Reading and Writing in 2014

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions for 2014?

If so, have you broken them yet?

If you have, give yourself a break and pick it up again tomorrow.

Reading and Writing

I have set a couple of goals and what you are seeing here is one of the results. My challenge – not really calling it a resolution – is really officially just for the first 31 days of the year but I hope, if I can persist for that long it will become a habit I can continue. If you are a regular visitor and reader here you will know how I fare in this endeavor.

A couple of authors I follow and happen to have a great deal of respect for invited their followers to participate with them in a couple of challenges to begin 2014 and I signed up for both. I believe they will complement each other but the proof will be in the execution.

30 Days of Hustle

First was Jon Acuff and his 30 Days of Hustle Challenge. This challenge has no specific subject or topic except for the hustle. For those near my age I suspect you have a song stuck in your head right now…sorry about that. The hustle can and should be unique for everyone who participates, although some will likely be similar, the requirement was only that it be your own goal.

My Hustle Goal is to read for two hours every day. Chances are I was already doing this but I am trying to be more intentional and read more books during these 2 hours and I am trying to time myself. I had a goal last year to read 25 books. I only read 21 but if I add the audio books I listened to that does put me over 25 at 27 so I did pretty well.

Reading for two hours is the WHAT of this goal. The WHY of this goal has many facets. I wanted my goal to be a positive goal and not a ‘NOT’ goal. If I do follow through with this one though a lot of positive NOTs will materialize.

First the positives

Reading is how I learn so I expect this to expand my knowledge and also give me new ideas to share here on my blog, as well as help me on my job and in my personal relationships. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “In five years you will be the same as you are today except for the books you read and the people you meet.” I don’t want to remain the same. I want to improve a little every day and be a much better person in five years. Reading is one activity that should help me accomplish that goal.

The Positive NOTs

Some of the positive NOTs reading for at least two hours a day will accomplish are NOT wasting time browsing the internet, Facebook and twitter, waiting for the next “You’ve got mail” notification, and NOT wasting time browsing channels on the TV trying to find something to watch, which would probably be a waste of time if I found something.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

My 500 Words

The second challenge I signed up for was started by Jeff Goins. If you have read some of my earlier posts (See A Peculiar Perspective Begins!) you would know that Jeff is the reason I call myself a writer.

This challenge was pretty simple, to write 500 words a day for 31 days. That is what I am doing now and if I continue should provide many posts for your reading pleasure or consternation during 2014.

I have no aspirations or goals to publish a new post every day as some bloggers do. I don’t think I have that much to say. However I do want to be more consistent in 2014 and publish on a more regular schedule instead of just randomly as I did last year. I would like to publish at least one new blog a week on the same day and then will sprinkle in others, probably regarding current issues, as they arise during the year.

Well, there you have my goals for the first 31 days of 2014. I think breaking the traditional New Year’s resolutions down into smaller units like this is a good approach to help them seem more achievable. My expectation is this approach will be better than just breaking New Year’s resolutions.

If the first month is successful then you can either continue, since you will have built a new habit, or come up with something totally new for the next month. Time will tell. As I said earlier, the proof will be in the execution.

Midway checkpoint

I wrote this several days ago as part of my 500 word challenge. Since I am publishing now at the halfway point I can report I am batting .733 for both reading and writing so far this month. If I was a baseball player I would be in the Hall of Fame.  I would like to be 100% but am not going to beat myself up about that. I have accomplished much more both reading and writing than I would have without these challenges. I have read three books so far this year and published three blog posts, counting this one, so my year is off to a good start. Starting today I plan to get back on track and finish January strong.

If I can do it anyone can do it so you can start today and finish January strong yourself. I hope you choose to do just that.

Whatever your goals are for 2014 I hope you are off to a good start and are able to achieve them and make this your best year yet.

If you like any of what you see here or it makes you think, which is one of my goals, enter your email address in the sidebar on the right and subscribe. If you do you will receive an email in your inbox whenever I publish a new blog. I know many of you see these when I share them on Facebook or twitter but if you subscribe then you will be sure to NOT miss a single publication, another positive NOT. Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time…

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The In-Between

The-In-Between-211x300I recently had the opportunity to read a new book by author Jeff Goins. Jeff is one of the reasons I am writing at all. He has encouraged me through his writing on the subject of writing and his blog at http://www.goinswriter.com. If you are a blog reader, and if you are reading this then I guess you are, take a look and see if his blog interests you. If you subscribe to his newsletter you can get a couple of free e-books too.

I pre-ordered The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing [A Spiritual Memoir]which allowed me to get a copy of the e-book early since the official release date is tomorrow so that is how I can review the book before it is released.

The premise of the book is revealed in the title. It is talking about the in-between times of life, where we spend most of our lives. Continue reading The In-Between