Early goal success…..

As with most people this time of year, I have set some goals for 2012. One of them I posted about here — my 2012 book list. Well, I am happy to already claim my first milestone — last night I finished the first book on my list, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Revisited. This book was first because I should have been reading it in parallel with our attendance at FPU at church (Financial Peace University). Well we finished the class right before the holidays and now I have completed the book. And last night my wife and I also had our first household budget meeting for 2012 — with no issues. It went smoothly and was 20 minutes well spent. We are prepared for January and now just need to follow our written plan.

Bring on 2012! I’m ready for more success and goal completion!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

My 2012 personal book list…..

I have a long time friend back in California who has always impressed me with his foresight and discipline. In our spending time together, whether playing hoops, watching movies or eating In N Out Burgers, quite often (and usually out of left field) his goals, dreams, targets and milestones would come up in conversation. It struck me that even amongst our immature youth and fun, that not that he had goals (which hopefully we all have to some degree), but that he had a fairly detailed action plan on which to achieve those goals. I had goals too but they were usually achieved by a loose framework in my head, not written down in a detailed plan and shared. I know now that was the reason behind his success — he not only visualized goals like I did, but he developed a detailed plan and wrote it down. He then even went a step further and shared it with folks that were close to him to achieve a sort of accountability.

One goal I am mimicking from him is book reading. I remember a few years ago at the In N Out Burger in Glendale he shared with me over a Double-Double that his goal was to read 20 books. I found that admirable, especially since I have a very bad habit of picking up a book and tearing into the first third to half of it with gusto, only to have the bookmark in the same location weeks or months later as a failure reminder. I identified this as a personal improvement opportunity a few weeks ago and made some lifestyle changes to be more book focused and less TV and computer focused. As a result, I am about 60 pages away from finishing a book I started at the beginning of November. It is my intent to finish that book by the end of this year in preparation for my 2012 personal book list. I plan to take that book completion momentum into the new year and deliberately and persistently read, learn and enjoy from the books I have identified for my list.

This nicely aligns with a quote I posted a few days ago“In five years you will be the same person you are today with the exception of the books you read and the people you meet.”

Note that at least 5 or 6 of these books are the “failure” books with a bookmark part way through them. Also, a couple are re-reads because they are good and I haven’t read them in a decade or two. If you notice, there are 26 books which divides evenly into a year with 52 weeks. I did not actually do that on purpose — it just happened, although it makes perfect sense. I will have an average of 2 weeks per book to accomplish my goal. Additionally, I added this to our family calendar in an effort to #1 – stay on track and #2 – have some form of accountability. I guess by blogging this I also have achieved the same thing. And to top all this reading off, it is also a goal of mine to read through the Bible in entirety in 2012. I am selecting a Bible reading plan to implement along with the list below.

Dan’s 2012 Personal Reading List

  • Financial Peace Revisited – Dave Ramsey – finished 1/02/12
  • QBQ – John Miller – finished 1/03/12
  • The Servant – James Hunter – finished 1/15/12
  • Switch – Chip & Dan Heath – finished 2/25/12
  • Hurt Healer – Tony Nolan – finished 3/19/12
  • Make It Count – John Kotre – dropped from list; to be reassessed
  • One Minute Manager – Ken Blanchard – finished 4/26/12
  • EntreLeadership – Dave Ramsey
  • The Reagan Diaries – Ronald Reagan
  • The Tipping Point – Malcom Gladwell
  • In Praise Of Slowness – Carl Honore
  • Everyone Communicates, Few Connect – John Maxwell
  • Epicenter – Joel Rosenberg
  • Maximum Success – James Waldroop & Timothy Butler
  • The Leadership Challenge – James Kouzes & Barry Posner
  • Jesus, CEO – Laurie Beth Jones
  • The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
  • Multipliers – Liz Wiseman
  • The Red Badge Of Courage – Stephan Crane
  • The New Rational Manager – Charles Kepner & Benjamin Tregoe
  • Team Of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Better – Atul Gawande
  • The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande
  • Big Ideas – Alex Hutchinson
  • Decision Points – George Bush
  • 1001 Ways To Reward Employees – Bob Nelson

I want to thank my friend, Suitdragon Billiam for the inspiration and for being a model of discipline and persistence.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Posts that refer to the list or books
Early goal success…..
2012 action…..
Doing quote…..
Moving forward, but falling behind…..

A Dave Ramsey funny…..

My wife and I just finished Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University two weeks ago. It has been an amazing journey and has really propelled us to get our finances in even better order than they already were and to ensure we are always good stewards with the blessings God has given us. In fact, back in October I even blogged about my Florida beach vacation souvenir. That beach vacation was our family’s first all cash vacation and this Christmas will be our first all cash Christmas! The Dave Ramsey Financial Peace plan truly works and will positively change your family tree.

But here is the funny story.

I am a religious podcast listener of Dave Ramsey’s radio show. He is on every weekday for 3 hours and podcasts one of those hours free (I highly recommend subscribing). On his Friday shows, he will have people call in who have followed all 7 steps (which he gives out freely on his website) and who are now debt free. He will interview them a bit and then they will wrap up the call by having the person, couple or family yell at the top of their lungs — “We’re DEBT-freeeeeeee!!!!!!!”. It is inspiring and really good to know that others out there have done it — not through a secret program that costs hundreds or thousands, but through sheer planning, persistence, determination and sacrifice. I plan on driving down to Nashville with the family and doing my debt free scream at Dave’s Financial Peace Plaza lobby some time in 2018 (all debt including the house which is about all that’s left).

So because of our emphasis this Christmas on not spending money and focusing on the giving, my son has spent the last several weeks making crafts for our family presents. He just now came down to the basement and yelled in front of the family — “I’m CRAFT-free!!!!!!!”

I guess my listening to Dave’s Friday show podcasts in the car are rubbing off.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net