Daily goal reading

The other day, Daymond John, the creator of FUBU and a Shark Tank Investor, posted an Instagram photo about his habit of daily goal reading.  This is the second time I’ve heard about this habit in the past week.  I’ve heard a version of it before. In the Pick Four notebook that I’ve been using to create my goals for the past few years, there is a section where you try to list out all of your goals. For the past two weeks, I’ve been listening to Brian Tracy’s, The Psychology of Selling. Brian talks about a successful salesman who also completes this goal reading habit every day and attributes most of his success to this daily habit.

That’s why I’ve decided to start this daily habit.  I tend to write out a lot of goals in my Pick Four notebook and then concentrate on only those four goals for the next twelve weeks.  Then I never go back to reread my list of goals until I revisit them when I start a new Pick Four notebook.  This habit will allow me to see the bigger picture of what I not only want to accomplish in the short term but also what I want to accomplish in the next 10, 20, and 30 years.

Yesterday, I found an old notebook in my nightstand my wife bought me after she graduated from college.  On the first page she wrote me a note about why she bought me this notebook. I reread it today.  The note was about the both of us working together to achieve our goals.  It’s fitting that this notebook will be the place where I do just that thing. I’ll write down everything I hope to achieve for my career, financial, family, and personally. Then I’ll spend some time each night before bed reading each of the goals I want to achieve.


BIG Goal: Give a Speech Every Week

There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.

– Aristotle

Yesterday, I wrote about my BIG goal of writing a daily blog post.  Today, I’m writing about another goal of giving a speech every week.  Last year, I had the goal of giving a speech every month but I hardly completed anything until mid year.  By June, I had only completed three speeches which was enough to earn my Toastmasters Competent Communication and Competent Leadership awards but I couldn’t get into a rhythm because I’d procrastinate and then push my speech to the next month. I found myself continuously saying, “I’ll do it next month.”

There is always an excuse when you’re trying to step out of your comfort zone

Finally in October, I got fed up with my lack of progress and I gave a speech titled, A Speech Every Week.  In this speech, that I gave in front of my local Toastmasters club, I told them that I was planning to give a weekly speech until the end of the year.  I’m sure a few people chuckled to themselves when they first heard this idea.  In this club most of the members might give a speech every few months.

I was determined and, in the end, I was able to complete this goal.  The only week’s I didn’t give a speech were the weeks during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.  In that time frame I gave eight speeches at two different Toastmasters clubs, a presented a seminar at the my local District Toastmasters Conference, and I was the Toastmaster at a Toastmasters information session during a conference my company sponsors for young professionals.

Now I want to continue with that goal I started at the end of last year.  In my October speech I outlined how I’d create content on a weekly basis.  Every day I usually spend some time in the morning writing.  I want to use some of that time to craft a new speech each weekend with the goal of having a draft completed by Monday.  Then I’ll have the next three days to revise and practice my speech before I present it on Friday.

One of the most difficult parts of completing this goal is finding a venue to present. At the end of last year, I was finding time at my two Toastmasters clubs but I can’t keep that up for an entire year because there are not enough speaking opportunities.  Then I realized a simple solution.  Post them online to this blog and YouTube.  My goal each week will be to find a venue to present but if I’m unsuccessful then I simply record and publish them.  Even if I do find a venue, I want to record the speech so I can still post it on this blog and probably YouTube.  That way I can rematch my presentation to find out what I need to improve and it will be a part of my trail.

This is going to be difficult but I believe this could be the most important goal I achieve this year.

The important thing I need to remember about this goal is to treat it like I did my goal of writing a daily blog post. Every speech is not going to be perfect.  Most of them will be awful but it’s about the process of creating a new speech every week and publishing my work.  It’s about improving, learning something new, and then trying it out. This goal is about continuing to move further out of my comfort zone.  I want to find new places to speak, new people to meet, and see where those opportunities take me.

In the beginning, I’m going to be using the projects from the Toastmasters advanced manuals.  There are 75 projects in the 15 advanced manuals so I’ll have more than enough projects for the entire year.

I’ll be posting a new speech on this blog every Saturday.

I hope you come back every week to see my progress and get motivated to start your own BIG goals.



Today, I’m starting a new Pick Four notebook. I’ve selected my four goals, committed, and written out a plan to achieve them.   Other than filling out the notebook every day, I don’t want to have a single day where I have to write NOTHING in capital red letters, this is something the notebook suggests and I find helpful to keep you accountable, because I accomplished nothing towards that goal. I don’t care about how small the task, at least it’s something. It’s a step in the right direction like a single sentence blog post to keep my goal alive.

Not everything needs to be huge, or perfect, it just needs to accomplished.  That’s really what the drip method is all about.

Small accomplishments everyday will eventually turn into something.

Thinking About Balance

Thinking About Balance

This week, I’ve been completing the pre work for my new Pick Four goals but I also want to have some side goals for the other areas of my life that I don’t want to neglect.  These side goals aren’t big projects that will take a considerable amount of time to complete each night but they are something to complete ever day that can help me become a balanced person.  

How do you create balance in your goals?

In the Pick Four notebook there are seven main areas to balance.  My main pick four goals represent Career, Financial, Social, and Mental.  The three side goals I’m creating represent the three leftover areas: Family, Physical, and Spiritual. Here are my three side goals to make me a more well rounded and balanced person:
Be Present –  Don’t play on my cell phone around our kids.
Create the habit of completing a nightly and morning routine.
Complete 5 minutes of meditation a day.

These are three goals I’ll complete each day without much extra effort like spending five minutes on my couch in the morning in mediation. putting my cell phone on the bookshelf when I get home from work and not touching it until our kids go to sleep, and creating a morning and nightly routine to help me get to work by 7am, meditate, and complete my other goals in the morning and help, at night, to clean up the house and prepare for the following morning.

Are your goals balanced?

Time Constraints

Time Constraints

Today, I’m thinking about my limited amount of time while I’m trying to come up with my four most important goals for my new Pick Four Notebook. I have four goals that I want to achieve but I also want to run a marathon for charity this spring. 

Every year around this time, I seem to bite off more than I can chew. I’m like most people I like new things, especially new goals. I look at the things I want to achieve during the year and think about how I could do this or that. Soon I’m taking on more goals than I can handle. 

In 2016, I don’t want to fall into the same trap. I only want to focus on four goals at a time. Even though there are many things I want to achieve. I know there are a few that I have to achieve. This set of goals is to achieve those goals I’ve been delaying so I can finally conquer them. Only then will I be able to move through my continuously growing list of goals.

I’m never going to get more time. All I can do is concentrate my time on the things that matter.

New Pick Four Program: Cinco De Mayo Edition

This post doesn’t really have anything to do with Cinco De Mayo other than the fact that it was created on May 5.  It’s about the following:

Yesterday, I started a new Pick Four program. I didn’t go through the typical pick four process. Instead decided to write down the four areas of my life I’ve thinking about and match my current goals I’ve been working on to match one of those areas. Since my last Pick Four notebook, I’ve accumulated a few different goals but I’ve been working on periodically. I want to write them down and really concentrate on them for the next twelve weeks. That’s why I decided to just start a new notebook for my current goals to give them some structure. Here are the four areas I’ve been thinking about:

  1. Money
  2. Art
  3. Health
  4. Career

After writing out those many areas of my life that I feel are important and also areas I feel I need to improve. I found that my current goals fit pretty well into each of those categories. Here are my new Pick Four goals I’ll be working for the next twelve weeks. The deadline is July 25, 2015.

Goal 1: Make enough money to cover our expenses and live a comfortable life.

My wife left her job almost 9 months ago, since that time we’ve been making it work financially but money has been tighter than we both would like it to be. This is the one goal that I’ll write a little differently in my own notebook. I’ll actually list the dollar amount I want to make to help me focus on achieving my goal but I don’t think it’s necessary to post that figure in this blog post. I’ll calculate this number by setting up our ideal budget all to include all our expenses and our desired amount of discretionary income. I’ll also look at our current expenses I see what we can reduce to help lower the amount we need to make to cover the total expenses. After coming up the goal amount, then I can focus on how to achieve that goal by both increasing out total income and cutting our current expenses.

Goal 2: Write a daily blog post by writing 750 words every morning within 30 minutes.

I’ve been writing a daily blog post for five months. Now I want to start improving my writing and my system for creating new material and to reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a new post. That’s why I’m going back to 750 words every morning but my goal is to complete 750 words within 30 minutes. One of the reasons I gave up 750 words is because I found myself spending too much time trying to complete my words every day. I’m hoping this goal will allow me to complete a quick rough draft first thing in the morning, edit the draft throughout the day, and then schedule the post to be published at 6 AM the following morning.

Goal 3: Complete 90 days of movement.

– I work out regularly but I’ve been meaning to complete a goal of 90 Days of Movement. I just finished goal of running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon as a Charity Runner in honor of my father. Now I want to get into better all around shape which is why want to create the habit to Move(&Sweat) everyday. My goal is to Move(&Sweat) during every day of the Pick Four program. I’ll be following the 90 Days of Action plan by Neil Rey on DareBee.com.

Goal 4: Become a data scientist.

For the past few months, I’ve studying data science to learn more about the growing field, how my skills would translate, and what else I’d need to learn if I wanted to enter the field. That’s lead me to writing weekly Must Love Data Mondays’ blog series and enrolling in the John Hopkins Data Science Specialization offered through Coursera. I think my current background in data analytics and technology would help me to move into this fast growing field. That’s my final goal, to become a data scientist by July. I’m not saying I need to land a job with a title of data scientist but I want to be creating projects and building a trail in data science by the end of this Pick Four Program in July. I want my Trail to speak for me and then maybe that will lead to other opportunities.

Upping My Game For Dad

Dad & I after the 10 & 11 year old championship game

I’ve decided to raise my Pittsburgh Half Marathon fundraising goal to $2,000 for Team American Heart Association (AHA) which is in honor of my father.  My goal was the minimum to compete in the event.  This was much to low, since we were able to exceed that amount in almost a day.

There are two main reasons I want to increase my goal to $2,000.  First, my father was never one to let me settle for the minimum requirement in anything I tried to achieve.  I should make it a challenging goal, and $2,000 is more money than I’ve ever raised before.  In all honesty, $400 was more than I ever raised for any charity.  The new goal will make this charity runner fundraiser the largest on Team AHA.

For every $1 raised, the American Heart Association will give $3 to the Pittsburgh community in the form of research grants. Which means we will be bring $6,000 back to Pittsburgh instead of only $1,200.

The second reason is time. There are still 131 days until the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  That’s plenty of time to raise the $1,380 to complete this goal. We can achieve this goal if we complete any one of the following:

  • If 138 people each donate the minimum of $10.
  • If 11 people started donating $1 a day until race day on May 3,2015.
  • If 22 people donated $5 a mile for 13.1 miles

Other ways to achieve this goal are based on great Crowdrise promotions which I only recently found out about.  Registration is automatic for anyone who donates enough money by the expiration date. Check out the Crowdrise Promotions HERE.  If you’ve already donated then you are registered depending on the amount you contributed:

iPad Promo

  • If 63 people donate $22 by March 3, 2015 they will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win an iPad and a rubber band.

Super Spicy Sauce

  • If 82 people donate $17 by January 13 2015 they will be entered in a drawing  for a chance to win some super spicy hot sauce.

Get a GoPro

  • If 52 people donate $27 by January 13, 2015 they will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a GoPro.

Get a Massage

  • If 60 people donate $23 by January 13, 2015 they will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a $500 dollars.

Any single one of those ideas can take this fundraiser past its $2,000 goal. The only thing this campaign needs is your help.  If you donate $27 by January 13, 2015, then you’ll be automatically entered into each promotion.

If you’ve already donated then thank you. You’re awesome. The names of all donors, unless you chose to be anonymous, are listed on the crowd rise fundraiser page.  Go thank them for helping the AHA stop heart disease and stroke. Please share this fundraise with anyone you think would be interested and remember IYDGBNOWLY.

You can donate to #RunForDad on my Crowdrise page HERE.

You can read more about why I #RunForDad HERE.

A note about Offline Donations:

I recommend making all donations through Crowdrise, but offline donations can also be made. Offline Donations can be sent directly to the American Heart Association’s Pittsburgh Office. Please make all checks payable to the American Heart Association and address your donation as below:

444 Liberty Avenue
Suite 1300
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Attn: Corey Keller-PGH Marathon

After the AHA receives your donation, they will update my Crowdrise fundraiser so it can be counted towards the goal and you can be showered in glory as one of the amazing people who helped the AHA stop the #1 and #4 killers of Americans: Heart disease and stroke.