Establishing Priorities

It has been almost two years since I’ve done a cyber vacation. Next week, I’m going electronics free! At the same time, I am going to take a week off from structured training. That’s going to leave a heck of a lot of time to think. So this entry is for both sharing my experiences and prepping myself to consider my 2012 strategic direction.


Last spring, while renovating our house, I spent a few weeks with my desk, bike trainer, clothes and computer in our guest bedroom. About the only thing I was doing outside the room was eating, swimming and running.  I had a realization while spending up to 18 hours per day in my guest room, I was really, really happy. I’ve been considering what was ‘right’ with that block of time for the last six months.  I’ve also made decisions to simply my work-life to free up more time for the things that appear to make me happy – exercise, my wife, and my daughter.  

I’ve paid attention to myself when I have not been enjoying my key three (exercise, wife, daughter) and I’ve noted how best I like to experience my key three.  I’ll share some observations that might be useful for you:

Combining my loves reduces my quality of experience. Going for a run with my wife and carting Lex along in the baby jogger is far less fun than going for a solo run in the hills; going to a playground with Lex and taking Monica out for dinner. We had a rather unfulifilling family vacation in August. It was a good reminder than nearly everything that I need can be found right at home.

Action leads emotion. I manage my mood through sleep, exercise and nutrition. While Monica gives me a lot of support (to the point of dragging me out the door to run with her), ultimately responsibility for my life experience rests with actions that I chose to make and need to keep on making.  As I write this, I am spending a week training-through-fatigue. Given the way my brain works, total rest is one of the worst things I can do for my mental health.  So when I get really tired, I need to manage myself back to normal over a couple weeks.  I also need to take responsbility to managing my fatigue so I don’t get too far gone and sink into depression via poor choices with regard to sleep, exercise and nutrition. It’s a dance that only a minority of people learn to manage – and I’m still working on it myself!

Sleep trumps everything. Well rested, I find my most challenging days entertaining. My amusement feeds into the situation and helps difuse it. This past week, Lex turned into a Tasmanian Devil and started tossing lego blocks all around the room, while screaming.  I was sitting on the toilet chuckling to myself that she was really fired up. I headed out into her room, asked her how she was doing and she settled right now. When tired, I can feel myself wanting to lead by domination.  When rested, I’m able to lead by letting situations run their course.  There have been times in my life when I’ve been chronicly sleep deprived and, therefore, oblivious to my own role in creating my ‘problems.’

September and April have traditionally been the months where I take stock of my life via a personal review.  This year my financial, personal and family lives feel like they are in order – my main issue is ‘what’s next’ for my business life. I’ll let you know if I come up with anything while walking around in the Redwoods.