Each year, I choose a word or phrase to orient myself for the upcoming 365 days. This word or phrase provides a touchstone to which I can refer back. It helps keep my actions in line with my intentions and reminds me that I have a target in front of me.
My touchstone phrase for 2016 is "Keep going, no pressure." From the original post:
I recently came to the startling realization that I expect results.
I expect results from courses I take, from work that I do, and from myself. Lickety-split, I might add—if things don’t pan out after 6-8 weeks, I’m out.
Unfortunately, flash-in-the-pan efforts rarely produce genuine results. It takes sustained action over time to make any real progress. If you add pressure to achieve on top of that, you create frustration (okay, I create frustration) that can lead to tossing the whole thing out and starting over.
This touchstone phrase was also my major goal for 2016. This goal was broken down into three Markers, or signposts that let me know I was on the right path.
Keep Going, No Pressure: My Big-Ass Goal for 2016
My Big-Ass Goal for 2016 is pretty nebulous: keep going, no pressure. What does that even mean?
For me, "keep going, no pressure" is in relation to business and entrepreneurial activities, and it meant that I would publish one blog post per week, send one email to my community each week, and conduct one interview or write one guest post per quarter.
Let's look at how these went:
1. Publish one blog post per week
This Marker has undergone a bit of refinement. What started off as "write 52 blog posts" turned into "publish one blog post every Monday before 1:00pm."
So far, so good: I've published one blog post every Monday since January 4, 2016. The most popular of these is "Why Your Dreams Aren't Coming True," followed closely by "7 Emotions That Can't Be Explained in English."
2. Send one email per week to my community
This Marker has also gotten a bit of refinement: it's turned into "send at least one email per week to my community."
So far, so good: I send regular emails on Wednesday at 9:00am Eastern Time, as well as welcome emails to new community members at the beginning of each month.
3. Conduct one interview or write one guest post per quarter
Not to brag on myself, but I totally blew this one out of the water. (OK, I'm totally bragging.)
Results of Honoring my Big-Ass Goal (So Far)
The "no pressure" part of "keep going, no pressure" is to remove my emphasis on results. No matter what happens—whether it lands or not—I'mma keep going.
That being said, the "keep going" part of "keep going, no pressure" has yielded some remarkable results.
Publishing new articles on a weekly basis and guest posting around the Internet has resulted in an over 200% increase in readership in Jan-Mar 2016 over the entire YEAR of 2015.
I believe that the increase in readership directly affected the number of people who have opted to receive emails, as that number increased 170% from the beginning of January until the end of March.
As for the guest posting, at least 11% of my total readership and roughly 60% of current email recipients are a direct result of sharing my message elsewhere.
Reflections on my Big-Ass Goal (So Far)
Overall, I can sum up my Big-Ass Goal in four words: so far, so good.
Not only am I proud of myself for sticking to the "keep going" half, but I'm also pleased with the "no pressure" half. Whenever I felt myself getting too in my head about results, and how things are working, and do people like me, and all of the monkey mind chatter designed to derail a person, I was able to reach back and say, "Hey, it's cool, Lynn. No pressure."
I also realized that I made a mistake in choosing my third Marker. While it's admirable to aim for a guest post or an interview every quarter, it's more important to me that I continue to offer the solutions I've created.
Quick backstory: in 2015, I created and released three programs and wrote two books.
Of the three programs—the Dilettante Life Intensive, Overwhelmed to Overjoyed, and Release & Refine—only Release & Refine is still available. The Dilettante Life Intensive was phased out in mid-2015, and Overwhelmed to Overjoyed was phased out near the end of 2015.
Of the books, only Byline is available at the moment.
I pulled these solutions off the market because I didn't think they were good enough. In reality, I probably didn't give them enough time to blossom.
For the books and programs that are currently available, it's tempting to get rid of some of them, especially the one book whose only feedback is a very negative one-star review. I live by the tenet of "release what no longer works for you and refine what does," so seeing things out there that are no longer aligned with my work and my message is driving me bananas.
However, knowing that I've made the choice in the past (possibly to my detriment) to pull a product before it has a chance to get going, I'm sticking it out for the year. If it's out there, it's out there. No turning back.
Looking forward to the rest of 2016
The first three months of 2016 have informed how I plan to proceed for the remainder of the year. (Or, at least until the end of June, when I repeat this process!)
1. I am continuing to write weekly blog posts. Not only has this become an enjoyable habit, but I've realized that committing to a weekly article has helped me connect more regularly to lovely, intelligent, like-minded women.
2. I am continuing to send weekly emails. And if you want to receive them, join us here.
3. I am upgrading some things that already exist. Here's a brief sampling of what to expect:
- Release & Refine, formerly a self-paced program, is going LIVE in May 2016. (Learn more about it here!)
- Get Sh*ft Done, my proven system for super-juicing your big dreams, is making the leap from DIY workbook to a majorly supported mastermind. (More on that coming later!)
- We're going to be able to hang out on Facebook very, very soon.
4. I am no longer putting time or effort into the things that are no longer aligned with my overall message. This includes anything to do with digital media, social media, or freelance journalism. Those resources will still be there, of course, but not actively promoted.
5. I'm not creating anything new for a while. Makers gotta make, but sometimes they also need to tend to what they've made. And that's where I am now.
For those of you who have made it this far, both in reading this review and being part of this community, THANK YOU for coming along on the ride. I couldn't—or wouldn't—have done it without YOU!