New year, new goals: how to set goals for your translation business (and actually stick to them!)
New year’s resolutions are out, new year’s goals are in.
Don’t look at us like that - we know you’ve never stuck to your resolutions anyway.
Rather than making vague resolutions that you mean at the time but never last into February, it’s time to set yourself some concrete goals for your business.
Because only by figuring out where you want to be by the end of 2022 can you map out exactly how you’re going to get there.
Without that map, you’re more than likely to get lost along the way.
But how can you set the right goals for you? And how can you make sure you actually reach them?
Well, the first step is to look back at 2021 and see what went right, and what could’ve gone better.
2021 in review
December is often such a busy time that it can be hard to find a chance to look back on your year in business.
But just because we’re into 2022 doesn’t mean it’s too late to look back on 2021.
If you haven’t reviewed last year yet, then set aside some time to do just that.
Think about what went well and everything you achieved. Give yourself the credit you deserve and don’t do yourself wrong by undervaluing your achievements.
Think about the seemingly small but actually significant changes - not just the big stuff.
Think about what you did in terms of CPD, and what you learned over the course of the year.
Think about your self-care. Did you take enough time off? Did you burn out at any point? Did you prioritise your physical and mental health?
Is the way you’re currently running your business really working for you? Are you doing things on your own terms, or spending too much time worrying about all the things you ‘should’ be doing?
Take some time to look at each of your clients - preferably with the help of all the handy reports you’ll find on LSP.expert.
Look at how profitable working with each of your clients is, and think about whether you genuinely enjoy working with them, and why that is.
We could write a whole other post about how to do an in-depth end-of-year review!
But even just taking half an hour to honestly reflect on the year just gone will be a huge help when it comes to setting goals for 2022.
Where do you want to be at the end of 2022?
Now you’ve taken the time to look back, it’s time to look forward.
Where would you like to be in a year?
What would you like to have achieved by the end of 2022?
You know that famous quote by Bill Gates?
Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.
Bear that in mind whilst you’re thinking about this one.
It’s all about hitting the right balance between not overestimating what you can do (because you’ll only end up frustrated and disappointed) and not underestimating what you can do (because if you don’t feel challenged, you can end up losing your motivation).
Think about where you want to be with your business, and in your personal life too. After all, as a freelancer, the two are intrinsically interlinked.
What would you like to have learned? What changes would you like to have made?
Once you know where you want to be, you can set relevant goals for the year ahead.
Three or four key, overarching goals is a good number to aim for.
Break your goals down into bite-size chunks
Setting goals for the whole year ahead is great - but it’s not enough. Because a year feels like (and is!) a really long time.
If you just decide you want to get something done before 2023 rolls around, you’ll feel like you’ve got loads of time to play with.
You’ll probably keep putting it off and putting it off, and never actually make it happen.
So, you need to break your goals down into smaller chunks.
Take each of your goals and reverse engineer them - figuring out what you need to achieve in each quarter of the year to have got where you want to be by next December.
You can then break Q1 down even further, setting yourself objectives for each of the first three months of the year.
Having concrete monthly goals will motivate you to keep making progress month in, month out.
Who knows - by taking small steps every month you might even end up achieving more than you think in 2022.
Check in with your goals regularly
You’ve set your goals and you’ve broken them down.
Now it’s time to take baby steps towards them every day - and take them into account whenever you make a business decision.
Everything down to what to post on social media should be guided by your goals.
And every now and then - whether that’s weekly, fortnightly or monthly - take some time to reflect on the progress you’ve made, give yourself a pat on the back for it and make a plan for the month to come.
Remember: Your goals aren’t set in stone.
A year is a long time, life is unpredictable, and goals you set now might seem irrelevant by the summer.
If a goal no longer feels relevant or your priorities change, then say goodbye to it and set a new one. You don’t have to wait until 2023!
How LSP.expert can help
LSP.expert is designed to help you stay organised, plan your time well and track your progress.
It’s an all-in-one tool created for translators by translators. We want you to dream big for your business and set goals that will help you succeed on your own terms.
So we’ve included all kinds of easy-to-interpret reports that will give you an overview of how your business is faring from month to month, at a glance.
Use them to look back over each month and quarter of the year, see exactly how you’re spending your time and identify your most profitable services and clients.
Having everything in front of you in black and white makes it far easier to assess your progress.
If you haven’t tried LSP.expert yet, then now’s the perfect time.
Take advantage of our 30-day free trial and see for yourself how it could help you achieve your goals in 2022.