New Year Resolutions are, at their core, negative. Think about it.

Eat healthier = you’re overweight and love fried food

Work out more = you lazy slob

But yet we set them every. Single. Year.

Why do we always set up ourselves for failure?

At January’s Rise & Design we dove deep into goal setting and how to make them actually uplifting, achievable, and actionable.

Anna Hetzel, copywriter, took a ton of notes after drinking one too many cups of coffee at January's Rise & Design. She, speaking habitually in the third person, is pumped to be the resident blog writer for the meetups!


Jump to what you really wanna know

Invest in yourself

Goals vs Aspirations

Make thyself a strategy

How to measure yourself up

Make messy (or how to deal with failure)

Tools to make life easier

Things to read or listen



Jan2018-Danielle and Yao.jpg

Invest in yourself

This is pretty clear.

You spend your whole day emailing with clients, working on clients’ projects, researching ideas for clients, fielding clients’ phone calls. When do you spend time on your business?

Set aside time each week to grow and develop your own business and processes so you can scale up.

Invest in tools that make your life easier (check out the tools we talked about over coffee this month).

Invest in a space! Consider getting yourself an office or a desk at a coworking space. It will not only help keep your work and home life separate it will make you look even more totally legit with potential clients. Ted Carpenter of Carpenter Collective told us the story of his transition out of his home office to a big ol’ space. Sometimes he stills wonders if it was the right decision or investment, but because of that space, he landed a huge client. If you have space, you’ll fill it.

Goals vs Aspirations

A goal is totally dependant on your own badass self.

Aspirations rely on other people.

Word to the wise: Be careful when setting your resolutions that they aren’t all aspirations. You'd be placing all your markers of success on other people. Yes, have that cut out of a magazine that you want to be published in tacked to your cork board, but set up actionable steps to get you there.

Only having aspirations runs you the risk of feeling like you failed, like, all the time. They are aspirations for a reason- they are really high up there. Be clear on what is a goal and what is an aspiration to help you stay motivated and realistic.


Make thyself a strategy

Ok, cool, you have this awesome goal and a crazy aspiration.

How in the world will you get there?

Good question.

Actually, the best question.

Too often we fall into the trap of doing the easy part: dreaming. Anyone can dream, but to make those dreams into a reality we need to flesh out a plan.

Strategies hold you accountable to your dreams. They get you working and gives you loads of confidence. If your goal is to be published in a particular magazine, figure out how to get there. What baby steps do you need to take to capture that dream?

While you’re building your strategy be sure to have a “no” column.

Sit down, right now, pull out your diary, and write yourself a list of all your pain points. What do you wake up thinking “Dang it, I don’t wanna do that today”? Once you’ve figured that out, figure out how to cut them out of your life. Say no to those things (or get the tools to have them done for you).

There is no need to say yes to every project. Play to your strengths.

We repeat: there is no need to yes to everything.


How to measure success

The totally cool thing about goals is that they are constantly changing.

For super Type A people that might sound stressful as all hell, but having the ability to morph your goals as you go along is very important.

Don’t make the measure of your success be a vanity- success isn’t determined by how many Instagram followers you have. For a creative sometimes it’s too easy to measure your success by how many pixels you moved, how many designs, how many Instagram posts, etc. Sure these can mean success for you, but think one step higher than the little everyday things.

What does success really mean to you? It could mean more confidence, being able to pay your bills and then some, having a waitlist for projects, or the ability to put everything away and travel for 2 weeks.


Make messy (or how to deal with failure)

Here it is, the thing we all need to hear:

You have permission to suck.

Allow yourself to totally fail. F*** confidence- just do it because you can! The more you do it, the more confidence you'll have.

There is a TON of value in being brave. That’s why we set these lofty goals and aspirations. The only way to even get close to reaching them is by putting ourselves out there in a big way. Every time you fail you learned something. We all fall totally flat on our faces sometimes, but we learned to say no.

Get rid of those clouds of fear hanging over your head! Make messy!


Tools to make life easier

Get these tools to get some of your precious time back.

Acuity Scheduling - Connect your calendars to one spot and have your clients book a time. No one wants that back and forth email hockey of trying to find a time everyone is free. It’s annoying.

BidSketch -Take a couple hours to set up your template then stop spending hours on every dang proposal. Fill in the blanks and boom. Off it goes.

MixMax -Save your templates, track if your emails are opened or clicked on, schedule emails for later, and set up sequences. Basically, save yourself time and live outside your inbox for once.

Freshbooks -Invoicing made super easy. You can set up recurring invoices to send automatically, have them pay via credit card, and it even integrates with Acuity if you want to get fancy.


Things to read or listen

Time to level up. Resources mentioned during Rise & Design.


Give And Take: A revolutionary approach to success by Adam Grant - the good guys finish first, not last!

Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard -the founder of Patagonia, a story of success

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success- Carol Dweck, Ph.D -stop creating that fixed mindset

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck- by Mark Manson -the title pretty much speaks for itself

Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith -just make a mess, ok?



How I Built This with Guy Raz -the stories behind those big awesome successful companies



Important things to know.

Starting in March we are capping the meetup to 35 people. We just can’t fit any more people in the studio! So when you get that email, RSVP, ya’ll.

Buy a gift pack! They’re super cool designs, contributed by local artists & creatives, and they help support Rise & Design! Do it! Do it!

Here's to raising a glass to some pretty awesome resolutions! 


Anna Hetzel

Conversion Copywriter