I No Longer Support the Zoo or the Circus

There have been a few news stories over the last several weeks that involved animals at zoos being killed. I’m sure you’re familiar with the story about the gorilla that was killed to save a boy at the Cincinnati Zoo. Maybe a little less familiar with the man who stripped naked and entered a lion enclosure in a Chilean zoo, but the lions were killed.

We have people jumping and accidently falling into animal exhibits and the animals are being killed because of it. I understand that we should protect human lives, but rather than taking animals away from their homes and locking them in a cage, shouldn’t we find a way to keep them in their natural habitat?

We are protecting them from poachers. Thier habitats are being destroyed by deforestation and pollution. We can learn more about them when we can observe them closer.

These are the arguments you will hear for zoos. These zoos are also profiting from these animals so don’t believe everything they tell you about why the have them locked in cages.

Have you ever been to a zoo? I have. Not one of those animals looks happy. Frankly they were probably happy to get killed. They no longer had to live a miserable existence in an enclosure.

I recently watched An Apology to Elephants on HBO. This short documentary examines their abuse and chronicles efforts to provide more humane treatment.

Elephants are smart. They don’t forget, and they can even paint.

The reason they can do “tricks” is because they are abused, tied, beat and tortured. The way elephants in the circus are treated to get them to perform is sad and downright wrong.

Unfortunately, you cannot just release animals back into the wild. Most captive-born predators die if released. We are really painting ourselves into a corner here because soon the only animals that exist will be in captivity.

Organizations like PETA are speaking out against zoos, and organizations like PAWS are helping to in this cause against captivity and abuse.

PAWS is dedicated to the protection of performing animals, to providing sanctuary to abused, abandoned and retired captive wildlife, to enforcing the best standards of care for all captive wildlife, to the preservation of wild species and their habitat and to promoting public education about captive wildlife issues.

The biggest threat to animals and their habitats is us. When we stop putting a value on ivory, fur and entertainment then we can begin to keep the animals that are so vital to our ecosystem in their natural habitats.





Just Missed Last Weeks Goal

Last week I talked about how I thought I walked a lot until I got a Fitbit. I set a goal to hit 10,000 steps every day for the next week.

I came close, but on Monday, I forgot my Fitbit at the house and did not wear it for half the day. Now it’s debatable I may have still not hit 10,000 steps. I finished with 6,229 steps on the day.

Saturday was my highest day with 13,759 steps and my daily average was 10,234.

fitbit daily step dashboard

The 6,229 steps on Monday affected the daily average, but as you can see I barely made it over the 10,000 step goal on most days.

I found it both easier and harder to get the 10,000 steps in than I thought it would be. Easier in the sense that I enjoyed it. Harder in the sense that I did have to make time to get the steps in. I set my alarm and hour earlier on days I did not go to the gym, and I went for a walk. I would walk for almost an hour, and I still barely made my 10,000 step goal.

I enjoyed getting the extra exercise in each day and I look forward to continuing.




I Thought I Walked alot Until I Got a Fitbit

As someone who spends most of the day behind a desk I know sitting in a chair all day is a bad idea, so I try to be active and exercise when I can.

I go to strength camps twice a week to break a sweat, build muscle and lose weight. I work on the sixth floor and take the stairs. I even go to the bathroom on the second floor, just so I can take the stairs back up. Whenever I go somewhere I typically park away from the building so I can get some additional walking in.

I thought I walked a lot until I got a Fitbit. Apparently there is magic in 10,000 steps and that is what Fitbit suggests as a daily step goal. 10,000 steps is roughly 5 miles depending on your stride length.

I’ve had my Fitbit since mid-April. In the beginning, I was averaging about 6,000 steps a day. I’ve been working on hitting 10,000 every day, but it is not as easy as you think. You do need to make time to do it.

If it is one thing I’ve learned it is that you will make time for what is important, and exercise is something that is important to me. It helps me not only feel better physically but mentally as well. Exercise does more to bolster thinking than thinking does.

I have made a commitment to hit my 10,000 steps daily. On days when I do not go to the gym I will wake up early to get a walk in to start my day. Today was day one and I am over 12,000.

Next week I look forward to writing about how I hit 10,000 consecutively for 7 days. I hope you’ll join me.


Life is Sweet and Full of Choices

We love options. Whoever said, they want fewer options? In fact, if you ask most people they will tell you they want as many options as possible. The more the better.

What many people don’t realize is that having all these choices comes at a cost. I’ve recently realized that being presented with unlimited options can actually hurt you.

Options and choices are a double edged sword. On one hand they allow us flexibility, and the other, it can paralyze us.

How can you do that if you choose this? What ends up happening is that we either start 100 things and never finish any of them or never start at all. We just want to keep our options open we tell ourselves. We can’t put all our eggs in one basket.

Cable providers offer hundreds of channels and most consumers willingly pay for premium packages to have access to all those channels, and if you’re like me you really only watch a select few.

We flip through the channels to find nothing on, then wonder what it is that we are even paying for. We say we’ll cancel, but we never do. We love having the option to watch tv!

Trying to decide where to go or what to eat for lunch can cause enough anxiety that you just want to take a nap or not eat at all.

We have a closet full of clothes we never wear. We couldn’t possibly throw them away, there will be that one day that we wish we still had it.

It’s easy to see why Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and other highly successful entrepreneurs prefer to wear the same outfit; it’s a simple choice.

All these choices take away from our ability to focus, and by eliminating options we can actually free up brain power to focus on more important things.

Ever eat too much candy? Sometimes too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing, as is the case with always leaving options open.




Romentum. WTF?! That is probably what you’re thinking right now and I get it. It will make sense if you stick with me, I promise.

Last week I talked about how sometimes life throws you curveballs and how you just have to get back into the batters box.

Sometimes it’s hard to get back in there. Life is full of surprises. We get sidetracked and we’re slowly led off course. We didn’t mean for it to happen. It just did. Maybe we get too overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin so we just never start.

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Every day, bricks were laid, stones were carved, and roads were made. It took a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, and eventually, Rome was built.

Just like Rome, you may have grand visions of the future, but you have to start somewhere. The key to building the grand vision is starting small and building momentum.

You don’t do something once and expect instant results. You need to do it repeatedly; day in and day out. Rome would never have been built if they worked for one day, took two days off, worked for a day, took a week off, and got around to it when they could.

Yet, this is what happens to us all the time. We get sidetracked by secondary activities.

Momentum requires sustained effort and commitment. More importantly, momentum requires change. Big life changes come from small daily changes and change always begins with us.

Embrace the change and make a commitment to yourself that you will make time to achieve your grand vision. Once you start building momentum, you’ll want to keep going. Stopping would almost feel weird.

The only way to build momentum is to start. Do it every day if possible. 5 minutes a day. 10 minutes a day. It doesn’t matter, just get started and eventually, you’ll achieve Romentum.

Life Throws You Curveballs

Once you have clarity and you understand where you are spending your time, you are well on your way to achieving your goals.

The universe doesn’t always see it that way, though.  As you begin to make progress on your goals and you have everything planned out, something will inevitably come along force you to re-prioritize.

These past 2 weeks my dog has been sick. I had my days planned out with what I needed to do, but taking care of him quickly became the #1 priority. Everything else could now wait.

Life is What Happens To You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans

Things happen at inopportune times, and I guess that’s why we have words like emergency and accidents. You do not plan for them to happen, they just do and you must deal with them.

Life throws you curveballs. This is the universes’ way of testing your commitment to your goals.

If you are committed, it is important to step back into the batters box, because as you get better with the curveballs, you’ll be able to knock the fastballs out of the park.


Lack of Clarity is Like a Fish Out of Water

A few weeks ago I wrote about how procrastination is caused by a lack of clarity. I’d like to follow that post up with why clarity is so important.

Having clarity is absolutely paramount to achieving your goals. You need to know what it is you want to accomplish and why.

If you are not clear about what it is that you want to do, you flop around like a fish out of the water.

Should I do this? Should I do that? What should I be doing?

The poor fish flops around because it is suffocating, except in our case, it is a lack of clarity that will suffocate you.

Just like without water the fish will die, you will fail without clarity on your goals.

Life is short. Don’t spend the little time you have left flopping around.

Where Are You Spending Your Time

In an effort to end procrastination, a word I am starting to eliminate from my vocabulary, I realized I need to understand where I am spending my time. Where is my time actually going?

I made a spreadsheet, that allows you to track how many hours you spend a week doing a certain activity. There are only 168 hours in a week, so where are you spending your time?


Weekly Hours Planner

The spreadsheet should be pretty self-explanatory, the available hours are on the right (and green), when you run out of hours it will turn red. Fill it in and make it your own. Try to get every hour accounted for. To use it, just go to file > make a copy.

This should be used in conjunction with the weekly planner.


After you figure out where you are spending your time, plot it out on the weekly planner. Download it and print a few copies. Fill it in, make it messy, and play with it until you find something that works for you. I understand every week will be different, but if you could make your ideal week, what would it look like?

There are only 168 hours in a week, so where are you spending your time?

Procrastination is Caused by a Lack of Clarity

This was never really intended to be a series (part 1 part 2), but writing about procrastination has been helping me to think bigger. I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve written the last couple of weeks and I kept asking myself, why do I procrastinate. Why is it just so alluring to waste time? I would then ask why again and again.

Below is the type of inner dialogue that played out in my head.

Why do you procrastinate? I’m bored.

Why are you bored? I’m not sure.

That’s not a good answer. Try again. Why are you bored? You know you have stuff you should be working on. I know, but I always end up getting it done when it’s due.

Right, but what about the stuff that doesn’t have a due date, when does that get done? Well, I don’t know. It doesn’t.

Why doesn’t it get done? Why aren’t you working on it? It’s what you want, isn’t it? I guess? My challenge is that I want to work on so many things, that I never actually commit to one.

Why don’t you commit to one? I’m not sure which one I should commit to.


Then it finally hit me. I don’t commit because I haven’t fully figured out why I want to do it in the first place. Often, it just seems like the right thing to do or the thing I should be working on.

Sure, goal setting is part of the equation, but even more important is why. Why are you doing it in the first place?

I realize now a mistake I’ve been making, is not thinking things through and taking action without clarity. What I have is a clarity problem.

It’s not enough to just have goals, I need to sell myself on WHY. Clarity is mastery, and when you understand why you’re doing something it helps fill in those spots of boredom. Procrastination is caused by a lack of clarity.


The Cost of Procrastination

It’s kind of ironic that my last post, The Procrastination Syndrome: A Terrible Habit, was about how procrastination has plagued me my whole life, and here I am, shipping a blog post past the deadline, only a week later!

Why is this post shipping late? Well, I spilled water all over my desk and my mouse died. I had to clean up a mess and find an extra mouse. I also shouldn’t have waited until the day the blog post was due to write it. Lesson learned. Start keeping a content calendar.

Over the last week, I’ve started to take more of inventory of how I’m spending my time. While I am doing better than last week, there is still plenty of room for improvement.

I heard a quote the other day that really got me thinking about how much procrastination has really cost me, not just financially, but in lost opportunities and, more importantly, time.

Procrastination = giving up one life.

And when you think about it, it’s true. Our time is a limited resource. You can always earn more money, but you can never earn more time.

I am not procrastinating on simple tasks, what I’m procrastinating on, is living my life. I must stop putting off until tomorrow what I can do today.  I don’t want to die having lived an unlived life.

What have you been putting off that you know should be working on? What dream do you keep putting off?

One of my dreams has to always own my own business, but it never seemed like the time was right. I realized it was never the right time because I never made the time. I’m happy to announce my new project, Ruckus Studio.

It’s still a work in progress, and while I may not have completely eliminated procrastination over the course of a week, I’m just aiming to be 5% better than yesterday.

Stop wasting time. Don’t give up.