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Setting meaningful goals for 2023!
Episode 1015th December 2022 • The SEO Mindset Podcast • Sarah & Tazmin
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In this episode, Tazmin and Sarah talk about the steps people can take to set goals for 2023, even if they start off with no clue!

About 'The SEO Mindset' Podcast

Build your inner confidence and thrive.

The SEO Mindset is a weekly podcast that will give you actionable tips, guidance and advice to help you not only build your inner confidence but to also thrive in your career.

Each week we will cover topics specific to careers in the SEO industry but also broader topics too including professional and personal development.

Your hosts are Life Coach Tazmin Suleman and SEO Manager Sarah McDowell, who between them have over 20 years of experience working in the industry.

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Transcripts

Sarah:

Hello and welcome to another episode of the SEO Mindset. Your hosts are myself, Sarah McDowell, and the absolutely splendid Tazmin Suleman. Quick, remind us that if you want to support us, you can give us a donation over at Buy Me A Coffee. It can be a one off donation, and if that's something that you'd like to do, then you'll find a link in the show notes of this episode. And I also want to remind you that you can also visit the SEO Mindset co ukliston and you'll be able to subscribe to where you listen to podcasts. So, again, the link will be in the Show notes, but that way you will never miss a new episode when it's available. So tasman. Hi.

Tazmin:

Hi, Sarah. How are you?

Sarah:

I am splendid. I mean, feeling a little bit coldy, but then I think everyone is at this time of year.

Tazmin:

I've got a cough, so if I do splutter apologies in advance, but I've done all the prep, I've had the hot water and honey and streps all but fingers crossed we get through this episode without me having a coughing fit.

Sarah:

Fingers crossed. I'm sure it'd be fine, because we were joking about this earlier, weren't we? About sounding husky and sexy.

Tazmin:

This is the new theme for this episode. Husky presenters and Christmas spirit.

Sarah:

Oh, yes. We've not got long till the big day. You feeling christmas Eve?

Tazmin:

No, I'm sorry to all of our listeners who really are in that zone. My daughter keeps on trying to get me into that zone. She's moving out soon. So I said, Go and take your Christmas tree with you. We're having steak and chips on Christmas. She wasn't impressed. Now she's saying she's not moving out until after Christmas.

Sarah:

What makes me laugh? So I am a vegan, but I hear so many people having discussions about turkey, right? And most of the time they don't like turkey. They prefer chicken, for example. And yet, just because of this tradition of eating turkey, why do that to yourself? Eat what you want.

Tazmin:

Exactly.

Sarah:

If you want steak and chips, you have steak and chips. If I want I don't know what I'd go yeah, I mean, I'm trying to think what my go to Christmas meal would be, but I'm not really that fussy, to be fair.

Tazmin:

To be fair, we usually have lamb. A joke about steak and chips. I am doing it just to wind her up, but I know we'll end up having a roast. She's a vegetarian. What does she care what? I have lamb, but I have been known to I love leftovers. That's probably why I won't do steak and chips, because you don't usually have a lot of leftovers. But I've been known to roast a leg of lamb and two chickens all at the same time, just so I could have roast chicken leftovers.

Sarah:

Sounds like the dream. Sounds like the dream. It's you. It's your episode. Isn't it? Like, you've planned this. So what we're talking about today, so.

Tazmin:

It'S more spontaneous episode this week. So, last Saturday, I had a group of wonderful women at home and we had a Life Success Strategy Day, that's what I called it. And the idea was for us all to take a day out of our busy lives, spend a bit of time and think about what did we want to achieve in 2023, but really tap into what did we really want? Not what did my boss want me to learn? What did this person want me to do? And what took me by surprise was that a lot of the women really struggled. So we had to take a step back because I said, well, what do you want for you? That threw them. That really threw them. But I think that might be quite normal. So we went through five steps to get down to the bottom of what goals were meaningful to them. And that's what the point of this episode was. It's not about, again, what your manager wants or what the business wants or what everybody else wants. What are the few things that you want? Doesn't have to be few, it can be loads, it can be whatever you want it to be. But they have to be meaningful to you.

Sarah:

Yeah. And that is so important. And it's quite interesting that you say that. People aren't sort of familiar with this kind of thinking, are they? And I don't know if a measurement is the right word or I'm just using a buzz word, but it's like because obviously you're talking to your boss, you're talking to your work colleagues, you're talking to your friends, you're talking to your family, and you can easily see how their goals become sort of like your goals.

Tazmin:

Yes. Yeah. Because then there is this almost like a social norm of, oh, I should want to go on a really long holiday. Holidays are a typical one where you think you should have them, but if you really tap into what do you want? Maybe you don't want to maybe you don't want to go through all of the stress of looking for a holiday, paying for a holiday, packing for the holiday, winding down from work, going on this holiday, coming back, having to do with all of the laundry, blah, blah, blah. Some people quite like to have a week at home without the nonsense of travel times and getting to airports and so on and so forth. So it's about, again, like I say, checking in with yourself and figuring out what's meaningful to you 100%. So you're ready? You're ready for step number one?

Sarah:

Sarah, give it to me. I am ready.

Tazmin:

So one of the things that we found when we were doing this last Saturday was there was so much clutter in people's minds, they couldn't actually get to the bits where they thought about what they wanted. And a lot of the women were saying, oh, yes, but I need to do this, I need to do that, I need to do the other. I can't even think about myself until all of this stuff is sorted. So step number one was declutter your mind. Our minds are so full of stuff that we need to do that we can't think clearly. So step number one is write down all of the things that are cluttering your mind, your big Todo list, and then do an audit. So the first step of your audit is be really ruthless, cross out the things that aren't that important. Do you really need to sort out the loft? Do you really need? I mean, if you do, go for it, but get it all down on a piece of paper and then cross out the ones that actually aren't that important because again, we're filled with this everybody else's todo list as well, then the stuff that's left. Do you need to be the person who does it?

Sarah:

Delegation.

Tazmin:

Delegation. It might mean an awkward conversation, it might mean reminding people of their roles and responsibilities in the home, for example. But yeah, delegates and on that list make it visible to everyone in the household and say, right, I've crossed out those, and those five are your husband, whoever, and the ones that are left that can only be done by you or you really, really want to do them, put a date that you're going to commit to doing them and put that list away. So hopefully all of that cluster now has got a plan to deal with them.

Sarah:

So is the idea that by writing it down then, like, you're actually taking it from your brain and you're putting it down on paper so that's the actual physical, you're doing something so it doesn't just stick in your head?

Tazmin:

Yeah, it's been like in that scene in Harry Potter where Dumbledore extracts all of the thoughts.

Sarah:

I don't know Harry Potter that well, but I'm sure our listeners will be Harry Potter fans.

Tazmin:

I hope so. Okay, so that's step number one. You've got everything off your to do list on a piece of paper. Step number two is some people find it difficult to answer, what do I want? But they're much better understanding what they don't want. So write your don't want list.

Sarah:

Okay.

Tazmin:

I do not want to go scuba diving. I know that. Would it take me out of my comfort zone? Probably. Do I want to do it? No, not doing it. I mean, I use that as an.

Sarah:

Extreme example and I suppose as well you could put like things that and it's not just your home and personal life, but this could easily be, you could be talking about your work life as well. Right, so when you're decluttering and do that in the workplace as well, I guess, and then especially with the delegation, because you might think this is for me to do. But yeah, like, I suppose there might be someone has asked you to do something or has suggested a goal or a target for you, but actually that's not right for you. So then I suppose that goes into your no list.

Tazmin:

I suppose one example is supposing you're job searching, that next year you want a new job. What don't you want that job to be? For me? I wouldn't want a job that required me to travel a lot, so that would mean my I don't want to do that. I don't mind doing things at the weekend. This is a Saturday morning 1125 that we're recording this, so that's okay. But if it required me to go here, there and everywhere, it's not what I want to do with my life.

Sarah:

Yes, very important.

Tazmin:

Very important. So those two steps should clear the way for you to start thinking deeper about what you do want. And I think that's a good point where we can have a break.

Sarah:

Yes. Because I think people can use this break, right, to have a think, can't they, about decluttering and like, actually having to think about this kind of thing because what have you got in store when we come back for part two?

Tazmin:

So then it is about getting curious about what you do want, dumping all that down on a piece of paper and again, reflecting. So a bit like we had what's on your Todo list that's currently there. We're creating a new Todo list and being equally ruthless about that one.

Sarah:

Wonderful. Okay. Right. You shall be back. We are back for part two, people.

Tazmin:

So what are your thoughts about the stuff we've covered in part one?

Sarah:

Sarah, I really like the idea of decluttering your mind because yeah, like, I think in a previous episode, we sort of talked about how you have is it like 70,000 thoughts a day or something? And obviously your brain is going to get cluttered, so I like the idea of writing them down. And whilst it's important to know what you want to do, I really like the advice about thinking about what you don't want to do, so how you gave the example of the job. If you're looking for a new job, but maybe you could assess your current job that you're doing. And maybe there's some tasks that you're already doing that you don't want to do, or you feel like your time could be better spent somewhere else. I think is good. Or like, life goals as well. Like, maybe there's something that you do religiously, like every Wednesday or whatever, but you're sort of thinking, actually, I'm not really enjoying it anymore. I think that was really good and it definitely got me thinking, so great. Yeah.

Tazmin:

I think it's about everyone giving themselves permission. If there's something they don't like doing, they're allowed to say, I don't like doing this now, or if there's something else they want to start equally.

Sarah:

They're allowed to because you don't owe anyone anything. The only thing you owe yourself, obviously. But yeah, that's so key to it's okay to say no, and if you don't want to do something anymore, that's fine. Just explain and obviously try and not be a dick about it, because at.

Tazmin:

The end of the day, when you're saying yes to something that you don't actually want to do, you're saying no to yourself.

Sarah:

Yes. I was going to finish your sentence, because I remember that from the course that I was on. Every time you say yes to something, you're saying no to something for yourself.

Tazmin:

Yes. Right. I'm going to dive into step number three, because this one's a bit of a biggie, but at the same time, I don't want anyone feeling overwhelmed about it. Take your time, be gentle with yourself. But this step is about being really curious about you. Rather than saying, I want to do these five goals or set these five goals, ask yourself some questions. What are you good at? What's your thing? What do you find easy? What do you enjoy all of these occludes on? What sort of thing that you're going to find fulfilling? So I know I'm not good at riding a bike. It's not my thing. I don't find it easy. I don't enjoy it. Therefore, if I'm going to be setting my exercise regime, cycling around Melts and Keynes is not the thing I'm going to do. I like listening to audio books, I like walking, I like taking my time. That's going to be the thing that works better for me. The other thing you can look at is, imagine when people ask you for your help, what's the thing that most people will ask you to do and you actually really, really enjoy it. You do it for free, all day long. It makes you feel really alive. Think about times when you've been in that situation, you've jumped at this opportunity, you feel really good about it, and that whole environment makes you feel like you're thriving.

Sarah:

Yes.

Tazmin:

And a silly little example for this, even though I've already done my I don't like Christmas, which is not true. It's not that I don't like Christmas. I love wrapping presents. I really love wrapping presents, and I do like Christmas songs. So in the past, I've volunteered at one of these places where you wrap Christmas presents for everyone. Now, not saying that that's going to become my job forever and a day, but I know that it makes me feel good. And maybe that's something I put in place once a year or whatever it is. I'm going to spend some time volunteering in this area, and it also makes me feel fulfilled and satisfied. So that's something else you could ask yourself. What were you doing when you felt like you were being worthwhile to a cause or to a charity? Other areas that you can talk to yourself about is when have you done something when it felt like your true self. So you know, when you're doing a task that feels really difficult and you're going against the grain, you're not enjoying it. Yes, you might be learning something, but it feels like you're going uphill all the time. And equally, there are some things that when you're doing it just feels like you've slipped into that task, glided your way through it, and it hasn't felt like a chore. So all of these things will start giving you clues about what you enjoy, where you have felt worthwhile, because there'll be things that you really enjoy that somebody else might not. Somebody might hate rapping presence, for example, or somebody might like cycling when you don't like cycling. So just because you find it easy and meaningful and you enjoy it, doesn't mean everyone else is going to, and vice versa.

Sarah:

Yes.

Tazmin:

Go on. You're going to ask?

Sarah:

No, I just want to pick up some things that we spoke about, especially around your point about your true self. And I think that's so important. Obviously, we can't live in this idealistic world where you're going to be doing everything that you're doing, you're going to be enjoying, because that's not how being an adult works, that's not how home life, that's not how work happens and stuff. But I suppose it's about being aware of the stuff that you do like and the stuff that you don't like. So then you can make sure you've got a balance. Or when you know that you've got a task that you've got to do that you don't like, is there a way that you can make it easier? For example, I don't necessarily like cleaning, but I love listening to podcasts. Right? So when I'm cleaning, that's a great opportunity for me to binge on some of my favorite podcasts. Okay, so I think it's also about that.

Tazmin:

Yeah, I think so. And I think, though, once you start going down this path of really checking into yourself about what is it that you enjoy doing and who are you and what makes you, you'll find ways to do that more and more. So I hear what you're saying, that life isn't perfect, people have got jobs and need to earn a certain amount of living, and you can't suddenly say, I'm going to go off and do this other thing without the repercussions. Everyone's got a choice, and the choice comes with consequences. But I do believe that once you start taking steps to incorporate that more and more in your life. So, for example, no matter which career I've had, whether it's when I was a developer, QA SEO when I was managing a team in the Data team, I always found ways of incorporating personal development into my job. Whether that was doing free lunch and learns or volunteering or being part of a great place to work colleague development, I always found ways. And it was telling me that this is what you're meant to be doing. Yeah, but I always thought, okay, I've got this job, I need to be doing that. But at some point I decided, you know what, why don't I just do this? Let's give it a go. Have my gap here in my mid fifty s. You know what, I'm going to give myself a gap here. And then you start taking steps. You and I hadn't met a year ago. We started talking about a podcast about poetry. And here we are a year on doing more and more of these podcasts that people are finding useful now and it's benefiting them. So, although I'm not telling people how to run their lives, I am saying that it is important to tap into who you really are and find ways of incorporating bits. However much that bit looks like, it could be a teeny tiny bit, it could be a whole career change, but don't dismiss it. I think that's what I'm trying to urge people not to do. Dismissal part of you.

Sarah:

Yes, definitely, 100% agree.

Tazmin:

So once you are in that zone of what is it that you want to do? What makes you feel fulfilled? Who are you again? Brain dump all of your goals. Don't worry about how you're going to achieve them, what it means, just get them down on a piece of paper. And then the fifth step is, you know, how we reflected on our to do list. I want people to take a little time and reflect on their goal list. And for each one fast forward. My goal is to sail around the world. For example, my goal isn't just making it very clear that my personal goal is not but supposing that's one of the ones that you put on a piece of paper, go through the steps it would take to make that happen, right, from the good stuff and the not so good stuff, and then completion. How does that make you feel? Because if it's not making you feel excited and enthusiastic, maybe that goal isn't really for you.

Sarah:

Yes. If it starts feeling like a chore, I suppose, or like you're not enjoying it, then obviously yeah, that needs to get in the bin.

Tazmin:

Yeah. And some of it will feel like a chore. So, for example, again, going back to running a coaching business, there are parts of it that I do that not that the most fun, but I know that it's a necessary step to get to where I want to get to and I'm okay with that.

Sarah:

And when in this podcast, right, like the actual recording and getting to chapter yourself and other amazing guests and stuff and like producing something that's helpful for the community, I love that. But then there are parts of having a podcast which we both it's not that we don't really like. Well, I suppose yeah, like we find more challenging, don't we?

Tazmin:

So yes, and that's where the discipline comes in and that's when the recognition that, okay, this is part of it. So if you were sailing around the world, there will be days when you know you're going to go through some rough times and it's going to be cold and you're going to be lonely and all the rest of it. Are you okay with that? The other thing is check, are they aligned with your values? Because values are the things that will help us make a choice. And off the top of my head, I cannot think of a single one right now because I think my brain has gone fuzzy. But for me, family time is huge. And if there was a goal that meant that I was being taken away from family for a long period of time, it would have to be a brilliant goal and amazing goal because I thrive when I've got my family around me. They anchor me, they nurture me, they fill my cup. So without it, I do struggle. I can cope with a few days, but if it was like a month away from home, I'd struggle with that. And I would have to question, is that goal important enough for me to be without the family for a month? Maybe there would be one, but it's just checking in with your values because if it doesn't align, then you're likely not to stick with them. And then I suppose an offshoot of that is, are they aligned with who you want to be? So using that previous example, if I had to be away for a month from family, but it was to help a set of young children going through a difficult period of their lives and help them with personal development and nurturing, would I do that? Yes, I probably would because it's aligned with who I want to be.

Sarah:

Yeah. And I suppose it's about so you know that it's aligned with who you want to be and it's still going to be aligned with one of your values, obviously not so much your family one, but your other values of giving back or helping people in need. And I suppose it's just about okay, like putting in a contingency plan of what you're going to do. So spending time with the family before and after, making sure that I don't know, that you have a phone call or FaceTime while you're out, sort of thing, I think things can always be tweaked and altered, can't they?

Tazmin:

Yeah. And again, I keep on using this. It's about checking in with yourself and figuring out, yes, I want to do this thing. I'm going to find this bit challenging, but it's okay, I'll find a way through it, aligns with this value, but it doesn't align with this. And this is how I'm going to make sure that I've put everything I need to do in place to give myself the best possible chance of succeeding.

Sarah:

Wonderful. Wonderful. Yeah. All right.

Tazmin:

So we've come to the end of our five steps.

Sarah:

Yes, yes. I was just going to say, I've definitely my brain's got me thinking of things to do and stuff, and I mean, what would your advice be for those who would be worried about failing with goals? Like, we go through these steps and we set up our goals and stuff. How do we get over that fear of, like, I don't want to because I don't want to fail.

Tazmin:

So one question would be, would you rather go through the feeling of failure than the feeling of regret?

Sarah:

Yes.

Tazmin:

One thing I did years and years ago was I was working a company, somebody once said to me, oh, Tasman, can you make me a curry? And I said, I can make you a curry. So I brought it was Mark Webb, whose name was so I've made him a curry. And then somehow that then snowballed into a weekly curry club. I would send out a message on a Monday saying, this week I'm making this curry. Let me know by Wednesday if you want it, and then I'd bring in the curry. So I then thought, oh, it'd be great to have a catering business. I started that catering business. It didn't go to plan. Some people would say it failed, but at least now I can. I know that I gave it a go because I think if I hadn't, I would have regretted it. But it taught me a lot. Yeah. And you'll always learn something about yourself, so I've learned huge amounts and I take that learning with me everywhere I've been there.

Sarah:

So the biggest thing is not to be scared of failure, right? And failure isn't a negative thing. It's like failure is about self discovery, isn't it? And you can either turn failure into a teaching lesson, like what you just have had, or you can pivot and you can change it into a positive. Right? Because you always hear, don't you, that like the multimillionaires of the world. You hear how many of them were failing for ages, like, not really making money, or this was like their last shot. So, yeah, I think it's just you've got to have some resilience, I suppose, don't you? And not being scared of the big F word, because do you know what I mean? It's all right to fail, it's not always negative, and you will fail. There are going to be times in your life where you're going to fail, but either treat it as a lesson learned or pivot change it. How can you tweak it to make it into a success for next time?

Tazmin:

Absolutely. You know what? If you don't try, you won't fail. But that's awful, because then you're stuck where you are. So if you want to move anywhere from where you are, you've got to give something a go. If you give it a go. It may not go to plan, it doesn't matter. Learn something from it. Pivot yourself, reframe it. And every day you are becoming somebody who is getting better and better at being you, and therefore you can never fail.

Sarah:

Wonderful. Wonderful. Right, well, unfortunately, we have run out of time.

Tazmin:

I think we've packed a lot in this episode.

Sarah:

I think it's been really good. I mean, my notebook is full of squibbles, so yeah. Do you want to know my main takeaway?

Tazmin:

That would be wonderful.

Sarah:

I think my main takeaway would be the thing that we've just discussed. Really? Obviously, you've given some awesome steps of how we can be true to ourselves and make sure that we're setting the goals that are important to us. And yeah, I love all that, the auditing side. But the key thing is that the conversation that we just had about failure, oh, wow.

Tazmin:

Maybe we do an episode on failure.

Sarah:

Yes. And we could call it something funny, like the dreaded F word. And then people are going to be like, anyway, shall we end with our pledge?

Tazmin:

Yes, we do. Together.

Sarah:

Before we end with our pledge, I just want to remind people, as I said at the beginning of the episode, if you would like to support us sorry, you might have just heard a very squeaky microphone there. If you would like to support us and you enjoy what we're doing, you join listening to our episode. You can donate to us, buy me a coffee so you can do a one off donation for us. And we'll be very appreciative of that link in the show notes, so you can do that. And also to make sure that you never miss an episode and you don't get FOMO or you make sure that you listen to all the new episodes that come out. Head on over to the Seamindet Co Uklistim, because there you'll be able to subscribe to where you get your podcasts. So, again, that link in the show notes, I'm going to hand over the pledge to you. Tasman.

Tazmin:

Okay. I am an SEO who prioritizes mindset and personal growth, and not just for rankings, improving visibility and algorithms.

Sarah:

There we go. Hand on your heart, people. And I think because this is going to be the last episode before Christmas yes. We should say Happy holidays. Like, have a wonderful festive time if you celebrate Christmas, if you don't celebrate Christmas, have a wonderful time with family, whatever you get up to, absolutely.

Tazmin:

Eat what you want, do what you want, its your Christmas.

Sarah:

It is. And we are going to be taking a short break, aren't we? A couple of weeks. But if you subscribe right, you'll know, as soon as we're back in the new year because yeah, it won't be long.

Tazmin:

Happy holidays, everybody.

Sarah:

Happy Holidays. That's the thing to say, isn't it? Yeah. Ho ho.

Tazmin:

And happy holidays to you, Sarah. You and your family.

Sarah:

Happy holidays to you too. I hope you enjoy your steak and chips.

Tazmin:

Take care.