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Put final touches on a blog post that’s waiting to be published.
Work on blog graphics.
Reply to reader comments.
Read up on what’s new and cutting-edge in the world of blog strategies.
Go over your editorial calendar and plan your content.
Check social media.
PIN ALL THE THINGS.If this sounds like just another Tuesday in your blogging schedule, you are definitely not alone! And while everyone is different, which means there’s no “typical” day in the life of a blogger, there ARE a ton of little tasks that most of us find ourselves doing day in and day out to keep our blogs moving forward. Tasks that, while important and necessary, can also get us so focused on what needs to get done today that we forget about tomorrow.
You see, when we’re totally bogged down in the day-to-day of our businesses, without an overall structure of where we’re trying to go and what we’re trying to accomplish, it’s super easy to get distracted.
We’re doing some research and see a new pinning strategy and think, “Oh! I have to try that!” Five minutes later we’re on Pinterest and catch a new blog post graphic idea that seems interesting and think, “Oh! I have to try that too!” And then we’re sharing our blog graphic on our Facebook group and someone says, “No, you should really do your graphics this way,” and we think, “Oh! Well, maybe they’re right and I should do that, too!”
But here’s the thing–when we get so caught up in the day-to-day, it’s like we’re spinning our wheels without actually going anywhere. And if we don’t know where we want to go, we’ll just stay there, caught in the day-to-day, spinning our wheels forever.
That’s why it’s so important to think BIG. When we know where we want to go, we can make sure that the things we’re doing on a day-to-day basis will actually get us there. Because the truth is that sometimes all the day-to-day busywork can start to feel like a grind when there is not a bigger purpose behind them. Big goals are the secret to staying motivated.
But what does thinking BIG actually mean when it comes to blogging?
You’re Not Locked In Forever
Now, before we dive in, I just want to point out that having big goals or mapping out our big picture doesn’t mean we’re locked in forever and can’t ever change your mind. I think a lot of people are wary of setting big, long-term goals because it gives them a hint of commitment-phobia — what if we set a long-term goal today and it doesn’t make sense for us a month from now, six months from now, a year from now?
Or, on the flip side, what if we set some big goals… and then we don’t hit them? Won’t that be a total bummer? Isn’t it better not to set ourselves up for disappointment?
And I totally get it! But let me be the first to say that just because we set a destination of where we want to go in our business doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to change course along the way. I think it’s super important to be flexible with our goals. Sometimes, we’ll realize along the way that the goal we’re working towards isn’t what we want anymore. Other times, we’ll realize that what we’re doing isn’t getting us to where we want to go, and we’ll have to completely change course.
And both of those situations are a-okay. In fact, we should expect them.
Setting big goals doesn’t mean we’re locked into a certain course or destination. But setting those big goals at least gives us a direction. And it’s that direction that will keep us moving forward, no matter what course or destination we ultimately decide is right for us and our blogs.
Take a Step Back Every Now and Then
Thinking big about our blogs — and setting the goals we need to achieve to get us from where we are to where we want to go — doesn’t just happen. We need to make time for it.
Setting aside time to think about the big picture of our blog and set both short-term and long-term goals is a must to keep ourselves moving in the right direction. And the key is to do it often.
Personally, I do one major big-picture planning session per year (usually around the new year) and then a few smaller planning sessions once a quarter. And I find it’s so, so helpful.
Why is that? Well, because it’s those big goals — the ones that take us out of our comfort zone and feel like a stretch — that really get us excited and motivated!
When we have a stretch goal — one that feels equally scary and totally exciting — it gives us a reason to push ourselves every day. It gives us an extra boost of motivation. We’ll wake up a little earlier, work a little harder, and go that extra mile to make it happen.
For example, when I first started my blog, my big goal was to make enough money blogging so that my husband could quit his job. At the time, that felt like a complete stretch! I wasn’t sure if I could do it (and people literally laughed at me when I told them), but the idea of hitting that goal — just the possibility of retiring my husband — was so exciting, it gave me the motivation I needed to make it happen. That goal is what got me up at 2 a.m. to write blog posts. It’s what kept me up all hours of the night reading about strategies to grow my blog. And, ultimately, it’s what got me to where I am today.
The day-to-day tasks of being a blogger are necessary to get our blogs off the ground. But it’s the big goals — the ones that stretch us all the way out of our comfort zone — that will take us where we want to go. That’s why we can’t afford NOT to think big about our blogs.
Pay Attention to the Feeling in Your Gut
If you’re thinking, “Well, all of this sounds great, but I have too much to do! I don’t have time to think big,” I totally get it. But remember — we all have the same 24 hours in a day. Spending some of that time working towards our big goals isn’t any harder than losing all of our time with the small stuff (and trust me, all the day-to-day stuff isn’t going anywhere).
It’s time to think big. So here’s my challenge — I want you to take a look at your list of goals (and if you don’t have a list of goals, sit down and write one!). Is there anything on that list that fires you up? That gives you butterflies in your stomach, or that feeling of nervousness in your gut? When you think about your goals, do you have that “am-I-scared-or-am-I-excited” tightening in your chest? If so, you are on the right track. Your big goals should scare you a little bit!
And if there isn’t anything on that list that gets you fired up, ask yourself, “How can I think bigger?” How can I 10X this goal? How can I dive in and find a deeper motivation? Find something that lights the fire inside you and gives you the extra drive you need to make big things happen. Think about your WHY, and ask yourself what it is about THIS goal that excites you.
Of course a big goal is only as good as your ability to execute, and that is where planning small comes in.
Once you’ve established your big goal, you’ll need to break it down to manageable bite-sized pieces–into smaller goals for your quarter, your month, your week, and your day. And then you’ll need to make sure that you are setting time aside EACH DAY to work towards that bigger goal. Because ultimately it is your daily actions that will get you to where you want to go.
But the question is, do you know where that is?