When I started this blog it was because I had a gut feeling it’d be a good thing for me to do. And I had a loose goal to publish a post at least once a week until Christmas. My gut instinct was right – I’ve learned loads, got lots out of it and really enjoyed it. But now I’ve achieved my goal of continuing until Christmas, I’m not sure I want to carry on.
Is that because my goal wasn’t very well thought out? Or is it because the pleasure attached to goals is often gained while working towards them, rather than actually achieving them? Probably a bit of both.
There are lots of goals I could have had for my blog. I could have aimed to attract business for my copywriting agency, boost my personal profile, generate advertising revenue, build a following to sell products to, develop a portfolio of writing, become a WordPress expert, work towards a book – the list goes on. The problem was, I didn’t figure out why I wanted to post once a week until Christmas. So now that I have, the impetus has gone.
A popular goal-setting technique is to ensure your goals are SMART. The SMART way says that goals should be:
The more specific you are about a goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. The specifics of my goal were to start a blog giving ideas for tips, tools and treats for busy women.
To keep yourself motivated in the pursuit of your goal, you need to be able to track how well you’re doing. My measure was to write at least one post a week until Christmas.
If you’re to keep striving for a goal (and remember it’s the striving for goals where much of the happiness is), it needs to be achievable. Win the lottery this Saturday isn’t realistically an achievable goal, but writing a blog post once a week was for me.
This is where I fell down. I didn’t think carefully enough about the relevance of my goal and what it would bring me. Why was a writing a blog for busy women? Why was I aiming to write a post a week until Christmas? Where would it get me?
Without a time frame for your goal there’s no sense of urgency. Maybe my goal should have been that I wanted to achieve XYZ by Christmas rather than wanting to simply carry on until Christmas. I unintentionally gave myself a reason to stop.
So if you’re setting goals for 2013, think really carefully about why you’re setting them. The why in goal setting is the beacon you’re aiming for. The motivation to keep you going. Why do you want to exercise three times a week? Because you want to run a marathon? Because you want to have fewer illnesses? Because you want to look better?
I’ll leave you to ponder what you want to achieve next year – Emma Gwillim’s 2013 goal planner is a great way to get started. Meanwhile, I’ll decide where to go, or not to go, next with my blog.
Wishing you a very bright and happy 2013!
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