At the end of last year I wrote an article about setting goals for your business.
I was a good girl and worked my way through my goal setting workbook and set some nice stretching targets for myself. And for 3 months everything was going nicely. Yes, I had some challenges. Some things were going better than others, but overall things were just great.
Then in April I was diagnosed with cancer.
I’m not going to bore you with all the gory details. I was lucky that it was caught early and that I only needed surgery and not chemotherapy. And chances are I’ll be around for many more years.
But news like that knocks you for six and forces you to re-evaluate your priorities and goals.
Suddenly that weekly blog post doesn’t seem quite so important.
I decided that my main priorities were:
- Getting back to full health
- Keeping my main business going so that I wouldn’t have to rebuild it from scratch again (and to maintain some kind of normality)
- Earn some income (if not as much as I planned)
I was only able to work a couple of hours a day for several weeks, I couldn’t drive and I got exhausted if I did too much. With little energy to devote to business, I had to decide which activities were absolutely vital and drop anything that didn’t help with my 3 main priorities. Hence the break in posts on this blog over the summer.
But the biggest lesson I learned was that there is no point in berating yourself when things don’t go to plan. It’s taken me much longer than I hoped to recover (6 months on, I’m nearly there, but not quite) and it’s been incredibly frustrating.
There’s plenty of advice out there for business owners telling you to stretch yourself, go full speed for your goals and reach for the stars.
But sometimes you just need to step back. Look at what you can still realistically do and stop thinking you have to be superwoman (or man) at all times. I can’t change the fact that I got ill – I can affect how I respond to it and how I recover.
Whether the banana skin that trips you up is something that happens to you, to one of your family or to your business, you CAN get through the tough times. You may have to slow down or re-evaluate, but you don’t need to give up.
But neither should you become a slave to those targets. Remember that goal setting is meant to help you – a guide, not a decree.