Last week, I posted a blog about my experiment with my new diet creation that I’ve named The Cowboy Diet. An idea of a meal plan that consists of strong coffee, beef jerky, beef, and beans. One week in, I’m finding it a plan that I can follow.  Every morning, I start my day at 5:00 am, but I can’t bring myself to drink coffee yet. I usually drink some salt water and lime and go to the barn. When I come in after morning chores, I make 20oz of strong coffee with a little heavy cream. It’s amazing, but this keeps me satiated until at least noon.  At lunchtime, I usually have two smoked beef sticks and a couple pieces of jerky. I find this to be the most difficult part because I really like jerky. I could eat an entire bag, but I keep myself to a couple pieces. Finding the right jerky has been a challenge. My all-time favorite it Cowboy Ken’s but it’s not easily found. A close runner-up comes from a local butcher, but when I can’t get it, I settle for Old Trapper. After the beef sticks and jerky, it’s about 45 grams of protein.  My largest meal of the day is my evening meal. In preparation for the week, I made a big pot of beans and have been eating on them all week because this meal always consists of beef and beans. On Monday of this week, we had hamburgers as a family. I added my beans and felt full. That’s the great part of the beans, between the fiber and the protein they keep me full. I don’t think I’ve discovered anything new, but this week at least, it’s working for me.  As a special bonus, here’s the recipe I used for this week’s beans. They’re good so check them out and tell me what you think. 

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 can (16 ounces) butter beans, drained
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pork and beans
  • 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) lima beans, rinsed and drained

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day. Jim Rohn
On Monday, I posted a blog about how much harder it gets to work on yourself when the work begins to pay off. In that post, I mentioned the simple disciplines that I practiced daily and allowed me to have my best year ever but have somehow stopped doing. As I look at my calendar for 2018, it’s starting pretty empty because of the work that I’ve failed to do. In fact, it was a look at my calendar that led me to try the Self Journal. If you’ve paid any attention to social media this year, you’ve no doubt noticed that the rage of 2017 is the Bullet Journal. Everyone has been talking about it. Everyone seems to be releasing their own. After a workshop one day, a participant asked if I had heard of the Best Self Journal. When I told her that I hadn’t, she showed me hers, and I was hooked. In a nutshell, The Self Journal is a bullet journal created for a 13 week time period designed around seven principles. These principles help bring those simple disciplines that I’ve been neglecting to my attention and bring back the focus that I need to get myself back on track and kill my goals. They Are:

Craft Your Goals Into A 13 Week Roadmap

This was, for me, the hardest part. I have a lot of goals, but breaking them down into 13-week stretches was challenging. By doing the exercise, however, I found daily and weekly targets that I had to hit in order to reach them.

Zero Based Calendar

This principle equates to scheduling every minute of every day. Early last year, I started drafting how I wanted my day to go every day in a notebook. It was my own private schedule that I would lay out every morning. The interesting thing that came from this was that it actually started to play out that way. Using the schedule listed in the journal, I’ve kept this practice and it has allowed me to focus on doing what I can when I can.

Prioritized, Proactive, and Productive

This principle suggests actually scheduling the highest priorities of every day first and then filling rest of the day’s activities around them. This has been a killer for me. When I talk about those simple disciplines, other activities push them out, but what gets scheduled, gets done and this is a key making sure what’s getting done are the most important things every day.

Flexibility & Freedom

I don’t schedule my weekends. The fact that the journal comes updated, I’m not locked into wasting pages. It also allows me to start or stop whenever I want to. This is a gift.

Tracking & Reflection

There is a built-in habit tracker that allows you to set activity goals every week and then track your progress. Because I want to read, write and workout more consistently, this tracker has been my way of holding myself accountable.

Bookend Your Day With Positive Psychology

It’s amazing how much better I feel when I begin and end every day by listing three things that I’m grateful for. Gratitude is a powerful emotion anyway, and using it to start and end my day with it helps keep me grounded and centered.


I’ve written, spoken and used the phrase consistency trumps talent so many times that my kids are tired of hearing it, but the Self Journal, is, right now my key to being consistent with the simple disciplines that will determine my success. The interesting thing is that you don’t have to buy the fancy Self Journal to use these principles, but I found that investing the $32 that it costs was a reminder to me that I have to use it. So far, I’m loving my results. Try one for yourself and let me know what you think.]]>

It seems so outrageous to think that 2018 is less than a month away. It feels like yesterday when we were watching with great shame as Clemson was shutting out Ohio State in the semifinals but here we are, standing on the doorstep of another new year. As I’m looking ahead and making my plans, I find myself looking back on 2017 and realizing that I had a really solid year; we bought our dream home, we’ve spent a lot of time together in the barn, and I’ve spent most of the year speaking and training. By all measures, it was a successful year that was made possible by finishing 2016 strong. My hopes aren’t as high for 2018 because Jim Rohn forgot to tell me something. In December of 2014, I somehow found a Jim Rohn seminar on YouTube that sort of changed my outlook and changed my course. There were two key concepts that I took from that seminar that had a real impact on my life. The first one was the success is nothing more than a few simple habits practiced every day and the second one was to work harder on myself than I do at my job. Both of this made sense and I started to immediately apply them. I became obsessed with reading. I wrote every day, kept a detailed journal and never missed a workout.  These simple habits paid off in really big ways. 2015 was a solid year that led to a stronger 2016 and 2017 has been my best year yet, but there was a second part to that message that Jim Rohn forgot to tell us; the more successful we become, the harder it is to work on ourselves.  Just about every success that I’ve had in 2017 came to me because of the work I put into myself; all of the simple habits that I practiced every day. But the more successful I became, the less time I found to practice those habits. I haven’t read as many books this year. I haven’t written as many blog posts and I haven’t been to the gym as consistently. I was too busy doing well to practice the habits that allowed me to do so well. I stopped working harder on myself than I was at my job.  Looking ahead at 2018, I know that if I’m going to continue to improve and top my best year, I have to get back to those simple habits. I’m working right now to develop my annual plan and it’s heavy on small habits. I’m setting some big goals but I’m focusing on the small things that will make it happen and I’m working on the tools I need to get there. As you look your plan, I’m hopeful that you’ll keep in mind that Jim Rohn was right, we have to work harder on ourselves than we do on our jobs but keep in mind, it’s going to get harder when all of that hard work pays off. ]]>