weekend reading | 01.30.14

weekend reading | grab a cup of tea and check out these posts!

Friday, again! Y’all, I hope it’s not just me that’s feeling like this year is going a little too fast. This week I’ve been working on some fun projects, and I can’t wait to share them with y’all. For the time being, though, here are some awesome posts to hold you over:

I meant to share this one last week, but I totally forgot: I really love these tips on staying fit while working from your desk. When you’re working from home, I think it’s easy to get comfortable and too busy to take care of ourselves, but it’s so important that we make sure we pay attention to our health.

These printables by Jessica for Lovely Indeed are so gorgeous!

I shared a post from Allie last week, but I couldn’t help but to share this post about being self funded versus having significant financial help this week. I can totally relate to her thoughts as I’m totally self funded.

This post about being afraid of the creative torrential downpours from Cassie really resonated with me. I absolutely relate, and I love the tips she shared for both sides of the downpour!

I never really thought about the “rules” I was following until I read this post from Lisa. Although I already typically break the standard work day with errands or extended breaks, it’s interesting to think of other ways I’m following the stereotypical 9-5 life.

Have you ever thought about your purpose? You know, why you do what you do? This week Kathleen explained why it’s important to consider yours when it comes to the work you’re doing.

why your social media isn’t growing

why your social media isn't growing | kory woodard

So, we’re nearly done with the first month of 2015. I’m sure some of you set the goal to grow your social media accounts this year, and maybe as January comes to a close you aren’t seeing as much growth as you would have liked. Before you get discouraged and give up altogether, I might have a few ideas as to why you’re struggling.

You share the same content everywhere This is one thing I see many people do. You post a photo to Instagram and share the link on Twitter, and the photo gets uploaded to Facebook. Or you share a status on Facebook that auto shares to your Twitter account. Look, I get it. Keeping up with multiple accounts can be tough, but sharing the same exact content everywhere is just stunting your growth. People aren’t going to like your Facebook page if they’re getting the same updates from your Twitter and Instagram.

Changing this is easier than you may think. First, turn off the auto sharing on all your accounts. Facebook statues shouldn’t go to Twitter, and Instagram’s don’t have to be sent to Twitter and Facebook. Once you’ve done that, start considering how you can tailor your content for the different platforms when you share it. You could share a link to your blog post on Twitter and a few hours later share a photo from that post on Instagram. On Facebook you could maybe ask questions related to the post to get conversation going or you could share an outtake from your photos.

You aren’t posting regularly This one always annoyed me. I used to post once a week (sometimes two weeks) on Instagram, and then I would be frustrated when that platform wasn’t growing quite like my other accounts. Then it dawned on me – when you’re only sharing every so often, what’s encouraging someone to follow you? Nothing, and I’ll be the first to tell you that when I’m cleaning out who I follow, I start with people who don’t post regularly.

To change things up and actually start posting more, I started taking more photos and planning graphics to share. The same could be done on Twitter. Regardless of where you’re not posting regularly, just sit down and do a little planning. When you know what you want to share, you’re more likely to post rather than just letting days or weeks go by with nothing going on around your accounts.

You only share promotional posts This is something I think we accidentally start doing, right? We schedule our posts, particularly on Facebook and Twitter, and then we get busy. We stop interacting with people as much, and our feeds become a constant stream of links to our own blog posts, work, or our friend’s posts and work. I know I find myself struggling with this one when I don’t put enough time into my accounts, and you might be as well.

Changing this is super simple: schedule more time to hang out and actually connect with people. Respond to tweets, jump in on a conversation, ask a question. Another way to change this is adjust how often you share promotional posts. If you find that you aren’t engaging as much, roll back how often you share links and try to balance your promotional tweets with your engagement.

These are some basic ideas, but it’s all about taking some extra time and pay special attention to your social media you can in fact grow it the way you want to this year!

free / updated goal setting worksheets

free goal planning worksheets | kory woodard

Last year for January I put together a worksheet set of two pages to help myself and y’all plan and set goals for the year. Because I always enjoy putting together fun little things like these, I thought I would make an updated set for this year!

Instead of just having a year and monthly sheet, though, I wanted to introduce the weekly sheet as well! I know the majority of us have planners, but I know many of the popular planners don’t have a week at a glance in them, so I thought this would go perfectly hand in hand with what we already have!

The sheets are completely undated, aside from the year being on the year worksheet, so you can download these and print the monthly and weekly sheets out as often as you need to!

If you do find yourself using these, be sure to snag a picture and tag me on Instagram or Twitter!

Click here to download the 2015 goal setting worksheets

This should go without saying, but these sheets are copyrighted to me, Kory Woodard, and are meant to be used for personal use only and not for redistribution. If you would like to share these with your readers, please link back to this post so they can download them from here. 

the personal cloud

The EX2 Personal Cloud | kory woodard

I don’t know if you all know this about me, but I graduated college in May last year. For two years I had been juggling school and my freelance work, and once I graduated I was just thrilled to finally be taking my dream business full-time. Not only had I just graduated, but D left for bootcamp in the same month, which meant I had no distractions and I could work on growing the business as much as I needed to. Since making that move, things sort of progressed quickly.

Well, once things started growing, it got a little hectic. Unlike many designers, I hold on to all of my clients files (just in case), and about a month after the project is over, I typically move them to an external drive. (If you’re curious, you can read more about that here.) However, around fall of last year, I found myself juggling multiple devices. I had my laptop, my external, and my backup drive. Whenever I went somewhere that I might do any sort of work, I had to carry the laptop and external. Thankfully I could just set the backup drive up and forget it, but that sometimes meant forgetting to back my computer up – a scary thought.

The EX2 Personal Cloud | kory woodard

Then, I was introduced to another amazing Western Digital product: the EX2 Personal Cloud. At first, I was a bit skeptical – how the heck would I actually get to my files on this if I was three hours away or three states away?! It was shortly after I received the EX2 to review that I realized just how crazy I was to be a skeptic and how much of a lifesaver it would become. The personal cloud took all my struggles with multiple devices and made them vanish. With it, I was no longer worried about if I had the files I needed or when the last time I backed my computer up. I quickly (and I mean quickly) was loving this thing. Then I bought my iMac.

Believe it or not, my personal cloud made things even easier. You know those days, when you don’t really want to work on your big computer in your office and instead you’d rather lounge on the couch and work? But you can’t because that would mean loading up an external drive just to have to drop everything back on your office computer once you’re done for the day? With the personal cloud, you no longer have to do that. A few days after receiving my iMac, I just wanted to hang with D in our living room and work, and I could – I simply saved my work to the cloud and then grabbed the files from it once I was on my laptop. It’s literally that easy!

After using this thing for about four months, I’ve got so many reasons that I recommend it become a staple for all creative entrepreneurs!

Read More »

how to actually achieve your 2015 goals

how to actually accomplish our goals | kory woodard

Can I tell you one that that is actually crazy to me? It’s getting to the end of the month, quarter, or year and realizing that I haven’t actually done anything I set out to do. It’s not just crazy, it’s frustrating.

I’m sure you can relate, right? You think long and hard about where you want your business / blog / life to go, you set goals that are a little out of your comfort zone, but also are things that you would love to accomplish, and then later you realize it just never happened. Maybe you got too caught up in work, or life threw you a few curveballs, and things never really got going. Ultimately, it leaves you feeling not only frustrated, but disappointed in yourself.

Instead of walking through another year feeling like maybe we didn’t accomplish everything we set out to do, I thought I’d share a few things I keep in mind to help me actually get things done around here!

Set a deadline It can be somewhat loose or very rigid, but setting a deadline helps keep your mind on what you want to do. This takes the idea of resolutions and puts a timetable on them. I’ve talked a little bit about this before, but for example: last year I knew when I would have the most time to focus on my business and blog (after graduation and after D left), so while I was setting goals in January, I kept in mind when I could work on them and when I wanted to get them done by. Just knowing that you want to get X done within so many months keeps you busy trying to do it!

Create smaller “sub” goals One thing that definitely helps me with my year long goals are creating “sub” goals each month. By doing this, I’m taking what may seem daunting and breaking it down into something that can feel much more doable. Think about it this way: if you started off this year by saying you want to lose 50lbs, how scary is that?! Two days after setting that goal you were probably thinking, “This is going to be impossible!” It doesn’t have to be though! Break it down into something you can focus on each month or quarter. So instead of going through the year with the big goal, maybe each month you’re trying to lose 5 lbs. That seems much more doable right?

Find accountability partners This doesn’t have to be a life coach or even someone you pay! This could simply be a friend, neighbor, or family member. They don’t have to be working on the same thing, but it definitely helps if they’re working on something as well. This way you could set a regular (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) meeting with them to check in on how you’re both doing. By letting someone else know what you’re working on, you’re more likely to do it and they’ll be a great source of motivation to encourage you to keep going on those days you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Make it fun Going back to the weight loss goal, I don’t know if you’ve seen this online, but there are some people who put a dollar in a jar every time they workout! This may seem weird at first, like why am I working out and taking money out of my coffee fund and setting it aside?! Well, just think about it – most people workout 4-5 times a week, that’s 16-20 times per month, which could be 48-60 times per quarter. Now it may not sound like a lot, but soon that money will start to add up. Even if you use it every month, that’s enough to treat yourself to lunch with a friend, some cute stationary, or a few coffees! By making a fun game out of your goals, you make it easier to want to do them. When I was still in school writing a paper or reading for class, I would work for 20-30 minutes and take a 5-10 minute break to check social media. It usually helped me get things done without too much procrastination!

So there you have it! I hope these tips help you take those goals you set for this year and actually accomplish them and maybe more! Check back on Wednesday, as I’ll be sharing some free updated goal setting sheets to help you even more!