Steve Scott is not only the founder of DevelopGoodHabits.com, but an accomplished bestselling author with over 60 self-published books on productivity habits and entrepreneurship.
He’s an authority on building a consistent six-figure income as an author and spends his time teaching other writers how to create sustainable businesses around their skills. When he’s not helping out fellow entrepreneurs, he spends a lot of time doing physical activities like running, hiking, surfing, and skiing.
Why is changing one’s daily habits so crucial when it comes to personal development?
If someone is interested in personal development they understand the importance of change. They want to make the best version possible of themselves to achieve great things in life. I believe the only way of doing this effectively is by creating habits.
Habits become part of you. Once you are done establishing a habit, it takes little mental energy to keep it going. It becomes part of you.
Trying to implement change without forming habits is a losing proposition. It may chug along fine for a while, but ultimately ego depletion and the mental strain will be too much and surely end with throwing up your hands and giving up –going right back to your old (and comfortable) ways.
What distinguishes making achievable goals from the broader practice of positive thinking?
Positive thinking is great. It is an important tool in reaching your goals. But you can’t “think” your way to success, you need action. Until you create a complete plan, decide on a specific goal and milestones and start taking the action needed to achieve your desire anything you desire is a dream, not a goal. Dreams just don’t come true until you make them into goals.
Rather than just using positive thinking people need to create SMART goals to achieve their success
S- Specific: You know the who, what when, why, how of your goal
M- Measurable: Your goal is measurable. Perhaps with specific milestones. It is not, “I want to lose weight” but “I want to lose 10 pounds”
A –Attainable: This goal is something that is within your power to accomplish. You could not have a goal of, “I want to win the lottery” because there is little you could do to make that happen.
R – Relevant: Makes sure that this is the goal you really want. Using our “lose weight” ideal, a goal of “Visit Chicago”, simply would not be relevant to what you want to ultimately achieve.
T-Time bound: All goals need specific deadlines. Using our example you would need a goal “lose ten pounds 30 days from today” or “lose ten pounds 60 days from today. For time bound you need a specific START and STOP date.
If you follow the SMART criteria, all goals are achievable. It only then takes putting in the effort to get it done.
As someone who regularly shares a lot of useful content on your website, how do you decide when a topic lends itself to more in-depth exploration in a book?
There are a lot of criteria for turning something into a book.
- It must be something I think will help the readers.
- It must be something that I believe readers will have an interest in. For this step I do polls of my readers and research viability of the topic on places like amazon.
- It must be something that I can talk about for the length of a book, without filling it with fluff.
- I must have extensive knowledge of the subject, BEFORE I do research to find out more.
5.I must be interested in the topic. No one wants to write a book about something they hate.
An example of this is SMART goals. I was able to give a (VERY brief) introduction to the topic here in a few sentences. Yet goal setting fascinates me, so I was also able to create a very in depth book on the subject.
How did you become interested in focusing on small changes as a means of increasing productivity and well-being?
I think of small changes like building blocks. The small ones are just so much easier to deal with. You break things down to their component parts and implement the changes while they are small as possible. Doing this makes it hard to fail, because who would want to fail something so small and easy.
One problem people have with habit change is that their goals are grand. There is nothing wrong with this, but if you do not break the grand goals down a bit, they may be so grand it is difficult to sustain the habit change.
How do the tools you describe in Writing Habit Mastery continue to help you write, publish, and sell an impressive number of books?
For those who have not read Writing Habit Mastery in the book I discussed things like:
- Creating a writing process
- Creating a routine for your writing (same time, place every day)
- Minimizing distractions
- Creating an energy filled writing state
- And much more
Many of the tools described in Writing Habit Mastery are ultimately about approaching writing in a professional manner. These tips will help you if you are a blogger doing one post a week or trying to crank out a book every month. Having a professional approach to your craft will ALWAYS help you achieve great success, whether you are a writer or a carpenter.