I’ve had a great week, not because it was super productive, but because I learned a great deal and took action to correct course on several goals that have languished.

The first of those goals is my word count. I listened to three entire, albeit short, books this week: 5,000 Words Per Hour, Write to Market, and Six-Figure Author all by Chris Fox. I listed to Write to Market three times and the other two twice. The books challenged some of my preexisting beliefs about marketing and called me out a few bad habits and poor marketing decisions I’ve made.

The first one is that I need to write more, and I need to write more everyday. To that end, I’ve taken Chris Fox’s advice and added daily writing sprints. I’ve attached each sprint to my three daily routines, each for five minutes. So far, so good.

The other change is that I need to focus on the reader and clearly define my niche, both within my writing as well as the way I market my list. He also explains the pitfalls of using a blast the world approach in book launches and marketing to your friends and family. The problem with doing so is that it confuses Amazon’s algorithm, so they are less likely to show your book to customers who are interested, which lowers your conversions when the book is shown, which results in Amazon not showing your book as frequently resulting in fewer sales.

Instead, Chris suggests strategic Amazon advertising focused on highly focused niche serial readers combined with high author engagement organically within niche communities. That means not selling your book but developing street cred within the community to drive genuine interest when books become available. It’s more time intensive and requires a greater commitment, but I believe it is doable.

There was more great advice focused on studying the tropes within one's genre and how to improve writing through speed and iteration as opposed to perfection, which makes a lot of sense. He also suggests reading more, which I’ve also struggled doing.

Great advice is useless if you don't implement it, so I’ve taken care to take action immediately. I’ve already seen a marked improvement in consistency, and have made additional progress with both the quantity of reading and writing. I’ll be setting the foundation for studying genre tropes and niche engagement this week.

I’ve also made progress on other fronts. I received two replies from publishers, both no’s. The good news is that it’s some of the best feedback I’ve received. It’s reassuring to get responses like these, “The book is well-written and has a good message and goal, but it suffers from the fact that there are a lot of books like it, which makes for a slightly unexciting read.” The advice includes some proprietary things I’ll exclude but then goes on to say, “The best and most unique part of the book is your backstory. It's interesting, and I like how you bring your experiences into the book to exemplify some of your points. However, you don't do it very often. If you focused even more on your life and gave a more personal spin to the entire book ... I think it would be even better.”

I’ve received a lot of feedback from people who want to read more about my life. I’ve tried to be restrained on that front based on the numerous suggestions of people who say the exact opposite about most authors who write themselves into their books, but I do have a unique, and I believe, inspiring story. I’ll do more in future writing to heed those suggestions. The advice also echoes much of what Chris Fox, John Lee Dumas, and others have said. It’s better to niche down then be a generalist. That's been a challenge for me, as I have many interests.

This week, I’ve also started designing my website using a great platform, Clickfunnels. There is a bit of a learning curve, but there are tons of tutorials. I already have my landing page set up, which you can view here, but I need to build out the rest of the site, then migrate my blog over. I’m please so far with the results, and it will supercharge my ability to monetize the site once it’s fully functional.

On other fronts, I received contacts from my 19th author. I went to several new places, including a few new restaurants. I have a fabulous New Year’s day, and while I didn’t get nearly as far with my time travel book as I’d hoped, I took time to focus on the foundation of my habits and platform, which will set me up for success in the coming weeks as months.

I successfully completed all my listed goals below for another week and completed my daily routines for 42 consecutive days. I’ve added additional items to my routine, which acts as an anchor. It’s working! Next week, I’m going to give a rundown of my word count over the last three years. It’s all about tracking!

This week, I wrote a combined 3,776 words. Not great, but not terrible. I want to at least triple that count during work weeks. I've done it it the past, but I wanted a sustained bottom up foundation without burnout. I'm looking forward to next week, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Don't forget to leave a comment in the comments section.

Audiobook/s
completed
5,000 Words Per Hour
by Chris Fox
Write to Market by Chris Fox
Six-Figure Author by Chris Fox

Book in progress
Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant
In Times Like These by Nathan Van Coops

Podcasts
MWF Motivation episodes 116-121, 123.

Goals For the week of 1/08/17
Morning Routine
Record dreams
State positive affirmations
Check body weight
Floss, Brush, & mouthwash
Drink water
5-minute meditation
25-minute fiction reading
Write in my daily goals journal
Clean up one thing on computer desk
Read daily/weekly goals
Review daily calendar
Workout set A
Add to master document
Add one Japanese word to list
Workout set B and stretch
Eat breakfast & drink coffee
5 minute writing sprint

After Work Routine
Look at routine & daily goals
Look at today’s calendar
Floss, Brush, MW
Review show notes.
Review and/or add Japanese word/s
Meditate 5-15 min (depending on time)
Nap 15-25 min (depending on time)
Additional Ab exercises (M,W,F)
5 minute writing sprint

Evening Routine
5 minute writing sprint
Track word count
Read Japanese book in Kanji (1 paragraph)
Review calendar
Review daily goals
Daily reflection & checklist
Review tomorrow’s goals
Review tomorrow’s calendar
Review Life document (Sunday’s only)
Read fiction 2 pages
Say affirmations

Additional daily mini goals
Write fiction 1 sentence
Write nonfiction/blog 1 sentence
Read article on improving writing
Contact 1 publisher or write 1 sentence of a marketing plan   
Take 1 action towards creating/improving a business
Track word count

Additional weekly goals  
Contact one author/business person
Visit one new location
Try one new app or software

 
 
If you’ve failed miserably with past resolutions, don’t torture yourself. You’re not alone, and I’ve got tremendous news.

New Year’s resolutions usually fail. I’ve written about why in the past. In short, it’s because poor habits re-establish themselves and new habits fail to take hold. This occurs because of normal declines in motivation and expectations of failure from past experiences. Neither of these need to occur. I’ll get to that in a moment.

I started this personal goals and passion thread in June, and I took the opportunity this past week to make a couple changes in strategy. Hopefully this will help those who’ve made traditional New Year’s resolutions as well as those who already have goals in place.

A month ago, I created personal daily routines alongside mini-goals focused on writing and related endeavors. Today makes 35 consecutive I’ve followed the routines and 25 consecutive days I completed all my mini-habits. Since then, I’ve been pleased with my overall results and moved closer towards the yearly goals I established in June.

This week, it was time to build on that success with two additional tools: 1. Daily tracking of word count. And 2. A vision board.

I’m hopeful tracking will create a sense of competition with myself. The vision board will allow me to implement visualization, an evidence based strategy towards success.

These extra steps should build upon routine and mini-habits. I’ve already put together the vision board, and I’ve added the daily word count tracking to my evening routine and separately as a mini-habit to ensure follow-through.

For those who’ve just made your goals, make a mini-goal that creates action towards your larger goal. Smaller milestones are helpful, but build the habit first, and don’t let missing a milestone discourage you. You still make progress and establish the habit of positive action by completing your daily mini-goal. In my case, that would be writing one sentence even if I hope to write more.

This past week, I completed all my goals and routines. I’m continuing this week with no specific word count and just the daily writing mini-goal, but have added the tracking mentioned earlier. I met several new people, and went to several new places, including Sorrento's, a nice restaurant where I met with the author I mentioned last week. I'm very pleased to have met this person, and look forward to building this author relationship in the future.

Several authors replied to my emails, bringing my total to eighteen. One of them even agreed to read my manuscript and consider a formal endorsement. I’ve gotten two additional responses from publishers who requested a copy of my manuscript after my initial pitch.

I tested the web application Zapier.com It had some useful tools to streamline social media and web publishing, but I haven’t used it enough to say if it’s beneficial in my case. Many of the features are duplicated with other stand alone app features, but there are lots of app integrations which would be beneficial to many of you.

I completed the audiobook, Writing Great Fiction by The Great Courses. It was informative, but unfortunately lacked more specifics. There were some writing exercises and generalizations beneficial to writers, but overall I was disappointed.

I’m still working on the same Kindle book, but
 I’ve read daily. I did begin listening a fiction audio book, The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, which I expect to complete once work resumes along with my longer commute.

This weeks goals are listed below. Until next week, make your own if you haven't already, and don't forget to add in your daily mini-goals.


Audiobook/s 
Writing Great Fiction by The Great Courses

Book in progress Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant

Podcasts
EoFire episodes 1471-1472, 1477-1478.

Goals For the week of 1/01/17
Morning Routine
Record dreams
State positive affirmations
Check body weight
Floss, Brush, & mouthwash
Drink water
Write in my daily goals journal
Clean up one thing on computer desk
Read daily/weekly goals
Review daily calendar
Workout set A
Add to master document
Add one Japanese word to list
Workout set B and stretch
Eat breakfast & drink coffee

After Work Routine
Look at routine & daily goals
Look at today’s calendar
Floss, Brush, MW
Review show notes.
Review and/or add Japanese word/s
Meditate 5-15 min (depending on time)
Nap 15-25 min (depending on time)
Additional Ab exercies (M,W,F)

Evening Routine
Read Japanese book in Kanji (1 paragraph)
Review calendar
Review daily goals
Daily reflection & checklist
Review tomorrow’s goals
Review tomorrow’s calendar
Review Life document (Sunday’s only)
Read fiction 2 pages
Say affirmations

Track word count

Additional daily mini goals
Write fiction 1 sentence
Write nonfiction/blog 1 sentence
Read article on improving writing
Contact 1 publisher or write 1 sentence of a marketing plan   
Take 1 action towards creating/improving a business

Track word count

Additional weekly goals  
Contact one author/business person
Visit one new location
Try one new app or software
 
 
I get it. No one has reached their full potential. We all feel it at one point in our lives, but don't be discouraged. The more your life sucks, the more room you have for growth.  

Zig Ziglar said, "
You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind." You’re constantly bombarded with thoughts you don’t want simmering in your subconscious. Filtering out everything is impossible. But remember; you control the filter. 

Start by spending time with people you wish to emulate instead of those who bring you down. Limit time with negative friends, family, and coworkers. Find people and groups who encourage you to leap forward. 

Consume powerful audiobooks or podcasts during your commute and workout time. That habit can radically alter your life. I speak from experience. Not sure where to start? Check out John Lee Dumas, host of Eofire. He's phenomenal! Listen in double time and get your fill in a cool ten minutes. 

Change your self-talk. Replace self-deprecating statements with words of hope, not destructive ideas you’ve believed your entire life. Take it from Henry Ford who said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right.” Who cares if you sucked at math as a kid. There's no reason you have to suck now, but keep telling yourself you do and you will. 

Words influence effort, behavior, and outcome. In other words, it makes a real difference. You can't control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond. What's a response guaranteed to improve your situation? Change your inputs! 

So, are you going to keep making excuses why your life sucks or will you take action to transform your life with this one weird little trick?
 
 
Twenty-seven weeks into my fifty-two week journey I’ve made great strides towards towards reaching my goals. Before giving the rundown on this past week, I’ve listed a summary of where I stand on my June 18th 2017 target goals below.

1. Write 1,000 pages of my own work: I’ve written 310 pages excluding blog posts. I’m off a bit on this, but I’m hoping to complete 200 pages in the next two weeks during my break and make up the remaining before the deadline. I expect to succeed at this goal.

2. Complete 4 rough drafts of 4 separate works: I’ve completed just under 1 & ½ rough drafts, but I’m optimistic I’ll complete this goal.

3. Publish 2 books: I’m still working on both, but I’ll almost definitely have two fully finished drafts ready for publication before the deadline. It’s possible I could still miss this goal if both books are accepted by traditional publishing companies, since they can take as long as one to two years to publish after signing a contract. Still, I’ll count it as a win if that’s the case.   

4. Publish at least 1 book with a traditional publishing house: I’m currently approaching publishers as we speak. I’ve submitted either queries, partial submissions, or complete manuscripts to 37 different publishers as concurrent submissions for the self-help book I wrote over the summer.

I’ve already received seven rejections, but I did get one request for the full manuscript from one of the queries after sending in the pitch. I received confirmation from an additional five or so, and I’m waiting to hear back from the remaining publishers. I have about a dozen publishers from my list I’ve yet to approach, since they require a detailed annotated index, marketing report, or print copies. I’ll submit those within the next couple of weeks.


I’m handling the self-help book submissions without the assistance of my agent, but that likely won’t be the case with the science-fiction book I’m writing. My plan is to give him a fully polished final draft before his planned visit to Hawaii in early February. It’s possible I could self-publish the self-help book and have a publisher print my science-fiction book. I’ve keeping my fingers crossed both with find publishers, but we shall see.

5. Write 52 blog posts: I've completed twenty-three instead of twenty-six since I missed a few posts last month. I'll write a few more outside of my fifty-two series just to hit the goal.  

6. Upload 52 guest blog posts: I’m nowhere close to reaching this goal. I’ve completed five guest blog posts. I’ll likely complete a minimum of six to eight more guest blog posts for Lifehack before the deadline, but unless something changes, I may fall well short on this one. I won't feel so bad if I do, since my primary goal is to publish books, get published, and have a successful online product. I'll re-eavulate my position on this goal in the coming weeks once I get my product fully launched. 

7. Get a response from at least 52 successful entrepreneurs or speakers: If I’m only counting email responses and excluding Twitter, I’ve received replies from fourteen different people, that includes authors of all genres. I’m well short of this goal, but I’m optimistic I can reach it if I step up the pace.  

8. Get a response from at least 52 successful sci-fi or fantasy authors: This goal has basically been merged with #7, but it’s possible I could get a reply back from 104 total combined if I keep up my recent track and daily requests.


9. Meet 52 new people in person: This goal is hard to measure, as I’ve found out it’s difficult to separate what constitutes meeting someone. I should have been more explicit in my definition when setting the goal, but I believe I have already exceeded it. I easily met twenty people this week alone. I’ll count it as a win.

10. Read 52 fiction books: I’m well short of my goal. I’ve decided that I should start listening to fiction audiobooks. While it’s not ideal, and I do still plan on actual reading, I needed to make a change to insure I’ll get more exposure for the purposes of writing technique.

11. Listen to 52 non-fiction audiobooks. I’m ahead of schedule on this goal. I’m currently at 31 audiobooks completed, so I’ll likely finish around 60 or so by the deadline.

12. Listen to 365 motivation podcast episodes: I’ll have to check my numbers, but I’ll likely finish in the 400-600 range or higher on this. This will be an easy win.

13. Go to 52 new places (hiking trails, beaches, etc). As with goal #9. This is a hard one two measure. I need to better quantify and define what counts as a new place, but between my trips to Japan and Florida, I’ve easily exceeded this goal. I’ll count this is a win.
 

14. Try 52 new web or mobile applications for increased productivity: I’m behind on this goal, but I’m optimistic I can reach this before the deadline.

15. Create either a webinar module, podcast, or web application regarding one of the following topics: science, education, writing, scifi/fantasy or motivation: This goal has morphed into something slightly different than expected. If I’m using the term web application loosely, then I’ll include free and paid info-products in that goal as well. I’m making progress. I have a free pdf already available, but I’ll need to create a few more as well as a paid version. I’m ramping up on this goal, and I believe it will be completed well before the deadline.

16. Drop my body fat to 7% (I’m not sure what it is now, but I think it’s 12-15%): I’m not sure how far along I am on this goal. I’ve added afternoon core exercises, and I’m completing those weekly. What I need to get is take measurements to assess my current state, and then make some additional goals or actions based on that information.

To summarize, I’ve completed two of the goals already (#9 & #13) even though I haven’t explicitly wrote down all the details. I’ll easily meet two other goals (#11 & 12). I can also complete goals #5, #7-8 & #14-15 with a just a bit more effort. Goals #1 & #2 are still well within reach. Goals #3 & #4 are not completely within my control, but I’m still optimistic I can reach them, but I'll need significant changes or modifications to reach goals #6, #10, & #16.

This past week, the new place I went was a building which hosted a Christmas party. I met around twenty people and had long conversations with around five of them, one of which was an author. I’m having lunch with him and his wife tomorrow.


The new application I used was www.clarity.fm While I didn’t spend any money to call any of the experts on the list, I did preview one of the free live events featured on the site. I’ll be using this site in the future, and likely will spend some cash to get some greater insight and mentoring on goal #16.

The audiobook I completed was Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I listened to 15 podcast episodes (Eofire Episodes 1468-1470, MWF Motivation episodes 19-24 & 111-114, The True Performance show by Ziglar episode 436, & Creative Writing Career episode 11/23/16 Video Game writing). I'm still working on reading the same book, but my weekly goal was just to read daily, which I did. 

I finished all of my mini-goals and routines each day, which brings me to 29 consecutive days for my routine and 19 consecutive days for completing all my mini-goals. In addition, I read and wrote every day. I submit queries or worked on marketing reports for book submissions to publishers every day. I also received several replies from authors.

This is actually the first week when I completed everything on my weekly goals list. While it’s true I modified my goals recently to pair down my word count, it’s still a massive success. I’m also pleased that my recent Lifehack post, 15 Shocking Stories of Hope to Supercharge Your Life, was a hit. Several of the people mentioned in the article have shared, commented, or liked the article on Twitter including Hal Elrod, Jim “The Rookie” Morris, Stephen Guise, John O’Leary, and Ashley Rose. That’s a tremendous feat in it’s own, right, but of course that has a lot more to do with the tremendous stories and contributions of each of those people.

As always, please don’t forget to comment on your thoughts on this post, and I’d love to hear what you thought about the Lifehack article on my blog or on Twitter. This weeks goals are listed below, and until next time.



Audiobook/s 
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Book in progress Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant

Podcasts
EoFire episodes 1468-1470
The True Performance show by Ziglar episode 436
MWF motivation episodes 19-24 & 111-114
Creative Writing Career episode 11/23/16 Video Game writing

For the week of 12/25/16
Morning Routine
Record dreams
State positive affirmations
Check body weight
Floss, Brush, & mouthwash
Drink water
Write in my daily goals journal
Clean up one thing on computer desk
Read daily/weekly goals
Review daily calendar
Workout set A
Add to master document
Add one Japanese word to list
Workout set B and stretch
Eat breakfast & drink coffee

After Work Routine
Look at routine & daily goals
Look at today’s calendar
Floss, Brush, MW
Review show notes.
Review and/or add Japanese word/s
Meditate 5-15 min (depending on time)
Nap 15-25 min (depending on time)
Additional Ab exercies (M,W,F)

Evening Routine
Read Japanese book in Kanji (1 paragraph)
Review calendar
Review daily goals
Daily reflection & checklist
Review tomorrow’s goals
Review tomorrow’s calendar
Review Life document (Sunday’s only)
Read fiction 2 pages
Say affirmations

Additional daily mini goals
Write fiction 1 sentence
Write nonfiction/blog 1 sentence
Read article on improving writing
Contact 1 publisher or write 1 sentence of a marketing plan   
Take 1 action towards creating/improving a business

Additional weekly goals  
Contact one author/business person
Visit one new location
Try one new app or software
 
 
I got an email from someone Monday, I won’t say who. The email had a negative tone, and caused a sinking pit in my stomach the moment I finished reading it. I understood where this person was coming from. That prompted me to do a couple of things. The first thing I did was reflect on several books I completed, Grant Cardone’s 10X Rule was one of them, and what those books said about getting negative comments.

How do you know when you’re on the right track? One way is that you start get negative feedback. It may sound counterintuitive, but it’s true for several reason. The basic idea is that if you haven’t offended anyone, you haven’t reached enough people.

If criticism bothers you, think of it this way. If you do nothing, you wouldn’t get any feedback at all, good or bad. The fact that you’re getting negative feedback means you're taking action, and you can’t get from where you are now to where you want to be without taking some kind of action.

You should also be thrilled because negative feedback could also mean you might be making enough action to get noticed. Taking some action is a start, but you’ll have to ramp it up at some point to reach a critical mass.

Negative feedback can also be useful for improving your craft or your approach. In my case it was the latter. This is where the second thing came into play. I slightly changed my approach, and I’ll also say that the follow up email was a positive one with the potential for a great opportunity. I can't really say more than that for now, but I’m glad I responded in the right way.

Week #26 marks the six month mark in my one year journey. It was a productive week. I published my fourth Lifehack article, and I completed my routine for three full weeks, that’s 21 consecutive days if you count today. The only thing I missed this week was reviewing my new web application.

I completed the audiobook The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. I finished 15 podcasts episodes and contacted over a dozen publishers and authors. I received feedback from several authors and met several new people.

I went to a new place, a Chinese restaurant called Tai Pan Dim Sum. The food was cheap and very good. I also have a long break starting the end of this week, and I’m hoping to finish my time travel book. With my new routine firmly in place, I’m feeling optimistic that I can finish end before I return to work. Until then, I’d love to hear your comments.



Audiobooks 
The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Book in progress Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant

Podcasts
EoFire episodes 1463-1467
The True Performance show by Ziglar episodes 432
MWF motivation episodes 13-18
Creative writing career 11/2/16 Amazing Self-published Fantasy, 11/9 The Realities of Writing Careers, 11/16/16 & Writing Indie Games and Comics.

For the week of 12/18/16
Morning Routine
Record dreams
State positive affirmations
Check body weight
Floss, Brush, & mouthwash
Drink water
Write in my daily goals journal
Clean up one thing on computer desk
Read daily/weekly goals
Review daily calendar
Workout set A
Add to master document
Add one Japanese word to list
Workout set B and stretch
Eat breakfast & drink coffee

After Work Routine
Look at routine & daily goals
Look at today’s calendar
Floss, Brush, MW
Review show notes.
Review and/or add Japanese word/s
Meditate 5-15 min (depending on time)
Nap 15-25 min (depending on time)
Additional Ab exercies (M,W,F)

Evening Routine
Read Japanese book (in Kanji)
Review calendar
Review daily goals
Daily reflection & checklist
Review tomorrow’s goals
Review tomorrow’s calendar
Review Life document (Sunday’s only)
Read fiction 2 pages
Say affirmations

Additional daily mini goals
Write fiction 1 sentence
Write nonfiction/blog 1 sentence
Read article on improving writing
Contact 1 publisher or write 1 sentence of a marketing plan   
Take 1 action towards creating/improving a business

Additional weekly goals  
Contact one author/business person
Visit one new location
Try one new app or software

 
 
For those who struggle with forming good habits, there is good news! Last week, I mentioned that I set myself a new daily routine, three routines to be exact, in addition to mini goals outside of the routine. I’m glad to say, that I’ve stuck my new routine daily for the last 14 consecutive days. In addition, I’ve followed through with all but one of my personal mini goals each day. I missed contacting authors on one day, so I’m only 4 consecutive days towards that routine.

Last week’s book Mini Habits by Stephen Guise has helped a lot, so much so that I blogged about it in my upcoming Lifehack article, which I submitted today and should go live in the next week. It’s important to note, that while the mini goals are small, the habits themselves, once built, are powerful. Those seeking to go above and beyond the mini goals can still do so. Don't think of them as a ceiling but a floor.

I still have room for improvement. As mentioned, I missed one day of one of my mini goals, and I didn’t complete everything on my weekly list. I’m going to ponder a way to take the remaining weekly goals and convert them into a small daily action as a mini goal to insure progress on that front.

I completed two audio books this week, Fish Out of Water by Calvin Wayman and Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Miracle Morning shared a lot in common with Mini Habits and Habit Stacking. I think the latter two authors incorporated much of the same suggestions on habits and routines in their own books from Miracle Morning. That’s partly the reason why I’ve already implemented most of Hal Elrod’s suggestions. I also included Hal as one of the people featured in the upcoming Lifehack article.

I successfully read daily, and I’ve beefed up my organizational tool on Google Drive by a lot. One additional thing I recently added in my routine was to review show notes (for those available) during my afternoon routine. That’s primarily focused on John Lee Dumas and Eofire, which has tons of books and apps recommended by guests on the show.

Speaking of apps, I did get around to familiarizing myself with Aweber, an email list delivery service. I’m currently using Constant Contact, but Aweber has a better pricing point and more features. I’m still debating on whether to jump to Infusionsoft of Clickfunnels, so which one or two I switch to has yet to be determined.   

I didn’t get to a new place this week, but I did meet a couple of new people, and I received replies from several authors. I also sent submissions and queries to a little more than half a dozen publishers regarding my book. I’ll be sending more this week. As part of my Twitter outreach, I also booked a guest spot on the Dr. Denise show with Dr. Denise McDermott. She’ll be interviewing me tentatively January 16th. I’ll let you know when there is a firm date and when it will air at a later time. 


I forgot to mention, I listened to a whopping 32 podcasts this week in addition to the two audiobooks. If you're finding these posts informative, I'd love for you to drop a note in the comments section. They are moderated and so there is a delay until they are posted, but your feedback is always appreciated. Until next week. 

Audiobooks 
Fish Out of Water by Calvin Wayman 

Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Book in progress Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant

Podcasts
EoFire episodes 1448-1462
The True Performance show by Ziglar episodes 430-431
MWF motivation episodes 9-12
Should I be writing episodes 305-311

Creative Writing Career episodes Welcome, Traditional Publishing, & Screenwriting.
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe episodes 595

For the week of 12/11/16
Morning Routine
Record dreams
State positive affirmations
Check body weight
Floss, Brush, & mouthwash
Drink water
Write in my daily goals journal
Clean up one thing on computer desk
Read daily/weekly goals
Review daily calendar
Workout set A
Add to master document
Add one Japanese word to list
Workout set B and stretch
Eat breakfast & drink coffee

After Work Routine
Look at routine & daily goals
Look at today’s calendar
Floss, Brush, MW
Review show notes.
Review and/or add Japanese word/s
Meditate 5-15 min (depending on time)
Nap 15-25 min (depending on time)
Additional Ab exercies (M,W,F)

Evening Routine
Read Japanese book (in Kanji)
Review calendar
Review daily goals
Daily reflection & checklist
Review tomorrow’s goals
Review tomorrow’s calendar
Review Life document (Sunday’s only)
Read fiction 2 pages
Say affirmations

Additional daily mini goals
Write fiction 1 sentence
Write nonfiction/blog 1 sentence
Read article on improving writing
Contact 1 publisher or write 1 sentence of a marketing plan   
Take 1 action towards creating/improving a business

Additional weekly goals  
Contact one author/business person
Visit one new location
Try one new app or software

 
 
The worm has turned. This past week proved pivotal as I implemented key components of  Habit Stacking by S.J. Scott and this week’s book Mini Habits by Stephen Guise, who was kind enough to respond to my tweet regarding his book and retweet it on twitter. I highly recommend listening or reading to both of them.

After reading Habit Stacking, I immediately added several routines (morning, afternoon, and evening) to my daily calendar. Much the routine was already in place, but it was time to codify that routine. I’ve tweaked it over the last week, but I’m pleased to say I’ve met every component of my routine for six consecutive days.

The gist of the routine in Habit Stacking was to schedule 15-30 minute blocks to do 3-30 mini habits, all 1-5 minutes in duration and do them in the same order and the same way consistently. He then went on to give possible habits that could be included in the routine and suggested not including anything that would go beyond 5 minutes.

I slightly modified that to include parts of my existing routine in the afternoon (namely meditating and taking a nap) to come at the end of my afternoon routine. In addition, I split up my exercises (which I do anyway) and inserted a couple mini habits between the exercises.  

One of the books discussed in Habit Stacking was of course, Mini Habits by Stephen Guise. While the concept of mini habits is something I’m familiar with, the devil is in the details, and doing is different than knowing. Several of the ideas discussed by Stephen struck a chord.

Stephen explained how motivation only sometimes gives you the results you want. And while sometimes may be good enough, I want more than good enough. The consistency of my writing has struggled from this exact precept. At times, I can write 40 page a day, at others, I can go months without writing fiction.

Stephen also talked about willpower, and while different and superior to motivation (in his estimation), it's limited for a variety of reasons. This is where mini habits comes in. By doing small but consistent actions over time, regardless of how absurdly small, they become habit and the primitive sections of your brain take over to make it part of your daily routine.

This is where things get interesting. He explains how motivation wanes due to lack of interest, even when you see results. Willpower will also run out when you are sick, tired, hungry, or have used it for other things. With mini habits, the habits are so tiny, you can do them regardless of willpower or motivation, and once they’ve become a habit, you can turn your focus to other things or add on to those habits.

While one of the mini habits I added was to write one sentence a day, it’s what happens once that habit takes hold that’s important. While the amount sounds small, it’s the behavior that's being ingrained in the subconscious that’s most important. You are of course free to add more than just your tiny mini goal, but if you don’t, you still should pat yourself on the back to give yourself that mental reward. Over time, those small tasks add up to large gains, and the overages that you occasionally, sometimes, or frequently add on to your mini goals add up as well.

As such, I think Stephen may have hit upon the single most effective actionable tip on success I have ever seen. There are many things that can add to one’s success, and you of course need belief in order to take action. But once you take that action, mini habits are the tool that can maintain discipline in the face of all other obstacles. It’s a truly brilliant piece of work.

I must also say, that I’ve had a ton of success. Looking back on it, that success has stood in my way. If I was more willing to set aside my hubris and focus on small but consistent daily actions, my larger goals would be more likely to come to fruition. That being said, I’m sticking with my yearly goals, but I’ve decided to focus (as one of my earlier commenters suggested) on the daily goals. More specifically, the daily mini goals. Below I’m going to list my new daily routines and mini goals, my yearly goals haven't changed, and you can read them on my very first post on this thread from week one.

While I still have every intention of getting the larger goals completed, simply chunking down the larger goals to a single daily amount may not be sufficient in part due to the mental effort to overcome the task of sitting down to write or do a large task even in that smaller chunk.

I can already tell that the mini goals have helped me be more mindful of my tasks and goals while reducing the resistance to taking on each task. It’s pointless to put something on a calendar if you don’t do it (and may actually do harm if you're familiar with NLP), so simply having the mini goal on my calendar instead of the chunked goal will at least get the ball rolling and continue to develop the habit.

On other fronts, I’ve received three replies from authors this week, four if you count Stephen Guise. While I didn’t meet my weekly writing total count, I did write every day, that includes fiction and nonfiction, I also met my routine and all other mini goals. I listened to a whopping 21 podcasts and two audiobooks. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill was the second. It seemed truncated, but was still a classic and must listen/read for those just getting started. 



Moving forward, I'll be using the new daily routine, mini habit, and additional weekly mini habits goal format with the yearly goal still in place. Let me know what you think. For those of you that read my blog who have goals and habits you want to accomplish and develop, Mini Habits may just get you there. Please leave a comment in the comments section and let me know what you think of the book and if it helps you. I’m curious if any of you are planning on trying out a mini habit or two of your own!

Audiobooks 
Mini Habits by Stephen Guise 
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Book in progress Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant

Podcasts
EoFire episodes 1376 & 1440-1447
The True Performance show by Ziglar episodes 426-429
MWF motivation episodes 8 & does your motivation suck
Should I be writing episodes 303-304
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe episodes 591-594

Morning Routine
Record dreams
State positive affirmations
Check body weight
Floss, Brush, & mouthwash
Drink water
Write in my daily goals journal
Clean up one thing on computer desk
Read daily/weekly goals
Review daily calendar
Workout set A
Add to master document
Add one Japanese word to list
Workout set B and stretch
Eat breakfast & drink coffee

After Work Routine
Look at routine & daily goals
Look at today’s calendar
Floss, Brush, MW
Review show notes.
Review and/or add Japanese word/s
Meditate 5-15 min (depending on time)
Nap 15-25 min (depending on time)
Additional Ab exercise (M,W,F)

Evening Routine
Read Japanese book (one paragraph in Kanji)
Review calendar
Review daily goals
Daily reflection & checklist
Review tomorrow’s goals
Review tomorrow’s calendar
Review Life document (Sunday’s only)
Say affirmations
Read fiction 2 pages.

Additional daily mini goals

Write fiction 1 sentence
Write nonfiction/blog 1 sentence
Read article on improving writing
Contact 1 publisher or write 1 sentence of a marketing plan   
Take 1 action towards creating/improving a business

Additional weekly goals  

Contact one author/business person
Visit one new location
Try one new app or software
 
 
Have you ever had the feeling something great was about to happen? That’s how I feel now. In spite of the mediocre success of the past month with respect to my weekly goals, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and Habit Stacking by S.J. Scott have already improved my routine. Habit Stacking in particular confirmed what I knew already but failed to implement: It was time to codify my daily habits into a specific routine.

Habit Stacking suggested a short fifteen to thirty minute routine with one to five minute habits that are done rapid in succession with no breaks. Instead of a single routine, I made three. One for when I wake up, when I get home, and before bed. I’ve only been at it a couple of days, but it’s already paying dividends.

To go along with my newly minted three routine day, I’ve decided to focus on one type of writing per day, either fiction or nonfiction. I’ll target four pages, but by focusing on one task instead of multiple tasks on the writing front, I hope it will make it easier to get in the habit of writing daily.

I went to two new restaurants this past week, the Plumeria Beach House, and the Ethiopian Love Restaurant. Plumeria was excellent for lunch. I went on my fortieth birthday overlooking Kahala Beach. The outdoor patio birds were insane, but the food was good and ambiance was equally invited.

The Ethiopian Love Restaurant was dark, but it had intriguing art and decor. The food, however, was on the pricey side and mediocre at best. I tried multiple dishes, but none of them were to my liking. I found the food similar to Egyptian in some respects, but it paled in comparison.

The new web application I used was Lexile.com and their lexile analyzer. It’s an excellent tool for teachers. You’ll need to convert to file to a text file before it can be read and processed, but it you’re looking for a way to know the reading level for students, it’s an excellent tool and free for teachers. I also completed my workout routine and added my headline titles.      

I listened to a few podcasts, but failed on the reading, writing, and contacts front. I keep saying it, but that will change this week. I’ve made the necessary changes, and I’ll keep you apprised of my progress.

Audiobooks 
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg 
Habit Stacking by S.J. Scott

Book in progress Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant

Podcasts
EoFire episodes 1438-1439

The True Performance show by Ziglar episode 424

Goals for the week of November 27th are listed below.
  • Pitch 10 Publishing companies to publish my book.
  • Write 20 pages of my own work (14 pages of my time travel book & 6 blog post pages).
  • Listen 1 hour per day of education business videos
  • Write 2 blog posts
  • Come up 4 good pitches for blogs posts
  • Get a response from at least 1 successful entrepreneur or speaker.
  • Get a response from at least 1 successful scifi or fantasy author.
  • Meet 1 new person.
  • Contact 50 self-help authors. 
  • Reading 1 chapter of fiction per day.
  • Finish listening to 1 audiobook.
  • Listen to 7 motivation podcast episodes.
  • Go to 1 new place on the island (hiking, beaches, etc).
  • Try 1 new web or mobile application for increased productivity.
  • Complete 20 reps with focused breathing and form for my new core/ab workout routines for Mon/Wed/Fri.
 
 
I spent most of this past week in Florida. I traveled to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral as a GOES-R educator and watched the launch of the GOES-R satellite, a geostationary satellite that represents a quantum leap in imagery monitoring Earth and space weather. It was phenomenal, as was the Cuban food I ate while I was there. I have video and photo’s posted on my Twitter feed, if you can find it.

I finished the audiobook Linchpin, by Seth Godin, though I’m still reading the same science fiction book. Turns out, I had more important things to do while I was in Florida than read. One of those things was a ten hour teacher training. I am however, listening to The Power of Habit as this week’s audiobook. I’m loving it so far. I completed my extra ab exercises for this week, but failed to listen to any podcasts.

For the upcoming week, I am continuing on with my existing weekly goals, despite the holiday and my fortieth birthday on Saturday (yes, I know.). I’m looking forward to putting together a killer routine, part of the cue, routine, reward, craving, habit loop discussed in The Power of Habit. In addition, I’ve added additional books on habits to my Kindle reading wish list, which I use to select my weekly audiobooks.

I will be adding the successful components of habit reinforcement to my free products in improving and simplifying your life, which you can download for free here


Audiobooks
Linchpin by Seth Goden

Book in progress Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant

Podcasts
None

Goals for the week of November 20th are listed below.
  • Write 16 pages of my own work (10 pages of my time travel book & 6 blog post pages).
  • Listen 1 hour per day of education business videos
  • Write 2 blog posts
  • Come up 4 good pitches for blogs posts
  • Get a response from at least 1 successful entrepreneur or speaker.
  • Get a response from at least 1 successful scifi or fantasy author.
  • Meet 1 new person.
  • Contact 50 self-help authors.
  • Reading 1 chapter of fiction per day.
  • Finish listening to 1 audiobook.
  • Listen to 7 motivation podcast episodes.
  • Go to 1 new place on the island (hiking, beaches, etc).
  • Try 1 new web or mobile application for increased productivity.
  • Complete 20 reps with focused breathing and form for my new core/ab workout routines for Mon/Wed/Fri.
 
 
Week #21 comes after two weeks with no updates, skipping weeks 19 & 20. I apologize for the delay, and while I could easily blame the break on serious personal issues, the bottom line is I dropped the ball. From now on, posts will go live every Sunday evening Hawaii time.

During the past few weeks, I listened to three audiobooks: Make it Stick by Peter Brown, Tribes by Seth Goden, and The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. Of the three, Tribes was my favorite. I’m currently reading another Seth Goden book, Linchpin. His work is truly visionary, but he would likely tell you himself, that insight comes from taking action and doing as opposed to being born with some innate talent.

Over the recent months, I’ve noticed two trains of thought in the self-help space. There is some overlap, but there are clear distinctions between the two camps. One is focused on how to maximize productivity and success by using traditional methods. The other focuses on ideas more outside the box. Both methods have value. They don’t necessarily work to the exclusion of one another, but they can. As with anything in life, much of the strategies one uses will be situational. One or both camps can work to varying degrees of success, but they may also lead to very different outcomes.

I finally started writing my fiction again, and with the holiday’s next week, I will make more progress. I’ve made significant improvements to my master systems document, and I’ll update you in the coming week with the exciting developments.

For my new application, I upgraded to the Iphone 7. I like it a lot, though I’m not completely thrilled with the change in the notification featrure on my alarm with the latest OS. It makes it harder to turn it off if some other application is running or open, though that’s not an Iphone 7 issue but an OS issue. The earphone set up is also interesting, since it jacks into the same port as the charger. Other than that, I’m pleased overall.

I met several new people over the last few weeks, but I didn’t receive any new responses from authors or businessmen, that's mainly because I haven't tried to contact anyone recently. This week, though is tipping point week. I’m kicking into full throttle, and I believe I’ll have good news in the near future.

This week, I’m flying to Florida to watch the launch of the GOES-R satellite from Cape Canaveral Florida. I’ve never been, so it will be my new place for the week. I’ll let you know how it went on Sunday. See you then.

Audiobooks 
Make it Stick by Peter Brown
Tribes by Seth Goden
The Compound Effect

Book in progress Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant


Podcasts
EoFire Episodes 1437
The True Performance show by Ziglar Episode 421-424
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe Episodes 584-590

Goals for the week of November 13th are listed below.
  • Write 16 pages of my own work (10 pages of my time travel book & 6 blog post pages).
  • Ghostwrite 28 pages
  • Listen 1 hour per day of education business videos
  • Write 2 blog posts
  • Come up 4 good pitches for blogs posts
  • Get a response from at least 1 successful entrepreneur or speaker.
  • Get a response from at least 1 successful scifi or fantasy author.
  • Meet 1 new person.
  • Contact 50 self-help authors.
  • Reading 1 chapter of fiction per day.
  • Finish listening to 1 audiobook.
  • Listen to 7 motivation podcast episodes.
  • Go to 1 new place on the island (hiking, beaches, etc).
  • Try 1 new web or mobile application for increased productivity.
  • Complete 20 reps with focused breathing and form for my new core/ab workout routines for Mon/Wed/Fri.