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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

6 Posts tagged with the just_one_day tag

Sunday marks the half-way point for the JOD process. I’m trying to gauge if this process is working for people. Does it have value?


The only way for me to know what is working, what adds value and what does not – is for you to give me feedback. It is important for me to know where to put my time and focus my energy.


Please post feedback here to let me know what part, if any, of the JOD process helps you or what you like about it.

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For those following the JOD process, you are now through three weeks. For the people that decided to do the journaling, you should be seeing results by now. If you haven’t seen some results or leads, you should see them within the next week.


What do results, leads look like? They are new things that have crossed your opportunity path that did not exist before you began the journaling process. These things are directly related to one or more items on your “Dreams to Reality, My Goals” list. It might be a new acquaintance that can help you, a new opportunity, a new connection or result that gets you closer to one or more of your goals.


If you have seen results, please let me know. I realize that some of these things are very personal, so if you don’t want to be specific, just write something like “two new things have crossed my path, bringing me closer to my goals” or something similar. For those of you that are willing to be more specific, let us know your dream goal and what thing(s) has happened in the last three weeks to bring you just one (or more) step closer to your goal(s).


You can share here on my Active blog (which would be nice for non-Facebook participants) or you can share on Facebook too.


Is the process working for you?

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For all those doing the 12-week JOD process, I received a good question and thought it was worth posting the Q&A:


Q. Gale, I have written my resolutions, and have begun writing my perfect day. I am still a little confused to the over outline of the project. I guess I am a little type A and am looking for a little more information as to where the journal is going. Also, about the tweets - serving of steamed vegetables, a handful of nuts, do aerobic exercise 20-30 min, do one thing for career knowledge, etc. Are we supposed to be writing these down in the journal as completed or not completed?

Just want to make sure that I am following what you intend the journal to be. Thanks, L.


A. Great question. The short of it is that journaling helps people clarify what they want. I believe it is the simple act of writing things down that has the most power. Once you are aware of what you want, it is easier to sort out opportunities. Not only new opportunities that come your way to help you move toward something you want - but - the clarity to say "no thank you" to opportunities that waste your time and energy.

At some point you can set the journal aside and review it only occasionally. Or, you can write in the journal on a regular basis - clarifying goals and accomplishments.

For the daily tweets - I try to make them a mix of all the items I think it takes to live a healthy and productive lifestyle. The JOD posts are only the tip of the iceberg - but because the iceberg is overwhelming, just one small step or doing something for just one day moves people in the right direction.

In addition to the description in the previous paragraph, I believe that if we think of things differently or do something we don't normally do - that it triggers our brains to open up to new possibilities. Perhaps there is a different way to solve a problem that is ailing us? Maybe we were so focused on doing things one way, we ignored another, better choice.


You could easily assign yourself these tweet-tasks, but people seldom do. Also, I believe there is power in belonging to a group where everyone is attempting to do the same thing – make positive change.

I know it might sound hoaky, but I think it is worth giving the journaling process a shot. And for what it's worth - I'm definitely classified as type-A-analytical person. So this process isn't as cut-and-dried scientific as my BS degree prefers, but I know it works.

Hope this helps.



For today’s JOD task, write down one thing you will do tomorrow to move you closer to one of your goals. Write down one more thing you will do before the end of the week.


For the journal itself, we are finished with the major tasks. I like to keep two journals, the “annual review” journal that we’ve just worked on and a journal that I write in some 1-3 times per week. Others prefer to do the annual review journaling in the same book as all daily journal comments for the year. It’s up to you what you think works best.


Sneak peek: By the end of week three, some of you will be seeing progress toward your goals. Others, it will take up to six weeks – but you should see progress. We’ll start sharing some successes in about a week.

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For those of you that are following along on the Just One Day series, by now you have a big list of items that you want. For the next assignment you will need a bit more time working with your journal. Some of you will get all of the items described in the blog completed in one, 30-minute session. Others will need a few sessions spread throughout the week. Do what works for you.


Going ahead a few pages, perhaps page 7, at the top of the page write, “My Perfect Day”. Then just write a description of how your day would unfold if it was absolutely perfect. (Again, don’t judge and don’t worry that this description may not currently be reality. Let your mind wander and just write.) Every day of your future life may not look like this one, but if you could describe the perfect day it would look like this…


The next step in the journal process is to estimate how long it might take for you to accomplish each item on your list. If you are currently doing the item, but want to keep doing it forever, there is symbol for that. In the left margin of your list, assign one of the following timeframes to each item:



Pick four items from your list, one from each of the categories listed above. Go forward in your journal to at least page 9. Write each item you selected again and then after the item, write why you want it.  This is an important step to turning pipe dreams into reality. Why do you want it?


Finally, go forward in your journal a couple of pages again. Write down just one thing that you can do in the next 24 hours that will take you closer to your goal. Any goal.

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As promised, we are beginning a 12-week series of “Just One Day” (JOD). The official start day is tomorrow (January 18), but I thought I’d give you a bit of a head start on the first task. If you need to catch up on some background, please see the January 5 post. You can really start the process at any time (your friends and family can join in at any point), just begin with today’s instructions first.


The journal tasks are key to your success and they are sequential, so all of those will be posted on this blog. They typically require more detail than the 140 characters of Twitter. The Twitter posts will be tagged with #JOD so people can search them and find past posts. The majority of the remaining JOD posts are not sequential, making it easy for people to join any time.  (Though the intention is that the short posts compliment your dreams/wants/goals as well.)


The first thing I want you to do is to set aside just 30 minutes for yourself any time between now and Tuesday when you read the next JOD posting. You can have music playing, but no other people around and no television. Begin by labeling the top of page 3 of your journal “Dreams to Reality, My Goals”.


Leave a small margin (0.5 to 1 inch) for the left margin and begin writing on the first or second line.


The next step is the most difficult thing you’ll do during the entire process, if you do it correctly.


Begin brainstorming a list of things you’d like to do, have, be…etc. The kicker is that you may put NO restrictions on the list of items, no matter how ridiculous your adult mind thinks the ideas may be. For example, if you want to have a giraffe in your back yard, write it down. If you want to meet a rock star, put it down. If you want to make a significant contribution, even with no current means of doing so, write it down. If you want to complete an endurance event, list it.


Include maintaining items you already consider key to your success. For example, “Continue exercising three or four times per week.”


Write as much as you can. Penmanship doesn’t matter and neither does spelling. Write.


If you think you’re finished and 20 minutes isn’t up, sit and wait. If nothing else comes to mind, go forward 2 to 4 pages and write these bold-faced categories down:


(Can take a copy of this cheat sheet with you.)


Health (Overall health, fitness, nutrition, etc.)

Relationships (Good, Tense, Family, Friends)


Spirituality (This is your belief system. How you govern your life. How you treat people.)




Contributions (Making a difference – paid and volunteer)


Then, write more items on your list.


If you can’t think of more to write, just sit and let your mind wander until at least 30 minutes is up. (More time is okay.)


Number your dreams/goals/wants, leaving a bit of space to the left side of the number.


Keep the journal close to you for the next week. As new ideas pop into your head, write them down ASAP – add to your list.


Begin (or continue) your success now ~

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Getting what you want. Turning dreams into accomplishments.


The real question is…what do you want?


If you are a regular blog reader/subscriber, you know that I’m an endurance sport junkie. I love endurance sports. I like to be a participant and I like to help other people succeed in completing or competing at endurance events. In 2010, you will continue to see endurance sports related items in the majority of my blog postings.


For those that found the blog via the “Just One Day” (JOD) experiment at the end of 2009, welcome. Whether you are an endurance junkie or not, I still think you need to exercise. It is good for your body and your head.


When the JOD fans requested that I keep doing “something” in 2010, I wasn’t really sure what to do or how to go about it. During recent workouts I allowed my mind to wander and decided to do a 12-week schtick of JOD, as suggested by Facebook fan Pamela Bennett. But, the twist is that it is more than a random sampling of “try this out”. Some aspects of random tweets will remain in the 12-weeks - and - in addition, there will be more structure. Structure intended to turn your dreams into reality.


I’ll try to help you do that by taking you through parts of the same process I go through each year.The process for me usually happens in January or February, not tied to a particular date. The process has evolved over several years and changes a bit each year. That written, it there are some aspects of the process that never change.


The first thing that never changes is a notebook. Not the computer kind of notebook, but the pen/pencil/paper kind of notebook. If you want to join in on the 12-week JOD challenge, go find a notebook that is some 100-200 pages. If the pages aren’t numbered, then number them. I’ll refer to page numbers as we roll along.


Why a notebook and not a computer? Honestly, it’s because I think there is magic in writing thoughts rather than typing them. Yeah, yeah…I know what you’re thinking. “B.S.” I once thought the same thing, but was willing to give it a try. Now I’m a believer.


Why am I a believer?


At first, I began the process by just “thinking” the answers/dreams/goals/steps. I’ll keep them in my head. A steel vault. I’ll keep all those ideas safe and right behind my eyes in full sight. Riiiiight.


Then I used the computer. It worked marginally.


When I began the writing process, things happened. Big things. Small things too. I’ll give you a few examples of many:


In 1995 I wrote in my notebook, “I want to coach an Olympic athlete.” I also wrote, “I want to go to the Olympic Games.” At the time, I coached zero elite athletes and I didn’t have any idea how I could possibly make those dreams come true. (My first trip to the Olympic Games was to Sydney Australia in 2000 to support my athlete Nicole Freedman, who won Pro Nationals to earn her spot on the Olympic Cycling Team.)


I worked in corporate America for 16 years and faced potential layoffs multiple times. In year 10 of that job, I wrote down, “I want to be self-employed.” At the time I was doing personal coaching as side job for $20 per athlete, per month and didn't think coaching athletes would be my self-employment opportunity. Turns out, I was wrong. (I became full-time self-employed 6 years later, with a two-year self-enforced trial period. The trial period went well, I remain self-employed.)


I’ve written down a number of athletic endurance goals – 5ks, 10ks, half-marathons, triathlons (all distances), trail runs, mountain bike races... Some of the goals are completion oriented, some are time-related. I’ve achieved many of them.


Do my goals change? Yes.


Have I achieved all of the goals that I’ve written down? Not yet.


If you want to travel on the JOD journey for 12 weeks, know that the process begins on January 18. All you need is that notebook I mentioned, a pen you love to write with and an open mind.  Like the last JOD, big instructions happen here on this blog. My goal is for most instructions or JOD tasks to be short so they will be fed via Twitter. (My tweets feed directly to Facebook.)


If you follow along, will your dreams become reality?


Only one way to know.

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