TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

Ever heard the saying…”one step at a time”? How about the phrase “stairway to the top”? The first expression is a reference to most twelve-step groups that teach you to eliminate a harmful habit or to replace a bad habit with a good one. The second is a nod to Zig Ziglar’s teaching. I first heard him speak back in the 80s (I know — can you believe I’m that old?) and I bought his cassette tapes (yup, cassettes, and I still have them).

Do you have a dream? A desire? A goal?

Let’s look at Zig Ziglar’s Steps to the Top:

First, identify what you want.

Second, clearly spell out why you want to reach that particular goal.

Third, list the obstacles.

Fourth, identify the growth process–the things you need to know.

Fifth, identify the people you need to work with.

Sixth, develop a detailed plan of action.

Seventh, set a date on when you expect to reach that goal.

When I first started writing for more than fun back in 1995, I’d been receiving Guideposts for years and decided I wanted to publish a story with them. Here’s what I did:

Step 1: I wanted to be published in the Guideposts magazine.
Step 2: Because the stories helped me so much and I wanted to help others in that same way.
Step 3: I’d heard it was super hard to break into this magazine, they only published a dozen stories a month, and I wasn’t a very good writer.
Step 4: I needed to learn how to be a better writer. I needed to fine-tune my skills.
Step 5: What I needed were classes on how to write great inspirational stories taught by those who had succeeded.
Step 6: In 2000 I attended the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference and attended Hal Hostetler’s class on How to Write for the Guideposts Contest. In 2002 I took the class again. In 2004, eight years after my first submission, I won a spot in the Writers Workshop.
Step 7: I expected to reach the goal the first time I submitted. It didn’t happen, but I didn’t give up.

Do these steps work for goals other than writing? You bet they do. If you don’t mind, I’d like to share how I used Zig Ziglar’s Steps to the Top to lose weight. Here’s how that goal went:

Step 1: My goal was to lose 25 lbs.
Step 2: I wanted to get my blood pressure down and to feel better about how I looked.
Step 3: I couldn’t just cut out eating. I had to learn how to manage what I ate.
Step 4: Research showed me how to substitute this for that and how many calories were in the foods I was eating.
Step 5: Accountability was key for me. I found a partner who I could work out with and she helped me stay motivated.
Step 6: Realistic goals of 4-5 lbs a month were within reach and not too “pie in the sky.”
Step 7: I began my journey in July of 2008 and my deadline was to lose it by December 10th of 2008. I made it.

What are YOUR goals?

Happy writing and blessings on your work. 

What’s Happening…

I need your help. Our new dog Charlie Bear is a scruffy little bugger with a big attitude and a bit of a history. He wants to tell his story on the dog blog and he’s going to do it in his own voice. What should I call it? Suggestions have been: Charlie Chat; Charlie’s Growl; Tales of Charlie Bear; Something to Chew On. Any other ideas? Please reply to me with YOUR IDEA and/or YOUR VOTE. Thank you!

Chicken Soup for the Soul Deadline is this weekend October 31 for Preteens book and December 31 for the Teens book. Also upcoming is the December 31 deadline for Young at Heart. Check out the website for additional books in the works. www.chickensoup.com

 Follow your dreams…


Author of :
“The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work”
Available on Amazon.com or http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/product.aspx?ISBN=0-7414-4099-7

Check out my website at www.bjtayloronline.com

Steps to the Top by Zig Ziglar

10 thoughts on “Steps to the Top by Zig Ziglar

  • November 1, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Let me see, “something to chew on”: coffee table, retainer, glasses, shoes, cell phone, remote control.

    Yep! “Something to Chew On” is not only cute, but quite accurate for the scoundrel puppy that Charlie Bear is.

    What a lucky dog!

    • November 2, 2010 at 9:46 am

      Sara — the retainer and cell phone are the only things in our home that Charlie Bear has NOT chewed on yet from your list. I’m sure he’ll get around to them! Thanks for commenting and for your vote on “Something to Chew On.”

  • November 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Charlie’s Chats is alliterative and I like that but want it to say Charlie Bear’s Chats or better, Charlie Bear’s Chomps! I imagine him chomping on all sorts of things. Something to Chew On is really cute, too, though…

    • November 2, 2010 at 9:45 am

      Hi Jean, yup, Charlie chomps on a variety of items he shouldn’t: pillows, slippers, reading glasses. Ever the puppy! Thanks for commenting!

  • October 31, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Very inspirational BJ you are such a sweetheart! I like “Something to chew on” also.

  • October 30, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Wow! again, BJ. You made it on both goals–congratulations! I already knew about both, but I’m delighted to see you share these online with your blog to others. Now you’re a highly successful writer, and you look more gorgeous than ever–hats off to you. (If only I could lose 10 pounds–not much self-discipline at my end, but with your example…)

    • October 30, 2010 at 10:56 am

      Thanks, Dan! Your smile is always worth seeing! Can’t wait to sit across from you in the Soda Fountain at Mount Hermon again. Hugs, B.J.

  • October 30, 2010 at 10:38 am

    B.J., my goal is to win the Guidepost contest. Thank you for your lessons in perseverance. Since I didn’t make it this year, I must keep writing and practicing my craft. I write devotions, articles and stories, so when I finish a project or several projects, it takes a while to get back on track. Other things that slow me down are rejections. It’s hard not to take it personally about the babies I bore onto the blank monitor screen. I’m reading everything I can on how to write inspiring personal interest stories. Thank you for mentoring me. Love your blogs. I like “Something to Chew On” for Charlie Bears blog articles. Blessings

    • October 30, 2010 at 10:54 am

      Hi Sue, thanks for commenting. Keep on trying and don’t ever give up on your goals. Sometimes I wonder if something is EVER going to happen for me, and usually, it’s just that I’m impatient. Things don’t always go lickety-split in the publishing world and I must remember that a nonacceptance at one place only means I must send it around again. Good for you for trying out for the Guideposts contest. It took me eight years. Keep at it! Hugs, B.J.


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