I learned a great way to set and achieve goals years ago from reading a book titled Choose Success, by Billy B. Sharp with Claire Cox. Since then I've applied and innovated with the basic tools in that book to set and achieve goals for myself, and also shared them with readers and clients. Using these methods I've, among other accomplishments, published five books with major publishers, set up my own small publishing house to reprint my books, become a life/success coach and changemaking specialist, and a prolific blogger. I think you will find the following goal setting and achievement methods will work for you too as you apply them to blogging.
Setting The Goal
1. Is it believable?
I've taken Darren Rowse and Andy Wibbels' Six Figure Blogging course. I believe it is possible to earn six figures. But, is it believable for me, now? The answer may have little to do with whether it is possible. So pick a goal that you believe, right now, that you can do. After all, one figure blogging income is believable for anyone. After one figure, or two figure, or three figure, one can set higher goal that is then believable to the one setting it.
2. Is it achievable?
Select a goal you can actually reach from where you are now. Make it small enough to be done without stress or an uncomfortable stretch.
3. Make it flexible.
Can you find more than one way to do it, if you need to? The more flexible the goal, the easier it is to get it.
4. Does it fit you?
Not every goal, no matter how shiny, fits every person. Make sure you want this goal, that it feels right in your gut.
5. One at a time.
You climb stairs one step at a time, but they still go to the top. Avoid overwhelm and overload by setting and achieving your goals one at a time.
6. Is it adjustable?
Can you drop it entirely and go for another goal if you need or want to? Your goal setting needs to be able to respond to new opportunities, new insights, go around roadblocks, and be droppable for a better goal choice.
7. State it specifically.
If you don't know where you are going, you have no way to get there. Be as specific as you possibly can be. Write the goal if that works for you, and place it where you can see it often.
8. State it positively.
If you've stated your goal in a negative form, restate it in a positive form, what you want instead of what you don't want. You want to go toward a goal, not away from something.
9. Build in rewards.
Add a reward to be enjoyed when you reach it. You may also want to build in rewards for each step you take on the path to the goal. As you reach each step toward your goal, be sure to pause and enjoy the feeling of success. It will also help you reach your goal if you add a pleasurable experience both before and after attempting each step on the way.
9. Make it measurable.
How will you know when you've achieved the goal? What will you see, hear, feel? How many, how much, when? I recommend that you also write this down, and look at it frequently as you move toward your goal.
Achieving The Goal
1. Make sure it is well set, that it's an achievable goal that can be specifically stated.
2. Set a time framework for achieving it. This is not a pass/fail time deadline, but a means to place the goal in a more achievable framework by allowing the element of time to automatically help you move toward the goal at a reasonable pace.
3. Determine the first step, and only the first step, toward the goal.
4. Take that step.
Did you succeed in your efforts? If so, determine the next step and take it. If not, can you think of another way to reach that step? Do you still want the same goal? If not, proceed to a new goal and take the first step toward it.
Evaluate both method and goal after each step, but take only one step at a time.
The key pieces are:
1. Proper selection of the goal
2. Taking only the first step/next step.
3. Evaluating after each attempt or step taken.
This isn't goal setting or achieving, but is an important addition to individual goal setting, so I'm including it. You need to periodically look at the big picture, the whole area of your niche in blogging, and blogging itself to evaluate your part in it, think about opportunities at the present and possible upcoming trends and opportunities in the future. You can add these big picture evaluation sessions to your calendar at whatever frequency that seems appropriate.
Are there areas you would like to improve, little things you would like to change, or big things you would like to do and need to give special thought to or talk about with mentors and/or peers?
Evaluate the changes you have made already and decide what you would like to do next. What are your strengths? What is working for you already? Can you do more of that and less of what's not working? Scan the field. What is developing in it, or may in the next six to twelve months? How can you make good use of what you see, of what may happen?
Above all, make sure you create an environment for your blogging that is satisfying and enjoyable. That means physical environment, care and feeding of the blogger, and the way you set and achieve your goals.
For more on goals by other bloggers go to Darren Rowse's series of reader contributions on the subject at ProBlogger.net.