“A firm commitment to do something today will always best an exuberant promise to act tomorrow.”

“A firm commitment to do something today will always best an exuberant promise to act tomorrow.”

Stephen St. Amant, author of Savenwood Blog

Image from Amazon

Most of us enter our days with good intentions. We have much to do and we set out to be highly productive, serve others, and leave things better than how we found them.

Benjamin Zender, who co-authored The Art of Possibility, uses an exercise with his musical prodigies when they work with him.

Since virtually everyone he works with has first chair talent, he asks them to write an essay titled How I Got My “A”.   Through this exercise, students focused on their own efforts and the actions they took, rather than their hopeful efforts and intent. The element of comparing their own efforts against themselves versus others also let them set their own bar of excellence.


What promises do you make to yourself and others that sometimes fall by the wayside?

What commitments will you keep today to deserve the “A” you desire?

Consider reading The Art of Possibility to discover more nuggets of wisdom to achieve and be your very best!

“Individual willpower is a shallow container from which to draw energy.”

“Individual willpower is a shallow container from which to draw energy.”

Omar Brownson, co-host of the Gratitude Blooming Podcast

Image from Unsplash by Dose Juice

Most of you know that I am a morning person. It’s the time of day when I have the greatest energy and discipline. On most days I meditate, exercise, and eat my oatmeal on the run before I dash into my schedule.

As the day progresses, I use snacks and a few doses of caffeine to keep up the pace. Lunchtime is often a quick affair, with only modestly healthy choices if I neglect to have something prepared.

By three in the afternoon, I’m pretty pooped and most of my disciplined efforts are nowhere to be found. Happily, an occasional power nap sets things right and I’m good until 10:00 p.m., when I head to bed to fully recharge for the next day.


When do you have the greatest energy and discipline in your days? How can and do you apply this awareness to accomplish your highest priorities and commitments?

Friday Review: Commitment

Friday Review: Commitment

How committed are you to your commitments? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.


“Stay committed to your decisions but stay flexible in your approach.”




“Apologizing doesn’t always mean you’re wrong, and the other person is right. It means you value your relationship more than your ego.”



“When we do what we have to do we are compliant. When we do what we choose to do we are committed.”




I say yes when I mean no and the wrinkle grows.

“I say yes when I mean no and the wrinkle grows.”

—Naomi Shihab Nye, American poet, songwriter, and novelist

Image from Unsplash by philippe collard

Depending on when you are reading today’s quote, try these mental exercises:

If you read it early in your day, examine the activities in your schedule related to both your professional and personal commitments. How many have you agreed to out of obligation or to not hurt others feeling? What is the cost to your vitality and well-being for betraying or going against your natural desires and instincts?

If you read it later in the day, take a moment to reflect on the many times you said “yes” when your inner voice was whispering or screaming “NO!”? How fatigued or wrinkled do you feel and look at the end of the day having handed over many hours to others to get along and keep the peace?


Examine your days carefully through the lenses of the words MORE, LESS, START, and STOP.  Do your best today to save your yeses for the MORES and STARTS and voice your no’s toward the LESS’s and STOPs on your list.  Hopefully you develop only good wrinkles from the smiles that will result.

A brain dump may be just what the doctor ordered

A brain dump may be just what the doctor ordered.

—Barry Demp

Image from Unsplash by XPS

How we carry our load of responsibilities when we are overwhelmed is very important to keeping our balance and not being crushed by the weight of things.

Breaking things down into smaller bites can help us to tackle even big challenges.

Steps I’ve found helpful include:

  1. Write down everything on your personal and professional To Do lists. This may take many sheets of paper. Keep asking “what else?” until you get it all.
  2. Estimate how many minutes each activity will take to complete.
  3. Prioritize the items that are both highly important and highly urgent. Be rigorous here, and consider discussing this list with others.
  4. Using your calendar, insert enough priority items to offer you a doable level of challenge, based on the time available.
  5. Share your intentions and plans with key individuals to establish agreed upon expectations, and to avoid upsets.


Schedule 15-60 minutes today to dump your brain and go through the steps above.
Be prepared to have this process take a number of days until you make this exercise a habit.
Share this exercise with a colleague, friend, family member, or a coach, to help you regain you momentum and the traction you desire.

“Be your own compass.”

“Be your own compass.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by AbsolutVision

To what degree have you felt lost over the past several months?

Where did you once have clarity in your life, and to what extent do things now seem to be foggy?

Now is the time to be your own compass, to verify your “True North” and set forth with more confidence and commitment.

What are the values, beliefs, and priorities that generate the magnetic field within you, keeping you on course regardless of small or mountainous issues along the way?


How do you know when you are on the right path?

What personal or professional adjustments will you make today to better follow your own inner compass?

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”

—Samuel Smiles, 19th Century Scottish government reformer

Image from Unsplash by Martino Pietropoli

Given our turbulent times, it is clearer than ever that hope is not a good strategy to right our world.

Wishful thinking and turning a blind eye to the objective truth has delayed the full mobilization of our world to come together as one.

Hope is, however, very powerful in that it can and will inspire our individual and collective efforts to cast the shadows of our challenges behind us.


How and in what ways can and will you mobilize your most hopeful energies and committed actions as we journey together to better our world?

“What is the cost of not doing what you say?”

“What is the cost of not doing what you say?”

—Author Unknown

What is your relationship to the character trait of integrity?

How do you relate to others who are more talk and less action?

To what degree can you be counted on in both good and challenging times?

What oaths, vows, promises, and other commitments have you made over the years in which your integrity was impeccable?

What has it cost you and those around you when your ratio of saying to doing exceeds the number one?

One place to look is in the area of trust and its impact on the important relationships in your life.


Please check out my Trust-o-Meter Assessment to explore potential ways you may wish to bolster your integrity and strengthen the trusting relationships you desire.

“Leave no stone unturned.”

“Leave no stone unturned.”

—Euripides, Ancient Greek Tragedian

Image from Unsplash by Priscilla Du Preez

In many areas of life, “Good Enough” is good enough.

Perhaps you, like many people these days, have pivoted more mindfully, professionally and personally, to dramatically reduce or eliminate certain life commitments, duties, or obligations.

In some cases, leaving these stones unturned makes sense.

On the other hand, there are those high-value priorities and commitments that warrant our fullest attention. What personal or professional areas of life deserve all you’ve got, and anything short of excellence won’t do?


Select one top priority project or area of your life in which you will leave no stone unturned until you realize your goal.

“How can you have a much lighter approach to life?”

“How can you have a much lighter approach to life?”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Christian Erfurt

Who are the people in your professional or personal worlds that seem to carry a very heavy load throughout their days?

How burdened do you feel given your own backpack of commitments, priorities, and responsibilities?

What are the costs to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being?

When eustress—the positive and productive form of stress—exceeds its limits, it cascades over the threshold into distress, which can significantly impact our immune systems and can even lead to disease.


Take 5 to 10 minutes to lift your foot off the gas pedal of life and do a Google search on “Stress Management” or “Self-Care Strategies” to help you lighten your approach to life.

Feel free to reply to this post with the strategies or approaches you commit to taking.