Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ideas On Success by Wendy VanHatten

Here is a series of posts that I put together that Wendy VanHatten published a short time ago. Worth a second look all in one place.

Take a Break

For the next few blog posts I am talking about success and what it can mean to you and for you.
Ever have one of those days where nothing seems to go right? Maybe you feel like you are not accomplishing what you set out to do.

Take a break. That’s right. Forget about work for a while and go do something you love. It might take you a few minutes, several hours, or even a whole day. Walk around the block to clear your head. Read a book in the sun. If time permits, watch a movie. Or head to the nearest coffee shop and indulge in your favorite cup of coffee.
You will be surprised how much stronger and how much more focused you will be the next day. Your success level will be raised, your sense of purpose will be heightened, and your mind will be clearer.

How do I know this? Because, I’ve done it. It works. Try it.

Love What You Do 
Do you enjoy…really enjoy what you do? Do you love it?

Your success depends on it. I mean, think about it. If you view your day as drudgery, how exciting is that?
As a writer, I love writing and working with other authors. That is the key for me. My focus is my life as a writer. It isn’t work for me. It’s fun.

My latest book just came out, “When the Cat Speaks…Listen; A Purrr-fectly Good Way to Enjoy Life”. Everything in that book came from watching my cats. And no one knows how to enjoy life more than a pampered cat. Watch them.
My next book, “My Life the Sequel; A Girlfriend’s Guide to Personal Success” is due out in a couple of weeks. A friend and I co-wrote a book about women, working, raising kids, being a solopreneur, and surviving it all.

So…focus on what it is you love. Find your niche and every day will be a wonderful adventure.

Establish Your Goals and Your Plan to Reach Them 
Recently I read that studies show only three percent of the population write down their goals and structure their lives to achieve them. I find this surprising because I believe it can make the difference between a life of constant struggle and one filled with abundance.

Do you think of yourself as a “do it now” person? If so, do you have goals AND a plan to achieve them?
As a writer I use my goals to keep me on track with my books and my workshops. Do things get thrown in there that upset the plan I have? You bet they do. And that’s okay because I know it is going to happen. I planned on it.

How about you? After all 2012 is just around the corner. Better start thinking of those goals now.

Reward Yourself
If you really want success, how are you going to measure it? How about a reward?

I mean after all, if you really have achieved what you set out to achieve…perhaps it’s time to treat yourself.
Go for a walk in the park, go out to dinner at your favorite restaurant, buy some flowers the next time you buy groceries, or have pizza delivered for lunch. If you really achieved something special…have a glass of wine with that pizza. Of course, you may have to take a nap after that.

I have deadlines. Some are set by me, some by others. When I have accomplished my deadlines consistently, I do reward myself. It’s fun and it works for me.
How about you?

Can you focus on your work if you are thinking about issues, concerns, and life problems unrelated to your task at hand? Probably not. At least, not like you should.

It's important to block everything out of your mind and give 100 percent attention to your work.  You really do not need to solve all of life’s problems at one time. Nor do you need to give them attention if that takes away from your work.
As a writer I can get bogged down in one project, keeping it on my mind even when I move to another assignment. In reality I do not give 100 percent of my attention to either project. What do I do?

I focus on successfully completing each individual task. Does this mean I completely finish one before moving on to the second? Not necessarily. But I do get one to a point where I can leave it and move on. Why? It helps me stay sharp about each one. I know I did what I wanted to do on one and now the time has come for me to work on the second one.
I put the tasks on my calendar and I will come back to the first one later. In the meantime, I am focused on the project in front of me. I do not worry or think about the other one. It works for me.

Be Accountable
I partner with another author when I am working on a book. Why? It keeps us both on track and on our timelines for our work.

We have a system. Weekly we are to send at least one page of written text to the other person. If we do not…we owe $20. This is a real deadline and we both treat each other like we were clients.
We both have other work to do, with other deadlines. So why do we do this? We have each been writing our own same book for over a year. In the meantime, I’ve written another couple of books, edited countless manuscripts for other authors, written dozens of magazine articles, and edited for a couple of magazines. Her life and career have been just as busy.

In the next year, we each want our books written. Not edited…yet. So we keep each other accountable.
And it doesn’t just add up to one page of text. Most weeks several pages get sent.

See, it works!

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