Blaugust Week 4 is here, and I haven’t posted every day, in fact, once I decided not to post every day, my frequency has dropped off quite a bit. I still want to stay motivated to participate and write, but I’ve set more realistic goals going into the final stretch of this month. This week’s prompt is to share some tips about staying motivated, so let’s dive into some tips that help me finish a project like this one.
When I started my business a few years ago, I did some training and watched a couple of courses by a lady who had done the same thing. One of them was a nuts and bolts course about business entities and how to pick the right one, but she impressed me and she led me to watch another course she’d put out about defining success. Two of the biggest takeaways from that course for me were: 1) Define my own measures of success. It looks different for each person and no one should tell you how you should define success. Succeeding at something can be built on things not tied directly to making money, it can be personal growth or making a difference in the lives of other people. 2) Do not compare yourself to other people. I can’t state this enough. Comparison is the killer of joy and creativity and personal satisfaction. Starting a business or any new venture is hard, and staying the course is harder. The only way to make it work is to really nail down WHY you are doing it and that “why” can (and probably should) be multifaceted. But it is also very personal, so I encourage you to have a good, personal WHY for your own blog that will help you stay the course with it.
Another major factor in keeping me going all of these years is the group of people I have surrounded myself with. I have a community of mentors, fellow business owners, service partners, teachers, and online groups that share ideas, teach, encourage, refer, and commiserate. Without them, I’m positive I would have bailed on this whole venture years ago and gone back to corporate unhappiness. Asking for help or admitting you need some advice, you might be failing at something, you need more training, or you just need a shoulder to cry on isn’t as easy as it sounds. In order to build a good support base, you have to be willing to do all of these things. The Blaugust community is pretty great and I hope you’ve been taking advantage of its support to help you with your motivation this year. I know I have been and it has been a major factor in my participation this year. I appreciate all of you!
Having someone with expertise walk me through a process of creation has led to better outcomes than flailing around on my own and results that I’m really proud of. I don’t paint, it has never been one of my hobbies. I went to a workshop with an expert painter who set us up with the right tools, talked us through the process, and in a very short time, I had painted something that I was really proud of and willing to share with you here. When I talk about avoiding comparison, it doesn’t mean you should avoid learning from others. I am definitely reading the posts from other Blaugustians about motivation because they motivate and inspire me, and several of them have great ideas. I’m not beating myself up over having a different experience this year or trying to compete. I learn from seeing things from the point of view of others, like Bhapuss with today’s post about staying motivated. I also loved the advice from Nerd Girl Thoughts about making a list and checking off accomplishments. This is very brain positive advice.
Setting goals can be both helpful and harmful, so have a good relationship with your goals. Goals shouldn’t be chiseled in stone and changing your goals to make them better fit your reality is not a sign that you’ve failed. I set some very high goals for this year’s Blaugust and it was stressing me out. The goals didn’t match my reality, so I adapted them. I didn’t abandon them completely, instead I altered the deal. I knew going in that posting every day was a very high threshold and a pretty lofty goal. Had I been less busy, hitting it would have been more realistic. Maybe some people thrive on pushing their boundaries and pushing toward those lofty goals regardless of the outcome. For me, a post a day would have started to look rushed and unfinished. I decided not to post blatherings. As such, I’ve looked forward to writing the less frequent posts I have done.
Today’s TLDR is this 1) Set your own definition of success, 2) Don’t compare yourself to others, 3) Surround yourself with a great community and let them help you, 4) Goals can and should change based on reality.