July 31, 2018
I pulled into the driveway and as if there was a silent whistle to signal my homecoming, my 2 guys appeared walking towards my now parked car. Within 5 minutes, my husband and son had the weeks’ worth of groceries unloaded and put away because cold things don’t stay very cold in the hot Florida summer. It was 4 pm and dinner was next on the menu. I pulled my paper off the fridge I’d outlined with this week’s menu and started pulling out the evening meal ingredients. Although this routine takes a little time and planning, we cook nearly all meals at home, from scratch, because it is cheaper, healthier, and gives us family-time.
We made a choice.
Habits. Routines. We choose them; we create them out of necessity and desire.
If you want to add something new, like writing, to your daily routine, you want to take a hard look at your activities and habits. Maybe your goal to write your book has been pushed aside by other pressing issues. It has been a shelved dream for far too long. Lately it’s been nagging at you, so you revisit this dream and the 1st thing that springs to mind is time.
Your day is full and you don’t have time. It’s an auto-response and an excuse, “I don’t have time for that!”
Yes you do.
In fact, “You make room in your schedule for things that are most important to you!”
Let’s do a little exercise:
I am going to help you uncover some gold. Are you ready?
Pull out your calendar or print one off a 2 week cycle that is broken out by 15 minute increments. Over the next 2 weeks track all your time. Be real and authentic just as if you were tracking calories or carbs!
That exercise can be an eye-opener!
Now that you have that 2 week calendar filled out and in front of you, grab some colored highlighters. In your 1st color mark your actual work and sleep times. Those are firm commitments. Mark any other firm commitments that are 100% can’t miss.
I read that nearly 50% of our day is lived by habit. Much of this habit is autopilot, just moving through the motions of been here and done that so many times you don’t have to think about it. Laundry and commuting are easy to identify auto-pilot parts of our day.
Grab your 2nd color, highlight your auto-pilot activities such as morning grooming and commuting.
Next color, highlight those fuzzy times you may be distracted too long on social media or other non-essential activities.
This next part is going to be fun. Take a few moments to close your eyes and think about your book. Why are you writing it? Is it just for you? Is it for people who are experiencing something that you can help them with? Is it to launch or boost your career or business? The result of writing your book has to be worth the investment of time and money for you to make the effort to add it to your schedule and complete it.
Now that you revisited the value of your book, Take 2 highlighters, maybe green for GO and pink for STOP.
THINK: This is your life, every time decision is yours to make, you have the authority, and it’s your schedule!
What can you stop doing, certain activities, for a short time, “to give them up” so you can “get” that book finished? Highlight those areas. Trade a TV show out, trade your lunch hour, wake up 30 minutes earlier, you get the picture!
Finally, with the green highlighter, mark where you can have 30 minutes to write your book. You can see the little pockets of “found” time.
Commit to 30 minutes a day at 500-1000 words a day and your book will be completed in weeks. Your dream is realized by giving somethings up temporarily to get something worthwhile, your book! Whooo Hooo!
The gains don’t stop there either. The things you will learn and discover while writing your book, increases your personal growth! The research, the organizing and the achieving your goals will have you a wiser person after your book is published! Anytime you chase and achieve a big dream and goal, you learn and grow your skills and mindset! You’ll be looking for the next goal to accomplish! It's habit forming, pun intended!
Consistency! The unsexy, #1 secret to your success is in your daily activities.
When you bring home a weeks’ worth of groceries, you don’t cook them all up and eat the entire 2 weeks’ worth of groceries in one meal do you? No that’s silly. You feed yourself each day. You sit to write each day, and by consistently creating that habit, your subconscious is prepared and ready, your day feels incomplete without doing that activity. No one writes a book in a couple sittings. Every successful author will tell you they have a daily writing routine.
The author of over 100 books and Amazon top bestseller, John C Maxwell tells us his routine starts early in the morning before everyone rises, he is up writing. He’ll get in several hours before his other activities start for the day. He pointed out he was not always so good at writing, but by practicing every day, day after day, week after week, year after year, being consistent has polished his skills and developed his talent.
If you want significant progress in mastery, look no further than adopting what the successful people do in the arena for which you chase success in!
John Maxwell says in his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Law #3- The Law of the Process: Leadership develops daily, not in a day. The same is said for skills and talent. No one becomes an overnight success overnight, unless “overnight” means several years.
We all have choices on how to spend our day. You plan to be successful. Invest daily in your writing and writing your book daily and your effort will start to compound rather quickly!
Everyone wants Thanksgiving tasting results with microwave speed. Unless you like rubber Turkey, stick to a daily process, a habit, be consistent, and you’ll successfully complete that dream of becoming a published author in no time!!
By Michele Lewis
“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” - Steve Mariboli
There is nothing more frustrating than to have a dream and watch it fade away year after year. I have a family member that has dreamt of moving from his current state that has a great deal of rain and clouds, to a sunny state that is more desert like. That was 35 years ago. Today, he is still in the wet, cloudy state and still wishing he had done something. He feels now he is too old to move. Too old to make a change. His dream is just a regret now.
I had a dream to write a book. It was eight years ago. I started and stopped more times than I can remember. Each time I got more and more discouraged that it would never happen.
Maybe you have heard the phrase, 'nothing changes if nothing changes'? Well it's true. I may have started writing my book, but each time I stopped at the same unchanged place; not knowing how to do it and not knowing what to do once I did do it. Nothing changed every time.
Until one day I said, I'm going to get this book done. So I started again and this go around, something did change. I got more words written. I deduced that if I just wrote, the rest would come. I instead had a new stuck point. I didn't know how to write a book. I didn't know the first thing for how to become a published author. I didn't know how to edit a book. I didn't know how to self-publish a book. So I panicked and stopped. What I didn't know is that I was one step closer because I did something different. It may not have been the end all fix all step but it was different.
Then after months of frustration and my book nagging at me to be written, I said "ENOUGH". I was tired of staying stuck. So I researched and began writing again. 97 days later I not only finished the book but it was published. My book was a best seller in 3 days.
“Quitting is never an option on the road to success. Find the way forward. If you have a positive mindset and are willing to persevere, there is little that is beyond your reach. The attitude of being ready to work even in the face of challenges and despite odds is what will make all the difference in your life.”- Roopleen
Perhaps you are like me. Always wanting to write a book but something has kept you stuck. The way forward is, well, forward. Nothing changes if nothing changes. You can do it. Your book is screaming to get out of you. Don't be that person who is in their last days of life, wishing they would have written that book. Taken that leap. Believed enough.
Write that book. Start it today. If you get stuck, start again. If you need help. Ask. Just. Don't. Give. Up
Barb Avery is a creator. Whether entrepreneurial or artsy, her mind is always working, solving, thinking, discovering or innovating. She hopes to leave your day a little brighter with her musings.
Michele Lewis is