Tag Archives: Commit to 3

“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:



Personal Health in Body & Mind





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

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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Filed under Commit to 3, goals, Perseverance, procrastination

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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Filed under Commit to 3, goals

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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Filed under Commit to 3, goals

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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Filed under Commit to 3, goals, Little Things

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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Filed under Commit to 3

Commit to 3

Not only did I fall off the wagon (of my “Commit to 3”) I lost sight of the road!

But, back on track, one day at a time, right?

Commit to 3 for week of April 4

  1. Revise my Matrix to reflect the major plot /scene changes I made over the weekend
  2. Return call to parent who wants to register her daughter for Summer Studio
  3. Email my young writers w/Summer Studio details and update blog with this info
  4. Upload Carelink and print D3’s reports for dr’s appt (I know this makes 4 comitments but this must get done!)

Deadline: Sun, April 10

Salary: White Mocha Raspberry latte : ) my cousin recommended this drink

I’m curious…

What are you committing to this week?

Who or what keeps you on track and focused?


Filed under Advice, Commit to 3, Perseverance

Commit to 3: Back in the Saddle


OK, padres, I’m ready to jump back on the trail to accomplishing goals, 3 at a time.

And this week, they are:

Work out 3x this week

Rewrite diabetes essay

Write 3000 words for “Nova” novel

BONUS: Call Cricket re: rebate denial : (

Salary: Master Your Metabolism, Jillian Micheals

What are you committing to this week? Share!


Filed under goals

Commit to 3: When you’re OVER committed

Some weeks even 3 commitments prove too many.  Last week, for instance, and this week as well. It’s all I can do to just Get. Through. The. Week.  And that is what I’ll commit to this week.

Of course, I have to go to work everyday, cook dinner on my alternating nights, make school lunches, review homework, and finally prepare my last Super Saturday class – my young writer workshops.

Other than the “norm” I’m giving myself a pass. Some weeks, that’s just what we need. Anyone else feel this way?

This week:

 I commit to:

  1. Give myself a pass
  2. Get through the week
  3. Soak up the support all around me

My Salary:  Celebrate the end of another successful 5-week young writers’ workshop series by going out for a pizza lunch with my son, David.

Due: Saturday, 2/26


Filed under emotion, goals, Rest

Commit to 3: What will you accomplish this week?

{photo: Delaware Law Blog}I’m slightly past my deadline of Sunday with one more goal to finalize. 

How did you do? Do you find yourself finishing early? Or maybe, the goals are too big (i.e. time consuming, need cooperation from others to complete, etc.) If that’s stopping you, try breaking down the larger goals into finer steps.

For instance, my writing office is also in my bedroom and I have accumulated piles of books, notebooks, magazines, manuscripts, and teaching files and supplies in various areas of disarray. Instead of “pretending” I can take on the entire room in a week (along with all my other responsibilities) I took pictures of each of the 5 trouble spots, or zones, if you will. I am committing to sorting and organizing just 1 of those 5 this week. It is tempting to say I ‘ll just do it all at once, but I know myself. Sorting through paper piles makes my physically nauseous, and is certainly not something I look forward to after working 10+ hours in an office all day, making dinner and helping my kids with their homework. But 1 area, I can handle.

So, what do you want to focus on this week? Remember, only COMMIT to 3 tasks/goals. Make a longer list and keep it somewhere else, if you wish, but focus your time and energy on completing just these 3 things.

This week:

My Commitment to Me
I commit to:
1.  Workout 3 x this week
2.  Organize 1 of the 5 areas in my “office”
3.  Submit short story (Cruelty of Poetry or House of Good Intentions) to The Pedestal Magazine

My due date is:
_Sun. 2/13__
My salary is:
Purchase the $10 Desktop version of Write or Die

Copy and paste your “Commit to 3” in the comments. Let’s keep each other accountable – but realistic. And don’t forget to Pay YOURSELF!


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Filed under Advice, goals