There are so many things to do, and honestly, there are days when the idea of writing a single blog post or sharing one piece of social media just seems like way more than I’m capable of doing.
And it’s not because I’m lazy – it’s something far deeper. It’s more a sense of futility.
I have found that when I’ve recently started something new, this feeling comes around more often. I have a BRILLIANT idea, I get super excited about it, start putting it into action….
No one notices, no one responds, no one takes action…
It leaves me feeling like I’m wasting my time, and I start wondering why I should even bother.
Not seeing results from work you’re doing can leave you feeling really defeated.
But the thing about working on the internet is that things take time. When you decide to do something, you really have to make the commitment to stick with it for a considerable amount of time.
And that’s been a really big problem for me in the past – I was so eager to be successful and to make tons of money that I jumped around from project to project without giving anything the chance to actually start working.
I would do something for a couple of weeks, and when I didn’t get immediate gratification, I would decide it sucked and I’d start looking for something new to do.
Now, there’s a reason why so many of us do this – setting up new stuff is fun! You’re learning something new, getting to create something – it’s exciting!
But once the newness wears off, you’re back with having something that you have to DO, every day, day in and day out. The shine wears off and it’s not so exciting.
So the key to keeping my momentum going involves finding things that help me keep it fresh and exciting – plus a healthy dose of taking it seriously.
1. Just Get Started, Already
No matter how much I feel like NOT writing, it seems like if I just sit down and start, I can make something good happen. Newton’s 1st Law of Motion basically tells us that an object in motion remains in motion – and that works with blogging, too! Getting started is the hardest part, but once I begin taking action, I usually find that it’s not too hard to keep going.
2. Change Your Priorities
When I first started blogging, I did it for me. It was fun to write down little notes about what my family was doing so that my mom and sister could read it. But when I decided to start blogging as a business, that joy kind of left… Blogging became drudgery – I HAD to find a good recipe, I had to take pictures, I had to share my links, I had to worry about SEO… And it got harder and harder every morning to sit down and create a post.
When I looked at the difference between my original blogging and later, I realized what had happened. My priorities had changed – instead of blogging because I wanted to share things, I was blogging to “GET” something – namely, money.
Now, this may seems counterproductive – and I’m certainly not saying that I don’t want to earn money with my blog, after all, it is my business – but my goal with everything I do on my blog now is to help other people. If I’m writing a post, it’s because I think it’s information other people need. If I offer a product or a service on my blog, it’s because I honestly believe it’s something that will help other people who want to blog.
When you blog to get something out of it, you’re always going to be disillusioned on those days where there’s no payoff. On the other hand, if you’re doing it to benefit other people, you’ll always feel good about what you’re doing.
3. Focus on What You Love
If your blog is becoming less a labor of love and more like hard labor, maybe it’s because you aren’t doing enough of what it is you love. Evaluate your recent posts – are you writing what you think people want to read or are you really focused on what you want to share? Remember, you aren’t going to make everyone happy – write about what you love and you’ll connect with the people that want to read it.
That may seem a little counter to what I wrote up there in Tip #2 – but it’s really not. The key here is to delight, inform or instruct other people about the things you love the most, whether it’s recipes, photography, homeschooling or whatever.
4. Create a Vision That Demands Motivation
Do you have goals? Yeah, sure you do. Can you tell me right now in 1 or 2 sentences what your goal is?
Remember last week when we talked to Shauna from The Best Blog Recipes? When she realized she could make money by blogging, she made a decision then and there that she was going to make it happen, because there was no way she was ever going to go back to a job and leave her babies at home. (If you missed that interview – #Blog Workshop with Shauna Smart)
When you have a goal like that, it is incredibly motivating. My goal right now is to get my family moved back to the US – and I’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen. Having that kind of a vision keeps me going even when I’d rather be snuggled on the couch watching House reruns.
5. No Zero Days
I’m not going to lie – there are just some days where no matter what you try, you just can’t motivate yourself to do what needs to be done.
The problem is that giving in to that sensation can create guilt, which sucks you even deeper down into apathy – and can make it harder to get started the next day.
Instead, have a motto of “No Zero Days”. That means that even if you don’t do everything you wanted to do, you’ve at least done something.
Can’t find it in you to write a whole article? Post a funny, interesting or motivating video and call it a day. Don’t want to spend one more minute on Twitter? Retweet or comment on one person’s tweet – share an old post of your own and let it go. Working on your book and can’t get a chapter out today? Write one good sentence, and feel good about it.
The key here is to work on your consistency – even if you can’t do everything, No Zero Days means you’re going to do SOMETHING. And a long string of days where you do SOMETHING is the mark of a winner. The more action you take, the easier it gets to take action. (Find out more about No Zero Days – it’s an amazing concept)
And most importantly, forgive yourself for yesterday, love yourself for today, and know that “Future You” is going to be in there tomorrow, kicking ass, taking action, and doing what needs to be done.