Today our Rebelles from the Heart comes from Melonie Faith Johnson, whose manuscript Sometimes You Need a Sexy Scot is a contemporary romance category finalist. Melonie has some great tips for achieving your goals, so read on!

Over the last year or so I’ve become “that person” – the one who posts about her workouts every ten seconds on social media. Okay, not every ten seconds. But daily…or at least most days. And if those posts make you roll your eyes, I get it. I used to hate them too. But the gym I go to participates in charity hashtag campaigns, so if kids in need can get books, coats, food (this month it’s shoes) all from a simple check-in hashtag…then yeah, I’ll risk being annoying. And now it’s become routine for me to post, as much a part of my day as hitting the gym in the morninghas become a habit. And that’s what I’m here to chat about today: habits.


#girlswithgoals is a hashtag I often use on my annoying gym posts – and it’s true – I’ve got goals. Big goals and little goals. Baby-step goals I know I’ll probably be able to nail in a month and pie-in-the-sky goals I’m not sure I’ll ever achieve. Both are important. Both are useful. Both give me something to strive for each day I get up and put on my workout clothes and head out the door. Setting goals for myself provides the motivation I need, but going after those goals day in and day out can be a little harder…this is where habit comes in.

There are mornings when I don’t feel like going to the gym, where I’m sore or cranky or bloated or all of the above. On those days, I still go, because it has become such a part of my day that not going actually feels worse. I crave checking off that box for the day. Literally. Inspired by Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity tracker (http://lifehacker.com/281626/jerry-seinfelds-productivity-secret), in addition to my annoying hashtag loaded check-ins, I check off each day I exercise on a calendar. And I don’t want to break the chain—I must not break the chain!


But productivity charts aren’t just for workouts, as this Lifehacker blogger describes (http://lifehacker.com/5886128/how-seinfelds-productivity-secret-fixed-my-procrastination-problem), using the “Don’t Break the Chain” method can help track and achieve all kinds of goals…from learning a new skill to decluttering closets to WRITING A BOOK (see, there was a point to all that).

Like working out, writing requires discipline. Sure, there are days I’m motivated by a great idea or a new scene and can’t wait to dive in to the story. But there are plenty of days that I’d rather do anything but write, and will create all kinds of obstacles to sabotage my writing time. Again, this is where habit becomes important. Doesn’t matter if I want to write, doesn’t matter if I feel inspired, I need to get my butt in the chair, put my hands on the keyboard and earn my checkmark for the day. As the great Nora has infamously said, the key to writing is putting your “ass in the chair.” Anyone who has tried this knows it’s easier said than done. And even when I do manage to get my booty in the chair, I end up tumbling down a social media rabbit hole.

That’s where the Golden Heart and my Rebelle sisters come in. As an unpublished writer, the deadlines created are often self-imposed, and easy to ignore. To enter the Golden Heart contest, a manuscript MUST be complete, which is great motivation to finish the darn book. As for my fellow Rebelles, they share when they are writing and set up word sprints and plan writing times and keep tabs on each other’s progress. Knowing they are putting in the time on their stories makes me want to do the same. Like one of my trainers coaching me to lift a little heavier or do a few more reps, seeing Rebelle writing posts pushes me to get moving on my manuscript. So while my workout check-ins may or may not motivate others to exercise, I know my fellow Rebelle wordcount check-ins encourage me to get my ass in that chair and actually write. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some checkmarks to earn.



Melonie Johnson is a Star Wars junkie and Shakespeare groupie who quotes both Yoda and the Bard with equal aplomb. She loves dark coffee, cheap wine, and expensive beer. She met her future husband in that most romantic of places—the mall—when they were teenagers working in stores across the hall from each other. After earning her Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University Chicago, Melonie taught high school English and Theatre for several years. Now that her two redhead daughters are old enough to use the microwave (they only lit it on fire once), she devotes her time to writing and moonlights as an audiobook narrator under the pseudonym, Evelyn Eibhlin. A two-time Golden Heart® finalist, Melonie is represented by Pamela Harty of the Knight Agency. Visit her at meloniejohnson.com and find her on Twitter and Instagram at @MelonieJohnson.


12 thoughts on “#girlswithgoals

  1. cgrissom says:

    Love this post, Melonie! Truer words about #GirlsWithGoals. Love the hashtag. Love the fact The Rebelles encourage us both. I need to get the gym part of my goal program in place. For me, I feel adrift with balance in my life. You’ve inspired me to nail down and make time for good habits. It’s beyond time to do so.


    • Melonie says:

      Thanks for stopping by! And for sharing the post 🙂 I really like the check mark thing because it doesn’t have to be huge – just consistent. And small steps over time can take you far!


    • Melonie says:

      Somedays I’m a ninja, somedays I’m a slug. Having some gym buddies helps too. But just like bad habits are hard to break – so are the good ones!! You get used to doing something and it feels “right” to do it :)Thanks for stopping by!


  2. Janet Halpin says:

    Great post! I walk and swim to work off DH’s chocolate chip cookies I love so much, and I find both great for plotting or working out issues in my WIP. Checking out the Lifehacker blog post, thanks for linking it.


    • Melonie says:

      I keep hearing about these fab choc-chip cookies Janet and am dying to try one! I only like my cc cookies hot and fresh straight out of the oven…so I’m coming for a visit!

      And the lifehacker post is great – I save the free calendars that come in the mail and use them to track my “Xs” – start that chain and keep it going!


  3. Susannah Erwin says:

    I’ve seen the Seinfeld calendar productivity hack before, but you’ve inspired me to actually use it. Also, I love your gym posts and also find them inspiring – I look forward to them and they spur me on to go to my gym classes when I’d rather stay home. So thank you!


    • Melonie says:

      Woot! I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to know those gym check-ins helped encourage someone 🙂

      The calendar thing is awesome! I keep mine stashed in a cabinet next to my vitamins so I get home from the gym, take my vitamins and get my “X” – it’s almost silly how good it feels to see that lone line of “x’s” – but hey, it works, so I’ll take it!

      Thanks for stopping by, can’t wait to see you at Ohana for breakfast!


  4. Pamala Knight says:

    Your daily workout posts are inspirational, even if I don’t get to work out daily like you do. But it’s something that’s THERE and CONCRETE and that motivates me to try. So, congratulations to you for being steadfast in your goals and cultivating the habits to meet them. 🙂


    • Melonie says:

      Hi Pamala! Nice to hear the gym posts are inspiring. I hope I never fall off the fitness wagon, but if I do, maybe a few people who have become accustomed to my check-ins will nudge me with a “Hey – aren’t you going to go work out?” 😉


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