You want to make 2022 your best Childcare Biz year yet, but you say the same every year. Does it seem like no matter what you do, when it comes to planning your goals and actually reaching them, something just isn’t working for you?
“Goals” is nearly always the buzzword during December, while January is constantly “New Year New You”. This is the time of year when we are meant to reflect on the progress we made towards goals set at the beginning of the year, and I’m a HUGE fan…but I am finding more and more, we set goals, plan goals and, year on year, don’t achieve these goals. So, instead of continuing to do something that isn’t working…if this is you…then this blog post is for you!
Let’s make 2022 your best year yet by doing goal setting the right way!!
Nyckie, why is goal setting so important?
Goals provide you with focus so that when you set them, you can take control of the direction of your life and your business. Every decision you make and all the little actions you take ought to bring you closer to achieving those goals.
By setting goals, you’ll stay motivated, usually see an increase in your happiness, and you’ll notice improvement across your business and day-to-day living. When you set yourself goals, you’re creating a vision of what your your childcare business could look like. And if you want to get the bet results possible, you start pushing yourself and your team that little bit harder and can celebrate all the mini-goals on the journey.
So how come goals don’t always work out?
Lots of us write down our goals in December or January, but by March they’ve often fizzled out. So why is that? What things do you notice hold you and other people you know back from actually reaching the goals you’ve set?
There are a few reasons why people fail to accomplish their New Year goals. Sometimes it’s down to circumstances (uh hello pandemic!) but more often than not it’s because you’ve not set goals properly. I’m going to outline several of them below and you can figure out which one’s you’re guilty of!
So here are a few dos to help and don’ts to avoid so you can crush your goals in 2022!
1. Be SPECIFIC with your goals
When it comes to your goals it is vital that you set out super clear ones. If your goals are not specific, your action steps won’t be focused enough and then your achievements will be wishy-washy too! The more specific you are, the easier you can plan, be accountable and actually end the year having moved forward.
So set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound). Make your goal specific so you can easily track your progress and know whether you met the goal. The more specific you can be with your goal, the higher the chance you’ll complete it.
For example, if you’re setting goals to earn a certain amount, but don’t decide how much money you want to bring in, or when you want to accomplish this goal…then you’re going to struggle to achieve it at all! Because what is “it”?! So get specific! Instead try something like: “I want to bring in $25000 by the Fourth of July.” This goal provides an exact amount of money you are aiming for AND an end date to get it done by.
So remember: vague goals give vague results!! And that’s not going to help you make 2022 your best Childcare Biz year yet, is it?!
2. Don’t let a lack of FOCUS hold you back
Remember when you focus on all the things you achieve absolutely nothing. So, instead I’d like to encourage you to set fewer really great goals and focus on getting those achieved. Sometime we set ourselves up for failure by writing down so many goals we can never find the time to dedicate to all of them. And this lack of focus holds so many of us back from achieving great things!
Wouldn’t you rather achieve a few brilliant goals than 20 unfinished goals? I know which camp I’m in. If you’re going to do something, do it well! So give your goal the focus it deserves!
3. Taking ACTION is paramount!
I’m the first to acknowledge that mindset and positivity are incredibly important, however I also know that sometimes people get caught up in all the mindset work. They actually end up using it as a form of procrastination. It’s not going to help them, in fact it’s distracting them from doing the work.
So I’m recommending that instead of getting lost in a whole lotta background and planning, TAKE ACTION! Because taking those first steps towards your goal will give you the momentum and confidence you need to keep going.
ACTION gets you results and it’s time to be honest, are you actually putting in the hard work? Would you rather be binging Netflix or planning your marketing for your childcare business? If you said Netflix, then I want you to have a rethink!! Do the work, Ninja!
Make 2022 your best Childcare Biz year yet by taking focused action to achieve your goals!
4. Stop making excuses.
This might seem a little harsh, but bear with me. I talk with hundreds of childcare business owners every month and I’ve lost count of the amount of times I hear people blaming other for their lack of achievement. Sometimes life is going to throw you curveballs (I know because I’ve had more than my fair share!) but there’s no point in wasting time and energy on being the victim.
At the end of the day, this is your life, your childcare business, your goals and your legacy. So blaming everyone and everything for your failures is not going to get you any closer to reaching your goals. In fact, I’m pretty sure it will push you further away.
5. Be ACCOUNTABLE.
This is one of the most important things to do. If no one knows about your goals except you, it’s easy for you to let yourself down. Have someone to hold you be accountable. Organize meet ups with them to discuss your progress and help you find solutions to any challenges that come up. It could be a business friend or a coach!
Something that’s really helped me to achieve my goals is investing in myself and getting support and accountability. I can no longer sneak my unachieved goals past my brain, because I’ve got people looking out for me, ensuring that I’m motivated towards achieving bigger and better things. So invest in yourself. I guarantee this will be the best thing you’ll ever do for your childcare business.
Make 2022 your best Childcare Biz year yet by joining my Childcare Ninjas free Facebook community and get the accountability you need from like-minded daycare owners!
I talk more about why your childcare business goal planning ISN’T working in my latest YouTube video:
Earlier you read about how important accountability and planning SMARTer is. And I’ve got just the thing to give you a head start! This is no ordinary paper planner. It’s specifically designed with Childcare Business owners in mind. Because I got sick of having to tweak the ones aimed at other industries!
And because I know a planner is zero use without accountability, I’ve added an accountability piece to my new and improved Nyckie B’s 2022 Childcare Business Planner System!
Sometimes being a home daycare provider can feel pretty isolated and massively overwhelming. Getting connected with other childcare owners is a game changer! Gain strategies and tips to move your childcare business forward by joining a community! That’s why I set up my Facebook group, where you can hang out with like-minded and aspirational daycare owners. Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be!
Or if you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tips there too. We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup!
Can you believe we’re already halfway through the first month of the year?! I’ve been caught up in the excitement of planning and writing intentions, getting clear on where I want to take Childcare Ninjas and my daycares. Have you created your vision for the year? I love the hope and joy that thinking big brings! However, I know from experience that it’s really easy to lose momentum and forget about the bigger picture.
There’s so much excitement in these first couple of months of the new year, then by March our energy and motivation starts to dwindle, right?! So I wonder if you’ve thought about how you’re going to stay motivated and on track to reach your 2021 vision? Read on for some handy tips for staying motivated!
Why do we lose motivation?
Losing focus isn’t a new thing. It doesn’t come because of a global pandemic. This is pretty common to how every year goes! January arrives and we’re all goal setting and resolution Queens, but come the end of February our gym bags are gathering dust, our intentions for our businesses have fallen by the wayside.
The daily drudgery of our childcare businesses, the endless juggling our families, and keeping on top of our homes leaves us drained of energy and we begin losing sight of our vision and, with that, knowing how to reach our goals disappears. The steps fade and we can’t see how to get there. Procrastination and distraction take hold.
The difference comes when we are able to keep up that initial excitement and motivation, staying focused throughout the year on that bigger vision.
Is 2021 any different?
I have been hearing lots of people talking about how pleased they are that 2021 is finally here because they were so sick of 2020. And then this year has arrived and it feels like this year may just be more of the same. But even if it is going to be similar, we got through last year – we can do it again! So don’t let that discourage you from aiming high and creating a vision for what you want this year.
We don’t know what 2021 holds for us, but we’ll know what our hopes are. It’s great if we know our expectations and aspirations so well that we can keep coming back to them as reminders.
How to stay motivated
I’m determined that we’re not going to fizzle out this year! So I’m going to share with you some ideas I have been using to keep myself motivated over the years. I have a toolkit that I dip into to help me keep working towards my goals. These are 8 things I utilize because I know if I don’t I’ll not stick to my vision!
Have a mantra
a word or phrase that helps you refocus and stay in your lane! My word this year is “focus” because I want to move my business forward, in my professional development and investing in my growth, and focusing on my relationships. It helps by reminding me to really ground myself so I can keep moving towards my vision. So see what feels right for you. Choose a word or a phrase that resonates with you and will help you stay focused!
Set specific financial goals
Get clear on what you want to bring in! Don’t be shy about how much you want to earn. It’s important that we talk about money and finances so it’s less taboo! What’s your money goal for the year? Break it down into stepping stones for the year.
Create a vision board
Put reminders on a vision board to keep your goals at the front of your mind! Put your financial targets on it, and words that align with your goals. I often put words on to remind me of things I sometimes neglect – this year I’ve got “tranquility” on mine! I need a visual memory jog to help me rest.
Revisit the previous year
Take some time to reflect on the silver linings from 2020. Yes, last year was A LOT! But the year was not a total write-off. There were things that went well. Even if it’s just your health and the fact that you made it to this year! Journal on this and go through the year noting down where the good stuff was!
Lean on your business BFFs
I highly recommend finding yourself an accountability partner. Someone who can keep you motivated – and you can encourage them too! This person is going to check in to make sure you’ve ticked off that to do list. It really does help to give you drive to get things done! You don’t want to show up to your accountability session with nothing to show. I’ve achieved so much more since having somebody to nudge me forward! They’re your new biz BFF and they really do help.
Create a 90 day goal
Planning is key to reaching your goals for the year. But when we plan for 365 days, we can feel a bit like “it’s so far off, and I don’t need to work on that yet!” So sometimes planning a bit shorter term feels more achievable and less daunting than planning for the whole year. If we plan for 90 days (three months!) it pushes us to go for our goals and make progress! It keeps the excitement there. Break the 90 day goal into achievable segments.
Investing in yourself
This one doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Start with a book that’ll help you grow – a business finance book, something about marketing, or a mindset book. If you’ve got the budget to work with a coach or to sign up to a program or course, that’s awesome. Go for it! Spending money on your growth is never wasted money. You’ll be so surprised how fast things start moving once you start opening yourself up to investing in yourself. It is a game changer. You’ll notice everything starting to go right. Times and places and people falling into your lap.
Keep a blessings book
I have this little book on me at all times. In it I write down ways I want to bless people. The ways I have blessed people. When I’m having a tough time, or get side-tracked, I go back through it to remind myself how much I care. To look at the good things that have been happening to me and the people I love. It keeps me motivated to see the blessings my hard work can bring people.
So to summarize, I want you to know that you’re not alone if you’re struggling to get motivated. Or maybe you’re worried about losing momentum. It’s okay. Try to use some of the tools from my kit, and head into my Facebook group because you can find more ideas for keeping on track in there.
While you’re here, I’d love you to invite you to join me on Friday 22nd January (next week!) for my free Masterclass –Simple Childcare Ownership. I’ll be helping you get unstuck so you can grow a successful childcare business in 2021 – even if you don’t have a lot of money!
And before you go, let me introduce who we are! We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!
“Vision board” – it’s a term that’s thrown around like confetti in the entrepreneurial online space, right?! All the big names are talking about them! But have you ever made one with the purpose of growing your business?
I’m Siobhan Strode, word witch over at This Sister Scribes. And I’ve been asked by Ms. Nyckie to write a blog on vision boards because since I’ve been using them I have seen a huge change in my mindset, and my copywriting business has grown from strength to strength. And we thought it would be fun to share how and why they work!
Don’t be put off by the idea if you’re new to it, or the “woo” freaks you out. I felt like this once too! So bear with me and have a read of this blog…I think you’ll love what I’ve learned.
So, what exactly is a vision board?
A vision board is a visual representation of where you want to go in life.
Imagine it’s a sort of map that guides you and pushes you forward. You piece together a creative collage of images and texts which help to stimulate your imagination and develop your ability to visualize your goals. The board is a visual representation of the dreams and goals that you aim to achieve.
It might be a digital board, where you copy and paste images and words that you feel drawn to, but I love something I can touch. Something I can pin up on my wall, and add to as time goes on. To me, it’s a prod or poke to remind me where I’m headed and how I’m going to get there.
Let yourself try it!
After spending a couple of years ignoring the suggestion by numerous coaches, I finally let myself try it in 2017. Slowly, I began to really believe I could build the business of my dreams and a life where my values are centered. And since then I’ve achieved so much. I’ve helped 100s of female founders find the right words to say in their businesses; I’ve held writing workshops and spoken in groups; every day I write for some phenomenal women! I started a feminist podcast “This Sister Speaks” and began hosting writers’ retreats in my Airbnb guest space.
I’ve begun to be the female leader I put on my vision board. I have built a blossoming political career alongside my business – I became a Councillor in December 2017 and I ran for UK Parliament in December 2019; I’ve set up community groups, run campaigns to raise awareness around education cuts and changes to the social security system…Honestly, looking back makes me feel so proud.
And all this is because everyday, I’m reminded of my soul goals and the steps I needed to take to get there. Each morning, I look up from my desk and see the empowering words and mantras, the pictures that align with my future self. I allowed myself to believe. Because I can do this. And if I can do this, you can too!
Creating your vision board
First, you’ve got to pause and think about where you’re at and where you want to go. Ask yourself where you’d like to be this time next year, and where you want to be in 5 years. What steps do you need to take to get there? Think about your why. Where do you want to take your childcare business from here?
Once you’ve taken time to contemplate your goals, and gathered up the craft materials – scissors, washi tape, Sharpies, and a glue stick – plus a big pile of magazines and catalogs to delve into, you can begin! Set aside at least 2 hours of time where you can just be in the moment, with no interruptions.
As you flick through the pages, cut out images and words that you feel drawn to. Perhaps you’ve got specific quotes or mantras you want to include. You might have 3 goals you’re working towards and divide the space accordingly, adding words and images that represent that. This is completely personal and for your eyes only.
Creating a vision board with your goals in mind – really putting your heart and soul into it – can be an extraordinary experience. Like you’ve just read from my own journey, they can truly help you focus and will act as a reminder to you every day of what you want to achieve.
Making the vision board work
While making a vision board is fairly simple, what actually matters is making sure that it works. If you’re spending a good chunk of time on this, you want to ensure that it is worth the hours given.
Acknowledge that this isn’t actually magic. It won’t do the work for you. You’ll get the most from vision boards when you’re determined to put in the work needed to reach your goals. Studies have shown that people who visualize themselves achieving their goals and – crucially – taking the steps to get there are more likely to succeed than those who only visualized themselves attaining their end goals.
Therefore I’d like to encourage you to incorporate those steps you need to take! Add more actionable images and dynamic verbs to your vision board.
Train your brain
Display your vision board where you can see it every day. Place it in your bedroom, work space, the bathroom (probably laminate it!) or any other place that you’ll see it repeatedly.
Reason being that vision boards help prepare your mind, getting it ready to take action. Whenever an opportunity presents itself for the accomplishment of your goals, you’ll be less likely to shy away from it because everyday you’ve been presented with an image of your success in this area.
Having consistently given your mind visuals to prepare it, you won’t waste opportunities to head towards your goals. You’ll find yourself taking action. Essentially what you’re doing is training your mind!
Go and get creative, Ninjas!
Hopefully you’ve stuck with me on this and can see how helpful vision boards can help you grow your business. Although I’m creative – I’m a writer after all! – I’m a hugely practical person, who is apologetically ambitious. I don’t want to spend time doing things that won’t give me a return! I’m a busy woman, as I’m sure you are too.
But creating a vision board is something I invest time into at least once a year, and add to it or create a new one whenever a new goal comes on the horizon. I ask myself, does it fit with my values and soul goals? How am I going to do this? And then it goes on the board!
Let us know if you’ve ever tried before! How do you create yours? Nyckie and I would love to hear from you, so leave a comment! Or if you’re trying for the first time, tag us in a photo of your vision board on Instagram – I’m @thissisterscribes and Nyckie is @childcareninjas.
Have you discovered the Childcare Ninja Facebook group yet? We are an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!
Have you taken a moment to rethink and reload your financial goals for 2020? It’s been a rollercoaster of a year so far, but there’s no need to despair! Essentially, we’re only half way through so let’s assess where you’re at and get planning!
Y’all know my favorite word is the “p” word. Ms. Nyckie loves the planning! However, you might be wondering, “what’s the point?” You’re maybe even thinking, “Let’s write off 2020 and start from scratch next year”. Who wants to sit back and mope?? Not me! And I want to encourage you to re-look at your financial goals with some positivity and hope!
Why you need to rethink your financial goals
Between a global pandemic causing financial chaos and the anxious state of flux we’re seeing on the international stock market, it’s not really surprising that we might not have met our goals for 2020. But I hasten to add one word to that sentence: YET. You might not have met them YET.
Clearly 2020 is giving us enough reasons to rethink (life, health, family…let alone our businesses!), so why not just go with the flow? We cannot control the way the pandemic is impacting our businesses – social distancing, face masks and additional cleaning are just a few of the adjustments we’re all having to make – not to mention closures for those of us in countries where strict lock-downs have been in place.
What we can control is our reactions and coping strategies. Let’s be pro-active, re-think and reload our financial goals!
Where to start with reloading
It sounds simple, but in the words of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning”! You made Q1 goals in January, right? And maybe the more savvy Childcare Ninjas among us even set Q2 goals back in March. Since then things have gone a bit haywire, and maybe that line you’re usually so able to predict hasn’t quite followed the path you were expecting.
Look at what’s worked well and where things need some support. Have you managed to stay open during this time, or have you had to close temporarily for everyone’s safety? I’ve been lucky in the grand scheme of things, but I know many childcare business owners elsewhere who’ve had to shut their doors, uncertain of when they’ll be able to welcome their families back and therefore had to dismiss staff. Now some of those day cares are preparing for re-opening and they’ve got to look at rehiring as well as navigate intense new levels of hygiene.
If you’ve been one of the lucky ones and have been able to keep going, take a good look at your goals from earlier in the year. How can you alter the projections you’d made to take into account any changes in the financial climate? Factor in any interest rate alterations and allowances you might have been able to access. You can still dream big, and maybe reloaded goals look more positive than you’d imagined they might, considering the current situation.
Ensure that your goals are SMART.
If you’ve not heard of SMART goals before, this means that you are looking at targets in a more analytical way. While you’re reloading your financial goals, it’s worth checking that they are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Due to the instability of everything at this precise moment in time, you might be concerned about the longevity of your business so analyse everything and figure out what you can do differently.
Setting really specific goals, like “Find 3 new families for the day care” or “create new menu on a smaller budget”, will mean you can easily see if you’re making progress. Just be sure to write down detailed plans, to chunk big goals down into bite-size ones, and make a timeline for achieving your goals.
The back up plan for your financials…
If you’re not going to meet your goals, but still worrying about not meeting adjusted targets, what’s your plan B? What are you going to do differently to cover your back? If you’re not fully up and running yet, you could set a new goal to develop your childcare business by training up a team or looking at venues. Or maybe you’ve got to pick up some freelance jobs or babysitting work in addition to running your childcare business, just to tide things over.
You may decide that now is the time to start saving more emergency funds, or that you’re going to make changes in your investment strategy so your money has a better chance of surviving market downturns.
I’d be happy to chat over in the Facebook group with you about how things are going, and the other childcare business owners will have ideas about how you can adjust your strategy to reach your new goals, in the new normal (whatever that looks like for you!).
Before you go, have you found the Childcare Ninja Facebook group yet? We are an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming a part of the community? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!
Y’all know I’ve been in this game for a while now, and I have seen new childcare businesses come. And I have seen them go. Why don’t they last? We all make mistakes, but most of them can be avoided with some forward thinking!
There’s several monumental mistakes that they are making in their businesses. Don’t panic! These are easily avoided. Therefore I thought I would share the errors they make with you, so you can avoid doing the same before it’s too late.
Mistake #1 – Trying to do everything for everyone
An absolute classic. And one that sometimes takes a lifetime to learn! It is very hard to stay focused and in your lane. But you’ve gotta do it or you’ll not survive in this crazy world of childcare ownership.
So how do you avoid it?
You need to know who your clientele are. And you need to learn how to reach them. Think local; you’re not trying to gain worldwide customers. Your daycare is about serving the community it’s in. So target them appropriately and be who they need you to be. Not who everyone else thinks you ought to be.
Work on having firm boundaries with work. Learn to say no. You’re not a super hero. Saying no to things that don’t serve you is fundamental if you want to keep your head above water. No calls after a certain time, reply to emails on particular days, prioritize properly.
Use technology to help you get organized; set timers on tasks to stop your mind wandering and to keep you laser focused. Ninja focused!
Mistake #2 – Not planning!
I’m gonna repeat this until the cows come home: Plan! Plan! Plan!
Sure as the sky is blue, I’ve seen childcare owners who think they can “wing it” very quickly finding themselves in difficulties. To run a successful business you’ve got to plan, and plan, and then plan some more!
It is a time consuming process to get systems in place and plan ahead, but it will save you so much heartbreak. I promise you that planning in your childcare business is how you will grow and create the perfect little empire you always dreamed of. I know because I’m doing it. And it’s all because I plan EVERYTHING. I’ve got lists for my lists.
Mistake #3 – Underestimating efforts
Another classic mistake. It’s not uncommon for new childcare business owners to underestimate the amount of time and work they’ll need to put in. They think that it’s the same as any other business. Well we Ninjas all know that it certainly is not.
That’s why I created this platform in the first place: to support childcare owners like you. Because there’s not much else out there that is specifically for us. And we are niche. We’re unique.
Interestingly, I’ve had so many conversations with people who assume that I just own the day care centers and am not involved in the day-to-day running of them. I have to explain every darned time that you can’t just “own” a childcare biz. You ARE the childcare biz!
Your personality and philosophy of learning are totally embedded in the childcare you run and your staff are amazing, but it’s your empire. You might have a manager in each setting, but you are the one who oversees the provision and has a vision for the future and how you’re going to get there.
Running a childcare business is a helluva lot of work and no one should go into this thinking you can just kick back and let others do the work for you. It’s not an opportunity to sit on your laurels! This is a way of life! And one that I love, and I know you do too!
Don’t hesitate to drop me a message if you’re worrying about anything to do with running your business. After years of feeling isolated, I’ve created this community and I’m here to help you work through any issues. Get in touch!
I hope you’re enjoying your journey to becoming a Childcare Ninja, but don’t forget to interact in the Facebook group where you can connect with other amazing women and share ideas.
Join us in the membership too for more tips on how to take your childcare business to the next level!