If you don’t write down your goals with clear instructions, your plans will be mere wishes.
I read the post Daniel brought to us to usher in the new year Write Down and Share Your Goals, and I thought it would be a good idea to expand on it to make sure you maximize the potential of your blog in 2014 by being specific about your goals.
Write down Your Goals
This might seem obvious and an echo of what Daniel said earlier, but this is still a very important step. You must be clear and concise with your goal writing. You can’t leave out anything, and you can’t imply it because your subconscious won’t understand it when you see it again.
It is best to have 5-10 goals in present tense, as active, affirmative statements.
- I post 3-5 posts a week on my blog…
- I earn $500-$1000 from my blog a month…
- I am a successful blogger…
Write the Time Frame You Want Your Goal Completed
To reiterate: If you aren’t specific about your goals, you are merely wishing. If your goals do not have a deadline (somewhere between 3 months to 1 year), you’re unlikely to reach them.
Some people are reluctant to set deadlines, but they do three things to help you along.
- You will have the date in the back of your mind, even if you only write it once.
- You will be accountable, which will motivate you more than fear or shame from others.
- You will be able to prioritize your work accordingly.
If you say “I post 3-5 posts a week on my blog by March 31st, 2014,” you are committing to do just that.
Write What You Will Do to Complete the Goal
Flesh out your goals so that they become real plans. Add a line to each of them explaining what exactly you plan to do.
If you say “I post 3-5 posts a week on my blog by March 31st, 2014 by writing two short posts in the morning to create a back catalog,” you are now committing to what you’ll do and taking it upon yourself to adjust your morning routine to accomplish this.
Repeat Writing Your Goals until You Complete Them
There is something to be said about repetition. Through the act of writing your goals down every day, you are reinforcing your desire to do the task at hand. It will infuse your day with energy and emotion as you keep going through your day remembering what you wrote down.
It’s fine to change the wording of the goals, and their order, especially early on. You might have your posts goal in the number 3 position, but then the next day you have it in the number 6 position. Just keep writing them down. As your priorities change, so will your goals. This is a necessary part of the process.
I tested this out for myself from Sept. 1st, 2013 to December 31st, 2013. I wrote down 10 goals to start off with, but trimmed it down to 5 to make sure I could accomplish what I set out to do. They were:
- I am a successful writer, completing 5 stories to 2nd draft by December 31st, 2013 through dedicated morning writing and taking any opportunity I can to write during the day.
- I am a well-read person, completing 10 books on writing by December 31st, 2013 through reading first thing in the morning as I wake up for 30 minutes each day.
- I am a learned person, earning two certificates through Coursera by December 31st, 2013 through focused study and diligent note taking when the classes were released.
- I am a wiser saver, setting aside $2500 by December 31st, 2013 through a tighter budget and setting aside at least 10% of my income (and whatever bonuses I acquire).
- I am a healthier person, weighing 200 pounds by December 31st, 2013 through better eating and steady exercise.
I am pleased to say I completed four of the five goals I set out for me by December 31st, 2013 (sadly, my love affair with burritos keeps me above 200 lbs).
With these steps, even just a few written goals can change your life.
Happy blogging! Once you’ve written down your goals, tell us about them in the comments.