Category Archives: Commit to 3

Part 3 in the 3-part series to Stop the Chaos

A Recap…

Step One:  Set Your Top 5 Life Priorities: in each area of your life, take stock in whom and what is important to you and fills your soul. Click here to see mine, as an example.

Step Two:  Write down Your Top 10 Goals: Specific Details on what you’d like to accomplish; measurable and with a deadline; that align with your Life Priorities.  Click here to see mine, as an example.

Today, we tackle > >

Step Three:  The Motherlode List: a long, ever-changing list of mini action steps for each of Your Top 10 Goals.

The Motherlode List is a big, hairy, time-consuming step, but absolutely necessary if you want to see results.  How else will you achieve each of those Goals to live the life according to your Priorities? Planning and Action!

The Action Steps on my Motherlode list would be…

 What I need to do and How I’m going to do it

Look at your goals. Some may require a bit of research first. Say, your goal is to publish your novel by x date. How are you going to get there? Well, of course you need to start with the obvious – have a finished novel : )

  1. Write novel
  2. Revise novel
  3. Woo beta readers with chocolate and get their feedback
  4. Revise novel again
  5. Subscribe to agentquery.com or similar Literary Agent search / book
  6. Research blogs, websites and Twitter feeds of authors you admire, and then their agents!
  7. Begin marketing your book
  8. Write Query letter
  9. Revise Query letter
  10. Send Query letter
  11. Continue marketing your book
  12. Upon inquiry, send manuscript – or sample chapters and/or synopsis to agent
  13. Sign book deal : )
  14. Start another round of revisions
  15. Continue marketing your book, go on tour, and make appearances
  16. Begin next novel

These Action Steps are just a rough outline and will be different for everyone.

Since most of these are a big action step in themselves, you’d break it down even further – into mini action steps and set a deadline for each mini action step.

For example, if you’re on the step Woo beta readers with chocolate and get their feedback, you’d probably  …

  • Start by identifying your readership.
  • Next, determine if anyone in your circle of friends or colleagues fit the bill
  • Then, decide of those above, whose opinion do you value? Are they avid readers of your genre? Do they have writing and /or editing skills? Would they provide constructive criticism?
  • Next, reach out to your selected beta readers: ask if they’d be willing to read and provide feedback on your novel. Consider your time line and ask if can they deliver feedback within that frame. (Offer chocolate in form of payment!)
  • Know what kind of feedback you are looking for. Character development? Plot holes? Verb usage, etc.?
  • Send ms in a format they prefer to read – pdf or hard copy, entire book or one chapter at a time, etc.

Get the idea?

Currently, my Motherlode List has 76 Action Steps! Yikes! Quite overwhelming. 

Except, as I review my Top Priorities daily I focus my energy like a laser beam, not a flood light. From my Motherlode List, I’ve prioritized deadlines by this week, this month, this quarter, this year.

Then I take it one week at a time, sometimes broken down by day. That’s it. I’m not looking ahead, I’m not getting buried. Yes, I struggle with distractions, I just have to keep my “eye on the prize!”

You’re up!

Instructions for you: Each week, review your Motherlode List, comparing it to your weekly calendar of commitments. Survey your available time or time you can make for your goals: ) Write down the action steps you can take this week. Feel the exhilaration of crossing.off.each.step. Slowly, you will conquer the chaos!

Don’t let me sweat it alone – share your progress with me!

**If you would like to see my Action List for my #1 Priority of Getting to and Maintaining a healthy size 4, SUBSCRIBE to this blog, and then respond here in the comments! I will email it to you! (Current subscribers, just drop me a line below!)

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Filed under Advice, Believe, Commit to 3, Deadlines, Inspiration, Organization, Perseverance, procrastination, writers

Part 2 in the 3-part series to Stop the Chaos

Have you completed your Top 5 Priorities for Life? Heavy stuff, right? Good! It should be! Now, armed with our Top 5 Priorities list, let’s set some measurable, realistic goals that will help us achieve that dream lifestyle. Remember, these goals must align with our Priorities, otherwise we may end up with 10 ways to make more money, but forget that we also wanted to build intimacy in our relationships or learn to laugh at ourselves.

State your Priority

Let’s take an easy one from my list yesterday, which happens to be my #1 priority:

Reach and maintain a healthy size 4, while toning and defining all-over.

Find Your “Why”

Why is this priority important to me? Because losing weight, toning up and gaining energy will help me achieve the long-term goals I have and give me the added confidence I need to make some big life changes.

Your WHY is very important – it would benefit you to Write. This. Down. And refer to it often.

Make it Measurable

Well, it’s nice to have a goal weight – but I need to give it a deadline. A reasonable weight loss is about 2lbs per week. So, let’s say I want to lose 10 lbs by Aug 7 and fit a size 6. That would be my goal, it states the “what”  and the “by when.”

Now I need 9 more that align with my *Priorities.

Drop and give me 10!

Currently, these are my Top 10 Goals (NOTE: These will be reviewed and renewed every 4 weeks, so don’t stress about what to include on your list):

  1. By August 7, I want to have lost 10 lbs and be a size 6. {Life Priority #1}
  2. Earn $______ by Feb 28, 2012 through teaching writing workshops. {Life Priority #3}
  3. Earn $_______by April 1, 2012 through teacher workshops and speaking engagements. {Life Priority #3}
  4. Have Half Moon Bay Resort novel ready to query to agents by January 1, 2012. {Life Priority #3}
  5. By November 1, have our bedroom de-cluttered, repainted and my office area streamlined to promote focus and creativity. {Life Priority #2}
  6. Save $____ per month, so we can take a family beach vacation in December. {Life Priority #5}
  7. Stay true to my weekly planning and prepping nutrition. {Life Priority #1}
  8. Train to walk in the JDRF 5k on Oct 2, 2011. {Life Priority #4}
  9. By July 15, have hall and front closets cleaned out and repurposed. {Life Priority #2}
  10. By August 1, have the boys’ bedroom de-cluttered and organized into “zones” they can maintain to simplify their space and promote creativity and peace. {Life Priority #2}

I’m curious to see what you guys have on your Top 10 List of Goals – and your Top 5 Priorities. Please share with us!

*What happens when something on your Priority list is so far-off, you don’t know where to begin to reach it? Come back tomorrow when we’ll  talk about all the baby steps that lead up to the Big Goals. It’s the Motherlode List…

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Filed under Advice, Believe, Commit to 3, goals, Inspiration, Perseverance, writers

“Magic is believing in yourself…”

“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~ 1749-1832, Poet, Novelist and Philosopher

 

When a process doesn’t work, you need to break it down and see where the fault line lies. I’ve been struggling with the “Commit to 3” practice. No kidding, right? I’m sure you can tell from my sporadic Monday postings.

So, let’s break it down: Am I  procrastinating because I just dread the things on my to-do list? Maybe a little, but some tasks are fun, like writing a new fight scene for my YA novel.  Maybe this is just another trait of being an ACOA – resisting authority – even if it’s by my own authority. That is very possible. {More on ACOA traits later; because it is a central theme in my novel.} Maybe these to-do’s aren’t very important on a daily or weekly basis and other, more pressing tasks take priority. Bingo!

I wasn’t scheduling to-do’s based on my overall goals. So, what are my overall goals?

With the help of my new Personal Trainer, Dani (check her out – she’s AWESOME!!), I discovered that I needed to write down my PRIORITIES for life, first. Or else fall into the chaos of mile long to-do lists with no real purpose.

Wanna do this together? Let’s go!

Step One: List your Top 5 Priorities for your LIFE . For example, look at each life category and list who/what is truly important to you and your happiness/fulfillment. Really give this some thought:

Family/Friends

Job/Career

Personal Health in Body & Mind

Spirituality/Humanitarianism

Finance

Home/Travel

 

Step Two: write down specific visions for your selected categories, what the ideal looks like to you. Use details. See my examples, below. (You may have several in one category and none in others, that’s fine – these are your priorities! )

Side Note: Don’t feel guilty if your list is heavy in the “you” category. Remember, when you are happy and well-balanced, you bring rewards to all areas and people in your life. I know that by reaching and maintaining a healthy weight will give me the energy and confidence I need to go after those other goals!

After several drafts, here is my final version:

My Top 5 Priorities for Life

  1. Reach and maintain a healthy size 4, with toned definition all-over.
  2. Have a home that is simplified and uncluttered, which will inspire creativity and be a safe haven for my family.
  3. Earn my full-time income and benefits through writing books, teaching workshops, speaking at events and having multiple streams of income (on-line platform? Rental space?)
  4. Have inner peace and balance, living in the present so I can be a supportive wife and mom.
  5. Financially secure with a healthy retirement savings and college funds for both boys, at the same time able to vacation four times/year.

What are yours? Share them here!!

Tomorrow, we’ll look at setting your Top 10 Goals, and how to make sure they align with your Top Priorities.

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Filed under Advice, Believe, Commit to 3, goals, Organization, procrastination, writers

commit to 3

First, Accountability…

Last week I committed to:

  1. Bake cookies for teachers of KidsClub (deliver Wednesday) – decided against this, since the tray of cookies would be clamored up by 1st-4th graders and that wouldn’t help anyone!
  2. Complete Exercises from Ch 1 of Beginnings, Middles & Ends by Nancy Kress (use as Reader Wednesdays post in the future.) complete! (mostly)
  3. Phone call with (possible) new personal trainer – learn about her plan and rates – make decision (excited, scared!) complete! I’ve signed up for Team Beachbody on-line and will begin my personal training a week from today. Very excited to finally have direction – and accountability!

Salary:  2 hrs of uninterrupted reading time on Sunday (to catch up on FREE ebooks & workbooks  by Jonathon Mead) Instead, I rewarded myself with 2 solid hours of reading Jillian Michaels’ Unlimited. Fantastic book – highly recommended

How did you do last week? Complete the 3 goals you set for yourself?

This week, I commit to:

  1. Read & provide feedback on crit partner’s 1st chapter & send her latest version of my novel’s Ch 1
  2. 100 crunches 6x and 30 min walk after dinner 5x
  3. Review notes on novel-in-progress, write next scene

Salary:  Practice Lesson 1 of Rosetta Stone- Italian (library loan)

Baby steps, just pick 3. Share them here for accountability. (ha, I’m a poet!)

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Commit to 3

I started this weekly series a few months back, with the intention of motivating myself and others. The purpose was to have that One Big Goal in mind and chip away at all the necessary steps in reaching that Goal, while maintaining the other “necessities of life.”  Commit to 3, i.e. baby steps.

Well, I’ve been slacking in the commitment department, at least in the posting and focusing of those commitments.  I apologize if I let my readers down.  Going forward, my promise to you (and myself) is to post my Top 3 Commitments each Monday. You can help me, by posting your goals, too. And if you don’t see the “Commit to 3”  post every Monday(by dinner time), I give you permission to email me and ask “What’s up, Mary Jo? What are you committing to this week?!” mjcwriter”at”comcast”dot”com

So, from my list, I’m going to choose only 3 items that MUST be completed this week. I challenge you to do the same! Oh, and don’t forget your “Salary.”  

*BONUS CHALLENGE: Make 2 of the 3  goals for YOU only(not your kids, spouse, friends, etc.)

This week I commit to 3:

  1. Bake cookies for teachers of KidsClub (deliver Wednesday)
  2. Complete Exercises from Ch 1 of Beginnings, Middles & Ends by Nancy Kress (use as Reader Wednesdays post in the future.)
  3. Phone call with (possible) new personal trainer – learn about her plan and rates – make decision (excited, scared!)

Salary:  2 hrs of uninterrupted reading time on Sunday (to catch up on FREE ebooks & workbooks  by Jonathon Mead)

As you’re creating your Commit to 3 list, keep this in mind:

“One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do.”

Earl Nightingale
1921-1989, Author and Speaker

So, how are you pushing yourself towards your goals? Make your list, commit to it, post it in the comments so we can keep each other accountable! Go!

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5 prompt Friday

         Here we go again…

  1. The empty feeling in my stomach spread to my chest and head, threatening to pull me inside out.
  2. How do I say this to you?
  3. On her wrist was a bracelet made from multi-colored paperclips.
  4. His voice crackled through the walkie-talkie, “The Eagle Has Landed.”
  5. Are you ready to do this?

Have a story or prompt to share? Post it here : ) Happy writing!


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Commit to 3: Do-Over!

Setting Goals is step one. Completing those goals is step two. But what happens if you never make it to step two? Chuck your plans out the window? Weep into a bowl of cookie dough ice cream? Pull your blinds down, unplug your phone/internet and become a mole?

No, you get back up, set new goals or trace back your steps –  how did you veer off course? Was it someone or some event that sideswiped your plans? Perhaps that someone was you.

Well, last week, that someone was me. I had a crazy-busy week of overtime at the office, shopping, cooking, blogging, emailing and yes, Tweeting on Twitter. But I’m not going postal and I’m not burying myself in a bowl of ice cream or darkness. I know I was in a sour mood most of last week, too overwhelmed and distracted, then full of excuses on why I couldn’t or didn’t get any of my 3 goals completed.

It’s OK. The world didn’t spin off its orbit (surprisingly!) and no kids or animals were hurt in the wake of my foul attitude.

I declare a Do-Over!

This week:

  1. Follow up on guest blog opportunity for my local news paper : )
  2. Email my students asking for fiction/poetry/essay submissions
  3. Revise Ch 1 and send to my crit partners
  4. Get up and do Ripped in 30 DVD every morning: Mon-Fri

Salary:  buy a pretty hanging plant for my patio

Got goals? Share them with us. If you write them down, you’re that much closer to accompishing them!

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Commit to 3 (goals)

 Last week:

  • Get up early to circuit train 4x – FAIL (though my 12-yr-old says no one over age 20 can use that term. To what I answer “What-EVER!”)
  • Send Summer Studio announcement via email (DONE!) AND contact two local publications for advertisement (NOT done!)
  • Find an exercise in Revising & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell to apply to Half Moon Bay novel- yes! Will post in a  future Reader Wednesday

 How did you guys do?

This week, deadline: 5/1/11

  1. Revise chapter 1 so I can send to my 3 new crit partners! Yay!
  2. Decide on our Wyoming trip and book it!
  3. Send email to my students announcing opportunity to guest post

Salary: haircut & color by Figen ; ) (already made the appt, should I post a pic when it’s done??)

What’s on your commit to 3 list this week?

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Commit to 3 (goals)

I’m back, baby!

I completed my circuit training 3x this week and worked on my novel’s Matrix revisions, though that is still in progress, plus, I responded to a parent regarding my Summer Writing studio, though I still need to send an announcement to my entire young writer email list.

I changed my salary and instead of a pedicure bought: Revising & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell and Italian Phrasebook by LonelyPlanet (for my novel!)

How did you guys do last week?

This week, I commit to:

  1. Get up early to circuit train 4x
  2. Send Summer Studio announcement via email AND contact two local publications for advertisement
  3. Find an exercise in Revising & Self-Editing to apply to Half Moon Bay novel

My Salary:  Two hours of uninterrupted writing time on Saturday morning at the library. *happy dance*

What’s on your plate this week? You’d be surprised what you can accomplish just by writing it down!

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commit to 3

As of Saturday night’s writing of this post, I have completed approximately ZERO of my 3 little goals for the week. Considering tomorrow is laundry, chores, grocery shopping day in our house, I’m expecting I’ll complete 0 more. Sigh.

How are you guys doing with this? I’m not sure if writing down my goals keeps me focused and I’m just a little rebel ignoring my to-do’s or if it’s just a constant reminder of things I’ll never get to – a guilt list. If it’s the latter – why? Don’t I respect myself and my personal goals enough to make the time to complete them? If it’s the former, what am I rebelling against? Myself? That’s absurd. Or maybe, my own happiness? Huh.

Well, zilch done should equal no pay, but as the rules say, even government officials who run the country into the ground still get a paycheck every two weeks. By this logic, I should collect my White Mocha Raspberry latte, however, I’m just not that kind of girl.

 

 

 

 

Week of April 10:

I commit to:

  1. Revising my novel’s matrix
  2. Email my students with info on the Summer Writing Studio
  3. Wake up early 3x this week to do my circuit training

Salary:  a pedicure : )

What’s on your list of 3? Any tips to kick my butt in gear? I reciprocate butt-kicking ; )

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