During a recent team JK brainstorm session, I asked my team to share their biggest, most audacious goals for next year. It could be for the brand or for their personal visions, but the idea was to make them lofty, massive, juicy, who-knows-if-we-could-do-it type goals.
We all floated ideas — ways to give back to our communities, ways to serve our audience even better, products we could create and offer to impact more people. These moments where we get to share our hearts and desires for the future honestly make me feel so much gut-deep gratitude for this group of women surrounding me and building up this company to its fullest potential.
In the midst of all my mushy thankfulness, as I read through their suggestions, an idea popped into mind that honestly felt a little bit crazy: What if we planned, as a team, to take off an entire month of work next year? Like a team sabbatical.
An entire month to disconnect from email and Slack, and reconnect with loved ones. An entire month to finally take that trip or tackle that home project they’ve been yearning to do. And entire month to read, to sit outside in the sun, to sleep in, to sip coffee without needing to be anywhere or answer to anyone. What if we made that a goal?
I typed it out into our Slack channel and waited for the responses. “Could we really do that?” “What would that look like?” I really think we can. And it would look like a whole lot of hustle, and then a whole lot of rest.
And so, it was set. We planned to collectively take off July 2020 as a company. As we talked through how this could become a reality and what would need to happen, I just kept getting more and more excited. Of course, to get there, we set some massive goals to hit before the month off in order to have everything ready for the team to take off.
But I just know this is going to be a game changer for my business, and there are 3 major reasons why:
1. It’s teaching us to set immense, dreamy goals.
As you already know, when it comes to goal setting, my whole belief is the bigger the better. Like, let’s just dream up the most daring ideas we can think of and see what happens. Why not, right?
But it doesn’t just have to be about success or more income or the most growth in the least amount of time. These big goals can be geared toward self-care, mental health, rest, and taking care of YOU, just as much as you want to grow and impact others greatly. And it’s okay to prioritize the “you” goals just as much as your biz ones.
In fact, I’d argue it’s probably better for your business to prioritize the big personal goals. Because when you’re happy and rested and reset, your business has the space to flourish. It shows that you’re in it for the long run, because the only way you can withstand slow seasons and setbacks as much as the wins is if you really and truly know how to take care of you.
2. It’s reinforcing the importance of rest as a team.
If you’ve been following along for a while, you may know that it’s been a personal practice of mine to take a month-long sabbatical every July over the last few years. It’s how I came up with the idea to extend the break to my team, because I’ve seen just how powerful it’s been for my own life and family.
As an entrepreneur, I’m used to working weird and long hours. It’s normal to put in weekend time and lose some sleep because I can’t seem to shut off my brain. You’re probably right there with me, too. But a few years ago, I realized just how frantically I was burning the candle from both ends. I knew something needed to change for me to actually sustain my business AND my sanity, and I planned my first sabbatical.
It changed everything for me. And I want my team to experience that freedom to rest and reflect and unplug, too. It’s this chance to get back in touch with how I’m really doing and to be with my family intentionally and uninterrupted. I value the work and dedication my team has given me so immensely, that nothing would give me more joy than to give them a month of their own to spend however they’d like to.
3. It’s creating space for more creativity and innovation.
Beyond being really, really dang good for my brain, a month off has done wonders for my business. I know that sounds odd — because how could STOPPING working actually move the needle at all in a business? — but I can’t tell you how creating space to rest actually ignites even more inventive new ideas to pop into mind, even more exciting dreams that come up in conversations with family.
After all, I am an entrepreneur. I can’t totally shut off the brainstorming part of my brain. But stepping away from the laptop, from the daily tasks that fill up my normal weeks, from the requests and emails and questions and meetings… It allows this new wave of creativity to hit that has been transformational for my business. I seriously can’t wait to see what visions and ideas we all come back with next August.
Not to mention, taking a month off (even when it was just me taking off!) requires a boatload of planning, preparing, working ahead, and grinding. We have to seriously hustle to get things all ready to run at least mostly seamlessly while we’re gone. If that doesn’t set you up for momentum, I don’t know what will.
So, as you head into 2020 with visions of more work progress and advancement, I hope you also remember to prioritize you. I hope you dream up just as courageous of goals for your personal life as you do your business life. I happen to think you can achieve whatever it is you choose to go after, whether it’s three-day weekends or a trip around the world or a month off, too. Just set it, plan for it, and then really go for it. Because you deserve it.