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Three Reasons Your Blogging Resolutions Are Doomed to Fail

This guest post is by Eugene Yiga of eugeneyiga.com.

“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavour.”
—Henry David Thoreau

It happens every year. We wake up on January 1, and decide that this is the year things will finally change. But a few months later, all the gyms empty out and life goes back to normal. It’s the same with our blogs. All our intentions to finally succeed are met with nothing but more of the same. What’s up with that?

In this post, I’ll cover three reasons your resolutions are doomed to fail (assuming they haven’t already) and what you can do to avoid this:

Reason 1: You don’t know what you want

The problem here is that most resolutions aren’t specific. We say we want to grow our subscriber base or make more money but never actually define what this means. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant and say, “I think I want some food. And maybe something to drink. Or whatever.” So why do it when setting goals? We need to know exactly what we’re working toward. Otherwise we’ll keep wandering around aimlessly in the dark.

So what exactly do you want for your blog? Exactly how many subscribers do you want? Exactly how much income would you like to make? Sit down and put some concrete numbers to your goals. What’s also essential here is to attach a date. Not having a deadline means no urgency to get things done. Ultimately, if you don’t know where you’re going or when you want to get there, how can you possibly know you’ve arrived?

Reason 2: You don’t know why you want it

Once you know what you want, you need to figure out why you want it. This is probably the most important part and yet it’s one a lot of people skip. As Carl Jung said, “There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.”

Spend some time figuring out the motivations behind your goals. Saying you want to increase your subscribers by 20% in the next year isn’t very motivating. But discovering what achieving that will mean to you is. This is why having a mission statement for your blog is critical. For me it’s all about sharing my love for reading. That’s why everything about my new blog is focused on books. It’s also why I was particularly pleased when my first Twitter follower joined my quest to read the 100 greatest books of all time.

So close your eyes and visualize exactly what success looks and feels like. What would achieving this goal mean to you? And why does this matter so much? Getting in touch with the positive emotions of where you want to be (as well as the negative emotions of where you currently are) creates a compelling picture that will guide you day by day. Once you have a strong enough “why,” the “how” is much more achievable.

Reason 3: You don’t know how to get there

Once you know what you want and why you want it, you’re ready to get going. But most of us blindly rush out with giant leaps, installing all sorts of plug-ins, only to find ourselves exhausted and unmotivated to try again. You wouldn’t start your first day of exercise by running a marathon. Remember to take your blogging actions one small step at a time.

Schedule your life so you can do one thing every single day that takes you a little closer to your goal. Nowadays you can outsource your tasks and free up time to focus on what you do best. You can also surround yourself with the right people and a supportive environment when you subscribe to websites like Copyblogger or enrol in courses like the A-List Blogging Bootcamps.

Create healthy rewards to motivate even the slightest progress as you constantly strive to learn, adjust, and improve along the way. Most importantly, always remember why you’re working on this goal. If the reasons you created were strong enough, finding the motivation to overcome obstacles won’t be hard. Soon you’ll gather momentum; before you know it, you’ll be there.

Are your resolutions doomed?

We all have a desire for growth and development, and this must be satisfied throughout our lives. Yes, it’s scary to try for something better, but wouldn’t you rather risk failure than guarantee regret? We live in a world of tremendous opportunity. That’s why we all have the potential to be, do, and have absolutely anything. As long as we know exactly what we want, know why we want it, and know how to get there, it doesn’t have to be more complex than that.

So let’s go out and make this year a success. It’s never too late! Are your blogging resolutions in need of some tweaking? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.

Eugene Yiga shares his love for reading by publishing book reviews at eugeneyiga.com. He also gives away free stuff without making you join his mailing list. Follow him on Twitter for instant updates and alerts.

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Comments

  1. Maaike Quinn says:

    I love this advice. It’s not new or spectacular or anything, it’s just plain common sense that we – or I, at least – forget to use sometimes. I’m still pretty new to blogging, so I keep thinking it makes no sense to make my goals very specific. I mean, I don’t know how many subscribers I can get, or how much money I need! I feel like I need to see how it goes first. But, I just realize I’ve been ‘seeing how it goes’ for over four months now! And although I’m not unhappy with the results (at all, I might add) this might be a good time to start making my goals a bit more measurable :D

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. himanshu says:

    Its is really bad if don’t know what is your goal. And if you don’t how to do it that can be sorted out. Great post it was really interesting

  3. vasiauvi says:

    After reading this post I’ve realised that my blog is doomed! :(

  4. Justin says:

    When you can get crystal clear on your definitions about what you want and why you want it, the manifestation process becomes almost effortless.

  5. Tim says:

    Eugene,

    While I agree with a lot of the things you said here, I cannot say that I am crazy about this post. Listing the reasons your are going to fail is completely counterproductive, however true it may be. No one wants to hear about how they are going to fail without a solution to not fail.

    Insightful post ;)

    • As mentioned above the ideas are not new but presented in a “good to follow” way. Those are the very basics – know what you want or you will never get it.

      Of course Eugene could have reversed this post be stating the solutions instead of the problems you might be having. On the other hand the problems are so obvious when being pointed to them that the solution is right there anyway.

      As in “You don’t know what you want” lies the suggestion “Sit down and thing about what you want for a while – once you know that it will get better”.

      I call this being a negative vs. a positive blogger – You either point out the problems and lead your readers to solutions that way (risking that some might not be able to follow) or you skip the problems altogether and give advice on how to succeed from the start (positive blogging)

      Regards,
      Philipp

  6. Tom says:

    I would take the goal setting a step further and break it down into smaller goals.

    If you want to have 1,000 subscribers to your newsletter by December 31, figure out how many that is each month. Break that down into a weekly goal, and make a plan each day for attaining the goal for that week.

    At the beginning of each month, review your goals to make sure they’re on track, and adjust as necessary.

  7. Blog says:

    You are right most of blogger dont have any knowledge and they start a blog. First set a goat in what niche you want write.

  8. Mike says:

    I like Toms idea of breaking the goal down into smaller goals – great thinking

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Mike. It’s how I work any goals that I have, whether blogging, career, or otherwise.

  9. Good post. However, I think that resolutions need to be even more specific than “How much money do I want to make?” A numerical-value is great, but I’d still put it in the category of a vague resolution. I think the real question is “HOW will I make that much money?” “What SPECIFICALLY will I change about my blogging habits?”

    For example, I would not say, “I need to go to the gym more often.” Nor would I say, “I need to lose 10 pounds.” The latter is good, but what would be even better is, “I need to lose 10 pounds by going to the gym at least three days a week and doing 20 pushups every morning.”

    • To me that post is an action plan to look at before taking any further steps. Isn’t it always:

      - Know what you want.
      - Define why you want it to fine-tune your goal
      - Think of a way to reach your goal

      Very basic but powerful!

  10. This article is lovely! The weakest point on my blog, is perhaps, point #1. The problem is that it is a portfolio blog to attract my clients, and this might not get clear when I develop my strategy. So even though you will find useful resources there, it isn’t specialized in anything but to show my best pieces of writing.

  11. Miroslav says:

    Knowing what you actually want to achieve is the key to achieving your goal and not only.

    The whole internet success is related with this problem, when you start something first you have to know the scales of the project and what you want to achieve with your project.

  12. Kerry says:

    This is an excellent post, thank you. The psychological element is facinating, and it’s surprising how many people really don’t know what they want.

    Have a wonderful day.
    Kerry

  13. sumon says:

    I’ve tried all these steps including commenting on otherblogs.. but I never got any comments on my post. Hard Luck for me.

  14. Doug Philips says:

    Well, I know my goals with my new blog. 1) Finish the year long project. 2) make it popular. Great advice here and throughout this blog. Glad I found it.

  15. The biggest mistake I’ve seen people make has been setting goals without knowing the purpose of those goals. Whenever you set goals you need to know why you’re working toward that goal… and you need to make your goals quantifiable and finite. If there’s no way to be held accountable and no way to “see the end in sight” you just won’t do the work.

    Just my experience. Awesome article. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tom says:

      Unless you seriously desire your goal, you’re not going to work very hard at.

      They also need to be vividly imagined. It’s one thing to say you want a new laptop, and quite another to describe how many megs of memory it has; the operating system; video capabilities; etc.

      Unless it’s fully realized in your head, at the first stumbling block to achieving your goal, you’ll give up, and find something easier to work on.

  16. Max Bronson says:

    Hi Eugene,

    I love this question you wrote: “Wouldn’t you rather risk failure than guarantee regret?”

    I think that’s what it’s all about. Life really is one big risk and how to manage it. We can’t remove risk, only spread it. Most people are stuck on the starting line of their goals because they aren’t willing to take a risk to go after what they really want in life.

  17. Mario says:

    I stopped with new years resolutions a while ago as they never ever turned out like I wanted in my entire life.
    On the other hand this doesn’t mean that I don’t have any goals with my blog.

    Even worse:
    1. I know what I want
    2. I do know why I want it
    3. I exactly know how not to get there

    #3 is a probably a funny one, but I developed a dislike against all the guru courses out there. Every time I hear something about product launch I start to feel sick.

    There is one exception and this is are books like Darren’s ’31 Days To Build A Better Blog’ a.s.o.
    In fact I feel that reading Problogger is pretty much enough if you want some valuable tips.
    I think the reason for this is in the first place that Darren is the most down to earth blogger of all of them and he is never pushy with anything. This is also true for the writers of the guest posts like this one.

    Anyway, another hilarious thing is that I grew my list. The hilarious part of it is that I have this effect of: “OK, I grew it and now what?” There is not necessary money in your list no matter how big it grows. Nobody is telling you this one. I have to admit that I’m not putting enough effort into the list at this time but this doesn’t mean that there is money in the list. This would be the same as saying that AdSense works for every blog guaranteed. It works on my blog and on thousands of others it doesn’t.

    It’s not that it’s the case in my situation but even if you have a blog with thousands of visitors and subscribers it is possible that you will never earn a living from it because it could be possible that you have chosen a niche where people just want everything for free.

    Anyway, thank you very much for your article, Eugene!

  18. Daniel says:

    Good.
    I´m from Spain and here is more difficult make money with a blog.
    I write everyday in a niche about fitness but I can´t make money.
    I need a solution.
    Regards.

    • Eugene Yiga says:

      I don’t think any blogger (no matter where they’re based) should expect to make money after only a four months! Perhaps having an option to translate your text into English would grow your readership outside Spain?

  19. Eugene great post…

    You should always have a goals and what you want your end result to be. Of not knowing what your end result should look like you will not accomplish your goals. Once you know your goals, what are their purpose, you need to figure how to take action to reach.

  20. Sammy says:

    Defining a goal is easy, but the steps to accomplish it is the hard part. So it’s important that a specific plan by day/week is writing down and followed. I’ve also found that sharing the goal/plan with someone helps reinforce it more.
    Thanks for sharing!

  21. Jon Steuart says:

    This article was a good read – Thanks for the post.

    At the end of the day, I have found that using the S.M.A.R.T. principle when setting goals often times sets the goal-setter up for success. If you haven’t tried it before, give it a shot!

    S – Specific
    M – Measurable
    A – Attainable
    R – Realistic
    T – Timely

  22. nurun naby says:

    Eugene Yiga,
    I just have read your post. As a new blogger, I should have some goals towards my own future. Your blog has compelled me to change my plan and way of doing works…
    Thank you very much.

  23. Eugene Yiga says:

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the great feedback! This post is actually based on a Toastmasters speech I gave in February. It was about resolutions in general, so the advice could apply to any area (e.g. health, relationships, finances, career, etc) and not just blogging. And as many of you correctly point out, it’s very simple but very powerful. Aren’t most things in life that way too?

    @ Maaike Quinn – I understand that sometimes when you’re new to blogging (or anything), it’s hard to know what you want to do. But I still think you should at least have some idea. Not knowing what you are and aren’t capable of shouldn’t hold you back. Why not use it as permission to dream big?

    @ Chris Martucci – ‘How much money do I need to make?’ would fall under ‘know what you want’. ‘HOW will I make that money’ and ‘what SPECIFICALLY will I change about my blogging habits’ falls under ‘knowing how to get there’.

    It’s the same with the example you gave: ‘I need to lose 10 pounds’ falls under ‘knowing what you want’ and ‘I need to go the gym at least three days a week and do 20 pushups every morning’ falls under ‘knowing how to get there’.

    It’s important to recognise these as separate processes, both of which need to work in combination to be effective. Going to the gym and doing pushups with no aim wouldn’t be helpful, nor would simply saying you want to lose 10 pounds and leaving it at that.

    • Hey, thanks for clearing that up. I think we’re in agreement. I was just a little confused because the title of the section was “You don’t know how to get there,” which implied that people need to specifically define how they will achieve their goals; however, the section itself focused on taking small steps (which I agree with 100%), so I wasn’t sure if you meant what I thought you did.

      Anyway, great post. Thanks for responding.

  24. ovgadget says:

    Thank you for your article very inspiring.

    What you convey has happened to me diving the last 3 years and even this year even I apply the resolutions for 2011. Only, I do not know if it will be achieved or not. Since I have sacrificed many things.

    I have been out of my workplace a comfortable, in order to become a professional blogger. I hope that after I read your writing, I can do better in living a resolution that I make.

    Thank you.

  25. Guy Hogan says:

    It took me a long time to figure out these three parameters. It’s nice to see them here in black and white.

  26. One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Yogi Berra: , “You’ve got to be careful because if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else.”

    This post reminds all of us of the importance of having goals – and specific action plans to reach those goals. It’s important for blogging, but applies to every aspect of our lives. Thanks for a really important blogging reminder – and an important life reminder as well.

  27. Chase says:

    When I think of resolutions, I equate it to newness, clearing, and forward motion. The not so good thing is that I have things that I start that are eclipsed by other cool things and then I get stuck sometimes. Either way, this posting makes me think about being “specific” and clear about what I want and I like that. Most times it truly is the missing cog to make that quantum leap! Thank you so very much for putting this out there.

  28. Great post Eugene, I’m happy am on track with my blog after reviewing your tips. Thanks

  29. Fran Civile says:

    New Years day to April Fool’s day … small successes or disappointments? We know the answer by the way we feel but the only way we can measure is to have started with well defined small steps leading to a goal. That gives us a chance to modify or scrap anyone of the steps according to results

    Anyone of the steps could be modified or scrapped according to results, so Eugene is right when he says that we need to be clear about the out outcome we wish for when we make resolutions!

    Thank you for a good post Eugene!

  30. I think one has to set up his blogging resolution, formulate a proper plan to successfully achieve the targets and a blogger needs to stick up to his plans for achieving success as a blogger

  31. adam smolkowicz says:

    Very true i think it all depends on the marketing and results

  32. I really liked all the reason why because sometimes even i did the same thing but at the same time when i read such post i again starting refining my blog and other thing. So such posts are really good wake up call for every blogger.

  33. Absolutely right things u mentioned we should have clear goal and objective in order to get some thing

  34. Good thoughts here. Resolutions don’t mean squat until you get into action. I do think the “how” is least important, as it has a way of developing as your action takes you places in sequence. The “why” though is CRUCIAL!
    Thanks!

    Peter

  35. goal oriented approaches helped me a lot in improving my blog. but we need to be careful while setting up this goals. unrealistic goals may end up nowhere..

    great post

  36. numaan says:

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    Australia beat the Tigers by nine wickets on Monday with Watson smashing a record 15 sixes on his way to making the highest one-day innings by an Australian.

    The 29-year-old, who also hit 15 fours, scored an unbeaten 185 off only 96 balls – beating Matthew Hayden’s previous total of 181 made against New Zealand in 2007.

    On Saturday, Clarke marked his debut as Australia’s permanent captain with a century as they beat Bangladesh by 60 runs .

    It is the last game in charge for Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons, who was informed on Tuesday his contract will not be renewed.