Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I’m going to change my way of thinking for 2009.  I’m going to become a person of routine.

I’d be an idiot not to contribute my new way of thinking to my brief stay in the hospital and my new diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.  The thing is, instead of getting me down, it has only inspired me to become a more disciplined and effective person.  I think Diabetes has given me this mindset because 1) I have no choice, routine will be very important to me and my eating habits/future health and 2) I’m too shallow to contemplate my mortality or how this will effect my life forever.  So since I’m not focusing on the downside, the only choice I have is to be focused on the only thing I can control in my life: routine.

I realize that routine is not for everyone.  Some people are great at being productive in general without planning out a single thing, discipline is built into their personalities.  I’m not one of those people.  So I’ll need to set goals that will stretch me, and then set routines to help me achieve those goals.  See below for my new set of goals, including explanations and how I’ll reach them.  I’ll try to be as specific as possible.  You’ll notice the underlying theme of “just be freaking disciplined” to all of them.  I figure that, while no one actually reads our blog, having these out on the internet for anyone to see will help motivate me to keep my goals.

1)     Diabetes

What:  When I was diagnosed I had a blood glucose level of 542. A healthy diabetic should average between 100-140 or so.  I was a little off.

Goal:  My obvious goal is to get to that range and stay there with as little deviation as possible.

How:  Test my blood sugar before and after meals and before bed.  Keep a chart of those so I can see trends.  Stay disciplined when it comes to eating (eat right)

2)    Organization

What:  Now that Kristen and I have completed our first calendar year together, I realized that living jointly is a little different than living as a bachelor.  Now we have to keep track of joint bills, joint expenses, joint schedules and joint messes.  There’s also the new barrage of prescriptions, doctors appointments, daily vitamins, and sugar vs. sugar free snacks, oh and throw in work, and there’s the potential to go crazy keeping track of our lives

Goal:  Get and stay organized

How:  Go through mail, follow up on and file bills, immediately. Keep track of all medical expenses, appointments, and prescriptions in an excel spreadsheet so there are no surprises. Continue to keep track of bills and budget in Excel. Do something to clean the apartment everyday to avoid overwhelming messes

3)    Fitness

What:  Exercise is so important for so many reasons.  It helps my confidence level, gives me energy, keeps me healthy, and with diabetes it is even more important.  Also, one side effect to the months of me living with Diabetes and not knowing it was that I lost some weight, and while not a healthy or preferred way of doing so, this is proof that every cloud has a silver lining.  While I’m ok with gaining some of it back, I kind of like being a little slimmer and (I’m superficial ok!) I’d like to keep my weight down

Goal:  Get and Stay fit

How:  Go to the gym 4-5 times a week before work (we’ll see if the “before work” part lasts). Do cardio for at least 30 minutes. Develop a weight lifting plan.

4)    Spiritual Life

What:  This encompasses a lot, but in general I want to be more disciplined when it comes to this part of my life

Goals:  Spend more time reading the bible Spend more time listening Spend more time praying for others Spend more time preparing for Epic and things I’m involved in

How:  Set aside time every day to pray, listen, read, etc

5)     Marriage

What:  Obviously, I already kick butt as a husband to Kristen (no need to ask her directly, just take my word for it…).  Though I am humble enough to realize that I’m not perfect and 9 months isn’t enough time to perfect our relationship

Goal:  Be a better husband

How:  Ask Kristen about her day and then set aside time to list to her. Talk more about my “feelings” and “emotions”. Pray together every day. Try to figure out how she likes to be served best and do that.

This past year has had a lot of highs and lows (apparently more highs than lows when it comes to blood sugars), but I have a feeling that 2009 is going to kick ass!




Monday, December 29, 2008

To Goal or Not to Goal

“The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to know how to live on purpose.”

-Michel de Montaigne

“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”
Fitzhugh Dodson

“If you're bored with life -- you don't get up every morning with a burning desire to do things -- you don't have enough goals.”
Lou Holtz


As the new year approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about goals, and more specifically, whether or not I should set New Years Resolutions. 


On one hand, every professor I had in the Business School or any sales trainer that I’ve ever listened to, has emphasized the importance of goal setting.  Supposedly, when you write down your goals, you will automatically become a more successful and fulfilled person.  This is widely accepted as fact.  We’ve all heard about the Yale study where in 1953, researchers surveyed Yale's graduating seniors to determine how many of them had specific, written goals for their future. Of those they surveyed, only 3% had specific written goals. Twenty years later, researchers polled the members of the Class of 1953 again, and found that the 3% with goals had accumulated more personal financial wealth than the other 97% of the class combined! Then there is Edwin Locke, who is famous for his studies on Goal Setting Theory He found that 90% of the time having challenging goals led to higher performance than easy or no goals.  Obviously, there’s a lot of evidence supporting the “yea” side of whether or not I should set goals.


One the other hand, I am lazy.  Lazy enough that I don’t want to even spend the time or energy to come up with the goals, much less strive to achieve them.  I could always just try to ‘do my best’.  Unfortunately, in my life, I’ve found that if I just resolve to ‘do my best’, that won’t happen and at most I just do my 40% or 50% best.  It’s called “coasting” and it’s easy and I’ve done it my entire life...and I like it.


I know that a lot of people (formerly myself included) think that goals are a waste of time, but I think I'm going to go make some this time around.  For me, 2008 was a long year (more in later posts) and I think that I'm going to try to go into 2009 with a clean slate.  I mean, its not like it can hurt anything, right?

I'll update with my goals tomorrow.  



p.s.  Maybe I can get Kristen to let you know what her goals will be, too!  Yay!  Goal Setting Fun!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We're entering the blogging world!

After some encouragement from friends, Zach and I have decided to become bloggers! Although I never saw either of us as the blogging type before, I'm kind of excited to give it a try. Just as a disclaimer, our blog probably won't ever be the wittiest, deepest, most poetic or spiritual, but we do hope to keep family and friends updated on the things going on in our lives.

For our first entry, we thought it would be fun to share a little bit about life since the wedding day.

We tied the knot on March 8, 2008. A little over nine months ago...

We honeymooned in St. Lucia, possibly the friendliest place on earth! It was an incredible vacation in so many ways. I'd do it again in a heartbeat if it wasn't for the high price tag.

After the honeymoon we returned home to normal life - working, cooking, cleaning, hanging out, etc. Things felt pretty normal most of the time, but we traveled a lot for weddings, birthdays, and family vacations.

Ali and Mitch got married in April.

Elise and John got married over Memorial Day weekend.

Zach's Aunt and Grandma both celebrated birthdays in Iowa the very next weekend.

Sam and Kassie got married in June.

Mark and Shannon also got married in June.

We traveled to Door County with my family in July.

We visited Liz and Joel in Chicago with a few of my good friends from college. It was a great trip! I just love spending time with those girls and the way they encourage me.

My brother got married to a wonderful woman named Jessi in September. The ceremony was perfect, the bride was beautiful, and the reception was incredibly fun! I never thought I'd be jumping into a swimming pool in my dress at a wedding reception!

We celebrated Halloween with some friends from church. Because of our newlywed budget, we had to get creative with our costumes...

We spent Thanksgiving with both families, helped decorate Zach's parent's house for Christmas, and found some time to decorate our apartment too.

All in all, it's been a busy year! We've enjoyed the adventure of our new life together. There have been fun times, funny times, hard times, mad times, busy times, lazy times, cuddly times.... all filled with love. I couldn't have asked for a better way to begin our marriage. These past nine months have been wonderful!

So now that you're all caught up... Merry Christmas! I'm sure there's more blogging to come.