Blog Title: Salt and Lavender
About: Natasha Bull started her food blog Salt & Lavender back in 2015. She believes that making delicious recipes from good quality ingredients doesn’t need to be complicated or overly time-consuming. Her main focus is on approachable dinner recipes that are hassle-free and easy to follow.
Notes from Episode #080: The Power of Good Habits as a Blogger
Fun fact: Natasha taught herself how to juggle and even though its a useless party trick, she made herself learn!
Natasha started her food blog in 2015 while working full time for the Canadian government. She was disenchanted 7 years. She wanted to be creative and needed an outlet so the blog was born. She was motivated at first, excited and happy. A few months in, she was looking for instant success and frustrated by the lack of it.
Natasha’s husband is very logical and helped her make a plan. He encouraged her in creating good habits and pointed out that she needed to begin by consistently posting. Because she worked full time, it was only on the weekends Natasha could do her photography because it was too dark after 430p in the part of Canada she lives in.
Over the years, Natasha’s developed habits to make her business a success.
Get content on your blog consistently. This needs to be a primary focus and a habit you should form.
Don’t set your goals too high on any one goal or habit you’re trying to incorporate, you don’t want to set yourself up for failure. You will not be able to keep up the momentum. It’s better to take baby steps.
Stop the all or nothing mentality. Start small. Add one task or skill to your schedule and master that, before adding another.
Routines are helpful and habits are developed by following a routine.
One important habit is waking up at a specific time daily to get all the work you want done in the day. Natasha is a night owl and had a hard time getting her day started to maximize time. At first she’d sleep in, and wake up and be chagrined that the day was already in full swing. She realized she’d lost time and wasn’t being productive. Natasha put her alarm clock out of reach, forcing her to get out of bed to grab it each morning. But now her mornings are becoming natural and she’s not fighting to get up and go daily.
Natasha found that she has to plan her photography around the weather so she can get good daily light. So this is something else she had to be dedicated to planning and not wasting her day when she scheduled this part of the job.
Be willing to change your plans if things don’t work out – such as, if lighting isn’t good for photography, do some computer work, write a post, grocery shop. Reschedule the photography.
Prioritization is necessary when making habits. For Natasha, fitness and health is important as well as her job. So she evaluated her top priorities and fit those into her schedule first. So for Natasha, blogging and working out were on the top of that list and then everything else got figured out from there with the time not scheduled.
Being able to check off things on your list as done, helps you feel accomplished and doesn’t leave it hanging over your head, relieves some pressure.
Start with small incremental changes because it’s amazing what they can build up to. Tiny little changes turn into consistent habits. This can be true for healthy living, how you took photos then and now and working to improve your writing style. Over time, you build on your skills and find yourself maturing and having success in ways you didn’t predict.
Be kind to yourself! Habits take a lot longer to form than you think.
You will fall off the rails. Everyone does. But it’s the cliche – get back on that wagon. If you don’t just keep grinding, you’re not going to make any significant changes but on the flip side you don’t have to make a giant change at once, it’s just little things adding up to a big change.
If you get overwhelmed by the “big picture,” don’t get discouraged, just focus on today. Just get through today. You’re already way ahead of the game. Just focus on checking one task off your list to get through today.
What makes you feel anxious? What makes you feel accomplished? What motivates you so you stay on track? Find a step in the direction and take it.
You’re beating out your competition just by moving forward.
Favorite quote: “Success is largely about hanging on when others have moved on.”
Self care is important and something you need to do regularly to take care of yourself.
Natasha eats well, sleeps a lot and exercises regularly.
Unfollow people on IG or FB that don’t inspire you or isn’t someone you know well. This helps you to get out of the comparison trap. Also, if you don’t resonate with their content, give yourself permission to disconnect from the account so you’re not constantly viewing it.
Natasha found herself snacking too much on her foods she was preparing for content and so she posed a question to her IG audience how to curb that. She went through some of their suggestions and then went about forming a good habit to break the bad one.
Mindfulness and being aware of your actions is so important when evaluating your daily life and making choices about how you spend your time
Be careful not to overthink each choice, each plan for the day.
“Done is better than perfect.” ~Mark Zuckerberg
Time sucks: Instagram is a big time suck for Natasha. You can set alarms for yourself so you only spend the allotted time you choose. Use your phone alarm to help you. Instead of losing that hour to staring at other peoples accounts, find a tangible thing to replace it that will help you to exchange out one negative for a positive. If you don’t replace the negative habit, you might fill it with another negative so be intentional.
Keep things really simple. If you feel overwhelmed and anxious, create more content. Block out the noise and focus on creating new content! This is what brought you to this world of food blogging in the first place, this is what you did the very first day. Get back to what you love and get more eyes on your blog by adding to it.
Helpful references from the episode:
“If you don’t find the time, if you don’t do the work, you don’t get the results.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
“The most impressive people I know spent their time with their head down getting shit done for a long, long time.” – Sam Altman
“People romanticize their plans but dread the execution. The magic you’re looking for is in the work you’re avoiding.” – Unknown