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Printable coupons: Uncle Ben’s, Post Shredded Wheat, Purina, Curel, plus more

Free ebooks: Past Forward: Episode 7 by Chautona Havig, The Lower Lights, and The Renegade Writer

Download a free copy of Past Forward: Episode 7 by Chautona Havig.

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Please note that the price is currently $0.00, but that could change at any time. Be sure to check the price before checking out to verify that it is still free.

These ebooks are specifically for Kindles, but you can go here to download a free application that enables you to read Kindle ebooks on your PC.

Q&A: How do you develop goals that are stretching but at the same time realistic?

Continuing on with the Q&A series on blogging I started a few weeks ago, Christa asks:

How do you develop blogging goals that are stretching, but at the same time realistic to meet? My husband has encouraged me to make monthly/yearly blogging goals {he’s my cheerleader in this!}. However, I’m concerned that if I make goals {such as 1000 Facebook likes by the end of the year} that I’ll 1) have no idea how to actually achieve them and 2) get discouraged if they don’t happen. -Christa

Great question and I think it’s one that many people wonder about! I don’t have a five-step plan to give you for determining what blogging goals will be best for you, but I can share with you what I am learning about goal-setting and how to actually follow-through with goals:

1. Set Goals That Scare You — At Least a Little

I think we should set goals that scare us at least a little. It’s good to take risks. It’s good to do hard things. It’s good to push ourselves. And it’s good to step outside our comfort zone.

If we always stay where it’s easy and safe, we’ll miss a lot of interesting and exciting opportunities in life. Plus, we’ll never reach our full potential. If you stay where it’s safe, you also become stagnant.

When I set a goal to start video-blogging, I was almost sick to my stomach over it. But I just made myself do it week after week until it stopped scaring me so much and I grew to somewhat like it (speaking of which, I’ve been meaning to bring back more video blogs because I know some of you have missed them).

When I first set a goal to accept speaking engagements, I was sick to stomach over it. For weeks, I carried a knot in my stomach over actually standing up in front of a crowd and talking. But if I had never set that goal to do it, I would have never discovered that I actually enjoy public speaking — especially the opportunities it opens up to get to have fantastic one-on-one discussions with people afterwards.

And here’s the thing: when I’m a little (or a LOT!) scared, I’m highly motivated. For instance, I’m working on my next book right now and it’s scary — scary to put myself out there, scary to know how much my publisher is believing in this project, scary to know how many people are pouring into this project, scary to know how much is riding on this.

Being scared drives me toward excellence. I’m giving this project my all. I’m welcoming every piece of criticism of it I can get from others so that the finished product is the best it can be. I’m not going to stop perfecting it until I know that I’ve done everything I can do to prepare, hone, and polish the manuscript.

It won’t be perfect and not everyone is going to love it like I love it, but at the end of the day, I’ll know that I’ve given it my very best. And that’s what matters most.

Pin this quote here.

2. Ask Questions — Of Everyone

I’m reading One Question by Ken Coleman right now and I’m so inspired by his ability to ask well-crafted questions. One quote from the book that I loved was: “Good questions inform. Great questions transform.” Getting the right answer often starts with asking the right question.

Always ask questions. All the time. Of everyone.

But don’t just ask broad and vague questions. Figure out what you’re wanting to learn first and ask specific questions. Then, genuinely listen to the answers and ask follow-up questions. I promise you’ll learn so much!

Also, never assume that because someone doesn’t have as large of following as your blog does or doesn’t even have a blog that they don’t have valuable information to share. In fact, it’s often those very people who will have some of the best ideas.

Jesse suggested that I start a Facebook Page way back when they weren’t the “thing to do”. I kind of thought the idea was crazy, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt try. Well, his idea turned out to be brilliant… to the tune of 228,000 Facebook followers! His seemingly crazy idea turned out to be a crazy-good idea! 🙂

3. Sit at the Feet of the Greats

If you are trying to figure out how to increase your Facebook Page followers, go sit at the feet of people who are killing it on Facebook, watch what they are doing, analyze how they are doing it, and go experiment with what you see is working for them (but please make sure and don’t just “rip” their idea; the world needs a lot fewer carbon copies and a lot more original models!)

Right now, I’m working on honing the craft of public speaking. Some of the ways I’m doing this are by: taking advantage of every opportunity I have to sit and listen to great speakers, analyzing every speaker’s talk that I listen to, and asking every single public speaker I have the chance to meet for advice, suggestions, and ideas. I also attended a speaking conference, hired a speaking coach, and I’m asking trusted people in my life to give me their gut-honest criticism of my talks.

Don’t try to figure out life on your own. Whenever possible, find someone who’s already been there and stop to ask for directions. They are usually more than happy to give input — especially if they see that you are a teachable person!

4. Focus on the Progress You ARE Making

When you set goals that scare you, you are not going to hit them every time. I don’t say this to discourage you; I say this to encourage you.

It’s okay not to hit all your goals. Really, it is.

What matters most is that you’re making some progress. Goals will motivate you to step out, try new things, experiment, ask questions, and learn from people who have more experience.

But achieving a goal is not the be-all, end all. Oftentimes, the journey is more important than the destination. In fact, you might complete tweak or throw out some of your goals along the way.

Again, that’s okay.

Focus on the progress you are making, the lessons you are learning, the character you are developing — and not on how you’re coming up short from where you want to be. You aren’t going to make a home run every time, but if you learn and grow while you’re at the plate swinging, you’re headed in the right direction.

Don’t give up! Persistence always pays off… not always in the way that we expect, but sometimes the unexpected benefits of hard work and persistence are so much better than our biggest dreams and ambitions.

 What advice do the rest of you have for Christa?

Do you have a question on business or blogging that you’d love to have me answer as part of this series? You can email it to me here and I’ll be happy to consider doing so.

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