Friday Book Club Review Guide

Friday Book Club Review Guide

Monday began the first day of the Better Living Book Club and today the review guide for chapter one of the book “The Compound Effect” is available below.

The purpose of the Book Club is to encourage you to read through several books a year. The only cost to join its your time each week and the price of the book.

The Review Guide is made available to review the material you have learned through the week and beginning to apply it to your life. Studies have show that immediate use of learned knowledge helps to form good habits and the knowledge will stick in our minds.

The first book is “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy (Affiliate Link)

My Thoughts on Chapter One:

As Darren shares his story, it provides a basis to see how the small steps in his life have compounded into big results. Even the accounts of “Three Friends” shows three different examples of small steps and results.  Examples, whether personal or friends, described in a book help to draw a picture in the readers minds. Darren does an excellent job.

A main point to understand is there is no short way to success. I would recommend rereading the section entitled, “Success, Old School” and “Microwave Mentality” again. Darren’s thoughts on hard work need to be noted. We live in an age where people are “instant millionaires” but there is show much of their story that is not shown. Reread theses sections before diving into chapter two next Monday.

Click on the picture to open the review guide (PDF form) in a new browser window or right-click and save the PDF file to your hard drive.

My aim is to provide you with a resource to encourage you to pursue personal achievement and to use the knowledge that you gain along the way.

Enjoy the book and the review guide,




Neither this Book Club, the review guide, nor the author is associated with Darren Hardy or The Compound Effect book. This is an open book club to inspire you for better living each day.
Self-Paced Book Club Begins Today

Self-Paced Book Club Begins Today

Today, January 9, the “Better Living Book Club” begins.

The purpose of the book club is to challenge and inspire you to read various books throughout the year. This is a self-paced book club that still provides a simple schedule to work around each week. Each week, a chapter will be assigned and on Friday of each week, a Question/Review sheet will be made available to answer and remember what you have learned.

Feel free to join the discussion on my Facebook page here.

The first Better Living Book Club book is “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy.

“Darren is a product of the principles he reveals in The Compound Effect. As an entrepreneur, Darren was earning a six-figure income by age eighteen, more than a million dollars a year by age twenty-four, and he owned a company producing $50 million a year in revenue by age twenty-seven. He has mentored thousands of entrepreneurs, advised many large corporations, and serves on the board of several companies and nonprofit organizations.

As publisher and editorial director of SUCCESS magazine, Darren is in a unique position to interview leading experts on human performance and achievement, as well as many of today’s top CEOs, revolutionary entrepreneurs, superstar athletes, entertainers, and Olympic champions, to uncover and share the success secrets behind their extraordinary success.”


I have heard various people speak of The Compound Effect as being a great book to begin your personal development journey. I have not read it, but it is on my list this year as I seek to read 100 books before the end of the year, I thought it would be a great first book for the Better Living Book Club.


This week’s assigned chapter – Chapter 1

Question/Review Sheet will be made available on Friday.


I look forward to joining the discussion on Facebook. Begin your personal development journey today.

Just some thoughts,




How can I join the book club?

You can join the book club at any time (and you can drop out of the book club at any time.) All that is required is for you to purchase the book and begin reading. There are no fees, very little requirements or meetings.

What is the cost to join the book club?

The only cost is the purchase of your book. Some of the books in this year’s book club can be borrowed from your local library or a friend.

If there are very little requirements, then what is the purpose?

The purpose is to encourage you to read a chapter each week and to follow up that chapter with a series of questions for you to answer on your own. I will provide you with the questions at the end of each week. You can do them on your own. If you are looking for additional assistance or personal coaching, we can talk then, but that is not required.

What is the schedule?

The book club will consist of one assigned chapter a week with a question handout at the end of each week. For instance, if the selected book is a 13 chapter book, the schedule for that book will be 13 weeks.

2017 Goal – Read 100 Books

2017 Goal – Read 100 Books

Today, over 20 people have given me the names of their recommended books and their recommended authors. I stated and personal goal and asked one simple question.

Does the goal seem impossible?

I bet to some it does. Just think about it; 100 books is almost 2 books a week for the next year! That is outrageous considering most people are struggling to read. (Check out this article from The Atlantic for more information.) I believe it can be done. As one of my quote says,

“The one who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the one doing it.” 

My 100 book goal will be a difficult one, but I am going to put forth my best foot forward and get it done. It you set goals that do not change or challenge you, then why set any goals? For me, it means some changes and taking advantages of opportunities to make progress every day.

Personal Note: This is not my only goal for 2017; it is just one of the many. I divide my goals into several categories: (1) Personal, (2) Family, (3) Spiritual, (4) Ministry, (5) Financial, (6) Home and finally, (7) Business.

First, understand that every book will not be a 200 page book. I will be reading from a variety of disciplines and each one will be different in many aspects. Currently, I am reading a 704 page book, more like a resource book, to get some personal improvement ideas in areas from finance to wellness to creativity.

Second, understand I have a lifestyle that encourages reading. Being in ministry, teaching, writing and speaking several times each week allows me the privilege of researching, reading and more writing. I know it is easier on me than others because of my lifestyle.

Below are some steps I am going to take to get it done.

Manage Opportunities – Too many people whine about not having enough time until they want to do something and then, suddenly, time appears. The fact is none of us manage time, we manage the opportunities we have in the time we are given. Each person is given 168 hours a week to do with as we please. However, not everyone will use time the same. (I will write more about this later.)

Several years ago, I stopped doing everything and start doing something. I have found that I do not have a gift for everything but I can do something. In fact, I have about three decent abilities and I try to stick with them instead of being a “jack-of-all-trades.” I will help others as much as I can, but there are things I cannot do.

As an example, there is a project that I undertook rather stupidly. I thought it would be an easy project and I would learn along the way. Instead, my brain has been friend and I have been frustrated with getting it done over and over. Finally, today, I outsourced the project using Fiverr. (This is my first experience with Fiverr so I will say more once the project is completed.)

For now, I am going to start by scheduling reading time every night before I go to bed; no more late night phone checking and falling into the Facebook, Social Media and YouTube Blackhole. Speaking of, have you ever wondered how much time people waste in the Social Media Blackhole? As of 2011, it was 6.9 hours a month. I bet the amount has steadily increased. It is amazing. (Go read Mashable’s article on Social Media and Time here.)

(Math Time) Figuring I can get in at least 30 minutes every evening, gives me 15 hours in a thirty day month. Since most people have a reading speed of 250 to 300 words per minute (source) that puts me at 270,000 words a month. The average book length is 64,531 words in length (source), that gives me 4.18 books a month. Remember, not every book will be 64,531 words; some more and some less. This provides a pretty good start.

Remember, that is only 30 minutes each evening. What if I added 30 minutes into the midday? What if I added 30 minutes in the morning? To do this, I would need to cut out several time wasters out of the day or I would need to maximize every opportunity.

Having an Amazon Kindle (affiliate link) will help to maximize reading time by allowing me to carry my electronic library wherever I go. Whether I am in line picking up one of my children from practice or waiting in line somewhere, I have the ability to spend a few moments reading. If do not have the Kindle with you, then you can at least have the app on your phone.

Speed Read – As stated previously, the average person reads between 250 and 300 words a minute, but some are much faster. Not all books, at least for me, can be glazed through at a high rate of speed. There are some books that need time to digest, others to be reread and still others to dive into deeper with time.

I started experimenting with speed reading a few years ago and found some success. A few weeks ago, a friend point to a few speed reading apps available for phones and tablets. He is an iPhone user and uses Spritz. For Android users, you can check out this list of Spritz-like speed reading apps. There are other speed reading apps found at the Spritz website for Android users.

Additionally, if you have the Kindle app on your phone, it also has a speed reading app built into it. Give it a try and see how you do. My friend has increased his speed reading time dramatically.

Comprehend More – While speed reading will boost the words per minute, there still must be something to hold onto after the book is put down. To be able to comprehend more, I will need to add notes to my journal and even highlight and go back and review my notes at the end of each book. This is where having a personal website will help. I have decided to make my notes and reviews available for a few books over the course of the year.

Be Accountable – One of the easiest things to do is not to hold yourself accountable for your goals. It is easy to let a goal slip by and make excuses for them. Being held accountable puts the burden of responsibility on your shoulders to get the job done. I have already thrown myself out there by stating my goals on Facebook and even writing this article.

I am hoping to compile my list soon and make it available to you.  If you need a list to start planning today, here are a few:

100 Must Read Books form the Art of Manliness

Popular 100 Books to Read before Your Die from

Finally, if you want some motivation to read more, join the Better Living Book Club I am putting together next year.

Find out more by sending me a quick email with BETTER LIVING BOOK CLUB in the subject line. OUr first book will be the “Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. (affiliate link)

Anyway, the night is growing short and I have some pages of that huge 704 book to read, I better get moving.

Let me know what some of your goals are next year and how I can encourage you to keep them.

Just my thoughts,

Announcement Monday

Announcement Monday

As this year draws to a close and the new year of 2017 breaks upon the horizon, I wanted to share with you some upcoming changes which are taking place over the next few weeks. While there has not been as much material on the website than in year’s past, this coming year will hold more information and a greater work. I have listed a few of the upcoming changes and the enhancements in the information below. If you would like, take a moment and read through the information and join with me as I seek to assist others in creating better days today for a better life tomorrow.

Be sure to join/follow our social media accounts to stay up with the changes and the information as this year closes and get ready for the launch of the new site beginning January 1st, 2017.

Give a look at the information below.

A Different Look

Through the next 31 days visitors to the website will see several changes for greater navigation and a better visual experience. Along the way there will be some new changes coming to enhance the resources provided to help you create better days today for a better life tomorrow. The changes and additions to the site will seek to fulfill the purpose of providing relevant information and encouragement to assist you in daily living.

The new format will work well on mobile phones, tablets and websites. This will make for easier enhancement and navigation for any user. The new format will feature an easy menu to specific areas of the website.

While these formatting changes take place, I would ask for your patience as the bugs and kinks are being worked out. In fact, there is a chance to make the larger changes the site might be pulled offline for a few days to make the proper coding and visual changes. Thank you for understanding.

New Features Available in 2017

An Article Schedule – Beginning January 2017, a weekly article schedule will begin to bring some organization and greater enhancement to the way information is shared. This will also allow each visitor to check back on specific days to follow the various tidbits are posted. A copy of the schedule is below.

  • Monday will be #MondayMotivation – Mondays are stereotyped as the hardest day of the week to rise out of bed and begin your week, however, Mondays can be the start of a great week and become your most productive day. The weekly #MondayMotivation will give you tools, tips and share a video or two to start your Monday off in a great way.
  • Tuesday will be Review Day – From time to time over the years, I have been asked to review a variety of times and others I have reviewed on my own. I want to share those thoughts, whether good or bad, with you. These reviews will feature items from products, books, services, etc. Some will be quite unique and others will ones you know very well.
  • Wednesday will Podcast Day – As the podcast has been revised, there are several episodes in the que to be uploaded at the beginning of the year. The podcast will cover many different topics and each episode will be posted on Wednesday and the show notes will contain links and notes for you to follow along. (More podcast information will follow soon.)
  • Thursday will be Writing Day – Thursdays will deal with the aspects of writing. I am not a professional writer, but I love writing and I like to share a variety of the aspects of writing. These shared items will be anything from ebooks, segments of books and short stories.
  • Friday will be Random Chaos Day – There are several things I write each week and many things which run through my mind , so Fridays will be optimal time to share them. These posts will be different than the #FridayFive Newsletter. Be sure to check out the #FridayFive Newsletter.

The majority of the posts will be right around 500 words in length, but several of them will extend beyond 1,000 words.

fridayfiveEnhanced Newsletter – Over the course of the year, I put together a newsletter features two sections called #Two4Tuesday and the #FridayFive. The new 2017, enhanced newsletter will discontinue the #Two4Tuesday and continue the #FridayFive newsletter. The #FridayFive newsletter is a list of five things which I have found fascinating throughout the week. It might be blog posts, articles, books, podcasts and any other chaos that crosses my mind. You can sign-up for free by going to the Newsletter Sign-up page.

Separate Tags for Separate People – If everyone were like me, this world would not continue to spin on its axis, but instead veer off course and slowly propel itself into the sun in hopes of ending the chaos. However, everyone is not like me, to which I am very thankful. To this end, the new design will allow for different topics to be explored with ease. If you like religion, then you will be able to view articles only on religion. If you like productivity, then you will be able to only view those links to productivity. If you like chaos, then follow them all. I think you get the idea. To do this, categories will be created and a menu will list the available article topics for you to click on and follow.

rustic-gallagher-fb-squareA New Store – This years has brought a new store to the website. While this store has been contained on Etsy for the past several weeks, it will become part of the website through a link on the menu bar. The Rustic Gallagher Etsy Store contains the vintage and the unique from toys to razors to hard to find trinkets. Throughout the past year, I have stumbled across a variety of items and made them available on the Etsy store. This coming year, 2017, a link will be available on the website as well as a list of items available from the store. The new store will not only contain items from the Rustic Gallagher store, but it will feature a few books, t-shirts and other items not contained in Etsy. Be sure to stop by often and see what is offered.


Social Media Accounts

Over the past 10 years, Facebook and Twitter have changed the way people receive their news, information and communicate with the world. To take advantage of these areas, there are Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter accounts for each aspect of the information I seek to provide to you. I would encourage you to “Like” all the pages to stay in touch with each category, but if you just want to “Like” one, then go for it. Each Fan Page will encounter a different side of the website and allow you to get specific with your interests


Facebook Pages

Christopher M. Gallagher Facebook Fan Page – This is my personal Fan Page to motivate you for better living by providing resources and information to inspire and challenge you do work your best each day. If you are looking for a daily motivation, a daily challenge or a daily fun page to follow, then go on our and “Like” the Christopher M. Gallagher Facebook Fan Page.

The Preacher’s Pen Facebook Fan Page – This Facebook Fan Page is dedicated to the search for a true religion built on the principles of the Bible. The quest is to seek life’s answers by digging into the one Book, proven over and over, to be from the Creator of Heaven and Earth. If you are a Christian, religious or seeking answers in life, then come on over and “Like” the Preacher’s Pen Facebook Fan Page.

The Rustic Gallagher Fan Page – Our new store now has its own Facebook Fan Page. This page will feature items found in the Rustic Gallagher Etsy Store. Through this page, you will see available items as well as getting a sneak peek to new arrivals you can purchase before being listing in the store. You will also find discount codes and coupons. If you are interested in vintage items, unique gifts or looking for something specific, go over and “Like” the Rustic Gallagher Facebook Page.


Twitter Accounts

Personal Twitter (@GallagherPreach) – Just like the personal Facebook Fan Page, the personal Twitter account is meant to inspire and motivate you to live better. This Twitter account will also post and retweets things from time to time from the political, the religious and a variety of quotes. If you are looking to follow me on Twitter, to go @GallagherPreach. (This is also one of the best ways to get in touch with me)

Preacher’s Pen Twitter (@PreachersPen) – This is the 140-character information tool of the Preacher’s Pen which shares religious posts from the blog and other religious material including retweets and quotes. Follow the Twitter account here.

Rustic Gallagher Twitter (@RusticGallagher) – This accounts features the items found in the Rustic Gallagher Etsy Store. Following this twitter account will allow you to see the ends and outs of the store as well as tips and tricks to finding vintage and unique items. Go ahead and follow the Rustic Gallagher Store at @RusticGallagher

Final Thoughts:

I know over the past year, the website has been pretty silent, but the work is just beginning. 2017 will be an exciting year with many different things happening behind the scenes. As we draw closer to the new year, I would encourage you to sign-up for the newsletter and follow along as we draw this year to a close and begin focusing on the coming year. The newsletter will keep you updated on the coming progress and new information.

Thanks for being a part of our efforts.

Just some thoughts,





A Voting Guide for 2016

A Voting Guide for 2016

This election has created friction between friends, family and even Christians. No matter who you are voting for, or even if you are voting, you will agree that our country is in a place of decline. Each day, the social media newsfeeds show a majority of politics and I imagine it will get filled up as election draws closer.

Since 2004 (I believe), I have provided a voting guide for you to consider and pray over. I decided to make this Voting Guide 2016 available before the weekend so you are able to spend time considering the choices and spend time in prayer.

Feel free to download and share this Voting Guide 2016.

(You may click the photo to open a PDF file you may save. You may also right click and choose “Save As” to save it to your hard drive.)


Just some thoughts,


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Thoughts in Your Inbox

Sign-up and join our weekly email newsletter list. Every Tuesday and Friday you will recieve an email in your inbox to keep you motivated and educated. The #Two4Tuesday arrives Tuesday morning with two articles and the #FridayFive is a list of five things which have crossed my mind this week.

I look forward to talking to you soon.

You have Successfully Subscribed!