If you’re in Pewaukee tonight

If you’re in Pewaukee tonight, there’s still time to head up to the high school to see JJ Watt’s number get retired. I wish I could be there. I think JJ is a special person. He’s great for football, he’s great for his communities, and he’s great for the kids. But as JJ said himself, never forget where you came from. JJ wasn’t the first to “make it” (and he’s never claimed to be the first). He’s certainly made it the furthest! He was NFL Defensive Player of the Year! But the first to “make it” was Mac. This post isn’t about Watt vs. Mac. It’s about remembering the story. Remembering the giants who came before you. Remembering the past, celebrating the now, and hopeful for the future.

Mark Batterson: Why I Write

Mark Batterson was one of the first folks I followed as a blogger.  When I realized I wanted to write, he was doing it already and he was doing it well.  Now just about everyone blogs.  Not true.  But it feels like I connect with very influential and motivational people who all blog.  There’s something to be said for processing life, events, thoughts through words.  The transparency and the discipline are beautiful.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about family and legacy.  I’ve been thinking about the next season of my life.  That has included a lot of story-telling, as husband & father and as an education consultant.  Then I stumbled on this short vignette from Batterson: Why I Write.


Boy, is it tough to work without a system.  I should know because I’m well versed in the process.  Here’s the problem: I’m a digital hoarder.  I just can’t say “no.”  A free ebook?  Yes, please?  Free report on the latest fitness trends?  Of course!  And with Dropbox and Evernote on all my devices, I can have all these resources with me at all times.  I love reading but this is where the rubber hits the road.  I have essentially an endless amount of information, but what am I doing with it?  How am I processing what I read?  What am I creating from what I’m consuming?

What I loved about college was organizing my courses each semester.  I loved getting a brand new three-ring binder, putting that syllabus at the front and loading up on blank sheets, ready to take notes in lecture, collaborate with students in discussion, and eventually finish with a passing grade on all the exams.

evernote and dropbox

I’ve taken that approach to organizing my business endeavors.  Imagine your filing cabinet at home.  Each has a folder, it’s well labeled, and it’s probably in alphabetical order.  Now I probably don’t go in the file cabinet nearly as often as I should, so that is where the system starts to break down.  It needs another component, a glue to make it all work on a daily basis.

Enter Evernote Remindersevernote reminder

I have found that adding a simple reminder to a particular Evernote Note has been a great prompt for me to begin each morning in the right place, with the right note.  From there, the system takes care of itself.  I look over what I’ve done earlier in the week, I look at my goals for the week, and I write this all down in my work log.  I’ve written about Evernote in the past, but I’ve never fully shared how I have mine organized probably because I’ve known that the system wasn’t fully complete.  It’s interesting how when you add more and more responsibility that you are forced to add more and more levels of organization, and in this case a simple reminder to get started on the right foot each morning.

Sorry if this post was a little vague.  As always, I reserve the right to blog about moments in time that are reminders to myself how I’m moving the ball forward.  But I hope that something here today gets you thinking about how productive you are, how reliable your system is.  Collecting information is easy.  Keeping it organized so that you can access it at the drop of a hat is a step towards professionalism.  And when you take all that information and create something meaningful on a regular basis, and you can tell about it, then you’ve become a pro.  For me, that’s the goal.

Three Reasons I Blog

I started blogging in 2006. Wow! That was 13 years ago. I remember walking to the coffee shop and writing that first post. Sure, my writing has changed a lot but I’m happy to report that this initial set of thoughts are still very applicable today.

I wrote about having a game plan, reflecting on life, learning from successes and failures, and growing stronger for the sake of my family. I still have a long way to go, but I appreciate the journey that I’m on.

Today I read a Facebook update from Michael Hyatt asking why we blog.


The post inspired me to reflect on why I blog.  Interestingly enough, John Saddington recently tweeted a similar thought:


So in this line of thinking, here’s the three reasons I blog.

Process life with words
I’ve always kept a journal. I process so much of my life when I take time to be disciplined in thought and reflect on things that have happened, thoughts or ideas I’ve had, and the results which occurred. I believe being an active thinker and reflected are essential to being successful in life. I don’t think I’ll ever stop blogging for this reason alone.

Telling a great story
People are looking for encouragement, purpose, and connection. I do not have a huge following on social media or my blog, so this is not a humble brag. I believe our story needs to reflect God’s story. I am a part of that story and I want my blog to demonstrate it. I want to help people pursue a healthy and disciplined lifestyle. Those are biblical principles; it’s the narrative God has given me. Blogging helps me tell the story, then I want the story to continue and build after a post goes out, so the process becomes cyclical. I want the posts to become a living narrative and thus a significant source for inspiration to live a great story.

Digital Coaching
I have always coached. I’ve always had a leadership role or mentoring relationships. As I’ve grown my professional life, that coaching has continued and my blog is my home base for this. To be clear, my blog is still evolving and I need to continue to prune away and develop my niche. But part of my thought process in writing on my website is to create a resource of people to help them lead a healthy, active, disciplined life. As I said – people are looking for all kinds of motivation and step-by-step guides. They want a project. Healthy living is my project, and I thoroughly enjoy creating this content for people to consume for themselves and hopefully share with others (hint hint).

Question :::  Have you ever thought about blogging?  


Best Week of the Year

What a week! I tweeted a couple times throughout the week how excited I was expecting my most productive week of the year. That’s a big statement, right? But you see I was fully prepared. I am in my third week of a new job. The first couple weeks I was getting my proverbial feet wet. Not too productive, but essential work was being done. I had a couple meetings set up for this week and I had a game plan of some tasks in front of me. Plus I was running high on motivation because I could see a significant part of the project coming together, both in what I was researching and what I was creating. So that felt good. And it ended up being the best week of the year.

So what am I doing? I’m working on the Transform Wisconsin grant where we are putting resources together for 14 school districts in the state to become more active schools. A lot of the resources are already in place, but I think they’ll need to be reworked in significant ways. I’ve been contracted to create a web platform for these resources. Historically they’ve been distributed as pretty dry documents. Asking teachers to do additional work, especially in a discipline outside of their wheelhouse, is a big ask, maybe even a big stretch. But if we can educate them with solid resources and convince them through research and then experience and results that additional physical activity in their classrooms actually improves learning – WIN! That’s my role. And I couldn’t be more excited, more motivated, or better equipped to succeed.

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