Who You Are Is What You Do Everyday

The Difference between Who You Are and Who You Want to be is What You Do. 


I stumbled upon this quote recently. I’m not exactly sure where or from whom. It resonated with me. It resonated so much that I wrote it on my blotter – I wanted to keep it close – to be reminded.


7511002522927As I am training for what I am calling my EPIC QUEST (walking a marathon – that’s 26.2 miles folks), I have a certain amount of solitary walking time. Time to think. Time to ponder. On one of those recent walks I decided I needed to add a word to the quote. I needed to add the word EVERYDAY.


The one thing I am learning from my epic quest is that tomorrow seems like a fine time to train. Tomorrow has all the hope, all the allure, and all the good feelings of training. Today is full of things to do, excuses and rationalizations. However, who I want to be – a marathoner – is created not on race day (although I will have to show up and finish on race day) but becoming a marathoner is made up of everyday for the next 9 months and 9 days.


Success won’t be what I do on race day but what I do every day leading to race day. 


The same is true with every aspect of life. Want to read more and watch less TV – it’s how much TV you watch today that matters. Want to eat a healthier diet – it’s what you eat today that matters.


Who do you want to be? 


You must get up every morning and realize who you want to be. You must live everyday in every way as the person you want to be. A week – A month – a year of living every day as the person you want to be is the only way to become that person.


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Walking Into A New Habit

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lao-tzuThe Way of Lao-tzu Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)

Sometimes it feels like every step I take, every plan I make just turns to poop before I can accomplish much. Last year, I made great and elaborate plans to walk the Disney Marathon the weekend of my 50th birthday; except I never actually took the steps necessary to complete the journey.

When January rolled around, I was sad because I wasn’t walking in Disney but I knew there was no one to blame but Gayle Tabor.

However, I rallied to walk a 50k in the month of January (the month of my birthday). What I noticed, as I was dedicated to and completing the 50k, was that I was better able to achieve other goals. I watched less television and read more. I was more productive with my days. I ate out less and ate better.

A week or so ago I checked out a book from the public library (yes, I still do that – only now it’s a digital copy downloaded to my nook). The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (affiliate link). Somewhere in my readings I had seen a reference to the book and it looked interesting.

Wow! This book is so interesting I can hardly put it down.

The information is not only interesting, but the writing style is also enjoyable. I’d like to tell you all the things I have learned; but it really would just require me to retype the book. I have already decided this book will become a part of my collection (and not the digital version). I can’t imagine that I won’t want to have it on hand to refer back to from time to time.

While I can’t tell you everything I have learned from the book, I can share a few golden nuggets:


  1. Keystone Habits – are habits that have a ripple effect. An example Duhigg uses is exercise. When people have a regular exercise routing they tend to eat better, drink less, and become healthier.
  2. Willpower is limited – using willpower to resist junk foods leaves less willpower to work toward other goals.
  3. Willpower can grow with exercise – willpower like a muscle can grow with training and use.
  4. Have a plan – there are always setbacks and readily available excuses. Having a plan for how to deal with them makes you more successful.

I’m sure that had you been looking at me as I read The Power of Habit – Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business you probably would have seen a light bulb glowing over my head as I read about keystone habits; especially how exercise is a keystone habit.

I realized immediately, that I needed to develop a good exercise habit! However, I still had (have) the desire to walk the Disney Marathon!

I’m renewing my Marathon Goal! 

I have a plan!

The plan is 3 pronged

  • get in shape and lose weight
  • build endurance to walk a marathon distance
  • build speed to be able to finish in the time limit

I spent hours on Saturday night writing out the plan. It involves green smoothies (yep, you read that right), salads for lunch and exercise. It also includes a plan for being marathon ready. The first race – the Battleship 1/2 Marathon is on November 3rd. Additionally, I tried to think about the trouble spots I might run in to along the way and decide on a plan of action for getting back on track when they hit.

I’ll be blogging much more of my plan and also tracking my progress on the EPIC-QUEST part of my blog (I don’t want everyone to be bored with all the details).

the power of habit

There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of behavioral chunks we rely on everyday. From the act of putting toothpaste on your toothbrush to the complicated process of backing your car from the driveway. These little habits that we do by rote without thinking.

I encourage you to think about your habits. The habits you’d like to change. The goals you’d like to achieve. What habits or behavioral chunks are standing in your way?

What keystone habit can you  can change? What new habit will change  your entire life?

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You can’t manage what you don’t measure

If you’re in business or management you have undoubtedly heard the saying “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”.

This week I have come to realize just how true that is for almost every aspect of change!

I have never been one to make New Years Resolutions.

I do, however, in or around the beginning of the year assess where I am and think about how close (or far) that is from where I want to be. This year, more than most years I have a laundry list of things I’d like to change!

Actually, there are very few areas of my life that I wish to remain untouched in 2013. This all fits very nicely with my phrase for 2013:

Nothing Changes Until You Change It.

What I am learning is that if you want to change it you first must have quantified it. For example, I often wax nostalgic about a time when I rarely watched Television. (I watched a total of less than 6 hours a week) However, changes creep in and although I still say “we don’t watch much television” the reality is once I began to track those numbers….I watch far too much!

I look at my body and wonder why I carry such extra poundage….yet when I began to track my daily calories…I eat way too much!

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t see the true picture until I measured it. I couldn’t manage it until I measured it!

What are you not measuring?

Measuring my television intake has helped me to be very mindful of what I watch and when (do I really need to see the same rerun of NCIS again?!?!?).

Measuring my calories makes me very mindful of where I want to waste my extra calories….it really isn’t one more soft drink! NOPE! I’d rather have some fabulous piece of dark chocolate.

blindly wondering rather than deliberately acting

I am starting to feel as if my life had been spent blindly wondering rather than deliberately acting.

I’m looking forward to beginning my journey of mindfully acting; of managing and measuring!

What about you? What are you doing without thinking? What are you not measuring?

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I won’t Eat Fruit (no matter how many resolutions I make)

Here we are at the end of another year. In just a few short days we will bid ado to 2012 and welcome 2013 (can you believe it…2013). I stopped making resolutions years ago, when I realized they just made me feel bad about myself. Recent research by Psychology professor Peter Herman has vindicated my thinking. The professor and his colleagues have identified “false hope syndrome,” which means a New Years Resolution that is significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with an internal view of ourselves. This principle reflects that of making positive affirmations. When you make positive affirmations about yourself that you don’t really believe, the positive affirmations not only don’t work, they can be damaging to your self-esteem.


However, like many people, I view the new year as a time to reflect on my life and consider changes I wish to make. For the past few years I have adopted a few words as my plan for the new year. Last year I chose but one word….yes! Because I wanted 2012 to be the year I stopped being a roadblock to my own adventure. Saying no had become such a habit and I needed to become open to possibilities….and yes, it worked 🙂

This year I see so many aspects of my life I wish to change. I am again tempted to make a laundry list of resolutions…yet, I know that is just creating a self-esteem crash. So this year, rather than give in to the list temptation, I am morphing my approach. This year I am adopting a phrase for my plan:

Nothing Changes, until it Changes!

Talking about change isn’t change. Thinking about change isn’t change. Only making changes is change.

So this year, look for lots of little changes. And one big monthly goal.

Thinking of making resolutions this year? Here are some tips to success:

1. Do as I’m doing and focus on one resolution at a time;
2. Set realistic, (I’m not going to eat fruit, so that isn’t a good goal for me) specific goals. (Losing weight is not specific);
3. Make it a year long process, every month or day;
4. Take small steps;
5. Celebrate success! Don’t just wait until your goal is completed;
6. Focus on the present. (What’s the one thing you can do right now toward your goal?);
7. Have a buddy, someone you report to;
8. Forgive yourself when you mess up;
9. Ask for help when you need it;
10. Make it fun.

I am excited about my goal for January! I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

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Today I am thankful for my nephew Donald. Sometimes he is so much like my dad it makes my heart break!

I love his matter of fact way of looking at the world (even though I often do not agree). I love the fact that he puts his heart and soul into things and there is rarely a doubt where Donald stands on anything (reminds me a lot of myself when I was younger).

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Today I am thankful for my nephew TW. I love his quirky sense of humor and his approach to life! I am very proud of the man he has become (although I was always proud of the boy he was).

I am also thankful for his wife Jenny. It appears to me that she helps to give his life direction and is supportive of him.

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