Goal-setting before you become an innkeeper is the smartest business move you will make. While finding that elusive balance of life and work can be done once you become an active innkeeper, it’s much easier to start that balancing act before. Too late? Then let’s talk about how you can manage it now.
The potential to get out of balance in life is strong when you are an innkeeper. Block your time away from the inn and fiercely protect that down time. Don’t let anything interfere with that much-deserved-break. You owe it to yourself, your staff, and your guests to be dedicated to refueling your soul and refreshing yourself.
Setting goals for yourself in all areas of your life is another great action to take. Goals are your guiding stars for your business and your life. They are a reference point and an energy source for you. Create goals for how much money you want to make, how you want to live, how you want to grow your inn, and what accomplishments you want to achieve. Following prescribed paths is how goals are reached.
There are two ways to approach creating your goals: SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Tangible) and DUMB (Dream-driven, Uplifting, Method-friendly, and Behavior-driven). Feel passionate about your goals and that you can really reach them. Does that mean a SMART or DUMB goal is best for you?
Navigating and pursuing goals have a lot in common. You know where you want are and you know where you want to be. The navigation comparison is that you make adjustments along the way. Those adjustments help you stay the course. The big question, though, is whether you are moving toward or away from that goal? Is it possible you are standing still, wishing that goal would come to you?
A sailing term for making those adjustments is tacking. That helps you stay the course as obstacles impact you, currents change, and winds blow you off course. Making adjustments to your actions so you proceed toward your goals is similar to making adjustments when you sail so you can reach your destination. It’s important to keep your eyes on your goal/destination as you keep moving toward it.
We don’t learn effective goal-setting in school, thus making it a common. Through the years, I’ve studied goal-setting, leading me to read lots of books and take lots of classes on the subject. The SMART and DUMB goal-setting approaches seem to be at the core of most of what I’ve learned about goal-setting. The biggest take-away, though, is that it takes action to set and pursue goals.
Since innkeeping is most successful when you give your best, becoming your best supports that success. Setting goals is part of what you do to improve yourself and attain things you want. Don’t stop with creating your goals or statement of purpose! Review your goal statement at least quarterly, if not monthly. Reaching your goals isn’t a one-time event, it’s an ongoing process.
Once you have reached a goal, it’s time to set another. A ship that stands still in the water eventually becomes waterlogged and sinks. Is that what you want for your life and inn?
Indeed, lots of people go through life and careers without setting goals and soul-searching that’s required to set engaging goals. We’re back to that point about this not being taught in school. Most people would have done it differently if they had known about the option and had the courage to look inside to discover what they really want in life.
Is innkeeping for you? It isn’t for everyone, but it’s great for the right people. Staying on the innkeeping path, or going down it if you aren’t on it yet, will waste a lot of your money, time, and energy. Why would you want to do that? Set goals that support your career and life, not detract from them. If you decide innkeeping is your dream, then give it your all and be your best. Goal-setting will help you do just that. Remember to then create goals that support and advance your inn business.
I mentioned that a balanced life is hard for innkeepers. That’s because you can give to the business 24×7 and will if you don’t create goals that balance where you spend your time and energy. There is an opinion that there is no such thing as a balanced life because the nature of life is that it’s always changing and balance isn’t possible. I counter that opinion with the thought that when you consciously live from what I call your four buckets — heath, wealth, work, and play — you can ride that wave of constant change..
Setting goals is vital to moving forward in life. Balanced goals create a balanced life. Are you ready to get balanced and start setting some goals?