Saturday, January 02, 2010

Saturday Night Classic Music Video

I was 6 when they performed this:

My Sources Part 2

Earlier today, I shared with you one of my sources for material. Here's the latest from another source that I refer to as DLM which stands for Dumb Little Man:

6 Ways to Start the New Year Doing Instead of Dreaming

Posted: 31 Dec 2009 07:13 AM PST

It is the time of year where many people will attempt to develop their New Year’s resolutions. Whether you have one resolution or a thousand, wouldn’t it be a fabulous accomplishment to be able to say to yourself that 2010 was the year you stopped dreaming about accomplishing your resolutions and started to do them?

Dreaming about what you want to get done is not a bad thing, but many of us seem stuck in the days after January 1st thinking about losing weight, starting a business, or saving more of our income instead of making it happen.

To help you start the New Year right, here are 6 ways I have thought of that you make 2010 a year of doing instead of a year of dreaming:

Change Your Mental Map

In the article, “Leading Again for the First Time,” Dr. Chip Souba makes the assertion that “Sustainable success begins with transforming people first by changing their mental maps and thought patterns.” In my studies of success, the people that are most successful are the ones that change their perceptions of what they can do and as Dr. Souba said, change their mental map.

When you change your mental map, you are not changing what you believe to be true or false, right or wrong, but you are changing how you perceive success in accomplishing your goals. Many of us fall into the trap of thinking that our past failures signify future failures. That is a mental map we have created that has now defined our future. When we change our mental map, we realize that our past failures do not define our future and that we can accomplish the goals we set this New Year.

Increase Your Learning on the Subject
For many of us, the New Year gives us a few days of rest before we have to go back to work. This is a good time to sneak into the library and research your resolutions. I personally like to do my research in the libraries of a large public university. There I have access to search tools and databases that allow me to find peer reviewed articles and data on the topics I am researching. For non-research types like me, our local public library can give us access to:
  1. The forms needed to start a business.
  2. Books on how to get our finances in order.
  3. Exercise and diet DVDs, books, and magazines
  4. Online programs to learn a new language, learn about traveling to other countries, develop a resume, and a variety of other self-help topics.
  5. A staff of people that are paid to help you find information.
If you want to kick your New Year off right, then consider heading to the library to get as much information on the topic as you can so you have the information you need to get a fast start.

Eliminate Wasteful Activities

The primary complaints that I hear from people about why they fail to accomplish their goals is that they do not have enough time. This is coming from the people that hit the snooze button 9 times before getting out of bed, watch two hours of TV a night, and spend every 20 minutes checking their e-mail and Facebook status updates.

Spending some time doing a relaxing activity is not a bad thing, but when you are spending over two hours a day playing Farmville, you have some free time to get more done in your life. I recommend that you spend the next few days trying to cut your TV and Internet time in half and spend that time working on accomplishing your resolutions.

Set Realistic Time Horizons
You didn’t put that 20 pounds on in a week, so don’t expect it to come off the day you start your diet.

We live in a world of instant gratification. Due to the pace of our lives, it has become difficult to accept that being successful in accomplishing your goals takes time. If you are looking to lose weight, then give yourself the room to make mistakes over the coming week. Just because you ate a pint of Ben and Jerry’s doesn’t mean all is lost. It just means you need to be realistic about your goal and strive to a long term goal of feeling better and weighing less.

Whether it is a savings goal, business, or personal, we all try to believe that things can change overnight. They can’t, so we need to make sure that we create time horizons for our goals that push us to accomplish them but don’t set us up for failure.

Recruit Others to Your Cause
If you need help losing weight, then join a support group. Trying to save money? Join a savings club. Want to start a business? Then join a local chamber of commerce. For many of your goals, there are free or low cost groups that you can join that create a support network that will help you stick with your goals.

If there isn’t a group available, then try to find an accountability buddy that will push you to stay in line with your goals. This should be someone that you can speak with in confidence that will tell you when you are keeping to your goals or need to get back in line.

Take Action Now

Don’t wait until January 1st to start your resolution. If you want to lose weight, then get your workout clothes on and take a walk. When you return from your walk, throw away all of the junk food in your house, make a menu for the next month, then create a healthy shopping list for the next two weeks.

If you want to save money in the new year, then why don’t you pull out the credit card and bank statements, figure out what monthly expenses can be eliminated, and make the calls to cancel subscriptions, reduce your cell phone bill, and other subscriptions you are no longer using.

Don’t wait for something to happen, the clock to strike midnight, or a mystic vision to reveal what you are supposed to accomplish in the New Year. IF you want to be successful then pick up the phone, get out and start moving, or pick up the pen in write. Whatever you want to do, get out there and do it right now! It is the best way to get you started in accomplishing your goals.

Written on 12/31/2009 by Chris Elliott. Chris helps small businesses figure out what their big idea is, how to get it to market, and how to get people to notice their wonderfulness. He is also a dynamic speaker and trainer in personal growth and public speaking. You can catch him blogging at As A Dude Thinketh.Photo Credit: kkalyan

My Sources Part 1

I'm going to add some extra posts to the Really Blog this weekend to let you in on a few secrets of mine.

1st off, I normally post 2 times a day on this site that you are reading right now.

A year ago, I decided to promote my hometown, Fort Wayne with a Fort Wayne site of the day. I dabbled at this in 2008, then on January 1st 2009, made a commitment to doing it every single day, and I'll continue in 2010, with a mixture of new and repeats from last year.

Then in the afternoon, I post something fun, insightful, or personal.

(I also write and edit several other blogs that range from marketing/advertising/sales to political, to, well, all together there are over 40 updates a week. This is made possible by the schedule ahead feature that is built into

Anyway, on this blog, one of my favorite sources is the Art of Manliness Blog. Later today I'll add a couple of other sources. Here is their year end wrap-up:

Best of Art of Manliness 2009

Posted: 01 Jan 2010 11:26 PM PST

Whew. Am I ever glad 2009 is over. For Kate and I, 2009 was a mixed bag. At the beginning of the year we suffered a family tragedy that put us in a funk for much of 2009. But I think the experience brought us closer to our families and helped us understand that you can’t take anything for granted.

Despite that early setback, we had a lot of success personally and with the site. I graduated law school in May in the top ten of my class. Running the blog and doing law school at the same time nearly put me in an insane asylum, and I’m grateful to be able to now concentrate on AoM full-time.

Here’s a breakdown of some of what went on with the Art of Manliness this past year.

1. The biggest news of the year was the publication of our first book, The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for Men. Thanks to your support, we sold out of our entire first print run in just two months. The publisher hopes to have the next print run out in a couple of weeks. We’ll keep you posted.

2. In April we started the Art of Manliness Community where men from all over the world can come together to discuss manly topics-both the fun and the serious. In just 8 months, over 6,500 men have joined up. Thank you to the regulars who make the Community such a great place to hang out. Make sure to stop by if you haven’t already.

3. We teamed up with TankFarm Clothing to create 12 awesomely manly Art of Manliness T-shirts. Show off your Art of Manliness pride by picking one up today. Our thanks goes out to TankFarm Clothing for making the t-shirts possible.

4. In June, we ran a month long series called 30 Days to a Better Man. Every day we provided AoM readers with a different task to complete that would help them become a better, more well rounded man. If you’d like to do the program, you can download our easy to read 30 Days to a Better Man eBook for just $2.50. Or you can still go through all the Better Men posts online for absolutely free. They’re not going anywhere.

5. In September I started a weekly podcast. The podcast thing is still fairly new to me but hopefully I’ll keep getting better at it. I plan to continue bringing on guests to talk about topics of interest to men as well as our Man Stories series.

The Most Popular Posts of 2009

And now, without further ado, here are the most popular Art of Manliness posts of 2009:

1. 100 Must See Movies: The Essential Men’s Movie Library

2. The Ultimate Push-up Guide: 35+ Push-up Exercises

3. Best Guns for Home Defense

4. Every Man Should Be Able to Save His Own Life: 5 Fitness Benchmarks

5. 5 Classic Cocktails Every Man Should Know

6. How to Tie a Tie

7. 7 Exercises to Make You Look and Feel Like a Man

8. The Essential Men’s Library: 50 Fictional Adventure Books Edition

9. Command a Room Like a Man

10. 15 Manly Smells

11. Motivational Posters: Theodore Roosevelt Edition

12. Motivational Posters: Winston Churchill Edition

13. The Mad Men Guide to a Manly Haircut

14. Choosing Man’s Best Friend: A Guide to Canine Companions

15. 13 More of the Worst Products for Men

16. How to Exit a Room Like a Man

17. How to Shave Like Your Great Grandpa: The Ultimate Straight Razor Shaving Guide

18. How to Look Like a Million Bucks for Under $200

19. 5 Gut Busting Football Conditioning Drills

20. How to Unclog a Toilet

A Thank You to Art of Manliness Readers

This year the site grew from 25,000 to 56,000 subscribers and from 400,00 to 900,000 visits a month. Kate and I are tremendously grateful for your support. Thank you for sharing AoM with your friends and family. Thank you to those who made the site an interesting and welcoming place to visit by sharing your respectful and insightful comments. I was always amazed at the great dialogue that would take place. Thank you to those who emailed us feedback and suggestions. Thank you to those who shared your appreciation for the site with us and helped keep us going. You all are a wonderful group of gentleman (and ladies), and it’s a privilege to associate with you and have you aboard. It’s truly inspiring to know that there other other men out there who are unwilling to settle for mediocrity and want to become the very best they can be.

Looking Forward to 2010

We’re very excited about 2010. We have so many subjects that we can’t wait to write about and start discussing with you. And we definitely feel there’s a manliness movement afoot that’s getting bigger and bigger every day. More and more men are putting away the kid stuff, are saying no to society’s low expectations and stereotypes of men, and are starting the journey to rediscovering the lost art of manliness. We’re happy we could be a part of it. Let us all push onward and upward in spreading the ideals of honorable manliness in our families, with our friends, in the workplace, and in our simple day to day interactions with others.

What are your favorite Art of Manliness articles from the past year? (Or of all time?) Your feedback is always welcome and helps us improve the site.

Let’s make 2010 the year of manliness!

DownloadThe Art of Manliness Free Man Cookbook DownloadThe Art of Manliness Guide to Being a Gentleman Hawaiiabera Discount Code: AOM Check Out These Related Posts:By the way, I have downloaded and used their Art of Manliness Cookbook, most recently at Christmas!

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Future

Or more specifically, Your Future.

On this first day of a new year, think about this from Seth Godin:

How far away is your future?

Let's try a thought experiment:

A flying saucer comes to Earth, destroys a major city to get our attention, then announces that in 10,000 years it is coming back to destroy the Earth. In order to eliminate any doubt, it then blows up Mars.

Assume for a moment that you believe the threat and there's nothing we can do about it...

Question: how would knowing that the planet would disappear in 10,000 years change your typical day?

Okay, now run the same story, but 1,000 years from now instead.

You can probably guess where this is going. What if it were twenty years? If it were twenty years, how would that change things?

Most of us assume a single range of focus that we care about. And it's usually right around the corner, or even closer.

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Now that the hustle and bustle of Christmas has passed, it's time to look forward to a few changes for the new year....

First, you can contact my wife, The Simplified Life Coach at her site:

And you can follow these steps from the DLM Blog:

How to Cut Down Your Commitments

Posted: 16 Dec 2009 06:57 AM PST

Do you feel constantly busy – and in demand? Are you the one person at work who everyone seems to ask when they need a favor? Do you have a host of family obligations – driving your kids all over town, helping your mom spring clean her house, cooking dinner for your household? And are you involved in voluntary groups who demand your time and attention?

None of these things are bad in themselves – but they can all add up to a frantic and hectic life where you never get time to enjoy each activity before you rush on to the next. They can sap your energy, and prevent you from going after your own goals.

If you need to cut down on your commitments, here’s how:
  • Make a List
    I’m a big fan of lists – they help you to organize your thoughts and to get some clarity. We often lead complicated lives, with a lot of different commitments in different areas, some of which are temporary, some ongoing.

  • Take ten minutes to jot down a list of all the major commitments which you have in different areas of your life.
    Make a note of any which are only for a definite fixed time period (e.g. chairing a committee).

  • Circle any commitments which make you feel tired, dispirited, anxious, or put upon. Ask yourself if I could drop some of these commitments, which would I give up? You might have a whole host of reasons why you simply can’t give up something (despite hating it). The truth is, though, that it’s always possible to quit. You aren’t really that indispensable.

    (After all, sorry to have to say this, but if you died suddenly ... people would carry on without you!)

    So how do you get out of the things which you’re already committed to? And how do you avoid making the same mistakes with the new commitments that you take on? There are three ways, from least to most drastic:

    • Set a time limit
    • Renegotiate
    • Just quit!
    If you’ve got a number of commitments which have no end in sight, can you set a limit on them? For example, if you’re the moderator of an online forum, you could explain that you’ll only do it for another six months, then you’ll stop.

    In general, it’s a good idea to give an indication of how long you are prepared to do something for when you first take it on – especially if you aren’t sure how much you’ll enjoy it. If you agree to be secretary for the local gardening club, make it clear that you’ll only be doing it for a year. That sets people’s expectations from the start – and you can always agree to carry on if you do find that you love it.

  • Renegotiate
    If you’ve taken on something which you don’t really have the time or energy for, can you renegotiate? That might mean that you talk to your partner and explain that you’d like her/him to take on more responsibility for the children. It could mean agreeing with your brother that he’ll take your mom and dad out every other weekend, so that you get a break.

    When you’re asked to take on something new, you might not have to agree to do the whole thing. For example, as secretary of the gardening club, you might be willing to take minutes and send out agendas, but you might not be prepared to handle publicity.

  • Just Quit
    Finally ... it is perfectly possible to simply quit the things that you’re involved with. If something is becoming a big stress or time-consumer in your life, it might be best to simply bite the bullet and say “I quit.” People will almost certainly not be as shocked or upset by this as you might fear! You don’t even need to offer a reason – but if you feel that you do, you can say something like “I simply have too many other things going on in my life, and I’m not able to give this the time that it needs.”

    Don’t be afraid to quit something before starting, either! This is the “just say no” principle. Sure, perhaps Mrs Jones thinks you’d be the perfect person to host the block party ... that doesn’t mean that you need to agree.
Are you over-committed? What would you dearly love to give up? Can you quit it? If not, can you renegotiate and do less of it? Or can you at least set a time limit so that you’ve got an escape in sight?

Written on 12/16/2009 by Ali Hale. Ali is a professional writer and blogger, and a part-time postgraduate student of creative writing. If you need a hand with any sort of written project, drop her a line ( or check out her website at Aliventures.Photo Credit: flik

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


It starts with you...

From the DLM Blog:

20 Powerful Beliefs That Will Push You Toward Success

Posted: 21 Dec 2009 11:12 AM PST

I’m sure you have met at least one person in your life that is successful, motivated and self-empowered. This is someone that always seems to land on their feet, turns everything into gold and every success seems to come their way faster and thicker.

I’m also sure you have stopped to think about why these chronically successful people are so energetic, driven and successful with no apparent struggle while you seem to have such inertia impeding your progress.

Many believe that this is some unfair throw of the dice; that they just weren't meant to become successful. Or perhaps it’s that the ultra successful people had some advantage or social lever that you didn't. Occasionally this is true, occasionally success is inherited or stumbled into. However, more times than not, it's created.

Success, first of all, is not a set of achievements or a combination of external factors; it is a mindset. Success is an attitude that comes from a framework of powerful beliefs and empowering thoughts. There have been many books written about this, probably some of which you have read. In the ones I have read, there always seemed to be a certain partiality – an incomplete picture – perhaps biased towards financial success or some other area but not another.

In the following list of beliefs and empowering thoughts, I would like to present a rounder view of success. One that I hope will give you a wider angle towards the meaning of success ranging from the material to the spiritual.
  1. I am in charge of my life
    The belief that you and only you are responsible of what you make of a given situation. Life does not happen to you but is a result of how you respond to opportunities and challenges.

  2. I can make tomorrow better
    The belief that you can change your future by your actions today. Some people are stuck in a fatalist (and dis-empowering) mindset where they believe they have little control on their life.

  3. There is a lot of opportunity out there
    Successful people have their mind set on abundance and opportunity and not scarcity and lack. Trust me this makes a world of a difference. Believe that life, energy, positivity, love, opportunities, success, happiness are abundant…because they are!

  4. I don’t need the approval of others to succeed
    If you are always looking for others’ approval and consent you will not go very far off and you will certainly not be self-empowered. Successful people follow their heart even when others are skeptical or do not consent.

  5. My intentions have effect on my reality
    This is not to believe in magic where you can wish things into being…well almost. Most people are blind to this but successful people know, consciously or otherwise, that a focused and strong intention is indeed a powerful thing that will make a lot of things happen and certainly get you to your destination faster.

  6. People are catalysts not barriers to success
    If approached in the right way and you network with the right people, you will leverage your efforts by a thousand fold. You will get things done faster by getting help from others.

  7. Positive thoughts are powerful and empowering
    Successful people know very well that choosing to start a day with a positive rather than a negative outlook means having successful day as opposed to a frustrating one. It’s definitely in the attitude.

  8. I am not separate from the rest
    This is a deep insight which only the truly successful and wise ones keep at heart. Commonly people believe that they are separate and cut off from the rest because they are individuals. True knowledge will tell you that everything is interconnected and success comes from acknowledging that you are not separate but one with the forces of life and the universe.

  9. How can I use this situation?
    When life throws a bad streak at you or you your plans go down the gutter, ask yourself “How can I use this?”. My life changed as I started doing this. You can always turn a situation around even by just observing, learning and sharpening your attitude.

  10. Hard work & perseverance are rewarded
    This is a rule of thumb even if perhaps reward doesn’t always come immediately but is paid off in the long run.

  11. My past can be reviewed and rewritten
    Some people are locked in their past or think that their past circumstances determine their future. Successful people are skillful in the art of interpreting their past and reframinmg it according to their optimal advantage.

  12. There are forces and energies which can help me if I’m conscious
    You might be thinking magic? Fairies? Not exactly. We cannot perceive certain subtle energies but some successful people believe in positive and negative energy flows from things and people just like ancient Chinese traditions believed in the flow of the Chi (Qi) or life energy. You can make yourself aware of this but it takes practice.

  13. Failure is good
    As in point 9, empowered people can turn a failure into success by learning from it and moving on.

  14. Don’t take it personally
    Get out of the trap of taking life circumstances personally or you will end up enslaved emotionally. When you get rejections, criticisms, cold shoulders, etc., put in within an impersonal bracket. They are not rejecting me, but an idea of me they have in their mind.

  15. Bad patches are temporary
    We all pass through bad patches. It’s the cycle of life. But we all get out of them unless we chose not to. Think outside of the moment.

  16. What I learn can be improved and refined
    Self-empowered people have a very dynamic view on life. There is always space for change and improvement especially on skills and lessons learnt.

  17. I am constantly developing and expanding new capabilities
    Just like the previous point, empowerment comes from a non-static outlook where life-affirming mind states are believed to expand not contract.

  18. Things are impermanent, don’t attach yourself to things
    This is a Buddhist concept which the real successful have learnt through experience. You might think that successful people are materialistic. I think the really successful are people who have a richer view on life and know how to ride life’s waves without getting emotionally attached.

  19. Forget, forgive, rejoice
    Don’t get stuck in resentment and grudges. Travel light without dragging an emotional baggage full of past disappointments.

  20. I already have all I need
    Self-explanatory. The path to success is through self-discovery and not world conquest as some would believe. People who have made it knew how to uncover their skills and true potential instead of obsessing with possessing.

Written on 12/21/2009 by Gilbert Ross. For more great articles by Gilbert make sure to visit his Blog Soul Hiker. Subscribe to his posts here or follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Photo Credit: Star5112

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Video Time: Laughter

I hope you don't laugh like the guy in the middle!

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Monday, December 28, 2009

Walk it off

A few years ago I came to the realization that paying gym membership dues is not the same as using the gym.

But there is another way to get healthy. From the DLM Blog:

The Surprisingly Deep Benefits of Walking

Posted: 14 Dec 2009 06:50 AM PST

Readers of my previous articles will know that I try to live as effortlessly as possible. This all started (in a conscious way, at least) when many years ago, as a teenager, I discovered the ancient Chinese idea of Wu Wei - ‘action without action’ or ‘non doing.’ The discovery came quite by accident - as most good things in life tend to happen.

I was on holiday with some friends and one day I went for a walk alone. I came across an old, second hand book shop, and as I glanced over the disordered titles, I came across a translation of the Tao Te Ching, by R. L. Wing called ‘The Tao of Power.’ The front cover described it as ‘Lao Tzu’s classic guide to leadership, influence and excellence.’ I bought the book - who knows why, - and have it on my table as I write these words. It has been a beloved companion throughout all the years since that day.

"Follow your bliss, and doors will open for you that you never knew existed. Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls." - Joseph Campbell

When you’re doing things the right way, when you’re going with the flow - when you’re doing things the ‘wu wei’ - way, then you are effortlessly abundant. This, of course, is why I chose the name ‘Effortless Abundance’ for my website. You should be happy, healthy, fulfilled and abundant in every way. And this abundance should be effortless. Effortless abundance can be applied to every area of life, but here I want to share how I have come to apply it to ‘being fit.’

People put themselves through all sorts of pain to ‘get fit.’ I got into the habit of going to the gym several times a week. I’m sure it did me some good - my resting heart rate is pretty low, I am slim and agile, I sleep pretty well, and I never get out of breath (giving up my ‘social smoking’ will have helped, too!) But there was a downside, too - I guess my knees haven’t appreciated all that running on the treadmill and all that cycling!

But the main downside, the thing that really bothered me, what just how much effort it all was. To be honest, I never enjoyed going to the gym - it was always a chore. Getting changed, having to compete for the ‘machines,’ feeling physically uncomfortable (heart pounding, muscles straining), taking a shower, getting changed again. What a hassle! And how was I fitting this into my schedule? I did make time, but I often had to leave work a bit early or give up part of my weekend. And just the thought of having to do it - that black cloud constantly hanging over me.

Now, I’m not knocking the gym. As I said, I’m sure it did me some good, and I know people (not many, but some) who love the gym and look forward to it. If you’re like this, then great! And here is where I (finally) get to the point I am trying to make.

Whatever you’re doing - whether it’s your work, your hobbies, being with your family, and even exercise - it should make you feel good. It should be enjoyable. If it’s enjoyable, then it’s effortless - it’s action without action; it’s Wu Wei.

Maybe I just don’t like exercise. But when I look back over my life, it seems strikingly obvious that this isn’t true. I never liked sport or competitive games, and I never considered myself - nor was I ever considered by anyone else - as a ‘sporty’ kind of person. But I have always loved walking. Walking is a form of exercise - in fact, it’s one of the best forms of exercise that you can possibly do. In 1997, Professor J Morris and Dr. Adrianne Hardmann called walking ‘the nearest activity to perfect exercise.’ Why? Consider the following health benefits of regular walking:

· Reduced risk of coronary heart disease
· Reduced risk of stroke
· Lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and better blood lipid profile
· Reduced body fat
· Increased bone density, helping to prevent osteoporosis
· Reduced risk of cancer of the colon and breast
· Reduced risk of non-insulin dependent diabetes
· Controls body weight
· Reduced chance of getting gallstones
· Helps flexibility and coordination hence reducing the risk of falls
· Better self esteem
· Lower levels of anxiety and depression
· Enhanced mental well being
· Longer life expectancy
· Better range of movement, hence less chance of injury during a fall
· More flexible muscles
· Better sleep

Need I go on?

When I was younger, I used to go for long walks regularly, not for the health benefits but because I enjoyed it. I loved being alone, being able to think, being out in the fresh air, close to nature. I think walking was one of my favorite activities - it was truly effortless for me. This ‘inner compass’ of our feelings is so vital, isn’t it?

I’m not suggesting that walking is for everyone, but I am sure that when you’re doing what you love, you’re doing the right thing.

Written on 12/14/2009 by Mark Harrison. Mark Harrison writes about personal growth, communication, and increasing personal wealth. Check out his new book, Thirty Days to Change Your Life.Photo Credit: Gret@Lorenz

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Today's edition.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Just Do It...

A couple weeks ago, I decided I needed some extra motivation as a friend was telling me at lunch that he wanted to lose about 20 pounds.

So on the 1st of each month we will record our weight and who ever has lost the most in the previous month pays the other 20 bucks.

This is the time for resolutions. It will soon be the time to forget about those promises, unless you find a way to stick to it.

A few years ago, I was off work for 3 weeks with pancreatitis and gallbladder surgery. Afterwards I was at the weight I want to be now.

Looking back on what happened in the year after that episode in the hospital, was disheartening.
I must have gained 20 to 30 pounds before I stopped gaining. A couple months ago I had a doctors appointment for a routine check up since I had not been to see him for 18 months.

The good news was, my weight had been stable for the last couple of years. Actually I was a few pounds less. And so many people gain weight these days, even a pound a month adds up to nearly 25 pounds in just 2 years. As I look around, I see bellies and bulges on way too many people.

And as I look in the mirror, or at recent photographs from the past few years, I don't like what I see. It's not a matter of vanity, but health too. And so, that's why I'm making this public, for even greater accountability.

There's also a competative spirit going on. 5 years ago when my friend that I made this bet with and I worked together, there was a conversation that went sort of like this:

We had just left a sales meeting where our boss had outlined new goals and budgets for the sales staff, as we were walking back to our offices, he said: "I don't care what goals they give us, I have my own, and it's a helluva lot higher than what they just gave me."

I replied, " I just have one goal."

"What's that?" he asked.

I answered, "To beat you!"

And with that casual conversation, the race was on. Both of us reached new levels of success and within 3 or 4 months, I beat my friend and co-worker who also was about 18 years older than me!

This time, he will also have an advantage, as he has been an athlete most of his life. However this all turns out, which ever way the flow of $20 goes each month, we will both win, as we get serious about getting healthy by losing weight.

If you want some help in this area, read this from the DLM blog:

How to Make 2010 the Year That Your Diet Succeeds

Posted: 26 Dec 2009 03:49 PM PST

A shocking two thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and most other countries see similar figures. Given that, there’s a good chance that you might be carrying some extra pounds which you want to shed. Perhaps you’ve been on diets before, but they’ve never lasted more than a few days. You probably know how to eat more healthily, but you struggle to find the motivation, the energy or the time to actually do it.

If your New Year’s Resolutions have included “lose weight” every January for years and years, it’s time to make sure that 2010 is the year when your diet really does succeed. Here’s how:
  1. Get Determined
    First off, do you really want to lose weight? Most successful dieters trace the start of their diet to a specific “aha” moment when something clicked for them. I was overweight for six or seven years – despite attempting a few half-hearted and short-lived diets – and it was only when I realized that I wanted to lose weight for me that I finally found the motivation to succeed.

    Write down a list of reasons why you want to lose weight. Be honest! “Attract hot chicks” or “fit into my skinny jeans” might just be the reason that does it for you. “Live an extra ten years” can seem remote to many of us.

  2. Get Specific
    How often have you told yourself something like, “I’m going to eat more healthily” or “I’m going to lose weight” or “I really should exercise more”? All of these are great ideas – the problem is, there’s nothing specific about them. If you ever talk to a life coach or personal development expert about goals, they’ll emphasize that your plans need to have a specific target.

    How much weight do you want to lose? (10% of your starting weight is usually a realistic target.) How exactly will you eat more healthily – by having five portions of fruit and veg a day? By cutting out fatty snacks? You can’t keep track of your progress unless you know what you’re aiming for.

  3. Get Real
    It’s all too easy to dream up grand plans and goals which simply don’t fit in with your life. If you work long hours, you’re unlikely to have the energy to cook elaborate, super-healthy meals from scratch each night. If you’ve got small children, you may find yourself resisting the urge to polish off their leftovers. And unless you’re very overweight, you’re not going to be able to safely and sustainably lose more than 2lbs per week.

    It will take you a while to reach your ideal weight – so be realistic about this. Losing weight isn’t a race: building up healthy habits that’ll last a lifetime is much more effective than trying out a new fad diet every week.

  4. Get Writing
    One simple trick that helps many dieters to succeed is to keep a food diary. Writing down everything you eat makes you think twice about whether you really need that cookie or that candy bar – and it also helps you get an accurate picture of your progress, and of the times or places when you’re likely to slip up.

    I’ve kept food diaries in notebooks, as spreadsheets, or using online programs. It doesn’t matter how you keep your diary – the key thing is to fill it in each day and to record everything you eat. Many dieters like to track calories in their food diary, but you may find that simply writing down your meals and snacks is enough.

  5. Get Support
    Finally, don’t forget to enlist a support team. An encouraging friend, partner or family member can help you get through the times when you want to give up. Having external accountability is a real boost to your will-power, too. You might find that it helps to buddy up with someone else who is dieting, or who has a similar long-term goal.

    There are also a whole range of professionals who can offer assistance to dieters. Whether it’s a personal trainer at the gym to keep you on top of your game, or a life coach who helps you integrate your health goals with the rest of your life, expert help can make all the difference.
How are you going to make sure your diet really does succeed in 2010? What needs to change if you’re going to lose that weight for good? (If you’re a successful dieter, let us know your tips too!)

Written on 12/26/2009 by Ali Hale. Ali is a professional writer and blogger, and a part-time postgraduate student of creative writing. If you need a hand with any sort of written project, drop her a line ( or check out her website at Aliventures.Photo Credit: brymo

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