The last quarter of the year is usually seen as a big push. We want to achieve those goals we set ourselves so many months ago and we want to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. This is the last chance of 2016 to make big things happen with our online presence, so it's natural to want to strive for more right now.
SO WHY DO I NEED A SURVIVAL GUIDE?
It’s good to have a survival guide for the rest of the year to help you work towards your goals. This is always a tough and busy time of the year, so you want to make sure you’re working in a way that makes you feel good and fulfils you, whilst also making sure the work you’re doing is productive and worthwhile.
A survival guide helps you achieve your goals on your terms, in the best way possible. You decide what your survival guide is going to include. But it also helps you take care of yourself in the right way. We all need to practice self-care in order to make big things happen.
If you feel like you need something to get you through the rest of the year, I have the perfect thing for you.
After evaluating my own processes recently, I’ve created my own intentional survival guide to help me achieve big things for my blog and business over the next few months. I’ve crafted it in a way that works best not just for myself, but for my readers and clients too.
This survival guide will help you take some important steps to help you get to where you want to be. So below, I’ve listed the parts that make up this guide that you can use yourself, whilst still enjoying yourself in the last months of 2016.
STEP #1 | REFRESH YOUR GOALS
If you've been working towards the same goals since January and you aren't getting anywhere, it's a sign that things need to change. As your vision, core values and direction adjust throughout the year, your goals do the same.
Maybe your goals don't match your message and you need to alter them. Or maybe they've been too big and you need to cut them down into baby steps. Whatever your current situation right now, here are some questions for you to consider.
- What's the one thing I want to achieve by the end of the year?
- What’s the one thing I need to achieve by the end of the year, no question?
- What's my reason behind wanting to achieve this? Why is this important? What will keep me motivated and determined to work towards this goal?
- What do I want to prioritise for the last quarter of 2016?
- How do I want to feel during these last few months? What’s one word I’d pick to describe this?
STEP #2 | MANAGE YOUR WORK IN A BETTER WAY
Working with a survival guide usually means you want to be focused, determined and organised enough to discipline yourself to achieve your goals.
It’s so easy to let your workload control you. Just a few weeks ago, I felt completely overwhelmed by everything I had to do and didn't know where to begin. I knew that in order to move forward, I needed to take back control.
Here are the steps I explored to make that happen:
Get everything written down
And I mean everything. Open up a spreadsheet in Google Docs, and in the first free column, write down everything you’ve got to do (and want to do) that month. Break up everything you do for your blog and business - then break those up further into baby steps.
This is my secret. So instead of listing ‘sort Thursday’s post’, you want to be very very specific. You’d break it down into things like:
- Plan working headline
- Create image/graphic
- Pull research together
- Create outline
- Write post
To truly survive the rest of the year, you need to make sure you can manage the work you’re doing. The way you do this is by breaking tasks up, looking at your schedule and seeing what you can fit in.
Plan it by a weekly and daily basis
One of the reasons I want to become a full-time freelancer is because I love the idea of being able to create my own routine. However, one of the things I’ve learnt about myself is that I also crave structure. I know that by planning out every detail, that’s the only way I’m going to be able to make things happen.
Staying determined, productive and being able to tick things off my list is only possible for me, if I plan out each week and day by the letter.
I look at my master to-do list, plan everything I need to do during a weekly basis, and then see how much time I’ve got to add in other tasks too. Making sure I do something extra each week means at the end of a month, I’m working my way up to reaching even bigger goals.
Breaking down your tasks into bite-sized pieces and seeing what time you’ve got available during a week to complete them is how you get to where you want to be.
If you lose your way, remember your plan
It’s easy for other tasks to crop up and prioritises to change. Not every day will always go the way you think it will. But once you’ve got your plan set, that’s what you can keep going back to. It’s like a cushion for yourself. So whenever you lose motivation or drive, you can just look at your plan and see instantly what you’ve got to do next.
Keep adjusting your plan as you grow throughout your online presence. You’ll find it’ll only get better as you go along.
#3 | ONLY DO WHAT YOU ENJOY
Just because you’re trying to work extra hard to make it to the end of the year, doesn't mean you can’t enjoy yourself along the way. If I’m feeling stagnant, under pressure or uninspired with my work, I know something needs to change.
A few months ago this happened to me, and here are some of the things I tried out that made a difference:
- Change your work environment. If you usually do your blogging from your bed or sofa, why not get a change of scenery? Trying working from a park if it’s sunny or even your friend’s house. For me, I’ve found that working from my local Starbucks works wonders.
- Make sure you’ve got some alone time in your routine. It could be in the morning or the afternoon - but you’ve got to make sure to give yourself some ‘me time’ each and every day.
- Have a switch off point and stick to it. This is always needed in any survival guide. When I stop working at night, I stop working and that’s it. Set one and then make sure you honour it.
- Fill yourself with goodness. Eat food that makes you feel good and that you enjoy, and make sure you’re moving. A walk at lunch, a workout first thing - whatever fits in with your routine.
- Plan exciting things to look forward to as often as you can. Some ideas include a bath with your favourite bath bomb, curling up with a good book before bed, a meal out with your other half, a shopping trip with your mum - the list is endless.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re struggling with this right now:
- What do I need to make sure I end every single work day in a good, positive mood?
- Is there any way I can plan my workday to make it flow more easily and leave more time for self-care?
- How do I want to feel in my work? How do I want to feel during my workday? How can I make this happen?
STEP #4 | RECOGNISE WHEN YOU’RE GETTING OVERWHELMED
It’s time for some truth. Even though you’ve got a survival guide to help you reach your goals, it’s likely that you’re going to feel challenged and pressured during your journey.
Here’s what I’ve learnt: it’s perfectly normally to feel completely tired out at the end of a day. You’re using your energy on good things, things that mean something to you. But there’s a very thin line.
You need to be able to recognise when your low energy levels are crossing over into feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. That’s when you need to do something about it.
It’s alright to want to take some time off at the end of this survival period. It’s alright to have to make some sacrifices whilst you’re taking steps forward to get to where you want to be. But in order to get there and survive these next few months, you need to take care of yourself in a way that makes you even better than you were yesterday.
When you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, here are some things you can ask yourself:
- Can you take a break from your work right now to recharge yourself?
- Is there anything you need to change in your schedule to help you be more productive and save time?
- Do you practice self-care enough? If not, how can you make sure you include it more often?
- Are you showing yourself the love and respect you need in order to get to where you want to be?
A FINAL NOTE
One thing I’ve learnt is that a survival guide doesn't need to be four months of working 60 hour weeks without a break. You can achieve your goals - even if you’re on the most limited time possible.
Learn to prioritise, readjust your plan when you need to and just work in a way that suits you. Stay determined, stay passionate and remember - what you’re doing is making a difference.
So, how are you going to create your survival guide for the rest of the year? Which of these tips is your favourite? Do you have any other advice? Let me know in the comments.