The Choice of This or That


What we eat can either help us or break us down.
Ellie Shepley, Wellness Coach

What you think can either ‘empower or disempower you’ .
Tony Robbins, self-help guru

Successful originals take extreme risk in one area and offset them with extreme caution in another.
Adam Grant, The Originals

I alternated between extreme deprivation and extreme indulgence.
omeone talking about their weight struggles

It’s all about choice, isn’t it?

Focused On The Wrong Foot


I decided I needed more exercise (!) and wanted to try something different. So I began going to a Zumba class which is basically exercising to music.

There are many different types of Zumba…cardio, Gold, aqua…but I decided to go to just a regular class.  The music in my class was Latin and HipHop. I was new at this and I didn’t know the steps so to catch on I watched the instructor.

Try as I may, I just wasn’t getting the hang of a certain step. I’m a pretty coordinated person and can easily pick-up steps…except, it seemed, this one. Hmm.

So I kept fumbling around and after the third class I realized that for whatever reason, on this particular step, I was watching the wrong foot. I should have been looking at where my foot was planted, rather than watching the foot that was kicking in the air. Hard to describe but I’m sure you get the idea.

Once I realized I was focused on the wrong thing I shifted my focus and began rockin’ the step.

Then it occurred to me…isn’t that kind of how it is when we focus our time on the wrong thing. It seems all up-hill and very frustrating until we realize we just need to shift focus. We do that and voila!  It all seems easy peasey.

Lesson learned.

Desire Paths in Time Management

walking path

The other day I watched a TedTalk on the design of walking paths. This topic itself doesn’t fascinate me…it was the underlying message about walkers who take shortcuts. I picked up on a phrase the speaker used…Desire Paths. This is where ‘design and user experience diverge’.

When do you think about taking a shortcut? Usually when it seems faster and frequently when it seems easier and sometimes when it seems a better idea at the moment. OK…pretty common. But sometimes this type of reasoning doesn’t work well when you apply it to time management.

Unless it’s some type of emergency situation, you may take time management shortcuts that in the long run actually cost you time and stress. It’s where the ‘design and user experience diverge’. What the heck am I talking about?

  • You need to do something important. But you’ve taken shortcuts towards other things that seem ‘important’ but are really only ‘urgent’. And that desire path sidelines you from working on your priorities.
  • Because of that shortcut now you have to do something that’s important. You’re behind the eight-ball.  All kinds of shortcuts crop up with many of them producing more stress.
  • And then there are the times you want to do something. But a series of shortcuts (excuses/delayed decisions/poor planning, etc.) have already cropped up and uh-oh…now you can’t do what you really wanted to do because your time got used up.

Maybe it’s time to identify your desire paths and shortcuts and think about getting back to the original design…? Just sayin’.

Echo. Alexa. And me.

echoI had a new experience. And it was kind of unsettling.

I just returned home from some business back east where I also had the opportunity to visit an old friend. My friend had purchased an Amazon Echo. It’s ‘name’ is Alexa.

It sits in the living room right off the kitchen so I tried using it to do a few simple things. Put the timer on for some food I was cooking. Tell me the weather. Play Adele on Spotify.

She did all of those things without a glitch.

There’s the problem.


Not only did I anthropomorphize her within minutes, but I also began whispering to my friend so Alexa wouldn’t hear me in case ‘she thought’ I was asking her to do something.

Unsettling. Very unsettling.

What’s More Fun…Learning to be Productive or Not?

Deb Shawnee Park sailboat


This post is entitled The Limits of Self Help Productivity Lit. Go ahead. Read it.

I’m including it in my reflections today because 1) I’ve seen a couple other posts similar to this over the past month and 2) this post and others seem to be missing a big point.

The ‘big point’ is that improving your productivity using whatever method or tools you choose, isn’t just for the sake of improving productivity. Consider that…

You don’t get organized for the sake of doing that.

You don’t work on priorities just because you’re ‘supposed to’.

You don’t work to overcome procrastination or learn to set boundaries because you just don’t have anything else to do.

You work at these things and many more so you can ultimately spend more time with the people you want to be with outside of your work day.

Or spend more time doing things you want to do.

So you can have more fun.

So you can have more life.

So you can experience more peace of mind.

Learning these skills are a means that, in fact,  justify the end. Machiavelli would be proud.

OK.  I’m off my soapbox  now.

Health Defined

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.”
– Preamble of World Health Organization Constitution 1948

My brother was in the hospital recently and while I was visiting him I saw this quote. I like it because it sums up what health is and kindly reminds us that it’s not just about ‘disease and infirmity’.

So I began asking myself how healthy I was in my current state.

I rated myself from 1-10, 10 being happy and satisfied with my health in the 3 areas:

  • How was my physical health? Where was I with my exercise routine? My eating habits? My stress level?
  • How was my mental health? Is my thinking clear? Am I learning at least one new thing a day? How often do I have new ideas or the desire to create something new?
  • How was my social well-being?  And what about my relationships with family? What about my friends?  Have I met new friends or like-minded people lately that I like to hang out with?

Just going through this simple exercise helped me see where I might want to spend more time getting healthy.

What about you?