There’s no doubt WordPress is became the most powerful blogging platform on the planet. It’s easy to update, easy to use, and flexible enough to support dozens of bells and whistles.
None of that matters, however, if your blog isn’t up to par.
We’ve created this four chapter guide to help beginners understand how to build a great blog, one which will attract readers, keep them, and build an unforgettable community.
If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals you lack focus and direction. Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your life’s direction; it also provides you a benchmark for determining whether you are actually succeeding. Think about it: Having a million dollars in the bank is only proof of success if one of your goals is to amass riches. If your goal is to practice acts of charity, then keeping the money for yourself is suddenly contrary to how you would define success.
1. Set Goals That Motivate You
When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you: this means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture, then the chances of you putting in the work to make them happen are slim. Motivation is key to achieving goals.
Set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. Without this type of focus, you can end up with far too many goals, leaving you too little time to devote to each one. Goal achievement requires commitment, so to maximize the likelihood of success, you need to feel a sense of urgency and have an “I must do this” attitude. When you don’t have this, you risk putting off what you need to do to make the goal a reality. This in turn leaves you feeling disappointed and frustrated with yourself, both of which are de-motivating. And you can end up in a very destructive “I can’t do anything or be successful at anything” frame of mind.
2. Set SMART Goals
You have probably heard of SMART goals already. But do you always apply the rule? The simple fact is that for goals to be powerful, they should be designed to be SMART. There are many variations of what SMART stands for, but the essence is this – goals should be:
- Time Bound.
3. Set Goals in Writing
The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it. As you write, use the word “will” instead of “would like to” or “might.” For example, “I will reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year,” not “I would like to reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year.” The first goal statement has power and you can “see” yourself reducing expenses, the second lacks passion and gives you an excuse if you get sidetracked.
Post your goals in visible places to remind yourself every day of what it is you intend to do. Put them on your walls, desk, computer monitor, bathroom mirror or refrigerator as a constant reminder.
4. Make an Action Plan
This step is often missed in the process of goal setting. You get so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan all of the steps that are needed along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you’ll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal. This is especially important if your goal is big and demanding, or long-term. Read our article on Action Plans for more on how to do this.
5. Stick With It!
Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity not just a means to an end. Build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and make regular time-slots available to review your goals. Your end destination may remain quite similar over the long term, but the action plan you set for yourself along the way can change significantly. Make sure the relevance, value, and necessity remain high.
6. Follow a big push with relaxation
Sometimes I have to work hard to meet a deadline. Or maybe I feel inspired and I work well into the night. That’s great. But I know I can’t keep up that intensity forever. Even if you have to force yourself to take time off, do it. There’s a clever sign on a local restaurant that says, “We give our cooks time off. Do you?” That’s a question you should ask yourself.
7. Practice the 10-minute rule
We all have tasks we dread to do. We put off starting them and they loom before us, keeping us in a state of anxiety that drains our energy. The rule is to just work on it for 10 minutes. Chances are, once you get started, you’ll keep working on it, but start out planning just 10 minutes. Do that over a number of days, and the task will get done – and off your back.
8. End each day with a plan for tomorrow
I like to end my day by making a quick list of what I need to do the next day. Everything is fresh in my mind and clear. Then the next morning I don’t have to try to remember what I was doing and what’s needed next. It’s like I have a headstart on the day and I’m eager to get going.
9. Plan time for meals, exercising, and socializing
That old Puritan ethic can keep you working non-stop – until you burn out and decide to stop for good! Before that happens, make the time to do things that make your life complete.
10. Break tasks into reasonable units
Looking at a big task can make you feel overwhelmed and hopeless. And unless you’re careful, it can keep you from doing other things you need to do. So break it up into chewable bites so you know what you’ll get done today, and what you’ll do each day over the coming week.