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Whole30 One To Done keep improving

Play to your strengths and improve the world

Do you play to your strengths?

Do you play to your strenghts? Developing Character

A little nudge

Do you play to your strengths? If your strength is helping or encouraging others or perhaps detailed management or keeping a good perspective, do you play to your strengths?Well do you? Often people look at their weak area to improve themselves. While this can certainly help, according to John Maxwell, we are better served by improving our strengths. The example he gives in his book, Leadership Gold, is that of Tiger Woods. When Tiger has a bad game he goes to the driving range and practices for hours. He is focusing on his area for strength, golf. He isn’t concerned about improving his financial management or his cooking skills. The focus is on improving weak areas of major skillset.

Focusing only on your weak areas will at best yield mediocrity - John Maxwell Click To Tweet

Strive for more

Play to your strengths

A strange creature

What can you do to improve your areas of strength? Hopefully you have one or more areas. Maybe you aren’t sure what they are. Ask a trusted friend or mentor to help you find your strengths and then chose an area that you can hone.

Set a goal for yourself to improve and measure it. Follow up with your mentor every week. No really, this is important, we all need a willing accountability partner that we trust.

Changing is hard work. Getting help makes sense. Setting some goals and having at least an outline of plan is critical. Improving is not only good for you and those around you, but it’s good for the world.

Why it matters

If each of us can improve a small amount every day, we can vastly improve the world in which we live. The idea stems from a quote by Emerson that states, “Men of character are the conscience of the society in which they live.” If you paraphrase and expand this thought, you can say that good people are the fabric of society. Once accepted, then it is a small step to say that as people improve, society improves and thus our world improves.

The population of the planet is over 7 billion. If even half of these people improve a slight amount, the overall improvement is HUGE. Do your part.

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Trustyworthy Building Trust

Resolutions Busted

Resolutions Busted

Did you get done the things you had planned? Were steps taken to in improve your character or some other aspect of your life? Did you make a New Year’s resolution or two? Are your resolutions busted already? They may be to big. I made one resolution for the year 2000. That was to make no more New Year’s resolutions. That does not mean I don’t review my year and look at what I could have done better. I just don’t do it on New Year’s. Take a smaller approach. Do it daily.

Daily resolutions

Resolutions busted

Read one more page today

I suggest making resolutions every day. Not big grandiose ones like “I’m going to get in shape and run a marathon.” You might have that as a goal for the year, but look at today. Today I am going to run half a mile. Maybe in a few days you change it to be a mile. Make today better than yesterday. What ever your resolutions, don’t wait. Act on them today. Then do it again tomorrow.

Pick one or two areas of your life that you want to improve. Write it down. Take a small action or step toward that area every day. Narrow it down. If it’s health, maybe don’t eat any sugar today. Character? Today I will be more kind. I will hold the door for a stranger.

You should be able to write your resolution on a small Post-It. It’s not a book. It is not a grandiose plan. Your resolution is an action that you will take today.

The key to improvement is to take action. Then repeat. Repeat. Repeat. A desire and a plan to change are good, but they are utterly useless without action.

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7 Thoughts on Changing Habits to Lose Weight

As part of the study for the book, my wife and I trying to change our habit of working out during the week. To do this we decided to get up early and walk 1.5 miles every day. While the title mentions weight loss, these steps could be applied to any habit that you want to change.  I would love to have your feedback, thoughts and suggestions on how you improve your habits. If you are interested in following the conversation, sign up for my separate newsletter on character and habits.

Thoughts on Changing Habits

You have a habit is, shall we say, less than desirable. Perhaps it is eating too much, or just eating the wrong things. Maybe you do not get enough exercise. Or could it be that just watch way too much television. Whatever it is, here are some thoughts to help you.

1. First and foremost, you must be willing to make the change.

Give yourself permission to try and to fail, but not stop trying. Few people have the willpower to just stop cold-turkey. This must not be a simple, “I think I want to lose weight.”  Don’t even look at the weight aspect of it. Look at the habits that contribute to your weight.

2. Pick one habit to change.

Do not try to stop watching TV, exercise more often, eating healthy, eating less, drinking more water, taking supplements, trying different diets, all at the same time. You will fail. Like my grandma said, “Don’t try to boil the ocean boy.”  Choose one thing to work on and do it for 30 days. After that, consider adding a 2nd change, then 30 days after a third change.  All of the changes well-defined and easily measured.

3. Get an accountability partner.

You might be tempted to skip this step. Do NOT omit this! The first day, you will likely be enthusiastic. The second not so much and by the third, you may have already quit. Having an accountability partner that you know and trust will help you push through the “OMG what am I trying to do.” phase of the habit change. They will help push through the challenging parts and celebrate the successes.

4. With your partner, set a reasonable goal that can be tracked.

Not, I’m going to lose a bunch of weight. Your goal has to be specific and easily measurable. Like we are going to get up and walk 1 mile every day before work. Take the changes in small, easily managed steps. Keep it simple so that you can show yourself and your partner some early success.

5. Celebrate your successes and understand your failures.

Do not dwell, belabor, or fret over failures. Everyone has them. It all depends on how you react to them that matters. Thomas Edison has a great quote when responded to the question, “Mr. Edison, how does it feel to have failed 10,000 times when inventing the light bulb?” His response? “I did not fail, I successfully found 10,000 ways that did not work.” Learn from your failures and celebrate your success. since losing weight is the topic here, celebration is not cake and ice cream. Make it something appropriate. Maybe just one scoop of ice cream 🙂

6. Measure your progress against the goal you set.

Daily or weekly, whatever works for you. I track mine daily and it’s easier since my accountability partner, my lovely wife, is also participating in the experiment. We talk about how we are doing on our walk. Day 4 we were both really hoping for rain, but it was just overcast so we walked. Did you make your goal? Great! If not, take a really hard look at why you did something other than move toward your goal. Try to understand your action or lack of action, then say to each other, I will do better.

7. Repeat.

As I was told in the Navy, repetition is the key to learning, repetition is the key to learning, repetition is the key to learning, etc. Seriously though, either repeat the same habit change for 30 days, or add another small change goal if you and your accountability partner think you’re up for it. Keep doing both.  Maybe knock off that afternoon latte and change it to green tea?

Happy changing. What do you do to change your habits?

Where are you?

Well here we are and the year is nearly 1/12 complete. Time is flying away. Where are you? Have you made progress on your goals, resolutions, plans? Have you at least taken one step toward one improvement for the year? I am inching closer to getting a guest blogger scheduled. There are a couple of blogs where we have both reblogged each others articles and may decide to do a guest appearance. I have continued to grow my Twitter audience, but that has started to slow down and Facebook continues creep ever so slowly along with about 77 likes as of this writing. One of the things I struggle with is keeping up with the volume of email I get from Twitter, Facebook and WordPress. I really need to change some the settings to cut the volume, but still get the things I think are important. I would love any suggestions here.

Where are you? Leave a thought or two about things that are going well or maybe something you would like help or advice with pursing. I am far from an expert in many things, but I am happy to share what I have learned.

Please leave your thoughts. I will apologize in advance for not answering your comments right away as we are on vacation and away from internet service much of the time.