Out Of (Our) Control

I got kicked out of a soccer game for the first time ever today. (Yay Adam! Not my proudest moment but I don’t regret it.)

Simply put the referee was horrible and I have a loud voice with which I made my opinion known. However, I am happy to report that a) I did not swear, b) I did not threaten him, and c) the women in my life-mother, wife, daughters-told me that I did not embarrass them (trust me I asked!). But, without any warning whatsoever he sent me off the field so I could watch the game from the parking lot. Lovely.

I believe that if we don’t take the things in our life like this and learn from them then, well, we are definitely leaving something on the table. And even though it can be a bit exhausting I strive to learn what I can whenever I can. It’s usually the hardest lessons that teach us the most. Writing this post has been cheap, yet effective therapy for me.

The title of this post is Out Of (Our) Control. I am talking about both senses of this phrase, which I am not sure I ever realized were so related.

I wasn’t “out of control” today. I know this because I can imagine what that would be like and, happily, that did not happen today. If I was out of control there would have likely been foaming at the mouth, blood, tears, etc. However, I was extremely frustrated, along with our coach, our players and our parents. I reflected on this incident later in the day, after a hard run and long shower, and I realized that what made me so frustrated, and likely everyone else on our sidelines is that the judgements and actions of just one person, the referee, were able to unfairly make our team’s chances of winning harder than they would have been without his involvement. Circumstances out of our control led to very unpleasant results.

I like to be in control of what happens to me, my family, and those I care about, like this soccer team. I am sure you can relate. However, the nature of life is such that every human walking the earth gets to make whatever decisions they want to make, generally based on their past, their present life, and their view of the world. There are countless examples of people making stupid decisions that cause much more serious consequences than a heartbreaking loss in a soccer game. (Yes, I am aware it’s only a game.) People killed by drunk drivers, senseless shootings, financial fraud, etc. The list goes on and on. When these things happen we become frustrated, angry, and maybe even a bit desperate as we feel like we are powerless in guiding our destiny.

Here’s the thing. Remembering that it is impossible to control what other people do and that we WILL at some point, or maybe even quite often, feel the impact of things out of our control (lame referees, bad economies, evil people, incompetent politicians) should help minimize any surprise when this happens. If the surprise is minimized then we can more quickly take action to deal with the situation.

Focus on what’s left within our control, or power, most importantly our reaction.

As the girls on this team were so clearly disadvantaged by the calls made by this referee I think there was initial confusion and a sense of despair. “Why is he only calling fouls on us? What did we do to deserve this? This isn’t fair. How can we win like this?” (Any of these thoughts sound familiar to you? They do to me.)

But like the champs they are they shook those feelings off, controlled their reaction, and focused on what they were still able to do. They had lots of work to do and suddenly found that they were still able to play the game and actually do quite well, in spite of the enormous challenge laid down by the referee.

We were down 3-0 with about 20 minutes left to go and yet we absolutely out-hustled and outplayed this team, similar to the first half actually but with more intent, purpose and fire. The girls brought the game to 3-2 and just missed a final goal by inches in the last seconds of the game.

I don’t know if I have ever seen such a display of resilience and tenacity. I learned from these girls and am proud to know each of them. Even though the final score meant that we would not play in the tournament finals everyone who watched that game, including some of the more objective coaches and parents on the other side of the field, saw something special and knows that we actually won the game.

Incidentally, the Soccer Gods were clearly on duty today as this team we played went on to get their heads handed to them in the finals and lost 4-1.

My conclusion to this little episode is that we have to be sure that when things out of our control happen, and they will, that we don’t respond by getting out of control. It is extremely comforting and helpful to me (and I hope you) to know that by focusing on those things that are still in our control, even small things, we can accelerate our awareness of and attention to how much power we really do have. This includes the power of reaction.

Like these young ladies did today, controlling what we can is really all we can do to change the direction of these sorts of circumstances we all face on the soccer field of life.

Connected

Tonight my 9 year-old son, Eli, and I rode our bikes to a great park a couple of miles from our house in Park City. I really needed some time away from my hyper-connected and fast-moving world which is stressing me out lately. And what’s worse is I find myself in the rut of doing what I have to to do so that I can eventually do what I want to do. “This is life,” as my wise wife has reminded me when I complain about doing things I would really rather not be doing. But it felt great just to ride my bike with my little guy close behind, sometimes ahead of me, and I felt the stress of my day get lost in the fresh air and the laughter of my little guy.

At the park we goofed around on the playground for a bit and I felt like a kid–not a care in the world.

A younger couple soon showed up on the playground following their little girl who was obviously excited to be there to play. I watched them for a minute and in my moment of playful release I was taught a very valuable lesson as I saw that the mom had her face buried in her phone. The couple stopped at the edge of the playground, mom not looking up from her phone, and dad proceeded to whip out his phone while their daughter enjoyed the playground. I could hear the sound of a Blackberry notifying one of them of a new message. It was exactly the same sound of my Blackberry which was thankfully at home on my desk but still the sound did something to me. It was like the school bell telling me that class was in session.

As I heard this little girl say: “Mom, come and play with me!” the mom mumbled something unintelligible and the girl continued to play alone. My heart sank, not in judgement of this couple, but because it hit me hard that I have been that parent so many times before mumbling just loud enough to acknowledge my child’s or my wife’s existence but not paying enough attention to wake up from my digital trance to interact with that precious soul right in front of my face. Yikes! What a lesson to learn.

We are all digitally connected these days one way or the other, probably too connected. But to what? To whom? I realized tonight that I, and probably many of us, while seemingly fortunate to have the latest technology are increasingly emotionally dis-connected precisely because of how much we rely on our little gadgets to entertain us and keep us connected with something, someone, out in the ether somewhere. Yes, there are valuable benefits of this digital connectivity but we are kidding ourselves if we think that interacting with a phone, a tablet, an app, a computer, a TV is somehow more emotionally fulfilling than actual human interaction with someone we care about.

After my little learning and after Eli and I had our fill of fun at the playground we decided to head back home. Luckily the trek back was more downhill than up and we even had a breeze at our back. Great metaphor for how it made me feel as I reflected on how lucky I am to be connected to people who love me and whom I love very much. And how it is up to me to emotionally connect to them regularly. All without a monthly plan or the latest software!

Time to make my Blackberry and iPhone jealous!

Early…

I had surgery about a month ago and consequently disrupted whatever rhythm I had in my workout regimen, which always throws my general energy off (and I hate that!). I have gotten a bit slower, definitely lazy with my food choices, and generally less disciplined.

So, in order to answer the recent screams of my body and start the process of getting back in some kind of shape, I vowed to myself one night last week that I would get up at 6AM the next morning and run 3 miles. Well, as the alarm went off I realized just how comfortable my bed was (and it was sleeper sofa in a hotel room I was sharing with my youngest daughter and son while we attended a soccer tournament!) and how awesome even just 30 more minutes of sleep would be. I tried to rationalize the alarm, and the associated guilt, away: “I’ll run tomorrow. Now it’s too late to do 3 miles anyway. One day won’t make a difference.”

Then it hit me: Not keeping a promise or commitment—even made only to yourself, or perhaps especially made to yourself—is the quickest and most effective way to stay stagnant at best or, at worst, slide down the slippery slope of mediocrity.

The key to exercising discipline and regaining the positive momentum of progress in your life is this: Do something hard!

I don’t think it matters if that hard something is big or really scary, and it doesn’t necessarily have to happen early in the morning but it needs to be hard. I strongly believe that if we want to be happy then we need to be progressing. Facing something hard, fighting through it and coming out the other side stronger, wiser, etc. is the definition of progress. And progress = happiness. And you don’t progress if you aren’t doing something hard. Thus happiness becomes elusive.

No doubt that progress is a gradual process that absolutely starts and continues with little steps each day. Just make sure those steps are hard, or at least on an unfamiliar road: get up instead of sleeping in, walk instead of sitting, run instead of walking, etc. Just do a little more than you did yesterday and before you know it you are making progress and happiness isn’t far behind.

The 2 miles I ran that morning–not 3!–and the less than 20 minutes it took me were, at the end of the day, WAY more beneficial to me than sleeping a little longer. Of course, there was some physical benefit but more than that I had this mental breakthrough about doing hard things. I am confident that breakthrough was waiting for me early that day and would not have come to me later.

Early is better, because it’s harder. Let’s go get ‘em!

Moose!

My 12 year-old soccer player, Kylie, and I were on the two hour return leg of a trip to Cache Valley for a soccer game tonight when we came incredibly close to hitting a moose and changing (ending) our lives forever.  We were on the downhill slope of infamous Parley’s Summit on the edge of our new home, Park City, Utah, when we had an experience neither of us will likely ever forget.

As we climbed Parley’s in my four door sedan I felt a tightening in my chest, an uneasy feeling that I don’t recall ever feeling before.  I know to be careful on this road especially at night, and many other roads up here where civilization has made it difficult for wildlife to roam free like they once did without concern of hitting oncoming cars.  But I literally felt like I could see the aftermath of Kylie and me hitting an animal in the road.  I was on high alert and started to feel very uneasy and even scared.  There were no cars right around us so I moved into the middle lane thinking that would give me space to maneuver to avoid hitting an animal, which began to feel increasingly inevitable.  Sort of like that feeling of riding a roller coaster to the top knowing there will be a terrifying drop in just a few short moments.

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I have to tell you that I somehow knew this was going to happen and I felt it so strongly that I just about pulled over.  But the voice of logic in my head stopped me and told me not to be ridiculous.  I took a breath and tried to relax.  Suddenly, ten, maybe fifteen, seconds later in our lane and closer to my sweet daughter’s side of the car appeared a large, very dark moose, slowly walking across the road.  It was a like a ghost but I knew we couldn’t drive through it.  I instinctively swerved into the left lane, missing it by what feels like inches but was probably a few feet, and then back into the middle lane to avoid running off the road.  I don’t know how I missed it except that I have to credit my Maker for helping me be alert enough to be able to react so quickly.  Kylie was absolutely freaked out with fear and other than being upset that she was so upset I actually felt at peace.  Somehow, for some reason, I was warned of the rapidly approaching danger and with a very small margin of error was able to avoid disaster.

I will spare the dramatic speculation of how this might have ended but suffice it to say that hitting a 7 foot+, 800 pound moose at 70 miles per hour in a 3,000 pound sedan would have at least invariably scarred both of us, including the moose, and likely much worse.

We got home 10 minutes later and hugged my wife and other two kids tightly with tears in our eyes as we told them about the incident.

The takeaways?

Me:  Road-crossing moose at nighttime and other random events don’t care what our average life expectancy is supposed to be: therefore, remember that EVERY day counts because we simply don’t know when our last will be.

Kylie: I understand what people mean when they say “I saw my life flash before my eyes.” (Better makes sure it’s worth watching.)

Eli (9): “Dad, I am going to go church every week from now on!”

Wendy (my wife): Family is everything.

I feel very grateful for the way things turned out tonight and yet also more accountable to be sure I am making the most of every day I have.  Glad both the moose and we have another day to try and get this life thing right!

Drive carefully out there…

Moving

What’s better? Moving or standing still?

Both involve risk.

  • On the one hand, when you choose to move you venture into the unknown: different people, different places, different sets of problems and challenges. You risk that the new grass is indeed NOT greener than the old. It’s hard. Some (myself currently included) would even say moving sucks!
  • Standing still is undoubtedly easier but it means you risk becoming complacent, always the same, boring. You risk missing unknown opportunities that could push you to be better than you are today. You keep the same group of people in your life that may or may not be driving you to be your best self.

I know that this life is WAY more interesting and rewarding when we move. Moving is proof we are alive! Moving is the best way to feel the hundreds of emotions we are capable of as humans. Moving lets us feel the wind on our faces.

We just left our home of the past 4.5 years to return to the city we used to call home, Park City, Utah. So, while we literally just moved we also moved metaphorically. Not just stuffing junk in boxes but taking action. Let me illustrate:

My little guy, Eli (9), who spent half his life in the old home is having a hard time adjusting to our new home. He left some close friends and a great school and this is likely the first move he will actually remember. The change is troubling him, and, therefore, troubling his mom and me.

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He called me from his new bed at 0-dark something this (very early) morning. Through very groggy eyes I plodded upstairs to see what was the matter. All he said to me was: “Why did we have to move, Dad?” Despite the fog I was in I mumbled, but meant it, “Because Mom and I wanted to make our lives better.” He rolled over and went back to sleep. I rolled back down the stairs and did the same.

He stayed home from school yesterday, after a week off for Spring Break, because he just didn’t feel up to being the new kid. However, he “pinky promised” me that he would go today. Despite waking up in the middle of the night, obviously anxious, he reluctantly got himself dressed and I drove him to school today. He seemed fine but we boys knew better than to bring up feelings on this drive to school. However, he did say somewhere on the way there, “I really don’t want to go to school today.” I told him that I already knew that but that he was doing something really important, something more important than going to school. I realized that he was “moving!” He was venturing into the unknown and doing something hard. It would have been much more comfortable to stay in bed or on the couch until summer in 6 weeks but he would not be making his life better.

I dropped him off about 10 minutes before the bell was to ring and watched him head out to the playground. As I started to drive off to my office I couldn’t help myself and, instead, parked where I could see him and was pretty sure he couldn’t see me. I watched this little guy do his best among dozens of unfamiliar kids to stand confidently and blend in, or at least not stand out. He paced back and forth casually checking out the playground equipment and sizing up the boys and girls there while he tried to act like he belonged. I have rarely experienced 10 minutes that lasted as long as those seemed to. But as I watched him I thought of my own experience in unfamiliar situations: at 19 leaving for Japan on a two year mission, starting numerous new jobs, visiting Africa for the first time, getting married, the list goes on. Despite being scared, nervous, UNcomfortable, in all of those situations I have never regretted one of them.

Why? Because as Albert Einstein said: “Nothing happens until something moves” and our lives are all we have, ALL WE HAVE!, to make something happen. And TODAY is really all we have to start moving. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. As long as we move, I don’t think it matters if we move a little or a lot–some days are naturally easier than others. But today move whatever distance feels right to you, and then go a little further.

Moving may suck but we have to move if, and only if, we want to really live this life and make it better, as I told Eli in the middle of the night. Being alive, e.g. ability to fog a mirror, beating heart, etc. isn’t enough. We are here to LIVE and moving is one very important way we do that. So, I thank Eli, and many millions like him who, every day, swallow their fear just long enough to take an extra deep breath and move.

Maybe moving isn’t so bad after all!

45

Today I turned 45 years old!

Birthdays are usually happy occasions (HAPPY Birthday! Get it? ). But growing up I remember often feeling sad at least the night before and sometimes the whole actual day of my birthday.

I had a great childhood: loving parents/family, great friends, lots of opportunities and comforts in the town of Walnut Creek, CA.  But because of how I am programmed I have always been preoccupied with the mark I am making in the world. Additionally, I have always been keenly aware of the value of time as it passes. And so each birthday, marking another year of my life finished that I would never get back, made me sad and a little scared that my mark wasn’t important enough, or even noticeable.

Well, for the most part, I grew out of this fear of growing up and when it was time to leave home in 1986 I left in a big way.  After one year at UC Davis, a school only an hour from home but a thousand hours from where I thought I was academically, I went to Japan for two years.  Talk about leaving the nest!  Still love my parents and siblings, more than ever, and I sometimes miss the comfort of the nest I grew up in but, MAN!, this flying stuff is the best!

As I reflect on my life this week I realize how much I absolutely miss the thrill of the unknown.  The thrill of flying!

  • I miss the pain of completely butchering the Japanese language:
  • The awkwardness of being totally in love with the girl I would marry;
  • The idiotic swagger I carrried in my first job thinking I knew more than the adults around me;
  • The stumblings and sleepless nights of a new dad;
  • The stumblings and sleepless nights of an experienced dad with teenage daughters (Wait! Those are ongoing).

My point is that I LOVE the chance to make my mark each day.  The chance to FLY! Admittedly these past few years have seen the world make more marks on me than I probably have made on it. BUT, with 45 years under my belt now and the hope of the first day of the next 45 years I am ready to fly again.

I love what I do–why would any of us waste our precious time doing something we don’t love?!  I get it but it’s CRAZY!  There will be always be hard things in whatever pursuit we engage, regardless of how much we love it, BUT how much better are we as people when we TRULY love what we do?

So for my birthday today I am going to leave my own comfortable nest and place much more emphasis on doing what I love to do.  I think a key to living a life of meaning is this:

Forget what the world says or thinks–they don’t know you like YOU know you.  Find what you love fast and then pursue it relentlessly.

Happy Birthday to me and Happy Day to you!  Let’s go mark this world up!

Hope is NOT a strategy

Hope may spring eternal, but it is NOT a strategy.

I have felt a bit hopeless lately as I have grappled with less income than I need and certainly less than I want.  This financial downturn has prevented me from giving my family what we need and it feels unpleasant, even scary at times.  Does it ever feel that way to you, too?

Working on the front lines of finance over the past five years or so during this mini-Depression, Great Recession, whatever, has made a lot of things feel harder than I ever remember them, and I know I am not alone.  Maybe I am just getting older, or crankier (both true but perhaps not relevant here), but I don’t think that’s it.  Things are harder and many seem to feel that the American dream is starting to fade.  Well, I am no expert on that but I will say I have started to become aware of something an old Wall Street boss said to me, and probably to many others, in the midst of the Tech Bubble bursting in the early 2000s.   While I, an inexperienced stock broker, painfully fumbled for my metaphorical fire extinguisher as wealth all around me went up in flames, he said to me, “Hope is not a strategy.”

That warning has stuck with me for over 10 years now and I think I am just starting to realize what he meant.  You can have hope, after all it does spring eternal!, and maybe you having hope and things getting better for you will magically coincide but you cannot count on hope alone getting you what you want, or even need.

Working on a goal without hope would be pure drudgery but what happens if you have hope–you want something really bad–and honestly feel like you deserve it and it doesn’t work out?  Then what?  Did having hope not work?  Did you not hope badly enough? 

I say this:  Fear is, in many cases, a more powerful motivator than hope could ever, umm, hope to be.  Being afraid of not getting what you need/want will almost always get you working for that thing more than hoping for it will.

Hope does not replace work.  It can’t.  Otherwise everyone with hope would get what they want and life would be too easy.  (Remember hope springs eternal, which means it’s always there.  It’s almost always easy to hope.  Sometimes, too easy.  In fact, hope is easier than work, isn’t it? Maybe that’s we are so naturally drawn to it as people.)

1000% Yes! Have hope!  But I am realizing that the world (business world, athletic world, relationship world, etc.) doesn’t care or often even know if I have hope.  What the world can see, and, therefore, is more likely to reward, is results! 

So, the universal law must be: work = results = rewards. 

You cannot hope your way to results.  You can’t.  If hope of a brighter tomorrow gets you out of bed today and off to work then use it for all you can.  If you hope that your work will yield results then by all means, hope!  But sitting around “hoping” your life will get better without the willingness to do the hard thing and work will really only ever yield disappointment or worse: “fake success.”  I define fake success as the situation when luck or perfect timing–beyond your control–makes you look and feel smarter or better than you are really are.

When that happens those people for whom hope seemingly paid off will be the first ones to hope for solutions at the next inevitable crisis, rather than getting to work quickly to resolve the crisis and get back on track to a happy life solidly built on the principle that work = results = rewards.  THAT is the winning strategy.

Winners and Losers

I don’t know anyone who likes losing.  And I know lots of people who say they want to win–or be successful–in a variety of things in this life.  Sports, money, business, relationships, etc.

The pain of losing.

This weekend at my daughter’s soccer tournament in Park City I realized the difference between winning and losing.  Until last month her team, made up of 11 and 12 year-old girls, hadn’t lost a game in about 11 months and, in fact, won gold in their age group at the Summer Games in Cedar City, Utah.  By all counts they were and are “winners.”  But after this weekend in Park City I see more clearly now that not losing isn’t what defines them as winners.

This was not their best tournament.  They know they played uncharacteristically poorly on Friday.  But they still squeaked into the semi-finals on Saturday as the #1 team in their bracket.  Then they lost again, 3-1, against a team they beat just last month 3-0.  Tears flowed from a few of the girls, including my daughter which strangely always makes me proud, and most if not all of the girls wore their pain on their faces.  I believe that pain, however expressed, is the critical element in separating winners and losers.

  • Losers lose. And find a way to get comfortable with the pain.
  • Winners win and lose.  BUT, winners quickly reject the pain of losing, learn why they lost and boldly do what it takes to avoid that pain of losing ever again.

I am a passionate, competitive person and I have thought most of my life that if you want something badly enough you will get it; that you can will yourself to win.  I still think that is true BUT without the hard work BEFORE the deciding moment of winning and losing there is no guarantee that you will get what you want–the win!  Crucially, winners who lose get the importance of hard work and preparation.  There is NO magic formula for success, there really is only hard work fueled by a strong desire to not feel the sting of loss.

It is simply not enough to show up to a game, a presentation, a marriage and say you want success.  You have to want to succeed well beforehand and that desire can only be displayed by the effort you put into the preparation.  Too many people, including me, think that whoever has the bigger heart on the field, in the boardroom, at the lectern, wins.  Not so.  It is he who has the bigger heart consistently on the practice field, in the cubicle, in the cramped airplane seat, that is far more likely to win–get the outcome they want.  That is where greatness is made.  And the most important thing we must remember as we endure the blood, sweat, and tears of preparation is that that work will translate to the moment when points are kept, deals are awarded, and history made.

So, what do winners do when they lose?  (And winners do lose.)  Blame others?  Beat themselves up?  Quit?  Avoid the risk of losing by dreaming smaller?  No!  Winners display resilience.  They bounce back by working harder and REMEMBERING how it feels to lose and let that sting of losing push them to work harder so they minimize the chance of getting stung again.

Go Kylie and Logan Lynx!  You are winners!

Generosity in the 21st Century

It has been almost 6 months since posting some new thoughts here.  The reason is that I have been very absorbed with Bridges to America, my cute, little non-profit.  I have posted MANY thoughts on that blog which I hope you will read, including a report on the rescue mission I went on in March to villages in Ghana, Africa.

I have to tell you that I LOVE this work!  The problems are deep and the challenges tall but the rewards are significant.  I can say honestly that the feeling of digging in and working to try and tackle serious problems in the world experienced by people who really can’t help themselves is compelling.  For me non-profit work is not some “feel good” or “pat myself on the back” type effort.  I have just connected with the problem solver in me and he is happily quite busy trying to solve problems.

All of this leads me to the “G” in BRIDGES; Generosity.

Generosity used to mean to me writing a check to charity or dropping some coins in the cup of homeless person or the Salvation Army’s red bucket at Christmas time.  But I have learned that generosity in the 21st century really means the following:

1.  Engage

No dollar amount of a donation means more than spending time and the mental and emotional energy needed to understand someone’s situation and help them.  While I cannot run Bridges To America without funding, often the most meaningful contributions people can make is to simply understand and then share our story.

2.  Connect

After engaging, we must somehow connect personally to the cause and the people helped by it.  We are all so busy in this modern day posting, tweeting, messaging, etc. that we can go days, weeks, or even months(?) without having a meaningful face-to-face and heart-to-heart conversation with someone.  Connecting personally to another can be the greatest act of generosity there is.

Bridges To America all started because I saw a very good man separated from his family and in real pain.  This only happened because I asked him about his family and he opened up to me about their separation.  At the time. the only thing I could think of was how much pain I would be in if I was separated from my family for two years.  After that, I HAD to act.

3.  Commit

It is an enormous waste of opportunity to find yourselves experiencing #1 and #2 above and then stopping. 

Do something!  It doesn’t have to be big it just has to be meaningful.  If it means something to you then you will hardly notice the time and energy it takes to commit and pick up the ball and run with it for the rest of your life.

So, yes keep writing checks because money makes the charitable world go ’round but I would suggest that when you make the effort to find ways to serve, to contribute to others the returns on that investment are compounded because both the person helped and the person helping are elevated.

Groundhog Day–Perfect time for a New Year’s Resolution Do-Over!

Happy Groundhog Day!  Or is it really February 3rd now?

Ever feel like that?

Sometimes I wish I was Bill Murray in that funnily poignant movie where he repeatedly gets stuck on Groundhog Day until he eventually gets the day, and his life, right.  His problem is comically frustrating but also teaches us that with the right mindset every day truly is an opportunity.  As I love to say around here: “Today could be your day!”  Wouldn’t you love the chance to have a “do-over” day until you got your life right?

This year’s Groundhog Day made me think of New Year’s Day and the resolutions we traditionally make.  Groundhog Day marks one full month into the New Year and it occurred to me that many of us who actually went to the trouble of making a New Year’s Resolution have, by now, either A) forgotten what we resolved to do, B) already failed and decided to push it out to 2013, or C) are actually keeping the resolution but could use a little encouragement to stick with it.

Well, rather than let another year slip by without making a greater effort at personal change I am offering a reminder and a way to avoid waking up next January 1st, or February 2nd, with the same life we have this year.

I am re-posting my thoughts on resolutions from last year here.  I am doing this because the ideas are still relevant, and probably will be as long as there are New Years to celebrate. However, this year I am sharing with you a tool to help you (and me!) not just keep this year’s resolutions for change but to help specify who exactly we want to become and blaze the path that gets us there.  View it and make it your own by clicking here.

Also, for reference and perhaps a little inspiration I am sharing my own personal goals based on the BRIDGES model.  Rather than give you some random example of some fictional character like Joe Bagofdonuts I thought a real set of goals made by me would be most helpful and/or interesting.  So, at the risk of forever being haunted by my personal goals and aspirations being accessible to the minions that control the Internet I am posting my BRIDGES plan for life.  You can view it here.


So, consider this post my call for a “do-over” for change.  And with all due respect to Punxsutawney Phil let’s not crawl back into our warm, little den and simply wait out winter, or longer.  The day awaits for us to get to the work of planning and making lasting change in our lives.