What I’m about to reveal to you is my Goal Setting system that I’ve worked on for 10+ years.
And though I curated the 6-step process, the ideas are borrowed from mentors, teachers, and coaches I’ve worked with and followed all throughout the years.
It’s been working for me for 3 years now and it has gotten me so ALIGNED as ever that it made my years flow.
I’m handing it off to you as a gift for indulging in my thoughts—it means the world to me that people are reading my stuff. It’s what my 16-year-old self dreamed about.
You made one of my dreams happen.
Now, let’s get it on!
If you follow my 6-step plan, you can have that system to eliminate those bad habits, which die hard. It’s still up to you on how you can execute it. But I’ve managed to do it and I lack discipline (according to my Cliffton Test).
So I’m sure you’ll do better.
Aiza’s 7-step Anti-New Year Resolutions Plan:
1. List down your top 10 highs.
2. List down 10 things that made you hate yourself this year.
3. Tear down your lows.
4. Pick your word of the year to combat those lows.
5. Plan on how to make that happen.
6. Schedule it!
7. Build a follow-through routine.
Now, this is called “Anti-New Year Resolutions” because we’re not focusing on doing MORE.
Instead, we’re looking to eliminate the ugly things that you are already doing. Why do this?
- You already doing them, maybe even out of habit. This means you already have the time to do them. No need to “carve out time”, which can be an excuse.
- You need to eliminate them to make room for new, better habits or things.
- This is the things we can control. The outcome (goals), we really can’t control them.
Are we good? Let’s go!
Step 1. List down your highs.
It’s nice to look back at the good things that happened to you this year. Gratitude wires our brain for happiness. When we’re happy, we have the energy to do stuff.
So take out your paper and list them down. I’m gonna do it with you right now too.
1. First time to talk on stage and didn’t have palpitations!
This was during the first TRIBEX.
My talk was: 3 Hindrances to Growing Your Business as a CEO.
2. Resting heart rate went down to 70 from 90 and went for an annual checkup.
3. Doubled revenues in CaaSocio without going crazy on client work.
4. Had a glass garden office made.
5. Iloilo vacation on August! Saw mom after 3-ish years!
6. Bought Scottie, a Persian cat. This made my 4-year old realize parenting is “super hard” there are days when he wants to give up. And days when he says, “I’m never gonna give up being a daddy”.
7. Started bike nights. It’s like a Koreanovela with the hubby sometimes, except I’m not graceful.
8. Kiddo started going to school. He got “E’s” = excellent on his school card.
9. Take back control of my body and mind. It’s liberating. Studying biohacking and GNM.
10. Resurrected this blog.
11. Bonus: Consistently close to my dream monthly income + $10k Paypal savings goal days before the year ended!
Now that you’re done listing down your highs. It’s time to go to your lows. Shout out to Coach Allan for the Highs and Lows inspo.
Step 2. List down your lows. Make it 10-ish.
Some questions that will help you…
What did you keep doing this year that you wished you didn’t? Did you give away control to something or someone? Was there a time when you hated yourself this year? That’s okay. What made you think that? What were the bad ideas, thoughts, experiences that held you back from being productive or happy or from being your true self?
1. Still not reaching $20k months.
2. Getting triggered easily. Palipations are real.
Context: It’s all health anxiety since Covid. 🙁 JJ got hospitalized twice. J wasn’t in his best health too. And so was I. The hubs went to the US for training and I think it made it worse. The thought of him leaving me was scary. Literal na I can’t live without you. Maybe because he was the only one who can calm me down when I had panic attacks when my aunt died last year and almost everyone in the family had Covid. Dark times.
3. Just dreaming about my hobbies – watercolor, writing for myself, blogging (this!)
4. Putting off my dreams for so looooong
5. Feeling low energy because I skip yoga, biking, and exercises
6. Knowing that I’m not reaching my full potential
7. Not learning or making time for creativity, I was in production mode 80% of the time.
8. Mindless scrolling. Ugh. Yes, I only spend 9+ a week hours in front of my laptop. But my phone screen time is also 9+ hours too.
9. NOT sharing my knowledge, especially when it comes to client work.
10. NOT knowing my teammates enough. I feel like I’m saying my mind, but it turns out the message isn’t getting across.
Okay, now let’s go down to tearing down your lows. We’re gonna focus on them more than the highs.
Step 3. Tear down your lows.
Now try to observe your lows. Is there a recurring theme that you notice? Any pattern that’s forming? What can you trace them back to?
For me, it’s like I was okay with being steady this year. I wasn’t living my full potential. I wasn’t forcing things through.
Yes, great things are happening for me. But my bucket list items that were in there for years are starting to bug me.
Also, this 2022, I’ve been focusing on building up the team and my agency so maybe that’s why.
So what I realized is I was taking my time. Still NOT hitting the gas pedal, but I realized I wasn’t getting any younger and I needed to do things for myself this time.
Step 4. Pick a word that would combat your lows.
I’ve been practicing WORD OF THE YEAR for like 6-7 years already, but it was only 3 years ago when I started doing it right.
I used to have cute words that mean nothing like Swell (because we went surfing for the first time that year) or Dreamcatcher (because I wanted to catch my dreams lol). I was young what can I say!
So anyway, it was in 2020 when I started doing it right.
The first year of having our agency, I was a mess. Got fired. Didn’t know how to navigate having co-founders. It was the year when success almost destroyed me.
I tend to shut up and just keep my thoughts to myself. So after reflecting, I decided I won’t have to do that anymore so I picked the word “Express” for 2021.
I was sharing my thoughts freely on social, to Sarah my co founder, and started to write for myself on social and our Facebook Group. That made me happy!
Then come 2022.
I was happier as a person, but I drowned in client work. We really didn’t have writers and I’m doing like 60%-90% of everything, especially client work. So come 2022, I chose the word “Build” to take my time back. And to conserve my efforts.
I got more time to myself I can’t believe it. haha
Investing in people is key to scaling your business. I embraced the CEO position a bit more. And I wasn’t selfish of giving myself to our employees and team.Aiza, 2022 (char)
I chose to give time, effort, and energy consciously to my core team because we get nothing done without giving.
So this year. I felt the word “REAP” nudging me.
It’s time to reap the fruits of my labors, sacrifice, and waiting. It’s time to do things for me, so “REAP” it is.
My 3 year plan, in words:
- 2021 – EXPRESS
- 2022 – BUILD
- 2023 – REAP
Did you come up with your word of the year? Come share it in our Facebook Group here.
Step 5. Plan on how to make it happen
So how can I REAP my rewards this year?
I actually wanna do my own thing, which is to churn out info products and guide like this. And just create. Create. Create. I deserve this, don’t I?
The key is to swap bad habits for good ones. And the bad habits, go back to Step 2 to identify them. Here’s mine.
Be mindful. Whenever you catch yourself doing your bad habit, be aware. Stop it. And do something else.
It’s all about being aware.
1. Bad habit: Mindless scrolling
- Swapping Facebook scrolling with Morning devos, Kindle reading, Eye exercises, Bible journaling
- Swapping Twitter scrolling with tweet writing
2. Bad habit: 16+ hour screentime (yikes!)
- Swapping drafting on Google docs with outlining in notebook
- Swapping online diaries & content idea bank for actual pen and paper
- Swapping Netflix with Abide, meditations or Ted Talks before sleeping
3. Bad habit: Saving value-bomb posts on Facebook or the web
- Swapping saving value-bomb posts or articles with note taking, documentation, and sharing my knowledge online
4. Bad habit: Exercising in my head
- Swapping imaginary exercise with actual biking, arm exercises, and ab exercises
5. Bad habit: Dreaming about my hobbies
- Swapping daydreaming with actual doing: note-taking, watercolors, blogging here, doing my nano courses
Step 6. Schedule it!
A plan is no good if you don’t do it. So it’s time to schedule those habits!
I usually “Theme Day” the hell out of my week. And set unrigid routines to make that happen.
Caution: This section really depends on how you’re wired. So it’s best to figure out what productivity practices work for you. You can follow Celz to know more.
For me, it’s Theme Days and Routines.
Listen to my TikTok here.
@aizanity.v2 How I manage 6-10 clients and all the thingamajigz I do as a freelancing mombie #freelancingph #freelancingtips #freelancingbabe #productivitytok #edutok #saasytips ♬ original sound – -ˏˋ 🪐 aizanity ⚡️ˊˎ˗
I’m gonna add my Theme Day schedule here soon. I usually change it quarterly or whenever the need arises. ie, new major client, new project, new course, etc.
I have been working hard on my routine for the last 2 years. I’ve been building habits because of it. You have to build routines around your life, not around your business.
At JJ’s school – so I bring my laptop with me
- Bring JJ to school
- Morning devo and Calm app
- 1-2 client tasks
In our home office
- Client work or personal tasks
- Breaks in between
- Evening break – bike, dinner
- Client work (only on Weds)
- Bedtime story
I mix my routine with Theme Days to avoid overwhelm. I just need to know I have areas of focus.
I have a physical planner with client work and everything else. It follows the Theme Days and I list down what I need to do during the day.
I aim to finish MAJOR client work by Wednesday so Thurs and Fri are for light work. That’s when my energy is plummeting down kasi. So I schedule happy stuff on Fridays (things that I do on my own biz or CaaSocio).
Step 7. Build a follow-through routine
Your schedule, routines are dynamic. It changes along with the season, unexpected events, and client schedules. So I do a weekly review to adjust or change it.
And I implement systems too whenever there are errors or mistakes that pop up. Either I do checklists for my team, new SOP for CaaSocio, or a new personal system for me. 🙂
Also, I set up my environment to make it happen. For example. I’ve just Shopee’d my way and ordered sketchpads and more to support my 2023 new habits! Yay.
And because there’s a follow-through routine, all your productivity investments won’t come to a fail.
Alright. Super tired now. Haha. Will be updating this with more details as we go along. But this is the overview of how I achieve my dreams an build a freelancing business that gives me the luxury to go slow. 🙂
Let’s be accountability buds
I’m sharing this with my community, so drop a comment with your word of the year or thoughts in this post.
P.S. If this is transformed into videos, this will be a nano course that can help you better. Maybe next year. lol.