A Year in Review and How To Conquer New Projects
In March we decided to go for it and get our blog started. It had been a dream of mine (Cristal) for a few years but I never started out of fear. It’s scary to let others into your mind and life processes. I also had no clue what we were doing and jumping into a project like that is out of character for me. Brandon is the one that was ready to purchase our domain and URL one day. Once he did, it took time to soak in. The next morning, I was still thinking, “I can’t believe we did that”.
Nine months later and closing out the year, we are still here and are excited about growth!
A journey like this doesn’t come without tons of trial and error. I wanted to write this post to give you a sense of everything we’ve been working through. I want you to know that any new project you have in mind is possible!
New projects mean shifts and after reading this post, you will have an idea of how to keep your progress at the forefront of your mind, get a sense of what it takes to overcome the challenges and be inspired to find your tribe of people who get you.
Keep Your Goals in Mind
I am all about goal setting and monitoring progress. At the end of April, we jumped into our first 30-day goal setting project and have continued this practice every month and quarter. This practice has helped us see the progress we made. I am the one that goes blank when it’s time to talk accomplishments and this really helped with that!
I want to be real with you about what we’ve been up to so here it goes:
- Got two opt-ins complete and we started blogging consistently every week
- Developed a social media plan that will roll out in June
- Started website redesign #3
- Found a Pinterest course to take
- Came up with two blog post series to do
- Very ill this month but we kept up planning posts ahead of time
- Created post ideas for all niche areas
- Opt-in draft is complete! Currently being reviewed
- Completed Pinterest course and created our page
- Opt-in is live on the website
- Plan for freebie area on site has started
- Created a new organization method
- Completed new branding – logo, fonts, colors, everything!
- Finished updating the blog with the new branding
- Redid all our pins and created an alternate design to be rolled out in the future
- Completed a second Pinterest course
- Completed a course about building an email list
- Created content outline for Q1 for blog posts and email newsletters
- Finished questions for 52-week journal project
- Consistency with Instagram posting on personal page
- Can’t wait to sit down and reflect on December
Remember, you can do this too to keep your energy and momentum going for your next project. Keeping your goals and progress at the forefront of your mind is how you will achieve all that you want to.
Challenges and Pushing Through
This was also a year full of challenges that took us away from blogging. I’m happy we finally jumped in and started now, but I was also drowning in work when we did. I write and analyze for a living so as you can imagine, sometimes it is a struggle to write at home too!
I may have taken some time here and there away from writing but, I was still working on development activities to keep us moving forward.
During this time, I learned what it’s like to feel so much passion for a project that you can’t wait to get up and work on it again. This is the kind of passion that I hope our readers find!
Looking back, another big challenge was constantly running into not knowing something. This pertained to using the different social media platforms, contents to include in a blog post, knowing how to customize our website, branding, marketing, growth and so much more!
The most important thing is to learn to be okay with trial and error and being flexible in your planning. Every change to our original plan has been a signal of us growing and evolving.
When you embark on a project that pushes you outside of your usual comfort zone, you are going to learn and grow in ways you never thought possible.
What no one tells you before you embark on a new journey is that it can be lonely, especially one like this. There will be so many people in your life that will not understand what you are doing or why you are doing it.
They also likely won’t read the posts you have poured your passion into. It’s okay if they aren’t your tribe though.
Your tribe is going to understand what you are writing and why it is important. They are going to be happy to have connected with you.
Before finding your tribe however, this leaves you without someone to tell your ideas, fears, challenges and celebratory moments to.
When I had been honest about the blog we were working on, with someone in the beginning. I opened up about the hardship that shifts at work had created and how I didn’t realize it was going to end up being this hard. Their response to me was that we shouldn’t have started when we did. Well, it was a little late for that! I also can’t anticipate the future, and neither can you. When you hit a barrier like this, don’t let it get to you, just keep working away.
Just like in life, you will come across unexpected people who get you and you get them. Hold on to that and let it grow like any other relationship. These people will get you and they will be there when you need help or need support.
Remember, this isn’t only a blogging issue. It’s an issue in life! We all have different interests and talents that our family or friends don’t get. We need to surround ourselves with people who do. You’ve been doing this already and this journey isn’t any different. Open your mind and heart to others during this time.
Celebrate the Wins
This almost year in review was needed. I wanted to give our readers a glimpse into what we’ve been up to and I also wanted to give our readers a sense of the journey that goes on when you start a new project.
You are going to continue to run into challenges, but you will also have a lot of wins, so celebrate big!
You are going to feel lonely at times but remember, with any new interest, you will have friends and family that don’t understand, and you’ve likely already dealt with this before. Surround yourself with a network of people who do!
Set some big goals for the next year. You may not accomplish all of them but the journey through it all will be worth gold.
Share something you’ve learned in the past year or a goal that you’re looking forward to killing in the next year.
Have a Happy and Safe New Year!
Brandon and Cristal