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Lack of time is often not a good excuse…




We can probably agree that we “don’t have enough time.”  But, as we know, we each have the exact same allotment of time — it is how we use it that matters.

The excuse that I have been using when I thought about writing a new blog post, is that it made sense for me to complete first a “31-day course to be a better blogger” from one of the best, Darren Rowse.  As I get involved with my work and schedule, I then have used the excuse, “I must put attention on other priorities in my business”, so fulfilling my blogging 31-day course has not happened, and also my blog sits here dormant, without an update.

So, I am writing today to break that cycle.  And I will restart my commitment to write a blog post weekly.  I am not giving up that I should complete the 31-day Blog Course, but I will do it in parallel while posting weekly (new goal to finish my course is October 20, 2009).

It is important to “manage by priorities.”   But it is also important to realize when something that is of significant value, though not at the top of the priority list, is being delayed too long and take action to correct it.

If you are interested in becoming a blogger (or a better one), please check out Darren Rowse’s book”


Do I really want to share that quotation?


I  love wise quotations.  Capturing the thoughts of others that have said something which speaks to you at a higher level, is inspiring, yet sometimes sobering.

I have read quotes, captured quotes, shared quotes, used quotes in presentations — I love quotes!

But after years, I reached an “Aha!” moment with using quotes.  More specifically, it was an “Oh No!” moment, I think.  Several months ago I encountered a quote:

“Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”   — Thomas Huxley

Those words, simple though they seem, resonated with me.  This blog is about “Changing Habits” and I am on that road, traveling toward a destination of new habits to transform parts of my life which could be so much better.  Huxley’s maxim seemed to propose a common sense solution which could help me make my plan work much better.

Many quotes are from people who we “know”, at least we know who they are (Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Vince Lombardi, John Kennedy, etc.).  And when I am inspired by a quote, that comes from someone about whom I know nothing, sometimes I have researched to answer “Who is this, who said that?”  But many times, I don’t take the time.  Just note the quote, record it in my list, refer to it, and share it when appropriate.

Now I am to the subject of Thomas Huxley.  After weeks of enthusiasm about the quote I mentioned, I suddenly wondered — who is Thomas Huxley?  When I checked, he is a noted man whose philosophy appears to be 180 degrees opposed to mine.  Now the dilema appears.  Do I make the principle “motto” of my effort to “Change Habits…” a phrase from someone for whom I have concerns about the validity of his thinking (since it is so different from the direction of my thinking)?  I think not.  Someone else might think that rationally they could use it as long as it works.  But I am not comfortable with using a “principle” from someone who doesn’t share the “major principles” in which I believe.

So I am dropping this quote as the “best one I have found to help me change”.  I’ll find another one.  But I will never easily adopt one again, and enthusiastically share it with others, without thinking “I need to find out who it was that said this, not just what it was that he or she said.”

Michael Gerber, author of E-Myth, shares 5 skills which are necessary in a business.  The first of the five is “Discrimination” — knowing how to choose what is important and how to prioritize these important pursuits (then apply the rest of the skills — Concentration, Organization, Communication, & Innovation).

I’ll hopefully be more discriminating in the future about the quotes I use.

Here’s one for thought:
We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it – and stop there, lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stovelid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again – and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.
Mark Twain

Encountering a Valley


Valleys are magnificently beautiful, but agonizingly painful when the goal you seek is on the mountain!

My journey to establish new habits is marked with too many detours, and not enough fast lanes.  This journey is involved with personal habits (nutrition, exercise, renewal (rest-relaxation-rejuvenation)).   A parallel goal is to  improve the results of my efforts at work as well, to increase productivity, but to spend more of my time on activities relating to the vision, the mission, and strategic goals of the business.

My days are showing improvement, my routines are displaying progress, at least most of them are.  But my early mornings are only sporadically correct, my evenings are burdened by a desire to “let down and de-stress”. 

I must focus on what I have learned, with discipline to perform as I can, and re-start the count (of 21 days to form a new habit).  It’s dissapointing to start at “square one” — but a great place to begin again and work toward a worthy set of goals!

Learning to Change Habits — 21 Days Building a New Habit…


It has been said that to do away with an old habit, replace it with a new one, and do it 21 successive days to “set” the new habit.  I started Sunday (Feb. 1, 2009) with a commitment to do that, so if I accomplish it, on February 22nd I will have “set” a few new habits (A better morning routine (Arising ontime (4:30 a.m.), Exercizing, Get Ready, Quiet Time, Planning Time, Breakfast with my wife, then leaving ontime for work by 6:45 a.m.)).  If I make too many mistakes, I will restart the date and extend my goal 21 days out.  Let’s see how it works.

“Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”   —Thomas Huxley

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishements.”  —Jim Rohn

Restoring Focus…


From Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People I learned the “private victory” was to be Proactive (1st Habit), Begin with the End in Mind (2nd Habit), and First Things First (3rd Habit).  As important as these are, they slide from action to memory at times, and I become aware that I should adjust my focus to these three to overcome my productivity loss.  To ACHIEVE each day in this next week, I will target the effective use of these 3 habits during my workday specifically.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, when we learn something from a wise mentor, that it would “install and be automatically active”  from then on.  But regretably it takes attention, discipline, and perseverance to make habits change and improvement to move into our lives.

A Step Back…


I slacked off at the end of last week, got sick, struggled through that all weekend.  I planned to start fresh this week today, but it is difficult, still feeling “under the weather” and disappointed at my lack of productivity.  But I am going to do the best I can today, and restore my focus on my goals (personal and work).  I need to go back to my walking and other exercise routine.  I know it will help, but the seasonal early onset of darkness, leaving work late, the cold wind — all are obstacles, but ones that could be overcome.

A Start…


The journey to creative and lasting change in life is difficult and often littered with mistakes, false starts, and unproductive detours.  But there are ways to determine paths, milestones and markers to help keep us on track, and signs that can point us to our destination.

I want to be working to plot that course and use available feedback to make “course corrections”.  This is a learning effort for me and I may not be an appropriate example, but I want to share what I have found that does work, and occasionally something that is best avoided.