New Year Goal Setting & Looking Back

It was the year of Brexit debate,  Prince harry getting engaged and even more Trump (sigh) but what was 2017 to you? How was last year for you?

I think it’s really important to look back and learn from each year, to remember the memories you made and learn from what you enjoyed and perhaps also what didn't go so well, so that you can take those learnings forward as you level up your business.

New Year Goal Setting for your Side-Hustle, Reviewing the year for your side-business, planning for the year ahead | Josephine Brooks

I’ve discovered that planning is kinda my thing. I can happily spend a few hours with some big sheets of paper and some coloured pens planning and goal setting - particularly at this time of year. That's what I've been up to in that funny little gap between Christmas and new year, with the help of this guy...

Black Labrador puppy sat by a log burner

For me, 2017 was all about growth. I took action, learned from trial and error and narrowed my focus on what I most enjoyed doing.

From taking action by selling my handmade home decor online, going to markets, working with suppliers, planning for growth and studying the results - I learned a lot about myself. And, in fact this very exercise of looking back over the last year, drawing up charts, looking at trends and sketching out new ideas has reminded me about how much I enjoy analysing, planning and organising.

If I'm honest, this is where my strengths lie, this is what I'm excited about and (as geeky as it might sound) it's what I'm obsessed with.

It something I'm going to spend a little more time thinking about and digging into. I feel like there's a little voice in the back of my head that's growing louder and telling me 'this is your special sauce, this is the magic you bring to the table, this is where your real passion lies'. 

Roaring fire and planning - doing my end of year review and reviewing my business before making a plan for the new year

Where do you stand on new year's resolutions? I’m not such a fan anymore, I used to always set ridiculous resolutions that lasted all of 2-3 weeks, most never made it out of January alive. 

Over the course of growing my home decor business I’ve found better ways for me to plan in my business. The big game changer has been planning in quarterly chunks, rather than planning for the year. A whole year feels really overwhelming and I tend to get to April and find myself way off course with my plan. I think that’s because you just can’t predict what opportunities and curveballs are going to get thrown at you over that sort of time scale.

To kick off this year I’ve set myself three focus areas to help me get closer to that slower, more meaningful lifestyle I’m longing for. Plus, I’m really excited about what lays ahead after I’ve experienced this sort of a-ha moment. Setting goals you're excited about is definitely a big factor in actually making things happen, i’ve discovered this over the last few years of side-hustling and finding ways to grow my business, so making sure i’m excited about my goals for the first quarter of 2018 has been a big focus.

Here are my Q1 goals for 2018:

  1. Dig deeper into the planning epiphany I've had during my annual review.

  2. Carve out more time to spend with loved ones and friends, because it's oh so easy to get stuck with your head down in your work when you're obsessed with what you're doing.

  3. Make time to get outdoors more and improve my photography - it turns out that pottering and recharging are important things to do, especially if you're an introvert like me.

So there's mine. What will your three new year's goals be?

If you’re struggling to figure out what to focus on this year or perhaps if you’ve got too many projects and not enough time to do them all, here are a few pointers on getting clear on where you’re going to focus in your business.

Cast your mind back to last year

When you have a spare 10 minutes with a cup of tea and a blank notebook cast you mind back to last year and have a think about what you achieved, you'll be surprised at how much you did over the course of the year. List it all out so that you can really appreciate how much you did and what experiences you learned from. If you're struggling to think back, have a scroll through your Instagram feed which, it turns out, is a pretty good reminder of what you got up to over the last year.

Make a note of the achievements and experiences you really enjoyed or that felt easy because you were working to your strengths, how can you get more of that feeling into your work moving forwards?

Think about what you learned

What did you struggle with last year? What challenges did you overcome. Have a think about the struggles you worked through last year with your side-hustle and ask yourself what you learned from those experiences. Is it the way you like to work? Is it that you like a particular type of work? Is it that you need a routine? Summarise those learnings and think about how you can take the next step forward on those learnings over the next few months.

Prioritise your projects

Write out a list of what projects you’d like to work on over the next 3 months to a year. What projects have you been putting off, what do you dream of doing this year? Whether it’s relaunching your website or creating a routine that helps you make more time for your side-hustle and start by setting some goals for the new year you're really excited about.


If you want more from me on side-hustling and making the lifestyle you long for a reality, make sure you’re signed up to my fortnightly side-hustle letters. You’ll also get access to my free resource library, packed with eBooks, workbooks and templates to help you level up your side-business.

Goal Setting in your side-hustle for the new year, Setting new year goals for creative business, How to set goals for handmade business | Josephine Brooks