Why You Need to blog {Part 2 of 2}

Why you Need to Blog, Part 2
Why you Need to Blog, Part 2
Why you Need to Blog, Part 2
thinkenriched.com

Previously I explained the first part of the reasons you should blog.  Definitely, a good starting list, but clearly, there is more than just those items that could help you see the light in the endless tunnel of blog world.

You’ve got the goods.  You do.  You want to get out there and share some of your insight with the world. And guess what?  Other people need you!  Your perspective can help others work on their personal dreams.

So, here is round 2 of reasons, I believe, you should share your insight on a particular topic.

7.  Develop your writing skills and verbal ability.

If you’re anything like me, it’s been a long time since you’ve been in school.  Blogging is like sharpening up the pencils to get you ready for school.  It helps.

I pull out the Merriam-Webster dictionary app a lot to double check a word.  Double checking the difference between farther and further; distinguishing between there, their and there’s has been a refresher course that has helped me catch up on some good grammah.  Gramma would be proud. Pretty sure the synapses in my brain are suh-napping away.  Isn’t that how it all works?

8.  Make new friends.  Lots of them.  Even the introverts.

This is the part they don’t tell you about.  This is so, so good, too.  I wish I would have been prepped for this part of the entire blogging experience.

It’s incredible to me how people who share  in this space are so willing to connect and reach out to one another.  Not just empty words, either.  I’ve had email conversations, one-one Google hangouts (and for the record, I had NEVER even used Hangouts before starting all of this fun stuff), joined groups of professional bloggers and social media strategists on Facebook just to pick up some techniques.  And these people are quality!  They’ve got so much information share and they want to!  They want to collaborate, connect, learn from you- and work alongside you to success.  What a great way to make friends!

If you are concerned about not knowing where to start or where to go from here- know you have a friend here that will be cheering you on and adding bits and pieces of info to help you be successful.  Truly.

9.  Help people solve problems.

Let’s face it.  Most people go online to solve a dilemma.  Either they are figuring out how to get that gunk off the laundry or Mom is looking for a new recipe for dinner (because if she was just like me she would be done with the regular menu and ready for  something new.)  Maybe you know how to make quilts, or fix a leaky faucet, establish yourself with Google links. (Hint: all of these are items I’ve looked up in just the last few days. Think of what else you can teach me.)

Here’s the thing about it.  You have these little secrets, or that know-how that people are looking for.  If you want to create a blog to document things for you or help you remember, a blog is the perfect medium to set yourself up for that.

10.  It’s a 10-99 world!  You can earn side money just from your thoughts.  Really.

This appeals to me.  I am loving the blog thing, I dig the people I’m meeting and I find myself excited to get at it.  And they tell me I can make money from this??? BONUS.  Where’s that bell?  It seems that they always ring a bell anytime someone says BONUS on TV.  From now on, when we mention the word BONUS, hear that bell.  Good?  Good.

I don’t have a steady paycheck coming in from this, but I know it’s possible.  I also don’t want to monetize this early in the game.  Trust is important to me.  I understand I’m earning reader’s trust and I’m not  here to sell product after product.  That’s not what this is about.  However, when the time is right I’ll dig into that and find the right fit for me and my readers.

11.  And a Bonus:  When you get a job, change jobs, or find yourself looking for a job, a quality blog can serve  as a referral to your consistent work ethic.

I’m home now with my little one.  Before that I was working at an office.  I may just want to go back to an office someday. Having a blog let’s my style shine.  It shows that I’m consistent.  I strive for success in my personal life and I want to be demonstrate that as I’m being interviewed one day.  This blog is the perfect tool to do that.

And if it works for me, it will definitely work for you.

Please let me know in the comments below if you’d like to learn the steps I took to get hosting, set up my domain and get blogging.  I know you’re thinking about it.  BONUS. (Did you hear the bell?  Me too.  Group hug.)

My SMART Goal: Six month plan

My SMART goal 6 month plan
My SMART goal 6 month plan
My SMART goal 6 month plan
thinkenriched.com

 

Monday I shared a bit about SMART Goals.  I needed a refresher and this was the perfect opportunity to study up on that again.   And, it’s time.  I want to get healthy.  Be healthy.  Long-term.  But I don’t want to diet again.  I can’t.  Dieting just means fail for me.  Big fail.  And there’s nothing quite like failing on a diet and feeling like a big, fat failure.  So, it takes me a while of wondering “Why can’t I do this?  Why am I successful in other capacities of life and can’t beat this?  What’s the problem?”  Have you ever experienced something like that?  I don’t know why we put ourselves through it.  It’s miserable.

So, I’ve studied.   A lot.  Read lots of books, studying for the best way to get established in my goals, because I don’t plan to set another new year’s resolution again in my life.  I will set several six month goals, as benchmarks for long-term goals, but the goals will be in six month increments.  And there’s only 168 days left in 2014, 12 days short of 180 days (the six month math marker.)  So if I break it up into two 2 ninety day goals, I can do a full ninety days, and be 12 days short.  I am starting this today and if you want to join me on a six month-ish goal, use #mysmartgoal on Instagram.  I’ll be looking for ya and cheering you on!

Use #mysmartgoal to join me on a 6 month goal.
Use #mysmartgoal to join me on a 6 month goal.
thinkenriched.com

Here’s my plan.

Goal: Optimize my health, gain strength and lose pounds.

Specific: Lose 35 pounds in the next six months.

Measurable: Weekly status report each weekend.  Post included.

Achievable:  35 pounds.  Six months.  Definitely achievable.  I really BELIEVE I can do this.

Results:  Weekly weigh-ins and measurements

Time:  Six month deadline (168 days.  Deadline and final results will be reported 31 December 2014.)

And, in complete honesty, I’m really scared.  It has taken me a couple of weeks of working through the details before I could even post this.  So, I’m ready to face this fear.  Failing again.  And do it differently.  Do the work AND be kind to myself in the process.  Give me the support, cheering and positive vibes I’d give to any of my friends working for a big goal.  They deserve it and so do I.

I plan to make it different this time by following these four simple keys:

1. SIMPLIFY and FOCUS.

This is where I’ve gotten lost every time before.  I start and then think, “I should count points, like that program.” Or,  “Vegetarian might be just the key.”  No, “Protein is the way to go.”  Agh!  It’s giving me a headache even thinking out loud like this.  So, this time is about setting the habits: exercise and write it down. That’s all I’m working on this round.  If I find myself getting off track, it’s just a reminder to focus on what I really need to do- Exercise and write it down.

2. Make daily exercise a habit.

It’s feast or famine for me, usually.  I do nothing for months, then 2- a days killing myself, pulling a muscle or something and I’m out.  It’s so frustrating to me (and my husband.) So I’ve already been at it for a week. 20 minutes on the elliptical, usually before the day starts.  I want to do 30-40 minutes on the elliptical and lift 15 minutes a day.  That’s something I think I can do.

3.  If it goes in my mouth, I write it down.

When I think I can just remember in my mind, I miss something.  I will be using the app, Lose it.  I’ve used it before and been pretty successful.  Daily focus is the key for me on this.  I can also see where I could have done better during the week in my accountability.

4.  Report my weekly accountability.

And this is what pulls it all together.  Report it in weekly and it will help me stay on track.  I’m not making this a diet blog.  There are p-l-e-n-t-y of those in blogland.  I just want to be able to document where I am in my journey. From now on, Saturday morning posts will be my weekly status update.  They won’t be long, inspiring updates.  I need to keep my family first, but they will be reporting in.

 

If you want to join me, I would LOVE to cheer you on!  Leave a comment, use the hashtag on Instagram and I’ll be with you all the way!  Geddit, girl.

 

Set SMART Goals: Change your life.

Just over six months ago I set a few resolutions. You know,  “The New Year,”  “This time it was going to be different,” etc. Oh, you too? I kinda thought so.

Where are you in that journey?  If you’re like me, then a couple of those resolutions are going well, and a couple are…well, not even in the ball park.  I get it.  Life happens.  But, I’ve been thinking, if I set a resolution and I never even get close to achieving it, why do I do it year after year? It’s just setting me up for failure.  I make enough mistakes in my life- I don’t need to cause myself more frustration.  That’s just ridiculous.  And yet, I kind of think I’m not the only one.   Am I right?

SMART Goals
Set SMART Goals.
thinkenriched.com

So, I’ve come to a decision.  Instead of setting a resolution for an entire year, I’m breaking them down to six month goals.  Why six months?

Well, after reading “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, I’m learning that while I’ve got the big picture set, I’m missing the new habits for success.  My daily habits are not in harmony with my goals.

This has all led me to create SMART goals.  You remember SMART goals, where did you first learn about them?  College 101?  Basic business skills 101?  Me too.  But as I was catching up on the early episodes of Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast, he shared it again as a refresher.  (Note: I heard this about 2 months ago and have been thinking about since.)  Now I have the plan, and will work to create the small, daily habits and see how they work with the big picture plan I’m working on.

Oh, you don’t remember SMART goals.  Let’s refresh the memory.  SMART goals are:

Specific

There are always a few questions I’ve listed that you should ask yourself as you set up your SMART goals.  Specific shows the exact amount of progress you’d like to attain.  Ask yourself,

  • What is it I want to achieve?
  •  How will I do it?
  • Who will help me?
  • When will I do this?  This is where I’ve struggled.  By not scheduling a time to work on the goal, I’m missing it.  And it makes me so frustrated.
  • Why am I doing this?   This is the big one.   You’ve got to remember the why to keep you working at it.

Measurable

Any goal you set will not work if you do not have measurable tasks.  Will you measure your goal by the amount of time you are reading?  By the food you put in your mouth?  By the time it takes or perhaps, by how many steps you take today.  Consider these questions while setting your measurable goal:

  • How will I know if I am really achieving the goal?
  • When do I know you are right on track?
  • If I do get off track, how can I get back on goal?
  • When will I measure?  Daily? Weekly?  Monthly?
  • How will I document my progress?

Achievable

Now, it would be unrealistic for me to say that I will master Latin by the end of the year. I’ve never studied Latin.  I know a bit of Spanish, but not enough to feel I can master another language in a few months. I need to set a realistic goal.  Something I can and will be able to attain.  Questions to ask yourself while you are setting the goal are:

  • Is this something that I can achieve if I work, really work, daily?
  • Is this something in a realistic range?
  • Is this something I/we want to achieve?

Result-focused

Results.  All of this is moot if you can’t see the results.  That’s where I used to screw up on my resolutions- too abstract, no results to really measure.  I just heard someone say that the best way to achieve more success is to greatly increase your amount of failure.  Consider:

  • What are the three habits that will set me up daily to achieve the goal?
  • How will I measure this week if we are on track?
  • How will I know within a month, 2 months, 3 months, if we are on track?

Time bound

The deadline is key.  I’ve never created a deadline for a resolution.  Ever.  What was I thinking?  No wonder I would flounder to make a resolution stick.  Ever.  This is why the six month mark seems to be the key for me.  I’ll have 2 sets of 90 days to get make things really click.  That’s three months, each month will be a mini-evaluation of my progress with time to modify my efforts.  This can really work this time.  I get excited just thinking about it.

  • How long will I need to achieve this?
  • Can I minimize that time by two weeks?  (Will it hurt me or help me?)

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-Focused, Time bound goals are the key to achieving your goals.  Make a SMART goal a part of your life.

Tomorrow I will present my own SMART goal that I’ll be working on for the next six months.  Is this one resolution you’d like to trade in for a SMART goal with me?  Think about it tonight and tomorrow we will dig deeper.

 

 

You need to blog. You really do. {Part 1 of 2}

You want to blog.  You’ve thought about a blog.  I know you have, you’ve told me.  Not just one of you.  Lots of you.  LOTS of friends, family and people I’ve met on social media have told me.

Why You NEED to blog
Why You NEED to blog
thinkenriched.com

Today is the 3-month anniversary of my blog.  Self-hosted, WordPress intricacies, the big enchilada. And starting out was…scary.  It felt like standing nekkid on the table in the school lunchroom.  (Have you had that dream?  Brutal. Mean kids in 2nd grade are just as scary a couple decades later.)  But let me tell you, it’s been the best choice I’ve made in a long time.  Check out the map below I reviewed of people who are visiting the site.  It’s exciting!  I’m so grateful for every person who takes the time to read and connect with me.  Thank you so much!

“Do something that matters,” people say.  “Do work that matters,” you scream inside.  Know what matters?  YOU.  Your story, your insight, your perspective.  It matters.  You see the world differently and have something to share.

You have a message to share. It’s about more than just SEO, page ranks and anchor links that connect with people.  How do I know this?  Here’s the map of people who have read this little blog in just the first 90 days.  Some may say this is nothing, for me, just starting out this has been incredible.

Here are the first of the 10 main reasons I believe you need to blog.

Look at the connections made in just 90 days blogging
Look at the connections made in just 90 days blogging
thinkenriched.com

1. Tell your story.

If you have a small company, are a student, or are considering getting into the sales market once the kids get a little older, and, especially if you are between jobs, your story matters.  You have marketable skills.  Did you live in another country for a summer? Do you have a killer hobby of quilting, distance running or trapeze acrobatics?  Tell those stories.  I’ve read blogs on those very things.  Insightful, amazing reads.  By blogging now you are   connecting with others who can seriously open some doors for you.  Now and later.

2. Track your goals.  Hold yourself accountable.

This is huge.  Remember the nekkid lunch room dream?  Having a wish is one thing, telling someone about it makes it much more real, but posting about it puts you OUT THERE.  Really out there.

Know what?  It’s not a dog-eat-dog world online.  There are a few.  But most of the people I’ve met through these connections are positive, hard working, really good people who want to cheer you on as you find a new level of success!  It inspires you to dream, then do even more.  What a bonus!

3. Inspire others.

I can hear you saying this, “Inspire others?”  Yes, you can.  Actually, you already do that.  It’s just that in normal life we don’t take the time to say, “Hey, I saw you wrangle that crazy kid in the grocery store and you never once lost your patience.  That was tough.  You got things in control so quickly.  Kudos to you.”   They think it, but people are just too busy to stop.  But they are inspired by your efforts.

Now you can write about that uplifting book you just read, the conversation that was so good you left smiling or the funny thing your kid just said that was completely profound. So profound that you are still thinking about it days later.  Big things are made by small wins.  Share yours with the world.

4.  Create.  Enjoy the creative process every step of the way.

I had no idea how much I would enjoy this blogging business.  I think differently.  I’m actively seeking out good things to share with others.  People that I haven’t talked to in years are coming up saying, “I think we could do something amazing together.  Let’s collaborate.”  I was in the routine of daily life that I’d forgotten to create.

I find the freedom to see a series of posts of thoughts I’d like to share, while working out the details of the specific posts, images and maintain continuity with the messages I share online.  It’s been a quilting bee of digital ideas working in my mind.  And I’m blown away. I can see how things that were difficult in the very beginning are much easier and give me confidence to some new risks.  That’s powerful, man.  Small wins.

The creative process is what makes life truly rich.  Don’t miss it.

5.  See the big picture and the daily minutia.

Like the creative process, the big picture of long term goals and the daily routine are critical to success.  Blogging offers you opportunity to plan for life and share insights, direction and  help people while you are continuing on your personal journey.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not all rainbows and pony rides, there are some tough days. I’ve put in the time to learn about plugins and automation, I want to work smoothly like the big guys, but have the personal touch as if someone was sitting on the couch and we were chatting over nachos.  (What is it about nachos that makes everyone just…relax?  The cheesy gooey topping?  Crunchy chips?  I don’t know exactly.  But nachos and laughter always seem to go hand-in-hand for us.)  How do I create that in a few words?  How do people receive the message I’m sending?  These are all things going on in my mind as I work.

These are the first few reasons you need to blog.  I’m sure you have a lot going on in your mind about setting up and moving forward.  Feel free to email me directly, I’d love to hear where your headed.  And more importantly, cheer you on in your efforts!

Don’t worry,  I’ll bring the nachos.

 Tell me in the comments below: What will the focus of your blog be?