The key to successful goal setting isn’t just about creating goals, it’s about being SMART with our goal setting – it is making sure we’resetting attainable goals for ourselves and our blogs.
Setting Attainable Blogging Goals
You know the saying
Shoot for the moon. If you miss, at least you’ll land among the stars.
When it comes to setting attainable goals, forget about the moon. The moon is our dream. The stars are what we want to be thinking of. It’simportant to understand the difference between a dream and a goal. Adream is the destination we want to reach. Goals are the stepping-stones or the map that will lead us there. And I want to share with you sometips I use to help make sure I’m able to get from one step to the nextwithout falling off the path.
1. Pick a Yearly Focus
As you all know, there is a lot more to blogging than simple running a blog. We need to create content, build our readership, our email lists, our social media followings. Then there’s creating revenue, connectingwith brands, creating products for sale. With all we have to do, it’seasy to have too many goals on the go at once, which splits our focusand can make reaching all those goals hard to do. To keep from beingoverwhelmed by it all, try choosing a yearly focus or two.
- Pick one or two main goals you want to work on for the year (your year does not have to start on January first).
- Break those goals into four steps.
- Assign each step a quarter of the year and figure out what you need to do to reach that target.
- Write that plan down. I use my planner to help keep me accountable to my goals.
By choosing only one or two areas to focus on each year, you’re ableto devote the time and attention those goals need, without overextending yourself too much. This allows to keep working towards those long-termgoals, without sacrificing your short terms ones.
2. Break Them Down
Goals need a plan to help us reach them. To create a plan, we need to break down our goals into small, easy to manage steps. Even short-termgoals can benefit from being broken down into smaller steps. Think of it like a to-do list, which in a way it is. You know how good it feels tocross items of your to-do list each day? Breaking down our goals intosmaller steps is just like making up a to-do list. Best of all, thosesmall, as we start crossing off those smaller, easier to manage steps,we create a feeling of accomplishment. And that feeling will propel usforward into the next step, and the more we do the better we’ll feel.Sometimes, feeling we’re accomplishing something, even if it’s small, is just what we need to drive us on to those big, wonderful, great thingswe have planned.
If one of your goals is to have six month’s worth of posts written and scheduled ahead of time, your smaller steps might include
- Determine what holidays/special times are coming up in those six months
- Figure out what topics you want to cover each month
- Gather links for rounds up for the above
- Work on printable or tutorials for crafts
- Schedule post ideas on content calendar
- Write 2 extra posts a week
- Spend 4 hours on the weekend working on photos.
- Have one photo shoot per week and try to photograph two or three projects at a time
You can do this with smaller goals too. It may seem like you’recreating more work for yourself, but what you’re really doing is setting things up so that you are giving yourself positive feedback. The moreitems you see crossed off your list, the more you’re going to feel likeyou can do that next step.
3. Lower Your Expectations
We cannot do it all. It’s just a fact of life. So why not giveyourself a bit of a break and aim low. I’m not saying undersell yourself and I’m not saying give up on the those big goals, but sometimes whenwe set goals we aim to high. This is especially easy to do when we’resetting goals that we only have so much control over, like growing oursocial media following or driving more traffic to our sites. We can only do so much to help, and the rest is up to things outside our control.Goals like these ones can take up a lot of our time, and can sometimesbecome all-consuming to the detriment of our blogs. After all, we mayhave spent all our work time working on building out social mediafollowers, but if we have no time left to make new content then our hard work was for nothing.
The point of setting goals is to help us focus, and remind us of where we’re going. If we lower our expectations of ourselves and our goals, (whereappropriate) we give ourselves a little more breathing room, and stillcontinue to work forwards. For goals that involve increasing numbers, Ilike to stick to the 10% range. My monthly goal is to see those numbersgo up 10%. It’s easily doable, takes a little extra work but not toomuch, and yet at the end of the month when I compare them to the start I see progress and it feels great!
Goals don’t have to be huge accomplishments. Sometimes the smallest goals can bring the best rewards.
4. Make Time to Evaluate
This is a crucial step to setting attainable goals. Our goals need to make sense for us and our blogs. Lives change, focus shifts, lifehappens, and we need to change and adjust our goals to fit those newthings. Even if none of that has happened, sometimes we change. What wewanted last year is no longer what we want this year, so doesn’t it make sense to change our goals so that we can focus our energy on where itreally matters. Going back to that 10% range, what if after six monthsnone of the extra time I put into social media or site promotion waspaying off. Should I spend more time trying to drive the numbers up?Maybe I lower my expectation to 5%? Maybe I decide to stop caring aboutthe numbers and focus on creating more content? On the other hand, whatif worked better than I hoped? Do I need to change anything at thatpoint?
It’s important to make sure that our goals make sense for ourselves and our blogs. Goals that aren’t in line with what we really want are not the ones weneed to be spending our time on. So take some time every few months tomake sure that your goals are really the ones you want.
5. Set Immediate Results Goals
Goals don’t always need to have a ten step plan. Some of the bestgoals are goals that show us immediate results or give us an immediatefeeling of accomplishment. Rather than being super specificdestinations, immediate results goals are more about what we do and when we do it. These kind of goals work great for building routines into our work day and give us that little boost of productivity throughout theday. Goals like these might include:
- Spending three 10 minute blocks of time on a social media platform
- Sorting your inbox and deleting everything that you don’t need
- Scheduling a week’s worth of post in your social media scheduler
- Spending one hour working on writing content every day
You get the idea. Start by setting one immediate result goal andgiving it a few weeks to see how it goes and to make tweaks and changesto it if needed. Then add another and repeat the process. When you start feeling like you’re never going to reach your other goals, remindyourself that you do these ones every day. If you can do these, you cando the others, too!
If there is one thing we bloggers know how to do well, aside fromwriting fantastic content and all that, it’s reach for the moon. Whoamong us hasn’t spent time day dreaming of what their blog is going togrow to be? The sky isn’t even a limit for us, is it? And you knowwhat’s crazy (an amazing kind of crazy), is that each and every singleone of us can make those limit-busting, reaching for the moon, dreamscome true. We know where we’re going! The real trick is figuring out how to get from here to there without burying ourselves under so manypressures and obligations that we lose our way, or worse – give up. Todo that, we need to get smart and crafty when it comes to setting ourblogging goals. We need to make sure that we’re not setting our goals so high we cannot hope to reach them. It’s ok to aim low if we need to,and it’s ok to scale things back. As long as we keep moving forwards on our path, we’ll get there in the end.
I’d love to hear how you set attainable blogging goals! Do you have any tips or tricks you’d add?
Looking for more advice on setting blogging goals?