Virtual Assistant and Goal Setting In 2020 Pt. 1

It’s January 2020 and many of us, no matter what business you’re in, have been thinking about our new goals for several months. This year we didn’t just end another year we began a new decade. Not to mention there is a lot that goes into goal setting – if achieving goals was easy there would be no thrill of victory when we do hit our goals. 

In the Association of Virtual Assistant’s latest blog series and the first of the new year and decade, we’ve devoted it to goal setting and our member training will be centered around the subject as well. Whether you have already set your goals for 2020, are still working to prioritize your goals, or you’ve already been offered an opportunity that is reshaping your goals, the first place we like to start is with your mindset. Of course, we are hired as virtual assistants to make our client’s goals a reality as well. We’ll be covering client goals in this series too!

Mindset is powerful to not only achieve but set your goals. The mindset you take on when goal setting often comes from two places – the place you don’t ever want to be again or the place you want to be. In both of these scenarios, you are not still. You are either running away from something or chasing something. However, if we actually want to start in a place of stillness.  

In Ryan Holiday’s New York Times bestselling book, Stillness is Key, he shares “why slowing down is the secret weapon for those charging ahead.” You can reflect on both the past and the dream and create a vision of the future in stillness. Reflecting and/or pressing ahead while in movement does not create the right mindset for goal setting. 

If you are running away from the “bad” things of the past it can be hard to learn from them or appreciate how much stronger and wiser you are now. Nor do we ever know what will come from the experience. Chasing often leads to unrealistic goals and expectations and then feeling like a failure if and when the goal is not reached. This kind of practice puts you on the hamster wheel of excitement versus expectation. 

While there is no one right way to set goals, the biggest trap in goal setting is not having the right mindset. You either set goals that don’t serve you, aren’t realistic, or were simply created to meet the expectations of others. It’s important to know this so you can best serve your business and your clients. It is very likely you will consult with your client after they’ve had their goal-setting session. You might have to be the person who has to provide a reality check. 

Debbi Sherman of Marketing Design Strategy, had some great insights to share with us. 

Q. Share any mindset techniques to not only achieve but set your goals.

  1. “Never give up and never be afraid to fail.”

I love this mindset because you and your clients will have to get to a point in business when you keep pressing forward even after failure. Fighting back feelings of failure after a single attempt is one thing. Facing regret and wondering what might have been from never trying is far more damaging. 

Q. What kind of mindset are you looking for in your clients when you work with them to set and achieve their goals? 

  1. “Positive and open outlook – not set in a ‘must do it this way for it to work’ mindset.”

Speaking with clients year after year about what they are looking for in a virtual assistant, I often hear they want a VA who doesn’t know the phrase “I can’t”. It’s nice to see that Debbi is looking for clients who share a similar mindset to try new things and not be set in their ways. Ways that may no longer be successful.

Q. Share your best practices around the work you do before you sit down to set your goals.

  1. I like to mull things over before committing to an action plan. I find that letting ideas grow works best. Nothing inspirational can be forced.

Debbi shares a great deal of wisdom here and there are many innovative thinkers who are now using the idea garden technique to let their ideas grow and mature before taking them to market. It’s important to note that the larger the goal the longer it can naturally take to achieve the goal. Don’t get sucked into the mindset that setting your 2020 goals also means that they must be achieved in 2020. The goal this year could simply to complete a portion of a goal that will be realized in another year. 

Q. What tips and best practices do you implement with your clients before you work with them to begin to set their goals?

  1. Organization is key. Set down your ideas and goals on paper – if you can’t articulate your goals it’s going to be very hard to reach them.

I think we’ve also seen goals and paper but they are not articulated. It’s like a pie in the sky wish because not only is not articulated there are no actionable steps that go along with them. In fact, you and your client could seemingly be working towards the same unarticulated goal and end up in very different places. Of course, this does not bode well for the VA. If your client’s goal is not at a point where it can be easily explained perhaps it is time to plant it into the idea garden to grow. 

The Association of Virtual Assistants invites you to join the conversation in our private Slack community to give and get support, and make 2020 your best year yet!