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 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 this the year of you being you.
Happy New Year!
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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.
Very well said Melissa. Resolutions stress me out, goals do not.
Thanks Liliana. Yes goals sound much more manageable!
I love this post!
2016 was the year to stop worrying for this girl.
Stop comparing what others were doing.
Stop worrying that I was just too busy to post as often as I liked.
Stop doing what I thought I should do because others were doing these things.
And it was amazing!
There is nothing worse then taking something you love doing and turning into a competition. And though I wasn’t feeling like I was competing I put this unrealistic pressure on myself and that never feels good.
If you look around, there are many many more blogs then when I started back in 2010. There is so much great information out there now. What I take pleasure in is going to other sites just to look around, read and enjoy the amazing images. And not feel like I am not doing enough. It is a great feeling to not feel the pressure and to just enjoy the work of others.
I agree, there is a role for each of us to play! Stop watching what your neighbour is doing and just foster your own garden. The entire neighbourhood will be better for it!
Exactly – there’s room for everyone – I really believe that. But only if we each do our own thing – not if we spend all our time worrying about or trying to be like others!
Thank you for this encouragement, Melissa! I, too, tend to set goals when the time is right, and that isn’t usually at the beginning of the calendar year.
I also appreciate the reminder to be generous in spirit to those who are starting out. I’ve been considering myself to be just a newbie, but the time will come when I have something to offer to others.
You aren’t a newbie compared to somebody just starting out today or last week or even this year! There will always be someone seemingly further ahead of you but there will also be somebody behind 🙂
Wonderful post Melissa and this also reminds me of a quote I once heard, “Better to be a first-rate version of yourself then a second-rate version of somebody else”!
i LOVE that Marisa. 100% true!
Love it! And I had to laugh because after 2 1/2 years I’m going back to Muay Thai on January 2nd and it’s going to kick my butt… at least I’ll keep gliding along with my blog. I’m totally a goal setter as well. Big goals broken down into smaller, more manageable monthly goals.
That’s it… just glide on through 🙂
Beautiful sentiments Melissa! Especially about being willing to give encouragement and being generous in spirit. When we realize that our sincere gestures, even though seemingly small, can be just the shot in the arm that someone needs, it makes us realize that we can be cheerleaders for each other. We each have so much to offer. And offering support is something we can all do, no matter how new or old we may be to the whole blogging world.
I really enjoyed this post, Melissa! At the beginning of each year I always set 5 goals… not resolutions, but truly larger intentions for the year as a whole and I find that really helps me to move them forward. I’ll be publishing my 2017 post next week, which is rooted in balance. 🙂
Being yourself and producing unique, authentic content has always been my top priority — but in this over saturated blogging space and I think it’s more valuable now than ever to both readers and to brands. I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s okay. I’m happy ‘doing me’, sharing my passions, experimenting and creating in every area of my life. That’s something that will never change!
Wishing you and FBC continued success in 2017!
What a wonderful read. I always try so hard to make sure that I’m following my own path, but it’s so nice to read something that affirms you and makes you really feel like you’re doing things right. And you know what? FBC makes this so much easier to do because you meet, chat, and connect with these other bloggers in a meaningful way, and you SEE how important it is to be yourself and to have a voice in your work. We’re a community of individuals, all with something to say and share, and not just a group of people trying to fit in one mold with cookie cutter content (cookies yes, cookie cutter no). Thank you for this. Happy New Year.
Yes. Such a reaffirming post – thank you Melissa! I made that goal in my mind with my blog in a way already actually – my goal is to simply write whatever I like, regardless of losing partnerships or brand work – I’ve pretty much done a lot of that all along but just to really make my blog a place where I enjoy going to and working on – my last two posts have been enjoyable to write and I’m happy to just continue on this little path. Happy new year to FBC – thanks for all the resources and support. Pretty darn awesome. xo
Wonderfully written, Mellisa! I am a year late to read this post, but the advices are ever so true and timeless. May 2018 be a year of achievement to all! Happy new year 💗
Glad you found it helpful!
love it… and so true. I keep catching myself time and time again comparing… and then I have a little “talk” with myself. Remind myself that I’m not running their race, so I need to put some blinders on and refocus on myself. I also started really committing to my schedule and being realistic rather then running myself ragged for a month, burning out and having no content because I wanted to “keep up”. Quality not quantity, and family not frazzled is what I keep reminding myself. Thanks for the words of encouragement. Have a wonder 2018!
It’s a trap we ALL fall into from time to time! It’s hard not to. Sometimes we all need to have little “chat” with ourselves! Happy New Year!!
Great advice! Reminds me of the saying ‘to be the best you that you can be, because everyone else is taken!” Very interestly, I find my blog & social media posts do best when I follow this, and am happier because they’re more ‘like me.’ Anytime I start comparing to other blogs, I seem to think I’m falling short somehow, and it takes the joy out of it. I will endeavour to march to the beat of my own drum – and be better off for it. Thanks Melissa!!
People who march to the beat of their own drum are always more interesting than people who try to be somebody else. Keep marching to that beat 🙂