Sunday, November 4, 2012

Getting Results

On November 3, I presented a Getting Results workshop to the Toastmasters  District 40 Fall Conference. Notes to participants are included here. At the bottom is a link to a folder containing slides and support materials.

Participant Handout

Results come from the consistent changes we make in our lives. We can achieve that consistency by using one or more of the three strategies listed below.


1. Decide what you really want, and what you are willing to do to get it.
2. Take massive, immediate action.
a. Massive: What could you do?
b. Immediate: What can you do right now?
3. Check your progress: Is it working?
4. Try something else if not.


1. Get disturbed. Give yourself a reason.
2. Decide your result and purpose.
3. Develop a massive action plan.
4. Change your limiting beliefs.
5. Set the game up to win.
6. Take massive, immediate action.
7. Use / create your peer group.
8. Monitor results.
9. Modify your actions if results indicate.


1. What ONE CHANGE would be the most helpful?
2. Ignore everything else except that. Make it a habit.
3. Implement one new habit at a time.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Portals of Discovery

Mistakes are the portals of discovery -- James Joyce

Not exactly. Mistakes can be the portal of discovery, but all too often they are not. Unless we acknowledge them, learn from them, and adjust our actions on them, they are just mistakes. 89.2 percent of all mistakes are just mistakes. Okay, I have no idea what the percentage should be, but I'd guess the percentage is low. Most mistakes are just mistakes. Worse, most mistakes are stupidity in action.

When we do something and know we shouldn't we are being stupid. When we do something stupid habitually, we have turned our stupidity into a habit. Success and happiness may require positive action on our part, but we can make a lot of progress by acknowledging the stupid, wasteful, useless things we do over and over, then stop doing them. There are at least two positive impacts from this:
  • We reduce the damage that the stupid behavior creates.
  • We have time available to do something else -- hopefully something productive.
If you can't start a savings program, at least stop consistent spending.

If you can't start an exercise regimen, stop eating the worst of the food you are eating.

Mistakes are like history -- we are doomed to repeat what we haven't learned. If we want to turn mistakes into portals of discovery, we need to be in the process of discovery.

25 Tips for Productivity

Augusto Pinaud is a long-respected member of the GTD Virtual Study Groip, well known for his understanding of personal productivity topics. In this book,he collects his thinking on 25 tips, intending that one or more will resonate with the reader. The tips are well selected and the stories illustrating them relevant. You can use the table of contents to review all the tips in a moment, then dive Into those that resonate with you.

I think the reader might have benefitted more if the book had provided references on how to implement some of the tips. For example, it recommends learning to type faster but does nothing to offer resources that might get you started.

If your goal in reading this book is to pick up one or more useful ideas, you've come to the right place.

Friday, January 27, 2012


On October 29, I changed my life. Will today be the day you changed yours?

At the start of 2011, I made my annual new year's resolution to do something about my weight. In March, I paid attention to it for a few days and my weight went from 185 pounds to 183. By late October, my weight was down to 178, a move in the right direction, but not much of one. That's when I pulled out Tony Robbins Ultimate Success Plan.

This plan has four steps:
1. Decide what you really want.
2. Take massive action.
3. Check to see if you're headed in the right direction.
4. If not, change your approach.

On October 29, I concluded that I was zero for four, so it was time to implement step four and change my approach.

In my journal, I decided what I wanted with a written goal and a plan. The goal was to weigh 155 pounds on or before January 15.

My plan identified the steps that I would take. The plan was simple, but the action, as Tony required, was massive:

Step one was to create and follow a stop doing list. I put my biggest weaknesses on this list.

No ice cream. No Steak N Shake shakes at 1000 calories each.
No trail mix. The bag says 60% less fat in big letters, and 150 calories per serving. I could live with that. I couldn't live with sevenmsrvings per bag.

Step two was to be aware of what I ate. I could choose a Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich at 450 calories or a Wendy's Grilled Chicken at 340. I found an IPhone app to track everything and report it out to Twitter and Facebook. Instead of an accountability partner, I looked for an accountability planet.

Step Three was to increase my exercise. The plan called for ten miles of walking every week. When I decided that didn't count as massive, I scaled it up. In December, I walked 132 miles, making me number ten out of over 3,000 people using the same program.

The programs I was using kept graphs of my progress. I recorded what I ate and what I weighed. I used a scale sensitive to 2/10 of a pound so I could see results every day. Some days were better than others. My January 15 weight check recorded 156 pounds, missing my goal by either a pound or a few days. As I write this today, on January 27, I weighed in this morning at 154.6 pounds.

The ultimate success plan works because it includes tracking your progress, taking massive action, and being persistent if things don't work. Today can be the day you change your life, but you don't need to take my word for it, or even Tony Robbins.

As Buddah said, "in the confrontation between the rock and the stream, the stream always wins -- not through strength, but through persistence."

You can find out more about the Ultimate Success formula in Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins.

I tracked food and calories with MyNetDiary on an is also available as a web application at I used the IPhone app Runkeeper to track my walking. Both MyNetDiary and Runkeeper offer options to post progress to Twitter and Facebook.