I just realized that I'm being too defensive from my half guard. I came up with an idea on how to fix this and I want to know what you guys think:
From both the regular half guard (often starting with my knee in the hip) or the half guard with a butterfly hook inserted, I'm going to try to UNDERHOOK my opponent's free LEG much more often.
From the regular half guard, this sets up the combination of getting to your knees, rolling him over and taking his back. Granted, I could initiate this combo by trying to get onto my elbow, but seriously, it's simply much easier to snatch his leg.
From the butterfly half guard, if you can grab underhook his free leg, you are in a position to sweep him in pretty much any direction. It sets up the x guard and lots of related positions, all of which are very powerful to sweep from.
If you DON'T underhook his leg (from the half butterfly guard), you might instead try to switch to the normal butterfly guard and work from there, but lately I'm having the feeling that underhooking the leg simply gives you better sweeping options. Sure, do the other stuff too, but this just what's going on in my head these days