2022 Calaveras Ranger District Motorized Recreation Studies

A. T. James Writes


Get your copy here:

2022 Calaveras Ranger District Motorized Recreation Studies

The 2022 Calaveras Ranger District Motorized Recreation Studies is a collection of studies that provides a quantitative analysis of use data pertaining to the different types of motorized recreation observed on the Calaveras Ranger District in 2022. The data used in this collection came from over 3,700 recreators observed using the 494 miles of motorized recreation opportunities on the Calaveras Ranger District. This collection followed the same framework put forth in the 2019 edition and continues the same trend analyses started in the 2020 and 2021 editions. Each of the six individual studies provides a framework that can be repeated for continuing annual surveys. This information may be useful for land managers, public officials, or business developers and operators as these studies provide comparative information for the many types of motorized recreation that exist on the market…

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2022 Calaveras Ranger District Camper Origin Study

A. T. James Writes


Get your copy here:

2022 Calaveras Ranger District Camper Origin Study

The 2022 Calaveras Ranger District Camper Origin Study provides an analysis of origin data of campers on the Calaveras Ranger District during the 2022 camping season depicting the states, counties, ZIP Code areas, and city areas from which campers originated for the federally managed campgrounds on the district. The data gathered came from over 4,800 Recreation Fee Envelopes collected from campers that were used to pay for the nights they camped on the district during the 2022 season. This study utilizes the same framework provided in the 2019 study, and the additions encouraged in the 2020 and 2021 studies. This edition of the study offers a comparison of data from 2021 to 2022 and notes the similarities and trends observed from year to year. The specific information provided in this study may be used by land managers…

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A. T. James Writes

Let’s talk about pedestrian tourists, the wild west, malls, and terrible parking. In the following, ramble a little bit, but this whole post has to do with downtown Sonora.


When you think about a ‘downtown’ I’m sure a bunch of different ideas come to mind. Maybe the idea of a ‘downtown’ is the bad part of town. Maybe it’s the ritzy part of town. Maybe it’s just an area built up around a bunch of highway intersections. A ‘downtown’ can come in many different styles and fits and there is no true one-size-fits-all gown that you can throw on.

For me, when I think of ‘downtown’ I primarily think of an area where business is done, people live, and folks go to enjoy the culture.

The businesses could be white-collar professional businesses like CPAs, attorneys, or doctors. They could be service-based businesses like hair salons, tattoo parlors…

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Always writing, always writing. Check out my newest publication!

A. T. James Writes


Get your copy here:

Camper Origin Study Guideline by A. T. James

The Camper Origin Study Guideline takes a practical approach to guiding readers through the stages of conducting their own camper origin study. This step-by-step guide explains how to gather, tabulate, and analyze camper data significant for decision-making by stakeholders that exist in communities where outdoor recreation is a primary industry. The straightforward methods outlined in this guide can be used for campground programs of any scale. Campground managers and study coordinators will find the processes easy to follow and effective for facilitating future studies.


Camper Origin Study Guideline by A. T. James

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Be an Off-Road Hero!

Great opportunity to learn new skills or to refresh your old skills!

A. T. James Writes

If you get hurt, you can’t ride.

– Me after getting hurt and not being able to ride

California State Parks’ Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR) is hosting two OHV Safety Awareness Weeks in 2023. The first one is April 1-9 and the second one will be November 11-19. The OHMVR Division and its partners are hoping that motorized recreation enthusiasts follow safety protocols and get trained on how to operate OHVs proficiently.

As someone who has been gravely injured (near death) in an OHV vs truck collision, I can assure you that it isn’t fun, and if you’re spending months or years recovering, that’s all time that you can’t spend riding. It’s also time that you won’t ever get back.

Of course, if you end up dying, you can’t really ride either. On a side note, do you think there is good single track in the afterlife?


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3×6 Goals: Planning Your Sessions (2022 Edition)

Planning the Sessions

Alright, in the last post, or last chapter, we talked about listing out the potential 3×6 goals we want to accomplish. We duplicated the list a couple times while culling out some goals and expanding on others until we had a refined list of goals that we could use for each of our 3×6 sessions. Then we used the 3×6 Goals Yearly Worksheet to place our individual goals into the appropriate sessions based first on specific deadlines, and then based on other time restraints like weather and personal preference. This leads us to the starting point for this post (or chapter if this makes it into the book) starting point. You won’t need a worksheet for this. You can do this with a blank piece of paper or a blank Word document.

Steps to Session Planning

So, we have the list of goals and a schedule of when we will be working on these goals, but there are a few more steps we must take before we can start tackling our goals. Those steps involve defining our goals, reviewing our resources, considering obstacles, and then scheduling our session.


The very first thing you must do for each goal is to define it. You have to know exactly what you are trying to accomplish and what it means to have accomplished the goal. If your goal is to ‘Renovate the kitchen’, what exactly does that mean? Does that mean that you want to replace the drawer handles and maybe repaint the walls, or does that mean that you want to replace everything, cabinets and appliances included? You can see why it is important to define exactly what you want to do here, because one of the next steps will require you to list out when you will actually do that work. If you are simply repainting the kitchen, the amount of time you have to schedule is far less than if you are planning on redoing all of your cabinets as well. Defining your goal can be as simple as outlining each step, or activity, that is required for you to consider your goal accomplished. I like to first define what my goal is, then I break the goal down into as many pieces that I can. I do this in the form of a to-do list with each process listed.

Let’s take my first goal for Session 1 as an example. The goal is listed as “Finish the GTA Study”. In reality, the goal is to have the GTA study finished and sent to the requesting editor by the end of Session 1, or February 20, 2022. This is what I write at the very top of my to-do list for this goal. I then proceed to outline the different steps I need to take to finish the goal. After I list the biggest items, I break them into smaller chunks. This will help with scheduling later. I try to fit all of this on a single page, just so that I can make copies and post them in strategic locations so that I can constantly be reminded of what I need to, or should be, working on.

In the example below, you can see where I wrote the specific goal with the deadline, as well as the outline of what I need to do in order to finish the goal. These could act like a step-by-step process for finishing the goal, or it could act as a checklist that might help to keep you on track.

Review Resources

The next step in the session planning process is to review the available resources. Available resources do not have to be solely about money or time, though for some goals these might be the major contributing factors towards the successful completion of a goal. Resources can be anything that might help you towards your goal. If your goal is to remodel your kitchen, maybe you have been stockpiling random supplies or tools for a while and you already have a sink, a faucet, or a countertop. These are things that your goal requires, but you already have. With writing, maybe you already have an outline, or you’ve already compiled and analyzed your prewriting research. In terms of research, maybe you have unfettered access to peer-reviewed journals. If your goal is based on exercise, maybe you already have a gym membership or a group of friends that are active.

Sometimes money and time are resources that you can utilize. Maybe you can take a week off from work to work on your goal, maybe you can work on your goals while you are at work, or maybe you can use your money to hire a handyman or contractor to help you realize your goal.

Regardless of what the resource is, a resource is anything that you can tap into and utilize to make your goal that much easier to accomplish. These are all advantages that will help to either give you a jumpstart at working towards your goal, or they will streamline the process of you accomplishing your goal.

These don’t necessarily have to be documented, but sometimes it’s good to list out your advantages before you start. I feel like I can take on the world when I can list out all my advantages beforehand, so it is a practice I highly encourage. I list out my resources right under my to-do list so that I am constantly reminded of the advantages I have. As you can see in the example below, I also use a green text to write out my resources. To me, this is kind of like the ‘Green Light’ idea that Matthew McConaughey discusses in his book, and also like the red light/green light game from the Squid Game series. I list my resources in green to show that these will help me accelerate through my goal.

Consider Obstacles

The third step deals with obstacles. There will always be barriers to the successful completion of your goals. The trick is to overcome those barriers. Over the years, I have found it vital to consider and confront obstacles right away. If you can address obstacles soon enough, you will have adequate time to plan around the obstacles or find ways to overcome the obstacles.

Obstacles can be anything. They can be appointments, power outages, inclement weather, lack of resources, or even lack of technology, just to name a few. One obstacle that I almost always encounter when conducting my studies is the lack of access to specific documents that I can access at home, but not on my work network. This might seem minor, but if I have downtime at work, I am not able to perform the research that I would be able to if I didn’t have the access issue.

Obstacles should be listed not as a means to make excuses. Obstacles should be listed with the intent to either overcome them or work around them. While the Resources section might be used as an encouragement, the Obstacles section of your session planning should be used as a warning label. I list these so that I am aware of specific limitations and so I can keep my eyes open for pitfalls. The key idea of considering obstacles is to be aware of them so that you can plan for them. As you can see in the following example, I like to list my obstacles in red to further carry the ‘warning label’ theme that obstacles represent for goals.

Scheduling the Session

Finally, we can start scheduling the session. I’ve scheduled my 3×6 goal sessions in a variety of ways, but I’ve found that it really depends on what your goal is, since each goal has unique time constraints and requirements. For instance, if your goal is to write a novel, you might want to break the six-week period down by days and then assign a number of words you want to type by the end of each day. If you can’t write every single day, maybe you could dedicate larger chunks of time to finish a couple chapters each week. If your goal is a home construction project, you might schedule a few weeks in the middle of the session in order to finish the goal in one go rather than starting and restarting a project over and over again throughout the six-week period.

When I can, I like to break my to-do lists down into as many fifteen-minute tasks as I can so that I can work on things when I have snippets of down time. This doesn’t always work with larger projects, but I feel more motivated if I frontload the smaller, more menial tasks into little chunks. Typically, when I do this, by the time I’m three weeks into a session, I have a great sense of accomplishment after finishing so many small tasks, and that feeling of accomplishment motivates me to begin working on the larger tasks that require more effort.

Even though I just mentioned that I use my downtime to accomplish tasks, in many cases it is important to actually schedule when you will be working on your goals. This could be as easy as penciling it into your desk calendar or setting an alarm on your phone for a desired time, but some people just plan on blocking time out of their day to solely work on goals. Personally, I try to block out the time between 11PM and 1AM so that I have at least two hours every night to work on my goals. Occasionally, if my girlfriend goes to bed early and there isn’t anything interesting on YouTube, I might start at 10PM, and I’ve also spent some extra time on the other side of the two-hour block and frequently stay up until 3AM if I am close to being finished. Of course, a schedule like this will not work if you are trying to complete yardwork or construction styled goals or if you have other commitments sapping your energy. The best option is to figure out when you are most productive and least distracted and try to fit working on your goals in during that time. It’s hard, and it might take some discipline, but you can always sleep when you’re dead.

One aspect about scheduling that I haven’t really mentioned anywhere else is the idea of measurability. When we start scheduling things, we ultimately start assigning time constraints. With time constraints comes the idea of productivity. This is typically indicated by a phrase like “by X date, I need to have Y number of things done”, “by six o’clock, I’ll have 1600 words written”, or something similar. This might be easy if you are trying to write a novel and have a word count goal, or if you are trying to save money and have a final amount you need to reach, but this gets more complex with non-numerical goals. That’s where the beauty of the outline comes into play.

Regardless of whether you block out time for your goals or if you try to fit them in when you can, at the bare minimum, you should at least assign a deadline to each of your to-do list items. I don’t mean that the deadline should be the final day of the session, but the deadlines you assign should fall somewhere within the six-week period. By setting different deadlines for different activities, you can focus your time on the items you have to check off first, and you can organize your six-week session based on process priorities.

If you remember, when I defined my goal and then proceeded to outline the steps needed to reach the goal, I mentioned that the outline is kind of like a step-by-step action plan. If I’ve already listed all the steps needed to accomplish my goal, scheduling it can be as easy as assigning deadlines to each activity. I do this by opening a calendar and picking one of the six weeks of the session, and then using the last day of that week as the deadline for the tasks of that week. You can break this down further and schedule daily tasks, or even hourly tasks if you are really into keeping track of your time. You can also expand out and assign tasks bi-weekly deadlines, or even just use the end of the third week as a halfway mark.

I prefer to use the weekly process and schedule tasks by the week with Sunday being the deadline for each week. Some weeks might have a handful of tasks and other weeks might only have one, but if I’m making weekly progress, I feel encouraged to keep working. In the example below, you can see how I assigned a deadline to each task by adding a blue date at the end of each list item. You can do something similar, or you can physically pencil it into a calendar if that works better for you.

Some Things to Consider

Keep in mind that you can replicate this plan for each session goal at the beginning of the year, or you can do it before each session. There are benefits to doing it either way and I’ll provide arguments for and against both options.

Planning from Session to Session

Planning for each session at the beginning of each session works well for some people, but it has some drawbacks. If you want to move your goals from one session to another throughout the year, it makes more sense to plan each session individually as the year goes on. This also makes sense if you are short on resources such as money, or if your goals must be performed in order. If you feel like the defining variables of your goal might change by the time you get to the allocated session, it might be better to plan each session throughout the year as well.

The drawbacks to planning at the beginning of each session is that it takes quite a bit of time away from working on your real goals. If you spend an entire day just planning and scheduling for the upcoming session, that’s a whole day that could have been spent working on more productive activities, like your actual goals. Just the thought of having to take time aside once every six weeks to plan for the next session might be a deterrent to sticking with the program altogether.

Planning at the Beginning of the Year

Planning all the sessions at the beginning of the year might sound daunting, but there are reasons why session planning at the years beginning makes sense. If you plan out all your sessions at one time, you won’t have to take time away from working on your goals during each session to try and plan for the next session. On top of this, planning all the sessions at once will let you see a detailed roadmap of what your year will look like, and this might encourage you to stay on track from session to session throughout the year.

Despite the positives, there are negative aspects to planning all your sessions at once. Life changes, and by the time you get into the fourth or fifth session, you might have different resources available to you, previous sessions might not have gone as planned, or maybe your goals even changed a bit. While some of these might not require a complete replanning of your session, some of these changes could throw your plans out the window.

What Do I Do?

So, how do I approach this? I do both. I plan out all my sessions at the beginning of the year, and then during the last week of the current session, I quickly review all my plans for the upcoming session. If I have to make any changes, I can do so with relative ease. Personally, I would rather plan as much as possible before the year starts so that I don’t have to cut into any time that I should be dedicating towards working on goals. I understand that things do happen, and plans change, which is why I review and revise each session’s plans before the next session starts. During this review and revision, I am reminded of what I need to accomplish, and I can make necessary changes if they are needed. It’s true that this might take a little bit of time, but it allows for some flexibility while only requiring a little bit of extra time before each session.

Get Started!

Before I close out this post (or chapter, hopefully if I repeat it enough, I’ll actually finish the book), there are a few things to understand.

First, I only showed the planning process for one goal in one session. If you were to plan every single goal at the beginning of the year, you would have 24 different pages of goals. This might seem overwhelming, but in reality, it isn’t so bad. If you consider the breakdown of the single goal I showed as an example, I’m really only ever going to need to type about four to six pages of information a week. For a comparison, this document is now at the 16-page mark, and I’ve only spent about four hours working on it. Other goals might be more time consuming, but that’s why it is important to break goals down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

The second topic I want to bring up is the fact that I only showed one goal as an example. If you are following the true 3×6 system, you will have three goals in each section. To be fair and honest, I created the same session planning worksheet for my other two goals as well, and I will include them at the end of this post. Even though it looks like I only have a few tasks to do by the end of each week if you look at the example goal, this is only one third of what I actually have to do, and the tasks from the other two goals will be performed within the same period.

The final message I want to pass along is that it’s totally okay if you don’t accomplish your goals within the six-week session. One might think that the entire reason to set goals is to accomplish them, and that is kind of the point of goals, but in truth, any little bit of effort you put towards planning, working on, or accomplishing your goals is better than if you did nothing at all. If you can accomplish all three goals within the session, you are definitely a rockstar. If you accomplish only one of the three, that’s still one more than you would have finished if you never tried the process. If you just go through the planning phase and you don’t actually work towards anything, at least you have a plan for when you are able to work on your goals. Even just writing your goals down is a powerful step towards recognizing what you want to do.

I know this was long, but if any of it was confusing feel free to reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to help you design your 3×6 sessions.

Again, thanks for reading!


*Scroll down to see my three goal plans for Session 1. I would upload all 24 goal plans for all 8 session in 2022, but I think WordPress might not like that…

Selecting Your 3×6 Goals (2022 Edition)

A blank copy of the 3×6 Goals Yearly Worksheet: 2022 is available as a savable image at the end of this post. If you would like the Word document or PDF of the worksheet, feel free to email me at atjameswrites@gmail.com

To start out the 3×6 Goals system properly, the tiniest bit of planning is required. The idea of decent planning has been brought up multiple times thus far, but this is where it matters the most. So, here’s the scenario:

It’s New Year’s Eve. You’ve heard everybody else talking about their New Years resolutions and all their plans they have for the next year. Maybe some people even bragged about the goals and achievements that they worked towards in the past year. You find yourself thinking back on the goals and resolutions that you had set the previous year. Maybe you did good, and you accomplished them. Maybe you didn’t do so good, but you still held out for most of the year, and you were able to create some new good habits or break some old bad habits. Maybe you completely got off track and didn’t come close to achieving what you wanted to. I remember that I would always look at all the prestigious achievements, good habits, and accomplishments that my friends would talk about towards the end of the year and I would always feel a little heartbroken, sad, ashamed, and maybe even a little angry. I’m sure you’re feeling these same kinds of emotions as you see what other people were able to accomplish. 

Instead of moping or being sad and jealous of what others have done, this year will be different. This year will kick ass and here’s how.

All those goals and ideas you have floating around in your head are most likely thoughts and ideas that have been there for quite some time. Your job now is to flesh them out. Grab something to write with and a notepad, or use your phone, and just start listing all the stuff you think you might want to achieve or get done in the next year. List everything you can think of, regardless of how weird, crazy, or unlikely it might be to accomplish. It’s okay to have huge goals, such as ‘buy a house’ or ‘write a book’, and it’s totally fine to have smaller goals like ‘get a gym membership’ or ‘clean out the spare room’. Just get them all down on paper in a nice list. We’ll break them down or expand on them a little bit later.

Here are my goals for 2021 as examples of the types of goals or accomplishments you may want to list out. If you’re reading this in the far future, I certainly hope I made some progress on some of these, hell, maybe I’ll be famous from some of this stuff and I’ll be a living example of why the 3×6 Goals system works so well!

  1. Finish writing the ‘Fountain Series’.
  2. Finish the 2021 Camper Origin Study and the 2021 Motorized Recreation Study.
  3. Build the Eighty James author website.
  4. Build the Roadside Vibe website.
  5. Make a prototype Highway Shield Guide.
  6. Finish the Parrotts Ferry Pedestrian Study.
  7. Write 12 short stories (1 a month).
  8. Do 12 photoshoots and write accompanying photo stories.
  9. Finish the ‘SNOT Trail Guides’.
  10. Make progress on the new house.
  11. Attend two conventions/conferences.
  12. Install a sound system in the Subaru or Jeep
  13. Buy a Sony a7iii/a7iv camera.
  14. Set up my home workstation.
  15. Make video summaries of some of my studies.
  16. Get two tattoos.
  17. Clean out my closet.
  18. Cook once a week.
  19. Look at grad schools.
  20. Finish the GTA study.

Right off the bat, it’s obvious that some of my goals on this list might not be equal to other goals on my list. These differences might come from importance of the goal, the amount of effort required to achieve the goal, the time it might take to complete the goal, or the complexity of the goal. Some of these goals might be listed as one goal, but they probably consist of numerous foundational or provisional goals that must be accomplished before the goal can be completed. So, after writing all the goal ideas down, the next two steps require duplicating and expanding the list.


Not all goals are created equal. We talked about that a little bit earlier, but that same idea comes up again with the initial 3×6 goal planning. The 3×6 system focuses on using six weeks to accomplish a goal. If a goal can be accomplished in a single sitting, or a single activity, is that really a goal worthy of the 3×6 framework? It might be, but time is finite, and you’ll want to spend time and effort working on the goals that actually require time and effort.

So, after jotting down all my goals, I go through the list and transcribe it onto a second piece of paper (or second text document for those technology types). When I create the list for the second time, I don’t add any ‘goals’ that I can’t plan, or any activities that might not necessarily be an actual goal (remember, SMART).  Some of my nongoals might be obvious, such as getting two tattoos, but others might be a little more difficult to cull from the list.

Getting two tattoos is quite literally as easy as calling a tattoo parlor, setting up an appointment, and showing up to the appointment. Depending on your tattoo design, this tattoo might cost quite a bit of money and it might take more than one session under the needle, but we’ll talk about the money thing in a moment. For me, the two tattoos I want are simple designs that my girlfriend or friend could do. If I absolutely had to go to a shop, I think it might only take them a couple hours at most. While this is something that I want to have done by the end of the year, it isn’t worthy of being one of my 3×6 goals.

This same thing could be said for the goals of ‘Install a sound system’ and ‘Buy a Sony a7iii camera’. These goals aren’t hard. They don’t take a ton of time. They certainly aren’t things that I would feel accomplished doing, though I would enjoy having a new sound system and a new camera. The difference between these two goals and the goal of getting a tattoo is based on money. While my desired tattoos will be cheap, buying a sound system and a camera will require quite a bit of cash. Mainly, cash I don’t have. Even though purchasing the camera will be easy and fast, earning or saving up the money to pay for it will not be easy or fast. The act of purchasing the camera wouldn’t be a good 3×6 goal, but the process of earning and saving the money to purchase it could be.

Along those same lines, the next thing I look for is the time constraints. If a goal is supposed to be based on a repetitive action, such as ‘Cook once a week’ or ‘Write 12 short stories (1 a month)’, I may not consider duplicating those goals and using them in the 3×6 system. These kinds of goals should be approached as a scheduling or ritual exercise rather than a 3×6 goal. This is mainly because you won’t be able to fit the performance of 12, monthly activities into a single six-week period. Well, a dedicated content creator might want to produce content like that, but personally, the purpose of me doing something each month is to reinvigorate and maintain my creativity. Likewise, if you plan to do something weekly as a 3×6 goal, like cook once a week, at the end of the six-week session you will have only cooked six times, and is that really the spirit of the goal you set for yourself? Ritual goals, or any goal that is supposed to be scheduled and repeated, can be included as a 3×6 goal, but those goals would work better as a ritual change.

The next time constraint I look at is duration, but during this round of culling, I only look at the goals that won’t require six weeks’ worth of effort. I don’t duplicate anything that might only take an hour, or a half day. These can be easy weekend or afternoon projects and they don’t need to be put into the 3×6 system. On my 2021 list of goals, these are goals like ‘Clean out my closet’ and ‘Set up my workstation’. I could finish these if I just dedicated an hour or two to each activity, so I’m not going to duplicate those goals either.

If you skip down and look at the duplicated (and revised) list, you’ll notice that I also pulled out any goals that don’t have a definitive ending, such as ‘Look at grad schools’. I want to get a second graduate degree, and I have a few things I want to study. School is easy for me, but I have a wide range of interests, and I haven’t really pinpointed exactly what program will be best for my career development and my wallet. By the end of the year, I want to have a better idea of what I want, but that is not definitive, and therefore I won’t include it as a 3×6 goal.

So, after duplicating the goals worthy of the 3×6 system, my list looks as follows:

  1. Finish writing the ‘Fountain Series’.
  2. Finish the 2021 Camper Origin Study and the 2021 Motorized Recreation Study.
  3. Build the Eighty James author website.
  4. Build the Roadside Vibe website.
  5. Make a prototype Highway Shield Guide.
  6. Finish the Parrotts Ferry Pedestrian Study.
  7. Finish the ‘SNOT Trail Guides’.
  8. Make progress on the new house.
  9. Attend two conventions/conferences.
  10. Buy a Sony a7iii/a7iv camera.
  11. Make video summaries of some of my studies.
  12. Finish the GTA study.


The next step in creating the list of goals for the 3×6 year is to expand on the list.

If you plan on doing the 3×6 Goals system for the entire year, that means that you will have eight different sessions, each with three individual goals. That means you should have 24 different goals that you’ll want to accomplish in order to fill the three individual goals of each session. 24 goals are quite a bit, but before you stare at your screen (or book, if this makes it into the book) in slack-jawed disbelief, let’s look at some of the goals I have listed.

Many of the goals I listed are obviously multiple part goals that would require much more than a single six-week session to finish. For instance, ‘Finish writing the Fountain Series’ is a goal that literally consists of writing two books. There’s no way I would be able to write two books in a single six-week period. I might be able to do one in that period though, but that would be solely writing sans any planning or outlining.

Another goal is the “Finish the 2021 Camper Origin Study and the 2021 Motorized Recreation Study’. I wrote this as a single goal because I typically write these and publish these as a companion set. I know full well though that these are two individual goals that will require separate sessions for each.

In order to expand on the goals I have listed, I try my best to break them down into smaller, bite sized chunks.

The first goal I mentioned, ‘Finish writing the Fountain Series’, looks simple enough on paper, but this is actually a huge undertaking. I had written the first book in the series last year, and I got a good feel for the time it takes me to plan and write a full novel. With that knowledge, I feel that I can adequately plan and write the second and third book in the series. For each book, I’ll probably need a session to plan and outline the story, and then I’ll need a session to actually write it. I’m not worried about editing them or anything like that, I just want to get the stories on paper as semi-polished rough drafts. So, if I’m planning on doing two different books, there’s four sessions taken up right there.

Just as I did with the goal of finishing up the Fountain Series, I look at all the other goals and see if I can break them into smaller chunks that might fit a six-week session or schedule a little better.

After splitting goals up and expanding on what the goals are, my third list looks like this:

  1. Write Fountain Series Book 2.
  2. Write Fountain Series Book 3.
  3. Plan Fountain Series Book 2.
  4. Plan Fountain Series Book 3.
  5. Rewrite Fountain Series Book 1.
  6. Write the 2021 Camper Origin Study.
  7. Write the 2021 Motorized Recreation Study.
  8. Build the Eighty James author website.
  9. Build the Roadside Vibe website.
  10. Make a prototype Highway Shield Guide.
  11. Conduct map survey for the Parrotts Ferry Pedestrian Study.
  12. Write the Parrotts Ferry Pedestrian Study.
  13. Finish the ‘SNOT Trail Guides’.
  14. Make progress on the new house.
  15. Attend the 20Booksto50KVegas Conference (November).
  16. Attend the 2022 Tourism Naturally Conference (June).
  17. Buy a Sony a7iii/a7iv camera.
  18. Make video summaries of some of my studies.
  19. Finish the GTA study.

After expanding on a handful of the goals I had initially put down, I still only have 19 of the 24 required for the 3×6 system.

Now I have a choice.

I can either leave some sessions blank so I only have two goals to work towards in the sessions with a blank spot, or I can break my listed goals down into even smaller chunks and distribute them across the year. Either option is totally fine, by the way. Sometimes goals are extremely taxing and doing three at a time might not be possible. I feel like while I am writing the Fountain books, I might want to solely work on that during those sessions, so it might be appealing to either leave the other two goals during those sessions off, or maybe I can pencil something in that isn’t so mentally taxing.

If you notice, the goal I have titled ‘Make progress on the new house’ did not get removed during the duplication process, and it wasn’t expanded on during the expansion process. This goal is not definitive whatsoever. What does it mean to make progress on the new house? What does progress even look like? I left this goal in there to act as a buffer goal that I can narrow down, define, and expand once I figured out how many sessions might not be filled with goals. So ‘Make progress on the new house’ can actually be expanded into five specific goals that I can intersperse throughout my 3×6 year. I have a handful of things I want to work on at the house which include fixing the pier foundation, redoing the driveway, renovating the kitchen, leveling the backroom, installing new doors, installing new windows, remodeling the bathroom, renovating the laundry room, and the list goes on and on. I seriously have a list that’s about two pages long of things I want to do to my house, but I know that my biggest constraints in 2022 are going to be time and money, so I must choose the most important things that I can do on a smaller budget that can still be finished within a six-week period.

So, what did I choose? The following list will give it away.

  1. Write Fountain Series Book 2.
  2. Write Fountain Series Book 3.
  3. Plan Fountain Series Book 2.
  4. Plan Fountain Series Book 3.
  5. Rewrite Fountain Series Book 1 (March).
  6. Write the 2021 Camper Origin Study (February).
  7. Write the 2021 Motorized Recreation Study (March).
  8. Build the Eighty James author website.
  9. Build the Roadside Vibe website.
  10. Make a prototype Highway Shield Guide.
  11. Conduct map survey for the Parrotts Ferry Pedestrian Study (February).
  12. Write the Parrotts Ferry Pedestrian Study (March).
  13. Finish the ‘SNOT Trail Guides’.
  14. Relandscape the driveway.
  15. Renovate the kitchen.
  16. Fix the pier foundation.
  17. Level the backroom.
  18. Renovate the laundry room.
  19. Repaint the house.
  20. Attend the 20Booksto50KVegas Conference (November).
  21. Attend the 2022 Tourism Naturally Conference (June).
  22. Buy a Sony a7iii/a7iv camera (December).
  23. Make video summaries of some of my studies (December).
  24. Finish the GTA study (January).

Inputting the Final List

There it is. That’s the final list of goals I hope to achieve through the 3×6 process this year.

Now that we have the list, it’s time to start organizing the listed goals into the 3×6 sessions for the year.

This isn’t as difficult as it might sound, and it is actually kind of fun to match up different tasks for your future self. There are some things to be weary of though, and I’ll go into those really quick.


Some things can only be done during a certain time of the year, some things might have to be done in a specific order, and some things might have hard deadlines. The main theme with all of this is a time restriction. When you order your goals, be sure to consider the timing in which the goals need to be finished. For instance, on my list I put a month in parenthesis after certain goals. The month I added on is the absolute latest that I can finish that specific goal. Not all the goals I listed have a month on the end of them, and these are goals that can be accomplished whenever I want throughout the year, so I can place them in any session that has an available slot. Other goals, such as the ones that have a month attached, must be completed by the end of whatever session ends in that specific month.

After you’ve considered the timing of each goal, you should start filling in the spaces on your 3×6 Goals Yearly Worksheet. The goals with deadlines are a priority, so they should be filled in first as they will be more important to schedule than goals without deadlines. You can see what I filled in below.

Now that the priority goals have been filled in, I can piece the other goals in wherever I think they should go. Aside from what I’ve already put in the worksheet, I try not to overload myself with too much of one activity. For instance, I don’t want to sit in front of a computer for all three goals during a single session, and I also don’t want to spend an entire session doing goals that are only related to working on the house. Also keep in mind that some goals might not work too well with the weather, such as working on the house, so those goals should try to be scheduled within a session where the weather won’t impact the completion of the goal.

Note that I put the deadline goals in blue and the other goals with no deadlines in red. You don’t have to do this, but I do it so I can see which goals can be swapped around. At some point, something might happen that may force you to stop working towards one goal. This could be a money issue, a timing issue, maybe a weather issue, an injury, an illness, a new job, or any other life altering problem. When this happens, it’s totally okay to stop working towards a goal. It isn’t okay to give up though, and by listing out all your goals, and then color coding them, if one goal becomes insurmountable, you have a whole list of other goals that you can do instead so that an entire session isn’t wasted.

So, we have a list of all our 3×6 goals, we have a schedule of the eight 3×6 sessions, and a nice printable list to keep us on track. Now what? Well, now we have to get even more precise with our planning and plan out each individual session, but that’s something I’m saving for another blogpost.

I know this was kind of long, probably dry, and not super fun to read, but I’m hoping that by providing my thought process, you might be able to come up with some good goals that you can use the 3×6 goal setting system for.

Let me know what you think!


The following image can be right clicked and saved for you personal use. If you would like an editable Word document or a PDF, please email me at atjameswrites@gmail.com

Hello 2022!

This year is going to be a great one, I can feel it!

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned anything about the 3×6 goal setting system that I pretty much build my life around, but that changes today. I’ve broken the year down into eight different 3×6 sessions, and I’m hoping I can utilize all of them to make some serious progress in my professional life and personal life. My long-term goal is to become a professional author, professional photographer, and professional researcher. Sure, I don’t have to put the word ‘professional’ in front of any of these things, but my goal is to become so stable and consistent in those three activities that I can make them my career.

If you know me, or spend any time with me, then you may have seen the stack of papers that I was carrying around for a bit that seemed like an endless list. It was indeed an endless list of all the things I need to work towards or finish, but those are a little bit different from my 2022 goals. For my 2022 goals, I wanted to accomplish things that were a little less abstract and a little more physical. I want to be able to look at my finished product. I want to hold it, sniff it, taste it, and feel it.

So here are my goals for 2022:

Finish the ‘Fountain Series’. I have one book written, but two more books planned. This was a NaNoWriMo challenge, and I really fell in love with the concept of the novel, so I figured I could expand a bit and make it a series. I’m not sure if this is going to be the name of the series, but it’s been the project name for a while, so I’m using ‘Fountain’ as a placeholder for now.

Finish the 2021 Camper Origin Study and the 2021 Motorized Recreation Study. I do these every year, and all the data has been tabulated. It’s just a pen exercise now, but it still takes up quite a bit of time and concentration.

Build the Eighty James author website. I have a bunch of stuff I would like to post, but no real place to post it. I’ve been pushing this off for quite a while, but I just need to lockdown and build a site.

Build the Roadside Vibe website. I need to find a better storefront to sell my stickers and other guidebooks, so I’m hoping this might be a place for that.

Finish the Parrotts Ferry Pedestrian Study. There are still a few things I need to do in terms of data collection, but the user counts have been collected. I’m not sure how deep I want to go with this, but I’m hoping I can finish this early in the year.

Short stories. I want to write at least twelve short stories this year. That’s one for every month. I have a lot of ideas and getting them in front of readers is my goal!

Photo stories and photoshoots. I want to do at least twelve photoshoots this year. That’s one for each month. Instead of just doing the shoot though, I’d also like to write a photo essay for each shoot.

Finish the ‘SNOT Trail Guides’. I’ve made a handful of these and haven’t really done much with them, but my goal is to finish them up for the Calaveras Ranger District and try to have an entire booklet that I might be able to sell. Of course, ‘SNOT’ is just a placeholder until I think of something smarter.

Housework and construction stuff. We bought a house in 2021 and it needs some work. We had to move in while we were trying to work on it, so a bunch of stuff kind of fell through the cracks. My goal for 2022 is to find a good benchmark for livability and updates, and then work towards those by the end of 2022. This is kind of hard because it takes so much time and money, and everything is kind of process based where certain things must be finished before you can move on to other things.

Attend two conventions. I want to attend at least two conventions this year. It would be better to go to more, but there are two on my radar that I really want to attend, so if I can attend these two, I would be happy. The conventions I hope to attend are the 20Books Vegas convention in November, and the Tourism Naturally conference in June.

I’ll make another post detailing my bigger goals and how they fit into the 3×6 framework, so stay tuned.

These are the things that are the most important to me, but there are a few other small things I want to do in 2022, so I’ll try to list as many of those as I can.

  • Install a sound system in the Subaru or Jeep
  • Buy a Sony a7iii
  • Set up my workstation
  • Make video summaries of some of my studies
  • Get two tattoos
  • Clean out my closet
  • Cook once a week
  • Look at grad schools

So, there it is. That’s the plan for 2022. I’m hoping I can follow the same 3×6 goals system that I used to use, and I’ll do my best to chronicle that adventure. It’s pretty obvious that most of what I’m doing pertains to quite a bit of writing. I’ve been trying to plan out quality blog posts that can help to serve as newsletter content, blog content, and publishable material as well so that I can utilize the same spent effort for different things. We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

A handful of my friends have been posting their ‘theme’ for the year, and I figured that I could hop on that wagon too. For me, this year’s theme is going to be ‘Proper’. I chose this because through all the physical therapy, all the house maintenance, all the studies, and all the writing I’ve done in the past year, the main thing that always pops up is “do it the right way”. I don’t want to half-ass 2022, so I’m going to commit to doing everything the proper way. Whenever I need motivation, I’ll ask myself “how does a proper artist do this?”, “what would a proper author do”, or maybe “how can I do this the proper, or right way?”. I don’t want to waste time half-assing stuff, and if I’m going to do something, I want to do it right. So PROPER is the theme for me in 2022.

Anyways, let’s go for it!


So Long 2021!

2021 was a difficult year. I probably don’t need to say anything else about it, but I’m going to anyways.

Last year I wanted to blog once a week, walk without a cane, buy a house, publish three books, start a newsletter, do the 3×6 Goals again, buy a newer car, reduce my material possessions, get fit, do a photoshoot once a month, and finish my backlog of vlogs.

So, what was I able to do from that list?

I can walk without a cane now.

I bought a house.

I published FOUR books (but I wrote six).

I reduced my material possessions (three trips to the dump!).

I lost about ten pounds (weight I gained after the accident, I’m sure).

I only did three or four photoshoots.

So, I did kind of okay based on what I was wanting to do.

But what did I do that wasn’t on that list?

I went through two surgeries in 2021.

I got a nose job and can finally breathe.

I physically pushed myself harder than I probably ever have, and hopefully ever will have to.

I broke some old bad habits.

I made some new good habits.

I visited Pando in Utah.

I drove a lot.

I also sat a lot.

I probably spent more time exercising than I have in at least a decade.

Finally, I reaffirmed my life to creativity.

Not bad for a year. Here’s to another trip around the sun!