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Top 7 = your greatest legacy is people, not projects

top 7 Jan 16, 2023

We’re a few weeks into the new year…

This week, I settled (finally) into the groove for the new year. The first thing I did was create the “perfect month” and then then “perfect week.”

That is, if I can control the schedule, what should it look like so that everything that matters gets done, things that matter later get put in the proper order and not a false sense of urgency, and less important issues don’t take priority…?

I’ll write about it another time, but I’ve been delighted with how much more you can get done with there’s a plan that directs your energy and focus— even “bigger picture.”

That said, here’s last week’s Top 7.


Fitness = 10+ days in…

First of the year, I began the 75-Hard challenge with a few guys. Some of us are doing, as we say, “75-Hard. And others are doing 75-Hardish. Yet others are doing 75-Hardly-at-all.”

Whatever the case, though, the goal is to move forward, getting better each day, with a group of others who are pushing forward, too…

I know. If you’re not doing the specific actions REQUIRED for the true 75-Hard (which I write about here and here) it’s not technically 75-Hard.

So what…

I would rather have it sustainable for the long-haul. And, though I LOVE big challenged, like 75-Hard, I enjoy the company and the sustainability of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it even more than that.


Anyway, as of the posting of this, I’m on Day 14….

This week on Day 10, a few things clicked:

βœ… my body has adapted (almost as if it says— each day— “OK, we’re really doing this… here we go…”)

βœ… I feel leaner and stronger (dumping certain things from your diet and adding a gallon of water each day tends to do that— when coupled with exercise)

βœ… I have more energy AND I sleep better


Finance = 200+ pages into the Amplify edits, prepping for the February shoot

In prep for the late-February shoot of ALL of the Amplify videos I’ve been proofing the copy from the book— all 600 pages. To say it more accurately, I’ve been proofing the words and concepts from what WILL BE 3-4 books. Those 600 pages will get “parted out” in various ways…

And, the stuff will be sold. That’s why it’s in the financial heading here. Beth is about to use it and leverage it and market it and so much more…

If you’re local and want to learn more, contact me, and you can attend the shoot. We’ll have 10-15-ish others there who are all writing, coaching, creating courses, etc…

Here’s what’s been really interesting about it:

Taking two months to push through all of my processes on my own (and write them) has actually made me better at them. I think I’m seeing some of the communication flow, funnels, and other ways of sharing ideas more clearly.

Here’s the temporary one-page Amplify site: 

Here's a pic of the proof copy of the book that I shared in last week's post: 



Family  = EmJ’s (early) birthday celebration 

Sunday night (last week) we gathered for the usual “first Sunday of the month” extended family time. This is (kinda) the designated “if we don’t see each other at any other point in the month, we’ve blocked this space to get together.”

We’ve been celebrating birthdays during that time— because it’s difficult to manage everyone’s work AND school AND sports AND so-much-more schedules. 

Here’s EmJ with the “mystery box” that’s come to mark each birthday celebration: 

And the requested red velvet cake: 

Her actual birthday is January 31.



Field = Bigger vision 

This week, Bob and I met for our weekly Crosswinds meeting at Panera Bread. That’s become our de facto office post-Covid. It’s where we’ve penned grants, written a new book, and— this week— developed strategy. 

Here’s what I took away this week— and what made the Top 7: BIGGER VISION for so much more. 

I’ll write more about it as things unfold… but, I left excited for what’s possible— and probable— through the influence and reach of Crosswinds. 



Faith = Seeing Levi grow

This week I was (again) impressed with Levi. 

Sometimes you wonder if kids are “getting it,” if you’re words and training and everything else you strive to instill in them takes root. Then, other times, you see it and realize that they’re grasping so many GREAT things that you likely can’t take credit for it.

See how that works? 

This Thursday afternoon was a grinder. 

I had to shoot CLEAR ACROSS the city for Mini’s basketball game versus Clay. The upside was the trip provided me with some great 1:1 windshield time with her.

That left Beth behind with everything else….

So, Levi stepped in…

We were down a car, so he— 

βœ… Took Beth to Isaac’s basketball game, dropping her there

βœ… Picked up Judah from wrestling practice, since all the parents were at sporting events for siblings 

βœ… Took Judah and Salter to McDonald’s to feed them dinner (not the best culinary choice, I know, but the benefactors of the decision were happy)

βœ… Went back to get Beth post-dinner and post-game

βœ… Ran ANOTHER errand to take Mini to grab something she forgot and needed for the evening…

And, as a bonus, he noticed that car was out of gas— 

βœ… Stopped and filled the car

It’s worth remembering… the greatest thing you do isn’t likely going to be a project (as much as we like them, and as beneficial as they can be), but a people…



Friends = Convos…

This week, I talked to Louis— a writer I met at the Dream Catcher author’s event this past September. It’s easy to forget how impactful some of those chance-encounters can be— and how they can linger. 

I invited him and his wife to our film shoot in February. Here’s to hoping we get to enjoy some more time together…

I also received this…

A friend of mine, Blake, owns O’Henry’s.

He didn’t yet fulyl know about my fascination with all things leather— whether it’s backpacks, pen holders, phone cases, wallets, notebooks, shoes…

A few weeks before Christmas, I noticed these journal covers (refillable) at one of his stores. He was there, so I mentioned it would be great if they had some with their logo.

“I have a few,” he said. He showed me his, mentioned he made a few for staff Christmas presents, and then promised, “I think I have an extra one. I’ll drop it here for you…”

This week, we talked a bit about some of his plans for the future (bold stuff), and he told me he’d leave one with my name on it…



Fun = Wrestling

This weekend, I watched Judah and Levi wrestle. I actually got to hop in the corner for Judah and coach…

Three of his teammates were wrestling at the SAME TIME, as is sometimes the case during tournaments. I pushed one of the teammates aside (he was on his phone anyway), and coached him to a win from the corner.

No, I can’t take any credit for it— but it was fun. 



Bonus = The calendar in paperback… 


The PDF download of the Advance Planner has been available for the past 18 months or so— as a free download. 

(The hardback and the course are available in the online store-- more links and info at

This week, the paperback proof copy arrived in the mail. In the next week or two, I’ll have it available here, so you can take it for a test drive— in real form without having to print it out. 



That’s the highlight reel for the week.

If you’re just now dropping in, each week I look back at the week behind + preview the week ahead— so I don’t miss anything— and look and highlight at least one thing for which I’m grateful in each of the 7 key areas of life…

πŸ’™ Fitness 


🏠 Family 

πŸ›  Field (work, career)

πŸ™ Faith 

πŸ‘Š Friends 

πŸŽ‰ Fun 

Download your free planner— the tool I use to manage the daily grind and then look back like this— at 

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