I love May. It is a BEAUTIFUL time of year in Northwest Ohio. The evenings are still cool but the sun is warm. It is during this time of year that my business picks up, but my desire to work goes down. For those of us living in the north, the beautiful wreathing is counted in days rather than months. It can sometimes be hard to force yourself to sit behind the desk. That is why I wanted to share with you 6 success keys that I’ve used to maintain successful behaviors throughout the year [even when I want to play hookey!]
Follow up- Each day follow up with someone or something. In the early days of your writing this may be nothing more than following up with your crit partner or following up on your research for the new blog, but either way make sure you spend time each day following up on things. When you do, check it off your list.
Follow through- We make all kinds of commitments without thinking about the consequences. It is easy to make promises; it is hard to follow through. Each day find something on your commitment list and follow through on it. Did you promise yourself to edit 12 pages of your manuscript? Do it. Is there a query letter you’re afraid to send? Follow through. Did you decide to exercise 15 minutes a day or walk around the block, or speak kindly to your kids, or spend time in prayer. Follow through. When you do, check it off your list.
Be consistent- It used to says on shampoo bottles to lather, rinse, repeat. My grandma would say you washed your hair twice, “Once to get the dirt out and once to get it clean.” Seems redundant to me, but oh well. The point is to do things the same way each time and be consistent. Create a routine for yourself. Create reasonable goals. You don’t have to be predictable [I eat the EXACT same thing for breakfast every morning and have for 4 months], but you do have to have a routine so things aren’t missed and so your brain is ready for action. Another word for this is RELIABLE. Be someone a person can count on. When you do, check it off your list. [consistently]
Be accountable- I’d like to add, “To another person”. We have a way of conning ourselves and convincing ourselves WHY we weren’t able to do something, but when we make up stupid excuses over and over to other people they will—hopefully—call you on them. You need to let someone you KNOW and TRUST know what your goals are. Then you need to let them see the list you’ve been checking off. After you’ve done that, have them check it off. [or you can, in the name of consistency. Wink.]
Be forgiving- You won’t make it every time. People will let you down. Your spouse may have to bail on the last minute and you’re stuck running the kids everywhere. In all of these circumstances, be forgiving. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that they become a habit, instead it means recognizing that the ideal isn’t always reality and not allowing that to cause division and strife. Show mercy.
Be done- Know that you need to have a beginning and an end to each project. When God created the universe the created evening and morning. A starting and an ending point. He is eternal and he could have made us like plants that are eternally ‘doing their thing’. However, God himself created DAYS and he did specific things on specific days, and then He rested. Do what needs to be done. Do what is reasonable to be done. And then be done.
Success isn’t a mystery. It isn’t a winning lottery number. It isn’t the man working himself to an ulcer at 32. It’s not a woman going to the ER with chest pain at 36. It is the person doing daily, reasonable, consistent tasks over time, again-and-again. Start making those check sheets now. Start recording what you’re doing. Check those 6 things off of your to-do list, then go outside. Rest. And live a life of all-around success.
Your Coach for the Journey,
Tiffany Colter, Writing Career Coach
If you have any questions on the book list or you would like to suggest some great books to read, contact use through our website at WritingCareerCoach.com.
— Tiffany Colter, Writing