Week #35 is in the bag with more progress. I completed several audio books this week including Rework, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and the Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale. I actually had a sample one hour coaching session based off a free offer in the Strangest Secret. Unfortunately, the session wasn’t able to provide any additional insights.

I completed all of my weekly goals. My word count was down from the week prior, but I still types thirty pages worth of content and am approaching the end of the first draft of my latest fiction novel. I’ve also made some potential inroads with one of my goals, though I’m not at liberty to discuss the details other than that it’s a big goal, and I’m very pleased.

Looking at progress and relevance with my routine, I made some additional refinements. For the coming weeks, I’m adding a twenty-five minute planning session to my mid-afternoon routine. The planning had been lacking and has held me back with some of my word count. I don’t plan on making too detailed of a plan, but have a rough idea about where I’m going the next couple of writing sessions will be beneficial.

I’m also rethinking some of my yearly goals. I’d hoped to have a product to monetize my website, specifically tied to my self-help book that I wrote over the summer. After following the rabbit hole, it’s time to take advice from the general consensus of respected leaders and narrow to focus specifically to my writing. I can come back to that component later once I've made sufficient progress on the main goal of publishing two books. 

Specifically, my focus will shift to writing more, reading more, and creating the reader magnets (free enticements to get people to join my mailing list) within the books themselves. I’ve struggled with conversions on the reader magnets and landing pages even after improving the copywriting on the landing pages, but most authors who use them agree the greatest conversion will be from the magnets within the books themselves as opposed to external landing pages.

I also completed nine podcasts EOFire Episodes 1517-1525 & Creative Writing Career episode 8/22/16, and am nearly finished with reading Thief in Time by Cindy Swanson. I went a couple new shops in town as my new place, met several new people, a familiarized myself with Bookfunnels, which I'll be using for my reader magnets. 


As always, please drop a note in the comments section to let me know your thoughts. And if you love time travel, drop by my new daily blog, The Time Travel Diaries

Audiobooks Completed
Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale

Audiobooks in progress 
Shantaram by Gregory Roberts

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
The Successful Author Mindset by Joanna Penn
How to Make a Living With Your Writing by Joanna Penn

Book in progress 
Thief in Time by Cindy Swanson

Podcasts
Eofire November bonus episode & 1517-1525
Writing Career 8/22/16


Goals For the week of 2/19/17
Morning Routine
Record dreams
State positive affirmations
Check body weight
Floss, Brush, & mouthwash
Drink water
Write in my daily goals journal
5-minute meditation
40 minute writing sprint
Read daily/weekly goals
Review daily calendar
Workout set A
Workout set B and stretch
Eat breakfast & drink coffee

After Work Routine
Meditate 5 min
Nap 15-25 min (depending on time)
Afternoon exercises
25-minute fiction reading
Look at routine & daily goals
Look at today’s calendar
Review show notes.
Clean up one thing on computer desk
25 minute planning for next mornings writing

Evening Routine

Floss, Brush, MW
Track word count
Add to master document
Add one Japanese word to list
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)
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 
 
 
Another week of steady but consistent progress. It’s taken a while to find a rhythm and effective routine, but I’ve finally found a groove and continue to make changes as needed to increase the effectiveness and habits built around that routine.

I finished audiobook Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy. I’ve been meaning to get around listening to the book for a while, and I’m glad I did. I’ve unknowingly heard Tracy’s voice in prior writing. I heard Napoleon Hill (which he references) and Zig Zigler (which he didn’t) several times as well.

I also finished reading another fiction book, Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant. I’m currently reading a Thief in Time by Cindy Swanson. In addition, I wrote 10,794 words for the week. That’s my second seasonal writing record in a row since summer. I expect to write around the same word count this week, possibly more if I’m lucky.

Aside from completing all my weekly goals, I also clarified some of my goals, and decided to pivot on some other ones. I drew up a list of highest priority near term goals and made progress on them this weekend. As mentioned earlier, I’m planning on publishing my self-help book on my own if I don’t get any offers to my pitches in the next couple of months.

In addition, once I’m finished writing my time travel book, I’ll work on a series of short books while I’m waiting to hear back from my agent. It will be a new short story series under a pen name. This requires more work on my part, but I’ve partly streamlined the process and the anonymity will allow me to test a few techniques and increase engagement with my current readers and fans.  

For those struggling with increasing conversions, I discovered that the confirmation subject line may be a leading culprit for low confirmations. I spent a good half-hour with Aweber on a separate issue, then the personalization of subject line came up. I’ve made the changes and am making improvements on my copy as well. I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, I’ve finally integrated my Aweber forms into my royhuff.net site. You can tell me how you like the new feel of my free mini-book and landing page at royhuff.net/success.

I also finished 21 podcasts episodes including Eofire November bonus episode & episodes 1511-1516, MWF episodes 223-231, The Skeptics Guide to the Universe Episode #602, The True Performance show by Ziglar episode #442, & Writing Career 12/7/15 and 8/8/16 with Michael Anderle & 8/15/16. My goals and daily routine for the week are listed below. I’d love to hear your personal goals and if my posts are helping you reach yours.


Audiobooks Completed
Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy

Audiobooks in progress 
Shantaram by Gregory Roberts

Books Completed
Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant

Book in progress 
Thief in Time by Cindy Swanson

Podcasts
Eofire November bonus episode & 1511-1516

MWF episodes 223-231
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe Episode #602
The True Performance show by Ziglar episode #442
Writing Career 12/7/15, 8/8/16 with Michael Anderle, & 8/15/16

Goals For the week of 2/12/17
Morning Routine
Record dreams
State positive affirmations
Check body weight
Floss, Brush, & mouthwash
Drink water
Write in my daily goals journal
5-minute meditation
40 minute writing sprint
Read daily/weekly goals
Review daily calendar
Workout set A
Workout set B and stretch
Eat breakfast & drink coffee

After Work Routine
Floss, Brush, MW
Meditate 5-15 min (depending on time)
Nap 15-25 min (depending on time)
Additional Ab exercises (M,W,F)
25-minute fiction reading
Look at routine & daily goals
Look at today’s calendar
Review show notes.
Clean up one thing on computer desk
5 minute planning for next mornings writing

Evening Routine
Track word count
Add to master document
Add one Japanese word to list
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)
Say affirmations
Review book plot for 5 minutes

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 

 
 
This week I’m leading with two huge successes. I completed my first fiction book in some time, and I’m working on another. I enjoyed the book, Split Second by Douglas E Richards,  and will jump into another time-travel book as soon as I’m finished with Invasion by Johnny B Truant. It’s important to know the tropes and style of commercially successful authors in the genre, plus I enjoy reading it.

The other success was this week’s daily web application, Bing ads. I’ve looked for cheap high quality traffic for several years, but have been disappointed with everything so far. It could be an issue of several factors including low converting sites, bad copy, bad writing, or a combination of numerous other things. I’m sure each have played their part. But I think I’ve finally found a reasonable source for traffic at a low cost. Now I’ll have to work on the next steps in the process including the landing page, copy, conversion and product.

The secret to the Bing ads is to use the minimum bid price of .05 cents. If you find a high volume low competition word, and there are a few, just set up the ad and experiment with the traffic. I was able to get my price per click down to two to three cents on average. I can get a decent amount of traffic, but if you’re a big spender, there is a limit to how much cheap traffic you can generate from bing. Still, it’s super amazing if your ad budget is under $500-1,000 per month. Above that, you’ll have issues with scaling up. 


At the moment, my biggest issue seems to be getting people to confirm the email after they already added their email to my list. I'm all ears if you have a way to increase the follow through on the opt-ins. 

On other fronts, I’m mentally exhausted dealing with a personal issue and constant trips to the hospital. Hopefully it will end soon. In spite of the challenge, I managed to firmly plant my morning writing routine anchored next to my other habits. I finally pushed back my waking time to 5 AM, which means I try to sleep by 10 PM, earlier if I can.

That contributed to my highest weekly word count, 8658 words, since the summer. That will be higher this week. I’m starting to debate my next steps with the completed self-help book. I’m leaning towards publishing it myself. I’ll have it out to the remaining publishers soon, then I’ll look towards plushing sometime late spring if I don’t get any bites.

I completed 13 podcast Episodes including EOFire 1508-1510, MWF Motivation 214-222, The Skeptics Guide to the Universe Episodes 603. I completed the audiobook 2K to 10K book and relistened to all of Chris Fox’s writing books.

I completed all my weekly routines and mini-goals. Once again, though, I did need to push back my routine later in the evening a couple days on the weekend due to late nights and hospital visits. I completed all my weekly goals, with the exception of visiting a new place. I received replies from three authors this past week for a total of thirty-six so far.

Also, I’ve been writing my daily Time Travel Diaries journal entries now for a full two weeks. Be sure to drop by and subscribe if you haven’t checked it out already. I’m also making progress on my time travel book. I’m currently up to 37K words, or a little more than half-way complete. At my current pace. I’ll be done in four weeks. My next week’s goals are listed below.


Audiobook/s completed
2K to 10K by Rachel Aaron

Audiobooks in progress 
Shantaram by Gregory Roberts


Books Completed
Split Second by Douglas E Richards


Book in progress 
Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant

Podcasts
EOFire 1508-1510 

MWF Motivation 214-222 
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe Episodes 603.

Goals For the week of 2/05/17
Morning Routine
Record dreams
State positive affirmations
Check body weight
Floss, Brush, & mouthwash
Drink water
Write in my daily goals journal
5-minute meditation
40 minute writing sprint
Read daily/weekly goals
Review daily calendar
Workout set A
Workout set B and stretch
Eat breakfast & drink coffee

After Work Routine
Floss, Brush, MW
Meditate 5-15 min (depending on time)
Nap 15-25 min (depending on time)
Additional Ab exercises (M,W,F)

25-minute fiction reading
Look at routine & daily goals
Look at today’s calendar
Review show notes.
Clean up one thing on computer desk
5 minute planning for next mornings writing

Evening Routine
Track word count
Add to master document
Add one Japanese word to list
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)
Say affirmations

Review book plot for 5 minutes

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 ever spent any time in the hospital with loved ones and had no power to help them, then you know how I feel. This week I spent more days in the hospital and did everything I could think of to make the best decisions possible relating to the hospitalization. I won’t go into more details at the moment for reasons of privacy, but it’s been challenging to say the least.

I completed all of my goals this week in spite of those challenges. The most difficult part was sticking with my routine, and while I completed everything on my three daily routines, I frequently pushed back the time of completion out of necessity.

I could have just as easily given up, but it’s so easy to give up and hard to keep going. If I took the easy route, I would have been doing my future self and my family a disservice, so I chose the latter option.

I’ve completed one week's worth of time travel journal entries for my new time travel blog. I made additional improvements to my list management system through Aweber, and I’ve also started running test ads through Google Adwords. I even added an enhanced ad feature to one of the ads. I’m starting small with $6.50 in ads per day until I hone in the most effective keywords, sites, and templates to maximize list sign ups.

This upcoming week, I’m increased my daily reading time. In order to do that, I’m going to get up earlier, 5am. I’m currently at 5:10 AM on most weekdays, with the exception of days when I have to stay up late to go to the hospital. I’ve nudged my way there. I tried the 5 am wakeup time earlier and failed, but I’ve made incremental steps this time, which I hope will stick.

The additional time will bring my daily fiction writing and reading to twenty-five minutes each. I expect my daily word count to nudge closer to three pages, and book completion to one every other week. I’ve had success with the incremental approach, and I’m on 63 days of consecutive days completing my mini goals and routines. The average length of time it takes to make a habit is 66 days. I’ll pass that this week.

I’ve made additional gains on other fronts. In the past two weeks, I received a couple dozen replies from authors. I’m up to 33 replies, and will likely reach my goal at the new pace. I finished reading half of my new book, Split Second. I completed the audio book, How Great Science Fiction Works by the Great Courses. I was disappointed, though slightly entertained with the book. It was more of a survey of science fiction than a deep discussion of how to improve one’s writing, which is really what I was looking for.

My new web application was onlineconverter.com It did it’s job, but wasn’t successful if solving my viewing issue with Firefox. If you’ve read my twitter feed, you know Firefox is buggy on some of my images. I’ve reached out to several services to fix the issue, but it still eludes me. There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason why certain images appear and others don’t. It’s delayed the full rollout of some subdomains of my new site royhuff.net

Nevertheless, I’m happy with my progress this week. I’ll submit my self-help book to the remaining publishers on my list. If I don’t hear back from them in three to five months, I’ll move forward with publication. In the meantime, I’ll continue to build my author platform to promote the book through guest blogs, my own blog, forums, and list building.

I completed 23 podcasts including Eofire episodes 1498-1507, The True Performance show by Zigler episodes 440-441, The Skeptics Guide to the Universe Episode 601, & MWF Motivation 143-148, 210-213. This week, I wrote 4,775 words or 19 pages. For my new location, I went to a new grocery store. In my next post, I’ll give you my monthly writing total and compare that to my prior years.  I’ve listed my goals for the upcoming week below.

Audiobook/s completed
How Great Science Fiction Works by the Great Courses

Audiobooks in progress 
Shantaram by Gregory Roberts

Book in progress 
Split Second by Douglas E Richards
Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant

Podcasts
Eofire episodes 1498-1507

The True Performance show by Zigler episodes 440-441
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe Episode 601
MWF Motivation 143-148, 210-213. 

Goals For the week of 1/29/17
Morning Routine
Record dreams
State positive affirmations
Check body weight
Floss, Brush, & mouthwash
Drink water
Write in my daily goals journal

5-minute meditation
25-minute fiction reading

15 minute writing sprint
Read daily/weekly goals
Review daily calendar
Workout set A
Workout set B and stretch
Eat breakfast & drink coffee

After Work Routine

Floss, Brush, MW
Meditate 5-15 min (depending on time)
Nap 15-25 min (depending on time)
Look at routine & daily goals
Look at today’s calendar
Review show notes.
Additional Ab exercises (M,W,F)

Clean up one thing on computer desk
5 minute writing sprint

Evening Routine
5 minute writing sprint
Track word count
Add to master document
Add one Japanese word to list
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 ever felt like giving up, you know how hard it can be to press on when life gets tough. This week had it’s own set of challenges, but not giving up brought its own rewards.

I spent more time in the hospital with family, but this week should be back to normal. I finally finished my minimally viable product with my new time travel blog Time Travel Diaries, and so I’m officially launching my new site RoyHuff.Net. I still need to build out some of the pages, and the Firefox browser is a little buggy with some of the images, but it’s live.

For those who like time travel, I’ll be adding a new journal entry daily to the new site. I spent countless hours on the site and site integrations. I permanently (at least for now) switched my mail server from Constant Contact (after a brief flirtation with MailChimp) to Aweber. I gotta say, I’m lovin’ Aweber. It’s easy to use and many application and integrations are already built in.

I finished reading my first book, In Times Like These by Nathan Van Coops, in quite some time. I’ve started to read Split Second by Douglas E Richards. I attribute that to adding an extra 25 minutes in my morning routine before I get ready for work. Not only did I finish with the 25 minutes, but on average I doubled that reading time throughout the day. I’m optimistic I can stay on a reasonable book every two week routine for the foreseeable future.

You’re going to have to wait a bit longer for my past years wordcount due to my aforementioned technical time demands, but this past week’s total word count was 5,582 or 22 pages and changes. That’s less than the prior week but not too shabby, especially considering my other commitments, issues, and successes.  

I completed What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith as this week’s audiobook. I also completed 21 podcasts episodes including MWF Motivation #133-42, Eofire #1490-97, The True Performance show by Zigler #439, and the Skeptics Guide to the Universe #599-600. I completed all my routines and goals for the week, though I did have push some of the routines to later in the day. I’ve also rearranged some of my routine activities to better accommodate my morning writing and grouped my Japanese writing and reading to the same time.

My upcoming goals are listed below, and as always, feel free to leave a comment. They’re always welcome. While you’re at it, stop by my new time travel blog and let me know what you think. There’s no comments section just yet, but you can come back and leave a comment here, or tell me what you think on Twitter. Have a great week!


Audiobook/s completed
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

Book in progress 

Split Second by Douglas E Richards
Invasion by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant


Books Completed
In Times Like These by Nathan Van Coops

Podcasts
MWF Motivation #133-42 

Eofire #1490-97 
The True Performance show by Zigler #439 
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe #599-600

Goals For the week of 1/22/17
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
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.
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

Add to master document
Add one Japanese word to list
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

 
 
This week threw several large challenges in my face. I won’t go into great detail other than to say I’ve spent a lot of time in the hospital with loved ones. This created several nights of limited sleep and emotional roller coasters as I struggled to mentally cope with those issues. These are lifelong problems that I’ll be dealing with for the foreseeable future, which is why having a strong foundation and a plan to deal with those issues is even more important.

I went another week completing all my mini goals and routines. I did, however, modify my morning routine by completing much of that routine later and out of order. This was necessary since on a couple nights I was in the hospital until 3:30 am and had to go to work two hours later across the island and teach. That being said, my systematic counting of words for the prior three years will have to wait until next week.

In spite of those challenges, I managed to have my best word count for the week since the summer. I completed 6548 words or just over 26 pages. That includes 3282 words of fiction. I’ve fleshed out the remaining portion of my time travel book and improved the story arc. I’m pleased with where it’s going and optimistic I can have a rough draft complete in the coming weeks. Part of that word count includes a nonfiction blog post, which will likely never see the light of day for personal reasons.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to adding more to the new website I’m creating, but I did lay out a plan for a new blog that will be linked to that web site. Today alone I wrote twelve journal entries into a fictional time travel journal blog series. I just sent them off to my editor. I’ll be offering the first five entries for free to anyone who subscribes. The blog will start with journal entry #6, and I’ll be posting a short journal entry roughly half a page long each day. My hope is to generate interest and followers both for the blog and future time travel fiction available exclusively through the blog as well as larger works posted on Amazon. It should be live next week, so stay tuned.

I’ve also make substantial progress on my reading front. I’ve anchored a new goal to my morning routine. I kept with that routine every day to read 25 minutes. On average, I read twice that long daily and have finished about half of a new book, In Times Like These. I expect to have it completed by my next post.

For the audiobook, I finished Lifelong Writing Habit by Chris Fox. I listed to a ton a podcasts this week, 34 in total, including Eofire episodes 1477-1489 plus the bonus episode; MWF Motivation episodes 124-132, The True Performance Show by Zigler Episodes 433-438, The Skeptics Guide to the Universe Episodes 596-598, and Creative Writing Career Episodes 11/30/15 & the Book Goodman Episode.

In addition, the new place I went to was the Sony Open. You gotta love Hawaii. I met several new people while I was there. I also received replies for seven authors this week, bringing my total to #26. You can view my Twitter feed for pics. I’ve checked out several new applications, but my main focus will be on Aweber. My experiment with Mailchimp was a disaster, but that was my fault. I should have read the TOS more closely. Until next week, I’ve switched back over to Constant Contact, but I should have Aweber up and running once the new blog post is live. I’ll be using it to run integrated email lists on my Clickfunnels and Time Travel Diaries websites.

I’ve listed my current weeks routine and goals. Until next week, I’d love to hear your comments, so please don’t forget to post them. I do moderate the comments section, so there is usually a delay before they are live, so don’t let that discourage you. Have a great week!

Audiobook/s
completed
Lifelong Writing Habit by Chris Fox

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

Podcasts
Eofire episodes 1477-1489 & bonus episode
MWF Motivation episodes 124-132
The True Performance Show by Zigler Episodes 433-438
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe Episodes 596-598
Creative Writing Career Episodes 11/30/15 & the Book Goodman Episode.

Goals For the week of 1/15/17
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
 
 
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