Dear family, friends, and followers,
Occasionally, people say they have no idea what I do. I will be honest, it is hard to explain sometimes. I tell people I’m an author, but the truth is I do a lot more than write books.
I like to look back each month and examine where I spent my time and how well I progressed towards reaching my goals. It helps me stay accountable and I hope it helps explain what it is I actually do all day.
My 2019 Goals
My One Word: Together
89% / Double the number of members of The Religion Teacher (December 2017 to present) (+0%)
5,000/5,000 copies sold of Christ in the Classroom (Goal accomplished!)
214,519/1,000,000 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal) (+9,905 words)
1/4 new published works of fiction on Amazon.com (+0 published books)
7/7 paid speaking gigs (+1 / Goal accomplished!)
New Goal! 453/500 Resources (Videos/Worksheets) for Members of The Religion Teacher
67/100 books read (+8 books)
19/73 Books: Read the entire Bible from beginning to end. (+4 books read)
78/100 30-minute workouts (+8 workouts)
Incomplete / Play Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” on the harmonica.
How I Spent My Time in October 2019
I track every minute of time I spend working on projects using an app called Toggl (here is why). Here is a list of the top ten projects I spent the most time on last month:
- 23:06 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 22:47 – Speaking (Washington, D.C.)
- 12:30 – The Religion Teacher Videos
- 11:25 – The Religion Teacher Membership Launch
- 9:45 – The Angel Academy
- 8:37 – Weekly Review
- 7:28 – Daily Review
- 5:55 – Morning Preview
- 5:09 – The Religion Teacher’s Saints Worksheet Collection
- 3:58 – The Religion Teacher’s Bible Worksheet Collection
Total Time: 140:15
October 2019 Highlights & Lessons Learned
The Domino Effect
I read The ONE Thing years ago shortly after it was published. It had a really big effect on me and my personal productivity.
Last month I started listening to The ONE Thing podcast during workouts. Hearing the principles in the book being applied to various situations gave me a whole new outlook on the way I am approaching setting and achieving goals.
I added the focusing question to my morning routine:
What is the one thing such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
The real power of this question, though, comes in working backwards from big goals to immediate action steps. As they say in the book and in the podcast, you have to identify the lead domino.
I’ve been trying to achieve too many goals all at the same time. Instead of getting laser focused on one goal until it is accomplished, I’ve been making decent progress on many goals.
All this is to say that I narrowed my focus on a goal I have not been including in these reports yet:
Create 500 resources (worksheets and videos) for members of The Religion Teacher.
I believe that is the single best milestone I can reach to help religious educators lead their students into an encounter with Christ.
After that goal is accomplished, I can continue to create member resources but focus my energy on a formative fiction goal instead.
I did accomplish two goals last month. Christ in the Classroom, which came out last year, passed 5,000 copies sold. I had hoped to get there sooner, but I’m glad to see the book doing so well. I really think it has the potential to transform the way religious educators pass on the faith.
I also passed my speaking events goal for the year. I love speaking, but I’m not a fan of being away from home. I am speaking more this year than in the past. It is such a blessing to be able to meet so many people doing such great work four the children in our Church. In late October and early November I got to speak to all the teachers and principals in the Archdiocese of Washington. They were an awesome group.