Running Goal 2014

RunningQuotes4I’m a big believer in setting goals.

Back in 2010, i wrote this blog.  And I stand by it today. It’s how I accomplish things I want to do but never have the time.

The past 2 years, i have set very specific goals about running. As I think everything is better with friends, i invited others to join me in the challenge and in turn we created a community. You can read about it here, here, or here.

Truth be told, more people failed than succeeded. Once again, I was going to write about how many fail at goals but @MichaelHyatt says it best here. Plus, he offers solutions.

So, this year as a twist, I’m going to have the people that want in (that’s anyone), email me their goals. It could be 500 miles in one year, it could be a 1,000. It could be to run 3 half marathons (my goal from last year that didn’t happen, i did 2). Heck, you could hate running so it may be biking or walking that you want to do.The only requirement is that it’s exercise. Save your emotional goals for your therapist 🙂

Whatever your goal is send to me and once approved (yes, i will challenge you on it) it will be entered into the spreadsheet for the entire community to see and help cheer on.

Anyone that reaches their goal will get a special gift from me at the end of the year. Of course, the biggest gift is one you can give yourself by setting goals and accomplishing them.

For me, my fitness goals are simple:

1. Run at least 700 miles (having barely hit 500 the last 2 years, this is quite the step up)

2. Complete 3 half marathons. (again, most I have done is 2)

If you would like to get involved this year in Lynn’s Running Challenge, just email me at lynn.wittenburg@gmail.com and I’ll give you more details.

Good luck and here’s to a healthy, Happy, Running New year!

PS – Here’s another great piece by Mike on the biggest mistakes in goal setting.

 

The Power of Words

wordleSo, i heard a great sermon a few weeks back on the power of your words. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Here are some quotes to consider:

” Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble” Proverbs 21:23.

“Remember that everything that is said should be TRUE but not everything that is TRUE should be said”

I sometimes struggle with words. My nature is to speak up, to fight for what I believe is right, to respond to every barb thrown.

Words matter. I think this is true in both business and in your personal life. All words have meaning. Both spoken and unspoken. It’s your choice to speak positively into another’s life or to speak negatively.

A friend of mine posted this as her FB status last week. “I appreciate those that have helped me and those that have hurt me, for both have made me stronger”. I believed her but not everyone is that strong or knows that words can only hurt you if YOU let them. That’s harder said than done, especially when it’s personal.

As a leader, I want to inspire and speak positively to my co-workers. Same goes for my family.

I’ve got work to do so, I’m putting “choosing words carefully” on my list of goals for 2014.

Drainer vs Charger

Last week, I went to a strength class taught by my good friend Celia Dubey.

When she was not trying to kills us, she spent some time talking to the group about what kind of person we wanted to be?

She basically said everyone is either a Drainer or a Charger.

draincharge

Think of the people in your life.

After you spend 1 hour with them are you feeling drained or charged?

How do they feel after they spend an hour with you?

We all know “drainers”. They are the people you see in the store and you try to duck into the next aisle before they see you or whose number comes up on your phone and you hit ignore. Whereas, chargers are the ones that immediately bring a smile to your face. You feel energy from them immediately.

The good news is we can control if we want to add value or take it away from most situations in our lives. I hope my friends, co-workers and family consider me a charger.

So, what are you?

Pelican Leadership

Before I jump into the point, I will share with you a poem. Self entitled “The Pelican” by my Grandpa Howie and first recited to me at age 7.

The Pelican

A marvelous bird is the Pelican

His beak can hold more than his belly can

But I don’t know how in the hell he can.

As a law abiding 7 year old, I clearly remember saying “Ooh, I’m gonna tell my dad you said a swear word” As threatening as I thought that was, my grandfather was unfazed and just repeated the poem. Anywho, as this poem came into my memory and hence, inspired this blog post I thought i’d give it the credit it’s due.

Now, on to my point.

As i recently watched various pelicans during my 135 mile Project Athena Road Trip from Key Largo to Key West via bike, foot and kayak, this poem popped into my head. It is actually pretty amazing that they can hold entire fish in their beak. It’s fascinating to watch them fish. You can get the basic facts on this bird here.

But this post is about something I learned about Leadership from watching the Pelican. First, watch this video.

httpv://youtu.be/SD8nHfLYmPE

Kudos to the person that put this on youtube. You really can find anything there. Not only did i find an example of what i wanted but it’s set to music as well.

Anyway, 2 things to note:

1. Pelican go up high and often alone or in small groups to get the big picture. In leadership they say it’s lonely at the top and I agree. But, it’s key to gain perspective by rising above the minutia and day to day tasks. Bring a few key confidants with you if you have them but get off the hamster wheel and try to see your operation from a different perspective.

2. Pelican are great activators. Once they see an opportunity (aka fish) they literally dive into action. In business, way too much time is spent planning and then not actually doing. Watch how they give their all and literally “dive-bomb” the fish. Once you have a target, do you attack the plan with as much ferocity?

It’s also important to note, they don’t catch a fish EVERY time but they are trying and give it 100%.

So there are my quick thoughts. Agree or disagree? What else can you add?

 

 

Project Athena

Recently, I embarked on a 135 mile journey from Key Largo to Key West with one of my best friends. I truly had no idea what I was getting into. My “friend” (i use that term loosely as our friendship was in danger multiple times during the kayaking portion each day) literally pitched me on this like I was floating in a tube (beer in hand) and riding beach cruisers down to Key West. My fault for not thoroughly reading the website.

I will say this “Sometimes, you don’t really know what is good for you”. It was truly a life changing experience and one I would have never attempted without my “friend”  So, except for the 30+ miles in the Kayak (UGH!) it was actually an enjoyable way to see the Keys. For more info on the trip, check this out.

Project Athena is the brainchild of Robyn Benincasa. Robyn’s story is amazing in itself but the fact that she organizes these trips to give back is just a small indication of the kind of person I got the honor of knowing.

Here’s what I learned on this trip:

1. The World is Full of Amazing People that truly care about making a difference.

I can’t possible write enough about the group of us so i won’t try. But, trust me I’m better for knowing them and am glad to know I will keep in touch with most. Often, you hear only about things in this world that are bad. If you follow the news or social media, it’s enough to make you know there is evil in this world.

But, there is good too. ALOT of good. All you have to do is open your eyes. Here is a Ted talk from one of my new friends. Her story speaks for itself. And her story is one of many amazing stories I heard throughout the weekend.

httpv://youtu.be/RbNDisGJ1wE

2. Life is short so make sure you spend it with those you love doing work you can be proud of.

I got the privilege of sharing this trip with 4 cancer survivors. Many of them had spent the last year of their life wondering if getting off the couch on any given day was going to be possible. I do not (thankfully) know what having cancer is like personally. However, I do have a grandma and a mother that are both survivors. I also lost my grandfather to cancer. One thing I do know this. It’s a horrible disease. And it seems to randomly chooses people.

So, live the life you have to the fullest because you never know how long we’ve got.

3. The body will achieve what the mind conceives.

this is actually something I’ve known for awhile. Your body will rise to the occasion. Especially when it comes to athletic endeavors. You CAN run a marathon. I CAN do 30+ miles in a kayak in ocean water. Your stronger than you think. Pick a goal and tell your body who it’s boss is. HINT: It’s your mind.

4. Things are better together.

Here’s the great thing about life. We don’t have to live it alone. So surround yourself with positive people and do your part to make this world a better place.

Thank you Project Athena for the life lessons I’ll never forget. And THANK YOU to my many sponsors who made this trip possible for me and the Athenas. I can promise you that the 4 people you helped send on this adventure are better for it as are us all.

Here’s a shot of them on the final walk up the beach with Robyn when we made it to Key West.

And here’s a great article written about our trip in particular. Click here.

Crap, I forgot the main lessons i learned on the trip so I’ll leave you with this.

Beware of the kayak. It may look inviting but it is not your friend. 🙂

PS – I guess now is a good time to thank my friend. So Annie, thank you for making me do this. You can now stop communicating with me through our 3rd party interpreter 🙂