> Let's Talk - Motivation & Goals! - Its All Zara

Let's Talk - Motivation & Goals!

August 05, 2017

Another Saturday here at itsallzara and that can only mean one thing; its time to settle in for Let's Talk! This weeks topic is "motivation and goals" and I have 3 amazing guest writers sharing their thoughts on the topic.

Introducing my writers;

Alicia from http://www.aestheticobsessed.co.uk/ (also known as @AESTHETICALIS on Twitter!)
Gemma from https://gemmalynsey.com/ (also known as @Gemmalynseyblog on Twitter!)
Charlotte from http://www.simplylottie.co.uk/ (also known as @simplylottie on Twitter!)

Alicia's thoughts: "Goals, dreams and desires…you need to work to achieve all three. Now I’m always setting myself goals in an attempt to reach my dreams and fulfil my desires and one particular goal I have at the moment is to reach 20,000 page views over on my blog (www.aestheticobsessed.co.uk). I’ve been blogging for over a year now, although I kind of took a step back from blogging between September and March since I was too busy with life to commit fully to blogging. Since committing to posting at least once a week I have seen my monthly analytics improve so much and it makes my dream of wanting to start blogging fulltime, become more of a possibility than a pipe dream. While obviously, page views aren’t something majorly looked at in the industry (at least not on the same level as domain authority or social media following) it’s always something I like to make sure to keep constant or always improving.

Another goal I have is to spend more time with friends and family, especially since I’m down for the summer and I don’t come home too often when I’m at university. I’ve been spending a lot of time recently with my mum and my boyfriend, but I am trying to get back in contact with friends that I grew up with (although I’m fighting a losing battle with some of them) and I’m starting to realise the friendships I need to let go off and move on from. I’d also like to create some new blogging friends and start getting closer with more people, as I often have an issue letting people into my life and trusting them fully enough. This doesn’t just apply to friendships, I struggle in relationships with it as well, but I’ve managed to push through it with Sam so hopefully I can do it towards forming new friendships.

I’d like to start bring in an income from my blog in the near future, after creating a document to track all the expenses and incomings (well lack of) from my blog I’ve realised that while I absolutely love blogging, it is costing me a pretty penny to be self-hosted and have my own domain etc. so it’d be nice to start earning back a small amount of that money. Although I’m not stressing about it at the moment as I can afford to keep it up and I love blogging too much to give it up anytime soon. I have started to offer advertisement on my blog as one way to earn a tiny amount of money but I am thinking of starting to charge for sponsored posts with brands.

To stay motivated throughout my goals, I like to set myself milestones and when I reach each milestone I reward myself. Sometimes I’ll treat myself to a chocolate bar, other times I might let myself have a cosy day in bed or if it’s a big milestone I might treat myself to something I’ve been lusting over for a while (my latest being the Olympus EPL7…a reward for reaching the DA goal I’ve had for months). I think it’s just important to keep your eye on the prize and not get distracted, also don’t set yourself too many or unrealistic goals as that can cause you to be put off and therefore you won’t achieve any that you set out to.

I think goals are important stepping stones we all need to set in order to live the life we want, even if it is small goals like getting up earlier or not eating as much diary. Personally, I found setting myself goals helps a lot with my mental health as I have something to strive for and achieve every single day. So, are there any specific goals you have for the near future? Or any long running ones you’re still striving to achieve?"

Gemma's thoughts: "For as long as I can remember, I’d been one to put off life. Not wanting the inevitable to happen- to grow up. I loved being comfortable and that meant being in a routine. I’d do the same things, go to the same places and see the same people, despite some things feeling like a chore. I was unhappy, afraid and my world was getting smaller and smaller.

Last year, I couldn’t see a future for myself. I couldn’t see myself with a new job or knowing new people or doing new things. I was miserable. 21 and completely fed up with life. I felt like I was waiting on something, I don’t know what. I felt like I just had to wait and someone would come and save me and then I would be happy and everything would turn out fine.

I had my light bulb moment at the end of November when I realised that no one was coming. If I was tucked away, hiding, why would anyone come? I had to pick myself up, be my own hero.

I set myself goals for this year and published them on my blog in December- I knew that putting my goals out there, there would be more chance I’d stick to them. It’s only August and I’ve achieved a lot this year. I graduated from University, I got a new job, I went on holiday for the first time with my friends, I interacted more with people I didn’t know on Twitter. I opened myself to opportunity. Most importantly I took a step forward, only holding my own hand.

My big goal this year was to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and make an action plan on how to achieve this. For years, I’ve sat back and said I wanted to a write a novel but never actual put pen to paper. I thrive on stability so I wouldn’t quit my job to write full time, until I have a book deal in my hand. Sometimes the whole things is overwhelming and it’s easy to put it on the back-burner but I’m never going to be a published author if I don’t write the book! When I’m low on motivation, I tell myself that the only difference between myself and everyone else who would like to write a novel, somewhere in the back of their mind, is the hard work I need to put in. Hard work and determination is what separates the dreamers and the doers.

While it hasn’t always been easy and I have had setbacks, generally I’m much happier and healthier than I’ve been in years. I’ve not made too many major changes in my life but opening myself to the idea of change has made a huge difference. So if you take anything from reading this piece, let it be this. Be your own hero, hold your own hand and give yourself permission to work for your goals."
Charlotte's thoughts: "Staying motivated and keeping track of your goals can be a stressful task. As someone who has been blogging for quite a while and is also a full time student, I know the difficulties of staying motivated when you'd really rather not do the things you have to do. I've left months between blog posts in the past and sent in many an essay minutes before it was due, something I do not recommend you copy! So just how do I manage to stay motivated and enthusiastic about all the goals I want to achieve? 

One thing I think is so important is that you should be setting your own goals. Do not let other people put pressure on you to do what they think you should be doing, it should be up to you! You will feel so much prouder accomplishing something that you, yourself, really wanted to do and will make it all the more worthwhile. If your successes are just your parent/teacher/boss’s idea of success for you then it will never be as fulfilling. That does not mean to say that their opinion is not important, it just means that you should be doing things for yourself and not doing, say, a certain degree just because your parents want you to!

I’ve reached a few personal goals recently. I got a 2:1 in my first year at university which I am still ecstatic about as I nearly dropped out halfway through! I also reached 1000 followers on my blog Twitter and have been upping my engagement on all my social media outlets, as well as writing blog content which I am proud to share. It may not be perfect, but it's a work in progress and none of us should expect it to be perfect straight away! 

One thing I've learnt about goals through blogging, and through being at university in fact, is that we will all have our own ideas of success. For one person, not getting a first in a piece of work at university might be the worst thing, but someone else may be happy to just pass the module! Equally in the blogging world, you may look up to someone who has 2000 followers but they may look up to someone with 15000 and wish they were at that level. Do not define your own success by comparing yourself to someone else: we’re all on different pages here.

In terms of motivation, I really struggle with getting started on a piece of work or a blog post at times. Writers block is a common problem of mine and I get very easily distracted by everyone and everything! I would say if you're struggling to get started, write a list of all the ideas you have and the way you want the thing to pan out and then you've already got a structure and some kind of idea of what you want to achieve! 

Get rid of all your distractions and find a study/writing space that works for you. I find it impossible to work in my bedroom as I'm constantly thinking about something else. I've found I work well in individual study rooms at the library and in coffee shops where I can watch the world go by and keep caffeine on a constant!

Pop on the kettle, pour a nice cup of tea/coffee/beverage of choice and go get to it!"
My thoughts: "I have a perfectionist personality paired which fuels me to do my absolute best and achieve every goal I have my eye on, it can be motivation to just get sh*t done! However, if I fail to meet a goal, a deadline or an achievement I get VERY disheartened, I tend to slip into a horrible depressive period where all the thoughts of me being a failure and a loser surface, this only goes away when I feel like I've achieved something and so the cycle goes on. My motivation for everything is different however; for college I use the fact that I want a fantastic job and an amazing future, for the gym I use the success I've already had and my recent weight loss to push myself that little bit further and when life gets me down I use my mother as an example of strength to keep going.

Meeting your goals and keeping that motivation can be hard and at times, life is a complete b*tch! Finding your inner strength and the voice you have inside that tells you to carry on is how you beat the trials and challenges in life I think and almost any challenge is doable if you put the heart, sweat, blood and tears into it!"

 As always I'm super grateful for my guest writers for joining me on this weeks Let's Talk post! See you all next week when we discuss a whole new topic.


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