September Goals for PPC: Positive Personal Change

I know, I know, I’m stealing pay-per-click’s thunder by adopting its acronym, but hear me out. Every year, we seem to get caught up with resolutions for approximately 20 days. In late December, we throw together a messy patchwork of crazy goals that we want to achieve in the next twelve months. Without a dedicated plan for success, many have forgotten those all-so-important resolutions by Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

I propose a different approach to making resolutions. If we want true positive personal change, a goal has to be broken down into manageable and actionable tasks. It doesn’t have to happen between sips of champagne as you ring in the New Year. Instead, goals should constantly grow and change with you and be a guiding hand in your personal and professional development. If I were still sticking resolutely to my 2012 goals, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to digital marketing or SEO.

Each month, I identify one or two primary focuses that will drive my quest for positive professional and personal change. Then, in line with my detail-obsessed nature, I develop a baby-step-by-baby-step plan for success.

To Share or Not to Share?

There is a lot of debate surrounding the effectiveness of sharing goals. On one side, it is proven that by sharing what you are *going* to do, you’re less likely to get around to it. I’m totally guilty of this. Opposing this viewpoint is the idea that sharing your goals makes you accountable for living up to your actions. There are entire networks developed around this idea, apps that donate your money to charities you don’t like if you don’t reach your goals, etc.

I think that we fail when we speak to the grandeur of our huge future plans: “I’m going to lose 50lbs this year!” “I’m going to run in the 2015 Boston Marathon!” “I’m going to be President of the United States!”

But, when we break those plans down, telling others about our intermediate goals can be hugely motivating. “I’m not going to use the elevator this week.” “I’m training for a specific 5K as part of my marathon training.” “I’m going to attend law school so I can build my political career.” You know, S.M.A.R.T. goals. Share the next step in your plans, not the final product.

So, I’m not totally keen on sharing my overarching goals. Hell, I don’t even have a firm grasp on what they are myself (although we all know it’s loosely related to cats taking over the internet world). But, I know that these personal and professional goals are the next step towards a better October and beyond.

My September goals for PPC:

Professional Goal – Actionable Learning

1. Blog once per week. That leaves 3 more instances in September. I am intimidated by the fact that I don’t have the experience and knowledge to contribute, but the best way to learn SEO is to actually do it. Truth be told, I have a huge running list of content ideas, but without the basis of experience or credibility of hard numbers, it sometimes feels futile to publish my observations.

2. 15 minutes on codecademy each day. I was really into it before I moved last month, and I’m about 65% finished with the tutorials. I’d like to finish these by the end of September so I have a more solidified base to work on some of the other plans on my radar.

3. Answer one question on LinkedIn or Quora each day. I was going to challenge myself to answer one on each network each day, but LinkedIn Answers is kind of a graveyard of hard-to-read, poorly structured statements, not actual questions. So, I’m mostly going to focus on Quora. Answering questions is a great way to deepen your understanding of a topic, and is a good exercise is writing and clarity.

4. I haven’t used to its potential, to say the least. I’m working on developing a more methodical strategy for quality article discovery. I want to give at least as much as I take from reading (which is a lot!), so I have some work to do. Plus, I have a few people to whom I’ve committed making this PPC!

Related: Has anyone had luck with embedding tweets in a responsive WordPress theme?

Personal Goals – Health & Wellness

1. No car except for trips over 10 miles. This allows for driving to and from work, and dropping in at my sister’s or my parents’ place. Everything else will be completed on bike. Good for me, good for the environment, good for my wallet.

2. Pushups daily. I cycle and run, but since quitting rowing, my upper body strength is abysmal. Dr. Pete, I match and raise you one… sometime next year. Today I did 30 pushups (I feel stronger already. Woot!) and am adding one each day.

My total so far is a meager 400.

3. Gratitude Journal. Back in July, I began a gratitude journal (a what? learn more.), but let fall by the wayside during the move. Each night, I write at most a page describing what was great about the day, who made me smile and why, and what I could have done better. It ends the day on a good note, gives some closure to the day’s events. This 5-10 minute exercise is a great way to bring positivity into your outlook on life.


Maybe I’m being overly ambitious and have made a few too many goals for September, but I am excited to see how listing them publicly will affect my drive and accountability. We will see. Or maybe next month, I’ll be joining Stickk.

I’d love to hear what some of your goals are this month for Positive Personal Change. Aside from blogging here each of the next three weeks, I’ll report back at the beginning of October on my progress.


One thought on “September Goals for PPC: Positive Personal Change

  1. Wow Hillary – good ideas… Never heard of CodeAccademny but your “blogging” plan is good. One article a week – I used to do one every other day and then got distracted with life and work – and don’t worry some of your SEO inputs are pretty good and your blog reads very well 🙂 Keep it up.
    Pushups? er 0 for


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