Thursday, 18 February 2016

4 Ways To Stay On Top Of and Focused on Your Blog Goals

Late last year, I talked about setting blog goals, why it's an important thing to do, the type of goals they needed to be, and even shared with you a free goal planner to help you set those goals. Turns out, a lot of us need a shove in the right direction when it comes to aiming for something and working hard at it. I tend to find that setting the goals is easy enough, but when to comes down to the nitty gritty of actually keeping up with them, hitting them, and smashing them to pieces, I need a good ol' poke with my motivation stick.

At this point in the year, it's not uncommon to find yourself looking at two different types of people. The first type are the ones who have every day of their entire year planned, with tricks on how to advance their goals, hit them, and pretty them up with unicorn piss and rainbows made of skittles. They're usually just that tiny bit too competitive and just have to tell how well they're doing, all the tine.

The second type are a little, less motivated. They're behind. They're struggling. They ditched some of their goals because, although they knew deep down they weren't achievable, they stressed themselves out over it anyway. They think about giving up, joining a nunnery and befriended god in order to somehow achieve a level of happiness that their forgotten goals never could.

Neither one of these types of people is bad, and neither is what they're doing, there are just healthy ways to go about your goals, ways that don't involve putting them on a bonfire to crackle away into nothing. It's important to remember there's a reason you made those goals, and wanted to achieve those things, and in order to stay on top of them, you've got to have a least half a plan to start with.

So, how do you stick with and stay on top of your goals?

1. Cut them down into smaller, more achievable goals

One of my blog goals for the year is the reach a minimum of 5,000 pageviews a month by the end of the year. That's quite a big aim for someone who was reaching just around half that when she set it, but to make it look less scary, I've cut that goal down into smaller, more manageable, more achievable quarterly goals. Rather than aim for 5,000 straight away, I've aimed for a minimum of 3,000 between January and March, nowhere near as scary, but more likely to happen.

It can be really easy to look at a big goal, see you're not getting anywhere close to it, and give up, and I'm not going to lie or beat around the bush, I feel you, it sucks, but, if aim for the final result and take smaller steps to getting there, it'll feel much more manageable, much more achievable, and you'll feel motivated to continue with it. Cutting your goals down into smaller goals is something I go into more in my goal planner.

Task: Take a look at your goals and think about the smaller things you do to reach that end result. What needs to be done before you get to the end? Can you take smaller steps, and reward yourself each step of the way? Cut your goal down into easily digestible, smaller goals, like hurdles to jump, until you reach the final straight. There's no point breaking into a run if you haven't cleared the obstacles in your path.

2. Make sure the goals benefit you/your blogs present

I see quite often in the blogs I follow, people trying to achieve goals that no longer fit with their blog, themselves, or their future. They insists on powering through 100 books a year although they no longer feel the excitement for it they once did, or need to read that many since they no longer blog about books. I see business women, fabulous, amazing, successful business women creating goals other people have set themselves because they feel they need to be doing the same.

If your goals aren't tailored for you, by you, how can you expect to achieve them?

My goals are person to me in that they compliment myself and where I want Nellie to be in a years time. I want to see my views improve, and grow and develop with time. I want to create at least one project through the year, and hopefully transition it into a little extra cash over Christmas. I want to read 30 books this year because I know that I'll need that escape into something I honestly, truly enjoy, something blogging and sleeping and eating can never give me. My goals are tailored for me, by me, and are therefore more achievable because I know what I wanted, and whether I can do it.

Task: If the goals you set yourself at the beginning of the year no longer suit their purpose, or you've outgrown them, or moved away from the direction they went in, stop pursuing them and make new blogs. Where do you want to be in a years time? What do you want to have achieved? What would you proud to say you did, and does it suit you and your blogs current position? Your goals have to be for yourself, after all, it's you that's going to be working hard for them, right?

3. Celebrate the smaller milestones to motivate yourself

I've spoken before about how important celebrating your milestones is, and how a simple moment of pride can really re-enforce your confidence, your abilities, and your motivation. You'll be surprised how many people will celebrate with you, no matter how small the milestone, because your passion and your joy and your enthusiasm can create a huge snowball of encouragement for others, and yourself, and you'll only want to achieve even more goals.

Take time to track your goals, either in a list form, or with a sheet like mine available in my free blog planner, and tick them off one by one once you've achieved them. Take the time to feel immensely pleased with yourself, and give yourself a reward - a cup of your favourite coffee at your favourite shop, or a new pair of shoes, or even a little smile to yourself, but whatever you do, celebrate the achievements, no matter how small, to push yourself forwards.

Task: Think about all the things you've achieved so far this year and write them down or think about them for a few moments. Did you finally get the courage to go ski-diving, or did you get to interview your favourite author? Did you manage to get a new, exciting job you can imagine yourself in for life, or did you finally get the followers you've been working hard to grow on that social media you love? No matter what the achievement or milestone, celebrate it, and share it with others.

4. Gather friends/groups who share motivation like cookies

Sometimes, all you need in order to stay on top of something is someone to crack the whip, push you into that chair, give you a keyboard and tell you to write until your fingers bleed. Of course, some people are less demanding and less violent than others, but getting a friend involved to help motivate you, push you, encourage you and praise you is one of the easiest and best ways to beat those goals.

There's a small little group I like to call the-writers-who-procrastinate-writing, who are, in turn, bloggers who, as you've guessed it, write novels. They dream of being published, it's one of their goals, and as the trio work hard to motivate one another with writing challenges, promising internet cake, cyber rewards and lots of chit-chat about their poor dead characters, they slowly but surely work towards achieving their goals, be that writing new novels, editing already written novels, or sending them off to beta readers. They're writing buddies, and they motivate one another like crazy.

Task: Find one or two finds who would help motivate you, cheer you up in times of needs, encourage you to work when you feel most low and bring out the best in yourself and ask them if they'd be interested in being your goal buddy. Keep in contact, and push each other to work on your goals. When things get tough, turn to them and they'll keep you on the right track, and when they start to lose their way, motivate them to achieve their goals too. What better way to do number 3 than with a friend?

It's easy to become disheartened when you don't see progress after working so hard, but it's important to remember that your goals aren't meant to achieved in such a short space of time, and results take time to become apparent. I know from person experience that hard work can pay off when you least expect it too, but I also know that it's not worth setting goals you can't achieve, no matter what you do, as they'll only bring you down.

If you're still not sure how exactly to set goals, and want a helping hand along the way, download my free goal planner for tips and advice on how to set smaller, more refined goals to help you achieve larger, grander plans, learn how to divide goals into their actionable steps, and how to achieve those goals in the set period of time you set aside for them. You can also stay on top of your goals progress with my 'Track My Progress' blog goals sheet, helping you get note and tick them off as you achieve them.

How do you stay motivated/on top of your goals?


  1. It helps that I have no goals, right? ;) I am kidding- kind of. Basically, I am just trying to keep my head above water. I am definitely the second group you mentioned. But the irony is, the goal I HAVE given up on? The goal of calming down and not stressing about blog stuff. Because I physically cannot. Time is NOT on my side, and no matter how organized I am or what I do, there will just not be enough hours. And it is maddening, so I have given up on calming down, basically.

    And that is the only goal I remember, which is probably bad. I am definitely checking out your goal planner, because I obviously need help. Or time, if you come out with a series on how to make extra hours, I will sign up so fast your head will spin :D

    1. Oh no, the goal of staying calm seems like a good one though, so that seems like a shame. However, I don't think I'm talented enough to magic hours in the day, which isn't great, I know, so sorry! Still, if you do find you're making goals again, this hopefully was a good post to help you stay focused Shannon! :)

  2. These are super fabulous. I've been more conservative in setting goals this year because schoolwork, but sometimes my blog plans overwhelm me so much. Breaking things down DEFINITELY help -- I use a checklist and use sub-bullet points as necessary! I've yet to learn to celebrate milestones -- I'm just intensely afraid of going backwards, I suppose? I never tweet about reaching a certain number of followers just because I'm afraid someone will unfollow me right after :/ Will learn to do that -- thanks, Amanda!

    1. Breaking the goals down so they're not as scary is always a good thing I find. I would still celebrate the milestone, because you've earned it and should be proud of yourself, so just go for it Alyssa! Once you've celebrated, you'll work hard to keep it at that number or higher, so be pleased! :)

  3. YESSSS I AGREE!! (Of course, I mean, gawsh, aren't all your posts just far too fabulous, Amanda?! YES THEY ARE.) Ahem. I'm probably actually rather a middle ground? Like I'm not mega-planned out, but I do (at least in my head) know what I'm going to do at least a week or two in advance. I didn't make any goals this year for my blog overall though. I mean, my goal is just to SURVIVE. xD And stop stressing over blogging and stuff.

    Ohh, and tailoring your goals for you?! Yes absolutely! I actually surprised myself recently realising just how much stuff I was doing because I'd either a) always done it, or b) that's what everyone did. Pfffft. Not good reasons.

    Also recently I did a #rewriteathon with Alyssa (*points above to Alyssa*) and Emily to edit our books and AHHH IT WAS REALLY MOTIVATING AND GOOD. I definitely think finding motivating buddies is something not to be missed. XD

    1. AW CAIT YOU. I think I'm a bit of the same - I still like to wing a little, but having some sort of platform to do whatever I want on, some firm goals in which I can wing it, that suits me! Interesting, that little group of writers, THAT was you, Alyssa and Emily! You have those motivators with you ALL the time. Great to see you've dropped what you don't enjoy doing though! :)

  4. Its taken me long enough, but I finally printed part of your 2016 blog planner and am already loving it. It really made me sit down and look at my statistics and therefore make solid number goals for 2016, which was something I've been needing to do for a while now.

    This is all so true and it's important to remember since it's so easy to forget. Cutting goals down into achievable chunks is something I'm really trying to take to heart this year. There are a lot of things I want to do but you can only do one thing at a time, which can be really frustrating. Setting smaller goals definitely boost moral though and help measure progress for the bigger goals as well.

    As always, lovely post, Amanda. You hit the nail on the head.

    1. Aw, thank you Stephanie! Really pleased my planner is helping you out there, but oh yes, when you've got loads of things to do and can only do one at a time, sucks.. Hope your goals are now more achievable than ever! :)

  5. Random comment, but I love the change in your picture, Amanda! :)
    Anyway...these tips are fantastic! I definitely agree with cutting your goals into more manageable and smaller chunks - too often have I fallen into the trap of making huge goals, then not being motivated enough to continue with them because I think I'll never succeed! Fantastic post, Amanda! :)

    1. Aw, thanks Geraldine! I thought it was time for a new image, one that fitted my design more, and I've found it I agree though, smaller goals are instantly better for you because you can hit them, just make sure they help your bigger ones! :)

  6. These tips are so helpful! I set some goals at the start of the year, like scheduling blog posts in advance, but I've completely failed with them. I find it hard to get on top of everything! I think I need to say I should write at least 2 posts a week... which seems a lot more manageable!

    Thank you for sharing!
    Denise | The Bibliolater

    1. Thanks Denise! You're so right, sometimes just a change in how you word a small goal can make a HUGE difference. Getting scheduling sounds scary, but saying 2 posts a week is achievable, so go you! :)