Letting Go of the Past

ass-whooping

A few weeks back I accidentally published this post in rough draft form. Mortified, I trashed it immediately. It had a long way to go before I would have been willing to put it out there. However, a friend caught it and asked why I had deleted it. Too personal. Too confessional. However, his comments resonated. He said it was “thoughtful” and he would be “proud to have come up with that.” Writing it did help me sort out a few things and maybe others can find something that works for them. Marsh Gooch, thanks for the push.

What happened to my once impervious exoskeleton of cynicism and sarcasm mixed with a pinch of scorn? Is losing my ironic distance and signature snark a result of age and maturity, greater self-confidence or having life hand my ass to me a few times? The answer is all of the above, but nothing like an ass whooping to effect change. My big takeaway from the last decade is life sucks when you’re going through the worst, but the lessons learned are invaluable.

Moving forward is the only answer. For too long I held onto the past, wading in yesterday’s waters and wallowing in regrets and resentments. That reluctance to let go hindered any advancement. However, letting go of the past is imperative. I’ve got four kids all at different stages of need and development. I’ve got a wonderful fiancée. Plus, I need to figure out how to keep making money for the next 20 years and have that last for 20 more after that. Big challenges require a forward focus, not a dithering and frightened stare at the past.

I had a vision recently of me holding on desperately to a past I couldn’t recapture no matter how hard I tried. Same guy, same suit, same job, hoping to sustain what he had always known and always done, never suspecting that his winning strategy had been failing him for years. I had developed the wrong approach to handling life’s challenges. My only solution was to do the same thing again and again and again, only with more force and more determination. And the results never improved.

For a big chunk of my career I created far too much baggage. I needed an office, a suit, a staff, and a day packed with meetings to do whatever it was that I did. When I was booted from one high level job I didn’t have the self awareness to let go and move on to the next phase of my life. I thought all I needed was a hand on the rungs of the next ladder. Why couldn’t I climb right back up from where I had fallen? Life would pick up and go on as it always had. Wrong!

When I got tossed to the pavement once again I started to hear the lessons life was trying to teach me. Still, I didn’t quite catch everything and attempted to battle my way backwards to what used to be. The next big job never materialized and I found myself still wondering what the hell went wrong.

After years of moving forward in a single direction my road had moved sideways long before I knew I needed to turn. The resulting pain came from offroading through a bumpy, boulder-strewn section of life while expecting the way to be smooth and paved. Funny how decades of a single winning strategy can blind you to the critical lifesaving necessity of a new direction and new tactics.

I need to flail and fail a little longer before I began to get the first simple signs of a new freedom and a way forward. Of course, I was so caught up in the past I nearly missed them. Then one day I bombed a CitiBike down 7th Avenue with my computer, phone and everything I needed in my messenger bag. In that adrenalized moment as I jockeyed between cabs and delivery trucks I knew things had changed. I didn’t need an office. I didn’t need a suit. I didn’t have to waste my time in endless meetings. I could work wherever I found wifi and an outlet. And maybe coffee.

That was the day I realized my old life was dead and gone.

Change and acceptance are hard. It means adjusting to a new way of doing things and reevaluating expectations for my life and my career. Letting go takes practice and perseverance. There is no magic answer. I have worked hard on creating daily habits that expedite the process, looking forward rather than backward. Exercise. Meditation. Gratitude. Reading. Writing. Setting goals. All of these contribute to a renewed sense of purpose and accomplishment.

This sometimes painful process has opened up a host of new possibilities and opportunities. Instead of one straight freeway ahead of me I see a lot of different paths with unseen twists and turns. There is no autopilot, but the view is much more scenic and the ride more interesting. I move forward every day a little nicer, a little kinder and full of gratitude for the road ahead.

 

 

 

Everybody is a Thought Leader, Right?

sneetch

Social media has given rise to the age of the self-proclaimed thought leader. Maybe they style themselves ninjas, disruptors, innovators or change agents. Whatever the moniker they are out there and there sure are a lot of them. Should you choose to believe the hype, they are the biggest of the big thinkers, the Star-Bellied Sneetches of thinkers if you will.

For a time I immersed myself in networking hoping to meet the big thinkers, the gurus and the rule breakers. I wanted to learn from the best and brightest. I dashed from meetup to meetup, panel to panel, conference to conference, soaking up all that big thinking. My dance card was full almost every night. I tweeted. I hashtagged. I namechecked. I played the social media game to the hilt. I basked in the glory of all that thought leadership mere steps away.

After months of aggressively pursuing networking opportunities I started to notice a few things.

The same people spouted the same tired opinions on panel after panel. There would be an occasional blast of truly original or even radical thought, but all too often everyone was reading from the same script. The law of diminishing returns set in. The more I went, the less I learned.

With so many panels, conferences and meetups there just weren’t enough brilliant minds to go around. Somebody had to fill those chairs up on those stages. Every event seemed loaded with a bunch of inexperienced speakers selling boilerplate conventional wisdom or just showing up to pitch their company or product. Everybody gets a trophy!

The audience was often bored. More eyes were focused on smartphones than on what was happening in the room. All the onlookers looked as if they were thinking, “Hurry up and let’s get to the part where we exchange business cards.” It wasn’t that much fun.

The end of the night scrum to hobnob with the speakers was always awkward. Business cards sliced the air like throwing stars and the rules of civility were tossed aside by the rabble. Plus, there was always the added bonus of chatting with someone while they half listened and kept a vigilant lookout over my shoulder for someone more important.

What did I learn? I became an expert in buzzwords. I shook hundreds of hands. I made a lot of small talk. I ate a lot of pizza. I collected bushels of business cards. Yes, I did meet some great people and even made a few friends, but it was usually too much work for little reward. In the end, I mostly got bored and wanted go home.

The real lessons are simple. Choose the right networking opportunities with an emphasis on quality over quantity. Make sure the speakers are really at the top of their game and have something brilliant to impart. Try to make a few genuine connections at an event instead of working the room. If in doubt, go workout or head home instead. There are plenty of better uses for yout time.

Sure, some days I want to dust off my business cards, polish up my hashtags, get out there and shake some hands. Then I look at the choice in front of me. This week’s alleged thought leaders or spending time with family and the things I really love?

Yeah, I am heading home.

Today Won’t Be the Day That Changes Everything

Today could be the day that changes everything.

That was how I felt almost every single day while I was unemployed a few years back. The next big opportunity was only one phone call, one email or one text message away. I was on high alert and had my phone and computer ready to respond. Yet I rarely did anything that could effect that change. I sat and waited, expecting someone else to come along and hire me. Shouldn’t the world stumble upon my LinkedIn page or my prodigious social media output and recognize my genius?

The result of this skewed perception was about what you’d expect. Crickets. A big pile of nothing. Nobody called. Nobody emailed. Nobody texted….

…unless I reached out first and made something happen. Yes, the only results I got stemmed from actions I took. All that waiting, all that well-orchestrated high alert status was only busyness masked as movement creating nothing but stress and anxiety. There are no white knights, no heroes, no saviors. I must be the hero in my own movie. Only I can change the ending.

My magical thinking was a distracting narcotic, a balm to ease the pain of uncertainty and unemployment. Today could be the day. But it never was. It was only a diversion from the massive, looming problem that was going to drag me under unless I got off my procrastinating ass and did something.

It took me months to understand the need to keep moving, keep acting, cut the nonsense, focus and make things happen.

Here is the secret it took me so long to learn. Nobody gives a damn about me. Yes, I have many people who love me, but it is up to me to save myself and create the life I want. I get to choose whether I want to be the villain or the hero.

Inaction is an action. Inaction is the fast lane to victimhood and unhappiness. If you want to wait forever for life to happen give inaction a shot.

Action begets action. Action may result in failure. but inaction guarantees it.  I can create my future, but I must act now. And act again tomorrow. And the next day. And so on.

This is the decision I must make every day.  Move forward, get pushed back and begin again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Today won’t be the day that changes everything…unless I make the changes.

This is Why We Hate Each Other

man-couple-people-womanThe following is based on a true incident. This could be your life. It might be mine, but if you have kids it’s happened to you.

A paralyzing silence permeates the house. It’s silent treatment time for the grownups. The weekend has been looong and tensions are running high. A couple of hours ago the teen and the tween refused to go to bed. The toddler and the baby were howling in solidarity.

Mom and dad had words. Anger can be a drug and perhaps we both overindulged. Our simmering cold war escalated quickly. The kids who could walk sprinted upstairs and the baby knew silence was the winning strategy. Go team!

Nothing like a little drama on Sunday night to cap off two days of juggling playdates, swim practice, spills, errands, dirty diapers and finding the goddamn TV remote for the 17th time. The adults can’t wait to get back to the comparatively relaxing pace of the 9-5. We’ve both retreated to our corners, but the bitterness remains.

Relationships are hard. Kids make them harder and long weekends can be brutal. All either of us want is a little quiet without whining, squabbling, crying or any other soul sucking time consuming interruptions. You’re never off the clock. It’s the little things that kill marriages and relationships. Everyone needs to be themselves and stop being parents. Life becomes a pitched battle over minutes of free time and nobody gets what they want. Compromise is the only way to avoid a neverending argument.

It is easy so see the other person as the enemy in this situation. Their very existence which once was the whole reason you fell in love and wanted to live with them has now become an assault. Their face, their voice, their habits are all an attack. It is friendly fire masking malice and evil intent.

A few extra minutes at the gym or spent watching tv or getting home late while the other is struggling with the kids is grounds for rage and hostility. Everything seems a capital crime committed brazenly with a giant middle finger in added defiance.

And the truth is, it’s not. We want our time. We want our lives. We want a few seconds to read, maybe shower, maybe just go to the bathroom in silence. And we don’t get it. Someone wants something or another one demands something else. Every opportunity for a moment of peace is shattered and stolen by tiny grasping hands and demanding young voices.

So we turn on one another. It must be their fault because they got extra time sleeping or snuck off for the entire morning or dared to be themselves for one goddamn minute.

But that’s why we like them, why we love them, because they like to sleep in or go to the gym or read a lot or listen to music or eat like a king. We love them because they are funny, wonderful, creative, sexy, adults who have goddamn children and just need a fucking minute alone.

Don’t Look Where You Don’t Want to Go

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That’s Gonna Hurt

By Anthony DeLorenzo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/delorenzo/2675869443/) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

There’s a smart mountain biking adage, “Don’t look where you don’t want to go.” Mountain biking requires intense concentration, quick thinking and immediate reactions. Bombing down a hill strewn with rocks, roots, trees and dropoffs can mean instant stitches, broken bones or worse.

The trick is to pick a clean line, focusing solely on that. The rider must look ahead to see what’s next while simultaneously threading the trail right in front of the bike. Do not stare at the tree you hope to avoid. Do not glance at the cliff. Keep your eyes off the giant mud puddle. Target only the trail where you want your bike to go.

I’ve had enough stitches, bruises, scrapes, cuts, broken bones and near misses (not counting thousands of dollars of bike repairs) to know that looking where I don’t want to go often results in going exactly there. Ooof! Looked at the tree, hate some bark. Gazed at the mud bog, chioked down a pound of dirt soup.

Sure, you can wreck even when things are perfect, but I have found that focusing on the trail and charting my direction without distraction results in fewer mishaps and even the occasional state of flow. To sound trite, you become one with the bike. Obstacles melt away, the trail passes beneath the bike and every twist and turn comes with grace and ease. It’s what makes mountain biking magical. The thrill of conquering a brutal trail with minimal bodily and equipment damage is exhilarating.

So what does this have to do with day to day living? I don’t get on a mountain bike much anymore, but the lessons learned on the trail pay dividends. The key concept to success on a nasty trail or on a tyoical day is Don’t Look Where You Don’t Want To Go. This is all about focus, concentration and targeting my goals.

If I get caught up in distractions, spending my time regretting the past or caught up in pregaming the future, I lose the immediacy of this moment. Once I disconnect I will hit a tree, skid on a root or slide right off the trail. There are enough challenges heading my way at any moment, why look the wrong way?

If I think I will lose my job, my mind obsesses about the horrors of unemployment. If I feel a relationship is souring, I will focus on how it’s souring rather than how I can repair it. The list goes on. The results of obsessing on a past I can’t change and a future I can’t predict are never positive. So many things become a self-fulfilling prophecy when I look where I don’t want to go. Get your eyes back on the trail.

I reached a point a few years back where I was mired in busyness, distracted by anything and everything. My productivity and overall state of mind suffered. All I did was look where I didn’t want to go and wound up going there.

How could I get back on track? How could I regain focus and concentrate on what mattered? After slogging through a few years of going nowhere fast I decided to show up for my own life.

Step by step, I instituted a set of daily practices to reconnect with myself and chart a smarter way forward. Each of these added to my mental, physical and emotional well-being.

EXERCISE was the first step. For years I had been a distance runner and cyclist, but had almost stopped working out. I made a decision to make fitness a key goal again. As I ran and eode my bike more I began to feel energized and and more confident.

MEDITATION was the second. Forget everything you assume about meditation. Think about taking two steps back, sitting still and focusing on your breath. Instead of filling my every moment with the incessant distractions of modern life I gave myself 15 minutes a day to do nothing but be present. A sense of calm and serenity

WRITING every day came next. Thinking about writing is not writing. The only to  way to write is pen in hand, ass in chair, words on page. The benefits of writing are numerous and I detailed them here.

Daily GRATITUDE offered me the chance to be thankful for everything and everyone in my life. Instead of obsessing on what’s wrong and how it must be everyone else’s fault, I write down what is great and magical in the people, places and rhings right around me.

These daily practices shifted my focus from all the obstacles and distractions in my life back to the trail right in front of me. Of course, what works for me won’t work for everyone, but I’ve seen the powerful impact of positive actions. Today, I choose to look where I want to go and I find myself getting there most of the time.

Failing Every Day

failure

I have been reading a lot of James Altucher lately. One of the things I admire is his incredible ability to ship. He has written 17 books, blogs constantly and is a prodigious podcaster. I started with Choose Yourself which was packed with remarkable insights and resonates with me both as a writer and consultant. This led me to follow his blog and look into his other books. Not everything he writes is brilliant, but he will unearth a smart idea in almost every post. His most recent book, Reinvent Yourself, is a wide ranging assortment of blog posts, learnings from podcast interviews and his takes on insights from big thinkers, all stitched together under the theme of reinvention. While not as powerful as Choose Yourself it is loaded with nuggets of wisdom.

What’s remarkable about James is his perpetual curiosity and his desire to ship constantly. Like Seth Godin he publishes something every single day. He does a new podcast every week and ships a new book as soon as the ink on the previous one dries. That’s how he succeeds. He is indefatigable and constantly reiterates his formula for success. He never stops throwing something new at the wall.

I succeeded in creating a daily writing habit. Over the past two years I have written at least 750 words per day totaling nearly 600,000 words, missing only one day out of the last 724. What I fail to do is ship. I write, but I don’t publish. The missing step is the step that will take me forward. I need to share my writing, but I don’t. I am the tree falling in the woods with nobody there to hear it, thus I don’t make a sound.

Fear, lack of confidence and inertia play a role in my reluctance. I am sitting on at least 130 posts that are almost ready to go. What will be the tipping point?

It may have been a message from an old friend.

By chance I inadvertently published a very raw post in draft form a few weeks back. Mortified, I scrambled to reverse the mistake. I deleted it on WordPress, but also trashed the automatic notifications on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. The one thing I neglected was the email sent to those who follow my blog. My good buddy Marsh Gooch (who writes a terrific music blog) received the email and liked what he read. He asked me what happened because wanted to like the post, but it had disappeared. He said the post was “thoughtful.”

“I thought your goal for this year is publish. Then publish!” were his other blunt sentiments.

Seth Godin says not shipping is failure. James Altucher posts every single day and brags of writing 1000 words daily. Then there is me. WIth 130 drafts waiting to be set free I am holding onto 130 failures. Failure to communicate. Failure to share. Failure to ship. Failure.

So here is my revised resolution. I worry that good intentions will amount to nothing if I don’t tell anyone, so I will declare it here. I will ship one post every day in February. This will be 28 successes. The real success will be a new habit of shipping, not just in February, but March, April and beyond

The power of habit is an amazing thing. Three years ago I only thought about writing. I rarely exercised. Somehow I reached a tipping point with both of these and created strong habits. It was a combination of willpower, momentum and desire. I found time every day to write. I made time to exercise. Now I can;t imagine not exercising or writing.

So I’ve got 28 days where I must ship a new blog post daily. Let’s see where the next four weeks take me. I look forward to any feedback or advice you may have. See you at the end of the month and thank you for reading.

And thank you to Marsh for the gentle but powerful nudge!

All Hail the 97 Pound Weakling

Charles Atlas ad

I am the 97 pound weakling, perhaps not the original, but I have always been super scrawny. Like the kid in the Charles Atlas ads that peppered the back pages of comic books for decades, I am a skinny. Even when my weight topped 240, I was a slight man under a concealing layer of flab. Peel away the spongy exterior and you find a pale, stickboy suitable for ass kicking. As a kid I dreaded the beach and wore long pants and long-sleeved shirts to conceal my scarecrow body.

While I have gone on to become a strong swimmer, cyclist and runner, I never have been able to put together a weightlifting program for any consistent period of time. I can run a marathon, but I can’t do a pull-up. I’ve cycled 150 miles in one day, but I have never been able to lift much more than baby weights. I have mastered cardio, but success with adding muscle has always eluded me.

bullworker

Bullworker 1 – Hartnett 0

Yes, I have tried many times over the years. From weight training classes in high school to sporadically working with a trainer over the last year, I have set my sights on the weight room, but the treadmills and spinning classes have called my name. As a kid I even bought a Bullworker thinking that might help me turn it all around. It ended badly with the spring-loaded apparatus breaking during an exercise involving a door jamb. Before I could react, the fist-like end drove into my chest knocking me to the floor. That was the end of the Bullworker as well as a spirited three weeks of bodybuilding.

Over the last few years I’ve gotten back into shape, challenging myself to dozens of road and trail races. After a half decade of sedentary middle age I am feeling pretty good about my fitness. I set ambitious goals and have been able to accomplish them with a little hard work.

I noticed this past year that my race paces were increasing instead of decreasing. How could I be running more yet slowing down? Perhaps it was middle age, but I suspected an overindulgence in bagels and pizza played a role. It had been months since I weighed in so I stepped on the scale. Ooof! I rocked that bad boy at 238 pounds. My suspicions were correct and I opted to try Weight Watchers. It has been several months of fruit, vegetables and a constant gnawing hunger, but I have dropped 45 pounds. For the first time in nearly a decade I am under 200 and my running feels better than it has in years.

But…

This very welcome weight loss has revealed a skeleton in the closet. That skeleton is me. It is wonderful to see my bones, but I wish they weren’t so damn bony. The 97 pound weakling is back!

Can a slight man well into middle age get results from a weight training program? That is my 2017 goal.

It doesn’t help that I HATE lifting weights. It’s boring, it hurts and doesn’t offer the same endorphin rush and head clearing bliss as a five mile run along the waterfront. I’ve managed to put together a decent program for a few weeks at a time, but soon dread the workout and opt to do cardio instead.

My hope is this time it will be different.

My targets are simple. I want to maintain roughly the same weight, build some muscle and bang out 100 push-ups and 12 pull-ups without stopping. I can struggle through 45 pushups now and the pullups aren’t happening at all. I’ve got one year to get there.

How will I make it happen? My plan is to lift three times per week. I’ve got a trainer who will love seeing me concentrate more on weights. He isn’t a fan of all my sissy running. I hope to work with him a couple of times per month and find some lifting pals so all the big guys on the gym floor won’t beat me up.

Two things will help me build momentum. One, I am going to set clear goals every week and evaluate my progress. Second, I am going public with my goal and hoping friends and colleagues will keep me honest and cheer me along.

This goal went in effect today, January 1. I will document my workouts as I go and write an update every month. I won’t horrify you with the before pictures. Let’s hope I have something to show by the end of 2017. Wish me luck and I will see you at the gym

Heard Ya Missed Me, Well I’m Back

One year ago I limped away from blogging. It was less a decision and more part of a process to focus on writing. My last post essayed the dilemma. It wasn’t a case of writer’s block. It was a case of publisher’s block. While I was writing every single day, I wasn’t publishing. I took much of 2015 and all of 2016 to focus on writing, not publishing. I wanted to create a powerful writing habit and discover what I wanted to write about without the need to publish.

When I first set up this wordpress blog my hope was to showcase my expertise on all things content and marketing. It wasn’t what I wanted to write about, but more what I thought I should write about. The blog (and my writing) meandered and sputtered. There would be a flurry of posts followed by a drought. My momentum and dedication waxed and waned. I needed to decide what I wanted out of blogging. Rather than forcing myself to write so I could have something to publish, why not focus on writing, and writing only. Forget publishing and write.

This process began in early 2015 as I sought resources and prompts to encourage regular writing. I started with One Month Writing from the great folks at OneMonth and saw my productivity increase, but not quite as much as wanted. I had spent decades thinking about writing and rarely setting pen to paper. A half measure wasn’t enough.

Then I found the key

574-day-streak

One of the resources recommended in One Month Writing was 750words. The idea is simple. You sign up and write 750 words every day. Yes. Every. Single. Day. Once you hit 750 words the site pops up an alert. You can keep writing or save.

750-words-badges

There are badges and plenty of data to encourage a daily habit. I signed up in February of 2015 and have written every single day, except for one. With 692 total days and 574 days straight (and counting) I’ve written 540,000 words. That’s enough to parcel out into 6 or 7 short novels.

750-words-todays-entry

The positives resulting from this process have been remarkable and rewarding. I’ve broken it down into 7 powerful benefits.

1 Creating a habit – I set a goal to write more. I had the motivation, but needed to gather momentum. The hook of checking each day off on 750 words gave me the impetus to write. As the days added up I had the weight of each successive day behind me pushing me forward. Today, I must write. It is what I do.

2 Discipline – I have missed one day out of 691. I write when I am tired, uninspired and just plain sick of writing. inspiration doesn’t just happen. It comes with discipline and hard work. Often I start with nothing and just write. As my words become sentences and then paragraphs, an idea will form. 30 or 40 minutes later I walk away with a polished essay, a rough draft or a handful of baby sketches.

3 Focus – Writing requires time and few interruptions. i must put down the phone and ignore the bleeps, buzzes, notifications and digital distractions that carve my time into tiny slivers. Complete thoughts demand undivided attention. The increased focus plays out in many other parts of my life and I am much more present and available than when I started.

Organization – My brain fires at hundreds of miles per second. The process of writing down and sorting out ideas gives them a framework my brain can’t. My mind may be the inbox, but I must process. Do I save for later? Act now? Delete? Writing out my thoughts clears out the clutter and frees my mind to focus on what needs to get done.

5 Creativity – In the beginning I struggled to find writing topics. Today I keep a file for future posts. Every day I write down 4 or 5 possible ideas that I want to explore. I dig deeper on past ideas and spread my ideas wider to satisfy my curiosity and explore new topics.

Rough Drafts –  I can test drive ideas and beat them into shape. Writing daily means I often revisit and rewrite the same ideas repeatedly. Rough drafts are often terrible, but they lay out the idea so I can refine and focus it. Repetition allows me to dig deeper and find the essence of what I want to capture with my words.

7 Catharsis – Perhaps the most surprising result of creating a daily writing habit is the ability to toss out all the garbage. The negative thoughts pile up. The recurring mental conversations about unresolved personal issues create too much distracting chatter. Writing shovels all that crap up and out. It is the ability to spring clean on a daily basis.

Now I am ready to make publishing my new habit for 2017. It worked for writing. Let’s see if I can do the same with posting here on my blog.

Heard ya missed me, well I’m back.

Publisher’s Block or My Inertia?

inertia

September 24th was the last time I published a post on this blog. I had ambitious plans to get at least two more posts up by the end of the month. Instead, I stopped publishing. It’s not writer’s block. I’ve done plenty of writing. As a matter of fact it’s added up to more than fifty thousand words in the nearly three months since. There are at least twenty pieces worthy of posting. But I stopped publishing and I am not sure why.

Could I call it publisher’s block? I just can’t seem to press publish. More than anything it is publisher’s inertia. I have discovered that for just about anything I do inertia plays a big role. If I am exercising every day, I will keep exercising every day until something bigger stops me. The same goes for writing, meditating, organizing, journaling, etc.

So it happened with publishing. I was clipping along at a pace of one or two pieces per week and it seemed so easy. Until it wasn’t.

It’s not that I can’t publish, I am simply not publishing. There were a few days at the end of September that got interrupted by various things and my forward motion stopped. The trick for me is how to use inertia for good. Like most of us I am driven by habit. When I am moving forward and inertia is in my favor it is easy to write, meditate, set goals, exercise, publish and more. It is simply something I do.

How do I turn it around so I can take all my unpublished posts and set them free?

If I have learned anything this year it is all about setting goals and acting on them. I have discovered the best way for me is writing goals down on paper first. Yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. Then I review and update those goals at least a few times a week. Yes, I have used just about every ToDo app out there, but they are tools to use once I have set the goals and tasks down on paper. From there I can use Wunderlist, ToDoist or Clear. They are great, but the regular act of writing and reviewing is what keeps my goals fresh, top of mind and actionable.

 

spark-notebook

I kept a Spark Notebook with all my goals this year. It was only a six month notebook and once I hit the end of June my goals and focus for the year softened. At this point I’ve been counting down the days until my 2016 Spark Notebook arrives in the mail.

This weekend the mail brought good things. My new 12 month notebook is here! It’s time to get the pen out and set some goals. I’ve got some publishing to do and I need inertia on my side.

A Tech Vision For Newark – An Ambitious Plan To Transform NJ’s Largest City

one washington park newark

One Washington Park, Newark, NJ

This is something I wrote for the NJ Tech Meetup website.

Newark, New Jersey – the next tech hub? Could new companies and new jobs be the next big step in the city’s renaissance? Newark Venture Partners (NVP) thinks so and they are placing a 50 million dollar bet they can ignite the high-tech fire that will reforge, reimagine and reinvent New Jersey’s largest city.

You’re likely wondering, “Newark? The next tech hub? 50 million? How can I learn more?” Well, you’re in luck.

Next Wednesday 9/30, NJ Tech is heading to Newark for a very special evening. In partnership with NVP, we are hosting a fireside chat with Don Katz, the founder and CEO of Audible (the largest audio book producer and retailer in the US.) Don also founded the NVP team and will share his vision of Newark 2.0.

You can read more right here.