Babies Fail a Lot

Albina White/

Okay, you have a worthwhile goal and are experiencing difficulties. The going is getting pretty tough. You’re trying to learn a language, or how to plant a garden, or even how to fly a helicopter. You’ve encountered obstacles that seem insurmountable. You’re failing, and your initial resolve has been lost. What next? Thinking about quitting? Before you do, first think about babies.

That’s right, babies. We can learn a lot from little humans. 

Have you ever observed the process of an infant learning to walk? What do they do? After they’re comfortable standing, they begin to cruise, holding onto furniture for support as they move about. Eventually, it’s time to let go of the furniture and take those first few steps independently. 

What invariably happens when a baby does this? You guessed it—they fall. Not once or twice, but multiple times. They fall over and over. For a baby, falling is the equivalent of failing. And what does a young human do each time they fall (fail)? They get right back up and try again. Babies are persistent when learning to walk. They have committed to their goal of getting around the world on two feet and will persevere until they have achieved it, regardless of the number of times they fail. 

Imagine if babies gave up trying to walk after falling once or twice. The world would be filled with adults crawling all over the place. Although it’s a humorous thought, it’s not a sensible one. 

If you have a worthwhile goal and are encountering difficulties, learn from the youngest of our species and resolve to continue until you have attained what you have been striving for. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. As always, I hope you enjoyed it and found it informative. If you know of anyone that may benefit, please feel free to share it. 

Closing the Gap

Pietro Saura/

Have you been a couch potato for too long? Do you want to finally do something about it? If so— kudos to you!  One of the first things you should do is set specific health goals so that you have a depiction of where you currently are (point A) and where you wish to be (point B). Moreover, it may turn out that the gap between A and B is substantial, and consequently, many changes are required in order to close this gap.

Some people in this situation may be able to successfully make significant life changes in a short time to bring them closer to attaining their goals. However, this may prove too difficult for most people, and attempting to make extensive changes quickly can easily be a set-up for failure. I submit that making gradual and progressive small changes over time is a much better way to achieve big goals and close the gap. In short, for most people, baby steps are the way to go.

I wonder how many people reading this have a treadmill that now serves as a wardrobe. You purchased the treadmill with a strong desire to exercise and become healthier, which you did at the outset. However, over time, your commitment to becoming physically fit began to wane, and the treadmill began collecting dust. Not too long afterward, it began collecting piles of clothes. It is now difficult to even recognize it as a treadmill.

What can you do? The answer is to take baby steps. If you resolve to exercise consistently, make gradual changes. Start by removing a few articles of clothing each day over the course of a week. Now take a look at it—you actually have a treadmill again. Next, use it to take a five-minute walk. Over the following weeks, take longer walks and then short jogs. Then, begin to take longer runs on your brand-new closet-turned-exercise machine. You’ll feel great, have a lot of fun, and will be doing magnificent things for your health. 

In most instances, consistent and progressive baby steps are the best way to close the gap and accomplish big goals.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope that you have enjoyed it and found it informative. Please feel free to share it with anyone you think may benefit.

What is the Key Factor That Determines Your Outcomes?


Your outcomes in life will be determined by the actions that you take on a consistent basis. 

For instance, if you are working towards a specific goal, then it is the actions you take regularly in the service of that goal that will determine if and when it is accomplished. 

Regarding health, if you consistently eat unhealthy foods, then you are likely going to go on to develop lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. 

Conversely, if you consistently eat healthy foods, you will significantly lower your risk of developing such conditions. 

Consistency is key.

Just like eating a single slice of pizza will not cause you to suffer a heart attack, eating a single bean and quinoa salad will not turn you into a picture of good health. 

Within reason, doing something once or twice will not have an appreciable impact on your outcomes.

It’s what you do most of the time that counts. Your small actions, added up over time, will have enormous effects on your life, whether good or bad.

Consistency is king.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to share it with anyone you think may benefit from it. 

Revel in the Journey

Krivec Ales/

In recent posts, I’ve written a lot about goals and mentioned how having positive and worthwhile objectives is fantastic. Moreover, while striving for and achieving milestones is euphoric, something else should be recognized and appreciated—the process.

Your journey toward your goal should be an enjoyable one. If you have an exercise goal and have committed to activities such as walking, running, biking, or swimming—love the feelings. Enjoy the feeling of your heart racing, of breaking a sweat, of the burn in your pumping muscles, and of that “runners high.” It truly is exhilarating. Although I work hard during an intense exercise session, I feel invigorated and focused. Even a leisurely walk with my dogs provides me with feelings of well-being and clarity. 

If you want to genuinely live a healthy life and have a goal of eating well in addition to being physically active, then eat healthy foods that you enjoy. Fill your plate with colors and flavors that make your mouth water. There are countless ways to prepare vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains into delectable meals. Eating fruits ȧ la carte is also a wonderful experience. I often bite into a juicy apple or pop some grapes into my mouth and relish a sweet and savory moment. There’s nothing quite like eating foods appreciated by both your taste buds as well as the rest of you. 

Revel in the incredible and healthful experiences that you create for yourself.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you have enjoyed it. If you know of anyone who might benefit, please feel free to share it.

Visualize It

wendel moretti/

My wife Mayra always loved to exercise and keep fit. However, many years ago, she lost her motivation and stopped exercising. Moreover, although she was upset about it, she just couldn’t seem to get started again. I had been trying to figure out ways to help her, and I came up with the idea of creating an exercise calendar.

I purchased a twelve-month schedule book, and I drew up a grading scale on the last page. On this page, I had written things such as:

“5 workouts a month: You’re on the right track. Keep Going!”

“8 workouts a month: You’re building momentum!”

“12 workouts a month: Outstanding!”

“15 workouts a month: You’re on Fire!”

Mayra began to use this calendar and started to exercise again. Each day she worked out, she would draw an “X” on the corresponding date in the calendar.  It wasn’t long before she broke free from her inertia, built momentum, and was back in the swing of things and feeling fantastic.

This story illustrates two ideas. First, if you have a goal, having a written record of your progress is a good idea. Second, having a visual representation of this progress can serve as a phenomenal motivator that will help propel you toward your goals and dreams.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you found it enjoyable and helpful. If you have and know of anyone else who may benefit from it, please feel free to share it.

Schedule It!

Leeloo Thefirst/

If you have set a SMART goal for yourself—kudos to you!

Now, in order to achieve your goal, you are going to have to perform specific actions on a regular basis. This may be every day or several times each week, and this can sometimes be a difficult thing to do. I understand that many of us have responsibilities to our education, our jobs, and of course, our families. These obligations often fill up so much of our days that finding the time for the activities necessary to bring us closer to accomplishing our objectives can be challenging. 

An excellent solution to this difficulty is to schedule the activities that need to get done. That’s right—grab a paper calendar or open a computer document/phone app and write down or type in the things you need to do. Block out specific time slots on certain days for your goal-related activities. This planning ahead will help ensure that what you want to do will get done. Otherwise, your goal-related tasks will likely be forgotten and diluted out by the frequently overwhelming amount of other “busyness” that seems to happen daily.

Let’s say that you want to become healthier and have created a SMART exercise goal that involves jogging for 30 minutes four times each week. I recommend looking at your schedule at the start of each week and blocking out times on the specific days when you will jog. For instance, you can say that you will jog from 8:00-8:30 on Monday morning, from 8:00-8:30 on Wednesday morning, from 4:00-4:30 on Friday afternoon, and from 9:00-9:30 on Saturday morning. You have now prioritized and set aside specific times for your goal-related actions. You will get them done!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope that you have enjoyed it and found it informative. If so, please feel free to share it with anyone you think may benefit from it. 

Be SMART About Goal Setting

Ingenious Buddy/

Are you thinking of setting a goal for yourself? Kudos to you!

It’s important to note that goals should be concrete. If a goal is vague, you wouldn’t really know what you are striving for, and it would thus be difficult to achieve. For instance, setting a goal to exercise more is a bit nebulous. How will you know when you have accomplished it?

This highlights the importance of setting precise goals.

A commonly taught tool called SMART goals is enormously helpful in doing this. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-connected. Allow me to illustrate using our exercise example once again.

Let’s say you wish to become healthier, and you intend to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle to help do this. Let’s set a SMART exercise goal.

Specific: What type of exercise? Jogging

Measurable: How much do you want to jog? The goal is to jog thirty minutes three times each week.

Achievable: Your goal should stretch and challenge you but not be so difficult that it is overwhelming. I think that, for most people, jogging thirty minutes three times each week is achievable.

Relevant: Your goal should be aligned with your values. If you wish to become healthier, then jogging is definitely in alignment with that.

Time-connected: There has to be a deadline for your goal. For instance, your goal is to be able to jog thirty minutes three times per week within two months.

This is an excellent example of a SMART goal.

The next time you want to improve something about yourself and set a goal, be intelligent about it and set a SMART goal.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and found it informative. If you have and know of anyone else that might benefit, please feel free to share it.

Blank Sheet

Karolina Grabowska/

What do you see in the above photograph?  If you answered, “ a blank sheet of paper,” you’d be right. However, I see something else as well. To me, this blank sheet of paper can be a symbol of so much more. 

Have you ever said that you wanted to change or improve something about your life? Have you ever said that you would start eating healthier or exercising more? Or maybe you’ve said that you will try to be a better mom or a better dad. Have you ever had the intention to do such things but, for whatever reason, just never followed through? If this is true, please realize that you are not alone in this. 

More importantly, please understand that the blank sheet of paper represents opportunity. It represents your future, and, as you can plainly see, it is blank. It signifies that tomorrow is a new day and that you have the ability to write anything you want on this blank sheet—that you can do and change anything you want tomorrow, irrespective of your past. The fact that you have not done something in your past does not mean that you can’t do it in the future. Your past does not dictate your future—you dictate your future.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed it and found it informative. If so, please feel free to share it. 

Failures are Good


Back in high school, I eagerly anticipated acquiring my driver’s license. I vividly remember the day of my road test. While backing up during my parallel park, the tires kept hitting the curb. I just couldn’t seem to get the angle right. When I signaled my intention to pull out so I could try again, the windshield wipers turned on. It felt like I was fumbling with the controls for an eternity, trying to figure out how to turn them off. All the while, my examiner stared at me—it was a bit humiliating. When I finally figured it out and pulled out, my examiner instructed me to return to the location where the test began. I was angry and upset. I wasn’t being given another chance at the parallel park. I knew I had failed. 

As I signaled to make my final left turn, the car suddenly jerked to a halt. Thankfully, my examiner had hit the brakes. It took me a moment to realize that I was about to turn into oncoming traffic. I had been so upset that I was not paying attention to the road. I left the test feeling disappointed in myself. However, reflecting back, I realized that this experience taught me two essential lessons. First, never make a left turn into oncoming traffic. Second, always pay close attention to the road because there can be serious consequences for not doing so.

Flash forward about a decade, and I was about to sit for my oral board exam in Emergency Medicine. I had done well on the written boards, but the oral boards were an entirely different animal. In this exam, a seasoned physician asks you questions about how you would care for multiple patients at once. It was intimidating. A few weeks later, my score report arrived in the mail. As I read the letter, I was disappointed. I had failed—not by much, but I had failed. 

I studied diligently and scheduled a retake of the test. I am happy to say that I passed the second time. Contemplating this experience, I realized that although I failed, I had gained a lot. While studying for my retake, I became much better at organizing my thoughts in order to be more efficient when caring for multiple patients simultaneously. I also learned a lot more about medicine that I know also allowed me to provide better care to my patients.

I hope these stories demonstrate that failures—as long as you learn something from them—are good. Of course, you are likely to be disappointed if you fail, which is normal. However, if you take something away from your failures and learn how to do something better, then failure is great. Failures are how we learn and improve. They can be thought of as stepping stones or springboards to success. In fact, I’ve heard that the most successful people in life are also the people that have experienced the greatest number of failures. 

If you experience a failure, learn something from it and move on. 

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might find it helpful.

The Best Way to Achieve Big Goals

Engin Akyurt/

Having goals is fantastic. They give us something to pursue—a purpose. Moreover, having huge goals is outstanding. The bigger the objective, the better. However, sometimes being faced with such lofty dreams can be overwhelming. Suppose you have a grand intention and contemplate the enormous amount of time and effort that will be required for its achievement. In that case, you may very well experience discouragement from the beginning. So, although having gargantuan goals is admirable, it is often better to break your one colossal goal into many smaller and more manageable ones.

I love to run around my neighborhood. There is one hill not too far from my home that is relatively high and relatively steep. I love running up that hill. However, when I’m at the bottom of that hill and glance at the top, it seems so far away becomes more mentally challenging. The mental trick I find helpful is breaking that single large hill into several smaller hills. Allow me to explain. About halfway up the hill is a driveway on the left side. A short distance beyond that is a telephone pole on the right, and beyond that, there is another driveway on the left.  A bit past that is another telephone pole, and then it is about fifteen more feet to the top. 

When I begin running up that hill, my goal is not to get to the top. Instead, my goal is to get to the first driveway. Once I’m there, I feel a sense of accomplishment. The next thing I focus on is only getting to the first telephone pole. After that, my goal is the second driveway, then the telephone pole, and once there, I’m only about fifteen feet from the top. It is mentally much easier for me to run up the hill by breaking it up into several shorter distances.

Let’s illustrate this concept using a weight loss example. Let’s say you want to lose fifty pounds by eating healthy foods and increasing your level of physical activity. That is a terrific goal. However, losing fifty pounds can be intimidating. Thus, it would be much better to break this big goal into several smaller goals—perhaps losing three or four pounds each month. That’s it—only focus on losing three or four pounds over the next month. This is well within reach, and once accomplished, you will be rewarded with a great sense of satisfaction. Next, your only goal is to lose three or four pounds the following month. You will have lost weight, become healthier, and feel better each month. Then there will come the time when your scale will read fifty pounds less than it once did.

When you commit to achieving something significant, remember that gigantic goals are great, and the best way to accomplish them is by breaking them up into several smaller goals.

Please feel free to share this post with anyone you feel may find it helpful.