Recently, a photographer friend and I got into a discussion on goal setting. The part we couldn’t agree on was where to set goals. Should we set our goals as high as possible, without regard to level of difficulty?
Anyone who regularly enters PPA print competition knows that the 80 points required for a print to merit are no easy tast – especially for someone new to competition. Early on in my photographic journey I was told, “Shoot for 100…. if you fall short, you’ll still be in the 90s” or something to that effect. For someone who was struggling to reach 80, shooting for 100 seemed a bit of a reach. If that theory was correct, then I should set a goal of $25 billion in income this year. Even if I fall short, I’ll still earn a billion dollars…. right?
For me personally, I think the big thing is to improve from year to year. If I get one Loan print one year, I hope to get two the next year. If I go 3 for 4 in a competition one year, I try to go 4 for 4 the next. I think setting smaller, yet positively attainable goals, helps to avoid the frustration of always missing the mark.
With that in mind, I decided I needed to set some goals for 2011- specific to my work with online marketing. While I really got things going in 2010, I didn’t have a clear-cut battle strategy. Even though we are halfway through January, I figured “better late than never” and set out to create goals for the year. Here is how I did it.
First off, I searched around online and found some printable monthly calendars.
Next, I decided what kind of production goals I should set for myself. Sure, I’d love to blog every day – but that just isn’t realistic for me right now. I settled on twice a week, figuring if I could keep up with that, then I could probably jump to three times a week next year.
I’ve also been doing a bunch of video tutorials for my Photo Education site and decided that I would commit to creating a new video every week. So now I’m up to 2 blog entries and 1 video… starting to get a little nervous.
As every good blogger will tell you – it is important to see what else is out there and get involved with other blogs. I decided to dip into this one slowly and only commit to doing it once every other week. Sure I would continue to surf and comment as I normally do – but on the scheduled days, I would spend a concentrated couple of hours of specifically seeking out and reading other photography/art blogs. By the way, if you want to save me some trouble, add a link to your blog in the comments below and I will be sure to add it to my list.
To round out the list, I will keep creating a monthly email newsletter and try to write an article for online distribution at least once a month.
Once I had all this decided, I went through the calendar for the entire year and color-coded which activity had to be done that day. From there, I started the painfully-difficult task of filling in specific topics for each of those days…. for the first THREE MONTHS! Yes, I can tell you what I will be blogging about for the next three months. This should help ease the roadblock of staring at the computer thinking, “What should I blog about today?”
So the strategy has been set and the plan is officially in motion. I fully understand that there are people out there who produce 10 times this amount of internet content in a given week – but all I can do is try and set my own course. I can’t worry about running all those miles – all I can do is concentrate on taking one step at a time.
Best of luck to all of you with your 2011 plans! Keep in touch!