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Focus on your process and progress when times are hard

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Today (03/03 2019), I received a notification that I published 50 blog posts since the beginning of the Learning Ninja blog.
Unfortunately, there are few to no readers, so it’s important to focus on the process and my progress for now.

Otherwise, it might feel disappointing. And it’s crucial to celebrate how far you’ve come even if you’re not there, yet.

I’m using blogging as an example, but everything I talk about is also true for any other goals you have.

So, even if you don’t care about blogging, this blog post is still for you, too!

This is my first blog ever – after years of wanting to start one, but feeling humbled by the many awesome and established bloggers out there.

I finally took the leap about a year ago and now we hit a tiny, little milestone.
Maybe it’s more of a pebble. At least it’s progress, right?

Do your thing

This blog post is meant to encourage you to do your thing because you want to do your thing.

Not for recognition and praise, but for you.
Because you need to do it. Because it matters to you.

Overcome the “I’ll be happy when” syndrome and be happy now.

Let everything out, have fun, experiment and just go for it.
Don’t feel bummed out because no one knows you in the beginning.

You may think times are hard but this means you can really focus on your process.

Give yourself time to figure out how to do things best.
When you have a system, it gets so much easier to stick to your goals.

Your goals should never be only about others liking and validating what you do.
You should do it because it makes you feel good.

Know why you do it

Learning Ninja allows me to share my ideas openly and freely.
And it’s exciting and fun when you can decide every little detail yourself.

You like cute? Use a cute visual.

You prefer classy, choose something classy.

You’re a bit weird? Go for weird.
You rock.

You are the master of your Sea.

If there is anything you’d love to do, but you’re not sure if you should – this is the time to go for it.

You can’t wait to be perfect before you start. You can’t make progress if you’re not even trying.

If you don’t practice, you won’t improve.

You’ll make progress

50 blog posts still isn’t that much and I haven’t done anything to promote this blog either. This blog’s current visibility is terrible.

Google has no real idea the Learning Ninja blog exists, so people can’t find it. Persistence, regular content, and getting SEO right will eventually lead to results.

So if your beginnings are hard, don’t sweat it. Just keep doing it.

Do it for yourself, until other people find value in what you do, too.
There’s so much to learn.

Again, focus on your process and you’ll naturally make progress.

That’s a fact!

Here’s a fun quote I came across recently: “If you want to reach your goals, you need to shrink the size of your but!” (Check here for more inspirational quotes)

I love this. “Buts” are annoying and always in the way…

Yes, your mind wants to keep you safe and comes up with many “buts” to avoid any risks.
Like the risk of failure, embarrassment, financial trouble, you name it.

Try to ignore these “buts”. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll learn a lot.

And if it does work out, you’ll learn a lot, too.
It’ll just feel much better.

Focus on your process, not results

James Clear talks about it in his New York Bestseller Atomic Habits.

He argues that the root of behavior change and building better habits is our identity (our beliefs).

Focusing only on the outcome (the end result you want) is missing the point. And it can make you give up too soon.

Focus on your Process and progress: Identity - Process - Outcome

So, to use the example of this blog, one desired outcome would of course be plenty of blog traffic.

If you only measure if you’ve reached your goal or not, you will throw in the towel sooner or later (in most cases, rather sooner).
And that would be too bad.

If I don’t have the traffic yet, does that mean that it’s not worth the trouble?
No! I love what I’m building.

Focus on the process (the good actions you take) and why you’re doing it (called “identity” above) instead.

Do your thing because you want to. Do your thing because it makes you feel good.

It makes you happy when you

  • pick out the music
  • take the picture
  • design the graphics
  • write the words
  • master that jump
  • ace the test
  • bake that cake
  • finish the race
  • sing that song
  • …and stand up for what you believe in!

The tiniest thought or action can give someone an epiphany and inspire them to change their lives in a major way.

Who knows which of your ideas that might be? Get it all out.
Especially if this is your only creative outlet.

Be true to yourself and follow your passion

12-18 months!! That’s how long you have to be blogging consistently before you will see any real impact.

At least according to legitimate blogs (not the ones that tell you how to get from 0 to 100,000 readers in 2 months).

And in this Forbes guide from 2016 on blog post volume, they also explain that you can get a spike in traffic once you reach over 400 posts.

So just let this sink in for a bit. That’s a huge number.

In a podcast, Evan Carmichael also admitted that it took him 350 blog posts to no longer be totally embarrassed by what he wrote.

And it took him 700 blog posts to start feeling inspired by himself and his posts.

This means, I still have plenty of work to do before throwing in the towel.
And so do you.

Great things take time. So for now, focus on your process and make progress!

Ad if you need help with your motivation, check out this post on how to reach your goals or this post on how to stay motivated.


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