This guest post is by Chris The Traffic Blogger.
Short-term goals can be devastating.
In six months I lost over 60 pounds working out and eating smaller portions. I started off just running every day because I was sick of being overweight. Then I began eating less and obeying simple diets and workout routines. Things went well for a while, but then suddenly I started gaining weight again. Before long I had everything back—and this time around, I had to work much harder to lose the same amount of weight.
Just like someone who’s losing weight for the first time, a person who’s new to blogging is filled with energy and incredible amounts of motivation. Each post feels new and fresh, and every additional reader increases the blogger’s enthusiasm.
But this enthusiasm is often short-lived, as the excitement gives way to repetitiveness and the blog readership plateaus. This is why new bloggers don’t usually make it past the first six months. Actually, it’s not much different than any other hobby in this world.
I know it seems incredibly obvious, but short-term goals are rarely sustainable. Putting forth too much effort for a short period of time leads us to burn out and give up on the things we care about.
Without long-term goals our short-term ones are meaningless.
Sustainable long-term goals
What the person dieting and the new blogger don’t realize is that they need to change their lives permanently, not just for the next few months. So how can we set long-term goals that result in better short-term ones? Let’s start off with five tips to help you begin picking a ten-year goal.
That’s right, a ten-year goal.
One small caveat to this task is the obvious fact that the internet and our world changes at a remarkably fast pace. Your-ten year goal needs to be somewhat flexible to account for these changes. Keep this in mind as you read through these tips.
1. Choose the perfect you
For my own personal goal, I see myself as the owner of at least a dozen gaming-related websites. Unfortunately I decided upon this goal a little late, having just sold one of my cash cows for $50,000. That right there is the perfect example of the problems that arise when short-term goals (in this case, saving enough money for my first house) become your only priority. Had I kept a long-term goal of building twelve sustainable gaming sites, I wouldn’t have sold it.
When you decide on the perfect you, I want you to focus on something you truly enjoy doing. Don’t worry whether or not you’re successful at it yet, as this is a ten-year goal. You have a while to get there!
2. Make changes to your lifestyle
With the perfect you planted firmly in the center of your mind, there probably will need to be drastic changes made to your current lifestyle (that’s right, to your non-internet persona as well).
In my case, I need to put aside more time for blogging by making sure that I remove other distractions. If I don’t work out as soon as I get home, then my work-out is going to interfere with my blogging time. If I don’t prepare for a podcast, then I’m going to have a poor performance.
Make small but steady changes to your lifestyle that will slowly but surely lead to your ten-year goal. By far, the most important changes will come in the form of minor time management adjustments.
3. Surround yourself with encouragement
Before I had this ten-year goal of running a conglomerate of game-related sites, I wasted quite a bit of time with people who doubted my abilities. These were people who would get angry at me for spending another fifteen minutes polishing a blog post instead of shooting the bull with them on Skype.
If your friends don’t encourage you to fulfill your ten-year goal then they aren’t really your friends. Surround yourself with people who will encourage and help you obtain your dreams.
4. Walk, don’t run
A ten-year goal is neither an excuse for laziness nor a signal to overdo it. Take your time and avoid both extremes in terms of the steps you take to reach that goal. With a span of ten years, you have plenty of time to carefully wade your way through life making sure to always move forward one step at a time.
In saying this, don’t take months, weeks, or even days off from your goal. Even if you’re on vacation, attempt to stay mentally and physically fit so that you can go right back to work afterwards.
5. Failure is okay
I know in the previous tip I mentioned always moving forward, but there are times that you will fall flat on your face. When you fail, pick yourself up and simply mark that door as the wrong way to go, before carefully deciding on your next door.
Learning from your failures is by far the most important thing you can do to stay on track for your ten-year goal. You think that everyone who succeeds in life got to that point without tripping up multiple times? Try hundreds of times; just look at Edison and his attempts at creating the light bulb!
Has the ten-year goal helped me?
Yes, setting a ten-year goal has definitely helped me to keep my blog in perspective. I’m now making decisions that enable me to keep on track for that long-term goal instead of jumping at short-term benefits.
Take my latest Diablo 3 Gold Guide blog, which has had 1,000,000 hits in three months and earned over $30,000 in revenue. I could sell this for $100,000 easily, or I could cultivate it and grow it to double its current size in one year.
Think about my ten-year goal. Which option makes more sense? Obviously holding onto the blog, getting people to manage it for me, and expanding to new niches is the correct answer! I have my heart set on writing blogs for additional games and I’m super-excited to keep taking steps closer to my ten-year goal. (The details of how I made so much money with this brand new blog are explained in Another $10,000 Product Launch.)
Remember that the entire purpose of a ten-year goal is to change your short-term goals so that they reflect the bigger picture. Truly, a ten-year goal becomes a positive obsession in your life, and a gradual change that will greatly influence your success. Avoid fads and short-term riches that pull you away from the positive nature of this new ten-year goal of yours.
What’s your ten year-goal? Who is the ideal you? Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter. Let’s use the hashtag #tenyeargoal and get the conversation started!
Chris “The Traffic Blogger” writes to help bloggers learn how to drive traffic, build relationships and earn revenue through blogging. His most recent efforts have been on teaching others What to Tweetto get more followers and make money on Twitter.