New Yankee Workshop Series Ends (Sad day in the Lindley Workshop)

Body: It’s a sad day in the Lindley workshop as my inspiration for my woodworking passion, Norm Abram, ends his New Yankee Workshop series.  In the back of my mind I always had the thought that when I retired, Norm and I would spend our days together building family heirlooms in my workshop.  Now I guess it will have to be reruns of the New Yankee Workshop.           October 17th, 2009 Gina Eide This just in… Fine Woodworking just received word that the New Yankee Workshop is ending after 21 seasons on PBS according to Patrick Ramirez, a spokesperson for WGBH Boston. But the man in plaid, Norm Abram, won’t be retiring his tool belt yet, he’ll still continue working on sister show This Old House , according to a press release. The Fine Woodworking audience has a long relationship with the television host. Many credit him as the inspiration for getting started in the craft. In Norm Stories , a former editor at Fine Woodworking , recounts how Abram got him into woodworking after an appearance at Good Morning America. Abram also graced the covers of two issues of Fine Woodworking . FW published a profile on Abram in 1993 ( FWW #99) and more recently Abram wrote an article about crafting your dream kitchen in 2008 ( FWW #196). But, if this news is getting you down, it’s not too late to see this woodworking icon up close and personal in just a few days. Old Sturbridge Village is offering a brunch with Norm Abram Sat., Oct. 24. Category: My Health Published: 10/21/2009 3:17 AM Attachments:

Life Management Principle: What Gets Measured Gets Managed

Body: I found this blog post at had some great ideas on “What gets measured get managed” from a personal perspective. By Donald Latumahina Do you want to grow well? Life management is something you should not miss then. Good life management ensures that every aspect of your life grows as it should. Without good life management, it’s easy to leave out some aspects of your personal growth while overemphasizing the others. Take physical exercise for example. Once you stop exercising, you might be surprised to see, six months later, how much time have passed since your last exercise. Or take reading book. It’s easy to let months pass by without finishing a single book. How can we overcome this problem? How can we better manage our life? Peter Drucker gave us a great answer: What gets measured gets managed. While the statement is originally intended for companies, I believe it’s equally true for individuals. If you want to get something managed in your life, you should measure it. Why Measuring Works There are several reasons why what gets measured gets managed: 1. When you measure something, you bring your attention to it This is the first benefit you get by measuring something. How can you manage something if you don’t even pay attention to it? By measuring something you direct your attention there. 2. When you measure something, you know where you are Sometimes we don’t realize the severity of a problem we have until we see the facts. That’s why measuring something is important. It helps you see the truth of where you actually are. In personal finance, for instance, it’s easy to think that you already live wisely. Only after you see your income and expenses by numbers might you realize that you have problem. This realization in turn gives you the motivation to do something about it. 3. When you measure something, you see your progress Not only can measuring help you know where you are, it also helps you see your progress. You will see whether or not you have done the right thing and – if you do – whether or not you have done enough. Seeing how far you’ve gone also motivates you to keep moving forward. How to Measure Your Life We have seen the reasons why measuring something gets it managed. Now how should we measure our life? Here are some guidelines that I use: 1. Make it balanced If you want to have a balanced life, you should balance the aspects of life you manage. My favorite way of doing this is through the four facets of prosperity : physical, spiritual, social, and financial. Measuring each of them ensures that your life gets managed in all four areas. Of course, it may be too difficult to start on all four facets at once. In that case, you can start with just one facet and then add the others one by one as you become more comfortable with measuring your life. 2. Keep it simple Unlike companies who can afford to do complicated measurement, individuals are unlikely to stick with measurement if it’s complicated. That’s why you need to keep it as simple as possible. The simpler it is, the more likely you will stick with it in the long term. 3. Carefully choose what to measure You need to choose the right things to measure or you risk managing the wrong things. The four facets of prosperity gives you the areas of life to measure but you need to be more specific within each. For example, what kind of metrics do you think best represent your physical prosperity? Finding the right metrics is not easy and it requires experiments. Just start with something and keep refining it along the way. 4. Carefully decide how to measure If you have chosen what to measure, you should then carefully decide how to measure it. As I wrote above, the simpler it is, the more likely you will stick with it. Here are three ways to measure something in your life: a. Habit checklist Make a list of things you want to do regularly – either daily, weekly, or other intervals – and put a check when you’ve done it. Of course, you need to be specific with the kind of activity you want to do. For example, you can make a habit checklist for rising at 6 am. Whenever you achieve it, you can put a tick on your checklist. b. Time-constrained goals Make a list of goals you want to achieve in certain period of time and write whether or not you achieve it. Also write down how much you actually achieve so you can compare your progress with your goal. For example, if your goal is reading four books in a month, you can write down how many books you have actually read and compare it with your goal. c. Activity record Record your activities in certain period of time to see where you are. For example, you may record all your income and expenses so that you can see your current financial position. You can then move further by creating a budget and thereby creating time-constrained goals. 5. Keep experimenting Measuring your life is a process that needs to be refined over time. So keep experimenting. Assess the effectiveness of your measurement and improve those that can be improved. Keep finding the right things to measure and the right way to measure them. The important thing is to start measuring aspects of your life. That’s how you have good life management. Category: My Health Published: 9/16/2009 3:44 PM Attachments:

Just installed TweetDeck on PC … now I’m in information overload. Is it possible to be TOO connected!

Body: Social networking for business is a great topic, but it can take your focus away from what is important: your work and your business!  I’m not sure if being this connected is good for me and my focus.  To many distractions, and I’m a bright shiny object kind of a guy. Category: My Health Published: 7/13/2009 12:08 PM Attachments:

Day one of my new exercise routine

Body: This is day one of my new exercise routine.  In January 2007 I weighed 300 lbs and started a major diet at UAMS.  Over the next 9 months I lost an amazing 110 lbs.  Since that time I have been trying to find the right balance of lifestyle, food, and exercise.  I joined a gym and have tried a number of routines with limited success.  I am back up to 260 lbs and its time for me to get serious about my health. Today I got up at 6:00 AM and went directly to the gym.  I have never worked out in the morning.  But thanks to a fellow HTG peer group member, Cohen Barnes, I am committed to do this for the next 3 weeks before making any decisions to alter routine: Gym by 6:00 AM Stretch 10 minutes Walk at least a mile 30 minutes on elliptical Mon, Wed, Fri 3 set on weight rotation Tue, Thu Racquetball 6:00 PM Tue, Thu Get outside and do something on the weekends and don’t watch TV (even NASCAR) unless I’m on the treadmill at home Day one done … I feel pretty good: 5 – cross ramp, 5 – resistance, 2.5 miles, 30 minutes on elliptical – it said 280 calories lost. Category: My Health Published: 5/18/2009 10:15 AM