Chasing Success

Many years ago when I was a young man new in the corporate world met a fellow that was just about to retire. I remember he was super old like 55 or something (I am 50 now) and had a plan to hike the Appalachian trail. I do not recall his position with the company but I am sure it was not an executive level or anything like that. 
Learning that I was a new parent, he decided to give me some advice on how to have a happy career and retire early. He told me a story about a highschool friend of his at a recent reunion that had given him a hard time about not having climbed higher on the corporate ladder. 
“I congratulated him on his career success and then asked him a few questions” 
“How many times have you been married?”
The answer was 2
“How many kids do you have?” 
The answer was 3 with two from the first marriage and 1 from the current
“Do you pay alimony and child support”
“Do you see your kids every day?” 
"No, my first wife has remarried and lives in a different city&qu…

How Diet Coke almost stole my retirement dreams

I still remember the day I realized that my daily diet coke habit was stealing my retirement dreams.
At the time, Coke was running a promotion using a code from a bottle cap to get prizes. You would save your cap, enter the number on a website and points would add up for something fabulous. I kept these caps in a desk drawer and it did not take long for these to really pile up since I had a long time frequent habit of visiting the machine at work several times a day. There was the before work Coke,mid-morning Coke, lunch Coke, mid-afternoon Coke and usually something towards the end of the day.
One afternoon I looked at the pile of caps wondered how much in cost that represented. Next, I began to think about cost over time and if I continued this pattern what it would mean in the long term. The final kicker was when I plugged in my average monthly diet coke spending into a savings calculator and considered how much $5 a day applied to retirement could mean if saved for the next 20 yea…

How to write goals for success

If you read my previous post you understand the importance of goal setting to reach success. You must also be committed to joining the 9% club by following through with what you want to achieve.

Everyone is different and how you organize your goals need to be your own but I thought I would share what has worked for me over the years.
A Key thing to know is that goal setting is not a one-time event. Goals are to be in progress at all times and there is nothing wrong at all with having things that will take years to accomplish. This is why having them in writing and updated regularly will help you.
If you need a model for structuring your goal there is always the classic SMART format.
Specific--What do you want? Measurable--How will you know you have achieved it? Attainable--Is this goal even possible? Relevant--Will the goal make a positive difference for you and/or others? Time--when will you start, what are milestones along the way and when will you finish? (this is important)
I go a litt…

Stop Resolution Failure and have a breakout 2018

“The person without goals will end up working for someone that does” Yes, it is that time of year again. As we near the flip of the calendar many people get excited about the psychological turn to a New Year and set goals. I think we have all been there with plans to lose weight or to finally make that life-changing career move. It is reported that 41% of us “usually” set New Year's Resolutions and 42% of us never set make a resolution.
Sadly of the those that do set goals, only 9.2% feel they have experienced success in achieving them. Given this very poor result, it is no wonder so many do not bother and it shows the power of optimism that so many keep trying. I am a goal setter. It is not something I do as much as it is part of who I am. Going back over 15 years I have my goals and result of these goals documented. It is interesting each year to reflect on some of my older objectives as they provide insight into points of time in my life. Some success highlights looking back a…

Being thankful

This week is Thanksgiving and there is no doubt that many folks will take time to reflect and be thankful. That is a very good thing.

The truth is that the spirit of thankfulness is something we should have every day of our lives and there is no need to make it a holiday. At the same time, the coming together of family and friends plus a chance to eat three slices of pie in a day is something I do not plan to pass up.

Daily thankfulness and an attitude of gratitude are important for a happy life. Gratitude or “the state of being grateful” would seem like a simple thing, unfortunately, there are way too many people that just do not get it.

When we place ourselves in a grateful state the world seems less burdensome and the future is brighter. I believe that anyone can dig deep no matter their current situation and find a reason to be grateful.

Not only does this state feel good but there are many studies which show people who live with a spirit of gratitude experience healthier and happ…

Riding and aging

Last night was the last Bike Lab group ride of the season. I made it to more group rides this year than any year in the past as part of my goals for 2017.
I had tremendous gains in my cycling fitness this year and more importantly, for me, I got out of my comfort zone to participate in group rides with people I know we're faster than me.

All at the ripe age of 50.

Through all these years starting more than 30 years ago, cycling has been something that has brought me fun and fitness. It all started back in college when I finally got fed up with being overweight and out of shape. It was a $75 mountain bike from Wal-Mart that first got me moving.

Since that time I have owned several bikes and have ridden thousands of miles. Along the way, I experienced adventure, learned about perseverance and continued to battle my weight. I can’t imagine what my life and fitness would have been like had I not strapped on a helmet for the first time and hit the road all those years ago.
I do not fear…

Quit focusing on your weaknesses

Let’s face it.  We all have faults that make us at times less than the person we would like to be.  Awareness of these issues for me has been a bit of an obsession which I know is a result of my personality type. I have taken assessments galore, sought feedback from those around me and spent considerable time in self-reflection.(a true INFP)   Awareness of my gaps have been critical to my growth over the years and many times has served as motivation for education or behavioral changes. However, there is an important watch out that took me a few years to understand.  Back in my early days of introspective I more often than not found myself focused completely on “fixing” all the things that in my mind I saw as negatives. When I was a trainer, I would take the one or two negative comments and obsess over the feedback totally ignoring the value of the many positives.  When I became a manager, I took the DiSC assessment and scored very low in the directive quadrant which is somewhat unusu…