The Simple Goal Setting Strategy
That Built This Site

I'd like to share with you the goal setting strategy I used to build this website, and how it could do the same for your goals, too.

When I first started out on my online journey, I can remember writing, saying, repeating, and re-writing my goals on a daily basis.

Every day, I'd get up, put pen to paper, listing exactly what I wanted to achieve (which I recommend by the way), walk my dog and virtually chant them out loud as I went, hoping that my words would become beliefs that would turn into results.And that no one would think the guy talking to himself was too strange.

But something interesting happened...

I found that having specific, measurable and time-related goals for visitors, search engine rankings, income and the like was having a negative effect on me.

I even felt that about publishing pages. At the start of the year, I set myself the goal of writing at least one page per week.

(That may not seem much, but each one takes me between 5-10 hours -- I really must learn to touch type.)

But it soon became a burden because, to a large extent, those things are out of my direct control...

  • I can publicize the site, but I can't make anyone look at it.
  • I could rush through building pages to meet my target, but I couldn't then guarantee each page's quality.
  • I can advertise on my site and sell products, but I can't force a visitor to click on them to guarantee me a certain level of income.

So I tried something new -- a different sort of goal setting strategy; one that has worked so well for me, I'll be doing the same from now on.

As time went on, I spent less time trying to achieve goals and hit targets that were out of my direct sphere of influence. Instead, I focused on the one thing I could control.

My time.

My plan was to spend an average of 90 minutes a day working on this site. Some days I did more. Others I did less. A few, such as the day we moved house, I did nothing at all (although I did find time to check my traffic stats!).

And, as the year drew to a close, looking at my time log, it gave me real satisfaction to know that I averaged exactly 90 minutes per day for the year.

So what constitutes "working on my site"?

Basically, anything that I think adds to, or promotes, my site's content. I do whatever I feel like doing at the time, as long as it's relevant. (If you’re going to use this goal setting strategy, you’ve got to trust yourself to spend the time exclusively on things that contribute to the bottom line -- income.)

Next year, I'll set myself the same goal of 90 minutes a day. The year after, it may be more or less, depending on circumstances. But whatever time I feel I can afford to commit to my site, I know it will be time well spent if I put on my blinkers and focus.

Why does this goal setting strategy work?

Here are several major benefits that I’ve experienced with this goal setting strategy:

  • Impact. After some trial and error, I know that 90 minutes a day is a reasonable time goal for me to set and achieve. It’s enough to make an impact on the site each day, but not enough to adversely affect my work and family life.
  • Control. I’m 100% in control of the results I get with my ‘90 minutes a day’ goal setting strategy because I choose how much time to put in and when. If I’ve got a lot of work on, I may decide to do less on the website, or I may be less busy and so able to put in more time.
  • Effectiveness. Defining a goal in terms of time spent working on it forces an increase in efficiency and effectiveness, if you know how to apply Parkinson's Law.
  • Challenge. If my goal setting strategy was 6 hours a day it would seem too daunting. On the other hand, 15 minutes a day would mean little progress. 90 minutes a day is do-able and gives me something to aim for.
  • Freedom. As long as the time is put in, I can work on whatever aspect of my goal I choose, whenever I decide to do it. The chances of becoming stale are lessened as the variety of relevant projects to choose to do increases.
  • Progress. There’s real satisfaction to knowing that things are moving forward. Charting the progress made over the previous week, month or year (as opposed to the progress to be made) is a real motivator.

What type of goals does it work for?

Basically, anything for which ‘time put in’ equals ‘results churned out’.

Examples include:

  • Any business, online or off
  • Studying for qualifications
  • Health and fitness
  • Home and family
  • Financial

Even short term SMART goal setting can be time related if you put in a clearly defined amount on a regular basis.

Bottom line?

If you haven’t tried it before, you may find that a "putting in the hours" goal setting strategy works for you, too.

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