Posts Tagged 'focus'

What’s Ahead for You in 2013?

Living in AZ provides us with unlimited possibilities for hiking, an activity that Ed and I both enjoy.

My bottom line description of hiking is taking a walk on a trail.  That said, all hikes are not equal.  Three weeks ago we revisited a hike in the Superstition Mountains. On that first attempt in January, 2012, we started out mid-morning on the Garden Valley Loop Hike, an 8 mile, 5 hour hike.  We got back to our car as the sun was setting behind the mountains, and pulled away with our headlights on!  For more of the drama- and the lessons learned- read my previous blog post.

As we re-walked the trail we were impressed with the challenge of the terrain. We didn’t remember it being so difficult: bald rocks, washes to cross without markings, trail signs (cairns- piles of rocks), many, many natural steps both up and down, narrow passes, broad flat lands…and almost always, rocks of various sizes covering the trail.

Garden Valley Trail, bald rocks

Garden Valley Trail, bald rocks


Garden Valley Trail- cairns

Garden Valley Trail- cairns

The variety in the trail prompted me to take a number of photos.  As I walked over and around the rocks,  I thought about what a picture this is of our lives- and at this point in the year, Dec. 22, not only reflective of 2012, but also a potential picture of 2013 that is unfolding.

If you are evaluating 2012 (as I am) and you are planning 2013 (as I am), perhaps these thoughts can encourage you and prepare you for what lies ahead.

On the trail, sometimes the rocks were quite large- and our pace and progress were definitely slowed.  Does that describe any part of 2012 for you?  How did you handle that? What were the lessons? As you are looking at 2013, and writing down Plan A, do you have a Plan B?

Garden Valley Trail

Garden Valley Trail- large rocks


Garden Valley Trail- small rocks

Garden Valley Trail- small rocks


Garden Valley trail-uphill

Garden Valley trail-uphill

The majority of the trail was strewn with many little rocks-slowing the pace only slightly, requiring adjustment of immediate attention, while continuing to move forward.  I thought of the many daily distractions that become momentum-busters, and the necessity to focus on the big picture of what needs to be accomplished for the day, the week, the month. I recently was reminded of this planning tip: Before the end of the day, take time to write down the 6 things you wnat to accomplish the following day.  On the new day, start with number one and pursue it until it is done.  Then start number two.  Whatever is not completed moves to the next day’s list.  Brian Tracy calls this technique “Eat That Frog” and further says that if there are two frogs that must be eaten, eat the ugliest one first!

Sometimes we were climbing up- and sometimes we were climbing down.  During those climbs I was very thankful for the walking pole that I had: it provided stability, so that I could keep my pace fairly consistently, and gave me confidence that I had help if I needed it.  What’s your tool?  Do you know how to use it?  Are you using it?

Because we were constantly navigating rocks of various sizes, we were immediately aware of  ‘smooth,’ no rocks.  We definitely took advantage of the change!  Whoever was leading shouted out, “No rocks- let’s make up some time,” and we immediately quickened our pace.  When the terrain changes in your life, when opportunity comes, are you ready to move forward quickly and gather momentum- or do you fail to notice the change and therefore lose the opportunity to gain ground?

Garden Valley Trail- smooth!

Garden Valley Trail- smooth!

Hikers are typically a friendly lot: they’ll tell you how far it is to the next marker, share a sandwich, point out an unusual bird or other animal, or share a tale


about someone who got lost on this very trail!  Many of us are in a ‘people business,’ regardless of our industry.  Are you ready to talk to people you meet? I have found that it’s best to have a friendly attitude: ‘to have friends, show yourself friendly.’  It is difficult to maintain a friendly disposition if you are sick, not feeling well, or are ‘under the weather.’  Do your best to stay healthy: maintain (or gain) a strong immune system.  If you need some assistance in this area, please give me a call.  One of the most rewarding aspects of my business is knowing that I help others to be the best they can be on many different levels, including their health.

Hiking is a great metaphor for facing a new year.  Both are best done with a good measure of preparation: mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually.  Both hiking and a new year have aspects of predictability and serendipity.  Be prepared for both and enjoy the ride!

What are you looking forward to in 2013? And how are you preparing for it? I’d be delighted if you would share your thoughts and plans below.

Have a blessed Christmas and may your 2013 be your best year ever!


Help for a Senior Moment?

A friend posted this story on her FB this morning. It’s a classic!

Several days ago as I left a meeting at our church, I desperately gave myself a personal TSA pat down. I was looking for my keys. They were not in my pockets. A quick search in the meeting room revealed nothing. Suddenly I realized, I must have left them in the car. Frantically I headed for the parking lot. My wife, Diane, has scolded me many times for leaving the keys in the ignition. My theory is the ignition is the best place not to lose them. Her theory is that the car will be stolen. As I burst through the doors of the church, I came to a terrifying conclusion. Her theory was right. The parking lot was empty. I immediately call the police. I gave them my location, confessed that I had left my keys in the car, and that it had been stolen.Then I made the most difficult call of all, “Honey,” I stammered. I always call her “honey” in times like these. “I left my keys in the car, and it has been stolen.”

There was a period of silence. I thought the call had been dropped, but then I heard Diane’s voice, “Ken,” she barked, “I dropped you off!”

Now it was my time to be silent. Embarrassed, I said, “Well, come and get me.”

Diane retorted, “I will, as soon as I convince this policeman I have not stolen your car!”

On a more serious side.  A Senior Moment of losing your keys may not be a big deal, but wouldn’t you want to know if there was something that could help? Can Glyconutrients improve Immune Support, Memory, Mood, Focus & Digestive Function? –

Family Time and Focus, Part 2

Since my last post about family, much has happened in our lives here in Columbus, and with our extended family in Phoenix!

Let me back track to my time with the kids before I get into the news  (next post).

Here’s what else happened on that particular Sunday night after the van coasted to the curb (go back and read Part 1).  My son came home after a very long day of ministry- he does video production at Scottsdale Bible Church, and Sunday is a ‘work day’ with three services- looked at Erin and me as we sat at the table eating dinner and simply said, “How about if we do something different tonight, like play a board game?’

What a great idea! We all set aside our agendas, got Greyson into bed, and the kids introduced me to Settlers of Catan, a board game that, to my brain, wasn’t the easiest to jump into- but provided a couple of hours of family time…and surprise, surprise,  I won!

I so appreciated that Daniel was sensitive enough to suggest a different activity (no iphones, no texting, no laptops!) that occupied all three of us in an interactive way. We had not had any time together outside of packing, loading and unloading boxes, and cleaning. We had all been working very hard. We needed game time!

In this particular situation, although one of us made the suggestion, the other two had to make the commitment to set aside personal desires, and interact with a different activity.  Erin and I both chose to do that- and I’m glad we did.

Sometimes being together looks like this: everyone is in the same room, but we are each pursuing a different activity: someone is watching a movie, someone is editing photos on a laptop, someone is sending cards, etc.  Sometimes being together looks like this: everyone is participating in the same activity.

Seems like it is important for families to take time to do both. Good family activity should be a stress-reducer!

Do you keep your schedule open enough to allow for spontaneous suggestions of family time, whether it is a walk around the block with everyone in tow, or a board game, or reading a book to a little one with everyone listening?

OR is every evening filled with an out-of-house activity  by one or more family members?

OR does work (i.e., answering phone calls) spill over into the evening hours?

What does your family time look like?

If you need a different picture, give me a call, 614,804.0291, and let me give you a suggestion about an option.