Many people let years slip through their fingers without taking the days seriously. While every New Year is like a fresh diary given to us, it also indirectly reminds us that we have used up another year in our lifetime and have gone to the next. It is said that we should live our life as if today is the last day. It is true. What if all you have is this year? What if all you have is just today? I’m not scaring you here but we have to take things seriously and not let this year pass by just like any other year in the past. So what do good habits have to do with this? Good habits help you transform. Transformation is necessary to make a change and to succeed in life and business. Put simply, if things are not going well, or if you have hit a plateau, you need to stop doing the same thing over and over again because you cannot expect different or better results. You need to transform at this point. You need a change. You need to analyze the route cause of the stagnation and do a major clean up and change course. Good habits help you do that. #1. Have a clear vision It can be anything that you want to achieve. But make sure you know what it is. Be absolutely sure about what you want to achieve. Know your destination. Also know your plan, clearly. It is important that you clearly see what you want the end product to be; or where you want to end up; you need to clearly define your success. Without that definition, you won’t be able to succeed. Sorry if I’m talking negative at this time of the year. But that is the plain fact. A clear vision helps you define your success; it helps you identify what you want. Without knowing what you want, will you be able to achieve it? Certainly not, right? Many bloggers I came across in my consultation service last year didn’t have a clear vision. They didn’t know what they want with their blogs. They didn’t even know what they were “trying” to do with their blogs! So how can you expect to succeed with your blog if you don’t know what your “success” is? Success is a very common word; but it is different for different people. For some, making $100 per month as a side income could be success. For some turning their blog into a full time income source could be success. For some bloggers, spreading the word about their book and making their book a successful project via their blog is “success”. And for some other bloggers, being able to get new clients every month through their blog for the service they offer is success. Everyone’s definition of success is different. What’s YOURS? Without clearly knowing that, you are wasting time writing those awesome blog posts and doing guest blogging or whatever to promote your content. Without a clear vision you will end up nowhere and you will ruin all your efforts for nothing. It is the time of the year where you must stand up and take action. If your vision is blurry, take the time to sit down and clear it up first before putting in any more time and effort on your blog. #2. Don’t give up. Be persistent. Blogging can be stressful. Blogging can be overwhelming. It can be something like hitting a brick wall. It can be a daunting task. It can be something that you never seem to understand. You would be surprised to know how every other blogging in the world except you is able to succeed with their blogs. It could be frustrating to read the income reports of successful bloggers for the past couple of years those bloggers started blogging just about when you started! First of all, if you feel overwhelmed, it is totally normal. Blogging can sometimes be overwhelming because blogging is not just about writing blog posts and hitting the publish button (the word “blogging” seems to tell you so). But blogging is a LOT more than that. And if you want to achieve something with your blog (like “succeed”) you have to go the extra mile. You have to do a LOT of other things that are not just publishing blog posts. So, the combination of too much work and too little recognition could force you to quit. Just be persistent. A very big number of blogs that are started are abandoned. If you truly have a clear vision and a clear goal, keep going. Never stop. Never compare yourself with other bloggers. Your journey is unique and no one else has taken this road. If you feel like giving up, just know that it is normal too. Many successful bloggers you see now have had at least one “let me quit it” moments. Ive had it too. Just hang on. You are about to make it. On a side note though, if you are doing the same thing and expecting massive results or changes, that won’t happen, as we all know. If you need to see massive results you need to stop doing what you are doing, analyze and do things differently. Observing (not comparing yourself to) successful bloggers and their strategies and implementing them to your blogging is a good thing. #3. Bouncing Back When you feel like it is the end of the world, gather all your strength and hope and bounce back. This might sound like a strange thing to do, when you have lost all hope and strength. But this is what you absolutely need to do at those times. According to nature and from my personal experience and those of the other people that I saw, I can say that when you are hitting the bottom it is also usually the time to bounce back just about! Trust me on this When you feel like everything’s over and that the sky is falling, just step back, unplug, take a break, and take a deep breath. Do not make any decisions while you’re in that situation, obviously. Take time to evaluate the situation and see if you can do anything to improve it. Find out the root causes of “why” this happened so you can weed it out. While you’re at it, gather all your strength and hope and bounce back with full strength! #4. Analyze every step before proceeding You might have wasted a lot of days by putting quite some effort into blogging activities; and you might be wondering why you are unable to reap any benefits out of your efforts. You missed doing something! Did you realize that you forgot to stop and analyze? Yes I hear you might have worked really hard but unless you take the time to stop and analyze what you have done, there is no point in moving forward to the next step. Every step in your business demands your precious time, effort and sometimes money right? How come you fail to take the time and analyse whether what you did worked or not? If you don’t analyze you won’t know whether your strategy worked or not! And if you don’t analyze and keep doing what you were doing, you could be doing the same thing over and over again and be expecting results (while your strategy doesn’t work!). #5. Be open and keep learning You could be doing stuff online for 10 years! Or you could be a complete newbie to whatever you are doing. Nevertheless, it is highly important that you are open to learning new things on a consistent basis. Never ever stop learning! If you are a newbie, don’t be put off by the fact that you are new to things and everything around you looks so geeky. You can learn everything, just be open! If you are an experienced blogger, don’t think that you know everything. It is still important to be open and to keep up with the advancements everyday. If you get stuck somewhere, find out the root cause, and then find out the solutions. In case you don’t have time to deal with things yourself, you can absolutely outsource. But make sure you enquire what went wrong and how to avoid such a situation learn the background stuff, even if you don’t deal with the dirty stuff yourself. #6. Networking and Connections If you consider networking to be a painful task associated with blogging, it will be hard for you to succeed in blogging. Sorry to be a bearer of bad news, but it is a fact. I don’t want to encourage you with false motivating claims. I want you to tell the truth so you can succeed, really (instead of dreaming about it). I don’t see how networking could be a pain (as some bloggers claim it to be and hence ignore it altogether). I see networking as a fun part of my business. Come on how could meeting and talking to new people be NOT fun? It is fun (at least to me) and it is the thing I enjoy the most in my business. Always look out for ways to genuinely connect with people as you evolve in your blogging business. #7. Practice and master blogging skills You need skills to excel. Ranging from typing fast to being able to design your website, if your blogging business requires it, you have to equip yourself for the same! Of course you can outsource certain tedious tasks, but you cannot run a business blindly with complete outsourcing. You need to develop the necessary skills the basic ones and the ones you need to progress forward in your business fast. You should never let lack of skillfulness become a barrier to your business growth NEVER! #8. Be prolific Come on, this is 2017 and you can only succeed by being prolific. You cannot be slacking off and working when you get the time. You cannot write a blog post when you have the time you cannot treat blogging like a hobby. If you want your blogging business to generate profits for you, you gotta treat it like business. No business generates revenue without hard work. And in these ages simply hard work won’t cut it. You have to work smart. You have to be prolific. You have to leverage on your efforts. Know how to re-purpose your content for maximum reach and provide variety to your readers. In short, make the most out of your efforts and at the same time provide a variety of useful stuff to your readers. #9. Anticipate expenses and save accordingly With blogging, one of the most challenging things is to make money. Money is one of the top reasons why most bloggers are unable to stick around. Making money is on the one hand; while on the other hand is spending it wisely. With blogging, most bloggers prefer to start free and I’m totally against it. If you want to start any business, you have to invest in it. You need funding, investor or capital amount from a lending source. Once you start investing, things become serious. And this also means you should start making money off your business because you cannot be simply investing on something that doesn’t give you anything back. Now, there are some bloggers who start off with an investment (great) and also make money accordingly (double great!). But then they don’t anticipate blogging expenses. Blogging, just like any other business, needs money to keep running. It is not like you set up one time (with an investment) and then forget about it. You have running costs hosting your website, that SEO tool, that link building tool, that email auto-responder and things like these! Most of these tools require you to pay on a monthly or yearly subscription if you want to keep using them. And you might incur some unexpected expenses as you go! It is important that you keep a back up of your income you have to save both for the ongoing expenses and for anything unexpected to come. #10. Take risk, change course if you have to So you have been doing stuff for a while and you don’t get the results you expect. So you stop and analyze. You see if you could change your strategies to make things work! So you did try out different things. You approached your goals with different strategies. But still you don’t get any results. So now you are confused! You find yourself in the middle of a long lonely road, confused. You certainly don’t want to keep trying out different things since you have already done enough and got no results. Your inner self says you need to change course; and that you need to stop doing what you do and take a risk. Double your efforts, master your skills, redesign or refresh your blog (free layouts, premium themes or site building applications like SITE123). So what good habit do you plan to take up this year? All these 10 good habits will help you take your blog to the next level. These will help you transform both your blog and your personal life.