500 Miles in 2012

So, most of my goal setting will happen tommorrow. It’s the day I set aside to reflect from the past year and plan for the next one.

Or at least I tell myself that. Usually that just means I lay around and watch football and recover from the night before.

But, i do usually think about my goals for the year and write them down. Both personally and professionally.

However, there is one goal I know I’m doing and I’m inviting you to join me in it.

I’m gonna run 500 miles in 2012. That’s 10 miles a week with a 2 week vacation. Now, for some of you 10 miles a week seems impossible. For others, you can actually do that while you are sleeping. I don’t care what end of the spectrum you are on, to do it consistently for a whole year is alot.

Here are the rules:

* You can run, walk or ellyptical your miles.

* You can NOT drive, bike, motorcyle or skateboard (yes, someone asked) your miles.

*If you look like the guy above and think you are doing miles that does NOT count.

*No, you don’t have to run/walk them with me. Everyone is on their own.

All I’m trying to do is provide a community of people who want to accomplish this goal so we can hold each other accountable. And yes, there will be prizes.

So, It’s the honor system here. If you cheat, you are only hurting yourself.

If you want in on the goal, all I need is your email and name. I’ll send you a link to a google document you can update on your own. This way we can all motivate each other.

We start Jan 1, 2012. May the force be with you!


What I learned from a Jigsaw Puzzle

This post is for the true puzzle people out there. You know who you are.

If you aren’t a true puzzle person STOP reading this blog immediately.

Yeah, that means you Mr. “I once put together a 16 piece Mickey Mouse puzzle with my kid”.

If you haven’t attempted and finished a thousand piece puzzle in your lifetime, seriously, STOP reading. This is not a conversation you are going to understand.

Here’s a few sure sign to know you belong here.

*You have been up at some god-forsaken time with no alcohol in your body hovered over a jigsaw puzzle.

*Someone close to you has called you an idiot for trying to attempt the puzzle you are doing.

*You find yourself looking for a high-5 after finally getting one piece into the blasted puzzle after over an hour of nothing.

If that’s you, let’s get down to business.

I decided to do this blog when my grandmother told me I was wasting my life away by dedicating so much time to this puzzle. Truth is, our annual Christmas puzzle is a way for me, my Dad and all the Wittenburg’s to catch up as hours of time around a puzzle cause some interesting conversation. However, since I love my grandmother dearly I decided to turn this into a semi-productive blog so I can show her what I learned from all those “wasted” puzzle hours.

Here’s some random observations I think can apply to virtually any situation.

1. People have different ways of accomplishing the goal.

90% of people doing a jigsaw puzzle start with the border. After all, it’s the most common place to start because it’s easy to pick out the pieces. But no, not my cousin. She doesn’t care about the border. All she cares about it the colors so she just starts sorting them. In actuality, either way works. Sometimes, you have to let people do things their way.

2. Sometimes, it’s best to just start.

Often, i find myself caught up in the plan. With puzzles, I will stare at the box and try to burn it in my memory. While that’s definitely a good idea. It’s also good to just start. Take action. I was busy studying this particular area of the forest and before I knew what had happened my Dad almost had the area done. He started while I was still planning. Err on the side of action.

3. Vision can emerge.

It’s amazing how when working a puzzle, patterns can emerge. What started off as a blue sky actually has depth and patterns and you can actually see it emerge into individual pieces. You can’t see that at the beginning though when you look at the box of 2,000 multi-colored pieces. Solutions appear once you get involved.

4. The impossible is possible with mental determination.

You truly can do anything you set your mind too. I once did 1,500 piece puzzle where every piece was some version of white (like the pic above). As you know, that takes away a huge advantage as each piece is literally the same exact for the shape. But, we did it.

So, there’s what I learned. I plan on applying it in multiple area’s of my life.

PS – Here’s the Christmas 2011 masterpiece…


Home for the Holidays

For the first time in my life, I am at the airport early.

And by early I mean I’m sitting at the gate and they haven’t started boarding yet.

As I sit here with the millions of things i plan to accomplish in the next 3 days whilst in Chicago, I decided I might as well write them down and hold myself accountable. After all, I preach about goal setting all the time so might as well live it out.

In an effort to make these actual, I’m limiting it to 10.

So, here goes:

1. Try not to freeze. (So far, so good as I’m dressed for Chicago in boots, sweaters and jackets but sitting in Tampa where it’s 80 degrees. I’m the opposite of freezing, I’m ROASTING. Alas, that will change soon enough. I hope my Dad has a fire going & that my 3 years in Colorado toughened me up.

2. Visit my BFF from highschool and god-daughters.

3. Watch both the Money Ball & the Help (2 movies I’ve been meaning to see but never have time)

4. Finish reading the last 2 books in The Hunger Games series.

5. Be a part of the winning Grandfather/granddaughter Bridge team. This might prove difficult b/c let’s face it, my Grandpa is old and I suck at Bridge.

6. Ressurect (and finish) the infamous puzzle from 2009. The only puzzle to date the Wittenburg family could not finish at Christmas. The same puzzle that made my Dad say “I quit” which is the first and only time i’ve ever heard the man utter those words.

7. Do some Christmas shopping. Right now, everyone is on board to get a big ole HUG for Christmas. I’ve got work to do.

8. Visit with my highschool friends. Years pass but somehow, we all revert back to being 16 at Christmas when we get together.

9. Annual bake something with Grandma. Between her virtual blindness and my lack of baking skills this should be an interesting task.

10.  Teach my mom how to use the iphone. By far, the most aggressive goal on this list since we are talking about the woman who last Christmas said “Do you know how to text because i think people are doing that to me but i’m not sure. To which I looked at her phone & found 127 unread texts from the past year. Also, the same lady who asked me if I wanted to Skycap with her (in reference to Skype). If you pray, I need some with this task.

Merry Christmas All! Hope your holidays are filled with fun and laughter!