Today’s advice is targeted to Mysa from How to Make Money Online, but it may be helpful to other new bloggers as well. Mysa’s recent Adsense Income Report for December 2015 really touched something in me. In it, he details the reasons (his word is “excuses”) for not improving his niche sites in the last month, including:

I did not have much motivation at all to write any new content for my two sites.

Yuck, I’ve been there. That feeling sucks. You want your business to succeed, but sometimes you just get in a funk where your side-hustle turns into “just another job.”

What we entrepreneurs need to focus on during the period of low motivation is a deep understanding of your WHY. Not just “to make money”, but the real reason why you want your business to succeed: to skip the commute, to spend more time with your family, to travel the world… whatever pushes your motivation buttons.

Your WHY is what drives you. Make sure you know deep in your core what that motivation is and keep it in the front of your mind all day every day. Write it down on Post-It Notes and stick them all over your office and home. Post it on your blog. Create a WHY Mantra. Say it over and over. “I’m doing this because…” Over and over.

I spent long hours daily on my job and when I get home, I am often tired and when I have my days off, I am in no mood to work on my sites.

Working a full-time job can put the best of us into a foul mood and a state of exhaustion. Especially if you work a desk job all day, the last thing you may want to do is fire up the computer and stare at a screen for any additional time on your downtime.

With your WHY in mind, create a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound) for the next month. Then break down your goal into the steps that you need to take. Estimate the time that you’ll need. Put that time on your calendar and set alarms. Be consistent. Just like a workout routine, if you do it regularly, even on days when you hate it and you feel like crap, eventually the grind will be worth it.

family responsibilities/distractions

Personally, my family is my WHY. I want to spend more time with my wife and daughter than I do my 9-5 coworkers. Currently I don’t. I want to flip that around so that I spend most of my time with my family and a few hours a day working.

To achieve that I need to get my business to a level of revenue that allows me to work from home. Which means putting in the time and cutting out the distractions. The things I will cut (and have!) are television, video games, soccer leagues, B.S.ing with friends after work. Create a simple journal over the next week and log what you’re doing at every 15 minute interval. I willing to bet there’s a block of “browsing Facebook” or “I don’t remember” that can be cut if you use your WHY like a surgeon’s scalpel to your routine.

The things I will NOT cut are family time. I only work after my daughter goes to bed. I make time to have dinner with my family, go to birthday parties, play at the park and spend time with my wife. Those are my most precious moments. They cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

Mysa, I look forward to your January income report and I hope to see progress in tackling your motivation issues.

Best wishes!