Like 100 million other Americans, I made a commitment heading in to the New Year to eat better and lose some weight.  After a visit to the nutritionist, some very basic (common sense) action items turned into a quick difference on the scales.  While I’m told that quick weight on is easier to take off (and I had gained a bunch in fourth quarter 2006), I was nearly shocked at how quickly the weight has come off.  In the 17 days of 2006, I’ve lost 11 pounds.  That’s the equivalent of a gallon of paint and my body is thrilled not to be lugging that around.Had I changed my diet to the sub-2000 calorie diet I’ve adopted and seen no results, I’d probably head back to the sugar-laden constant grazing I ended 2006 on.  But the quick results have spurred me on to even greater ambitions.  I don’t plan to stop at 11 pounds, and I’m thrilled to tell anyone who will listen how easy it has been for me.  My nutritionist called me a “Shepherd”, because I’ve turned several friends on to my methods and the free website I use to track my intake.I had a similar experience with my communication skills.  As someone who has spent the majority of their career in some offshoot of communicating (primarily as a teacher in one form or another), I thought I had a pretty good handle on getting a message across.  Ratings from my students were generally positive, and I had no reason to believe there was a huge gap between what was and what could be.  Until That Day.I was faced with a video of myself communicating and a person with enough knowledge and skill to identify the gaps in my ability.  It was shocking.  Much like looking in the mirror on Christmas Day just 3 weeks ago.  And the result was similar.  Simple changes in my behavior resulted in an amazing change in ability and form.  The positive changes spurred me on to still greater things, and that was the birthplace of my passion for helping others communicate better.And just like the extra weight I carry around, there are still things I must improve.  But it’s easier to make those commitments and goals when there is success from the get-go.  And the most surprising thing has been — in both cases — how easy the changes have been to implement.  Makes one wonder why he couldn’t do it himself.  But I couldn’t, and most of us can’t.

Make small changes that will render great results to spur yourself to great changes that have astonishing results.  Aim to be the BEST you can possibly be.

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