Category Archives: Goals

On Your Mark, Get Set, Start Over

This morning, after being away from the office since December 23, I planned to hit the ground running as I started my work year. I got up this morning at 3:30 AM, to make an airport run with Philip, then go in early to work. We were out of the house by 4:15, so we beat rush hour and were happy that the roads were dry and clear.  It was very cold–about 4 degrees F, but the heater kept us toasty, we had coffee in our go cups and we felt like we were starting the new year in a great way.

I dropped Philip off and headed back toward the office.  Still, not a lot of traffic, I am within sight of my office by 6 AM, and Philip calls to let me know he has boarded and his flight should be leaving on time, when i realize I left my laptop at home.

I had put it next to the door to the garage, but knew last night even as I was putting it there I should have put it in the vehicle.  It was just so cold in the garage I didn’t know if it would hurt the computer.

This is what comes of taking so much time off! My habits are off and I’m out of practice at getting out of the house with everything I need.

It isn’t a tragedy–it isn’t as if I was the person boarding the jet–and I was only a little aggravated as I drove home then back to the office. I arrived about  a quarter til 7–after 2.5 hours ion the road. Somehow, it felt like I should have made it further than 15 miles from home after that much driving.

I still got in early enough to get several tasks marked off my list  before people started arriving, so I did get my head start on the new year, just not as much as I’d hoped.

And I have to remind myself — there is a lot more year to come.

I Love it When a Plan Comes Together!

ImageFor months, I’ve been working on a large meeting we are coordinating in a different state. I had a committee of volunteers there, who helped with ideas and some of the local coordination.  I traveled to the city myself a couple of times in prep, since a lot of the up front stuff fell to me, because this is my job–and they were volunteers with other jobs. So I wrote and managed the promotional mailings and website, hotel contracts, caterers and coordinated with the locals on the site, managed registrant lists, etc. Since the hosting org is a relatively small company, I was ithe person managing everything from speakers, welcome bags, badges, door prizes, writing and printing agendas… just all the little details. 

And it came together, mostly without a hitch.  Three days of workshops, educational sessions, planning sessions and networking for a little fewer than fifty people. The weather (which we’d used as part of the draw–come to this warm coastal town) was nice for the first day, and cold and wet the rest of the time. In a way, that worked in my favor, as it discouraged attendees from going fishing or golfing in lieu of attending meetings.  The caterers did a great job, the hotel was nice.  People got along well.  I’m going to count it as a success!

Tommorow, I’ll begin writing thank you notes to all the people who helped make it possible, but for now, I’m going to bask in the glow of a small success and put my feet up! 



My Bags are Packed, It’s Early Morn

A day in my life–

Wake up at 3 AM


Finish packing

Leave house at 4 AM

Drive to airport parking area

Board shuttle

Arrive at airport 5 AM, check baggage

5:50 Board plane

6:15 Jet pulls away from gate

6:30 Jet returns to gate


7:15 Board new plane

7:15 Sleep during take-off

7:35 Log on to computer (Yay inflight Wi-Fi)

Drink coffee while flying

Send Emails while flying

Drink more coffee and eat little package of airline cookies

Fly over Grand Canyon

Fill out online form


Make traditional airport restroom visit

Wait for luggage

Drag luggage to car rental shuttle

Ride Bus to Car Rental Office

Wait with luggage while Philip checks out car

Admire Mustang and BMWs in parking lot

Drive away in Chevy Cruze

Follow Garmin instructions to get to meeting

Eat a fat free cheese stick in car

Go to meeting

Drink coffee

Talk shop

Talk shop some more

Get in car

Look for fast food along way to next meeting—must be before we get to freeway and on the right side of the street No luck

Drive rapidly toward next meeting

See highway patrol

Drive more slowly

Find place for next meeting.

Notice hot dog stand across street from building

Buy 2 hotdogs while Philip confirms meeting location.

Walk to meeting building—would be 3 PM at home Have been up for 12 hours (excluding 15 minutes on plane)

Eat hotdogs on steps of building

Old saying “Hunger is the best sauce” is proven by incredible perfection of hot dogs

Enter building and discover a Peet’s coffee bar—but no time to grab coffee.

Go to meeting

Listen to first presenter—he is great

Philip presents, also great, and well received

Tour facility


End meeting and drive to hotel

Check in

We have now been up for nearly 19 hours, after 4 hours sleep the
previous night–take 45 minute nap

Go to dinner–split an order of Chicken Masala.

Return to room–drink decaf, prep for next day’s work

Lay out clothing,

Put on “Life is good” sleep shirts–it is 1:30 AM in our home time zone.


When Shall We Live if Not Now?

runners Yesterday, there was a bombing at the Boston Marathon. Today, I am writing this from Seat 9-F as I fly toward the East coast.

Security at the airport this morning was relatively high, and the local media was there with cameras, asking travelers how they felt to be flying the day after a terrorist attack, which is a question designed it increase fear. But for me the answer is—it feels like most other days since the second time I flew after 9-11. Because, you either live with the knowledge that life comes with risk, or you stay home. And I don’t stay home.

Like most people, I am angered and sickened by the fact that a person or group would attack, mutilate and kill random people. As I write this, the attacker is unknown, so his or her reasons for this are also unknown. Not that it matters to the families of the people killed, or others whose lives are permanently changed by the event, but it seems like we always want to know why, as if there might be a reason that would make us say “Oh—I see—well no wonder.”

No doubt, when we get the answers, we will not likely find peace. We will just be reminded that where ever we go, whatever we are doing, things could go wrong. In the last few years, possibly because more people were adding “run a marathon” to their bucket list, it seemed that there were more deaths associated with running the races across the country, usually from heart attacks or something similar. This year, we have people killed violently by someone wanting to make a statement or maybe just wanting to watch—we don’t yet know. Dying while out living our lives is a risk we take—we seem to find dozens of ways to put ourselves at risk for fun (skydiving, mountain climbing, driving, swimming, boating and running) but most of us accept the trade-off of fun or convenience to risk of the activities in which we participate. We are not prepared, however, when someone else adds to our risk by actively targeting us. But it happens. It happens in the USA, and it happens around the world.

So, for a while (and for some people, possibly from now on) there will be changes made, both real and placebo in value, and we will move on with our lives. But, because there is some truth to the idea that if we burrow in and stop doing the things that may make us vulnerable, but that add to our lives, the crazy wins. And that would injure all of us.

I am not saying we should not be cautious. I am certainly not saying we should accept violence as part of life, though it strikes me that as long as there are people, there will be violence. But events where a person, deranged by nature or by rage, acts against unknown groups cannot be allowed to limit our lives for his/her cause or pleasure.

I bring to you the story of Bill Iffrig, as reported by MSN. Yesterday, when we first learned about the bombing, my coworker and I watched some of the online coverage. We noticed Mr. Iffrig falling when the blast went off and wondered if the man (who is 78, per the article) was ok. What I learned today was that he was helped to his feet by a race official and walked to the finish line to get his time down, despite a scraped knee and what looks to be a very hard fall. And I’m glad he and whatever other racers did or could finish the race did indeed do so. Sometimes, we must be undeterred.

As we hold the murdered and injured in Boston in our thoughts and prayers, and resolve to fight violence when and where we can, we should also resolve to live our lives boldly—aware that life includes risk, but that limiting our lives by living in constant fear is even riskier.


calendarDo you make New Year’s Resolutions? Many people I know are so goals oriented that they have multiple times a year that they evaluate and set new goals. Some friends of mine have an annual theme. They use their theme word or sentence as a rallying cry for the year—to cheer one another on, when making a toast, to celebrate a victory or recover from a setback. We are using a “best year” theme because, it looks like it should be our best year for business in a while, and we are both optimistic about it being a good year health wise, money wise and just life in general.
When asked about resolutions this year, I mentioned our goal setting strategy –we take time to sit down and go over individual and couples goals with each other for short term, mid-term and long term – and ranging from work to home life to recreational goals/wants. We have moved away from resolutions, per se, and toward implementing Continual Improvement Process methods in our lives. If I strive to be better and more aware of things on an ongoing basis, improvement should come.
And let’s face it… I want what most of us want—health, love, security, a certain amount of pleasure and learning of new things. A challenge here and there. The specifics may change over time, but the truth is I want to continue improving, whatever that may mean or however it may be measured, because I believe that people don’t stand still—and if we are not moving forward, in whatever way we can, we are losing ground.