Don’t let finish line anxiety keep you from ever crossing the starting line.

“Don’t let finish line anxiety keep you from ever crossing the starting line.”

Stephen St. Amant, author of the Savenwood Blog

Image from Unsplash by Joshua Hoehne

Many of life’s races have no specific timeline. Although we often have preconceptions that they exist, we can come to realize that many of them are just made up.

What will be accomplished and by when is often of our own choosing.

Even with this awareness we frequently fail to start because of some false milestone and game plan set by outside forces.


How can your most important commitments supersede your comfort to remain in the starting blocks of life?

How will you summon the courage to begin and run your own race?

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.

“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.

I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart

“I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: Turn Back!”

—Erica Jong, American Novelist and Poet

Image of a skier doing an aerial jump

Image from Unsplash by Jörg Angeli

The majority of people I know don’t normally consider themselves as particularly brave and courageous. Many might look at the amazing firefighters in California and say, “That’s not me” or “I could never do that.”

I’d like you to consider that you might be at least a bit more courageous than you give yourself credit for. Examine times in your personal or professional life in which you stepped up to a particular challenging, heart-pounding situation and moved forward through the fear. Your commitment was far bigger than your comfort.


Where and how can and will you use the signal of a pounding heart to step forward rather than back to more fully realize your most important and valued commitments?

Never too Late to Learn

“It is never too late to learn to be on time.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a swirling clock

Image from Flickr by cea+

Time seems to fly these days, whether or not you are having fun. The pace of life has quickened, jamming our calendars, and stretching our schedules to the limit.

Unfortunately, these challenges come with some negative consequences in the form of emotional, physical, and social stressors.

How do you feel when you expect to be late, or miss an important commitment or deadline? How do you feel when family, friends, or work colleagues keep you waiting or don’t fulfill their promises? What does it cost you, and is it worth the price?


How and in what ways can you simplify your personal and professional worlds by reducing or eliminating the commitments that are simply not a priority? How can these changes provide you the added buffer to not only be on time, but fulfill virtually all of your personal and professional commitments?

Relationship over Ego

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

-Author Unknown

Image from

Image from

I distinctly remember my first argument with my wife Wendy, during our first year of marriage. Our dispute centered on how to wash dishes. The bottom line for me, at the time, was that she was clearly doing it wrong. I had evidence to make my case to anyone who took a logical approach to things.

To make a long story short, I slept (or should I say didn’t sleep?) on the couch that night.

In the morning, Wendy shared a nugget of wisdom that I still remember and use today:

“Are you more committed to being right, or being related?”


Where and in what ways are you making those you care about wrong? Where would an apology demonstrate that you value your relationship more than your ego?

“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.”

“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.”

—George Santayana, Spanish philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist

Image from Flickr by Loren Kerns

Image from Flickr by Loren Kerns

Whenever I begin a new coaching relationship, I conduct a core values exercise, as part of my personal excellence training.

In this personal inquiry, the individual examines their most important priorities, beliefs, and commitments. Family is almost always on this list, if not among the top three.

Upon completion of our one-day training session, each client is encouraged to plan and initiate various projects for their professional and personal lives. One of my latest executive clients has named his current personal project “Home Sweet Home,” as he is now placing a much higher importance on his family.


Should the value of family be a top priority for you, please consider developing your own “Home Sweet Home” project with family members, and make this area of your life an even more beautiful masterpiece.