As the second month of 2010 fades into the background, it’s time to evaluate the progress you’ve made writing your personal branding book during February and review your writing commitments for March.

Months have a way of disappearing without visible progress on your book.

The best way to make sure that you make consistent progress on your book is to cultivate the twin habits of:

  1. Tracking your progress at the end of each month.
  2. Creating deadlines for finishing specific tasks for the next month.

List your accomplishments during the previous month on a sheet of paper, and hang it on your wall, where you glance at it and feel good about what you’ve accomplished. Likewise, commit your upcoming month’s writing goals to paper, and hang them on the wall next to your accomplishments.

You can also use an online calendar program, like Google’s, to track your monthly progress and commit the time to specific tasks in the upcoming month. (See 3 Ways to Find the Time to Write Your Book for details.)

Seeing obvious evidence of the progress you’ve made during the previous month will fuel your enthusiasm and commitment to achieve your writing goals for the next month.

Looking backwards to February>

What progress did you make on your personal branding book during February? Did you:

  • Identify a working title for your book?
  • Prepare a table of contents with chapter titles and the main ideas to be included in each chapter?
  • Analyze existing books in your field so you can position your book relative to the competition?
  • Identify potential literary agents and potential publishers who are likely to be interested in your project?
  • Create a cash-flow projection for your book, especially if you’re considering self-publishing?
  • Evaluate your current author platform, and create a calendar for strengthening it and broadening your involvement in social media marketing?
  • Create a marketing plan for promoting your book before and after its publication date?
  • Research websites of authors in your field and identify how they leverage their book into back-end products, services, and paid speaking opportunities.

There’s more to personal branding success than writing!

Notice that none of the above crucially-important tasks directly involve writing your book.

Instead, the above involve planning and research, non-writing tasks that–ultimately–are as important to your book’s, and your personal brand’s, success as is your ability to write.

I emphasize the importance of non-writing tasks because my coaching clients often say, Well, I didn’t get anything done on my book last month!, but then go on to describe how they have selected an appropriate title, created a table of contents, or begun a blog to augment their author platform.

When looking back to your progress during the previous month, look beyond “writing” and recognize the other sources of progress you may not be giving yourself credit for accomplishing!

Making March count

As February turns into March, take the time to identify specific tasks you want to accomplish and create realistic deadlines for each completing each task.

It’s not enough to say, I want to begin a blog! or I want to line up some pre-publication quotes!

Goals without deadlines are just wishful thinking!

Instead, commit to setting up a blog and creating a blog content plan by a specific date, and commit 30-45 minutes a day working towards that goal.

By simply giving yourself a deadline, and committing the necessary time–building your daily schedule around your commitment–you’ll find that March, 2010, and the months that follow–can witness unprecedented progress planning, writing, promoting, and profiting from a book that builds your personal brand and drives business and career success.