Clarify and achieve meaningful goals.

New Website

by nelly

If you have been living under a rock and have not yet heard (LOL, I’m totally joking)- I have a new website and a new blog.

Visit and join the e-mail list….this is the list I will be updating frequently.

While this blog has been mainly an account of my own experiences and my own journey, the new blog is created entirely to be a resource guide for YOU.




Book #2 Challenge. Completion of week TWO!

by nelly

I am so excited to report that I completed week two of this challenge.

I dedicated four days to writing/ revising the book.  I’m making progress and it’s exciting.  At the same time, I have decided that after I complete the book as I was intending to that I will let it sit for a month or two before publishing it, so that I can come back to it and review it once again with a fresh mindset.

Again, the goal is to complete the book, get it proofread, and get the cover designed.  Yet, it’s not only about the spelling, and grammer, and clarity.  The tone of my material is what makes it my work.  I want it to be funny/fun, and blunt.  Some points are the way I desire them to come across, and some are coming out very dry.  Taking some time off away from the work after I complete it (perhaps I can begin to work on another book during that time, or do a completely different challenge) and then coming back to it is the best way to do it justice.

As part of week two, I also spend two 30-minute sessions working on non-writing-book-related tasks.

I have requested very specific revisions for the book cover design.  I really hope that the designer can execute digitally what I see in my mind.  The cover is so so important, it gives the initial impression.  I hope to complete this soon.

I sent more material to be proofread by my editor. Also, I have been researching other editors I can hire to proofread my material.  From experience with my previous book, it’s best to hire more than one person to proofread the material or little typos may be missed – and that’s not cool.

Week 2 -CHECK.  Only one more week (and 49 more rules) to go!!!

It’s time to reward myself- what should it be???

Book #2 Challenge. Completion of week one

by nelly

Week 1 has been completed.  Yes it has.  Check!

I committed to writing for 4 days but only wrote for 3.  Have been having major writer’s block, whatever that is.  Have just been feeling a bit lazy and unmotivated to write and lacking in ideas.  It’s been a little frustrating but I did put in the time, and still made some progress and that is good.

I have been making major process, however, when it comes to working on everything else related to the book besides writing.  I hired someone to proofread the book, and send the first 25 rules to her for revisions.  I started working with two designers on the cover.  While the cover samples I received I did not like at all, they did provide me with more clarity regarding what I did want.  I spent a lot of time looking for a cover photo and finally found something that I think is a go.  I have committed on spending two 30-minute sessions per week on this type of work as part of this challenge and have definitely fulfilled my commitment in this area.

So the cover is coming along, the first 1/4 of the book is getting revised, yet a large part of the book is yet to be written.  There is still a ton to do, yet progress is being made slowly but surely and this challenge is keeping me on track.

You know what else was exciting this week?  I got myself a reward!  I was really looking forward to this.  :)

I ordered two books on amazon that I have been wanting for awhile, and completion of week one felt like a respectable reason to buy them.

Week 1- complete.  Two more weeks to go!

Book #2 Challenge (Mon-Wed)

by nelly

Monday kicked off this new challenge and it was EXCITING.  I did some writing but allowed myself to work on easier parts of the book, the parts regarding which I had more clarity and less resistance.  Tbe book consists of 99 unspoken rules and I proofread and revised rules # 1-20.  I was on a roll and decided to work on the “everything else” creation part of the book as well and hired a book cover designer.  It’s a great start to an exciting new challenge.



Tuesday was a super busy and productive day for me, but I did not get to work on the book.  It’s one of my days off from the challenge.



Wednesday morning my mother took Rivka to her house (she works a later shift and was able to help me out) and I got down to business.  It’s difficult for me to get work done with a little needy cutie pie around.  I’m in between babysitters and I’m really hoping to find someone good quick.  Meanwhile, I need to take advantage of whatever time I have.  I continued to work on the book, making revisions and writing new material as well.  There were some sections that I had been avoiding and I’m glad to report that I focused on those today and got them done.

Also, today I received a sample book cover and….. I hate it!  Have asked for revisions so hopefully the second round will work out much better.

New Challenge – Book #2

by nelly

As I shared in my most recent post, it’s been awhile since I’ve done a formal challenge.  I miss the flow and momentum of getting things done, I miss getting myself rewards to celebrate my progress, and I’m ready to make things happen.

As always, I had plenty of ideas for a new challenge but by now I know better than to start them all at once.  I narrowed it down to one specific goal for now, and the rest I will come back to in a few short weeks.

This is again a writing challenge.  The goal is to complete or to get close to completion of my second book.  I’ve been working on it for so long and I’m passionate about it, and it’s time to make it all come together.

Here are the details of the challenge (of course, subject to change as needed): It’s a 3 week challenge.  I commit to working on the content of the book four days a week for a minimum of 40 minutes each.  Plus, I will dedicate at least two times during the week (30 mins each) to focusing on everything else related to book creation, including creation of the cover, book description, finalizing the title, hiring someone to proofread the material, and coming up with a launch plan.

I will celebrate each week by getting myself a gift!  Yeay.  I miss those :)

Today is week 1, day 1…. let’s get started.

What I’ve been up to, plus my next move

by nelly

I haven’t written here for awhile, but be certain that I’ve been very busy and productive. I haven’t been focusing on any official challenges, but i have been working. I’ve been working on my second book, on continuing to publicize my first book, on building a new website (coming soon!), on learning to use Social Media (specifically Twitter) for business – all while being a mom (aka servant) to my 15 month old cutie pie.

Why didn’t I create a challenge to move those projects along? Well, because I didn’t need it!  Things were moving along just fine.

I learned a very powerful lesson a long time ago, that I have been teaching to all of my students, and that is “don’t fix something that ain’t broken”. I had inspiration and was motivated to do the work, I was on a roll – and since everything was working just fine, I just took full advantage of the power of momentum.  There was no need for a challenge.

Nearly a week ago, things took a turn. My computer crashed. The whole thing, just crashed. After feeling overwhelmed, angry, sad, frustrated, uncertain, and confused about what this means for me (the file for my book was saved only there, and I did not back-up (bad move)), I got myself together and actually took some productive action, made phone calls, and found someone to fix it! The tech person was super talented, and recovred all my files, fixed the issue, and now my computer runs faster than ever. However, I feel like I lost that “power of momentum”, that flow that I was riding.

It is what it is…and I must act based on what’s happening now. Now, it’s that time, time for a challenge.  I’m creating a challenge because I need it.  I need to get re-inspired, re-focused, and get the momentum back- and that is EXACTLY what the Challenge Method is designed to do.

What’s my new challenge?  Will describe it in my next post!


P.S. Are you on Twitter?  Find me at @NellyOdessa and say hello.

“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- LAST DAY (Week 6, Days 3)

by nelly

Today was the final writing session of this challenge.  It took about 10 minutes to get into the flow, but after that I was really in the zone.  I made a ton of new revisions, made choices and decisions, and felt really great about the process.  The book is not anywhere near finished, but I need a break from it right now, for a little while at least.  I will take a break for a few weeks and then come back to it with a fresh perspective and complete it by the end of the Summer.

For my reward, I’m getting myself a juicer!  Yes, a juicer was my reward for completing week 5, but after that one came in the mail today (it was very basic and inexpective), I decided that I want to invest in a good quality juicer and thus this one will be my reward for the last two weeks (and I’m sending the other one back).

So what should my next challenge be?   Going to make a list of everything that’s ‘calling’ to me right now and will decide shortly.

“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- Week 6, Days 1 and 2

by nelly

Week 6, days 1 and 2 completed.  One more writing session remains before I complete this challenge.  What will I do next?  Will probably take a break from writing and focus on something else for a few weeks.  I have been thinking about new challenges that I’d like to take on right now, and have some ideas.

Just to back up a little bit, I got myself a reward for completing week 5.  A juicer.  I want to give this whole green juice “movement” a try.  I also created a page for sharing some of my favorite rewards and products with all of you.  Perhaps you will consider getting some of the items from my list as rewards for yourself as your challenge yourself to success.   This list is available at

Also, the official launch for my first book 99 Unspoken Rules of Social Etiquette: Are you rude and don’t even know it? occurred and the book reached Amazon’s Bestsellers list. It hit #1.  So I’m officially “a bestselling author”.  How does it feel?  Exciting, rewarding, and yet not that different.  I still had to wake up in the morning and change the baby’s diaper, run errands, and do my writing challenge.  Reaching milestones is great, but ultimately it’s not 100% within our control and if we want to be successful and fulfilled, our goal should be to learn to focus on our own actions and process- this way, we are always in control and can never fail.

One more writing session left to complete this challenge… so far it’s been a wonderful six weeks.


“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- Week 5, Days 2 and 3

by nelly

Day 2 of the challenge was “blah”.  I wrote a few sentences, revised a few others, and was glad when my 45 minute committment was over.  I felt like the momentum of this challenge was gone, but I was committed to do what I have to do, motivated or not..


Day 3 of the challenge was wonderful!!!!!!!!  I feel like I have the flow back.

I’m working on my second book in the “Social Etiquette” series and this one is for parents of young children.  I have the essense of the book already written but have been struggling with finding my “voice”, or the tone with which I want to communicate the message.  Guess what?  Julia Cameron, bestselling author of “The Artist’s Way” is right when she says that when you feel stuck you just need to get your butt outside and take a walk, and ideas will come.  I took that walk and on the way back home, stopped by the playground with my 14 month old daughter.

We were playing and walking around when I noticed two kids climbing into my daughters stroller, touching and pulling on her teething toy that was attached to the stroller, while their caretaker (grandmother) is standing right next to them with a big smile, enjoying watching them play!  I was so pissed off and disgusted.  These kids are older than my girl, with their runny noses and dirty hands, they are all over her things, and without my permission.  Don’t touch my daughter’s stuff.  I told them to not play with her stroller and this grandma without any sense of apology doesn’t say anything to them and tells me that it’s the park and other parents don’t mind.  What nerve?  Rude, obnoxious, inconsiderate people.  I have to explain to HER that my daughter is still a baby and is putting the toy in her mouth and is very sensitive?  Don’t let you kids (or grand-kids) touch what’s not their!  And especially if I tell you that it’s not cool, apologize on their behalf.  And while I did not say all this- you bet I was thinking so much more!  And what inspiration for my book that was!

I came home, put my daughter for a nap….and wrote some solid advise for that woman!  I will definitely keep her on my mind as I continue to revise.

You can find inspiration out in the world, just take a nice walk, and perhaps- stop by the children’s playground.

“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- Week 5, Day 1

by nelly

After taking a break for 3 weeks, it’s been so freaking hard to get back into this challenge.  That’s the power and benefit of momentum.  Mementum is a result of consistent action, it’s a habits you create when you get into the zone.  Well, I lost this momentum and it may take a little while to get it back.

I worked for 45 minutes today as was planned.  It took forever for the flow of ideas and the right words to come.  I didn’t create anything genius today, but I did write, and that’s what counts.  I do wish that I got more writing done and better writing too, today – but there is always tomorrow.  And tomorrow’s writing session would have been equal to today’s had I not done the work today and built the foundation.

I’m working on my 2nd book, which I hope to complete by the end of the month.  I revised about 1/3rd of the third draft.  I hope to have the 3rd draft completed by the end of the week.  Will this get done as planned?  I do not know.  Maybe I’ll get in the zone and work longer and better, and get more done than expected.  Maybe I’ll just sit in front of my computer making small changes and letting the timer tick.  Either way, if I show up, something will happen.  Successes happen as a result of small actions taken consistently over a period of time.

I need to stay positive, especially after a session like today, to keep myself motivated to write tomorrow.

Week 5, Day 1- done!

“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- Week 4 and Update!

by nelly

I completed week 4 of this challenge by (finally!) publishing my first book.  It’s now available on Amazon and currently appears on Amazon’s list of “Hot New Releases” (within it’s category).  This is really exciting.

Here is the link to get your copy:  (Enjoy!  And please spread the word and write a review!  Thanks so much for the support.)









I also rewarded myself, for completing week 4, by doing a little shopping.  Two new bathing-suits and cowboy boots later, I can confirm that this was the coolest reward in this challenge so far.

While it is important to take the time to celebrate successes and to give yourself a break… this is a 6-week challenge, and I had to keep working.  I was traveling for the past two and a half weeks and getting to work on this challenge has been a huge struggle.  There just wasn’t enough time to sit down alone and focus, as I was on the road a lot and was traveling with a teething 14 month old who needed lots of attention from mama!  It was an inner struggle because I really wanted to stay on track and be productive, yet, I wasn’t fully in control of my time.  No writing or revisions happened during my trip- but it’s a lesson learned.  This is life, and things come up that get us off the path we’ve been on.  The goal here is not to struggle, get annoyed and fight against it.  But rather, to be open to new experiences and opportunities that come up, but at some point, to get back on track.  So it’s not about doing it perfectly, but rather getting back on track once you get off…as many times as needed.

I’m now back in New York, and will complete weeks 5 and 6 of the writing challenge starting today.  I will be revising my second book, which I’m really excited about and I think it will be a big hit- since it’s super funny, informative, and a bit controversial!

Plus, I have SOOOO many ideas for new challenges I’d like to pursue, and I want you to do it with me.  So keep checking back often and be sure to Like my page on facebook for latest updates



“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- Week 4, Day 3

by nelly

The important things first!  I got myself a reward for completing week 3.  :)

Had no idea what I wanted, so I figured stopping by TX Maxx might give me some ideas, and I was right!  Bought myself awesome walking shoes! (pic below courtesy of my Blackberry camera)  Have been looking for comfy and cute keds for awhile, since I walk a lot…and these felt just right. :)







Onto the writing progress:

As I was writing today I learned that “awful” is spelled without the “e”!  Unlike “awesome”, it’s opposite, which does have the “e” in it.  Why was I never taught that?  Am I the only one???  I wouldn’t be exeggerating if I confessed to mispelling this word, always.  In my college papers, in my posts on Facebook and Twitter, and when I send e-mails.  I just never knew.  So there we go, spelling lesson for the day.

The work is accumulating, slowly.  I’m jumping around between a few different books, but decided to focus on the “Etiquette book for parents” for now (not the actual title).  I want to dedicate more time to working on these books, but for now, I’ll take what I can.

Did I share publically that I made a goal to write and publish six books before October?  And for them to be bestsellers and/or award winners?  I haven’t?  Well, here we go!  So far I have published…none.  But I’m still committed to my goal, and determined to make it a reality.

Week 4- done!  Already?  Week 4!


“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- Week 4, Days 1 and 2

by nelly

45 minutes 3 times a week is not enough!

It was plenty  to get me started, but I’m eager to see bigger results quicker and thus I have been writing more.  Even 10 extra minutes a few times a day accumulates pages and revises sentences.

The first day of this week I was determined to work without interruption so I left the house!  I usually write from home, and I generally love it.  I’m blessed to have a home office which I’m absolutely in love with…a separate room with two windows and lots of natural light, bookshelves all around, my desk- of course, and a walk decorated with signs of inspiring quotes.  Even with this, there are too many distractions at home.  (Plus, over the past few months, corners of my office have been becoming storage places for baby stuff, which is not in par with my flow).  So my pink laptop and I went to a nearby coffee shop where there was nothing else to do but sip on my cup of herbal fruity tea and think and write.

The scond day, I worked for double the required time for this challenge again.  I’m feeling a bit impatient because I want the work to get completed faster, but I know that I need to chill out, do what I can, and trust the Universe to take care of the rest.

Week 4, Days 1 and 2 – done!


“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- Week 3, Day 3

by nelly

Got back in the flow.  Ideas kept coming and because I set aside the time, I was there to document them.

I sometimes wonder where this flow of ideas comes from.  And then I know the answer.  It definitely comes from somewhere outside of me, from somewhere and someone else who is greater and wiser… but it’s me who makes this potential come into the physical-material world by establishing good habits and willing to show up at the page to write, even though it feels scary and uncertain.

It felt amazing to complete week 3.  I’m half-way through my challenge, and proud to say that from some unorganized notes and general ideas, some great material is forming.  My second book is coming along nicely and my first book is nearly ready for publication.  How did it happen that I went from nowhere to nearly somewhere?  I’m not there yet, though….so I will keep going.  But I feel confident that this road is worthwhile.

For compling week 3, it’s time to celebrate and get myself a reward.  I again have no idea what to get myself… but I trust that, like everything else that’s been a part of this challenge, and my life, that the idea will come.

“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- Week 3, Days 1 and 2

by nelly

A few days of ups and downs.

I completed my first book about a month ago. Finally finished all the revisions, and I’m excited to finally publish it.  I’m been having trouble however, getting it formatted for publishing.  A small but very annoying set-back because I have no idea of how to do this and have to rely on someone else completely.  I believe in delegation, and in automation, and in focusing on doing the things you do best.  Yet, in this case, I wish I just knew how to do this myself as having someone else do this, has been a process full of headaches and misunderstandings.

For this writing challenge, I’m working on my second book, and the fact that I’m having all these issues with book #1 is definitely de-motivating somewhat.  I have to remind myself, however, that I’m not in control of everything, and the first book will get published when it was meant to be published, and meanwhile I have to keep writing the second book and doing that which is within my power.

Focus on the journey, not the end result only, is what I learned from Julia Camerion, acclaimed creativity teacher and author of “The Artist’s Way” book series.  And this is what I’ve been doing.  I’ve just been writing, and I’m nearly done with the initial draft of book #2.  And this progress made me feel more optimistic regardling the first book finally getting published, as well.

“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- Week 2, Days 2 and 3

by nelly

I’ve been writing, and it’s been great.  So, yes, I am going strong with this challenge even though I haven’t written on the blog most recently.

I’ve been writing and revising, as planned.  And the pages are accumulating.

I finally got myself the rewards for weeks 1 and 2.  For completing week 1, I got myself an awesome nailpolish (Iced Roses shade) and for week 2 I got two egyptian cotton towels.  “Towels? That’s a reward?”, a friend asked.  Yes it is.  A reward is anything that makes you feel good, and especially an opportunity to get those little things that for whatever reason that you’ve been denying yourself. More importanly, getting myself these rewards felt like a celebration.  “You are doing great, Nelly.  Keep going.  Good job.  Here’s a little gift for your hard work”- is what it feels like to get myself these rewards.

I’m blessed to have anything and everything that I need, as well as, most things that I simply want.  Yet, it’s really an exciting feeling and a motivator to keep going with the challenge knowing that I get to spoil myself in a small way with a reward at the end of each week.

Of course, I do these challenges for the journey, for the project itself, and for a sense of accomplishment (the best feeling ever!).  To be honest, however, these mini-rewards are also a great motivator.  Can’t wait to complete week 3 and get myself something else, something fun.

Week 2- Done!

“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- Week 2, Day 1

by nelly

Week 2.  Wow. Already? I feel like I just started this challenge yesterday.

It felt impossible to get 45 minutes of writing in today without interruptions.  Rather than go for perfection, I decide to just go…

I split up today’s work into two sessions., 30 and 15 minutes.  And it was great.

I’m making progress slowly but surely.  When you sit in front of your computer, wthout other interruptions, and you know that you only have 30 minutes to get something done, you just start going.  I wrote, something.  A few things.  But it all adds up.  And when I couldn’t think of anything new to write, I just revised my previous writing.  Things are happening… I just need to show up and be there.  I’m excited for week 2.  Expecting to make more progress, but not pushing it at all.

Week 2, Day 1- Done!

P.S. I still need to get myself a reward for completing week 1!


“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- Week 1, Day 3

by nelly

I got 30 minutes of writing in, rather than 45 minutes as I was planning to.  And that’s OK!

I made some small progress.  I know by now that every small action counts and will pay off, as long as your actions are aligned with your goal.  I wrote some new material, did some revisions.  Working on my 2nd book!  (Still getting ready to publish the 1st).

I’m getting better at eliminating distractions.  I’m not perfect.  My phone kept buzzing with new text messages and I was curious so I did check it several times.  Still, I eliminated other interruptions.  Am I perfect in my routine?  Far from it!  Am I getting better? Yep.  :)

Week 1- complete!!!


“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- Week 1, Day 2

by nelly

Finally, I got another session in!

It wasn’t easy with all the plans I had happening, but the work that I got accomplished is so worth it.

I hired a babysitter for the morning, so that I would not have any distractions.  I teach live classes during the evenings, and during the day (the time I spent writing) I’m also watching my one year old daughter.  Having someone else here for a few hours in the morning to entertain her just allowed me the space I need to continue with the challenge, without interruptions.  I also couldn’t make any excuses, since I felt obligated to spent my time wisely.

Once again, I logged out of Facebook and e-mail before I began (I recommend others do this too!).  I forgot to turn-off my phone but luckily no one called, so that worked out.  I put on my kitchen timer and got to work.

Today I focused on completing all of those final revisions on my upcoming book, so that I can get it done and publish it already.  All those things that are not super exciting to do but must be done, and all of those things I have been avoiding because I couldn’t make a certain decision on placement of quotes, or wording of chapters, or formatting.  I just did it now.  I made the decisions, right or wrong, but I made them.  And now I can move on to other stuff.  Feels great!

Week 1, Day 2 – complete!

“Writing with focus, and w/out interruptions” Challenge- Week 1, Day 1

by nelly

I did it.  I started.

Getting started is often the hard part, besides getting finished of course. :)

These 45 minutes of focused writing and revisions were really productive.  I actually got a lot done, and most importantly I completed some work that I have been avoiding for awhile.

This challenge is more about focus and positioning myself for success, than it is about writing.  I made sure that I did everything I could to set myself up for an interruption free session.  I waiting for my daughter to fall asleep.  told my husband that I will be working in the office for the next 45 minutes minutes and if he needs anything to hold off asking me until I’m done with my writing.  I got myself water before I started writing (usually I get up 3 or 4 times to get water, tea, and snacks).  I also made a choice to avoid snacks, because let’s be honest, they are distracting.  I put my phone on silent and logged out of Facebook.  And then I set the kitchen timer for 45 minutes and began to work.

Since this session was more about being fully present rather than accomplishing certain goals, I did not feel any pressure to do anything specific but was just open to the flow.  At first, nothing came…but after 45 minutes of sitting in front of a laptop with zero interruptions, ideas came and I began to work.

I’m really proud of what i achieved during my first session.  I’m excited about doing another challenge.  And I’m looking forward to completing week 1 so I can get myself a reward!

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