My birthday is next week – September 23. And I’ll be spending it with a world-wide group of authors at my live-but-virtual event “Brew Your Book: Stop ‘Percolating’ on Your Message and FINALLY Write Your Book.”
This is really exciting to me. Since this is a VIRTUAL event, I totally could have adjusted the dates of the event so it didn’t fall on my birthday.
But I WANT to spend it with you. You can still come – register here.
I use my birthday as another opportunity to check in – where am I on track for what I want for my life? My faith? My family? My business? My health? My recreation? And this year, added back in after many years absence, my art?
This morning, on my walk, I had to mentor myself through the “I’m not doing enough” train of thought. I had to consciously and purposefully remind myself that I spent seven of the last twelve months healing, another three building up my strength, and was only able to do much for two!
Let me tell you, I really hate copouts. And all that sitting and healing REALLY felt like a copout.
To make matters worse, I felt like I was robbed of one of the last two years in my thirties. Because, yes, I turn 39 on Thursday.
So, enough whining about the time that was lost. I can’t un-ring that bell – it’s gone.
And, my darling fellow author, you can’t un-ring the time bell for any time you’ve spent in the last year that didn’t (couldn’t) bring you closer to your writing goals. What we CAN do is use these three tips to make the most of YOUR next trip around the sun.
1. Assess – and Let It Go
Let’s be REALLY honest here, most of us don’t look back over a longer period of time, like a year, and easily see our successes. It’s all too easy to only see where we “failed” – where we didn’t do what we wanted.
I do this too.
Unless you have documented evidence of what you did and didn’t “do” – then move straight to the second part of this tip:
Let it go.
Forgive yourself and anyone else, and move on.
Today, on my walk, I was beating myself up for the fact I hadn’t walked in a couple of days. The shoulda coulda wouldas were playing loud in my head. And then I stopped myself:
I was walking IN THAT MOMENT.
Let the past go, move on and enjoy the walk (writing time) that was in front of me.
2. Keep a Log – and Commit to It
In late 2014, I realized I needed a better way to navigate being full-time self-employed. I needed to be able to yes, keep track of my to do list, but also what habits were working and what wasn’t. I needed to be able to REALLY see my progress.
So I created a custom planner, using some really beautiful free downloaded templates. (I’ve been told I should sell this thing. But, it’s based off somebody else’s IP AND it’s so crazy-customized to ME I don’t know if anybody else would want it.)
I’ve used it every year since then. (Except for 2021 because it’s a BEAST to set up, print, and assemble and I JUST was too weak in January. I’ve missed it!)
Beyond tracking my daily to do list, I gave myself space for weekly and monthly checkins. Little boxes of “What Worked” and “What Didn’t” – plus space to journal. Frankly, I’d dash it off in 10 minutes or less every Monday morning. And maybe 15 minutes the first Monday morning of a the new month.
At that time, I’d also set my goals for the week ahead – using my check-in to see where I needed to make progress.
This SOUNDS fancy and complicated. It’s not – but more importantly IT WORKS FOR ME.
So what I want you to do is to keep a log of your writing – and commit to recording it. You don’t need a fancy planner or a special journal.
And what this log will DO for you is allow you to track actual progress – instead of your FEELING about your progress. I always found I was better than I thought, I did more than I remembered, and I took more steps to cultivate my goals than I knew.
3. Set a Goal – and Keep it Simple
I didn’t say SMALL! I said simple. Something you can jot down in a few words, on a SMALL scrap of paper. Something concrete and that lights you up and that you can visualize.
And then, write it down. Every day.
A mentor of mine says, “Millionaires write their goals down once a day; billionaires write theirs down twice a day.” (She teaches money mindset!)
But I decided to try it. (And no, actually, I don’t have a goal to be a millionaire!) I wanted to see what would happen if I wrote my goals down every single day. So for the last 90 days, I’ve been jotting my top three goals down every day.
Have I hit them yet?
No, actually. (One of them is to have 50 people at Brew Your Book and another is to enroll 10 new PERFECT VIP Mentorship clients; both of those are happily in progress.)
But by writing them down every single day, I have a moment to check in:
Do I still want that?
Did I take an action to create that today?
CAN I take an action to create that today?
What can I do next to create that?
And I’m LOVING how I feel about it. It keeps my eye on the prize and what I want front and center. Three goals aren’t overwhelming and I’m NOT forward-looking yet to what my goals are AFTER the event. I’ll assess on September 24.
(Okay, I won’t actually do it ON September 24 because I’ll be in a post-event snuggle fest with my babies. But it’ll happen before October 1)
While this process is tailored to your goals for your book, you can apply it to any area in your life!
And since your birthday probably isn’t in the next eight days, before the start of “Brew Your Book” I want to take this moment to invite you to reset your year NOW – and join us for the event.
You don’t need an excuse – or birthday – to take a step to bring your book into reality and to FINALLY write it. That step is joining myself and fifty authors from around the world for three powerful days. Because while you are the only one who CAN write your book, you don’t have to do it alone.
Register before September 16 to receive a printed coursebook in the mail AND a special pre-event workshop. Registration closes completely on September 20, 2021.