Early on in these Blog Exercises I asked you to clarify what you do and how you share your purpose on your site, what your target audience is, and review the why of why you blog and self-publish on the web. Hopefully you’ve had time over the past few months to digest those thoughts, evaluate them, and truly find the real purpose and focus of your site.
Today’s blog exercise is to go deeper and further. Today, your blog exercise is to set some goals for yourself and your site.
A friend following these blog exercises asked me why I didn’t schedule this exercise earlier. People need to spend time figuring out what they were doing with their site and on their site before they can set solid goals. I’m sure you’ve discovered that as you’ve gone through these blog exercises.
“It’s a process,” I explained. “Like a good recipe, you can’t rush these things.”
I’d like to say that by now, if you have been following these blog exercises with some form of diligence, you should be almost baked – or half-baked, as it were, ready to set the short and long term goals for your site.
Setting site goals is very different from establishing your site’s purpose and focus. Those are the definitions of your site. Your goals keep you on the right path, serving the purpose and focus along the journey.Imagine you are a tea hobbyist, like me, fascinated with all things Asian tea. You wouldn’t travel without a website database resource like Tea map for Great Tearooms of America or a mobile app like TeaMap directing you to all the tea rooms and teahouses in the area. While not a goal, the tool helps you to identify your goals, the number and places to have tea at your destination or along the way.
On a business trip to Seattle recently, I listed seven tea shops and teahouses to visit in the four days of my stay. I made it to five, slightly disappointed and frustrated. On my way back to Portland, Oregon, I had car trouble and had a couple hour delay to get the car fixed. I pulled out my tea map app and found a tea shop in walking distance and added another to my goal. Six out of seven is success in my book.
Visiting the tea shops was a goal. The purpose and focus of those visits were to learn more about tea, how tea is sold, and taste new types of teas, expanding my palette. That is a never-ending joy for me, serving as incentives for my goals.
To set goals for your site, you must follow a few guidelines.
- Set achievable goals. It took all my schedule juggling skills to make the goal that I did in Seattle, an unrealistic goal for the short amount of time I had free beyond my work and meeting schedule. In the end, I was satisfied with six out of seven. If I’d been more reasonable with myself, I would have set a goal of four and been thrilled to make six. Make your goal not just attainable but practical.
- Trust the universe to provide. I believe that if you set a clear, concise, and achievable goal, the universe will help you. I was so determined to make my goal, even when I thought I’d failed, I didn’t give up. I trusted that whatever number I’d achieved would have to be good enough. Then the universe stepped in and brought me one more closer to my goal, giving me no end of delight in there almost serendipitous experience.
- Take action. If I hadn’t had the tools I needed such as the website list of tea shops and houses in the area plus the mobile app, if I hadn’t checked maps and made time in my schedule to visit the tea shops, the universe is not very likely to serve my goals. You must take action in whatever form is required to generate the energy to achieve your goals.
- Be flexible. In my example, the tools I had at my disposal allowed me to meet my goal by a terrible kind of serendipity – car failure. Instead of fussing and fuming over my broken-down car, I took advantage of the repair time to check out more tea shops! Be open and flexible to whatever situation you may find yourself in. You never know how the universe will deliver your goals unless you open yourself up to the possibilities.
Your blog exercise today is to set goals for your site.
Please not that if you have not clarified the purpose and mission statement for your site, do it now before proceeding further. Traveling down this path without a clear destination is a mistake.
You may have goals already set for your site. If you do, consider this a chance to fine-tune them.
The steps to setting site goals are:
- Be clear, concise, and specific with your goals. The more specific, the more achievable.
- Chart the course. Lay out the steps to achieve the goal, identifying the tools, help, and support you need to make it happen.
- Set attainable goals. As you look at the steps, consider how achievable the goal is for yourself and your site. Does this need to be broken down into smaller steps or longer time periods? Can you really do this? What is going to get in your way? Solve all the problems in your plan to make this a goal you can keep.
- Check in on your goals. If you are not reviewing your progress, you will not progress. If you need to re-evaluate your goals, then do so.
- Make it measurable. Without some form of scorecard, how do you know how you are doing or how close or far you are from your goal?
- Reward yourself. Look for moments in the process as well as at the end of your goal to honor the moment and reward yourself for getting to this point. Such reward stimulates hormones in your system that bring positive feelings and stabilizes your emotional investment in that direction. It keeps you going.
Be careful. Remember that your site focus and purpose, your mission statement if you will, is related to but serves not as a goal. Your mission statement defines your site, the content, the long-time vision of what you wish to accomplish with the site. The goals are achievable tasks that serve your mission.
Let’s talk about the goals you have for your site. This maybe a harder exercise for some than for others, so let’s help each other create strong, attainable goals and support the universe make them happen. I’ll revisit this topic to help you further align your goals later.