Setting Goals: When Things Don’t Go According to Plan

finish line

Last week I shared how circumstances got in the way of one of the goals I set this year.

Today I thought I’d share another example of my goals being interrupted by life and events outside of my control. But in this case, it almost immediately turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It’s easy to say, trust that this is for the best. It’s a lot easier to swallow when that payoff comes within days, instead of weeks, months, or years.

Regardless, it was still a bump in the road on the way to my goal.

And, another reason I have to be careful about setting goals, because I tend to get a little too attached to my timing. This leads to frustration when things don’t happen within that timeframe. It’s especially frustrating when the circumstances causing the delay are completely out of my control. While I’m working on being more flexible (it can take some time to break a 50-year-old habit!) I was grateful the payoff came so quickly this time.

What happened…

One of my goals this year was to create my own online marketing training academy. I began teaching marketing via online video training courses last year, as a test. It went well so I decided to take the next step this year and create my own online marketing academy brand, The Business Stylist Marketing Academy. I realized if I really wanted to do this right, I needed to re-brand my existing courses. And really, how long could it take to change out the front- and back-end bumpers on all my training videos?

Well, it turns out a lot longer than I expected!

A project I thought would take a couple of weeks, turned into a couple of months, for a variety of reasons. First, while I never really realized how slowly my computer was processing videos when I was creating my courses, when trying to re-output videos for four courses it became painfully obvious. But, I kept muddling along because it needed to be done.

Then, while updating my second course, my hard drive died. Just up and quit on me. A quick trip to the Apple store and a new hard drive later I was back in business. However, it still seemed like I was spending more time staring at the rainbow wheel than actually working.

Then, when I began updating the videos in one of my courses I realized what I really needed to do was re-produce the entire course. I had never been 100% happy with the quality because I had rushed to complete it (another lesson about timing!), but I hadn’t given it a lot of thought because people were enrolling in the course and enjoying it. However, I knew I couldn’t just slap new bumpers on it and feel good about featuring it in my own academy.

Re-producing the course would take a lot more time.

It felt like I was never going to get my new academy up and running.

All of these circumstances created a little voice in my head that kept whispering, maybe it’s time to invest in a new computer. As I’ve shared repeatedly on this blog I’ve spent the past few years trying not to spend a lot of money. However, after careful consideration, I decided it was indeed time to upgrade my computer to one more suited for video production work. After all, it’s a big part of my business these days. Not the case when I purchased my laptop nearly four years ago. That computer was ideally suited to my business at the time, which included a lot more travel and primarily telephone-based consulting work.

A reminder that it’s important to have the right tools for the job.

When I got the new computer home I was excited to fire it up and test it out. It was a Mac and they’re pretty turnkey. But that was not to be the case this time around. I ran into a few hurdles trying to get it set up and get all my files transferred over. After spending the better part of a Saturday on the phone with Apple support (they were pretty baffled by the problems I was experiencing, too!) we finally got all the issues resolved.

I figured I’d be able to fly through the rest of my video updates.

Turns out my wings weren’t quite ready! My new computer came with the latest update of iMovie, which I had not used and I discovered works quite differently from the version I was used to. Where I used to be able to move about the program very quickly, I now found myself not knowing how to do even the simplest tasks. It took some time to get up-to-speed in the new version. Once again, delaying my timeline.

It was beginning to feel like the Universe didn’t want me creating my own marketing academy!

In my heart I knew that wasn’t the truth so I kept plugging along.

And that’s when the blessing appeared.

Now that I’m up and running on my new iMac, and I’ve figured out how to use the updated software, I’m much more efficient. Videos that took forever to import and render now complete in a matter of seconds or minutes. In fact, while it took about a week to update just one course on my laptop, I was able to update my last course in just one day on the new computer. And I’m able to do it without the constant frustration the Apple rainbow wheel causes.

I’ve noticed other efficiencies as well.

Additionally, while I had been considering all sorts of platforms, software, and plugin options for hosting my own online academy, by the time I finally got around to building it, the solution was crystal clear. Had I jumped into creating the academy back in December, or even in early February, I can tell you I would have chosen a different solution and I would not have been as happy. I have plenty of colleagues who have been trading stories about platforms, software, and plugins they’re using, and what’s working and what’s not.

Because my timeline was stalled, in essence everyone else did my research and testing for me, allowing me to easily choose the best solution.

And, where it took me several months to get my courses updated, it only took me a couple of days to get my new marketing academy set up.

I will achieve my goal, just a little later than planned.

In terms of realizing my original goal, and building my own online training academy, I will achieve it. Just not as quickly as I originally envisioned. And, as typically happens, once I began to accept that, and I let go of my expectations, I was able to see my computer hurdles as a blessing in disguise. I can also see that I’m much more adequately prepared technology-wise to do the work I need to do going forward. And, I’m a lot less frustrated and stressed every day because I’m not fighting with my computer. I’m enjoying my work again and that helps me focus less on the finish line and accept that I’ll get there when I get there.

If you missed last week’s post about letting go of a goal, you can read it here.

photo credit: jayneandd via photopin cc

 

About Debbie

After spending 32 years in marketing, Debbie now spends her time blogging, teaching online courses, doing volunteer pet therapy, and encouraging others to follow a more inspired path through life.

3 comments on “Setting Goals: When Things Don’t Go According to Plan

  1. Ahh, it is indeed in hindsight that we learn that what we felt were difficult obstacles instead were necessary and valuable learning lessons.
    I don´t edit videos myself but I have done a couple of videos together with a colleague and that taught me that making videos are great fun but take time – especially the rendering and uploading to a for example YouTube 🙂
    I am so happy you did not give up!

    Warmly,
    Carina

  2. Debbie,
    Congratulations on your new TBS Marketing Academy! And, thank you for another reminder that things work out in their own time. I, too, am a perfectionist who likes for things to run as I have planned. As you say, it’s tough to retrain those 50+ year habits! And, I, too, am learning to be more flexible and accepting of the timetable of the Universe.

    I wish you all the best on this new endeavor and know it will be successful. You offer so much experience in helping folks make some marketing magic.

    Warmly,
    Lisa 🙂

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