Monday, August 31, 2020

The Importance of Having a Plan

Someone once asked me why having a plan is important. As I thought about that question, I thought about my experience as a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America. 

I work with 12 and 13 year old boy scouts and one of the things we do is learn and practice the established Leave No Trace Principles in order to minimize our impact on the environment and be safe.

The very first Leave No Trace principle is “Plan and Prepare.” Poor planning and poor preparation can lead to improper use of fires, unnecessary injury or death of wildlife, putting the boys in dangerous situations, or other harmful impact on the surrounding environment that could have been avoided.


In all aspects of our personal lives, planning and preparation can help us minimize risk and avoid unnecessary waste of resources. With time being the most precious resource of all.

You may recall the part in the story “Alice in Wonderland” when Alice comes to a fork in the road and the Cheshire Cat appears:

Alice asks the cat, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

            “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

            “I don’t much care where—“ said Alice.

            Then it doesn’t matter which way you go, “ said the Cat.

            “—so long as I get somewhere, “Alice added as an explanation.

            “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”


Jim Rohn, a great business philosopher and personal development trainer once said, "I've discovered that you can be sincere and work hard all your life and wind up broke and embarrassed. You've got to do better than be a good worker. You've got to be better than sincere. You've got to be a good planner, a good goal-setter."

It’s a sobering thought to consider that if you don’t have your own personal plan you’ll most likely end up a part of someone else’s plan by default.         

We all have exactly 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week, no more, no less. In this we are all equal. Developing a personal action plan will make all the difference in how much you can accomplish.

There are many acceptable methods in developing a personal action plan. One of my favorites is to “reverse engineer” the plan. In other words; determine the end result you want and then work your way back to the present.

In planning a scouting adventure, we first decide where we want to go and from where we want to start our trip. With that information decided, we can accurately plan and prepare all the resources needed to have a safe, enjoyable trip with minimal environmental impact.

Without a plan, you’re sure (as Alice in Wonderland hoped) to get somewhere. “If you only walk long enough” as the Cheshire Cat so wisely said. With an excellent personal action plan we can better allocate resources, recognize opportunities, and say no to the activities and distractions that can lead us away from our clearly defined goals. And achieve our goals much faster and much more efficiently.


Sunday, August 2, 2020

Time Management is a Myth

In my 15+ years as a personal development and human potential coach, one of the common challenges of clients is finding the time to get the coaching work done. Most adults are very busy people. Adding an additional 5-10 hours of coaching work can be very difficult.

One idea I'd like to share often makes a huge difference as clients struggle to find the time needed to be effective in their coaching program and find the improvement and clarity they desire.

The idea is this: time management does NOT exist. At least the idea that we can manipulate time is not a reality.

True, some sporting events can “stop the clock” and call a time out. 

For real life, the clock keeps moving and time does not stand still.

When I consider the idea of “time management,” what really comes to mind is the process of prioritizing our activities. That we can do!

In my parent’s era when I was growing up, they used an envelope system to allocate the family income to the various expenses and obligations. If the money ran out of the “groceries” envelope, it meant there was no more food purchases that month, or some of the money from another envelope was reallocated to the grocery envelope to make ends meet. There was no putting it on the credit card and hoping to figure it out later. 

Therein lies the key to allocating our finite amount of time. We all have 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week. How we choose to use that time is our challenge and our opportunity.

Like the budget envelopes of my parents, we can allocate our 168 hours in advance into different activities and projects. We can reassess throughout the week our choices of priorities and adjust if needed.

One of the most powerful benefits of this advanced scheduling is our ability to honestly say “no” to others looking to get the use of some of our 168 hours. 

Because we have already allocated our 168 hours in advance, we now have the option of kindly explaining that we are currently unavailable to help because of a prior commitment. Or, we can decide to elevate their request to be a priority for us as well and say yes.

Personally, I resist detailed scheduling in advance as explained in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator preference of “Perceiver.” However, when I’m faced with too many interruptions, or if I’m simply finding myself becoming less effective, I choose to schedule my 168 hours in detail so I have a ready option to say no, or yes, to the interruptions that come my way. 

The ability to say “no” is one of the very best ways to improve our productivity and get the things that are our highest priorities done on a regular basis.

For more information about my coaching programs and how you can increase your potential, email me at or text me at 801-410-2266. Mention my "Do The Extraordinary" blog for special pricing.

Start now to live a life of vision and clarity, with a renewed sense of hope for your future, and get on your very own customized path to a life of joy and abundance in your very first coaching session!


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Ding and Dang Canyons - Goblin Valley Area, San Rafael Swell, UT

Ding and Dang Canyons are non-technical slots canyons west of the more popular Bell and Wildhorse Canyons near Goblin Valley State Park.
The trailhead is only about a mile west of the Wildhorse trailhead parking. Depending on road conditions, most vehicles can make the drive to Ding and Dang, but the road is much more rugged once you pass the Wildhorse parking area. 

I’ve never traveled this area in anything but a high clearance 4X4 vehicle and caution and care should be taken when driving in the backcountry in a regular passenger vehicle. 

All my posts are for informational purposes only and each person must accept their own responsibility for potential challenges associated with outdoor activities.

As a note: Within days of doing this hike, two children were killed in a flash flood in Wildhorse Canyon. Weather is a major factor in accessing the dangers of hiking the canyons in the desert southwest.

After parking at the Ding and Dang trailhead, the route follows the open canyon to the west until the drainages merge. To the left is Dang and to the right is Ding. 
I like to hike in a counter-clockwise direction as I find it easier to descend the higher drops of Dang Canyon and ascend the shorter climbs in Ding Canyon.

No matter what direction you choose to go, there are plenty of boulder chokes, climbs and descents to work through. This is a more technical hike than Wildhorse, and the BLM recommends being prepared with technical gear. We brought rope but ended up using the ropes already in place at each descent in Dang Canyon.
Plan on standing water in the canyons, especially in Dang Canyon. We managed to keep our feet dry until one of the last sections of Dang Canyon. If you are willing to shimmy your way through the wet sections, it’s often possible to stay dry. I didn’t want to work that hard and had planned on wet feet anyway.

When Ding Canyon starts to open up, pay attention to the pointed butte to the west called Ding Dang Dome. This is the direction to hike to access Dang Canyon for the return trip through the swell.
There is more than one trail as you work your way towards the butte and we chose to stay to the left (southwest direction) and found that this trail was shorter than the alternative that went right (northwest direction.)
Once past Ding Dang Dome the return canyon, Dang, comes into view. 

It doesn’t take long before longer and steeper drops become more common. In every case, rope or webbing was already placed at each drop, but it’s best to bring your own rope just in case.
Enough upper body strength to control your ascent for each drop is a must as the drops are significantly longer than those found in Ding Canyon. Hence, the preference to descend Dang Canyon.   
This is where the BLM recommending technical gear to make the descents safely.

The last major obstacle in Dang Canyon is the section with the highest probability of getting wet feet. It is narrow enough that someone shimmying could keep dry, but it is a long section to shimmy before the water is completely avoided.
Once the slot canyon opens up, it still takes some time and distance to reach the confluence with Ding Canyon and you reach the trailhead parking area.

Additional Photos: