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You Blog. Why? (How definining your purpose will help you reach your goals)

When people start a blog I often ask them, what is the purpose? What is your goal? Why are you writing and what are you wanting to accomplish? You might think that everyone has a clear idea about this, except you.  The reality is, most people do not really know what they are wanting to accomplish with their blog. They just feel that they have something to say and want to say it. Or they feel that they could have things to say and want to make money. Either way that is not a real purpose. What ever your goal is, defining your purpose will help you reach it.

When you have a blog you need to know what your goal is, but first you need to know what kind of blogger are you?

  • Are you wanting to share you life? (personal blogger)
  • Are you wanting to participate in a community? (mommy bloggers or niche bloggers)
  • Provide information to clients, potential clients or peers (industry blogger)
  • Write about up coming technology and write tutorials (tech blogger)
  • Provide social commentary (political or activist blogger)
  • Share photos and travel experiences (photo blogger or travel blogger)
  • Give reviews and share pictures of food (food blogger)

There are more categories than just these, but you can see that their topic is the first step in defining their goal.  Once you have your niche established you can decided what you want to do from there. Are you wanting to relate to your peers, provide information for a client base, or appeal to a mass audience?  Are you wanting to write for the sake of writing and provide information or would you like to eventually monitize?

I can tell you this for certain. People who only write a blog to make money will fail. Though I am sure their are a few who could prove me wrong, generally speaking the people who are successful are the ones who write because they are passionate about their topic. That passion will pull and audience and eventually they might be able to make money off of affiliate content or ads. But the money is not the primary driver.

When I started this blog, the purpose was to provide information about social media and tech developments for my clients and/or potential clients. This is why I had it associated with my consulting business. The blogsite was designed with this purpose in mind. But over time, my audience grew and I realized that there was more interest than just (potential) clients. I had to re-clarify my purpose.

This is not uncommon. Often when you really get into blogging it takes you in a direction you did not initially anticipate. That is ok. Just take in that information and adapt as needed. In my case, I redesigned the site and set it on a new URL (laurenmacewen.com). That way the blog was more personally branded, as was becoming an apparent need and designed to promote itself more than the consultancy.

Your audience will be integral in shaping your blog. Ultimately they might redefine your original goals. But when you start our, make sure you know your purpose and you will be able to reach your goals. Or set new ones!

 

Is Goal Replacement One of Your Goals?

It is that time of year. Resolutions and promises abound. Sometimes it feels like setting New Year goals is such an arbitrary matter, but I assure you it isn’t. They are important for our mental and emotional development.  However, goal replacement is just as important as goal setting.

A few years back, when I was getting ready to graduate with my Masters in Business (one of my personal goals), I read about the importance of goal replacement.  One of the interesting psychological shifts that often happens when you reach a goal is depression – although I know that sounds strange.

Lauren MacEwen Smith College Graduation

Graduating was one of the first truly significant goals I achieved. What replaced it?

The first time: I experienced this when I finished my first book (no, I never published it and never will).  I was so proud of myself to have finished it, but now I had nothing to work toward. I was actually depressed about finishing my book. What amazed me was that the depressed feeling overshadowed the proud feeling.

The second time: The next most memorable experience of this was when I graduated from Smith College. I enrolled at Smith when I was 18. but I took a non-traditional path through college, taking 5 years off in the middle of my schooling. So when I returned to school, graduating was a huge goal. I was so excited when I walked across that stage and got the diploma; I was an official Smith College Alumnae! And I was profoundly sad to be done.

The third time: I was graduating with my Masters in Business.  If you can believe it, I was sad because I knew that my formal education was done.  No more classes. No more finals. No more group projects or papers. My degree-based education was over, unless I wanted to get a law degree (which I didn’t want to do).  However this time was different, this time my depression was fleeting because I had a new goal. Plus, I still take classes now to brush up on other skills, and because I love learning.

Goal replacement is hugely significant for our psychological development.  Goals are not just something to work toward, they give us focus and drive.  When you finally meet a goal, take a moment to revel in your accomplishment. Then replace that goal with a new one as quickly as possible.  Make sure that you are always working toward something, because otherwise you are working toward nothing.

What goals have you replaced lately?

Whose ideal are you? Everyone is someone’s inspiration.

A woman stading on Sandia Peake

When we focus on our business and professional development, it is easy to get caught up in where we are going. We focus on our next goal and where we want to be.  This is actually a good thing.  To invoke some sports analogies: see the goal line, be the ball, make the shot.  Keep your goals in view and make sure that you are working toward them every day.

However, we may get so involved looking ahead that we forget to appreciate where we are now.

Speaking to someone the other day, I was hit by a realization about appreciation and perspective.  I was quite taken aback by this metaphorical slap.  I was in a dialogue with a young woman who is highly ambitious and has been culturally successful in her artistic ventures, though not yet monetarily successful. She expressed her admiration for my professional success. She said she wanted to be like me and wanted to attain the success that I have reached.

I was so honored by what she said.  I realized that we spend so much time looking at where we are going, or trying to go, that we often forget to acknowledge where we are.  But even that is not necessarily enough to give us the feeling of accomplishment that we sometimes need. We can even consider where we have come from and see our growth and progression, and still not have a feeling of accomplishment because we are always gauging our success on our goalS.

Sometimes it is important to realize that you may be someone else’s ideal. In their eyes you are the person they aspire to be. Just as you may have someone in your circle who is your role model, your work and accomplishments may represent that for someone else.

I was given a great gift by being made aware of this.

Who are you inspiring?