2014 Bucket List

It’s been said that “40 is the new 30”. Well in the year I turn 40 I’ve decided on 30 things to accomplish on my 2014 Bucket List. This is my third consecutive year creating an annual Bucket List and by far my most aggressive. The biggest goal is to attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and watch a USA match; a lofty goal considering I don’t yet have game tickets or flights yet.

It’s Go! Time. Let’s make 2014 the best year possible:

1.       Be more positive, more optimistic

2.       Try something new (a new food, a new sport, a new activity)

3.       Cut out all soda for 4 months

4.       Get down to 200 lbs

5.       Play in a sports league

6.       Run the Dirty Dash

7.       Get off automatic mode and go manual with my Nikon

8.       Capture a “Wow!” picture

9.       Finish the family room in the basement

10.   Fly kites with the kids

11.   Go camping with the family

12.   2 Getaways with my wife

13.   Go to the beach

14.   Go Ice Fishing

15.   Take my kids fishing (x3)

16.   Go horseback riding

17.   Visit someplace new  

18.   Go to Brazil

19.   Attend 2014 World Cup US Men’s National game

20.   Attend USA Sevens Rugby Tournament in Las Vegas

21.   Take a Hike – above 10,000 feet  

22.   25 Blog Posts, including 4 video posts

23.   Register a domain name

24.   Reach 100 blog followers

25.   Reach 500 Twitter followers

26.   Attend a marketing or sales conference

27.   Actually read 4 books

28.   Listen to 12 audio books

29.   Attend 1 Networking Event per quarter

30.   Schedule a 1-on-1 lunch once per quarter with a past colleague

Stop Stalling, Start Going!

Push GoThe 1972 children’s book by Dr Seuss called Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! starts with “The time has come, the time is now, just go go go, I don’t care how.”

Go! – That’s the word I’ve selected for 2014.

Like most people last year was filled with positive memories and memorable challenges. An aura of stagnation seemed to blanket the year though. Too often 2013 had a sentiment of waiting, like treading water. Don’t get me wrong, last year was a good year, but it could have been a great year. It should have been a great year.

So Why Go!?

Here’s what sparked the decision:

The Stop Light

A few weeks ago I was sitting at a stop light on a Saturday morning; the Saturday before Christmas in fact. I had errands to run and a list of things to accomplish. I knew exactly what I needed to do as time was running out before Christmas.  

After waiting a few minutes the light turned green. I shifted into first gear and slowly nudged my car forward expecting the single car ahead of me to start moving. It did not. My car rolled closer and closer, but the other car didn’t move. I began feeling slightly irritated as I noticed the distracted driver was talking on a cell phone and obviously not paying attention. Even though he had a green light and the road ahead of him was free and clear, he didn’t move. My patience was quickly running out. I inched forward a bit more; still no movement. Finally I shouted “Go!” After what seemed like minutes, but was probably only seconds, he looked up apparently realizing the light was green and finally started moving.

The 2013 Bucket List  

This will be my third year creating an annual Bucket List. As I reviewed last year’s list I was disappointed by several items I didn’t achieve; small things that should have been easy to do.  

For example, I can’t remember the last time I flew a kite with my kids; something so simple. I recall several days were the weather was warm and the winds sufficient to fly a kite, but we didn’t take advantage of the ideal climate because I never bought a kite. A small kite only costs a few bucks, but I missed out on sharing this experience with my children because I didn’t go buy one.  

Example 2, my wife grew up riding horses. She loves it. For a couple years now she’s been dying to go horseback riding. Coincidentally I have a cousin who lives only an hour away and owns horses. Several times throughout the year I thought about calling him. I never did. I thought about it, but I didn’t go do it. 

·         I should have bought a kite.

·         I should have called my cousin.

Yes, my summary word for last year is probably should.

What does Go! mean?

1.      Go! represents advancement. I wanted the car at the stop light to go – to move forward so I could continue moving toward my goals that day. I want this year to be a year of progression, of going places and accomplishing things.  

2.      Go! represents action. It takes intentions and creates a conscious action that propels or perpetuates the desired advancement. Last year’s thinking was “I should call my cousin”. This year I want to actually go call him. Whenever I think should, I will replace it with Go! – Go and Do!

Everyone wants to feel like they’re going places. Go! evokes excitement. Stop talking about what you could be doing and go do it. Go to the gym. Go write a blog post. Go build success. Take action, make things happen and have a blast doing it.

Now, I’m not talking about monumental life altering changes. There are no plans to uproot my family and move to a foreign country. This isn’t about creating shocking alterations like painting my office green with flashing strobes lights.

Go! is a conscious decision, a subtitle resolution and a deep rooted determination.

Go! starts now

This requires immediate, practical application. One unfulfilled item from my 2013 Bucket List was to register a domain name to for personal branding development. I had over 500,000 minutes last year and never did it. I took 10 minutes this week and did it – DougJentzsch.com is now registered; it will be used as the URL for my WordPress blog shortly.  

Oh, and I also called my cousin and left a voicemail about going horseback riding this spring. I thought it best to get the wheels in motion there too.

 

May 2014 be a year where we all can go enjoy success, go spend more time with loved ones and go live life to the fullest!

What’s your word(s) or theme for 2014?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Daily Bucket List

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe past couple of years I’ve created an annual Bucket list, writing down things I’d like to do and accomplish throughout the year. In the next few days I’ll post my 2014 list. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles this was inspirited by Lesley Carter of Bucket List Publications. The idea of an annual Bucket List is to accomplish goals each and every year, not leaving everything until the end of your life. In general, a Bucket List is about achieving things before you die so you don’t have any regrets.

Speaking of dying, earlier this week I was driving down the freeway in a typical mid-winter, white-knuckled Utah snowstorm. The hazy fog and icy roads made for treacherous driving conditions. Suddenly without any apparent cause my contact lens slid from the center to the corner of my eye. This created excruciating pain causing my eyes to water, greatly hindering my vision. I could barely see as I attempted to squint through stinging tears and desperately worked to avoid an accident that could result in serious injury to me and others. Finally, and with no small amount of effort (and prayers), I was able to get off the freeway and pull over to a safe spot. My heart was pounding as I took huge sighs of relief. Not to be melodramatic, but I could have died.  

Later that night I hugged my two little boys just a little bit tighter; I found a few extra minutes to talk with each of my teenagers and I made sure to kiss my wife goodnight and let her know I loved her. I didn’t want to go to bed having any regrets about that day.

If we think about each day in terms of a Bucket List, hopefully we do the little things to bring happiness and peace to others. That might come in many forms: spending more time with family, reaching out to a friend in need, calling parents on the phone to see how they’re doing, smiling at co-workers as we walk around the office and maybe that even means being kinder to complete strangers. Yup, even that guy who cut you off on the freeway… because you never know what he’s going through at that exact moment

 

Image via.

5 Things I’ve Learned

Step lightlyI’m currently in my 10th year with Access Development. Over the past decade I’ve worked with many great people and formed lifelong friendships. I’m grateful for people who have taken time to teach me through their example and actions.

So for my first post of 2014 I’ve decided to pass along a few of the lessons I’ve learned from others:

Step Lightly – Early in my carrier my strategy, metaphorically speaking, revolved around carrying a large stick and clearing anyone out of my path or going into every meeting with ‘guns a blazing’. It worked wonders and things got done. Or so I believed. The latent affect was I got a poor reputation for being overly emotional and even selfish. Even worst, others became defensive in my presence and sometimes people’s feelings were hurt due to my brash style. One day my manager, a friend and a leader, came into my office and placed a small yellow sticky note next to my computer monitor. It read “step lightly”. I’ve worked on stepping lightly ever since… and it actually works.  

Over-Communicate – It’s better than under-communicating.  Over communicating clears up confusion and doubts, and minimizes misunderstandings. Where possible, face-to-face communication works best. Over-communicating creates transparency, unity and collaboration.

Show Purpose (and Grab a Piece of Paper) – Ever notice how some people walk around the office with no apparent purpose, even appearing lost. One colleague of mine mentioned how she never wants people to think that of her. When she walks down the hall, she walks with purpose. Even if she’s just going to the water cooler she walks with purpose. And if she walks to a meeting (or to the bathroom) she always has something in her hands… anything. It shows she has purpose. If nothing else, she grabs a sheet of scrap paper off the printer because it’s better than walking around empty handed.

Try it! Look like you have a purpose and act important, and people will treat you that way.

Play the Game – It’s something several leaders have taught me and I’ve been slow to embrace. Often this term is viewed with a negative connotation. Playing the Game isn’t about sucking up or being false in an attempt to fit in. Every business has a unique culture. Every division, team or project has a unique style and personality. Play the Game means learning to personally adapt to the company’s culture and personality. By doing so you’ll be a great shipmate. You can even rock the boat now and again, but you’ll never be accused on sinking the ship.  

Be a great shipmate. You can even rock the boat now and again, but you’ll never be accused on sinking the ship.

Be Positive – Things sometime go wrong in business. Things often go wrong. People let you down. Technology causes more issues than solutions. Allowing external forces to cause continuous internal frustrations is non-productive and honestly unhealthy. Being positive isn’t about what’s going on around you; it’s about deciding the state of well being inside you. Being positive can be infectious. Many challenging times were made better (and sometimes bearable) thanks for continually positive people.   

What have you learned from others at your company?

A big thanks goes out to Shaggy, Trav, Jaymee, Bona and KP for the things I’ve learned from them; as well as countless others.