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How to Smash Your Blogging Goals in Just 5 Days

Posted By Ellen Jackson 20th of October 2017 Mindset + Motivation 0 Comments

Smash Your Blogging Goals

This post is by ProBlogger expert Ellen Jackson of Potential Psychology

Have you ever uttered the phrase, ‘One day I’ll…’?

Of course you have. We all have.

One day I’ll schedule my social media

One day I’ll improve my web site

One day I’ll organise my images (a personal favourite)

One day I’ll start a podcast…

Next we say, ‘When…’

When I have more time

When I have more money

When inspiration hits

When I’ve developed my skills

When I feel more confident

When life is easier….

Here’s a thought: What if life is never easier? What if you never find more time, money or confidence?

What if tomorrow and the day after and the day after that are no different to today? How will you ever achieve your goals and get those ‘one day’ tasks done? What if ‘one day’ never comes?

Procrastination researchers have discovered that our tendency to put things off is a self-delusion designed to make us feel better about today.

‘We think that our future self will be better able to handle feelings of insecurity or frustration with the task,’ psychologist Dr Fuschia Sirois says. ‘That somehow we’ll develop these miraculous coping skills to deal with the emotions that we just can’t deal with right now.’

Oh dear.

The Quick Win Goal Challenge

Recently I challenged my audience to see if together we could make some progress on our ‘one day’ goals. Science tells us that public accountability can help motivate you to achieve your goals, so we teamed up and made a commitment to work together.

We each picked a ‘one day’ goal – something that had been on the to-do list for months or longer. Tasks we’d been avoiding – important but not urgent. Goals that languished in the backs of minds, niggling, without ever launching forth to a point of urgency.

Our aim?

To follow five simple, science-based steps over five days to make major progress on our ‘one day’ goals.

The goals were diverse:

‘Make a plan to buy my first home’

‘Digitise my client files’

‘Tidy my spare room’

‘Write my ebook’

‘Build my potential client base’

We were all filled with enthusiasm, posting images to Instagram each day to share our progress.

The results were gratifying.

“I am well on the way to finishing my ebook. I produced 65 pages of a 100-page book, created the template, designed the cover AND worked out a distribution plan. All in five days! Prior to this I had done… not much for two years.”

“I have officially ticked off everything I set out to do this week. Feeling chuffed.”

And the steps to get there?

Let me share the five science-based steps to making your ‘one day’ today.

Step 1: Know EXACTLY What You Want to Achieve by the End of the Five Days

‘Fix my web site’ is a goal too overwhelming to contemplate. What does ‘fixed’ look like? How will you know when it’s fixed? Will ‘fixing’ one piece break another one?

No wonder you never start.

When you pull a goal apart and specify exactly what you want to achieve, you do two things:

  1. You get clear on all the little tasks involved. This will help you estimate the time you need, and help you figure out where to start.
  2. You paint a picture of what success looks like. A clear, specific goal like ‘By Friday I will have updated the background image on my home page, created links in the menu to my new product pages and rewritten my About Me copy’ feels achievable. ‘Fix my web site’ feels like a task you want to avoid.

Step 2: Take Conscious Action

A clear, specific goal is necessary but not sufficient if you want to achieve your ‘one day’ project. You need to know where you’re going, but it’s action that will get you there.

Step two involves two tasks.

Task One: Write it down. Did you know you are 42% more likely to achieve your goal if you write it down? It’s not clear how or why this works, but the evidence confirms that it does.

Task Two: Work on your ‘Why?’ For many of us, motivation comes not just from what we’re trying to achieve, but why. Studies have shown that if we connect our goal to something larger and more important (‘I want to make money blogging so I can spend more time at home with my children’) we are less impulsive, less likely to give in to distractions, and more likely to plan and execute the required actions to reach our goals. When you’ve articulated your goal, spend some time thinking about why you want to achieve it. Who’s involved? How will they benefit? How will achieving this goal improve your life?

Step 3: Stop Looking for Motivation

Motivation: We’re all looking for it. Somewhere along the line someone convinced us that when we find our motivation, goal success will be effortless. We just have to find it, and then making client calls will be easy. We’ll sit at the laptop and schedule our social media. We won’t procrastinate or be distracted. We’ll just get stuff done. Simple.

But motivation isn’t  ‘thing.’ It can’t be found. Motivation, in simple psychological terms, is the desire to do something. You won’t find the desire to do something hiding anywhere. You have to create it.

Here’s a tip from the world’s leading researchers in goal-setting: Make your goal difficult.

Challenging but realistic goals – goals that stretch us but not quite to breaking point – activate motivation. They push us, encourage us and reward us when we achieve them. If a goal is too easy we don’t get the get up and go to… well, get up and go. If they’re too difficult we’re too overwhelmed to start. A stretching, challenging but achievable goal is like Baby Bear’s porridge – just right.

Step 4: Use my Favourite Productivity Tip

It’s called ‘The 15-minute rule’ and it rocks. I know because I use it all the time.

Here’s how it works:

If there’s a task on your list that you’re avoiding, commit 15 minutes to it today.

It could be:

  • 15 minutes of writing
  • 15 minutes of client calls
  • 15 minutes tidying your office
  • 15 minutes on that proposal you’ve been avoiding.

Why does it work? Because getting started is the hardest part of any task. The good news is that once you’ve started, you’re likely to push on beyond the 15 minutes you committed to. It’s called the Ovsiankina effect. Your brain doesn’t like starting a task and then stopping partway through. It will linger on your unfinished business, niggling at you until you get the job done. Get started and you’ll find the motivation to do more.

Step 5: Celebrate Every Step

What do you do when you finish a project or task? Do you tick it off the list and move straight on to the next one? Do you get on a roll, morphing into a task-completion machine? How long can you maintain momentum before you collapse on the lounge with the remote and Netflix?

A critical step in making progress towards difficult goals is celebrating the steps along the way. Yes, a big win feels great. But it’s the small wins – the incremental tasks you nail each day – that sustain your motivation and keep you happy and engaged for the long run.

Day five is all about reviewing your progress and celebrating your successes. Make a list of every little thing you’ve achieved on your ‘one day’ goal so far. Every little tiny thing. Give yourself a mental high five and put your feet up for a while. You’ve made a big start on a long-time goal. That deserves a reward. What’s more, you’re set up to rock on into next week.

Ellen Jackson from Potential Psychology  is a workplace psychologist, consultant, writer and speaker. Her mission is to help others to live, learn and flourish. You can join her next free Quick Win Challenge to nail your ‘one day’ goal here.

About Ellen Jackson

Ellen Jackson from Potential Psychology is a psychologist who does things differently. She writes about people and why we do what we do. She coaches, she teaches and she helps workplaces to do the people part better.

  • Hi Ellen,

    Love this.

    Getting hyper clear on my intent – step 1 – and also celebrating all steps – step 5 – have been 2 rocking steps that propelled me forward quicker than any other steps.

    Why?

    Clarity. And gratitude.

    I got really clear on my blogging intent. I wanted to blog for fun, with love. Meaning, not predominantly blogging for any outcomes (aka getting rid of the motivation as you noted) and also, blogging just to express my creativity and to serve people. Carrying that intent helped me tap into all types of prolific, creative energies, which made blogging much easier to me.

    Then I tossed in the celebration thing. Whether I sell a $3.99 eBook or place a guest post on a blog I celebrate like an SOB. I jump around like a little kid and Woohoo for a few seconds. When you celebrate something, more stuff moves into your experience, to celebrate. It’s an energy thing. Heck, all of the steps are an energy thing, and when you understand that you know why step 1 is absolutely critical to make everything go. That’s the clarity step. That’s the step of steps. Get that one down and all the other steps fall into place with increasing ease.

    As for the goals versus intent thing I love doing the intent deal. Inside-out living, meaning that I always have my passion with me, my intent,my fun energy, and never need to look outside of myself for any markers or whatever. Different strokes for different folks though, as I know some bloggers love doing the outside-in bit.

    Thanks for the rocking share Ellen.

    Ryan

  • Reji Stephenson

    HI Ellen,
    Excellent. Great revealing of the truth. We set goals ourselves but do not follow. Because no one knows about and it is not going to be questioned. I think many are looking for some one to motivate them. Otherwise they don’t start on their own even if the task is super easy.
    Great tips for following to reach our goals slowly and steadily..
    Thanks for the great share.
    Reji Stephenson

  • This is brilliant! The exact kick up the bum I needed to read today. Procrastination is my biggest enemy. I’m so good at it! I will be sharing this with my team too, as I’m sure they need it as much as I do!

  • Hi Ellen,

    I’ve done that with my blog. I had to take the time to go back and change out some links on my blog. I kept saying one day I’ll take care of it.

    I kept saying that day in and day out. Finally this week, I made it a point to go back and take care of all those links that I was neglecting updating.

    To tell you the truth, if I would’ve taken care of it when I realized it, things would’ve been so much easier. However, I finally got everything taken care of.

    Guess what, it feels so much better knowing that I actually took care of it. So you’re right, if you just take 15 minutes and do those tasks that you really don’t want to do.

    It’s amazing how much you can get accomplished. Just by taking the time to complete this task I’ve been putting off for months, I feel so much better.

    You can bet that I’ll be celebrating the fact that I was able to accomplish this task that I’ve been putting off for some reason. I personally think that celebrating those small things we do every day is huge for our motivation and success.

    After all, if we’re not willing to celebrate the little wins. We just end up working hard without taking the time to celebrate the little wins.

    Thanks so much for sharing and congratulations on almost finishing your ebook.

    Have a great day :)

    Susan

  • Hi Ellen,
    This was an eye opener, exactly that’s what use to keep on happening. There are several things which I am not doing thinking of in day I will do when my turn comes.. thanks

    Navin

  • This article is very practical. Setting target like “fixing my website” won’t work unless we are very specfic about what to do. I am struggling to achieve these all valid 5 points for long time. I think this can’t be achieved overnight. Reading this type of articles motivates a lot people like me. Thaks for your thoughts.
    -Ravi

  • Hello Ellen,

    Thanks for sharing this great post. It is so practical and motivational too. Sometimes we don’t get everything we are looking for. Be consistent and do the things with precision helps us to become successful. Self motivation is a great thing and I always motivate myself. Great tips you have shared here.

  • Thanks For Sharing, The Post Touched My Mind Motivationally

  • Ida Samuel

    I’ve been unconsciously doing step 4 Ellen! Thought I was at fault for not focusing on writing for a longer span of time. You’ve put my fears to rest with the Ovsiankina effect :) Great tips!

  • SDB World

    hello Ellen
    Good article keep posting new article .And also share new article regarding SEO techniques in current trends.

  • Melanie Hooyenga

    This article is fantastic. People often ask me how I’m able to accomplish as much as I do, and without realizing it, it’s because I’ve started writing down EVERY SINGLE THING I need to do (ie, breaking large tasks into many smaller tasks). I celebrate the small accomplishments on my way to achieving my bigger goals. Thanks!

  • Rajesh Chandra Pandey

    @Ellen
    the 15 minute strategy works fine for me too. And yes, I carry on for longer than that. Thanks for a wonder article.

  • Lucas Smith

    Hey there Ellen,
    Thanks for sharing. I’l finally be able to shred off the some off my to-do list.
    Though I honestly think that the 15 minute rule will be enough for me to push myself to the limit. That feeling of stopping halfway through your work can be really irritating.

    Cheers!

  • Gaurav Kumar

    Nice article sir and also share new article regarding SEO techniques

    Stage 1: Know EXACTLY What You Need to Obtain by the Finish of the 5 Days

    ‘Repair my site on the web’ is a point excessively overpowering, making it impossible to contemplate. What does ‘affixed’ have all the earmarks of being? In what capacity will you perceive when it’s attached? Will ‘settling’ one piece break one other one?

    Nothing unexpected you in no way, shape or form start.

    When you pull a point aside and indicate exactly what you wish to acquire, you do two issues:

    You get clear on the majority of the little obligations concerned. This may empower you to appraise the time you need, and help you decide the place to begin.

    You paint a picture of what achievement gives off an impression of resembling like. A straightforward, specific point like ‘By Friday I’ll have state-of-the-art the foundation picture on my home website page, made hyperlinks inside the menu to my new item pages and changed my About Me duplicate’ feels achievable. ‘Repair my site on the web’ appears like work you wish to avoid.

    Stage 2: Take Aware Motion

    A straightforward, specific point is basic however insufficient in the event that you wish to acquire your ‘at some point or another’ test. You need to know the place you’re going, by and by it’s movement that may get you there.

    Stage two involves two obligations.

    Process One: Write it down. Do you know you may be 42% additional inclined to get your point in the event that you record it? It’s not clear how or why this functions, however the evidence affirms that it does.

    Process Two: Work in your ‘Why?’ For some individuals, inspiration comes not just from what we’re endeavoring to achieve, however why. Research have demonstrated that on the off chance that we join our mean to one thing greater and additional fundamental (‘I wish to create salary running a blog so I can invest additional energy at home with my youths’) we’re significantly less incautious, considerably less likely to offer in to diversions, and additional inclined to design and execute the expected activities to accomplish our goals. Once you’ve enunciated your point, spend a while amped up for why you wish to get it. Who’s concerned? In what manner will they benefit? By what means will achieving this point upgrade your life?

    Stage three: Cease Searching for Motivation

    Inspiration: We’re all hunting down it. Somewhere close by the street someone fulfilled us that after we find our inspiration, point achievement might be simple. We essentially should find it, after which making customer calls might be straightforward. We’ll sit on the Portable workstation plan our web-based social networking. We gained’t stall or be occupied. We’ll basically get stuff performed. Simple.

    However inspiration isn’t ‘factor.’ It could’t be found. Inspiration, in simple mental expressions, is the will to do a certain something. You gained’t find the will to do one thing stowing away wherever. You have to make it.

    Appropriate here’s a tip from the world’s primary analysts in objective setting: Make your point troublesome.

    Troublesome however sensible targets – destinations that extend us however not decently to breaking level – enact inspiration. They push us, energize us and reward us after we get them. In the event that a point is essentially excessively straightforward we don’t get the stand up and go to… appropriately, stand up and go. In the occasion that they’re excessively troublesome we’re excessively overpowered, making it impossible, making it impossible to begin. An extending, troublesome however achievable point resembles Child Bear’s porridge – phenomenal.

    Stage four: Use my Favorite Productiveness Tip

    It’s known as ‘The 15-minute run’ and it rocks. I do know because of I exploit it all the time.

    Ideal here’s the way it works:

    On the off chance that there’s work in your posting that you just’re maintaining a strategic distance from, submit 15 minutes to it right now.

    It may be:

    15 minutes of composing

    15 minutes of customer calls

    15 minutes cleaning your work environment

    15 minutes on that proposition you’ve been maintaining a strategic distance from.

    For what reason does it work? Because of getting started is the hardest a piece of any activity. The fantastic news is that when you’ve started, you’re inclined to push on past the 15 minutes you committed to. It’s known as the Ovsiankina affect. Your brain doesn’t care for starting work after which ceasing mostly by method for. It will wait in your incomplete undertaking, niggling at you till you land the position performed. Get started and furthermore you’ll find the inspiration to do additional.

    Stage 5: Rejoice Each Step

    What do you do on the off chance that you end a test or occupation? Do you tick it off the posting and exchange straight on to the accompanying one? Do you get on a roll, transforming directly into an undertaking consummation machine? How extensive would you say you are ready to keep force sooner than you crumple on the parlor with the far off and Netflix?

    An imperative advance in gaining ground toward troublesome goals is commending the means close by the path in which. Of course, a gigantic win feels pleasant. In any case, it without a doubt’s the little wins – the incremental obligations you nail each day – that keep up your inspiration and keep up you sprightly and drew in as long as possible.

    Day 5 is tied in with auditing your advance and commending your triumphs. Make a stock of every little factor you’ve accomplished in your ‘sometime’ point up to now. Every minuscule factor. Give your self a mental extreme 5 and put your ft up for quite a while. You’ve influenced a tremendous start on a long-term to point. That merits a reward. What’s additional, you’re set as much as shake on into ensuing week.

    Ellen Jackson from Potential Psychology is an office therapist, guide, creator and speaker. Her central goal is to help others to live, be educated and thrive. You can be a piece of her resulting free Fast Win Problem to nail your ‘at some point or another’ point appropriate here.

  • Very Good Post.. I Will keep this guide for my personal blog. Thank You!