Goals are important.
There is a ton of research about how setting specific, time-bound goals and writing them down will help you make more progress than if you just fly by the seat of your pants every day.
So goals are good. But sometimes, they can start to feel a little routine.
If you’ve been setting goals at the beginning of the year for the past few years… and the goal-setting excitement has been replaced by a sense of goal-setting obligation, then I suggest considering an alternative this year.
It’s okay to do things a little differently from time to time… just to shake things up. And nothing says you have to set goals at the beginning of the year. You can set them anytime.
If you want to try something new, start this year off with an experiment. One that lasts a month or two.
What do I mean by an experiment? Something that you try out to see how it works and that you evaluate based on a set of pre-decided criteria after a predetermined amount of time has passed.
Let me give you an example of how you might set this up…
Experiment Purpose: To determine how blogging impacts website traffic.
Action: Post three blogs a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Duration: Eight weeks
Measure: Website visits per day, tracked weekly
Success: Double the number of daily visitors
You gain a lot from this experiment. You do more writing. That’s good for your writing skills. You build out your website, which is good for your credibility, your authority, and hopefully your search engine results. You set yourself up for success — you only have to keep at it for eight weeks. That’s more doable than forever. And you get to see exactly the impact your efforts have.
Now, at the end of your experiment, you may get a disappointing result or a life-changing result, or a result that falls anywhere in between. Whatever happens, you can choose to adopt the experiment as a habit moving forward or you can drop it because it didn’t prove worthwhile.
Either way, you gain knowledge and insight.
And either way, once you wrap up that experiment, you can set up a new one to run for the next month or two.
By doing experiments, you move yourself forward in shorter bursts and you build out your knowledge, your skills, and your experience while you’re at it.
If goal-setting is feeling a little stale, this is a fun alternative that helps you continue your growth and progress.
New This Week
When it comes to achieving your dreams, sometimes life gets in the way. You get busy at work. Or something comes up in your personal life that needs your full attention. Any number of circumstances can distract you from the goals you hope to achieve ‘someday.’ Staying motivated in the face of distraction is key — click the link for a few tricks that can help keep you on track.
Good advertising grabs someone’s attention quickly, makes a well-supported claim in an enticing fashion, and guides the prospect toward taking a specific action. But there are many other facets of advertising that aid success. You can find 10 of them here.
Candice Lazar reflects on her final Reality Blog goal. She shares what she wishes she had done differently, why she’s happy with the results she’s gotten, and one important lesson that can impact everything you do.
Mark Your Calendar
January 4th: At 3 p.m. this Thursday, I’m hosting our first Monthly Member Update of the year. During this live webinar, I’m going to look at the three most common obstacles that trip up writers… and give you strategies for overcoming them. Or avoiding them altogether. Plus, we’ll look at top content, take a sneak peek at what’s coming up, and wrap up with a live Q&A. It’s going to be fun, so I hope you’ll join me!
Around the Web
I just stumbled across AirTable, an online organizational tool. I’m thinking about trying it out, so I thought I’d share the link in case you’re looking at new tools for the New Year.
In case you want a quick (or not-so-quick — this is pretty thorough) rundown of what’s been changing in search over the past year, Moz has their best of right here.
A different take on the quantity versus quality question… and other valuable insights from the Content Marketing Institute.
And one out of left field — 10 languages that have been made up by writers…
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!