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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Life :: Secrets to Getting a Head Start on Your New Year's Resolutions

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For the past couple days, I've been thinking about the future.

As mentioned over the weekend, I love listing goals, but sometimes I don't plan thoroughly for them. I agree with my friend Alysia who said that you shouldn't wait until the new year to make a resolution and you need to start where you are, but I also believe that there is usually some preparation involved. Of course, it depends on the goal itself, but in many cases you may need certain materials or supplies. You might need to budget appropriately or do some research before you dive in.

And that's what I'm going to talk about today.

First, I'm going to be totally transparent and share what I'm working on with you. Since releasing my first e-book in June, 7 Steps to Living Loudly, I've been craving more community here. I want to get to know you better, I want you to get to know me better, and I want you to get to know each other.

The book provided a slightly deeper connection, but words on a page (or screen) never compare with face-to-face conversation. Right now I'm hosting a gratitude challenge over on Instagram, and that's just a small taste (a drop, really) of what's to come. I mentioned a few new projects that I was brainstorming during my Indiegogo campaign, and one of them has become my main focus...

Starting in 2015, I will be hosting a yearly interactive program with YOU, my readers!

I've been really inspired lately by women like Molly Mahar (Elevate), Sally Hope (Wildheart), and Sarah Morgan (Badass Babes). They have found ways to have one-on-one interaction with their readers and cause powerful change in the lives of many women. I considered joining one of them myself, but noticed there were certain things I liked about each offering, and others that I wished I could change. I realized that I could do something similar, but in my own way; not better, just different. There's a quote that says "I'm not interested in competing with anyone... I hope we all make it!" That's how I feel, loves.

That's how I feel about blogging, too. If I'm reading blogs and I feel like something's missing, I go back to my own and add it to the blogosphere. But that doesn't mean I don't want other bloggers to be successful!

And speaking of success, let's get back to the point of this post. If you're still around, thank you. Just wanted to give a little background, because I'm going to share my process with you as it pertains to this big dream! Here are my 4 secret tips for starting your resolution successfully...

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1) Do your research. First things first, y'all. Over the past week I've listed all of the different components that I want to offer within the program. I've also listed the different ways that I want to advertise, market and promote it. I want to get new professional photos done and maybe even film a video, so I need to contact my pal Megan. I'm also going to be making some tweaks to my website and I want some new graphic design work done, so I'll need to e-mail Bobbi. I'm going to start sending out a newsletter, which is something most bloggers do but I've never tried, so I need to find out how to do that and which site is best to use. I have to figure out how much money these tasks will cost, and how to come up with that amount, which leads to my next step.

2) Set concrete numbers. Saying something like "eat better" or "work out more" never works for a resolution -- trust me, I've tried. A better goal would be something like "eat paleo five days a week" or "work out three times a week". For my situation, I can't just say "cultivate a Loudmouth community" or even "create an interactive program". I need to decide how many readers I want to accept into the program, how much it will cost per person, how often we'll have an online meetup, etc. Then I'll have to do even more research to see how the pricing compares to the industry standard, what I can afford to ask for and what others can afford to pay.

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3) Decide on deadlines. I want enrollment to start December 17, which is less than a month away. Yikes! Deadlines are definitely in order. I'll need to decide which date I want to have certain parts of my project done so that I don't get overwhelmed by it all at the end. Coming up with bite-sized to-dos is key here. I have to work on a small piece of my goal each day to create the whole pie. Living in the moment is hard for me, but if I get impatient and dwell on the end result too much and how far I still need to go, it'll be counterproductive and I'll get distracted.

4) Take breaks and reward yourself! Be sure to give yourself a night off and award yourself with little treats along the way. If you have a lot of work to do, it's easy to get so involved that you become burned out. Don't forget to have one big party before the year officially begins -- you'll deserve it!

*Photos found here, here and here.
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