Do you have an idea to explore or a desire to do something but still find yourself procrastinating? Then I challenge you to not only consider what you can accomplish in a year but actually take steps today to start on your way.
Life Zemplified is now one year old. When some get to this point, they call it a blog anniversary others refer to it as a birthday. I think it’s a bit of both. Because sometimes you feel like a new parent who missed receiving the instruction manual for raising a child. Other times you feel like you just got married and you’re navigating between the honeymoon period with your new spouse and a minefield.
There are moments you think you’ll never figure things out and moments when you’re so proud you did something right. Similar to the first year of parenting or marriage, I’ve learned and grown a lot this first year of blogging!
But before I get to specifics on blogging, I want to talk about you. I really want you to consider what a year of personal growth would look like for you. And I want to inspire you to achieve it.
What Can You Accomplish in a Year?
What have you been dreaming of doing? And how does that look? How will its achievement make you feel?
You know to achieve that dream you’ll be required to learn, develop, adapt, and transform right? In other words, it requires work to become a better version of yourself. Because let’s face it, you can’t expect a dream outcome if you aren’t willing to become a better you.
What got you here won’t get you there. ~ Marshall Goldsmith
Author, Marshall Goldsmith, believes the factors that brought you success and results in the past are not enough to help you get to the next level. Further growth requires new knowledge, skills, strategies, resources, plans, etc. Possibly even new motivations or mindsets.
Where to begin?
Here are a few questions and thoughts to help spark you towards a year of growth or change.
1) I want to ___________________________?
Start or become a better human being, writer, blogger, manager, coach, entrepreneur, marketer, leader, parent, financial expert or whatever is specific to you.
Describe your answer vividly. Include things like:
- what’s your mission, values, and purpose – what matters, what do you stand for, what problem will you solve
- what it will mean for you – why you do what you do
- who you will work with – partners, collaborators, team, other professionals
- who you will work for – individuals, businesses, youth, seniors, teams
- what services or products you will offer and how – physical, virtual, solutions-based
- where you will work – location(s) and environment
2) What’s standing in my way now __________________ ?
Is it you? Are you still searching for confidence?
Think long and hard about why you aren’t where you want to be.
3) What needs to happen for me to accomplish _________________ this year?
Consider the following:
- What you are willing to invest – time, money, effort
- What tools should you add to your existing toolbox
- How you can identify and learn necessary information
- Where and how you will accumulate your new knowledge
- What new skills you need to learn
- How you will increase your proficiency level on current skills
- If you will work alone or find a partner or team
- If you will hire assistance, and how you will find the right people for the right job
- What mindset is essential to your success
- What existing bad habits you need to remove and what new practices you will adopt
- The systems you need to generate the results you desire. Can you change or improve any existing ones?
- What additional resources you will need
- Where you’ll find support
- If you need a mentor or coach
4) What do I need to change?
Do you need to eliminate things that are currently draining you? How can you reduce or remove those things from your life that are consuming your time, energy and resources better spent on your goal?
Perhaps you can delegate, outsource or just get rid of duties, chores, or distractions that aren’t moving you forward.
What needs to change for you to accomplish your goal(s) this year?
5) What will I do today?
What small step or steps can you do today to start?
- Find motivation (The Retirement Manifesto)
- Write 100 words (Writing Through Life)
- Start learning SQL (Freedom Is Groovy)
- Ditch your middle-class mindset (Make Smarter Decisions)
- Start a winning $25k blog (ESI Money)
- Get your partner on board (Abandoned Cubicle, on Physician on Fire)
- Or lie to yourself (Think Save Retire)
I’d really love to hear from you and encourage your progress. Drop a comment below or send me a note on what you are going to do this year.
What I Accomplished this Year
Life Zemplified is my first blog. I didn’t have a clue what to expect when I jumped into the blogging world. I was a bit afraid of putting myself out there, and I procrastinated for a while. Okay, two years. But I eventually moved forward, telling myself it couldn’t be too complicated. I was wrong.
It’s Hard. Like you want to give up hard. Like that feeling when you’re only on your 9th rep of a 12 rep killer squat routine.
But it’s also gratifying.
I didn’t write down any expectations initially. And I wasn’t sure what I was doing or what I could accomplish in a year. I just knew I wanted to start a blog and get unstuck. I wanted to reach people in some way. Share some knowledge. Learn from others. Connect. And Grow.
I got that and so much more.
Friendships. A contest win. Knowledge. FinCon17. Business opportunities. Rockstar Features #1 and #2. New Skills. Named #6 on ‘The 30 fastest growing personal finance blogs of 2017.‘ Freelance writing gigs, CampFIRE features, collaborations, guest posts and more.
It’s been an incredible year, and I thank every one of you who read, shared, liked, followed, commented, supported and befriended me. I know that I couldn’t have done it without you and I appreciate you all from the bottom of my heart.
As I enter year two for Life Zemplified and begin a new venture with Vicki, from Make Smarter Decisions, I’m visiting these questions I’ve listed above. I strongly urge you to use them yourself to define the what, where, how, and why of your next adventure.
Taking the time now will save you more time later.
I’ve had two previous businesses – a personal training studio and a cafe – and I believe blogging is like a business even if you don’t monetize it right away. And like any business, career move, or adventure, things can go right, or they go wrong.
We tend to think we know more, have more, and can initially accomplish more than we do or can. It’s just human nature. So we dive into things head first and wait too long to come up for air. Which often leads to exhaustion and burnout.
The Small Business Administration says 30% of new businesses fail during the initial two years of being open, 50% during the first five years and 66% during the first 10.
For blogs, the number of fails in the first year is estimated to be between 50% and 95%. Yes, that’s a huge gap. But as more and more people jump into blogging hoping to make it rich, the higher that number is going to be.
While I’m positive there is money to be made online (or in many businesses), not everyone will be successful at it. It takes a great deal of time, effort, motivation, consistency, faith, humility, and service.
Where You Can Go Wrong
Things will go wrong. Not all of these listed below happened to me, but the majority have. And while I’m talking about blogging below, you can certainly apply most of these to any business or project.
- You’ll spend too much money or not enough
- Your site might get hacked or crash
- You’ll miss a deadline (self-imposed and assigned)
- Someone will tell you no (or yes)
- Social media algorithms will change
- You’ll question your niche, categories, topics, etc.
- Free services you use will start charging
- Someone will steal or copy your content
- You won’t find your voice or tribe
- You’ll compare yourself to others
- You’ll get addicted to pageviews
- And then pageviews will fall before they go up again
- Links will break
- You’ll lose followers
- Blogging friends will disappear
- Your partner or family may feel neglected
- You’ll get burnout
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but you get the idea, shit happens. But you can get over it, recover and move on. Or at least you will if you want to be successful at it. It’s okay if you don’t though. Maybe what you’ve chosen isn’t right for you. If that’s the case, just stop.
Don’t waste your time trying to mold yourself into something that doesn’t feel right. There is no sense spending time or money on things that don’t elicit good emotions.
Quitting is okay. I sold my fitness studio because it took too much time away from my kids. I sold the cafe because I was burnt out to a crisp and my health was suffering. And I just quit my day job.
But I Love Blogging
I love the challenge. I love learning new things and building skills. And making connections and building relationships.
I’ve bought courses I’ve not yet finished. Spent time on things that didn’t pay off. And I lost sleep many nights worrying about perfecting a post. But I wouldn’t change a thing.
Because I believe things (mostly) happen for a reason and that all of our experiences shape us to be who we are today. But I also think we can control (mostly) what happens to us tomorrow.
So get started today on that thing that’s important to you!
What Can We Achieve in a Year?
I’m continuing to focus on this blog and provide you greater content. I’ll also be starting a new website with Vicki, as I alluded to above, focused on educating and empowering women to take control of their finances. (Message me on Twitter if you are interested in learning about guest posting, interviews, linking, and collaboration opportunities.)
Personally, I’ve committed to less stuff and less waste this year with a few other bloggers, and to achieving 5,000,000 steps along with My Sons Father. While our financial savings will drop due to me escaping the cubicle, we should still hit the double comma club unless the market tanks. But my favorite goal this year is to be the best grandma I can be. 🙂
So how about you? What will you accomplish in a year? Whether it’s a personal or professional goal, I’d enjoy hearing about it and cheering for you. Please comment below!
Also, feel free to share any financial, fitness, blogging or other achievements you’ve had this year!
For those of you looking for the one-year blogging stats here you go.