on life, ambitions, and dreams


Posts Tagged ‘goals’

NaBloPoMo Goals and Milestones

Sailor Hipster Girl on a Fixie Bicycle

Today is the last day of November which means that all of the men who grew ‘staches for Movember can finally shave, we all flip our calendars and freak out about the goals we have left to meet in 2011, and it is the end of National Blog Posting Month. This is my second year at posting one blog post every day for the month of November and – woah – what a month it’s been!

Goals and Milestones

On November 1st I made six goals for myself to keep this month. Here’s how I did:

1. Post at least one blog every single day

By the time I publish my recap, I’ll have published 27 blog posts in a month with 30 days. I skipped three days; one was because I was out with friends and forgot and two were because it was the first week of my new job and I was tired.

This weekend I read Om Malik’s list of lessons he learned from ten years of blogging and he shared something Doc Searls said: “Blog if you have something to say and respect your reader’s time. If you respect their time, they are going to give you some time of their day.” And while there are a few blog posts I wrote this month that I categorize as “throw away” posts (meaning that I could have gone without writing them because I was too exhausted from life, uninspired, was unwilling to write, or had plain and simple writer’s block), every single post that I wrote and published went live before midnight and that’s an awesome accomplishment.

2. Stick to the content calendar

Who was I kidding when I wrote this? My blog is the place where I can write about “life according to Laura,” and this life says that content calendars are great, but mostly irrelevant for whatever I’m feeling right here and right now.

Screw that.

Okay, okay, so I probably stuck with the content calendar 30% of the time, like today and this recap. I’ve had this recap blog post planned for an entire month

3. Be fearless

Yep, did that, but not without hesitation.

4. Increase traffic

I totally nailed this goal and my traffic for the month of November 2011 was up 56% from November 2010. I’m proud of achieving this goal.

5. No epic blog posts

I made sure not to write or publish any “epic” blog posts this year. Epic blog posts are essays or articles that could honestly be a senior-level college thesis. They include a very strong point of view and research to back that up. And they take a lot of thought to write and a lot of time to edit. Epic blog posts should not be cranked out in 2-4 hours, but days or weeks.

While I technically didn’t write any epic blog posts this year, there were three blog posts that were about timely subjects and I wrote them a day or two in advance. The problem, you see, is that NaBloPoMo isn’t about writing everyday, it’s about posting every day. So there were a few nights where I cranked out that day’s post, published it, and went straight to writing the next one. That was a little hard, but it sure was fun to relax and not write the next night.

Small victories 🙂

Oh, and the best part about not writing epic blog posts is I’ve been listening – to what you’re responding to in my posts, to what other bloggers are writing and asking about – and I’ve put all of those ideas in a queue and I’m very excited to dive deeply into those topics. So get ready.

6. Read one new blog every single day

I’ve been reading a lot this month, but I haven’t been commenting as much as I wanted to. Why? I quit my job and started another one. Oh, and I’ve been blogging. A lot. So suck it. It happens.

Milestones and big announcements

Bragging rights

Blogs I had the most fun writing

  • Happy Thanksgiving Eve – I had the most fun writing this post and telling you not to listen to every other blogger and Tweet during Thanksgiving (Okay, ‘fess up, who stayed online all weekend?)
  • Picturing My True Identity – Because who doesn’t love sharing photos of themselves from high school?
  • That Blog Post About my Cats – Even though cats may rule the Internet, being a cat lady is still does not. This was one of the most creative posts I wrote and, let’s be honest here, I have cats, two of them, and they’re pretty awesome.

So long, NaBloPoMo, we’ll meet again!

I had fun this month. And while I really think that the 2010 NaBloPoMo experiment was my breakout year, I kicked ass this year and I’m emerging from the 2011 NaBloPoMo season as a better writer who is pretty damn good at blogging. And as a result, I know you and myself a lot better. Thank you for being with me on this journey.

What’s next? Not a new blog post on Thursday, December 1st, but you will see a new post this weekend.

Stay tuned boys and girls. And thank you for being here with me.

Photo Credit: Lorena Cupcake

On Blogging, Mustaches, and Going Paleo

Moustache May the 6th

It’s 9:55pm on November 1, 2011 as I start this post and my mind is blank. This is actually hilarious since I’ve been writing my inaugural NaBloPoMo post all freaking day.

This is not a good sign.

Today is November 1st and the start of three very big things: National Blog Posting Month, Movember, and the great paleo challenge.

As though I didn’t need more ‘new things’ to juggle…

National Blog Posting Month

Last November I embarked on a month-long journey to post one-blog post every single day for thirty days. I did this on a dare form an amazing and awesome blogging buddy.

The plan was simple, I laid out some goals, and I was good-to-go.

But what I didn’t know was how much I’d learn about myself through the process of writing. (You can read the recap here: When Creativity Flows, Don’t Turn Off the Faucet.) And over the past year, I have become an even stronger writer, communicator, and individual. And a lot of that was due to the routine of writing – and publishing – every single day.

For my sophomore attempt at National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), here’s what’s changed:

New blogging buddy

Anthony is still blogging, but he’s trading up from NaBloMoMo to participate in National Novel Writing Month (or so he says).

Meet Ms. Melinda Moseler, my NaBloPoMo blogging buddy! For background and bragging right, I helped inspire her to start her personal blog and made her fall in love with Twitter. She and I have been writing together at Jolkona for almost two years. At Jolkona, She and I have a dual writer/editor relationship that most hermit-writers dream of. You know the kind where you write something, one reviews it, and somehow figures out how to pull that point that makes your article, your blog, or even your media pitch that much stronger. I do that for her, and she does that for me. It’s pretty awesome.

In other words, she rocks.

She’s also based on the east coast, has accepted the fact that I blog late-at-night. 😀

I am so exited to have her with me on this journey this year! Here’s Melinda’s first NaBloPoMo post: It’s National Blog Post Month!

New goals

Setting goals last year kept me on the ball and off of the ledge of despair. So here’s what I’m shooting for:

  1. Post at least one blog every single day – this is required.
  2. Stick to the content calendar – but I have permission to be inspired and write on a whim.
  3. Be fearless – write what I think, say what I mean; this is my blog after all.
  4. Increase traffic – I want to have more views this month than in November 2010.
  5. No epic blog posts – still want quality, but there is no time for quantitative research-based articles. Those will have to wait.
  6. Read one new blog every single day – I’ve been slacking on my reading list, commenting, and connecting with new bloggers, want to try and work that in this year.

There’s one big giant difference between this year and last year, and that’s the fact that I have a fulltime job. Sure, staying up until (cough) 2am will not fly this year.

Though I am a better, stronger, writer who knows how to kick out a blog in no time…when I’m focused. So we’ll see if those two elements can work together or not.

Mustaches and Going Paleo

Right, so this month is not just about blogging. I’m officially a mo’sista for the team that John is leading for Movember. He’s doing some really cool stuff to raise money and awareness for men’s health, like sell some of his artwork and donate the proceeds. (Here’s a preview; I’ll write a more substantive post with the story this week.)

Also, I’m going paleo. Yes, the hunter-and-gatherer, eat-like-a-caveman diet. Again, I’ll go into more details later, but this is altering my behavior so it’s going to be rough. I promise not to try and eat my blog late at night when I’m trying to crank out a post and all I want to eat is sugar, bread, salt, and bacon.

That’s right, bacon is not paleo.

What’s that you said about bacon?

I’ll go into detail about that later. For now, welcome NaBloPoMo! I’m very excited to see you again!

Are you participating in NaBloPoMo? Leave a link to your blog and help me with my sixth goal!

Photo Credit: KalebColeman

I Have a Confession to Make

Born to be wild, Vauxhall tubb

I am starting my own business.

That’s right, a business and I have no idea what it will be yet. I’ve mentioned this to a few people, how I want to start a business but I haven’t had that idea that strikes like a bolt of lightning and makes me say, “holy shit, this is it!”

Actually, that has happened, but I’m still ruminating on it.

There are two things I’m obsessed with: 1) building things, and 2) movements.

The first I know quite a bit about from positions I’ve had over the years. And the second is a relatively new passion that was born out of the love I have of being the voice that connects brands with their customers and from watching organizations like the Girl Effect and Movember harness their communities and ignite a wave of action.

It’s pretty incredible.

So while I research and learn what exactly those two things mean – What do I enjoy most about building things? And what exactly is it about movements that totally draw me in? – and how they’ll work with each other, today, I’m officially coming out as an entrepreneur in training.

I don’t know when I’ll land and settle with an idea that I will want to build, execute, ship, and implement, but it will happen. It’s going to happen. And it will probably happen way sooner than any of us think it will.

And I’m bringing this blog (and you!) with me along the way.

Photo credit: tubb

Speak Less

This post is part of the #Trust30 Challenge, a 30-day writing initiate inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. To find out more about this challenge, read why I am (trying to) participate or details about the pledge.

just do it.

Speak Less by Laura Kimball

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know I. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I once received a fortune cookie that read: “Speak less of your plans, you’ll get more done.” What’s one project that you’ve been sitting on and thinking about but haven’t made progress on? What’s stopping you? What would happen if you actually went for it and did it?

(Author: Laura Kimball)

On Sunday, June 19th, the prompt I wrote for the Trust30 challenge went live. This is actually a mantra that I have written about and repeat to myself on a daily basis – it is also the saying that is featured in the header of my blog.

Why I wrote this prompt

My intention for writing this prompt is I have encountered way too many people who talk about the things they are working on and are doing and don’t deliver anything. People who brag about powerful brainstorming sessions and how they’ve strategized something amazing and then—that’s it. That’s where the conversation ends.

I’m a fan of results. I’m a fan of action. I’m a true blue storyteller who means it when she says, “Show, don’t tell me,” and “Actions speak a hell of a lot louder than words.”

I really appreciate how Marek Lutz criticized my prompt by pointing out how contradictory it is (it was something I didn’t realize myself), but the point of this prompt is to take the ‘bull’ out of the shit that people brew every single day. Have you ever told someone that you were writing a book? Or working on a new company? Or had ‘the next great idea’ and are going to launch in the fall?

Or, worse, were you ever that person who ‘thought of that’? The person who thought about it so much that it didn’t go anywhere but someone else took it, ran with it, launched, sold it, and is not sitting on top of your millions?

That will never be me. I don’t have my ‘great idea’ yet, I just haven’t been that lucky. But I do have ideas for how I will make myself ‘great,’ but I keep them to myself or let them leak out to a careful select few because I want to be the person who launches that idea into an explosion. I want to take my friends and the world by storm. And I do not want to have that awkward conversation in six months or a year when someone asks, “Whatever happened to that project you were working on?”

The point of this prompt is to ask you, “What is that one thing you want to be working on right now? Are you working on it? And why aren’t you working on it?”

Show me. Don’t tell me about it. Unless you need help along the way, and then, all you have to do is ask.

How others are speaking less

Meanwhile, my life offline has turned life on this blog and participating in the Trust30 challenge on its head. So while I have been failing miserably at this post-every-day thing, I want to share with you a few responses to this prompt that I enjoyed and I hope you enjoy too.

  • Speak less of your plans by Kirri White – If I had written a prompt, it would have been this one: “There is a little secret passion I keep concealed beneath many layers of half-truths and maybes…The place I go to play when I dream in glorious wonder, only to awake firmly rooted in doubt…once more.”
  • Speak Less: What’s are you sittin’ on #Trust30 by Jennifer Price Davis – A fun and totally appropriate response (she and I share the same answer to the question, “What’s stopping you?”)
  • #Trust30 challenge: Speak less by Chris Bell – a nice response to the prompt followed by a very raw critique of the challenge and why we’re doing it

My response

What’s one project that you’ve been sitting on and thinking about but haven’t made progress on? – This blog.

What’s stopping you? – Honestly, time and brainpower. It’s amazing how much I’m starting to ‘write’ or map out blog posts on the bus and how different my life is now compared to last November when I was able to blog every single evening for 30-days straight.

What would happen if you actually went for it and did it? – I would rearrange my schedule and blog more so I wouldn’t be up until 2am every night trying to get it down.

How are you speaking less?

Photo by waters 2712

Post-it Question

This post is part of the #Trust30 Challenge, a 30-day writing initiate inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. To find out more about this challenge, read why I am participating or details about the pledge.

The Panorama of Patagonia, Stuck in Customs Trey Radcliff

Prompt: Post-it Question by Jenny Blake

That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? . . . Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Identify one of your biggest challenges at the moment (ie I don’t feel passionate about my work) and turn it into a question (ie How can I do work I’m passionate about?) Write it on a post-it and put it up on your bathroom mirror or the back of your front door. After 48-hours, journal what answers came up for you and be sure to evaluate them.

Bonus: tweet or blog a photo of your post-it.

(Author: Jenny Blake)

I am interviewing interns right now and one of the questions that I like to ask them is, “How would you describe your standards for yourself?”

Interviewing interns is always an interesting process. In most cases, you are not really interviewing them for their skills and what they bring to the table, but what potential you have in bringing out their potential. Training interns is a lot like raising kids; their success is a direct reflection of who you are—as a manager or as a parent.

This is how I would describe my own standards for myself: way too [explicative] high.

I’m never satisfied with where I am. Whenever someone is impressed by the work I do or the output I have and how “much” I’ve done, it shocks me to the point of mass disbelief. Seriously. Every time I hear people get lost somewhere between an “awe” and a “whoa, you’re fucking insane” about how I wrangled over 200 authors, twice, I shrug because it was just something that I did. It was my job to do, so that’s what I did. I didn’t stop and wonder if what I was doing was too much, too little, or not enough, I just did it.

That’s how I describe my own performance standards: I either do it or I feel like I don’t do enough.

I have no idea if that sounds as positive as it should. What I mean is that my own standards are much, much higher for myself than others have of me. And therefore what makes me feel amazing is working hard towards something and then being able to see the fruits of my labor finished. Done. Complete. I like to see the results of my action.

And lately I haven’t been finishing things. I’ve felt trapped in the endless hamster wheel of—something. I’ve been at a crossroads or at the turning point of—something. But what that is I’m unsure of. Because every other moment, every other day, every other week I feel like I’m closer to finding it and then I feel like I’m not.

My biggest challenge

My biggest challenge is: I don’t feel like I’m being successful in my work (personal and professional).

My question is: How do I move mountains?

And this, of course, can be answered in the most basic and the most extravagant ways you could ever imagine.

The mountains are metaphors. The represent any decision, task, or action you want to make. They can be as small as deciding to go to the gym or as large as deciding to make a gamble with that new job. And they can change with each and every step that you take.

Moving mountains means the same thing as taming wild buffalo and slaying (or taming) dragons. It’s a turn of phrase to describe kicking ass and it’s a tune I try to sing every day.

And yet, I’m not moving mountains right now. I’m making my way towards the mountain but my wheels are stuck in the grass. The throttle is to the floor and only my wheels are spinning.

And I’m not satisfied.

My secret weapon

I move them. I remind myself of my goals and work towards them with laser-focus and no excuses. I stop talking and start do-ing. I am strong and listen to my voice. There’s a 12-step-plan somewhere and here but it starts with me taking the first breath and the first step.

This is my problem and I am the only one who has the solution.

What’s your question? And who can help you get to the answer?

Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs