2015 Blogging Goals and my Word for the Year

Well, one thing hasn’t changed in the last two years. It still takes me a few weeks to sit down and write down my blogging goals for the coming year. In 2014 I posted on February 10. In 2013 it was February 6. So I guess I’m heading in the right direction.

Of course first I need to take a look back at my goals for last year. There is no point in going forward without taking a look back. My 2014 blogging goals were:

1. Get a new look/theme for my blog. That was kind of a cheater goal, because by the time I wrote it, it was already done. I did it all myself, and it is still a work in progress, but for the most part I’m really happy with my theme and the look of my blog.

2. Create awesome content. I guess you’ll have to be the judge of that. I do try. I don’t usually post just to post. I try to have something to say.

3. Make some money. Well, I made more in 2014 than the year before. While I love making money, I want to strike a balance between sponsored posts, advertising, and my own (see above) awesome content.

4. That camera thing. I call it that because for the last several years I’ve promised that I would take a photography class and get to know my DSL camera. Nope, I haven’t done it yet. Adding it to the 2015 goal list. Seriously, though, I always have my phone with me, so even if I finally take a class, I’ll still bet that most of my photos will be uploaded from my telephone.

5. Increase social media following. I have a slow but sure increase in my social media, especially Twitter (about 4,200) and Instagram (finally over 1,000!!!).

Overall I am pleased with my blogging over the last year. That doesn’t mean I don’t have plans for the coming year though!

2015 Blogging Goals

2015 Blogging Goals

Let’s start right off with the BHAG why don’t we? I want to rebrand and change my URL this year. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, but to be honest, it scares me. I’ve always been a DIY blogger, but this is a big step and I should probably get some help. So many things to think about!

Why do I want to change? When I started Live from La Quinta in 2009 (yes, my first post was almost exactly six years ago!), I had no idea what I was doing. I had a friend who had a blog and I thought it sounded like fun. I picked my name and URL pretty randomly. I wrote about my training, family, etc. And it was good.

Over the years, Live from La Quinta has evolved into more of a fitness and running blog, with a side of personal. I have a good following, but I think with a name that is more, I don’t know, fitness and running sounding, I can grow even more.

Because this has been on my mind for a while, I’ve become a collector of URLs. While I would love to rebrand under my own name, DebbieWoodruff.com is not available (dang, I should have been thinking of this years ago!). Since my focus wanders from time to time, all my collected URLs are a little random too. They are:

VeggieRunnerGirl.com. From my very vegan phase. I’m still very vegan, but I’m not sure I want my blog name to reflect it. Plus “girl.” Not sure about that one either.

DebWoodruff.com. No one really calls me Deb except a friend or two, but I do kind of like this one. But it still doesn’t have that running flair that I’m looking for.

I also purchased MediaFitCoach.com, during my social media blogger phase. While that is still in use on my WordPress.com blog, I haven’t done much with it. It does have the word coach in it though.

My most recent purchase is CoachDebbieRuns.com. I think I like this one the best, though if you ask me tomorrow I might change my mind.

What do you think? Any other ideas? Tell me in the comments and I’ll hurry over and buy it before anybody else can!

I’d like to make a few tweaks to my theme and overall look, timed to go with the rebrand. I love the Beautiful Pro Genesis theme, so I won’t be changing that out, but I want to create a new header, a logo, and generally clean it up. Sidebars can get messy over time, so it’s time to cull a few things out. I recently purchased Genesis Design Pallet Pro, which promises that I can make advanced theme edits without any coding knowledge. We’ll see. It’s guaranteed!

Blogging and Fitness Conferences. I want to go back to Blogfest this year, which includes the last two days of IDEAWorld. It was a great experience, especially meeting so many blogging friends, and I can’t wait to go back. I will also be attending the IHRSA Convention, as a member of the media, so I’m excited about that.

I want to post less often. I tend to get caught up in the “I need to post daily” maelstrom, but it’s just too difficult to post that often and still keep quality content. I want to cut back (as I pretty much have in the last few months) to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. That being said, I do like to put sponsored posts on Tuesday and/or Thursday, so that they don’t take away from my regular content. I don’t have that many sponsored posts, so that should work pretty well.

I want to be a better Blogging Friend. Believe it or not, blogging takes a lot of time. Between the writing itself, thinking out a plan for my posts, research if necessary, I can spend two or three hours (or more) on a post. Add a job to that, plus, you know, a personal life, time seems to always be at a premium. Unfortunately, the things that get left out are important, both as a human being, and as a blogger. I want to be better at responding to comments, on my blog and social media, reading other blogs and sharing and commenting there, and generally giving back to the bloggers and readers who support me.

Finally, I want to expand into more freelance writing. To do that I will have to step outside my comfort zone and really start to sell myself as a writer. It’s scary, but I know if I want to make a career (or a half career) out of writing, I need to do it.

That brings me to my word for the year. Many bloggers choose just one word, instead of a page full of goals, to express their intentions for the coming year. I’m doing both, because I like to write out my goals, and because the word I’m choosing is so appropriate to my 2015 blogging goals. My word is

BraveBrave, because I’m not. Brave so that I can step outside my comfort zone and not be afraid to approach strangers, not fear the word “no.” Brave because that is how you grow. Brave because I need to fight my shyness and reserve with all that I have if I want to succeed with what I want to do.

Brave

 

Did you set goals or choose a word for the year? What URL do you think I should choose? Do you know a designer that I should hire to do this for me? Do you struggle to step outside of your comfort zone?

Reaching 2015 Goals with Help from Walmart Family Mobile

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HappyNewMe #CollectiveBias

As I promised in my 2015 Running and Fitness Goals, this is a week of running. And writing about running. From how to stay healthy and uninjured, how to train, and now, how to stay motivated during marathon training.

Walmart Family Plan 6

Marathon training is pretty hard, especially when you’re, ahem, 57 and trying to set a high standard for your race. Day after day of running, increasing mileage, adding speed training, and of course, those beloved long runs of 18-22 miles. I better stop thinking about it before I really begin questioning myself!

Even though my husband is going to run the SLO Marathon with me, much of my training is on my own. When I’m out on the road I need a few things: safety, motivation, distraction, and diversion. Fortunately, Walmart Family Mobile and my new LG L90 Smartphone have me covered.

I recently headed to Walmart in Indio to sign up for Walmart Family Mobile and purchase my LG L90 Smartphone (I was looking specifically for that phone, so I had to go a little farther from home). I was happy that I did, as the Walmart in Indio is brand new, huge, and wasn’t very crowded. A perfect combination!

Walmart Family Plan 2

I was really happy to learn about the Walmart Family Mobile plan. For only $34.88 a month ($29.88 for additional lines) you get unlimited talk, text, and web, and 5GB of 3G data. With the skyrocketing cost of mobile phone plans, it is nice to know that here is a family-friendly, budget-friendly option available.

I purchased the LG L90 Smartphone. It has everything I can need in a smartphone, with an Android based system (running 4.4 KitKat for you techies out there). Since this phone is designated as my “Run Phone,” I immediately downloaded all the apps that I could think of that would help me reach my goals. This included music and audiobook apps, GPS tracking apps, running logs, and of course, Instagram and Twitter (still gotta share those milestones, right?).

Walmart Family Plan 3

Of course, since I love my social media, photos are important, and the LG L90 has a good camera.

Walmart Family Plan 7

I think the most important thing is that I have a good phone, with a strong 3G connection, that is convenient to carry with me while I’m running. You just never know when you will need to call for help and it really gives me a feeling of security to know I’m carrying this phone while I run. It fits easily in my Flipbelt or an armband, and is so light weight I barely notice that I’m carrying it.

Walmart Family Plan

I have it pulled out to show off the phone, but the LG L90 fits easily in the media pocket of my top.

We all need a little help with our goals from time to time. I love the motivation I get from this phone. It will help get me out the door, keep me safe and engaged while I’m out there, and record and track my training (and share it too!).

What motivates you to reach for your goals?

Welcome 2015: Running and Fitness Goals

It’s kind of funny, talking about running and fitness goals. I’ve been at it for so long, I’ve achieved all the PRs that I’m ever going to achieve (unless I start a new sport, I guess), and I’m already pretty happy with where I am now, that it seems sort of like, “been there, done that” to be writing about it all over again.

2015 Running Goals

That being said, I am a writer, so I will not only write this post about my 2015 goals, over the next week or so I will be telling you how I’m going to do it, how I’ll keep this 57 year old body going, and what motivates me to attempt my 37th marathon at SLO Marathon on April 26. Oops, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Running Goals

  1. It’s not like it’s been a secret, but my number one running goal for 2015 is to run my 37th marathon in San Luis Obispo this spring.
  2. I don’t want to just run the SLO Marathon, I want to rock it! That means serious training, more mileage, more speedwork, more running. Based on my most recent half marathon time, my previous running experience, and my age, I should be able to run a 4:15 marathon. Of course, that’s not taking my exercise induced asthma into account, which can pop up its ugly head at any moment and blow all plans to hell. But, all other things being equal, assuming I follow the plan that I create (which I’ll share on Wednesday), I can do that.
  3. Staying healthy and uninjured will be very important. I’ll be taxing my body in multiple ways, so I need to be smart and take care of myself, paying attention to minor aches and pains so that they don’t become real injuries.
  4. I want to run at least three half marathons in 2015. The Palm Springs Half Marathon is in February, and the Run Through Redlands is in March, so they will fit pretty well into my marathon training. I’d also like to run the Malibu Half Marathon, which is in November, for the first time. They are all races that Alan announces, so I’ll always get that boost at the finish line when he calls me in. A little inspiration for my final kick.
  5. I would love to do another Ragnar Relay. Even though I was kind of dragged into my first one, I had the time of my life. Now if only my #DirrtyDozen teammates could just agree on which one we should do!
  6. I’d really like to keep my running base throughout the year.

Fitness Goals

  1. Yoga
  2. Yoga
  3. Yoga
  4. No, seriously, yoga. I’ve made a good start getting back on my mat and I want to stay there. I have a lot of options to keep me there, including my friend April’s studio, Yoga Central, and her online classes from Yoga 30. Plus I always have several audio classes with me, right on my phone, from YogaDownload.com, that I can do anywhere at any time.
  5. Now that I have access to a Pilates studio at work, I’d like to take advantage and continue both to do Pilates and to learn more about teaching it.
  6. Okay, I guess I should get back to the gym. While I’m happy with the strength and flexibility I get from yoga, I think a little traditional strength training is a good thing. Plus, Alan and I go together, so I know that if I go…

Well, those are my goals, simple as they are. In the coming days I’ll share more about how I’ll get it all done. By the way, I am an Ambassador for the SLO Marathon and this post contains affiliate links. If you’d like to join me in San Luis Obispo this April, use the code WOODAMB when you register to save $10 on either the full or the half marathon.

What is your fitness goal for 2015? Remember, if it includes running your first 5k (or getting faster at your second or third 5k), be sure to check out my 12 Week 5k Training Program.