I read this article the other day about the number 13. I also read recently that President Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t like the number 13. He hated to travel on Friday the 13th and having 13 people at dinner (he even avoided it at death as he died on Thursday, April 12, 1945, just before Friday the 13th).
What tweaked my interest was the fact that the number 13 has been a huge part of my life, and frankly a great number:
- My wife’s wedding ring has 13 diamonds
- My son was born on the 13th day of the month
- I’ve been happily married for 13 years
- Our address “616” when you add each of the numbers equals 13
- If you take the birthdays of each of our family members (30, 24, 13) and add each of the individual numbers, it equals 13
Thirteen isn’t that bad. Besides, life’s too short to worry about numbers.
I rolled into 2014 while on vacation in Brussels, Belgium with my family. Post our New Year’s Eve dinner I made three resolutions, here’s how I fared:
A guideline: smile more
I honestly tried at this every day and made a point of the first thing when I woke up being a smile. It started my day on the right foot and kept me focussed on being a happier person. This will be a habit I stick with going forward. I also dived deeper into meditation which helped me appreciate the many great things in my life to be happy for.
A lifestyle change: eat more vegetarian and in moderation
Each time my wife travelled, I got in more vegetarian eating. I also took up calorie counting using MyFitnessPal in the later part of the year on the advise of a nutritionist. Surprisingly what I learned was that I wasn’t eating enough calories, and what I was eating was too slanted towards fat over protein. With some minor tweaks to my diet my weight finally fell and levelled off. I still have some way to go here to land at my desired body composition, but progress is good. I also cut out sugar for a month and will likely make a hard stop on this in 2015. Overall I felt better here.
An achievable milestone(s): 2-hour half marathon, get back playing with a band
I had a better year of running, but I ran only 764.4km – way less than I hoped, and my very minimal training miles from January to June were clearly to blame. The good news was that I remained injury-free and healthy and the minimalist running has been key. In June, Dave Cressman from Distance Runwear dismantled my form and helped me understand what I had been doing so wrong and where I needed to work on improving. I also joined the South Hill Striders run club in September (and will be sticking with it this year) to push my run speed and training. Strava gave me 27 PRs over the year — most from July to September — which reflected my training.
My main goal though was a 2-hour half marathon. I did 2:07:14 at BMO (in the pouring rain), then 2:06:58 at Scotiabank (which was hot and sunny), but finally met my goal in the Portland Half Marathon with a 1:53:22 — a new PR! It was great to have my family at the finish line. I also threw in a 00:50:00 10km at the Fall Classic to finish out the year though lost out on a PB due to a shoelace that came untied.
On the music side, while my son wanted me to “get back at it”, I wasn’t able to find a band or people I wanted to play with. I had some early bites over Craigslist, but everyone wants to tour and live out of a van — not conducive when you’re 45, married, and have family.
So another year is upon us. Here’s my resolutions for 2015:
Guideline: play more
The biologist Marc Beckoff once said “Play is training for the unexpected”. Life is full of unexpected things and I feel like I need more play in my life. There was a great PechaKucha 20×20 talk about this recently The Importance of Play that’s worth a watch. I plan to be more playful in my day-to-day at work, with my friends, family, and whenever I can. This might lead me back to some things I used to associate with play like making music, or something else surprising.
Lifestyle change: run regularly
The last few years I’ve run a lot, but not regularly. This year I plan to change that and get in at least 30km per week on road, trails (or as a last resort on a treadmill at the gym). I love running but I’m not going to keep improving without regularly doing it. (Note: I do workout every day over lunch at the gym doing strength training)
Achievable milestone: run over 1500km and finish 5Peaks Seymour
I’m doing two here and one sort of ties into my lifestyle change. A measure of my “run regularly” will be my weekly mileage. 30km per week comes out to 1560km and that I can track with Strava. I’m also doing a bigger trail race this fall — 5Peaks Seymour — on the 12km Enduro course that I want to be successful in finishing.
I spent some time in January 2014 talked with Richard Banfield from Fresh Tilled Soil about my experiences and ideas as a digital design leader. It was fun to share. Here’s what came out of that — watch my interview now.
On a side note, I’m a lot thinner now. Must be all that running.
The goal should be to get to market as quickly as possible with a product that customers will keep. If early customers abandon your product, that could erase the value of a first-mover advantage, but if your early adopters keep the product, there’s a good chance that will lead more customers to adopt it. And that dynamic, more than the technical features of the product, is what determines who wins
Source: HBR, June 2014 issue, Henrich R. Greve is a professor of entrepreneurship at INSEAD, and Marc-David L. Seidel is an associate professor of organizational behavior at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.
From Bruce Temkin’s blog:
Lead with why. Most corporate communications focus on “what” and “how,” telling people what needs to be done and how they should accomplish it. This command and control pattern may elicit short-term compliance, but it’s efficacy decays quickly and it loses value completely when situations change and the “how” no longer applies. Leaders need to elicit buy-in from people by starting communications with “why,” explaining the reason that something is important to the company and to the people who are being asked to do something. To fully empower people, share “why” a goal is important and “what” success looks like and leave it up to the individuals to figure out “how” to make it happen.
Came across this quote today, likely others have seen it before, but it captures some great thinking:
Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t turn out – take another shot.