If you’ve been spinning your wheels or not making the kind of progress that you want to make, here are your next three steps:

1. Your first step is to set a reasonable goal for the next week of progress. It might be 15 minutes a day. It might be 30 minutes a day; whatever the amount of time or the output that you create–two pages of writing or one page of writing–it needs to be something that you easily can do. You hear that or read that goal and you say—Oh, no sweat, that’s totally not a problem.

2. The second step is that you need to set up a reward system for yourself when you actually have completed those actions or behaviors that you defined in step one.

3. The third thing is you need to just actually take the action. You go through then the cycle of behavior and reward, behavior and reward. Just commit to doing that for seven days. You can do anything for seven days, but commit to doing that for seven days, and then evaluate how much further along you’ve gotten compared to last week.

If you find that you’ve gotten further, and just as importantly, the process has felt better, keep doing more of the same.

If you find that this hasn’t exactly worked for you (which I don’t really expect), but let’s just say that the 1% of people that this may not work for you, than your task is to figure out what parts of it can be adjusted or tweaked until you find a better working style.

Focus on ways to keep yourself working at a constant and steady pace. Remember, in the dissertation–like in life, slow and steady often wins the race.


Today is the final day to join me for the January small group dissertation coaching program. We have several committed folks who have already signed up and are ready to go. I’m looking forward to working with them. If you find that you keep trying to do one thing different, and it’s just not working, please seriously consider the coaching program. You can’t get different results by doing the same old thing over and over again. Here’s the link, once more, to review whether the program is right for you:

Dissertation Coaching Small Group