How You Can Become Backslide-Proof

I have found few things in life as discouraging as backsliding on an important goal.

Whether our objective is professional, financial, physical, or otherwise, a lack of perspective can tragically turn a minor lapse into outright collapse, making resumption of progress difficult.

The pattern is all too familiar.  For instance, we commit to running.  We start strong, but ultimately we miss a day, and then another, and then another.  We try to convince ourselves that we have a good reason for stopping, but in our hearts, we label the effort a failure, and cease trying altogether.

The Solution

One mistake does not equal failure. We must remember that achieving an important objective does not involve straight line progress. It is also not an all-or-nothing proposition.  It is an ongoing journey with challenges and zigzags along the way.

Direction of travel, not perfect execution, determines the destination.

What does this mean?  It means that we do not have to be perfect in order to achieve our goals. We may make the journey longer and more difficult with lapses,  but we should not abandon worthy objectives. After a lapse, we simply  recommit and keep going. It is what we  do most of the time that counts. If we regularly move in the proper direction, we will get there.

How does this work?  We make decisions each day.  With each decision, we move closer to or further away from our goal.  It’s that simple.  There is no reason to fear  ‘failure’.  God’s compassion grants us the ability to make daily course corrections.

Let’s move towards our goals in confidence, enjoying the challenges and growth along the way!


If you enjoyed this post, please read ‘The 4 Zones of Intention” and other posts of interest in our archives.


Originally posted on


Give It Away

rainbowpainting-e1385166480179Do you have trouble showing people the true you?  I mean the you that is buried beneath the armor we put on every day to keep others from hurting us.  I mean the you that emerges on your very best days.  I mean the you that will remain when everything else goes away.

When we are very young we have the courage to be true, but lack the knowledge of life.  When we are older we have gained more knowledge, but in the process, may have lost the courage to show our true selves.  Why?

Perhaps we simply do not want to be thought  of as foolish, and so we guard against revealing too much of our thoughts, feelings, convictions.

But how does revealing these things put us at risk of looking foolish?

Showing our true self is not an excuse to use bad judgment

There is a world of difference between being foolish and being authentic.    We still need to utilize our intellect to discern what is appropriate.  This involves being aware, not commenting or acting prematurely.  It involves being thoughtful, considerate, and sensitive to timing.

But being authentic also means you are not afraid to give it away.

Showing our true self means we give it away

“Give what away?”

The thing you are afraid of losing.  The key is to not be afraid of losing it.

“Losing what?”

The thing within you that others need.  The thing you learned to conceal so long ago so the bullies of the world could not take it and twirl it in the air like a baton, only to let it fall hard to the ground.

“I still don’t know what to give away.”

The best part of yourself.  The you that you always thought you could be.  The you that is true and that only God knows fully.

When was the last time you needed something extraordinary?  The truth is, when we are not afraid to give it away, the best part of ourselves brings out the best part of others, the extraordinary part.

When we are not afraid of losing it, we are filled up with more than we can ever give away.  Call it the law of unintended goodness, the law of reciprocation.  Call it whatever you want.  It always works.  It is always true.

Show others who you are, the best that is in you.  You will be extraordinary, and bring out the best in others.

So, don’t be afraid.  Give it away!

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One of the Key Principles here at Simple Life Reboot is how gaining margin helps us to express our true selves, and realize a life well lived.  If you enjoyed this article, please consider reading Beautiful By Design, 5 Step Plan for Protecting New Margin, and The 3 Key Principles of Simple Life Reboot.


Originally posted on

Master the Enemy of Focus

Katie's East Coast 2008 054What makes it so difficult for us to remain focused with most of our resources firmly committed to our priorities?

Are we not disciplined enough? Are we doomed to always succumb to the distractions around us?

Or could there be other reasons we lose focus?

Consider the following:

Packed Calendar

In any given month there are many worthy events,  gatherings and entertainment options to consider.  Not wanting to miss out on anything, we pack our schedules.  But what we do not realize is that overcommitment itself causes us to miss out.

By jamming in every possible event, we turn what could have been something enjoyable into something frantic, denying ourselves and our loved ones the joy that comes from not only anticipating a special event, but the contemplative time that is necessary after the fact to savor the sweetness of the experience. When one event rushes into another, it tends to become indistinguishable. We become harried, numb and oblivious to that which could have been shared, experienced or accomplished had we left some white space on our calendar.

Packed Space

We want to be prepared.  We stock up. We lug overloaded bags and stuff our spaces with items to have on hand “just in case”.  But what is lost by this approach?

We must come to grips with the fact that we make a choice when spend time and money on these items.  When resources are applied to items that are neither necessary or cherished, and could be easily acquired if needed, we are diverting resources from our priorities.

The  Underlying Cause

What causes us to over-pack our schedules and our spaces and thus lose focus?


Do we fear that if we reduce our commitments, we will miss out on professional and/or social opportunities?  Are we afraid that if we focus our resources on too few objectives,  that we will be “failures” if the objective fails?  Are we afraid that if we let go of something, and later learn it is needed, that we will not be able to replace the item?

The Solution

To remain focused on priorities, we must practice courage and humility.

Courage – when we put our proverbial eggs in only a few baskets and risk loss.  Humility – when we acknowledge we cannot do or have it all.

Please join us in committing to seek the courage and humility to  1) focus on a few precious priorities in our lives; and 2) dedicate our time, talents and treasures to such priorities.


For further resources on this topic please see our previous posts  “How to … Achieve Your Goal” and “4 Zones of Influence” and Leo Babauta’s post  “buckshot vs. rifle approaches”  at



Originally posted on



Deep Living in a Shallow World

Hawaii 2009 527Do you find yourself increasingly distracted by life’s daily obligations that leave you too little time, thought or energy, to feel renewed, refreshed, or inspired?

That’s what vacations are for, right?  But many times our vacations can leave us more tired and frazzled than daily life.

We can spend a lot of money getting to that special destination, and there is an investment of time being away from work.  The ego can also be involved – did we select the best faraway paradise to smooth the wrinkles of life?  Having so much capital on the line, it becomes natural to feel we cannot waste a minute of time, or miss out on seeing everything possible during our vacation.

But this same frantic attitude that has followed us from our daily life, might be why we needed the vacation to begin with.  How can we hope to escape our own shallow living by taking a shallow vacation?  We return home more tired and disappointed than ever.

Some possible solutions.

Deep Living Exercises

By taking measures to renew ourselves daily, we do not necessarily have to wait for that future vacation to alleviate what ails us.

Try any of these daily exercises, or all of them, to add layers of contentment and meaning to your life.

1)  Spend some time deep in thought every day.  By devoting sustained attention to a project or idea that means something to you, your intellectual compass gets reset back to true north.  Choose a time when you are alone, free from distractions, and immerse your mind in something substantive.  If you never know where you currently stand, it is hard to know where you are going.

2)  Spend time deep in work.  Engage in a difficult problem at work.  Take on the principal challenge of the day, and find a real solution that creates value.

3)  Ask a friend about how life is going, and listen.  Do not settle for the standard answer most people give.  You can be breezy, not inappropriate or too probing, but show genuine interest in how a project is going, or how the kids are doing, the new job, or about the sail boat he is building.  Offer to help out on a project, or be a sounding board if they need to talk through an idea or problem.

4)  Look for the positive attributes in your partner.  Remind yourself daily, and let them know, how much you appreciate and love them.  When they enter the room, acknowledge them.  Treat them as if they are the most important person in the world to you, because they are.

5)  Exercise regularly and eat well.  The body needs movement and good nutrition to regain energy.  Exercise with your partner.  Train for an upcoming event.  Stay motivated by creating goals that you can attain with some effort.

6)  Spend time in prayer. The words you say will be heard.  We are not alone in life.  Acknowledge Him and give thanks for everything you have.

Remember, life is continually diluted with mundane tasks and mediocre effort.  To regain energy and find inspiration, we must devote ourselves deeply and regularly to the things that matter.  Only then will we find ourselves  renewed and in touch with the genius of our life.

Only then will we know where we stand, and who stands with us.

Deep Thinking – Deep Working – Deep Friendship – Deep Loving – Deep Faith

Do not settle for mediocrity!


Originally posted on