Blog Post # 162 – Smaller Goals

Small goals.

Small goals can be the key to success.

Goals need to be both measurable and doable.

We sometimes tend to set large, untenable goals.

An alternative to that is to break a large goal into several, smaller and more measurable goals.

Smaller goals allow us to get mini-victories under our belt.

If we think things through, we can stack these mini-victories into long-term success.

This helps keep us motivated.

It also lets us track our success.

You cannot run a 10k race without training and hitting shorter benchmarks.

Tony Gwynn was one of the greatest baseball players of my childhood.

The man hit a ton of singles in his career.

This is what we are after – singles and doubles.

Too often, we set a big, hairy, audacious goal, yet we do not take the time to think through how to achieve that big goal through smaller steps.

This is especially true when working with teams. Everyone gets all excited about a long-range goal but the short, smaller steps stay a little bit fuzzy.

For today, let’s think about each of our big goals and try to break them down into smaller, more manageable steps.

To our mutual success!

Blog Post # 161 – Old Friends

Old friends.

Friends who know you to your core.

Meeting up with old friends gives us a charge.

A reminder of how things used to be.

A way of remembering how things used to be.

Old friends call us on our crap.

Remind us of our greatness.

Amazingly, spending time with old friends can serve as a time machine.

Bringing us right back to slivers of time in our history.

If our friends helped us through a struggle or to overcome obstacles, our connection is even deeper.

Slipping into old conversations with friends from long ago is a great gift too.

This weekend, two of my old best friends are in town.

Got parts of the old crew together last night and will be continuing this weekend.

So many giggles.

The best part about being with old friends is not having to put on any masks.

No B.S.

Just us being us. Our true selves.

What a tremendous gift.

Blog Post # 160 – Measuring Stick

How do we measure up?

When Usain Bolt won the men’s 200-meter gold medal, he jumped out to a fast start and no one caught him.

A bit disappointed at not breaking his own world record, Bolt explained that it was harder for him to maintain his super speed because he did not have someone running ahead of him that he needed to catch.

Similarly, after a snafu in the baton transfer for the women’s 4×100 relay resulted in a successful appeal, the U.S. women’s team ended up re-running their qualifying race on an empty Brazilian stadium track.

Afterwards, the ladies explained how hard it was to push themselves to their maximum without having runners in the lanes next to them.

Competition pushes us to be our best.

Conversely, it is hard to reach our maximum output when we do not have a measuring stick.

Some way to evaluate ourselves.

This is true in racing, in business and in life generally.

Being internally driven is certainly important.

But having a true competitor, someone who wants to beat us as badly as we want to beat them, can help push us to greatness.

For today, let us find a measuring stick, a challenge, something to push us beyond our limits and to greatness.

Blog Post # 159 – More Doing

An idea that has not been implemented is just that – an idea in our head.

We spend a lot of time coming up with great ideas.

But translating that brilliance into actionable tasks with concrete goals and deadlines can be extremely difficult.

I admit that I spend a lot of time inside my head and I happen to have a good idea every now and then.

Implementing those great ideas does not always occur.

I may get side tracked by an even better idea.

I may get bored with the great new idea.

The new idea may be too small or too big.

It would be nice if we could implement more and think less.

Do I really need to read another business book or self-improvement treatise?

Or do I just need to take the good ideas that I already know to be correct and actually put them into place.

Acting as opposed to prolonged thinking.

This is not to discount the power of clear thinking, but rather to emphasize that “doing” has its own value to contribute.

More doing. More doing the important stuff.

Implementing a good idea now may take a little longer to pull off, but it will help cut down on the trivialities of the day.

Get us closer to where we want to be.

What can we implement today?

Blog Post # 158 – Always a Choice

So much good.

So much good in the world.

Turn off the hate. Tune out the vitriol.

There is a lot that is right with the world.

We are alive. We aren’t dead.

We love others and are loved.

We have opportunities that people in the past could only dream of.

Does the world need improvement? You bet.

But we cannot succumb to the lure of negativity, of defeatism.

Somewhere right now, a baby is being born.

A tree is growing.

The world keeps turning.

We can choose to hate, to divide or to spew.

Or we can be grateful.

For all that we have.

This day and every day.

This is always our choice.

What do you decide to focus on today?

Blog Post # 157 – Just Stop It

Stop. Just stop it.

Stop the complaining.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

Nobody wants to hear it.

The work you are leading is too important for negativity.

The people around you need you focused.

We need your A-game.

Complaining and making excuses does nothing to move the ball forward.

Absolutely nothing.

You’re tired? So what.

You’re frustrated? Join the club.

The question is – what are you going to do about?

What are you going to do today to make things better?

You can keep going like you have been going, but nothing changes unless you first change your mindset.

Let go of the rationalizations that you have been feeding yourself and get back to work.

To the important work, not the trivial.

And make today the best day that you have had in a long time.

Go for it.

Blog Post # 156 – So Tired

Tired.

So tired.

We run around doing way, way too much.

We don’t get enough sleep.

We practice “poor sleep hygiene.”

We go to bed too late; we wake up too early.

It impacts our mood, our concentration level, our focus.

So many things pull is in opposite directions.

Sleep is an easy trade.

Just one more task, one more episode of House of Cards, just one more thing.

Until we crash.

Wake up the next morning feeling sluggish.

Then we do it all again. Amen.

For today, let us be purposeful in our relationship with sleep.

Let’s carve out the time we need to give our body the rest that it needs.

Then let’s see how things improve.

Blog Post # 155 – Out of Data

Imagine a world without data.

A maxed-out data plan that is.

On two separate occasions this summer, our family has been without internet access on our “smart” phones.

The first time was when we moved into our new house. It took about 10 days to get the internet up and running.

Then, just recently, we went to Michigan. The internet in our condo was spotty and our data usage shot through the roof. Combine that with Pokemon Go! for the kids and we ran out of data halfway through our month.

Oh Calamity!

You would have thought this first world problem marked the end of days with all the caterwauling and complaining that the kids did.

We are still in the “after-effects” of the data overage as Verizon has put us on Safety Mode with throttled data until August 20th.

Can you imagine! Oh, the indignity.

When we lacked internet access this summer, we had more conversations, more interaction, more laughing (and, I will admit, more yelling).

It was as if everyone looked up in unison and noticed these other people around them.

It happened again up in Michigan.

And you know what? It was really nice.

Nice to have kids look at you when you are speaking to them.

Being able to have a conversation without distraction was also a positive change.

I know that when the radio came and when television first began, our predecessors in parenting probably bemoaned the distracted children that these devices caused so I do not want to be all doom and gloom about electronics.

But these brief respites from the constant technology served as a reminder of a simpler life – a life that our kids have never really known.

We are not going to put this genie back in the bottle.

But here’s to less device time and more actual human interaction.

Blog Post # 154 – Up to Us

It is up to us.

No one is coming to save us.

The cavalry retired long ago.

Our parents can’t fix everything for us any more.

Just you and me.

The ones in the mirror.

If we don’t bring about the changes necessary in our lives and our societies, no one else will.

We need to stop waiting around for someone else to rescue us and straighten things out.

No more victimhood.

No more bitching.

No more whining – woe is me.

Get off your ass and do something.

Less talking, more doing.

Reach. Claw. Fight.

Demand more from yourself.

So much more.

Don’t tell us you can’t. Don’t tell us you are tired.

The world does not care one iota about your excuses.

Get off the mat and pound your way to victory.

We need your light.

Don’t let us down.

Blog Post # 153 – Headed to High School

Alcohol, heroin, sex, excessive video games, sexting, online porn, bullying.

These are the opportunities that await our children as they head into high school.

So I learned at a parent educational session I learned last night as our oldest son heads into high school.

In addition, the pre-frontal cortex of our child’s brain is not yet completely developed and the levels of dopamine (the pleasure seeking part of our body) are at their highest levels in teenagers.

Sounds like a great combination for success.

The presentation by the teen psychologist was excellent.

But it scared the shit out of me.

This is what we have to look forward too?

Times four?

The presenter stressed the need for boundaries, for logical consequences and for continuing to talk to our children even when they don’t want to hear from us.

We need to listen to them as they try to separate from us and to stake their own claim in the world.

We should pay attention to their friends and to understand that if their friends are engaged in a particular activity, our child may be too.

This is a scary time to be a parent. So many ways to screw up your life at an early age.

I am sure our parents were scared too when we entered high school.

But it does seem more intense with more severe consequences for error.

For today, let’s remember that we cannot control our teenagers twenty-four hours a day.

They are becoming their own people.

Help us become good listeners, good advocates and good role models for them.

To help them when they fall and educate them, in a positive way, about the risks that stand before them.

And to love them each and every day.