We said goodbye to 2015 just a few short days ago and now, it's time to get down to bidness. BIDNESS. You feel me? Personally, I'm really excited for this new year because I've needed a good kick in the rear after the long holiday break (read: I. Miss. My. Bed.) and there's nothing like a glimpse of that good ol January Forbes 30 Under 30 list to get started on some changes, not just for CNKDaily but for myself personally.
As someone who is trying to build something from scratch, I try to re-evaluate every quarter (actually, every 2 months thanks to my handy wall calendar) to see what’s working and what’s not, but as helpful as it is it's also a pretty stress-inducing experience. While I'd rather scream at the top of my lungs most days (I don't...well, not every day) I've decided that this new year deserves a new approach in several areas. I've also decided to share a few of the things I've flagged for myself because it takes a village to raise a business.
Are you ready? Good. Leggo.
1. Find a Handy Reference
One thing I really struggled with last year was tackling my blogging goals. As someone who suffers from a serious condition known as Creativeitis, I have a tendency to throw out amazing ideas faster than I can actually execute them. I also need to be super organized (like, yes I plan my dinners and my sleep - thank you very much) or else the day goes to hell in a hand basket. Shit is exhausting. Lucky for me, I have a bestie who knows me better than I know myself and my Christmas gift reflected that understanding 100%. The EPIC BLOG: One-Year Editorial Calendar by Regina Anaejionu, is all about putting things in writing and planning your content from idea to execution.
There's also an amazing section that calls on you to really reflect on your business goals for the year AND create a mini business plan so you can stay true to your vision all year long. This was sincerely an awesome moment that forced me to be honest with myself about my expectations and get real about my bandwidth.
2. Set Attainable Goals
My Creativeitis is both a blogging blessing and a curse. I think of ideas and concepts all day erry day, but I haven't the best knack for prioritizing those ideas and setting REALISTIC goals for their execution. The same thing extended into legit company goals for 2015. While I made and attained several milestones with CNK, the initial list was at least four pages long. Very Dead Sea Scroll-ish.
So, because I've recognized this as a hindrance, I've decided that picking 3-5 top goals and building on those is an awesome starting point for 2016. For now, I'm thinking about a) which goals are most important for the growth of the brand and b) goals I can conquer in the next 360 days. Goals that you can achieve in 6-12 months will not only help boost your productivity by helping you focus less on the disposable, but I'm pretty sure we'll all feel more accomplished marking things off in June vs. the 'Oh yea! I did want to do that, huh?' in November.
3. Short and Long Are Both a Good Time
Last year, I made my goal scroll, but I didn't conquer all of them. Why? Have you ever tried to tackle 10 goals at once? Not everything will make the cut...ever. It's like one of Newton's lost laws.
This go 'round I'm embracing short term and long term. Say it with me: SHORT TERM IS GOOD. LONG TERM IS GOOD. Breaking down your goals and dividing them into short term goals (attainable in 3-6 months) and long term goals (projects that will take a bit more work - 9 - 12 months) will hopefully keep me less stressed and more motivated throughout the year.
4. You Gotta Do The Work, Though
I set aside my goals - now what? There really is no point in a goal if you have no clue how to attain it. Action plans are the DJ Khaled key to success here, breh. After pondering this right around December 30th, I asked myself what are steps that you can take to make sure you can accomplish your goals? Good question. In addition to my handy reference (see: #1), I've decided to utilize a scheduling system that will help take some of the social work off my plate (Heyyyy Hootsuite!), I'm holding myself accountable (hence this very public blog post), and I'm giving myself room to fail.
I know it sounds crazy, but in 2015 I wanted to win...EVERY. DAMN. TIME. And while winning is pretty necessary for all of us with a crazy - and loud - entrepreneurial spirit, it was even more clear to me in my end of year reflection that those losses taught me more because I was forced to do something else and, guess what? More often than not, my adjustments paid off.
No matter how you get it done, it's important to have a clear understanding of the steps that are absolutely necessary to accomplish your goals.
5. Stick It Out, Champ!
Making lists are fun for me. Sticking to them is an entirely different story. This has been the crux in my road to blogging goal achievement. We can make lists all day long, but sometimes it's all about old fashioned discipline.
For me, I've decided to place my blogging goals in multiple places - that way, I will see them everyday. EVERY. DARN. DAY. A few on that dry erase board I was talking about earlier, a few on post-its strategically placed on my bedroom mirror, a full list (separated by short and long term, btw) placed in my Bible and, of course, in my EPIC BLOG planner. This way whenever I start to forget or become discouraged, they’re staring me in the face. I also am making this piece of Chickspiration a consistent part of my daily routine.
6. Save The Date
I really want to achieve my blogging goals for this year, so I've saving the date and getting hitched to this success. See what I did there. But, really though - one of the best ways to knock out goals is to set a permanent date that will serve as a reminder that you've gotta get to work. For my short term goals, I'm trying to accomplish them in six months or less. For longer goals, December 31 is the day they have to be checked off the list.
I personally cannot wait to start tackling my goals for CNKDaily. Here are a few of my goals for this here site as we dive into 2016:
- Introduce 2 new regular post segments into the existing rotation
- Add more items to our e-store
- Develop more interactive options for readers
- Create new income streams
- Double social media following: deadline May 2016
- Find new advertisers and brand sponsorships
- Develop a marketing plan
In my mind, all of these goals are attainable and I will cross them off of my list! What are a few of your goals for your professional growth this year? How will you go about achieving them? Let us know in the comments section below!
P.S. Before I leave you, I just wanted to send a HUGE thank you to everyone who has shown love to CNKDaily since we launched in November 2015. You guys are all so appreciated and we're looking forward to bringing more for you in 2016. As always, if you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact us. We'd love to hear from you!