As the end of the year approaches, I’ve been looking ahead to 2017 and thinking about what I want from next year. 2016 has been a tough year all round. We all inevitably face some sort of frustration or road blocks in our lives; whether in terms of our businesses or in our personal lives.

Unfortunately, these things just happen but it’s important to keep moving forwards.

Now’s the perfect time to look back over your 2016 goals, identify those that you didn’t manage to achieve and think about what’s been holding you back. It’s also time to look forwards and set your goals for 2017 and don’t let anything hold you back in terms of your hopes and aspirations.

There’s a number of reasons that you might not have achieved what you wanted this year. And those same reasons might be stopping you from setting bigger goals for next year. I’ve listed the most common in this post.

What's Holding You Back?

I Don’t Know Where to Start

The overwhelming amount of information and advice out there for beginners is insane. I know when I started my very first blog, I read for weeks on end and literally had no idea where to start. There were so many differing opinions out there, I didn’t know which one to listen to. In the end, I ignored them all and just took the plunge, bumbling my way through things until they worked. I won’t lie, it wasn’t ideal.

Making the decision to start a blog or business is a huge step in itself but then you’re faced with the challenge of actually starting. It can be completely overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Start from the very beginning, think about what your overall vision is and break everything down into baby steps to get you from the start line to that overall goal.

Shameless plug…you can sign up to my free 7-day course From Idea to Launch in Just 7 Days here to help you take that leap!

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I Can’t Seem to Get My Blog/Biz Off the Ground

So, you’ve got the awesome ideas, you’ve set up your blog or business, maybe you’ve written a few posts or had a few potential clients interested in your work, but things don’t seem to have moved along at all.

Maybe you feel like you’ve been putting in hours and hours of work each day for little or no return? It can be absolutely soul destroying, especially as these things tend to mean the whole world to us!

Take a step back and look carefully at your goals? Are they S.M.A.R.T? Do you need to rework them? Do you need to take a little bit of time out and come back to your project with a fresh perspective? Maybe that fresh perspective needs to come from a friend or family member? Just don’t give up, you’ve got this! All you need to do is refocus and try again.

I Feel Overwhelmed

Feeling stressed, overworked and overwhelmed are feelings I’m all too familiar with. Running your own business is hard work. Don’t let anyone ever tell you any different. It’s even harder if it’s not the only thing going on in your life; if it’s not the sole focus of all of your energy and efforts.

The thing with blogging is that there’s a million-and-one tasks to be doing all the time. Writing, editing, scheduling, taking photos, editing photos, promoting, networking…the list goes on and on. So it’s easy to see why people become overwhelmed and stressed out with it all. Sometimes, this feeling makes you just want to ignore your blog or business completely. But that’s not the answer.

You can only do what you can do. That’s a hard thing to accept. I always get to the end of the day and think I could have done more. The reality is, unless I don’t want to ever sleep and just burn myself out completely, I can’t do anymore.

If you’re working hard but also finding time to take a break, you’re doing all you can do. And that, my friend, is bloomin’ amazing! The best way I have found to overcome the overwhelm is to write to-do lists for the week (I actually do every day but I think it’s probably a little extreme for a lot of people)! Work through your lists methodically. If you have a great, exciting new idea, don’t get carried away and try to do it immediately, pencil it in for the next day when you know you have some free time.

I Can’t Find the Time

I hear this one a lot. Blogging and running a business is hugely time-consuming. In fact, I never, ever anticipated that it would take up so much of my time. But it’s okay because I love it!

People are always asking me how I make time for everything. In all honesty, it comes down to planning. Starting with overall goals, breaking them down into long-term and short-term goals and then breaking them down even further into monthly, weekly and daily to-do lists.

It’s also about using your time wisely. On the train on the way to work? Use this time to check your inbox and reply to emails. Lunch break? Read and comment on other blogs. Watching TV in an evening? Edit your photos while you watch. I’m not saying you shouldn’t take time out because you really, really should but there’s a lot of time that we “waste” during the day so start thinking about how you can use those minutes and hours better.

We all have the same number of hours in a day, it’s all about how you choose to use them.

Need a helping hand? You can grab a copy of my blog post planner here:

I’m not Making Any/Enough Money

This is a toughy as it depends entirely on your financial situation. I’ll point out right now that I’m not a financial advisor and I’m not trying to be. But I know that the pressure of money (or lack thereof) can be crushing. And that pressure can distract you from your work and it quickly becomes a downwards spiral.

My advice for generating money from your blog is…well actually, I have two pieces of advice. Firstly, plan ahead. Work out how much money you want to be making each month and plan out exactly how you intend to do it. Whether it’s through ads, sponsored posts, affiliate links or selling products and services, think about how much you can realistically earn off each of them. Then plan ahead on how you are going to implement taking into consideration how long it will take for you to see the income generated. Taking time out to build a solid business model/plan at the outset will make a huge difference moving forwards.

Secondly, have a backup plan. Sure, it’s great to be positive and I have every faith in you but, from time to time, things do go wrong so it’s important to have a plan in place. Your backup plan might be some savings to keep you ticking over or it might be a part-time job. Whatever it is, just remember that needing to use it, doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. In fact, I’d recommend implementing your backup plan as soon as you start thinking about it to avoid any last minute stress or worry. These things can have a hugely negative impact on your productivity which will only make the situation worse!

I Don’t Think I’m Good Enough

First off. YOU. ARE. GOOD. ENOUGH. In fact, you’re better than good enough. You are amazing! No matter how experienced you are, there will always be a time when your self-doubt rears it’s ugly head and stops you in your tracks.

This is a difficult one to help you with from here so, next time you feel like this, drop me a message and let me know what’s going on. I’ll try my best to make you feel better and start believing in yourself again!

As you can see, the majority of these doubts and road blocks come down to self-belief and decent planning.

Have you faced any other roadblocks this year? What’s holding you back from taking the next step? Let me know.

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