Today is a major milestone in my blogging journey. This is post #100 on Coffee Shop Conversations! A year-and-a-half ago, I sat anxiously at our dining-room table. The cursor hovered above the “publish” button. I was nervous about sharing my life with the blogging universe.
- How will my story be received?
- Will I be able to write something thoughtful and encouraging, week after week?
- Am I guilty of sharing too much, or am I perhaps telling to little?
These questions flooded my mind.
After a moment of hesitation, I forcefully pressed my finger down. On August 26, 2014, Coffee Shop Conversations began!
Staying Motivated on the Blogging Journey
Today, most of those nagging doubts have vanished. Publishing new posts is a highlight of my week. The friendships that have formed, and the privileged of sharing my ideas with the world, are things that I cherish.
Staying motivated has been easier than I expected. One reason for this is that I have become good at setting action goals.
[Tweet “One of the best ways to stay motivated is to set up a series of quick wins. “]
Action goals are about making winning easy.
My Discovery of Action Goals
Two years ago, Jenny invited me to attend a Mary Kay phone seminar with her. Thinking that the training would be filled with overly excited women talking about makeup and pink cars, I was apprehensive but agreed. As it turns out, the conference was an incredible blessing. It provided an abundance of tools that I use daily in my writing and blogging.
During the call, participants asked questions like:
- When will I reach my goal of becoming a director?
- What do I need to do to make $5,000 in sales each month?
- How do I reach my goal of gaining ten new team members?
The speaker pointed out that each of these questions was connected to an outcome goal. Outcome goals are connected to factors outside of our control. Making sales and gaining team-members are all dependent on the choices of others. Bloggers who set goals of adding a set number of e-mail subscribers, or visitors to their site, are creating outcome goals.
There is nothing wrong with having outcome goals on our list. However, bloggers who make outcomes goals their primary focus, are setting themselves up for frustration.
I’ve discovered that outcome goals almost always take longer to achieve than I expect. Thus, these types of goals can quickly lead to discouragement. This is why I’ve switched almost entirely to action goals.
Action goals have controllable outcomes. In outcome goals, if I do the work, achieving the goal is guaranteed. Examples of action goals for bloggers include:
- Publishing one new post every week.
- Commenting on three posts every day.
- Writing one guest post every month and asking to have your post published on at least three different sites (In this example, even if all three people say “no,” you have still achieved your goal, so long as you have asked).
Action goals are dependent solely on the actions we take. They allow us to quickly build up a series of wins. For me personally: When I publish a post on Friday, I’ve achieved a goal!
When my e-mail newsletter goes out, it’s another win!
Every time I share a post through social media, I’ve scored again!
This may sound silly, but I love checking items off of my to-do list. There is a feeling of accomplishment. One of the highlights of the Mary Kay training was when the speaker said:
[Tweet “Do the work. You’ll get there when you get there.”]
In other words, if we keep checking off our action goals–week after week–eventually we will achieve the outcomes we desire. I’m finding this to be true in my own blogging, and it is exhilarating! The more consistent I become in reaching my smaller action goals, the more I move toward the outcomes I desire.
Changing Outcome Goals into Action Goals
If you are discouraged in your blogging, it might be because you have too many outcome goals and not enough action goals. Here are some ways to turn common outcome goals into action goals:
Outcome Goal: I’m going to add 1,000 people to my e-mail list this year.
This is an outcome goal because you can’t make someone subscribe to your list.
Action Goal: I’m going to create three new lead-magnets and promote each one through social-media once a week.
A goal like this can be checked off every week. As long as you’ve created and promoted your lead-magnet, you’ve hit your goal!
Outcome Goal: I’m going to grow my site view to 1,000 visitors a week.
Action Goal: I’m going to publish one new post a week.
Again, the goal changes from something out of our control (the number of visitors to our site) to something that is directly under our control.
[Tweet “In action goals, if we take action, achieving the goal is guaranteed.”] Action goals are fun, and a great way of staying motivated. Instead of fretting over results, my blogging advice–both to you and to myself–is, Take action, do the work, and you’ll get there when you do!
I’d love to hear from you! How do you stay energized and motivated to write, week after week? Do you set action goals, and if so, how is this blogging tool working for you? I look forward to continuing the conversation in the comments below! Wishing you a highly-motivated and energized week of writing!
For more creative writing ideas, be sure to visit our writing resources page. I pull back the curtain and show you all of my favorite writing resources. You can also check out my book Ten Great Ideas for Authors, where you will discover creative writing prompts and strategies to jump-start your author journey. I truly believe you are only one great idea away from writing success!
Family, Friendship, and Faith Link-Up
This link-up is an excellent place to meet new friends, network, and share your posts. Please feel free to include any family, friendship, and faith related posts. If you have time, please visit some of the other submissions, leave a comment, and make some new connections–after all, this is what teaming-up is all about!
Finally, I’d love it if you would grab a button for your site, or link back to the Family Friendship and Faith Fridays, link-up, in order to make it easy for others to join in!
[Tweet “I’m Teaming-up at the #Family #Friendship and #Faith link-up. Join the Party! “]