So I finally got back on the wagon and organized my Goals and Activities for getting my act together. The impetus was the email in my Feeds folder from Charlie at Productive Flourishing, alerting me that the “Planners for August” were ready. Well now. I had completely forgotten about these (don’t ask me how!) while I was slaving away working at the Tavern. Because I was effectively doing two to two-and-a-half jobs there, well, there was no effective planning, just list-making and seat-of-the-pants management.

In addition, once May rolled around this year, I got bumped off track. Quitting smoking put me in the dumps for a while so I just did the things that needed doing in that old, familiar, reactive way. Oh, where was I?

August 1st was a Wednesday, and it happened to be Laundry Day, and here was this email letting me know that I had not yet done any planning for August. Since I had an hour or so of enforced “down-time” while our clothes were sloshing or spinning around that seemed like a good time to invest in planning. Plus it gave me a reason to bring some notebooks and pens and markers to the Laundromat and look like a Creative Type Guy Doing Something Interesting. I do love my Circa notebooks from Levenger. I keep a 5.5″ x 8.5″ notebook with monthly divider pages for plotting out my goals and activities for each month, and there are tabs at the end for the long-term goals. I haven’t looked at it in a while because I have discipline problems, but, there it is.

Oh, and here is a handy reminder: one of my “Motivators” for this year was to “Start less things so that you can finish more.” Practice what you preach, Stephen, practice what you preach. Indeed. I wish I was as good as Dave Seah is about this sort of thing. He’d probably have 1,000 words cranked out by now. And they would be more interesting. Oh, well, you get me.

So, to return to the focus and get on with the review. I took a look at the Goals and stuff in that notebook that I had written back at the end of 02011 and pruned them. Start less, finish more. Same story with the quarterly stuff for the remaining months of 02012.

Orienteering – Where Am I Right Now

My little marketing company is growing, and that is taking more time, so I have less time for doing the writing. The writing that kinda is the marketing for the company. Apparently it is working because I have been invited to participate in Brad Shorr’s new project at B2B Insights. So there is another writing demand:

  • Weekly column for B2B Insights
  • Weekly Letter for Premium Content Subscribers
  • Weekly Digest for Accountability Community
  • Assorted commentary and content curation for the In Context Blog
  • the fricking novel that keeps getting pushed aside like a red-headed stepchild *
  • Social Media presentation projects **

I also know that it is working because Money is coming in from clients, publishing the e-books and from advertising on the various sites. So that is good. No, I am not going to share that info.

My hobby projects are getting organized as well. There are about 160 model soldiers that have been collected and sorted and put into their little units, plus a couple of tank kit-bashes, two walkers and two APCs to be constructed. I used to play games on Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons, but the store where we were getting together is closing. So I believe I have found a replacement for the Saturday afternoon games, and I will make Thursday evening for painting and model building.

Reading. I don’t seem to have the time for reading that I used to. Perhaps it’s just that nothing is really grabbing me right now. I am working on “Hemingway’s Boat” and “Lincoln at Gettysburg” right now.

I am doing steady with exercise and diet, my weight is steady at 218-220 pounds. The goal was 200 by the Fourth of July – again, quitting smoking put the ka-bosh on that! I was actually up to about 226 or so. I need to make another significant change to break through this plateau. It does not help that I have not been able to get out and run this week because my Achilles tendon is sore. I do not need an injury.

The Vision

Now let’s zoom out and take a look at where I want to be in three to five years:

  • Two complete novels written and published
  • Location-independent work and lifestyle
  • Healthy weight and disciplined exercise regime

To get to that point I am going to need to accomplish some specific things first. In the next one to two years:

  • Write and publish one of those novels
  • Write and publish my cookbook
  • Sell off or turn over management of the marketing business
  • Buy an RV or travel trailer
  • Maintain healthy weight and disciplined exercise regime

Okay, so now we have a better understanding of the end points. How to we get there? Over the course of the next six months to one year:

  • Complete the 6-volume set of Work.Smarter! and publish for Kindle
  • Complete the first draft of the first novel
  • Get that novel edited and corrected
  • Build out the marketing business into Vermont and Maine
  • Achieve healthy weight of 200 pounds and maintain disciplined exercise regime
  • Be able to run 20 miles without stopping

Those are nice and specific. Yes they are. And there happen to be a lot less things in that list than there were eight months ago. Which was definitely part of the problem. Another part was that the marketing business development took a LOT longer than I anticipated. Ugh.

It’s Nose to the Grindstone Time

There are just under five months left in this year. In order to be able to complete the goals I have listed above it is time to create some specific action plans. Which I did last week and have already had to adjust. Har.

Here is the list of goals for Q3:

  • 20 members signed up for marketing business by 30 Sept
    • 10 sign ups in August
    • 10 sign ups in September
    • Initiate second community site by 30 September
  • Edit and publish Work.Smarter! volume two by 31 August
  • Write 20,000 words for draft of novel by 31 August
  • Write and produce slides for Blogging for Business presentation by 31 August ***
    • [Note: If there are going to be presentations in other towns, then the marketing business websites for each need to be prepped and online with draft content before the seminar series begins]
  • Write 30,000 words for draft of novel by 30 Sept
  • Scheduled writing projects:
    • Weekly column for B2B Insights – 7 columns by 27 Sept
    • Weekly Letter for Premium Content Subscribers – 7 letters by 25 Sept
    • Weekly Digest for Accountability Community – 7 digests by 26 Sept
    • Assorted commentary and content curation for the In Context Blog
    • Friday Morning Zen – 7 posts by 29 Sept
  • 10% of all business revenue into savings account
  • Maintain exercise program – core / arms & shoulders / 40 mins of walking & running five times per week through 31 August. Extend to 50 mins of walking & running in September
  • Complete painting/modeling work on IG Tallarn characters and special units, Angels of Purgatory Space Marines, and Basilisk and Leman Russ Vanquisher tanks by 31 August
  • Complete painting/modeling work on Krieg IG infantry platoons, Sentinel walkers and APCs by 30 September

So there you have it, Q3 in all of its glory. Q4 will contain a few additional items but basically a very similar list. It also makes the assumption that the marketing business will be providing enough revenue to add a part-time person to help me in running it.

Here is the draft list of goals for Q4:

  • Three more communities set up to be served by the marketing business (for a total of 5) by 31 Dec
  • 30 members signed up for marketing business by 31 Oct
    • 10 sign ups for each of the three communities served
    • 40 sign ups in November – 10 signups in each of four communities served
    • 50 sign ups in December – 10 each in the five communities served
  • Edit and publish Work.Smarter! volume three by 31 October
  • Write 20,000 words for draft of novel by 31 October (for a grand total of 70,000) prepare conclusion and recruit editor
  • Write and produce scripts for Blogging for Business video courses, based on September Presentation by 30 November
  • Begin re-writes for novel, complete by 31 Dec
  • Scheduled writing projects:
    • Weekly column for B2B Insights – 13 columns by 27 Dec
    • Weekly Letter for Premium Content Subscribers – 13 letters by 25 Dec
    • Weekly Digest for Accountability Community -13 digests by 26 Dec
    • Assorted commentary and content curation for the In Context Blog
    • Friday Morning Zen – 13 posts by 29 Dec
  • 10% of all business revenue into savings account
  • Maintain exercise program – core / arms & shoulders / 50 mins of walking & running five times per week through November (depending on the weather, when it starts to snow then it’s cross-country trail time)
  • Complete painting/modeling work on Chaos Space Marines by 31 Dec

This information is here for you to review, it has also been pasted into Evernote so that I can access it anywhere and make edits, etc.

Let’s pray together for some discipline and focus.

* I started the novel as part of NaNoWriMo in November 02011. Almost a year has passed. It’s not done.

** These projects got dumped because of Facebook’s Timeline, that took away most of the content for the Facebook preso that was almost done. And the Chamber didn’t really want to participate/help out/schedule tightly focused seminars.

*** I have partnered with WEDCo to produce a series of presentations starting in September! In Wolfeboro, possibly in Farmington and on the other side of the lake!!

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