• So what, then, is gratitude?

    So what, then, is gratitude? Lets look at this question and why is important, and by the way, check out Episode 12 of the "You Can Make It So Podcast" for more on Gratitude.

    Simply put, gratitude is a habit. It’s a way of looking at the world and all the good things in it with a feeling of appreciation, regardless of whether or not your current situation is to your liking.

    Gratitude is a heart-centered approach to being at peace with yourself and with all you have.

    When you practice this feeling of gratitude, it attracts even MORE things into your life for which to be grateful.

    Gratitude is an excellent path to psychological well-being 

    Psychologists have highly researched gratitude and find it to be among the main focuses of positive psychology. Evidence suggests that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed. But how?

    Gratitude changes our brains. Research has found that people who tend to be more grateful have more brain activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, the area associated with learning and decision making. This brain activity persisted a month later, suggesting that gratitude has long-lasting effects.

    Gratitude can overpower negative emotions. Feeling grateful boosts positive emotions like joy and compassion while encouraging us to look for and connect with what’s good in life. This helps us switch our attention from toxic emotions, such as resentment and envy.

    Gratitude builds over time. A continued gratitude practice starts having long-lasting effects on mood and behavior, which can snowball over time. 

    Gratitude can help combat depression. A study showed that a single thoughtful appreciation leads to an immediate 10 percent increase in happiness and a 35 percent reduction in depressive symptoms. When it becomes a habit, it can help prevent anxiety and depression.  

    So I want to share with you 3 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude – these are great to write down in your #Makeitso Journal – a wonderful tool I encourage you to get and to make a part of your daily habits – again see our website for how to get a copy. 

    3 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude

    1. Make it a ritual

    Set up a time to be by yourself.  It could be as little as five to 15 minutes. Just enough time for you to pause and reflect about anything and everything in your life that you are grateful for.

    Do this by reflecting on daily activities, and then write down at least 5 things for which you are grateful. It can be as easy as a bullet point list. It will amaze you when you look back over your wealth of goodness, especially when you are having a bad day.

    This ritual is rooted in something we teach to our Phoenix Men – the Wins, Woes and Wants…. I am going to speak on that more in our next episode and how it can be part of the Daily Fire we teach as part of our #Makeitso Journal

    2. Be open to the truly amazing simple goodness in your life

    The key here is to be open to even the small things in your world that make it a better place.  You will be surprised at what shows up in your life. Take for instance, the smiles you exchange with family members, the water you drink, or the beautiful stroll you took in the park. Once you give yourself permission to take inventory of the (literally) hundreds of miracles that greet you daily, your energy for life can’t help but blossom. Be Open to Truly Amazing Moments

    3. Spread the word

    Once you have had a chance to open the door to gratitude you can amplify it by sharing the idea with others.  You will acknowledge small acts of generosity that fill your life, like being grateful for your partner for taking out the garbage. When you start sharing your gratitude daily you’ll experience more acts of kindness that are being directed your way. When this happens the miracle starts to explode and you see the energy of gratitude coming back from all corners of your life.

    One Habit that I have is that I commit every day to “four thank yous”! :

    I write a thank you note every day to someone

    I saw thank you to at least one stranger daily

    I pause and say thank you to someone serving me daily – restaurant, police officer, doctor, cleaning staff

    I say thank you to my God in a prayer

    If you live in gratitude you become aware of moments, opportunities and you live in a state of abudance not a state of seek every day more…

    Your work become not about more but service

    Your family life becomes not about more but serenity

    Your desire to success becomes not about accumulation but thriving

    And thriving is about become who you are meant to be – without excuses

    Once you start using this powerful, energizing tool, you can lift yourself from the doldrums to a place of endless enthusiasm for life and boundless joy every day

    The hardest thing about tapping into this quiet secret of gratitude is just getting started. Go ahead, try it out right now. What or who do you have in your life to be thankful for? 



  • Direction is as important as Destination

    Each and everyone one of us has emotions - and we know that there different types of them.

    There is a story told about George and Carl who were hanging out in the wee hours of the morning, with “a bit of the necker of the vine” well consumed if you know what I mean. They got talking about the differences between the emotions of being angry, upset or enraged. 

    So George says to Carl "I know how to show you what I mean."

    So at 1:00am in the morning George took his cell phone and put it on speaker and randomly dialed a number at which a sleepy voice answered and George said “Is Jones there?” The sleepy voice said: “there is no Jones here” and hung up the phone.  So George says to Carl - “that is upset.”

    Then at 2 :00am in the morning George took his cell phone and pushed re dial and the same sleepy voice answered, and George said “Is Jones there?” The sleepy voice raised and emphatically said: “I told you before there is no Jones here” and slammed the phone. So George says to Carl - “that is angry.”

    Then at 3:00am in the morning George took his cell phone and pushed re dial and the same sleepy voice answered and George said: “This is Jones - do you have any messages for me?” and the sleepy voice erupted and summoned every curse they knew upon George before they hung up...... and George says to Carl “that is enraged!”

    Thank goodness I don’t give out my cell phone number! 

    That humourous story demonstrated that there certaintly are different emotions. There is however a deeper emotion which I think High Achievers have in spades, and it is what sets them apart with the same distinction that George was seeking for Carl to understand. That emotion is Gratitude!

    People who summon the emotion of Gratitude in their daily lives generally express it in three sustaining factors:

    People of Gratitude are always discovering. They seek to find moments not only of personal gain, but also personal growth. They are learning, striving, seeking and embracing the determination that life will not become routine but will always be creative and new. They are open to ideas, perspectives and experiences different than their own, and for the life story that brings such to them.

    People of Gratitude are always awakening within themselves abundant sources of strength. They take time to answers such life questions as: What is the morale compass of their life?, Where does their strength arise from?, What is the source of their motivation, their drive, their determination? They also have a clarity about who they are serving (and it's rarely themselves) and “for who” they do all they do (and most admit again it's not themselves or the bottom line of a balance sheet).

    People of Gratitude recongnize that Gratitude is a memory of the Heart. People of Gratitude don’t forget along the way who has aided them, was a mentor to them, believed in them and supported them. I think of a quote I heard someone remark recently: “When you are from poverty you become a first responder. You must go back into poverty and pull as many out as possible.”  Gratitude reigns within those words! People of Gratitude are not into "comparing", they are often about "remembering" and "striving".

    I started with a story so please let me finish with one

    Once upon a time, far away and long ago, there was a salesperson travelling down a very rural road. Feeling lost, and spotting a girl of about 12 years old by the roadside, he asked, "How far is it to the Robinson Farm?" "Well sir," said the bright young lady, "if you keep going the way you are headed, it's about 24,996 kilometres. But if you turn around, it's about four." 

    Determining our direction is as important as deciding our destination. It is not just about getting from “here” to “there.” It is also about choosing Gratitude along the way - go ahead #makeitso!

  • Long Term Thinking

    So my microwave is getting slow! That is what I told myself recently while waiting to warm up a bowl of home made chicken soup. (It was so good by the way).  Now the reality is that my microwave has not changed speeds at all, but my expectation of it has. It’s human nature to want fast results. Now let’s add to that the constant barrage of social media, navigating the results of a global pandemic, outbreak of war, an economic period of re-adjustment, and most of us are not in the mood to pause long in expectation of any result, let alone think long-term. We just want things done (like an item in the microwave), fast!

    Ever since the pandemic came upon us, I’ve been resetting the way I think about time, and consciously embracing long-term thinking. Maybe it was the time working from home, or the solitude of not sitting in a coffee shop, or maybe it was just seeing clients, friends and society in general struggling, but I have been pondering it a lot. Reflecting on our expectations of self, others and timelines, has been something I have done with my clients in their businesses and careers, and been trying to apply it to my own day to day.

    I have been inviting all I meet to start thinking - long term. So what does longer term thinking do for you?


    Re-orienting your point of view to the long-term, you force yourself to ask questions like “In 20 years, will I be proud of this?” Such questions enables you to resist pressure in the moment and make the right decisions based on values and ethics, not immediate gain or loss. It makes you “Pivot, not Ping”, as I like to say. You change not with the wind or a wave, but adjust with wisdom.


    As Jeff Bezos observed, “”If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people. But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that. Just by lengthening the time horizon, you can engage in endeavors that you could never otherwise pursue.”

    Long term thinking sets you apart. In sets you apart in your career, in your business and in your personal relationships too. You permit yourself sometime to "bask" in wins, to learn from woes and to clairify wants. 


    When you think long term, its not hours, days or weeks that pause you, but seasons. There are seasons, (and I don't mean weather here), but seasons in our life when some things are expected, and some where not so, and we have to respect them. One season you might focus on work when you start a new job, for instance and then times when you might need to refocus for example likely pull back when caring for a sick relative.

    We have to respect the seasons. And with a long-term mindset, you recognize: There’s plenty of time to shift your focus back to work, or whatever your key projects are. Rebalancing changes you and allows you to grow in gratitude for the moment, especially moments precious to another that may never return again.

    In Episode 10 of my podcast “You Can Make It So”, I touch on this with the concept of the “Bank of Goodwill”. Check it out.  Long-term thinking isn’t just “nice to have”, like a speedy microwave. When we embrace it, it’s a step toward becoming the kind of people we want to be. We begin to live with a serenity that keeps us on purpose. 

    We become a people who have good habits, who are gaining growth, meeting goals, hitting thresholds, but also people who are embracing a gratitude that makes the habits and growth about something even bigger (and more long lasting) than success – legacy.

    Let’s #Makeitso


  • The Drive of Life

    I do not generally watch the Oscars - or any awards ceremony for that matter. But this week, on the internet, the news, and even in conversations with colleagues and clients, the interaction between Chris Rock and Will Smith, has been not only on full display; but in full discussion. What does this all tell us about the state of things now, but also how does it offer us as an opportunity to elevate the conversation and shape the future?

    I'm not going to judge or evaluate the actions of Will Smith or Chris Rock. I'll let them do that for themselves.

    Instead, I'm using this event as a way of asking myself how can I continue to be better.

    How can this event help each of us be better to each other?

    First, it reminds us, as a colleague of mine put so well "extreme emotions are the enemy of common sense." When we give into the extreme expression of our feelings, it is serious but often it is also to our detriment.

    Second, it recalls for us that "unfinished business" from our past tends to shut down our ability to reason, to respond (not react), to a situation in a manner that does not trigger the dominance of emotion, but rather permits us to remain calm in the face of anxiety, anger and anguish - a virtue you and your career, family and future self will be grateful for.

    Now, some have said that it is important to be driven, (and I agree with that). I rise every morning at 5:00a.m. not because I don't like my soft mattress and warm sheets, but because I am driven to make the most of my day and the opportunities ahead. But I try to drive in the right direction.

    Some have commented that we must defend ourselves, and others, when words or actions are hurtful or not well placed. True enough, but (to continue my driving metaphor), where the “rubber hits the road” is the manner in which we choose to do that. Will it be a public stage or a private conversation? Will it be a hand slap, or a series of well-placed words?

    As I consider the entire event my mind goes back to something I have noticed missing these days in many circles - civility. It might be an 'olde fashion word', but it is a modern day need. Civility does not imply to 'ignore' events, rather it beckons us 'choose'. To choose the manner of our response in light of the higher virtues we strive for ourselves and for our society. It calls us to give in to our better self, not our lowest form.

    So where do we go from here? Well, first by acknowledging that we have all struggled with anger and frustration (try driving in Toronto without doing so). But that fine dance between tolerance and take down, is the key. Review your own patterns of emotional response to comments, criticism and critique - where do they range on the meter? And then ask what you do with them? To bury our response isn’t the answer is either…. Where do you place that frustration so that it does not 'rise again'?

    Secondly, let us learn from what happened (without excusing it). Let us not judge Will Smith or Chris Rock. It was such a layered moment of emotions, old wounds, conflicting values, sensitive subjects, and more. Suffice it to say that it was a head on collision where personal and professional values collided. But let us ask ourselves what does this incident say about our wider society and – maybe even more monumental – what does it invite us to change - about what we see as acceptable in similar moments?

    I think if we all gave those questions "a good think", we might be on the road to better days of civility – and this drive of life – less of a slap and much more scenic.  



  • How to Cope with It All?

    Most recently, with other leaders I know and coach, conversations circle around the questions of change, stress and the uncertainty of the world we live in today. Can you relate to this?

    These sentiments usually manifest themselves when we begin noticing we aren’t as driven as before and we notice a few other things about ourselves:

    · Your passion fades
    · You don’t feel the highs and lows anymore
    · Little things make you overly emotional
    · Everybody drains you
    · You’re becoming cynical
    · Nothing satisfies you
    · You can’t think straight
    · Your productivity is dropping
    · You are self-medicating
    · You don’t laugh anymore
    · Sleep and time off no longer refuel you

    So what do you do?
    1. Tell Someone
    Swallow your pride and let someone else into the stress and anxiety you feel. Someone you trust. Nothing good happens when you’re isolated. When you admit it to others, you finally end up admitting it to yourself. This is where the value of one to one coaching comes in - a mentor to help you through it and to give you perspective in it.

    2. Redirect
    The problem is bigger when we only have our pain to focus on. And pain is selfish, it always demands our attention. So make sure your rest schedule is consistent, and re direct yourself when it becomes all consuming - watch a movie, go for a hike. Refuse to feel sorry for yourself. Not giving up on life helps you get back into life.

    3. Don’t make any big decisions
    In this state, often we are tempted to do things that can ruin our lives and the lives of those we love. Don’t do those things. Do not quit your job. Do not buy a sports car. Do not cheat on your spouse. Do not make any drastic changes or moves right now if you are in this season.

    4. Develop a circle 
    Friends who remind us that “Tomorrow the sun will rise” make all the difference. You need people who believe in you when you’ve stopped believing in yourself. This is one of the reasons why our Group Coaching Platform - Mancave - is so powerful. The community, the content and even the coach help to propel us when we are tempted to stall.

    5. Grieve your losses
    Life can be a series of un-grieved losses. It’s hard to know what to do with our losses. The dreams and plans that aren’t happening right now — grieve them. Admit it sucks — it’s part of healing. There is something about grieving that makes the next chapter more enjoyable. 

    6. Live today in a way that will help you Thrive tomorrow
    Rest. Eat right. Think right. Work out. Do the things today that produce results that you will only see tomorrow. Invest in the future by changing up patterns of thought and life starting today. Make sure you are on point in all five areas of life (spiritual, emotional, relational, physical and financial). It keeps our focus forward.

    I tell those I coach, that a chapter is just that... a chapter, it's not the story. I hope this helps you work through a very difficult chapter and if I can help, know I would like to help you #makeitso.

  • Efficiency which leads to Effectiveness

    One of the questions I often hear from clients is “How can I become more efficient?” I often reply by saying “I can help with that, but I would rather invest in your becoming more effective.”  You see it comes down to asking - are you living for today or do you want to Thrive tomorrow? 

    What is the difference? Well for the clear distinction check out my Podcast – Episode 7 – where I crush the explanation, but for now let’s look at three principles it would be good to implement so that you can be ready for efficiency which leads to effectiveness.

    First choose to be consistent. Now more than ever before, we are all surrounded by more options and noise. We have more choices — but also have more distractions. These can push you off your course. That moves you away from the goals and the targets that you set. That’s why it’s so important that you’re moving consistently towards your goals.  I’ve been deeply studying over the last many months what the best companies all have in common and the role that leadership plays in those companies.

    The one thing I have found in the leaders of those companies is that they consistently show up. They may not, due to the turbulent times we live in, make as much progress every single day as they wish, or they may be fighting head winds along the way, but as long as they are moving forward consistently, they are going to achieve meaningful progress.

    That’s also why accountability is so important. In our Full Service Coaching one thing that we’ve done with all of our clients is we’ve helped them to develop a strategic quarterly action plan so they’re clear on their highest value goals.

    We ensure that they’re working on the right goals to create the result that they desire. Then, we support them and provide accountability to work through their quarterly plans. Doing this consistently creates breakthroughs in your business and personal success.

    Second, choose community- surround yourself with the right people and community. Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.”  The question is, what type of community. Are you part of a community of people who are not only doing what you are doing, but are also doing what you have not yet done? This community must share your values and goals. This community must seek to make you better, not just affirm where you are at.

    You want to be spending time with others who are at a level above you, and where you aspire to be. That will keep you inspired and motivated. When you have a community of big thinkers and successful people, you start to see what’s possible. You start to think, act, achieve bigger and greater levels of success come with that.

    If you’re not surrounding yourself with that community, you don’t have people at the next level around you that is motivating, inspiring, supporting you, it’s going to be much more challenging for you to achieve that success all by yourself.

    That’s why we created the Mancave. The community of men inside of our program is one of the things that makes it so valuable. It’s why people stay in the program for so long and keep coming back. A group of guy who are going to… Support you… Motivate you… Show you what’s possible… What your potential is… …and to help you see things that you likely haven’t seen before yourself. At Mancave we often say it’s the Community, the Content and Coach that makes it all Thrive!

    Third, if effectiveness and not just efficiency is your goal you have to adopt Learning as a principle.

    The fact that you are reading this is a good indication that you are a learner. You are constantly wanting to grow and improve. That’s fantastic. Welcome because you’re in the right place. This is, in fact, one of our core values at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada. To achieve more, you want to learn more.

    The more that you learn, study, work on improving yourself and your knowledge, the more success that you’re going to create. This may sound daunting to some but it doesn’t need to be. We started the 22 Books in 2022. It can be accomplished by spending one hour a day reading as a baseline and then and push yourself to learn more. If you’re not doing any reading, make time for it.

    Reading and learning are some of the best investments that you can make. In fact one of my relatives asked me once “what can I give you as a gift to invest in you?” Knowing where he was at in life I replied “a bookstore gift card”. He has for over a decade now done that yearly and  when I buy a book I often think “How is it possible that I invest in such a small amount but I tapped into the knowledge of this author, who’s spent 15, 20, 30 years accumulating that knowledge?” They’ve gone through trial and error. Here I am able to accumulate that knowledge for such a small investment.

    Whether you are investing in books or podcasts or a coaching program, whatever it might be, the more that you can learn, that truly is the best way to shortcut your path towards greater success. I don’t mean you get a cheat sheet, you just avoid the scrapes and scuffles. You still have to do the work, if you want to get the results.

    Most good things in life take time and require hard work. They require focus. But if you truly want to find ways to accelerate your progress, to identify those shortcuts, that will come through learning. That’s why, if you look at athletes, any performer artists, they have mentors and coaches. They’re studying and learning. Without it, they only know what they know.

    When you can get access to learning, you’ll see new things and perspectives that you haven’t seen before — or can’t see by yourself because you’re not even aware that those things exist. That’s where you can find a much faster and direct path to achieve the result you ultimately want. Not only a more efficient, but a more effective self. It will help you live in a way today that will help you Thrive tomorrow.



  • Ever feel a bit overwhelmed?

    We're almost through the first quarter of the year, and if you're feeling overwhelmed trying to achieve the goals you set at the start of 2022 in the midst of a Pandemic and a European Conflict, you're not alone.

    In fact, many people are feeling not only overwhelmed but also somewhat doubtful that their goals will be met. You can #makeitso - but how? I've got five tips for you.

    1. Take a break. It may seem counterproductive to take a break when you feel behind or overwhelmed, but rest can be just the thing you need to refresh your mind and refocus your energy. In fact, studies show that regular time off improves your productivity. So give yourself permission to rest intentionally. Personally I book a quarterly "break" specifically to refresh and refocus - it is possible!

    2. Revisit your goals. I mentioned last week in our Blog that writing down your goals makes you more likely to achieve them, so it's time to look at those goals again and remember your why. If you're a Phoenix Life Coaching Canada Client, spend some time in your #Makeitso Journal looking at your goals module setting up action items to help you achieve success. (Not a Phoenix Client? Request a demo to keep better track of your goals.)

    3. Involve Others. Individual goals are personal, but they do require require teamwork. This comes with coaching or mentoring which helps provide clarity and alignment on what the goal is so that you know when you're winning. One of the best ways to create clarity is through 1:1 mentoring. For help on how to get started implementing 1:1 mentoring, get in touch.

    4. Habits beat goals. Take a look at your habits, are they in the service of your goals? One of the principles which we teach at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada is that Habits are more essential than Goals. Goals can be limiting, but Habits have an unlimited potential. I have been speaking on this a lot in both my Podcast and my Blog - take a listen and maybe even consider our Mancave Group Coaching where we do a practical hands on deep dive on this.

    5. Remember your "why." When we get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent, it can be easy to forget why we do what we do. With my clients, I always keep our mission of developing leaders front of mind as we're setting our goals and developing habits. If your goal doesn't align with your mission, it's probably time for a new goal (not to mention a new set of habits).

    I'd love to hear from you. What 2022 goals are you working on? Drop me a line and let me know.


  • Gaining Growth

    Personal development is the ongoing act of assessing your life goals, instilling habits and building values and skills that help you reach your potential. It is, as we like to say “about living in a way today that will help you Thrive tomorrow.”

    When we are committed to doing this we contribute to our maturity, success and satisfaction. Many people strengthen their personal development skills throughout their lives to better themselves and reach their goals. Here at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada we are all about that doing this through education, advice from a mentor, self-help and more.

    In this article, we will describe some of the most important personal development skills that can help in your journey to becoming more capable and confident.

    To start let’s define a couple things so we are all on the same page

    Goals are what you go after.

    Habits are routines that #makeitso.

    Success is succeeding.

    Now let’s also get another fact on the table to begin: “Complexity is the Enemy of Execution”. It is imperative that you read this, and approach growth, in a “simple way.” It doesn’t need to be complex to be successful, it needs to be consistent.

    Alright – five points…..

    1. Evaluate and Elevate

    In January 2022, during our focus on Goals, I often wrote about the difference between “Goal” and “Success”. A Goal should be hard, but Success should be easy. A goal is an objective (what we go after). We shouldn’t be hitting all our goals all the time. If we are, then our goals are too small. But Success does not need to be hard. Success needs to be measured well.

    So I measure success this way, and I write it in a central place in my #Makeitso Journal - I write two statements:

    Success for me means_______________________

    I will feel success anytime I _____________________

    Again, going back to what we chatted about in the first episode of our Podcast “You Can Make it So”  - it is about “who” not “do”.

    If we keep going back to that – “who” I want to become and not “what do I want to do”, then success will follow. Goals are good, but Habits beat Goals every day of the year …. Check out why here.  And don’t forget to listen to first three episodes of our Podcast

    2. Don’t Stay Comfortable

    The ability and desire to learn are powerful skills that can have a positive impact on many areas of your life, including professionally. Learning can take place in a traditional sense through reading or studying, or in a more interpersonal sense through listening. Either way, it's a crucial aspect of personal development.

    It is one of the reasons for our 22 Books in 2022. It is a major reason for our Podcast. It is what is behind this Blog, and it is the pivotal reason for our Mancave. Each of these seeks to challenge with clairity and chairity what we are doing today to nudge us into what will help us to thrive tomorrow. 

    Another important aspect of learning is listening. Listening is a powerful learning tool that will help you develop your interpersonal skills and relationships. It is through listening to the experiences and opinions of others that you can expand your perception of the world and your placement in it.  Here is an important question – who are you listening to?

    Take a moment and make a list of who are your greatest influencers? People you turn to for advice, you tubers you watch, podcasts you listen to, authors you read. Now put them in the categories of either challengers or affirmers? It is important to have a good balance of both. Often we listen to those who don’t challenge us, or take us beyond our comfort zone. Yet that is not growth that is comfort. It is why having a Coach to work with one to one is so important. They will both challenge and affirm as they listen.

    3. Make your Health a Priority

    Ron Burgundy may say “Stay Classy”, but I say "Stay Healthy.” I know from personal experience the perils of not doing that. Personal growth requires commitment and self-discipline. It means prioritizing what is good for you, rather than what is easy.  

    Personal growth is an active endeavour and it requires strength and endurance, which is why getting into shape is so beneficial for personal development. Making your health a priority looks like eating a balanced, healthy diet and exercising. It's getting enough sleep, and taking your vitamins. A healthy lifestyle will lead to many benefits, one of which being that your self-perspective will absolutely change for the better.

    4. Busy eh?

    “Being busy, however, is not the same thing as being productive.” – Ryder Carroll.

    The most successful individuals place great importance to continuously achieve personal growth and development. Despite already being at the pinnacle of their career, they still make the time in their busy schedule to endlessly push themselves out of the comfort zones and to unlock even more of their inner potential.

    Wasting time is all too easy, and most of us do it for hours every single day without realizing it. It can feel like you don't have time, but that's likely just an illusion. You have time, you'll just need to modify how you spend it. Prioritizing your personal growth will radically change how you spend your free time.

    In our #Makeitso Journal we like to use a method called Weekly Sunday Tracker.... it goes along with our Daily Fire exercise ..... they help to take some common time-wasting activities, and restructure them to benefit your personal development. These, and other tools, are available to all our Full Service Coaching Clients through our #Makeitso Platform

    By the way, in Episodes 4 and 5 of our Podcast we talk about the Enemies of Growth – take a short 15 minutes and listen to one and then another 15 minutes and listen to the other – Short, Direct, Practical and Dedicated to giving men the tools they need to Start Living in a Way Today That Will Help You Thrive Tomorrow because after all - You Can Make It So! Definitely worth a listen!

    5. Journal

    Sometimes when it comes to Journaling guys thing it’s all about “feelings”. That so wrong. Check out this great video by on the Power of Journaling

    Guys also often then say Journaling means long, prolonged details, sentences and it takes so much time. Nope. I teach a simple bullet system based on Wins, Woes and Wants. I have a video coming soon – watch for it! (Oh, and a Podcast on it too… keep on the look out for it).

    Remember - what gets measured, gets done. With our busy lives, it feels harder and harder to plan our life effectively—to keep track of everything we currently have to do, and to plan the things we want to do in the future. But if you have 20 minutes in the morning, and 20 minutes in the evening before bed - you can journal. In our #Makeitso Journal we make it possible - let me know if you want to know more and let me also tell then why "tomorrow begins the night before" is to vital to your time management success.

    OK, those are the five points.

    By the way, and maybe most of all… design the journey that suits you. Take each of the points one at a time and begin how we did in this article – define – define what Goals, Habits and Success look like for you.

    You can seek for inspiration from others, but remember to appreciate your own journey.

    Be kind to yourself as you #Makeitso

  • A Passion for Productivity

    As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Approaching planning with a positive perspective allows room for effective goal setting. This time management skill helps leaders evaluate their priorities and layout an overall strategy for success. Productivity is about getting the right things done.

    I have written, and I've got a passion around leadership, but also around productivity. People seem to think that's weird. I get asked all the time, “Wait a minute, I thought you were the leadership guy,” I do leadership, goal achievement, and productivity. And I think leadership is the big umbrella. If you're going to be a leader, you've got to be able to achieve your goals, and you've got to be able to execute on what you're planning to do. And so I think they go hand in glove. I think they fit perfectly.

    It is why my new Podcast “You Can Make it So” was started this year; it's all about goal achievement. It is part of what we do at Phoenix Life Coaching. I find that people are at different places in their life in terms of where they want to access this stuff. Some people, they just want to read a book. Some people want to go to a conference. Some people want to take an online course. Some want a group like Mancave. In addition to that, I have a big coaching program, which is probably the guts of what I do, and I am consultant to five companies.

    When meeting with the leaders of these five companies, or working one on one with my clients, I often teach The Eisenhower Matrix, a time management technique developed by five-star general and U.S. president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, provides a straightforward approach to productive days.

    This strategy grounded in essentialism helps increase efficiency by organizing and prioritizing tasks. Assign work into one of the following four quadrants:

    Do first—urgent and most important tasks

    Schedule—non-urgent but requires completion

    Delegate—urgent but assignable  

    Eliminate—non-essential or unnecessary   

    After categorizing tasks, help increase the team’s efficiency by delegating jobs employees can start addressing immediately. Next, schedule objectives onto the calendar that will need attention in the future. Finally, block off time (at least several hours) during the week for finishing jobs tagged with the highest level of importance. Productivity requires concentrated focus so create an environment with limited disturbances—turn off emails, texts, and phone calls. Recently we released a new #Makeitso Journal which helps make practical so many techniques of productivity. It contains our:

    “Daily Fire”  - These questions focus on Clarity for your day and include some mediation too

    “Friday Finisher”  - tools directly help you with daily goals and weekly objectives and keep you focused.

    “Sunday Review” - spend 30 minutes scoring your week in the Weekly Review assessment, which asks about four areas - Clarity, Energy, Necessity, Productivity and helps your develop 13 Virtues of Victory!

    I encourage you to look into getting a copy  and while you at it - Find our Details on Mancave

    Remember to follow us on Instagram and Linkedin

    Start Living in A Way Today That Will Help You Thrive Tomorrow – and remember


  • What brings success - Goals or Habits?

    “What brings success?” It is a question I get asked all the time. Most people will tell me ahead of asking that they believe it is a combination of high goals plus hard work. I understand why. We are often told to believe in the power of setting big goals and reaching them any way we can. We don’t often consider that the baby steps we can take to make progress in ourselves. 

    These little steps or “habits” are the small factors that make a huge impact on achieving success. Let’s spend some time discussing the difference between Goals and Habits with the objective to understand that Habits Beat Goals every day of the week!

    Goals make you want to achieve higher and bigger dreams you have set for yourself. They can be small or big, either way, it is a measure of how much you want to achieve at a given timeframe.

    On the other hand, habits are the routines you develop through constant practice of a particular task. They just appear out of nowhere because they tend to happen subconsciously. And these habits make up the progress of gaining success in what you do.

    Let’s say you are taking an on line course. Your goal will be to finish it in 6 months. You have probably planned out strategies to be able to meet that goal, but have you considered committing to tackling the course work when your senses are at its finest? That’s an effective routine to try out so you could produce the best outcome. Imagine how this habit can make you excel without worrying about the timeline. If you do that then you will have adopted the habit responsibly.

    You see, goals are measurements of what you want to achieve, but habits are the methods to achieving.

    Why goals aren’t enough

    Goals Lunge but Don’t Last
    Setting work goals can be helpful, especially at the beginning of the year or a quarter. They lunge you forward, but what happens next when you meet them? You might feel your “done” and tend to go back to your old ways. Goals are temporary.

    Goals Mean Discipline
    In order to reach your goals, a strong sense of self-discipline must be present. But often to achieve a goal (say lose 20 pounds in three months) you push yourself, overwork, lose your energy, drain yourself —resulting in frustration and sometimes a loss of other good in your life – this is not progressing at all.

    Goals limit you
    When you have set a certain target in your mind, you focus on just that —without considering what would happen if you surpass that goal. Goals are meant to be big, but they set limitations on your capacity.

    Some goals are unrealistic
    Setting your goals is exhilarating because you know you are on your road to achievement. When you get “pumped” you tend to think of unrealistic performace.

    Here are the reasons why habits bring you success:

    Habits Last
    These practices help you not only reach one goal, but you are also giving yourself the chance to attain more because habits are sustainable.

    Habits are easier to accomplish
    Goals carry a heavy load of duties, but also a “pressure” to accomplish. Habits don’t have that weight, as they happen unconsciously because you program yourself to do them on a daily basis—bringing success.

    Habits often exceed goals
    The goals you have set a limit. But if you develop a daily habit of doing a task that contributes to your goal, you are more likely to not only meet a goal, but exceed it. 

    Habits are small but certain
    Habits are small practices —they are manageable. They might seem small but they bring you certain results. You also can adapted the best habits that will work for you.

    What are the right habits to form?

    So what are these right habits you need to instill in your daily work to get that success you desire? Here is a list of good habits that will help you reach the top:

    Night Owl or Morning Person
    Each of us has some ‘best times’ for accomplish tasks. Identifying the right hours contribute to your productivity. Finding the right moment is a great to kick off those tasks as you tend to be happier and more energetic. 

    Appointment with Self
    When you have a task – set an appointment with self – to get it done. When you are set in, you don’t have the freedom to work on other things, or to be interrupted by others. You  instill time management habits that will produce you more quality outputs. 

    Just like a good Pie, Cut in Slices
    Take a task and cut it into slices. The first thing you should do is identify how long you work on a given task and try to work on them in pieces to improve your work efficiency.

    Reward with breaks
    Even a marathon runner slows a bit for water. It is important to not overwork yourself as this only drains you out and hinders you from accomplishing anything. Nothing matters more than your health.

    Goals are good. They help you reach your potential after all. It’s just that goals need proper action in order to achieve them—often making you overstretch yourself. But with habits, you learn to increase your progress without the excruciating effort. Habits don’t just bring you success, these are your lifelong investments that sustain your success.

    I speak more about Habits in a small series on my new Podcast “You Can Make it So” ™. Here is the link. The episodes are short, practical and geared to #Makeitso™.

    I also encourage men in their Habits in our Mancave™. group – check out details on how you can participate

    Our #Makeitso™. Journal is also a great tool for Habit making – let’s get you a copy

    Of course, our Full Service Coaching includes One to One Coaching and we have had some great success – join us!

    Let’s #Makeitso™.