Blog

Better Writing: Make 2017 Yours! Here’s How

So many of us (42% of Americans) make New Year’s resolutions each year. We’re hopeful, and we’re sincere. The New Year gives each of us the promise of a fresh start. We want to eat healthy or lose weight (21.4%), we want to improve our life (12.3%), or improve our finances (8.5%) or quit smoking (7.1%). But in this survey of over 1,500 people done on 1/1/2017, more than 90% said they had never succeeded with their resolutions in past years.  

Even so, people who explicitly make resolutions are ten times more likely to succeed than those who don’t. So, the question is how do we change our approach so that this year we can finally accomplish our goal?

5 Keys to Achieving Any Goal

As Dr. Evian Gordon explains in The Brain Revolution, change is hard for all of us because ANY change is perceived by our brain as a threat to our safety and “safety first” is the brain’s core driver. Any change to the status quo brings fear of failure on a nonconscious level. We can override this with a conscious choice to implement the change. If we choose the change, accept the change, and believe it will be tied to a future reward, our brain will start to see the change as beneficial if we repeatedly acknowledge it to ourselves.

One Day at a Time

First, we need to understand that any goal is achieved over the long term. Setting a goal too high or too far away in time can cause us to self-sabotage and fail. It is a marathon, not a sprint, so we need to go into it pacing ourselves. So often, we become disappointed when we don’t see big results immediately. We get frustrated, other things distract us, obstacles appear, and we quit. Once we know that this is a common pattern for lots of people (and possibly for us in the past), we can build in some milestones to keep us enthused along the way.
That way, if you need to lose 50 pounds, you can celebrate each pound lost. If you need to work out but don’t want to, start with 10 minutes a day. In both cases, as you start to feel better, that feeling will encourage you to stay on the path.
When it comes to writing, there are many ways to avoid the big blank page. You could warm up to your writing session by having a list of topics that interest you. Pull an idea out and write about it for 10 minutes or 500 words. If you are at a point in your manuscript where you feel stuck, look over your outline and find a topic that appeals to you and start writing about that. Once you’re warmed up, go on to the writing you need to do. Continue reading “Better Writing: Make 2017 Yours! Here’s How”

Posted on

Better Writing: Understand the Problem, Live in the Solution

Life is full of obstacles. We all know that. We all have fears. We know that, too. Our fears can be real or imagined; they can be conscious or nonconscious.  Scientists say there are more than 50 types of fears, from fear of being unworthy to fear of rejection to fear of success, but the broad umbrella for them all is fear of failure.

The quality of our life depends on how well we understand, confront, and deal with obstacles.

Fear= Our “Go-To” Reaction

Whenever a problem or obstacle appears, our first response is fear, which is a natural response. After all, an obstacle is something that’s coming between us and what we want. Studies now show that we have three responses to fear: we can fight, flee, or freeze. Unless we are in danger of physical harm, fleeing or running away usually just prolongs the time it will take to solve the problem. The same goes for freezing.

So,we need to do three things: understand the problem, reframe it so we are no longer frozen with fear or want to flee, and assess our options so we can come up with a viable solution.

Here’s an example of a situation I’ve actually had nightmares about (maybe you have, too). You walk into class one day and find out there’s a test you didn’t know about. You can’t breathe, your heart seems to stop, and you want to run out of class instead of taking a seat. (Our bodies correctly respond to threats like this one, and we feel stressed.)

How to Combat Our Unrealistic, Automatic Fears

What to do? Luckily, there are several ways to counteract your stress response. Continue reading “Better Writing: Understand the Problem, Live in the Solution”

Posted on

Better Writing: Building Your Brand: Who You Are and Why It’s Important

“Brand” refers to the sum of all the things that represent you in your business: it’s based on your core values, your ideas, your preferences—all of you—and it shows up in everything from your blog content to the graphics you choose, to your networking style, to everything else you do on line.

Start Early to Build Your Brand

Your brand will continue to evolve as you do, but it’s a good idea to establish it early if possible. If you are able to present your brand in a cohesive package early in your career,your success will likely come more quickly and more easily.

Good idea, but if the Internet is new to you, how exactly do you do it? There are quite a few moving parts, and it can seem confusing, intimidating, and overwhelming. Continue reading “Better Writing: Building Your Brand: Who You Are and Why It’s Important”

Posted on

Headlines that Engage and Sell

What’s the most important thing in writing any blog post? Well, quality content that appeals to your target audience, of course. But a close second is a headline that intrigues readers and promises them a benefit they’ll have after reading that they don’t have before.

After all, no click on the headline means no one reads the post, no matter how brilliant it is.

Getting attention with your headline becomes increasingly more important as competition from other blogs for readers’ eyes, minds, and engagement grows each day. Moving on is only a mouse click away.

Writing a great headline is a bit art and a bit science, but it is also a skill that can be learned fairly easily. Continue reading “Headlines that Engage and Sell”

Posted on

Getting Started

Have you ever had so much to do that you had no idea where to start? Or been so busy that you suddenly felt paralyzed by it all? Maybe you’ve had a project you had to do and wanted to do, but just couldn’t seem to begin?

I’ll bet the answer is a big “Yes.” I think we all feel that way at times.

 Of course, we know that the solution is to “just do it.” But how? These three tips should help.

  1. Give Yourself a Little Space

 Mental space is what I mean. Sometimes, the best way to do something is to first do nothing.

We all have lives full of distractions and conflicting responsibilities that compete for our time. In spite of assistants, very successful people are no different. But these people have acquired the ability to take a mental step back, run through all that needs to be done (making a written list of those things helps) and choose which one to focus on first. This act clears your mind and gives you “permission” to focus and work on one thing. Continue reading “Getting Started”

Posted on

Why Free Reports Easily Connect with Your Target Audience

Connect Puzzle Shows Global Communications And ConnectivityFree reports are one of the best ways to get readers’ attention, build your list, and eventually increase sales. You may feel that the last thing you want to do is give something away for free, but here are some good reasons to think again.

The Power of Free

First, the chance to get something for free is enticing, especially if it is a report of value or one you might otherwise pay for. So, it’s much more likely to be downloaded than a similar paid report.

Second, a free report of real use will make you memorable to the reader, who might then investigate your website or pass it on to others who have an interest in the topic. This can be the start of a relationship where the reader comes to know, like, and trust you, and that’s the best groundwork for any online relationship.

Third, there’s a psychological component at work. When we receive something for free, to some extent we are inclined to repay the favor by buying something from the giver. It can result in not just more traffic but more sales of your products and services. Continue reading “Why Free Reports Easily Connect with Your Target Audience”

Posted on