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Pressing Pause

Thank you for reading this week’s Operation Melt update.

Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives.

I am trying to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.


Amuse Bouche

My amuse bouche for you today is a light “dad joke” to entertain your mind before we get down to business.

Why are tall fences installed around cemeteries?

Because people are just dying to get in!

Like any other amuse bouche, you may have hated it, but it was worth every penny that you paid for it, right?


Pressing Pause

One of the best steps we can take when pursuing a goal is to press the pause button.

  • As a leader, taking time away to recharge your batteries helps ensure that you avoid burnout and can continue delivering your best to your team each day.
  • As a project manager, taking periodic breaks to do a retrospective and making necessary course corrections helps you stay on track to meet your goals.
  • As an athlete, taking an adequate amount of rest days is a way to help your body recover, heal and perform at its best.
  • As human beings, we just need some downtime to get focus on rest and relaxation.

I have become a big believer in the importance of rest time and this all starts with pressing pause. And that is just what I am going to do.

Today is the last Operation Melt blog that you will see for a couple of weeks. I am taking the next two weeks off to enjoy my annual family vacation and to relax and recharge.

This time off does not mean that I won’t be working on Operation Melt, just that I am going to refocus my efforts on planning for the future and preparing for some exciting post-vacation developments.

Instead of just suddenly pressing the pause button and checking out for a couple of weeks, I wanted to make sure that I leave things in a good, productive state. In this final pre-vacation post, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the first half of 2021 and think about what has gone well and what hasn’t gone as well.

Finally, I will wrap up today’s post by sharing some things that I am planning for the second half of this year.

Retrospective

As I have explained in many previous posts, a retrospective is a project management exercise that allows a project team to reflect on what is working and what isn’t. It usually happens at the conclusion of a phase or stage of a project and at the conclusion of the project itself; though it can happen at any time.

For my retrospectives (see my downloadable template in the Resources section), I ask the team to brainstorm feedback about the project to-date around 4 dimensions:

  • Smiles: what went well that we would like to continue or do again in the future?
  • Frowns: what hasn’t gone well that we would like to change in the future?
  • Lightbulbs: what ideas do we have for the future that might improve our process or results?
  • Flowers: who do we want to pause and appreciate?

Here are some quick retrospective items from the first half of this year.

Smiles

  • Operation Melt Evolution: one of my biggest goals this year has been the evolution of Operation Melt. My intent was to pivot from being a blog to tell readers about my journey into a platform to help others reach their goals. And these goals are bigger than just fitness. I have launched my Goal Success by Choice blog series that explores the choices we can each make to help us be successful with our goals. I continued publishing PM Believer which helps people use project management to achieve their goals. Plus added a growing list of freely downloadable resources. In all, the first half of this year was very productive on my evolution of Operation Melt.
  • Coaching: last fall I decided that I was going to expand my Operation Melt offering beyond content and into coaching. That is when I got my first coaching certification (Goals Success Life Coach). This year I have been able to take on some pro bono clients to get more hands-on experience and I have helped them make progress with their own goals. By the time I post my next blog, I have also completed my second certification (Health & Nutrition Life Coach) and might be about to take on my first official clients. A new chapter begins!
  • Books: my first book (Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds In Under a Year) continues to sell a few copies here and there and that is exciting. Plus, I have finished writing my second book and have started on a third. See the Looking Forward section below for more on this exciting development.
  • Fitness Progress: finally, back to the topic that started it all, I continue to make progress with my fitness journey and goals. The first half of 2021 included setting personal records in every weightlifting category that I track (bench press, deadlift, assisted pull-ups, leg press, glute/hip press and squats). Plus I saw real growth in my chest, back, shoulder and arm muscles and achieved my largest bicep measurement yet. Yeah, that’s right, I am pretty much a beast!

Frowns

  • Operation Melt Readers: despite successfully evolving Operation Melt to be a resource for anybody who is chasing a goal, my readership (according to the metrics) has been small. It is taking some time to get the word out about my evolution and the social media algorithms really constrain my reach without paying to buy my way into feeds. I am continuing to try to grow my email list to ensure that my content more consistently reaches my readers.
  • Daily Practice for 2021: in this year’s Happy New Year post, I introduced my “Cs Every Day” strategy for 2021 where I will focus on a handful of daily practices for this year instead of specific results. Unfortunately, I did not really stick with every one of those practices as I had initially envisioned. I do have many daily practices and am sticking to the spirit of what I set out to accomplish, but my plan didn’t quite work out.
  • Fitness Setbacks: in the smiles section above I mentioned lots of great fitness progress and most of it centers around the growth of muscles from weight training. But, muscles aren’t weightless. This means that I have seen my weight go up over the past eighteen months and the vast majority of that increase has been muscle growth. While this is a positive way to put on weight, it is still putting on weight and that means the numbers aren’t where I want them to be. I need to continue to remind myself that I am more than my numbers… a good reminder for all of us numbers-driven goal crushers for sure. Give Who is Defining Your Happiness a read if this is something that hits home for you.
  • COVID and more: through the first half of this year our society was still plagued with COVID, political unrest, a lack of care for each other and an absence of humility. Some of those things are making strides in the healing process, but we are certainly not out of the woods.

Flowers

  • Liz: there I nobody who I appreciate more than my wife, Liz. In just a couple of days (July 21), we will be celebrating our twentieth wedding anniversary and that means we have been friends for about a quarter-century. She is my partner in all things, my biggest cheerleader, my editor for my book (now, books) and my best friend. I am not sure how I got so lucky, but I would be lost without her.
  • Readers: I am unbelievably grateful for all of the people who continue to read my blog, buy my book, and those who follow me on social media (especially those who interact and let me know you are seeing my stuff). My pivot from my story to broader goals success topics is really intended to help people and I know that I am doing just that.
  • Coaching Clients: a handful of people have approached me for coaching and mentorship over the first half of this year. I am humbled that they have sought me out and I appreciate that they have helped me build my coaching skills.
  • Inspirations: I am very thankful for all of my sources of inspiration as I chase my own goals and for my writing. I listen to many podcasts, have consumed (read or listened to) many books, watched lots of YouTube videos and have followed many inspirational social media accounts. Even more importantly are all of the people I see out there (or personally interact with) every day pushing themselves to do their best, to improve and to live their best lives. They all keep me going!
  • My day job: I couldn’t skip mentioning that I am grateful for my consulting firm and multi-year client for continuing to value me and for keeping me gainfully employed with interesting and challenging work that still gives me the flexibility and work/life balance that I value.

Lightbulbs

  • Organization system: as my multiple simultaneous Operation Melt projects have started to grow, I am seeing my current organization system become less effective. In the second half of this year, I am going to begin leveraging an upgraded approach based on the Agile methodology and begin leveraging weekly “sprints” to get the job done.
  • Shareable content: I am planning to explore adding easy-to-share content into my weekly emails so my readers can share with their social network which will help more people find Operation Melt.
  • Operation Melt 5k: now that COVID is partially behind us in Columbus, Ohio, it may be time to start planning in-person Operation Melt events starting with getting my informal 5k back on the books.

While on the topic of lightbulbs, or ideas for the future, I want to ask you for your help. Please share your ideas, thoughts and suggestions for how Operation Melt can be of most value to you. You can use the Contact Me link on OperationMelt.com, message me on social media or email me directly. I look forward to hearing from you!

Looking Forward

I have so many exciting things on the horizon, ideas for the future and things that I want to accomplish through all of the facets of my life; too many to mention them all here. But, suffice it to say, I am just getting started.

One upcoming thing that I am super excited about is my second book. This fall I plan to release a new book, eBook only for now, dedicated to leadership and the characteristics of great leaders. I have spent thirty years studying, observing and practicing leadership and I have noticed some consistent themes that I want to share.

Leadership improvement fits nicely with my Operation Melt vision. One of the top goals I have helped people with over the years has been to become better leaders. Like any other goal, it is within reach with a little deliberate effort.

The second big thing on the Operation Melt horizon is establishing my coaching practice. I have the tools, I have the training and now I just need to build the structure and start practicing. Hopefully, this starts in August with a couple of clients. But, this is definitely an area where a crawl, walk, run strategy is needed, I need to take my time so I know I can deliver value to each client.

At first, I thought this was a pretty quiet first half of the year without much to share. This retrospective has reminded me that I have already accomplished a lot this year. I guess I have earned this time off for sure.

With that said, I am pressing pause and will be back in August with some new and exciting content for you. Enjoy your next two weeks, I know I will!

Did You Like What You Read?

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Published in.My Journey Updates

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