What is the one New Year's resolution that every blogger should make?
Did that title get your attention? I hope so!
Now, I'm not really one for New Years resolutions. I like to set goals. It sounds less intimidating to me and more ... gradual. No cold turkey anything, no crazy weight loss diets, no over exerting myself at the gym on January 2nd only to never to step on a treadmill again! Just steady plodding along until I hit the goals on my list.
So, with that said, what is the one New Year's resolution I think every food blogger should make?
Stay Your Own Course
One of my favourite songs is Glide by Tom Cochrane. I feel like it's my personal anthem and whenever I feel like I can't do it, I fire it up on iTunes:
Glide right through it
When they say you can't do it
All the signs cry stop and turn back
Then I know I'm on the right track
When you run a business, whether it's a blogging business or not, or even if you just have a hobby you're really passionate about, there are a lot of people who will tell you what you should and shouldn't do. There are a lot of people who will copy you. There are a lot of people who look like they're doing so. much. better. than you are, or ever will.
But here's the thing...
They're not YOU.
What I'm about to talk about is nothing new or groundbreaking. I guarantee you've heard it before — probably many times. But here goes:
- Stop comparing yourself to other bloggers.
- Stop worrying about what others are doing.
- Stop thinking you have to do things because that's what other bloggers say you should do.
None of them are in your shoes. None of them are at your point in the journey — in fact ... none of them are even on the SAME journey as you are.
- Should you run ads on your site? Does it work for you?
- Should you make videos? Should they be silent overhead videos or longer videos showcasing your personality? What makes sense for you?
- Should you take on an assignment for free? Does it work for you?
- Should you share your family's story? Does it work for you?
You get the idea.
We started FBC just over five years ago. A lot of people told us what we should do and what we shouldn't. A lot of people didn't understand what FBC was or didn't think it could succeed.
And we got a lot of advice (and still do). We listen to it and weigh it against our vision and decide whether to take it, discard it or adapt it to fit our goals. Sometimes we just know in our guts and hearts what we need to do.
And that's what you all need to do this year. Know where you want to go. Make your decisions based on your goals. Not the goals of other bloggers.
Don't be envious of what others are doing or have. Don't let yourself get caught in the narrow confines of picture perfect social media feeds and allow them to defeat you or make you jealous. Reframe those picture perfect images in your mind to be the inspiration you need achieve your dreams. If you can't do that, then take yourself away from social media until you can.
Every stage of running a business or going through the creative process has its challenges. The challenges you have when you're small will disappear but new ones will appear as you grow. Those who seem so much further ahead of you face their own set of frustrations — don't assume life is perfection for them. Those who are just starting their journey look to you in the same way you look to those further along from you. Why not take a moment to give them a word of encouragement? Think about how much that would have meant to you when you were at their stage in the journey.
And last, but not least:
Do not be afraid to have your own voice. To stand up and be different. To go against the grain. To be the one who leads instead of the one who follows. Push envelopes, make noise — even if you do it in your own quiet way. We each have our role to play but we can't play our part if we're trying to play somebody else's.
And finally, be generous in spirit to those who follow your lead.
Make 2017 the year of you being you.
Happy New Year!
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- Saying Yes to Less: When It's Okay to Work for Less Money
- 15 Days to Love Your Blog | Day 2: Stop the Comparisons
- Falling in Love with Your Blog Day 11: Exploring Creativity
Melissa Hartfiel is a co-founder of FBC the site's Managing Editor. She's a graphic designer who writes, doodles, photographs and eats chocolate and drinks tea. She blogs about food, photography and creativity at her own blog, Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or connect with her on Linked In.