Above is the third book I read for the #EmptyShelf Challenge. (Read here to join us on this fun challenge!) Below is the format I plan to do this year for each book I read. Title: Succeed, how we can reach our goals. Author: Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. What’s it about: It's a...

You've got a lot of writing to do, so I'll keep this short. You don't get to control what people read, you get to control what you write. And those things are very different. You might feel like you've explained a blog post or book chapter perfectly. You might go to bed feeling good about the day's work. In the morning you awaken and someone completely misread what you thought you had written. Why does this happen?

(Today is a guest post from Michael Hyatt. You might have heard of him. He's a plucky, young blogger who I think has a real future in this biz.)  Here’s a fact: I like dreaming more than doing. But here’s another fact: Dreams aren’t worth much without work. It’s easy to forget that at the beginning of a New Year. We set resolutions and get caught up in the euphoria of the dream. We’re so determined that it’s almost like we’ve already lost the weight, got the raise, run the marathon, and raised the money to cut the record. But—reality check—we haven’t. It’s still January! It’s going to take a lot of effort to yank those dreams out of the clouds and bring them down to earth. In my experience, the most important tool for the job is goal-setting. I’ve been doing it since college and have worked to hone the process ever since. Along the way I’ve learned a lot about what motivates people to achieve their dreams and what prevents them from doing so. One of the main things that slows our progress—and something effective goals can help you with—is what I call the messy middle.

Everyone has seen a car commercial. There are thousands made every year and most, if not all, are ordinary. That's the thing about life, you can always choose to be ordinary. That option is always available. The mistake we make is thinking that delightful isn't always available...

I've often heard stories about how persistent woodpeckers are. They don't jump around to 15 different trees. Instead, they beat on one tree over and over again. Why? Because persistence tends to pay off. They know that there are bugs in every tree. And if they fly to a lot of different trees, they have a 1 in that entire tree chance of hitting a bug. But, each time they make a hole in the same tree, they increase their odds.

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