One letter from The ONE Thing


Poetry… Prose… Pasta… Parties… Paris… Punk.

I like lots of P things. Gary Keller likes P things, too! A plethora of pertinent P words proliferate in his book The ONE Thing.

Your big ONE Thing is your someday goal, or PURPOSE.
Your small ONE Thing is today’s PRIORITY in the PLAN to accomplish it.

Click to go to for resources.
  • PLAN: visualize the PROCESS of getting from your right-now goal to your daily/weekly/monthly/yearly/someday goal by working backward from your ultimate PURPOSE until you’ve figured out what ONE Thing you must do today to get where you want to be tomorrow.

For authors, this involves setting daily word, page, or time goals each day.

Visualizing the PROCESS keeps you on the PATH to better PERFORMANCE as you string together POWERFUL moments like pearls of achievement.

  • PARETO’S PRINCIPLE: aka the 80/20 rule. “The majority of what you want will come from the minority of what you do.”

This has been truest for me in outlining or notecarding. 80% of my novel fell into place when I put scenes on 3×5 cards and visually arranged them in an order that made sense. I could see the BIG PICTURE, eliminating unproductive thumb-twiddling at the start of each day.

  • PEN and PAPER. Written goals are 39.5 PERCENT more likely to get accomplished. Write out the PLAN, from BIG PURPOSEFUL goal down to today’s PRIORITY. Then put it in reverse and PREPARE to be wildly PRODUCTIVE. (Note: even PANTSERS need a PLAN.)

“Putting together a life of extraordinary results
simply comes down to getting the most out of what you do.”

Today’s assignment:

  • Write down your “someday goal” — that’s your PURPOSE.
  • Narrow your focus until you pinpoint your “today goal” — today’s PRIORITY.
  • PRODUCTIVITY. Get out your calendar and time block your ONE Thing. Give your PRIORITY the biggest, best block of time you can, every day. Four hours is standard operating procedure. Just ask Stephen King. He’s PROLIFIC because he’s PRODUCTIVE. Every day.
  • Make appointments with yourself and keep them. PAST the 4 hours a day. An hour a week, an hour a month, a 4-hour block every quarter to reflect on the process, reevaluate your priorities, and recommit to your purpose. Give your ONE Thing the best of your time.

Go live a life worth living where, in the end, you’ll be able to say,
“I’m glad I did,” not “I wish I had.”

A life worth living might be measured in many ways,
but the one way that stands above all others is living a life of no regrets.

Related posts:
The ONE Thing
Another thing about The ONE Thing


5 thoughts on “One letter from The ONE Thing”

  1. Four hours!? On the weekends I try to give 6-8. On the weekends (at least), it’s a good one if I can dedicate two. :/ Anyway, interesting concepts so far. Like the posts.


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