Watch any Kindergarten class in the world, and you’ll see a complicated system of behaviors and rewards. Stickers, charts, check marks, high fives, reassuring words, candies, and privileges.
Why do we give up rewards for good behavior as we grow older?
Who says I shouldn’t be allowed to drive to the beach and build a sandcastle when I achieve a goal I’ve set for my business? Um, me, apparently, because otherwise I could do it!
This simple system creates goals you LOVE and helps you take time out of your busy schedule to celebrate your accomplishments.
Into an empty fishbowl or other container, place ten activities that bring you joy. Like, any ten activities that bring you joy.
They must cost less than $100 to do.
They must not be based in food or drink.
They must be useless.
This means the events will not break the bank or make your waistline larger. Excellent.
Fishbowl activities will not help your business to grow in a direct manner. No coffee with colleagues. No useful or practical activities.
Fishbowls activities are reasons to pause and savor your success. To enjoy reaching your goal before moving on to the next one. (My thanks to the delightful Amy Lee for her Instagram photo of her goals.)
See how the fishbowl brings delight to goal-setting? Write down a bunch of activities that will bring you joy. Pull an activity from the fishbowl each time you reach a fishbowl goal.
There’s mystery. You don’t know which activity will be picked.
There’s indulgence. You spend time and/or money on each activity.
There’s sheer delight. You make time to celebrate your achievements.
What sorts of goals should end up in your fishbowl? The goals you most need to achieve.
Look, you know where you fall down. Where you consistently come up short. Where you have trouble or struggle. That’s exactly where you need to focus your fishbowl goals, so you literally get rewarded for improving in areas where you struggle.
Need examples? Five quick suggestions to keep your fishbowl movin’ and shakin’:
These goals are the most obvious, but they’re important nonetheless! Gross $X in sales. Have a single sale larger than $X. Sell 3 more pieces (or 30 more, or 300 more) than you did last month.
Website traffic goals.
More traffic, more eyes, more reach. Easy. Traffic up by 20%, 30%, or 40%.
The more subscribers or e-mail opt-ins you have, the easier marketing your business online becomes. Subscribers up by 10%. 20%. 30%.
Social media goals.
Tangible goals that measure your engagement with social media. 5 RT’s in a single day. More followers, more fans, more interaction, more ‘reach.’ All worthy goals.
Completing icky task goals.
Reward yourself for doing that thing you hate doing. Album design on all submitted albums completed. Bookkeeper hired. Taxes submitted. In-person sales implemented.
Make use of the educational materials you’ve already paid for. It’s so easy to download something and forget to look at it! The key to your business crisis or your current conundrum could very well be sitting on your hard drive right this second. 5 key takeaways from past conferences implemented into the business. 3 key changes from past lectures scheduled. Inventory of educational materials made. Educational reading time scheduled monthly.
Fishbowl goals are a killer way to reward yourself for doing the hard work of owning a sustainable, profitable business.
I would LOVE to hear more about the fishbowl goals you’ve created in the comments! And as always — if you love it, share it.