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Goals are an important ingredient in successful food blogging. They give you a focus and keep you on track. They prevent you from wasting time, energy, and resources. They give you guidance in making decisions, and they give you a sense of accomplishment when you’ve achieved them.
But like most ingredients, goals work better if you know how to use them. Too many can make you feel overwhelmed and underprepared. Too old and stale can limit your opportunities.
To get the most out of the goals you set, use them sparingly and thoughtfully. Prevent them from becoming obstacles by avoiding these mistakes.
It may be tempting to set a vague goal to give yourself some wiggle room. For example, you may set a goal to grow your food blog’s mailing list. With a goal this general, you only need one new subscriber to call it a win.
However, a goal so vague is hardly a goal at all, and you’re likely to forget that you set it within a few weeks. Conversely, studies show that people who set explicit resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t.
Be realistic when you’re setting goals for your blog. Attempting to grow your mailing list by 100% within one quarter is asking a lot, especially if you’re in the early stages of building your audience. Such a starry-eyed objective is sure to leave you feeling discouraged, exhausted, and ready to throw your hands up in frustration.
Some people argue that setting Herculean goals help you stretch yourself, but psychologists have found the opposite to be true. If you set a goal that you don’t really believe you can accomplish, you’ll not only not accomplish the goal but you’ll also damage your self-worth.
Set a challenging but not too challenging goal that you believe is doable to prevent burnout and self-doubt.
When the startup iDoneThis analyzed their users’ data, they found that 41% of the to-do list tasks users created were never accomplished. Given the tendency we have to add more and more items until the list has grown into a monster, it’s no surprise that so many of our goals get lost along the way.
First, it’s a good idea to differentiate between goals and tasks. Tasks are the little to-do list items that you undertake to accomplish your goals. Goals are the big picture accomplishments that will help your food blog grow and evolve.
Focus on one high-priority goal at a time and break it into manageable tasks with realistic deadlines.
When it comes to deadlines, sooner is better. The farther off a deadline is, the easier it is to put off the tasks necessary to accomplish it. Even businesses are changing their practices to undertake goal-setting and review on a quarterly rather than an annual basis.
Keeping yourself on a cycle of shorter goal timelines will make it easier for you to figure out what’s working and what’s not. Imagine that you’ve accomplished your goal of doubling your readership over the course of a year. Now imagine trying to go back through a year’s worth of data to figure out how you did it. Now go have a glass of wine to calm your nerves.
Adjust your goals to a shorter timeline and review regularly rather than waiting until some far off deadline.
Things change. You may decide that a goal you set six months ago is no longer relevant due to changes in your content or changes in the blogosphere. Be flexible. Let go of goals that don’t serve your purposes anymore and focus that energy on goals that do serve your purposes.
I know. It’s kind of depressing to give up on a goal that you haven’t accomplished. Rather than think of it as a goal, consider it a mistake that you made honestly based on the information you had at the time. If you’ve already wasted time on a goal that’s past its prime, don’t waste more time clinging to it needlessly.