief in your content.
People need you to lead by example. It’s not your audience’s fault for not seeing value in your content if you don’t even think that your content is valuable.
Also, by changing the thoughts you’re telling yourself, then you’re in a much better position to ask better questions such as “How can I show up even more to repeat the same message over and over again and therefore help my audience be more aware of this message?”
“How can I take responsibility for being an example of my own message? Being a product of my own product?”
“Where can I ask for help? What thoughts do I need to let go of?”
It really comes down to how much time are you spending thinking that results should have happened by now but because it hasn’t, you must be doing something wrong or that people don’t like you or don’t see value in working with you. Versus choosing to think different thoughts and therefore spend more time in exploration, possibility, creativity, commitment and service.
Just because you’re doing the “right” things or the “right” strategy, does not mean you’ll see results.
And that really goes back to, are you 100% committed to not giving up and staying committed to helping people?
Because if not, it’ll be hard to keep going in your business. You can’t make money and help people if you’re not even telling people how you can help them or if you’re showing up half heartedly. People need you to lead by example.
When it comes to releasing expectations, it’s not that I’m saying you won’t hit your goals. Because I’m pretty damn confident in your ability to make incredible things happen in your business.
However, I’m talking about releasing expectations so that you can operate from the cleanest, most energized state of mind and therefore think with a clear mind and take focused, committed and relentless action.
If we’re over here thinking that if we do ABC then we need to make XYZ happen by [insert arbitrary date or timeline].
Expectations simply don’t serve our businesses and it definitely does not serve your audience or clients when you’re showing up expecting someone to join your program just because you made an offer.
If that’s what’s going on internally inside your mind, how do you think that’s reflected externally in the way you show up? Do you even like how that feels?
Are you really operating from a place of service and wanting to help people if you’re constantly thinking that you need to say this because if you say that, then someone should DM you about your program.
Results can happen. 100% you can create amazing results in your business and life.
Sometimes, it can happen really quickly. Sometimes, it may take longer than you want.
Either way, are you committed to showing up for as long as it takes? Are you in this for the long term? Are you going to continue operating from a place of service, even if there’s no external validation or immediate return right now?
You are already of value as a coach, entrepreneur, content creator, and all other hats you wear in your business.
You are already of value as a person. Stay grounded in who you are and the unique value and perspectives you bring to this world.
You don’t need to hit your goals in order to feel like you’ve made it as an entrepreneur. You don’t need any income goal to make you feel validated.
Be proud of who you’ve become in 2021 and be proud of being someone who shows up for yourself. Be proud of being someone who stays committed to helping people and sharing your message. Someone who operates according to your message and core values.
Step into the identity of someone who creates massive results in their life and business. Commit to your action plan and belief plan.
Always be in awe at who you’ve become and stay in gratitude for what you have created.
And at the same time, create massive results and blow your own mind.
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