I started setting myself monthly challenges since January last year.
There is so much freedom when you choose your own challenges, your own curriculum.
I decided to start this year and January with focus on reading and writing.
In order to be a better writer and coach, a better leader and person, you have to read more. The reader is a leader and every leader should be a reader, too.
That was my main motivation for the challenge. Along with my role model Brendon Burchard. He says that if you want to reignite your life, you have to set yourself challenges, including reading a book per week and that's what he has been doing for more than 20 years...
Last year, I read a book per week and I wanted to repeat that challenge again. But…the point is what I learned in the end. Looking back at the last year and the four books I read for one month – a book per week, I discovered that there wasn’t much benefit for me. I can't say anything about the content of these books now. However, that was a very useful experience for my language skills. I started speaking more fluently in Russian, the words came easier to me. That’s why, I think to repeat that challenge again for developing my fluency in Russian language. But in terms of personal development – learning and implementing the knowledge, I need more time, more time to take notes, to reflect… As well as that, I'm aware of the fact that when I read a book per week, my focus is on finishing the book on time, not so much on the content.
Focus is power. But the most important thing is, why am I doing this? What is the purpose? Your WHY is what matters! Everything Starts with Why!
Like a friend of mine said: "Let us imagine that you wish to explore all 50 states in the USA. Would you jump in your car and drive 144 km/h (90 mph) racing through each state and then, in a year time, proclaim that you know each state? If your goal is just to say you've read a bunch of books, then by all means, set lofty goals, but if your goal is to be transported, immersed, and enlightened, embrace and savor your journeys. As a writer, I would rather people walk through my book, not drive 144 km/h." (Terry Fields)
I understand now that everyone's approach to reading is different.
I think the way you read a book represents your character. It reveals something about your character. Particularly for me, some weaknesses. Challenging myself to improve my reading, I believe I can improve my character, too.
So this time, I decided not to set a deadline – a book per week, but to focus on what I’m reading. I still set a deadline, though – 3 books per month (I’m happy to say I read more). But my focus was on the content and trying to learn as much as possible + taking action, i.e. implementing the knowledge. For me, this approach works much better. Because some books are longer, others are shorter. Some require more time, some less. One of the books, The Alchemist I read for 3 hours in one snowy afternoon.
Below are some of my accomplishments in January – Focus on Reading and Writing. Like always, I’m sharing them with you in the hope to inspire you to reach a new level of success and to be more determined, patient and persistent. Be a Hero!
January - Month of Reading and Writing – Accomplishments
First and foremost, I’m very happy to say that I didn’t miss my Morning Ritual – my hour of power and joy. If you don’t know what morning ritual is, please, read my experience with it
1. Read + took notes – Millionaire Success Habits by Dean Graziosi
2. Read The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho + wrote an article: My Lessons from The Alchemist – part 1
3. Read The Alchemist for the second time. This time took notes. A lot of lessons from this book – I’m planning to write the part 2 to My Lessons from The Alchemist. The interesting thing is that I needed 3 hours to finish the book both times.
4. Read + took notes – The Leadership Guide by Brendon Burchard – 36% finished in January. I’m continuing reading this book in February, too.
5. Read Духовният живот на православния християнин – an Orthodox book by the Bulgarian monk – arch. Seraphim Aleksiev (My faith is of very big importance to me. That’s why I’ve decided to read at least one Orthodox book per month)
6. Read twice – The Power of Habit by Brian Tracy (the first time – aloud, the second time – took notes)
1. Wrote 10 new stories for my blog and for my book – English with Inspirational Stories – Personal Stories by Dimi – part 1
2. Prepared 3 new books
as a free gift to my students (Collected poems + wrote “How to Use Calendar to Grow”) You can download my books for FREE here
3. Created a new music card “Be a Hero” for 123greetings.com
4. Translated a new poem by arch. Seraphim – Spring has Arrived
1. Watch many inspirational videos by Brendon Burchard + took notes - Plan an EXTRAORDINARY 2017! Here's how, The Year of High Performance. Will this be a courageous year for you? (some of the best ones for me)
2. Got inspired by Marie Forleo and her videos – one of them - ONTRApalooza 2012: Marie Forleo!
3. Discovered the work of Jim Rohn and I love it! – watched many of his videos + took notes
4. Started a notebook – My Lessons – each day at the end of it, I write in my notebook what I have learned
5. Journaling – Each day – my accomplishments + what went well and what didn’t go well + Beauty Witness Exercise by Brendon Burchard
**************************Only two things can change our lives: either something new comes into our lives, or something new comes from WITHIN. - Brendon Burchard.