We all have things we want to achieve, and so we set goals to help reach them. Maybe you want to run a marathon, learn to bake, or put a certain amount into savings. You have to start somewhere (the beginning is a good start), and setting goals helps keep an eye on the prize.
Blogging is no different. Setting blog-related goals keep you focused and are a great way to make sure you’re headed in the direction you want to go. Most people are going to tell you to set measurable, realistic goals that are achievable and easy to monitor the progress of. That’s a great idea, it really is. But it isn’t the only approach to goal setting.
I recently read an article in Self Magazine about model Joan Smalls. Five years ago she was a struggling model going out on auditions and living with her aunt in Queens. For motivation, she decided to write a list of goals she wanted to accomplish in her career. Her list included things like getting photographed by famous photographer Mario Testino, modeling for Chanel, and walking in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. To date, she has accomplished all of her goals and then some.
The point is, every single goal you set doesn’t have to be realistic/small/easily attainable, as long as the goal motivates you. Maybe you dream of being photographed for your street style, or you want one of your recipes published, or you want to contribute to a well-known magazine. Use these larger goals as a motivating factor to get you going. Eye on the prize, people. Looking at the big picture is a way to put things in perspective.
Here are a few ideas for setting goals:
1. Look at the numbers.
If you don’t know where to start, looking at your numbers is a great place to begin. Maybe your focus is to increase your views by 10% for the month. Or maybe you want to gain 25 new followers on each of your social media platforms. Setting goals involving your stats and followers are measurable ways to see growth. And growth is good!
2. Organize by time.
I like to break my goals down by time– one-month goals, three-month goals, six months, one year, and so on. This allows me to focus on what I want to achieve in the short term, while also keeping longer term goals in sight.
Sometimes setting bigger goals and working backward helps figure out ways to achieve them. For example, if you want to have 500 Facebook fans in six months, and you only have 200 right now, you could break it down and try to gain 50 new fans each month. Fifty in a month is a little less daunting than 300 total.
3. Set big and small goals + plan.
This goes hand-in-hand with organizing by time. Look at setting small goals as being the building blocks for achieving the larger goals. And when you set smaller goals that are more readily achievable, you are not as likely to get discouraged than if you only set huge goals.
The next part involves coming up with a plan for how to achieve the amazing goals you have set. It isn’t a big deal if you haven’t figured out how you are going to end up with your own Food Network show, or attend New York Fashion Week, or launch your blog series on detoxifying your home. But you need to at least start building a plan for getting to the next level. The plan will keep you from getting overwhelmed if you chunk it out into more bite-sized to-do’s.
4. Periodically reevaluate.
It is 100% okay to change your goals. As you grow and evolve as a blogger, your goals will shift. Maybe you set a goal of having 500 followers on Instagram in six months, but a few months in, you realize Instagram just isn’t your thing. That’s okay! Or you set a goal of starting a new series on your blog, but later you feel like it’s not a good fit. Again, totally cool. Just take a step back, reevaluate, modify, and roll on.
I tend to be the kind of person that, if I set a goal, I want to achieve it because I set it. So, if I set out to run five miles but I’m dying after three, I’m going to try to run those five miles because I said I would. Don’t do that! If your goals aren’t working for you or something isn’t right, change it. Just because you set these goals, it doesn’t mean you have to do them all. Use them as an outline for getting where you want to go.
5. Keep track.
Whether it is in a notebook, a spreadsheet, Google Docs, on your phone, etc., write out your goals. Make notes. Come up with your plan. Keep track. This will help you not only stay focused, but to see how far you’ve come. Make notes about things you achieved that weren’t on your list of goals so you have a total picture of what you’ve accomplished. It’s all about staying motivated!
Nikki blogs at The Fashionable Wife and is a co-founder of The Blogger Collective.