Tag Archives: postaweek2011

New Year’s Resolution

The festivus pole, unadorned and non-lit.

Image via Wikipedia

For as long as I can remember I’ve been setting, but not accomplishing New Year’s Resolutions. I spend the period between December 26th and New Year’s analyzing all the ways I’ve let myself down (it’s like my own personal Festivus minus the aluminum pole and the feats of strength). Then I make a new, huge list of all the changes I want to make in the coming year.

Sure, I give it the “old college try”, but every year it always ends the same way. I do OK for a couple of months until discouragement, laziness, and the overwhelming nature of trying to change too much at one time derail me from my progress.

A couple of weeks back I included one of my favorite Stephen Covey quotes in a post.



“What one thing could you do in your personal and professional life that, if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your life?”

What strikes me the most is the singular nature of Dr. Covey’s question. “What one thing”, he asks. I’ve thought about this quite a bit and determined

So, this year I will be working on one resolution only. That’s it. Not one for each aspect or role in my life (family, spiritual, work, personal, etc). Just one. Period.

My goal is to exercise at least three times a week.

Round Is a Shape
Image via FoxTrot by Bill Amend

I’m going to keep it simple and not overcomplicate things. It’s not that I’m totally out of shape. I just don’t like the shape I’m in—much too round for my liking.

If you haven’t said so before, what one thing could you do that would have the most impact on your life? Sound off in the comments below.


Thanks for Reading My Blog

This is your captain, Ammon Beckstrom, here. We’d like to thank you for reading this blog. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it.

Iberia A319 Retro B&W
Image via Dr. Jaus’ flickr.

We realize you have so many, many choices when surfing the Internet and—gosh darn it!—we’re sure glad you gave us the chance.

On behalf of everyone here at slightly insightful (just me), we’d like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

Managing Time Effectively Mindmap

My 7 Habits Weekly Planner continues to be one of the most popular posts on slightly insightful, despite have been posted over a year ago.

As a follow up, I wanted to do something relating to Covey’s time management matrix as found in First Thing’s First.

In my research I stumbled across an excellent mindmap of the subject by Chance Brown. Conceptually, it’s spot on, but I wanted a cleaner version for myself.

Here’s what I came up with.

Managing Your Time Effectively (MindMap)
Click on image to view and/or download the full size version.

The quadrant is a fantastic tool for evaluating your daily activities and determining whether you’re making the best use of your time.

If you want to know more, ask Santa to slip a copy of First Thing’s First into your stocking

… but only if you’ve been nice this year.

In closing, I leave you with a question from Dr. Covey, himself.

“What one thing could you do in your personal and professional life that, if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your life?”

I’d love to read your answer’s in the comments below.

Seven Christmas Albums to Rock the Holidays

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the music. I love it all—from traditional carols about the birth of Jesus to Rock and Pop songs about Santa, snowmen, and mistletoe—I can’t get enough of it.

There’s no better way to get into the season than with a some fantastic seasonal tunes. So, here’s my list of seven sure-fire Christmas albums to rock your holidays.

  1. A Charlie Brown ChristmasVince Guaraldi Trio

    A Charlie Brown Christmas
    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    There’s a certain melancholy to the Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon which helps us relate to the titular blockhead. But, the jazzy instrumental takes on familiar staples “Greensleeves” and “O Tannenbaum” make this album a perfect compliment to your holiday party.

  2. Noel – Josh Groban

    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    Wow! That’s really sums up how I feel about Groban’s take on Christmas music. I was literally blown away the first time I heard this. It’s easily the best Christmas album to come out in the last 20 years. Do yourself a favor and buy this one today.

  3. Christmas with the Beach Boys – The Beach Boys

    Christmas with the Beach Boys
    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    This album occupies a special place in my heart. This was probably the third album I remember buying with my own money. I loved The Beach Boys’ harmonies on the old standards, but the most fun was their original tune “Little Saint Nick.”

  4. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives

    Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    I know what you’re thinking—“Isn’t that the Ugly Bug Ball guy?”—and, yes, it is. But, he’s also the snowman in the classic Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer animated special. If you enjoy Holly Jolly as much as I do the rest of this album will be sure to brighten your spirits.

  5. WintersongSarah McLachlan

    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    I’m sure Ms. McLachlan tires of her voice being referred to as ethereal, but it really is. This is a fantastic album with wonderful renditions of “Silent Night” and “Christmas Time Is Here”. The highlight of Wintersong is her cover of Joni Mitchell‘s “River”. At one time or another, we’ve all wished we had river that we could skate away on.

  6. A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 1 – Various Artists

    A Very Special Christmas
    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    The first volume in the “A Very Special Christmas” (AVSC) series of albums may sound a trifle dated, but it’s just so much fun! Released in 1987 to benefit the Special Olympics, AVSC features a who’s who of late 80s rock and pop standouts. This album features two songs currently in heavy rotation on my Christmas playlist: “Christmas (Please Come Home Baby)” by U2 and “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-D.M.C.

  7. A Christmas Together – John Denver & the Muppets

    A Christmas Together
    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    It never officially felt like Christmas Time until my parents brought out the John Denver and Muppets Christmas record. With renewed interest in the Muppets, A Christmas Together is a great way to get (re-)acquainted with the world’s greatest performing puppet troupe. The songs range from sweet to silly without ever being condescending to the audience or the source material. This album is great fun regardless of your age.

There are so many great Christmas albums out there, so I know I may not have chosen your favorites. Which christmas albums would have made your list? Sound off in the comments below.

All album art courtesy of Amazon

This Is Why I Blog

An old friend and I recently chatted about blogging and writing in general. As part of the conversation I put into words, quite possibly for the first time, why I blog.

What it all comes down to is this: I write the kind of posts that I would want to read. So, even if my blog has an audience of one (which I’m sure it often does) it serves as a creative outlet for me.

Yesterday, I read an interview Seth Godin gave in issue #10 of Productive Magazine which totally validated my reason for blogging. The interviewer asked Seth how he manages to post so frequently and he responded with the following.

Seth Godin from Productive Magazine

Well, I think the most important thing to understand about blogging is that if you are blogging for other people you are going to be disappointed. Even if no one would read it I would still blog. And the people I know who blog passionately, all of them say exactly the same thing. So that is the way you have to look at it, you can’t say: “I’m not getting enough comments I’m not going to blog. I’m not getting enough money, I’m not going to blog”. You have to say: “this is a great chance for me to clear my thoughts and put them into the world, what an opportunity”.
— Seth Godin

Wow, talk about validation! Seth Godin proves once again that he gets it.

Why do you blog? Sound off in the comments below.

Photo of Seth Godin via Productive Magazine

18-34 No More

I used to be with it, but then they changed what “it” was. Now, what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s “it” seems weird and scary to me. | Abe (Grandpa) Simpson

Grandpa Simpson
Image via Wikipedia

As of today, no one cares what I think anymore. At least that’s what I’m told marketers and advertisers believe.

Yesterday was my last day as a member of the coveted 18-34 male demographic. So to make the most of it I spent all day skateboarding while playing Skyrim and Battlefield 3 on my Xbox 360. I watched UFC and MTV on TV. I was so social—I tweeted, I poked, I plussed, I stumbled, I tumbled, and I pressed. I only ate super spicy Cheetos and drank nothing, but Mountain Dew.

It was so, totally, extremely, radically, awesome! Except none of it happened.

To settle in to my new demographic group today I got up before the sun rose to read the Wall Street Journal. Later, I did the New York Times crossword puzzle while my double fiber oatmeal cooled enough for me to eat it. Then, I drove to the grocery store in my Buick where I wandered aimlessly and complained about the weather, the economy, and Obama to anyone who would listen. Afterwards, I met my wife for the early bird special at Denny’s. Before bed, I resolved to finally get into this Facebook thing I’ve been hearing the young folks talk about.

I’m especially glad that that wasn’t how I spent my birthday.

The truth of the matter is that I don’t think I fit into the boxes that marketers and advertisers want me to and I’m pretty sure most of you don’t either.

Do you agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments below.