Looking Ahead and Planning Today

Fashion dictates planning for the upcoming year on New Year’s Eve—that’s if your fashion sense tends towards procrastination. But, is the second week of November, especially a month dead set on maximizing the mildness of the season, the time to begin thinking about 2016?

If you’ve played the resolutions game with a fresh new calendar staring you in the face, then you know that the first six weeks of any new year is the duration of most people’s plan for success, and their implementation phase. How do I know this? Past experience. Also, I used to be a member of Planet Fitness in Auburn for a couple of years while working out of the CareerCenter on the other side of the river. I got to see firsthand that six-week spike played out with a flurry of new members crowding the gym during some New Year’s promotion. By the middle of February, however, people were falling by the wayside and by the end of the month, there was no more waiting for machines. Come March, it was the same old regulars grunting and sweating at 5:30 in the morning, another great anecdotal example that the wait-until-the-start-of-the-year approach has serious shortcomings.

In considering the past year, I now realize how often and mistakenly have characterized it as an unsuccessful year in my own perception. I’m now recognizing that this hasn’t been an accurate frame. A better way of looking at the past 11 months might be one of gaining valuable experience and some new perspective. The key to maintaining a success mindset involves building on a foundation set on these essential learnings.

Seeking out the signpost of success.

Seeking out the signpost of success.

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Making Time to Slow Down

My mother, Saint Helen of Immaculata, had a saying that I heard ad infinitum growing up—that saying was, “haste makes waste.” I’m not sure where she picked that one up and I’m guessing it wasn’t one I imagined I’d come back to—but I did, especially after acquiring some life experience.

Quality takes time. There are other idioms like, “anything worth doing is worth doing well.” I remember that one being part of St. Helen’s repertoire, also.

I’m finding that the things that have acquired staying power in my own life are things that haven’t happened overnight. Writing, health awareness, cultivating skills that never go out of season, these things take time.

I’ve written about Malcolm Gladwell and his 10,000 hour rule. It’s about putting the time in and recognizing there’s a commitment to the long haul.

Unfortunately, much of our culture runs contrary to that. We want fast. We demand convenience. We’re impatient when we don’t win $1,000,000.00 in the lottery.

Success sometimes runs contrary to convenience.

Success sometimes runs contrary to convenience.

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A Different Approach

It’s always easy to focus on yourself. I know, I know—your situation is important and you don’t have time to think of anyone but yourself, or to ask about how I’m doing.

I’m re-evaluating most of my relationships. I remember a friend of mine from years ago mentioning that the “masses are asses.” My recent experience would validate his assessment. However, I’m trying to give people the benefit of the doubt and maintain a positive view of my fellow humans. Continue reading

The Action Button

Good ideas and solutions to problems are abundant. Everyone might be a critic, but often, criticism holds the kernel of a viable solution. The problem is that merely identifying a problem, or proposing a theoretical solution never results in fixing it.

There are reasons why. I’ve written before about how talking about an idea can actually run counter to implementing it. The age-old adage, “talk is cheap” is just that; talk requires nothing. It’s an idea, often poorly framed, without steps towards implementation. Continue reading

Paying It Forward

Reinvention is my brand. There is a wealth of writing and advice out there about establishing your personal brand. There are even some contrarian positions on the concept including a recent post by someone with a pretty amazing personal brand (please, Laurie, say it ain’t so). Continue reading

Empower Yourself

I believe that many are lacking something that makes them feel alive, or gives their life meaning. Merely working 40-50 hours each week for a paycheck isn’t meaningful; it’s survival.

I’ve written about my quest to learn to swim. I decided that I wanted to complete a sprint triathlon in June. Mary’s been competing in these for the past three years and I wanted to join her. I only had one problem; I haven’t been in a public pool since I was 12 and I could barely make it down the pool and back. I certainly had no technique. Continue reading

Don’t Let the Posers Win

I believe that honesty, hard work, and being genuine will ultimately win out in just about everything we do that has any lasting value. That said, there will be times when no matter how hard you try, and regardless of the efficacy of your cause, someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart will string you along and then, squash you like a bug. What’s worse, these people have managed to dupe their little band of followers and sycophants that aren’t aware of their disingenuous qualities, or maybe they are, but for whatever reason, they continue telling the emperor that their clothes look great. Continue reading

Being Healthy; Getting Fit

Back in 2009, I lost a lot of weight; almost 60 pounds. I’ve kept most of it off for the past three years. “Most” is the operative word here.

Here’s what I know. Losing weight is the easy part. Well, maybe not easy, but you can take weight off using a variety of tricks, gimmicks, and eating plans that wouldn’t constitute being healthy. Continue reading