Short Term Goals – The Lifeblood of an ADD Blogger
Short Term Goals – the life blood of an ADD Blogger
I have a friend who has written a 1500 page novel, edited it countless times and is now trying to get it published. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with his dedication and patience to complete such an enormous task. As a blogger I am lucky to have enough patience and dedication to read all my emails without being sidetracked with something else. An analogy of blogging I often use is the primary school classroom. The authors and novelist are sitting on the bean bag in the corner quietly reading their books and us bloggers are running around the room, screaming, hitting other kids, throwing toys, opening drawers, and frustrating the hell out of the teacher. So how does a blogger overcome this inherent ADD issue. The answer is setting short term goals.
A lot of bloggers write about the importance of goal setting. Most of this time is spent really emphasising long term goals and the introspective search required to create these goals. And this is an important part of the blogging process. If you have no long term goals you can quickly lose perspective and purpose and your blog quickly collapses into mish-mash of random thoughts.
Many bloggers also write about medium and short term goals as well. Setting targets that make logical steps to help you reach your long term goals. But even these goals are too vague and too lofty for the ADD blogger. We need a new goal setting strategy that will keep us in our seats long enough to avoid being distracted by that squirrel in the tree outside. I call them Micro-term goals (micro-goals) and I use them religiously.
A micro-goal has to be so short and so succinct that the only way to not achieve the goal is to make the conscious effort of not completing it. Because of the scope of the goal, lifestyle pressures should no longer be a factor in achieving (or not achieving) your goals. In fact micro-goals are so short-term that I would write out new goals every day and in some instances several times a day. So if you want to accomplish something tangible in your day as opposed to checking your AdSense stats every 5 minutes, here are some guidelines to setting up useful micro-goals:
The goal can not take more than a day to complete.
Obviously its not a micro goal if it takes longer than a day, but it becomes open to failure if you have to sleep on it. Instead break up the goal into several micro goals, half to do one day the other half the next day. Your chances of successfully completing your goal increase dramatically.
Has to be specific
No more vague goals, no more “I will write three articles today”, “I will make 10 forum post” or “I will comment on 10 blogs”. Be as specific as you possibly can. This does require a bit of research though. I will use the first quote as the example here: “I will write three articles today”. If you don’t know what your articles will be written on your first and only goal for the day should read “I will think of three article ideas in one hour and write some quick notes”. After you complete this task you then reset your goals. I will write article 1 in x hours. I will write article 2 in x hours. I will write article 3 in x hours. You have now made a vague short term goal into 4 specific easily measured micro-goals.
Should be written down at the start of every day
The keywords here are “written down”. Don’t just have a list of goals in your head. Despite the fact you probably won’t remember the goals it is far easier to ignore a goal that is not written down. Top personal growth experts always recommend sharing your goals with friends and family to add extra motivation on yourself. Obviously you don’t need to share the mundane details of your daily blogging life to friends and family, but you must consciously acknowledge to yourself the goals you have set for yourself.
The other reason why its so important to write them out at the start of the day is subconscious thinking. In exams its is recommended to read through all the questions first before you start answering any. Why? Because your brain will subconsciously process this information (come up with answers) the whole time during your exam. The same can apply with your micro-goals. Writing them down in the morning has you subconsciously working on them the entire day.
Must complete start to finish
Every goal you set must be completed from start to finish. This shouldn’t be too difficult if you set your goals properly because they should be so specific that you can’t really stop half-way. Despite that this is a rule you should not break. Do not go jumping from goal to goal, starting all and completing none. Micro-goals are designed to keep you focused for short periods of time and maximise your chances of actually completing some of your goals.
So put away your blogging Ritalin and just focus on setting yourself micro-goals every day. Each simple goal you reach is a step in the right direction for you and your blog and will ultimately bring you closer to realising your long-term goals. To maximise the effectiveness you really need it to become a habit of your daily blogging (or life) and your day will be filled with achievement as opposed to disappointment. So set yourself a short-term goal to set micro-goals every day for the next week and reap the benefits.