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Aaah, the end of the year. The time when we plan out our New Year’s Resolutions and get super ambitious with our goals.
But, as everyone knows, we set these awesome goals in December and January, and they’re history by February.
Let’s take my 2016 New Year’s Resolutions, for example. At the end of December, I decided that in 2016, I was going to create two courses and two ebooks for my blog.
This is great if you’re blogging full-time, right? Lofty enough to make you work for them, but still relatively achievable if you’ve got the time for them.
Well… I ended up creating one ecourse and zero ebooks. And I had already started creating the ecourse in December of 2015.
So what stopped me from achieving my blogging goals? Oh, it might have been the fact that three days into 2016, I moved to a different state and wasn’t sure when or where I was going to find a job.
I tried the whole “use unemployment as an excuse to take my blog full-time” thing. But it just wasn’t realistic.
Our rent had almost doubled, we had a bigger place and therefore needed to buy more furniture, and we were trying to aggressively pay off student loans.
And my blog was making me… maybe $150 per month when I launched my course?
Don’t get me wrong, that’s awesome! But it just doesn’t pay the bills like a full-time job does.
So, I had to put my blogging goals on the back burner to really focus on finding a job in Cincinnati. And at first I felt like a failure. I had all of these awesome goals for my blog, and I couldn’t accomplish them.
But you know what? I hadn’t failed to accomplish my goals. I had failed to make my goals. They simply weren’t realistic given my situation.
So, how can we set achievable goals for our blog?
And to be clear: achievable isn’t the same thing as easy.
We still want to challenge ourselves with our blogs. Try new things, accomplish a lot, and learn a ton along the way.
So how do we do that without feeling like a failure?
1 | Be honest about the timeline.
Do you know what your blog is going to look like in a year? What about six months? I know I don’t! I’m still learning and evolving so much as a blogger that setting a goal for the year just doesn’t make sense for me.
If you’re unsure where you’re headed with your blog, shoot for a three-month resolution instead of one for the whole year. That gives you enough time to look to the future (as opposed to, say, one month), while also making it possible to evaluate and set new goals once the three months are up.
If three months aren’t enough, try six months! Adjust your timeline to fit your current stage as a blogger.
For me, I’m making a three-month resolution to launch a new ecourse by the end of March. It’s a lot more realistic than my 2016 goal of two ecourses and two ebooks, even though the amount of time for one ecourse would be the same. That’s because the three-month timeline allows me to adjust after the three months are up if I hit a roadblock!
To help you lay out your goals, I’ve created a free goal-setting workbook just for you! Click below to download it!
2 | Keep in mind any big life changes or work projects.
While you’re setting your goals, whether they’re for the next few months or the next year, it’s important to keep in mind any big life changes or massive work projects you’ve got going on.
Are you moving in those three months? Then maybe hold off until after you move, or extend that goal to a six-month timeline instead of just three.
I’m getting married in September of 2017, and I already know that July and August will be big planning-ahead months for me. I don’t want my blog to go on hiatus, but I also know I won’t be able to write very much while I’m finishing up the plans and, you know, getting married, so I’m not setting any major projects for that time.
I found it helpful to lay out a calendar of 2017 and fill in major events in my life, and then set goals around them. I highlighted trips, friends’ weddings, my wedding, my honeymoon, etc. It gave me a good idea of when my schedule would be packed and when I’d have more time.
I found it so helpful, in fact, that I included it in the Goal Setting Workbook that’s free for you to download!
3 | Break your goals into smaller tasks before finalizing them.
And finally, as you’re making these goals, break the goals down into smaller tasks before you finalize them.
Breaking a big project or task down into smaller sub-tasks is a great way to boost your productivity and make the project seem way less daunting.
But here’s the thing: too often, people are breaking it down too late.
As you’re setting goals, you want to have an idea of what exactly this goal will entail. That way, you can make adjustments.
Maybe you extend the timeline. Maybe you take out another goal and push it back on the calendar.
Make sure you really know what you’re getting yourself into as you’re setting these goals. Otherwise you might not achieve them!
For example, I now know what I need to do to launch an ecourse. So, I can keep all of those tasks in mind as I’m deciding on my time frame. I know I need to do x, y, and z, so as I’m planning out my deadline, I can give myself deadlines for each of those tasks based around the life events I’d already plotted out!
I want you to kick ass with your blog, so get out there and set some achievable (but not easy!) goals!
And don’t forget to download the free goal-setting workbook!
What are your blog’s goals for the next three months, six months, or year? Let me know in the comments! I’m excited to hear everything you want to accomplish.