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Setting Goals = Success

Author: ZiveemanMay 9th, 2009

So your forum just opened and you’re bustling with the first few members that have discovered your forum. What next?

Many forum owners stumble across this question, and as a result, their forum stumbles too. Activity dwindles down, members stop logging on daily, and ultimately the administrator gives up.

Setting goals can help prevent this roadblock. It provides you with a solid direction as to where to go with your forum so you won’t be wondering “what’s next?” as your forum begins to fail. Here are a couple of ways to set effective goals that will propel your forum to success.

1) Be Realistic

Nothing can ruin a goal more than an unrealistic one. You can’t hope for 100,000 posts within the first month of opening. Aim small. 1,000 posts is certainly an achievable goal for a month. Then decide how you’re going to approach it. 1000 posts a month equates to a little more than 30 posts a day. Doesn’t sound too bad now does it? You can do it. You yourself can make 10 posts a day, members can make about 15 a day, and even exchanges could account for that other 5 posts. When you set realistic, achievable goals, it’s a lot more motivating. Why bother attempting to get 3,000 posts a day to achieve that 100,000 posts within a month? 30 posts a day is a lot easier to achieve.

2) Be specific

Once you’ve set the goal, elaborate on it. “1000 posts a month” is not a good goal. A better goal is “I will achieve 1000 posts a month by posting at least 5 times a day, with at least one good topic. Then I’ll keep advertising so I can get more members to help me achieve that goal.”  That way you have some sort of idea what to do so when you log on for the day, you know exactly what to do.

3) Push yourself

Don’t set a goal that’s too low. If your board is averaging 1,000 posts a month, don’t set a goal to get 1,100 posts the next month. Aim for something a little more, like 1,500 posts or even 2,000 posts if you want to aim a little higher. This doesn’t mean you should make it unrealistic though - you have to find that balance. Set the goal a little higher than your expectations but not completely unrealistic.

4) Write down your goal

A goal is useless if you can’t see it. Write it down. Put it in a place that you see often. If you hide that goal somewhere, you’ll forget about it. Make sure that you’re aware of that goal often so that you’ll be motivated to reach it.

5) Reward yourself!

In psychology, reinforcement increases the probability of the rewarded behavior to happen again. Treat yourself out, take a break, and in general do something special when you hit that goal. If you announced that goal to your members, have a signature or avatar made that commends the goal. But sometimes, even just the satisfaction of reaching that goal can be good enough. You can’t beat that.


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