I don’t want to sound arrogant, but in the month of December, I go more projects done than ever. It was the most productive month of the year despite it being the holiday season, where everyone should be kicking back with the Christmas carols.
Following a satisfying mini launch, I was in a good mood. I usually am when the holidays roll around anyway teehee. Because when there was cash in the bank, I also felt a surge of great energy and had great ideas and plans for the new year.
My productivity levels were great, especially on the day of Christmas and the day after Christmas!
All except for one thing that didn’t go well. Read on for the grand reveal.
Anyway, let’s dive in and talk about this month. I write this #RealChat behind the scenes series each month. I talk about the following:
- What went well that month
- What went wrong this month
- One word to describe this month
- Something about my personal life
- Projects for next month
- How can you take action?
What went well
1| When you set the right goals, it brings a great flow of energy.
Following a satisfying mini launch in early December, the rest of the month went by smoothly. Unlike the beginning of November where I felt like I hit another slump, December was much better. When you hit certain goals and you see cash flow in the bank, that naturally gives you the motivation to continue to do more.
And one of the biggest things I’ll be focusing on in this post is talking about how you should focus on the goals that truly matter to you. And not the easy stuff when it comes to blogging.
There are usually two types of goals that matter to me:
- Revenue goals
- Personal goals
Let me talk a bit about both.
I should’ve known this all along and I think I did, but sometimes you need to be in the heat of the moment in order to realize something like this happen. And that is, to have the motivation, time and energy to be consistent about serving your people, you need to focus on profit first.
It’s not selfish, it’s just the nature of the business. Always know “why” you’re doing this even if that “why” will probably evolve as time goes on.
The second type of goals that matter to me is personal goals. I actually only admitted that to myself a couple months ago. Ever since I made the commitment to do one thing that scares me each month, these personal goals have been even more meaningful to me.
Let’s just say that my personal goals are always somewhat tied to my revenue goals too. Entrepreneurship is really the best playground for personal growth, surpassing comfort zones, and crossing boundaries.
I wrote about this point first because everything else that I’ll be talking about after this springs from the energy from this event.
2| I finally gave my website a new design and fresh look.
Honestly, I’ve been wanting to do this for months and finally took the plunge when I found a theme I loved. There’s always a few stereotypical website looks that I love. But I really wanted to keep my blog hopeful and happy so I like to keep a few things colorful.
Then I decided to keep the rest minimal and simple.
I like simple themes and I truly recommend something simple if you’re just starting a blog for the first time. I know a lot of people are caught up in having a pretty and cute blog. Unless you’re selling web or graphic design services or you have a customer base who cares about cuteness, simplicity is REALLY the best way to go.
There are a few reasons behind the new look:
- I felt the old theme was too buggy. Too bad you really don’t know this until you buy a theme. I’m not a developer and don’t know anything building themes so I don’t want to speak too much about this.
- The old theme had too many customization options and each time I wanted to change a color or something, it seems like I had to relearn everything
- I was growing apart from the old look and wanted a more streamlined, but still fun design
If you’re a blogger starting a blog, I will say never spend too much time on your blog design because whatever look you’re settling for won’t be your final look. The most important thing is that your layout is set up to help you collect subscribers and grow your email list.
I’ll be writing a 2018 guide to starting a blog soon. Totally got this idea just now. Ha!
3| I’m finally getting serious about starting a YouTube channel.
I have a few tech tutorials here and there, but nothing serious. And I’ve had the plan to start the YouTube channel ever since last quarter and I totally failed. I never got to it and now I totally get why.
It’s a rather big project and although I knew that YouTube is a search engine that works similar to Google and Pinterest, I didn’t have the accountability to get the work done.
So I bought a course for accountability that handheld me into the planning process. When they say transformation is in the transaction, I totally get what that means now. I always think I can do without any course because I can be a cheapskate sometimes. But when you really spend the money, the whole project becomes so much clearer in perspective.
I bought the course and devoured the whole thing in one evening and one morning. That’s how I do things when I’m so seriously passionate about something. It’s either I’m all in or I’m all out.
Now I also ordered a bunch of tools and gadgets from Amazon and I’m just waiting for it to get here. I got my plan of attack ready and I’m just waiting for my weapons to get here before I dive into battle mode. (LOL)
But don’t fret, just because I’m starting a YouTube channel doesn’t mean I’m abandoning the blog. My videos will be more bite-sized talk and my blog will still be the place where I put long-form content.
4| I created a new digital product!
It’s not another course and I’m super stoked about the product because it’s actually a series of done-for-you templates for your productivity.
Really, the whole project only took me less than two days to complete. Ironically, I was totally working on this on Christmas day and the day after. If you’re creating your first digital product, I really recommend starting with something small. Preferably, something you already use so that the creation process is even more streamlined.
It’s the same, exact Trello board and card templates that help me set my goals and get my projects done.
Want a taste of that? You can get the exact Content Workflow template I use for my editorial calendar below. Just enter your name and email to redeem it. I even have a short video that explains how it works to make sure no one gets left behind.
What went wrong
Honestly, almost everything went right this month. And the one thing that went wrong wasn’t even within my control.
1| My traffic took a huge dip this month because of the holidays.
The trend began happening in mid-December when people were going into holiday mode and probably taking vacation time off.
Just because December happened to be a very productive month for me doesn’t mean that most people would want to focus on blogging this month. For the people who didn’t buy my course during my December launch, some even said it’s because they’re spending a lot of money for the holidays already.
I will say that for me, my traffic numbers were cut by more than half from all these holiday festivities. Again, I can’t control this so it’s not considered a fallback.
One word to describe this month:
Something about my personal life:
I feel like I hardly ever talk about my personal life on this blog, but the food I eat has a direct effect on my energy level. Low energy means low productivity so whatever you feed yourself is going to come back at you.
I eat a mix of both super healthy foods (acai bowls for the win!) and junk food (Yo, extra flamin’ Hot Cheetos!). I truly love both and I’m almost never that person who intentionally goes on a diet. I might cut back on some things every now and then, but for the most part, I just eat what I like.
But I know that I react poorly to some foods with high MSG and sodium. And I’ll definitely be actively cutting back on anything that brings down my energy levels.
Projects for the month of January 2018
1| Batching my video content creation
2| Launching my new digital product (I still haven’t settled on a name for it and I might need you to help me with that)
How YOU can take action:
#1 So many bloggers say that they’re unmotivated, but the reality is that they don’t know what they truly want.
They are probably just coasting along the sidelines waiting for someone to give them guidelines and steps.
If you’re doing this you’re always doing things for someone else and not for yourself. Not every strategy is right for every blogger and you have to know yourself and what’s right for you.
But when you set the right goals, get the results and wins that you want, the motivation will follow. Many people say they’re unmotivated so they can’t work. But I think they don’t ever set the right goals that will get them their desired results — and that’s what leaves them unmotivated.
So get clear on your “why” and be very honest with yourself.
Then set a goal for yourself without letting someone else tell you what to do.
#2 If you’re finally getting around to launching your blog in 2018, just pick a simple WordPress theme.
Don’t find anything fancy, just something simple enough so that your readers will read whatever they need to find.
Whatever theme you choose, it will never be the final theme you’ll ever choose. Blogging is a long-term game and at some point, you’ll want to give it a new look.
#3 If you’re creating your first digital product and it’s freaking you out, create something small first.
Your first product doesn’t need to be this huge massive thing.
People are always busy so done-for-you templates in any niche will be very popular!