Action Goals: The Secret to Blogging Motivation (Link-up #9)

action goals

Today is a major mile-stone in my blogging journey. This is post #100 on Coffee Shop Conversations! A year-and-a-half ago, I sat anxiously at our dining-room table. The cursor hovered above the “publish” button. I was nervous about sharing my life with the blogging universe.

  • How will my story be received?
  • Will I be able to write something thoughtful and encouraging, week after week?
  • Am I guilty of sharing too much, or am I perhaps telling to little?

These questions flooded my mind.

After a moment of hesitation, I forcefully pressed my finger down. On August 26, 2014, Coffee Shop Conversations began!

Staying Motivated on the Blogging Journey

Today, most of those nagging doubts have vanished. Publishing new posts is a highlight of my week. The friendships that have formed, and the privileged of sharing my ideas with the world, are things that I cherish.

Staying motivated has been easier than I expected. One reason for this is that I have become good at setting action goals.

Action goals are about making winning easy.

My Discovery of Action Goals

Two years ago, Jenny invited me to attend a Mary Kay phone seminar with her. Thinking that the training would be filled with overly excited women talking about makeup and pink cars, I was apprehensive, but agreed. As it turns out, the conference was an incredible blessing. It provided an abundance of tools that I use daily in my writing and blogging.

During the call, participants asked questions like:

  • When will I reach my goal of becoming a director? 
  • What do I need to do to make $5,000 in sales each month?
  • How do I reach my goal of gaining ten new team members?

The speaker pointed out that each of these questions was connected to an outcome goal. Outcome goals are connected to factors outside of our control. Making sales and gaining team-members are all dependent of the choices of others. Bloggers who set goals of adding a set number of e-mail subscribers, or visitors to their site, are creating outcome goals.

There is nothing wrong with having outcome goals on our list. However, bloggers who make outcomes goals their primary focus, are setting themselves up for frustration.

I’ve discovered that outcome goals almost always take longer to achieve than I expect. Thus, these types of goals can quickly lead to discouragement. This is why I’ve switched almost entirely to action goals.

Action Goals

Action goals have controllable outcomes. In outcome goals, if I do the work, achieving the goal is guaranteed. Examples of action goals for bloggers include:

  • Publishing one new post every week.
  • Commenting on three posts every day.
  • Writing one guest post every month and asking to have your post published on at least three different sites (In this example, even if all three people say “no,” you have still achieved your goal, so long as you have asked).

Action goals are dependent solely on the actions we take. They allow us to quickly build up a series of wins. For me personally:

  • When I publish a post on Friday, I’ve achieved a goal!
  • When my e-mail newsletter goes out, it’s another win!
  • Every time I share a post through social media, I’ve scored again!

This may sound silly, but I love checking items off of my to-do list. There is a feeling of accomplishment. One of the highlights of the Mary Kay training was when the speaker said:

In other words, if we keep checking off our action goals–week after week–eventually we will achieve the outcomes we desire. I’m finding this to be true in my own blogging, and it is exhilarating! The more consistent I become in reaching my smaller action goals, the more I move toward the outcomes I desire.

Changing Outcome Goals into Action Goals

If you are discouraged in your blogging, it might be because you have too many outcome goals and not enough action goals. Here are some ways to turn common outcome goals into action goals:

Outcome Goal: I’m going to add 1,000 people to my e-mail list this year.
This is an outcome goal because you can’t make someone subscribe to your list. 
Action Goal: I’m going to create three new lead-magnets and promote each one through social-media once a week.
A goal like this can be checked off every  week. As long as you’ve created and promoted your lead-magnet, you’ve hit your goal!

Outcome Goal: I’m going to grow my site view to 1,000 visitors a week.
Action Goal: I’m going to publish one new post a week.
Again, the goal changes from something out of our control (the number of visitors to our site) to something that is directly under our control. 

Action goals are fun, and a great way of staying motivated. Instead of fretting over results, my blogging advice–both to you and to myself–is, Take action, do the work, and you’ll get there when you do!

smart action goals

I’d love to hear from you! How do you stay energized and motivated to write, week after week? Do you set action goals, and if so, how is this blogging tool working for you? I look forward to continuing the conversation in the comments below! Wishing you a highly-motivated and energized week of writing! 

Family, Friendship, and Faith Link-Up

This link-up is an excellent place to meet new friends, network, and share your posts. Please feel free to include any family, friendship, and faith related posts. If you have time, please visit some of the other submissions, leave a comment, and make some new connections–after all, this is what teaming-up is all about!

Finally, I’d love it if you would grab a button for your site, or link back to the Family Friendship and Faith Fridays, link-up, in order to make it easy for others to join in!

Coffee Shop Conversations

About The Author

Jed Jurchenko

Husband, father, coffee enthusiast, hiker, beach lover, psychology professor, Christ follower, writer!


  • Michelle

    February 26, 2016

    Such smart ideas! I’m not much of a goal setter, I probably should be with all the blogs I read about goals, motivation, etc. You made this simple and that alone will motivate me. Thanks Jed for hosting.
    Michelle recently posted…Thankful Friday – It’s The Little ThingsMy Profile

  • Michele Morin

    February 26, 2016

    Jed and Jen, thanks for this encouragement. I do a lot of the things you talked about, but I guess I don’t think of them a “goals” so I never check them off and feel great about them afterward!
    Michele Morin recently posted…Rest: A Remedy, a Relief, and a GiftMy Profile

  • Tiffiney

    February 26, 2016

    Morning Jed!

    Congratulations on your blogging milestone! 100 posts – Woot! Woot!

    Great post, my friend! Their is some sage advice and words of wisdom in this post. Outcome goals vs. “Action” goals…I’ve never heard or thought about that before, but I oh, so needed to hear it. It’s really liberating! I’m going to get working on creating some new action goals because that’s what I can control – I’ll have to leave the “outcomes” up to the Lord. (And kudos to you for attending that “very pink” phone conference with wifey. That’s “simple act of love” is something you just blogged about in your “How to Keep Love Strong All Year Long” post. Great example!)

    Wishing you a highly motivated and energized week of writing, too.

    Tiffiney recently posted…When a Wife Needs a Help MeetMy Profile

    • Jed Jurchenko

      February 27, 2016

      Thanks Tiffiney,

      The training was a lot of fun, and happy memories with Jenny too–kind of a double bonus 🙂

  • Bree

    February 26, 2016

    These are great tips, thank you so much for posting them! As a new blogger, I feel like there’s so much I need to be doing. This makes me just want to relax, make a list of goals, and start working through them.
    Thanks again!
    Bree recently posted…Keeping Christ at the Center of Your MarriageMy Profile

  • Joan

    February 26, 2016

    Congratulations on reaching the 100 post mark! I love how you differentiate between outcome goals and action goals. Focusing on the former would take the fun out of blogging after a while, wouldn’t it? Action goals are a great idea and besides keeping us positive they
    d also keep my sanity! As I read your post I was thinking, “boundaries…making action goals like ‘posting 3 comments per day’ will keep me from spending all day lost in the computer”. (I tend to do that and then sometimes get stressed out.) Thanks for posting these suggestions!

    Blessings to you and Jen, Joan
    Joan recently posted…Pressing InMy Profile

  • Heather Marie

    February 26, 2016

    This post is just what I needed at this moment. I haven’t been blogging for very long, but sometimes it can seem like I’m not growing as fast as I had imagined I would, and that’s discouraging. This helped me realize that there’s only so much I can do, and keeping my focus on action goals will help my blog in the long run. Thanks!

  • Donna @ Soul Survival

    February 26, 2016

    Jed, you really hit a home run with this post! I love the idea of action goals verses outcome goals. I will definitely be putting your suggestions into action (goals that is)! And I’ll be pinning and saving this to review in the future. Blessings!

    • Jed Jurchenko

      February 27, 2016

      Thanks Donna,
      I sure appreciate you sharing and cheering us on. Wishing you a blessed week!

  • Julie S.

    February 26, 2016

    I really like your distinction between action goals and outcome goals. We may know what we want, but the struggle is coming up with those actionable steps that may get us there, and focus on those.
    Julie S. recently posted…Gratitude and Goals Feb 26, 2016 #GratitudeGoalsMy Profile

  • Paula

    February 26, 2016

    Congrats on reaching post #100!
    Thanks so much for hosting..have a terrific weekend 🙂

  • Sarah Eliza

    February 26, 2016

    Thanks for the party!! It’s my first time here. 😀
    Sarah Eliza recently posted…Lady Gaga Fashion Flubs, Imaginatively Interpreted by Me – Also the #FridayFrivolity LINK-UP Blog Party!My Profile

    • Jed Jurchenko

      February 27, 2016

      Hey Sarah,
      Welcome, and thank you for stopping by and joining in 🙂

  • Gayl Wright

    February 26, 2016

    I really love how you differentiate between action goals and outcome goals. Just thinking about goals that way makes such a difference. They actually sound doable, and I can see how they eventually will lead to your outcome goals. Thanks for sharing!

  • Debbie @ Bible Fun For Kids

    February 26, 2016

    Thank you for hosting! I felt like that also… still do once in a while!
    Debbie @ Bible Fun For Kids recently posted…The 10 Disciples of Jesus Song FlipchartMy Profile

  • I love how dedicated you are. I wish I were having the success you are, but I know I’m learning a lot about God by writing my blog and that may be all He wants for me right now. I am fighting to increase my pageviews a month and think I will reach my goal for February by Monday. Maybe sooner! Starting with reachable goals.
    Jennifer DeFrates/Heaven Not Harvard recently posted…When People DisappointMy Profile

    • Jed Jurchenko

      February 27, 2016

      Hey Jennifer,
      I love your site, and such a great name for it too! Congrats on moving forward toward your goals. I still feel like I’m fighting to increase page-views each month 🙂 It’s been such a blessing to have a consistent group of people stopping by and cheering me on in this incredible journey–thanks for being one of them!

  • Raising Samuels

    February 27, 2016

    Congrats on post #100! It is amazing the encouragement and friendships that can be found in blogging. Thanks for hosting and hope you all have a wonderful weekend 🙂

    • Kelly @RaisingSamuels

      March 4, 2016

      Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you all link up again this week 🙂

  • Tara

    February 27, 2016

    Congratulations on your 100th post! I should reach my 100th in a couple weeks. I am sure you will meet your goals with the great plans you have in place. It is always inspirational to me to see great blogs like yours achieving success. Keep up the good work!
    Tara recently posted…Homeschool PhilosophiesMy Profile

    • Jed Jurchenko

      February 27, 2016

      Congrats Tara,
      That’s awesome!

  • Julie Syl Kalungi

    February 28, 2016

    So Dejavu this post!

    Funny coz I was talking to my team members Friday and encouraging them to do just this focus on Action rather than outcome! Yes setting targets is great, But once done, forget it and DO the Work. Coz as HBOs and Internet marketers it can get frustrating when yo set a rank up goal and the month comes and goes…know what a saying. But if you focus on the action then results shall come esp. when ou 10X those actions in order to get those desired results.

    If you wish to add 1000k to your list in a year you gotta publish at least one post per week with a super attractive lead magnet and promote the heck out of that post all over the www to get more people to rad post and see that awesome Offer…if you target the right distribution routes the audience will come.

  • brianna

    February 28, 2016

    YAY for 100 posts! Blogging can be difficult in staying motivated. For me it is not the writing that is difficult, but the constant building building building that I find myself doing. And I feel like I can’t take a break.
    brianna recently posted…How to Trust God More Deeply {A Guest Post for The Glorious Table}My Profile

  • Anita Ojeda

    February 29, 2016

    Great advice, Jed! (Your Mary Kay thoughts of pink cars and excited ladies made me giggle ;)). I would get incredibly discouraged if I had outcome goals–because, like you said, the outcome seems to take forever! My action goals include posting at least three times a week and keeping my Buffer filled with social media shares and reading and commenting on at least four blogs a day. In addition to life, of course ;)!
    Anita Ojeda recently posted…Swear Words Can Ruin a Good BookMy Profile

  • Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros

    February 29, 2016

    Great tips and thank you for the opportunity to link up!
    Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros recently posted…Open Mic Monday – CommunityMy Profile

  • Charlene Asay

    March 1, 2016

    You always have such great thoughts and tips on blogging. Thanks for sharing with us at Family Joy Blog Link Up this week. Have a wonderful week.
    Charlene Asay recently posted…Family Joy Blog Link Up Party #6My Profile

  • Dawnita

    March 2, 2016

    Awesome post! You’re really doing an excellent job with this site. I’ve found encouragement from some of the Mary Kay ideas as well. That lady was inspiring…

  • Linda Stoll

    March 3, 2016

    Good morning, neighbor, from over at Lyli’s …

    I love what you said about when we get there, we get there! I’ve found contentment and joy in my site as I’ve given the results to God instead of focusing on the numbers, the stats. It’s been a freeing choice, for sure.

    And in the process, the conversations have only gotten richer, the online relationships stronger …

    ‘Cause when all is said and done, it’s His blog, not mine. I like it that way! Takes the pressure off for sure …
    Linda Stoll recently posted…Resuscitating FebruaryMy Profile

  • Kristi

    March 4, 2016

    “The more consistent I become in reaching my smaller action goals, the more I move toward the outcomes I desire”
    This is such a wonderful concept to keep in front of us. We cannot control others but we can control our action items to meet our goal and being consistent in those actions will lead to bigger things.
    Congrats on the 100th post! Way to be consistent!

  • Great blogging advice and good luck with your linky! They are a lot of work when done right. Thank you for sharing with #momsterslink, hope to see you again sometime.
    Trista, Domesticated Momster recently posted…Quote Of The Week ~ March 6, 2016My Profile

  • Jane Allen

    June 23, 2016

    I love your take on action goals versus outcome goals. I agree that outcome goals will leave us frustrated and so, this year, I started working with action goals. I start my day with a to-do list and I feel accomplished just by checking off the completed tasks. I look forward to doing this daily and it has helped me stay sane, no matter what happens. I do my best and leave the rest to God. I’ve asked Him for results and I know He’ll answer me in His due time.