It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution per se, but at the beginning of this year I decided to take blogging more seriously. Up until this point it was something I dabbled in. Writing was for me and my learning. In order to know what I think, I have to write it and see it. Journaling accomplished this to a degree, but blogging forced me to write with greater clarity in order for others to understand my thoughts. Surprisingly, I found I actually enjoyed writing. Like actually enjoyed it. That is more astonishing when you know. I got a D on my first major writing assignment in college, majored in Chemistry, and was told by my wife while in seminary that I was a horrible writer. She wasn’t wrong.
But I wrote anyway. Bad punctuation: horribly grammatical and all. And I loved it.
This year I decided to take it seriously. That meant making some goals. Because that’s what a type A, highly motivated, competitive and ambitious person does. I have to know I am
My goals at the beginning of the year were pretty simple.
- Have 50,000 pageview throughout the year (I had 10,000 the year before so this seemed lofty)
- Get 100 email subscribers (up from 10)
- Trick 500 people into following you on Twitter (I wasn’t even on Twitter yet)
That’s it. Those were the goals I set for the year. At the time, they fit the criteria of goals. Lofty, but definitely attainable with a little work.
It is now halfway through June and I have reached all those goals. It would have been done much sooner but Twitter was hard for me. It was like being the last kid through the lunch line and trying to find a place to sit in the cafeteria. I felt I like was just standing around with a tray in my hand while everyone else was talking with their friends. It was great to feel that again.
So what do you do when you reach your goals way ahead of their due date? I’m not sure. But here’s what I’m doing.
Celebrate. I couldn’t be happier that I reached my goals this early in the year. Now, if I am completely honest, the main reason I reached my goals is because of one post that went ridiculously viral. I could feel guilty about that and write it off as a fluke, but I’m not going to. Why not? That post took courage to write. And sometimes being courageous is the hardest work we will ever do. This is reason to celebrate. Whether you reach your goals through hard work, courage, persistence, or some other means, be sure to celebrate. If your not going to, then why set the goals?
Increase your focus on purpose. Why am I doing what I am doing? It is great that I reached my goals. But unto what? Or for what purpose? What am I going to do with 500 email followers beside fill their inbox every week? This is a question I am really wrestling with. I’ve been having a conversation with a friend about what it means to use blogging and social media as a means of creating an online community that encourages people to live missionally. That is very different than simply throwing some thoughts on the screen when the muse calls. Investigating and defining my purpose is one of my new goals.
Learn something new. Take the energy you were going to use to accomplish goals and take on learning a skill. I’ve started to really learn photography. It has been fun to use the pictures I take for blog posts.
Set new goals. This is a probably a given, but it wasn’t for me. I celebrated reaching my goals for about three weeks before the thought of setting new goals even entered my mind. There is a part of me that would be completely cool with coasting for the rest of the year without any real intent and purpose. Take the original goals to the next level. Go in a completely different direction with a new goal. It doesn’t matter. Just put something out there and do the work to make it happen.
So that’s what I’m doing. It’s probably not textbook, but I share and hope it helps you.