December Experiments

 Connection:

  • Call mom and dad weekly
  • Visit mom and dad at least once
  • Call/Visit dad once
  • Call sister and family at least once
  • Close friends – reach out at least once via email/text/telephone/f2f
    • JO
    • BT
    • BB
    • EP
    • DR
    • RH
    • JK

Health & Fitness:

  • My daily goals are:
    • 15000 steps-5000 with leg injury
    • 5 miles-3 miles with leg injury
    • 10 floors-5 floors with leg injury
    • 9hrs with some form of  activity
    • 30 active minutes-20 active minutes daily with leg injury
    • 6 cups or 48 fluid oz of water 2 morning, noon,night
    • 7 hours of sleep
    • Also shooting for 5 days with 15min or more of exercise per day
  • Be more mindful/present
    • Daily Mindfullness – 2 minutes of mindfullness via my Fitbit mid-day
    • Daily Session of smiling mind mindfulness training
  • Exercise more to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life
    • Run 1 miles 1-2 times per week- Skip
    • Bike 10 miles 1 time per week-Skip
    • Physical Therapy 2-3 times daily
    • 0-200 Situp, 0-100 Pushup, 0-100 Squat challenges from Fitness22 LTD. – Restart
  • Healthy Eating to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life
    • I will also drink 48oz of water a day  (6-8oz glasses or 4 bottles of water)
    • Learn how to cook 2 healthy meals – Pick 2 meals
  • Reading
    • Harry Potter Book 3 Completed
Innovation
  • Consume
    • 15 min of reading daily in the morning
      • Finish The Moonshot Effect – And share actions from this book on this blog.
    • 30min of Twitter/Linked-In/News max = morning / evening
  • Progress Simpler Goals:
    • REX topic training
      • Coaching Badge in design thinking
      • 1st Agile Badge
    • Write a blog article
  • Create
    • New Blog – Focused Topic
Music:
  • Consume – Learn how to play …🚩
  • Create – 1 loop recording

Photography:

  • Consume
    • Complete Photography Course
    • Read Blogs
    • Review Instagram posts of those followed 1x weekly
  • Create
    • Practice and build portfolio – One photo posted to Instagram per week to TAS.
    • Explore Adobe Portfolio as a long-term portfolio location.
Passive Income Business
  • Map Topics
  • ID a business or product to start within 30 days

 

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Bump in the road..What are my true passions?

So what do you do when you are working so hard to find your passion and then one day…one wrong move on a trampoline immobilizes you?

To start with…I believe I’ll be ok, but the past few days of sitting on my butt (not getting any Fitbit steps in) has me thinking.  What if I am not able to do some of those things I am passionate about?  What if I can’t bike again?  What if I can’t do fun things with my boys?  What if I struggle to move and all of the sudden put on a ton of weight?  Will I have pain in my knee for the rest of my life?  Now this is just a small injury I’m sure, but to me it is a major injury.  It could have been a lot worse.

So let’s think about my passions…

Family – It may change some of the things we do, but in the end I’ll still be able to spend time with them.  Hopefully I’ll be able to go for walks again.  What about rollerblading?  The boys love going to the roller rink…will I be able to do that with them again?  What about swimming.  I assume I’ll be able to do this as it is low impact…but what about surfing or wind surfing?  Will I be able to try these?

Music – Sooo happy that I didn’t hurt a hand so can keep playing!  This is my way of relaxing!

Photography – The injury might make it harder to do landscape photography, but not impossible.  Will I be able to move to get that cool shot?

Fitness – This is the one that I am most concerned about.  Will I be able to run?  Will I be able to mountain bike or even road bike for that matter?  I definitely need to put the push-up, sit-up and squat challenge on hold for a while!

Innovation – Luckily, I don’t see how this could negatively impact my career in the long run.  In-fact it’s increasing my passion for improving healthcare as I am experiencing the pain points with our healthcare system.  Access, Cost, Quality of care, Experience

So time will tell, but at this point in time I’m just thinking about how this injury will impact me.  I know there is a lot that can be done and that things could have been a lot worse.  In the end, most of my passions should not be impacted, but I guess the main question to be answered…will I stick with these “Topics” as my passions.  Maybe this will change or at least test what I am passionate about…i.e. if I find that I disengage from them…maybe they weren’t really a passion to begin with?

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Inspirational Quote

“Only through self-acceptance can one find their true purpose” ~ Unknown

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Trello Product Review

Trello is an online productivity App/Tool that allows teams to better visual management of their tasks and workflows.  In one glance a team can see what tasks are being worked on and what tasks have yet to be completed.  Priority, status and state can all be captured.

Status and state are often confused.  For my boards, the state is the position a task is in within a workflow.  As for status, this is an indication if it is on track, off track, blocked….if it has made progress or if it hasn’t started yet.

I have used Trello in two ways.  First, to create a board that displays high level initiatives and the high level tasks that need to be done in priority order.  It looks something like this:  (Initiatives across the top with list of tasks in priority order below them)

Trello Initiatives

Trello can also be used to manage tasks through predefined workflow steps.  (The columns in this example are the major workflow steps rather than the list of initiatives):

Trello Workflow

For myself…I use two products in harmony.  Trello for initiatives and items that need to move through a workflow.

Then for more detailed lists/checklists and repetitive tasks I use the App 2DO.  The main drawback of 2DO is that there is not an easy desktop interface.  I will cover this app in a future review.

Trello Pros and Cons list:

Pros:

  • Multi-Device (IOS, Desktop Interface, Android)
  • Images can be added for less “List” and more visual story telling if desired
  • Collaborative – if you start a team…you can have the team commenting on various tasks.
  • Visual status
  • Notifications and @mentions to help drive action outside of conference call meetings.
  • Easy to keep team aligned on top priority items.
  • Browser plugins allow for added functionality
  • Visually shows tasks, task owner, number of todos in it, and depending on how you set it up…status of the task and location within a workflow (state).

Cons:

  • Repeating tasks are difficult
  • Although the Browser interface is good with a few plug-ins added, the desktop App is a bit generic (like the mobile apps).  Hopefully they will add some functionality to the basic apps like:
    • Parent Child connecting
    • Card statistics
    • Board statistics
    • There are no standard ways to review burndown/create reports for what was completed this week, vs this month.
    • Add a status tag, and also be able to add labels with various colors

 

In summary, I have tried tons of apps for task management and have found that a balance between Trello for team tasks and intiatives along with 2DO for my personal more detailed task tracking has been the best way to manage work that needs to be done while sharing with teams and leaders…all the work that is going on.

I highly recommend Trello and hopefully with a few enhancments over time, it will be my one go-to place for my tasks.

Good luck!

Please drop me a note and let me know what you think of Trello and also what other productivity tools you use for staying on top of tasks and intiatives.

Posted in Innovation & Lean Product Development, Product Reviews | Leave a comment

November Experiments

I missed posting October Experiments…but will re-engage with November Experiments.

Connection:

  • Call mom and dad weekly
  • Visit mom and dad at least once
  • Call/Visit dad once✅
  • Call sister and family at least once✅
  • Close friends – reach out at least once via email/text/telephone/f2f
    • JO✅
    • BT✅
    • BB
    • EP✅
    • DR✅
    • RH
    • JK

Health & Fitness:

  • Please note that I was awarded a Fitbit Charge 2 from my company and I have really been enjoying the data it presents.  My daily goals are:
    • 15000 stepsister-5000 with leg injury⚠️
    • 5 miles-Skip with leg injury⚠️
    • 10 floors-skip with leg injury⚠️
    • 9hrs with some form of  activity
    • 30 active minutes
    • 6 cups or 48 fluid oz of water 2 morning, noon,night
    • 7 hours of sleep
    • Also shooting for 5 days with 15min or more of exercise per day⚠️
  • Be more mindful/present
    • Daily Mindfullness – 2 minutes of mindfullness via my Fitbit
  • Exercise more to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life
    • Run 1 miles 1-2 times per week⚠️
    • Bike 10 miles 1 time per week⚠️
    • 0-200 Situp, 0-100 Pushup, 0-100 Squat challenges from Fitness22 LTD.⚠️
  • Healthy Eating to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life
    • I will also drink 48oz of water a day  (6-8oz glasses or 4 bottles of water)
    • Learn how to cook 2 healthy meals – Pick 2 meals
  • Reading
    • Harry Potter Book 3 Completed
Innovation
  • Consume
    • 15 min of reading daily in the morning
      • Finish – Creative Sprint – Sprint #4,5,6 and share on this blog
      • Finish The Moonshot Effect – And share actions from this book on this blog.
    • 30min of Twitter/Linked-In/News max = morning / evening
  • Progress Simpler Goals:
    • REX topic training-Badge in design thinking
    • Write a blog article
  • Create
    • Innovation Article Topic Defined – Posted to a new blog?
Music:Consume – Learn how to play ….Bon Jovi Dead or Alive
  • Create – 1 loop recording

Photography:Consume

    • Complete Photography Course
    • Read Blogs
    • Review Instagram posts of those followed 1x weekly
  • Create
    • Practice and build portfolio – One photo posted to Instagram per week to TAS.
    • Explore Adobe Portfolio as a long-term portfolio location.
Passive Income Business
  • Map Topics
  • ID a business or product to start within 30 days
Posted in Experiments, Finding Purpose | Leave a comment

5 Dimensions of Health

Working for IBM, they have a wellness program that focuses on the following 5 dimensions of Health.

img_1938

I thought it would be good to reflect on these 5 dimensions as a current state.

Physical:

Overall, I feel I am in ok health.  I am about 180lbs but according to my low cost scale, I am close to 24% body fat.  I am increasingly spending time on running and biking.  Biking because it is fun, running because it doesn’t require much gear.  In addition, I have challenged my self to complete a Sit-up, Push-Up and Squat Challenge.  I won’t complete it in the desired time frame, but I do plan to complete it.  100 Pushups, 100 Squats and 200 Situps.

Mind:

As an introvert, I find plenty of time to reflect.  I try to practice mindfulness at least once a day for between 2 and 10 minutes.  I use Calm for longer sessions.  And I use my Fitbit Charge 2 for the 2 minute sessions.  I am good at setting goals but can always improve at completing them.  I would say this blog has helped me in this category and has helped me gather my thoughts, however I haven’t had a break through yet in finding my purpose or passion.  I am closer, but I definitely can’t say that I have found it.

Financial:

I don’t like to talk much about financials, but in general, I have a good career with a good salary and have worked hard to have a comfortable savings while still enjoying life.

 

Social:

This is an area I feel I am lacking in.  I have friends and family.  I have one friend that I really connect with, however he lives in England which makes staying connected difficult.  I do wish I had a similar connection with someone here in the use nearby.  My close friends here seem to have drifted away.  I try to reach out, but it doesn’t seem to work.  I need to find my passions and a community to go with those passions.

I also have had issues were family members are distant as well.  I need to find ways to connect with family more…including my own family fast asleep in their bedrooms right now.  My fear is if I put 150% into them…what happens when they (my boys) move out?

Purpose:

Again, this is really the point of this blog…to find my purpose and my passions.  I continue to search.

 

I do like these 5 dimensions and can see how if each one of these were stable, that one would most likely be content and happy.  I will continue to strive to improve in each of these areas.

 

As I end this entry, I wonder…

  • What was the happiest I have been since the boys have been born (not counting their birth)?
  • What was the happiest I have been when it was just Alissa and I?
  • What was the happiest I have been before meeting Alissa?

I wonder at those times…what did my 5 dimensions of health look like.

 

 

 

Posted in Finding Purpose, Mindfullness | Tagged | Leave a comment

Habits – Blogging and Other

I know I haven’t been blogging much lately.  I have great intentions, but then seem to let it fall to the wayside while other priorities take over.

So what’s keeping me from blogging more?

  • Now writing isn’t my favorite thing to do, so this might be part of it.
  • Also, I used to travel a lot more which allowed me more personal time in the evenings to try to get a weekly post together.
  • In addition, as you can tell from this blog, I have many interests that I continue to explore..which makes the blog about too many things I am sure.  However, the intent of the blog was to do exactly that…explore my interests to hone in on my true passions.  I think it has helped me do that.
  • Lack of comments and followers….I think I am getting to a point that if I would like people to be listening and interacting with about this blog.  Any topic..but I’ve struggled to get followers.  I know this is most likely my fault because of my lack of consistency or even the fact that my topic isn’t of interest to the readers that do find it.
  • In consistent ups and downs on views and visitors
  • 2017.09.26 blog stats
  •  Lack of me sharing it on my social accounts…which doesn’t help with getting followers…but I don’t want my current social account followers to be following my blog.  I am in search of new followers…ones I can better relate to in my search for Finding My Passion so that I can “Live My Legend”.
  • Questioning myself…why would anyone want to hear about this from me?  Am I capable to teach this/share this information?

 

So I wanted to document a little bit of this and would love to hear from anyone about how you break through some of these issues…or maybe how you suggest I move forward.  Should I create more passion specific blogs?  Should I simply narrow down this blog?

For now…I will commit to getting one post out weekly and ideally I would hit on each passion area at least once monthly.  Maybe this isn’t frequent enough…but it’s a start.

My passions to focus on will be:

  • Finding Purpose with Experiments
  • Music – Product reviews..how to articles and Vlogs
  • Photography – Product reviews…how to articles and Vlogs
  • Innovation and Product Development – Topics I have encountered at clients, Tools, Best Practices
  • Fitness

If you’ve read this far…please comment and let me know your thoughts on how I can improve as a blogger?  How can I meet more needs of readers that find my blog?  What are you interested in reading or learning about?

Thank you!

Troy

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Fitbit Charge 2 Product Review

img_1753

I thought I would take some time to review my new Fitbit Charge 2 in hopes of encouraging others to pursue a fitness watch.

I received it about a month ago and have been using it every day since….and I’m lovin’ it!!!  Perhaps it’s because I am an Engineer at heart, but I love seeing data!  I know that there are limitations to the accuracy of the data, but in general, I am finding the Fitbit to be a nice motivator to becoming more active, thus leading to a healthier lifestyle.  It also allows me to always try to beat my set goals.

Fit & Styling:

Overall I like the styling of the Fitbit.  I do wish it had a larger display, but am also appreciative that it gives me the info I want with an extremely compact design.

Setup:

Setting up the watch with the app was a breeze.  I actually received the watch as I was leaving town and did the entire setup as I traveled.  I was only confused when it came time to login to FitStar.  I didn’t know what it was and thought it was part of the setup, but ended up skipping that step and completed the setup.

I was a bit nervous about which watch band size to get but it appears the larger one was a good option for me.  Apparently the cross over between the two must be sufficient as I was on the low end of the large band, but still have 4 notches to go.

Charging….my Fitbit needed to be charged, but luckily I had a car charger.  Once charged, I get 3-4 days on average for use before I try to plug it in.  I could probably go 5 days, but usually want to take a break for a bit.

There are three main areas to setup.

  • Profile
  • img_1756

 

 

  • Device Setup
  • img_1754

 

 

  • Account Setup
  • img_1755

 

Features:

The Fitbit Charge 2 offers some nice features…some of which I haven’t started to use yet.  I will list all the ones that are automatically tracked as long as you are wearing the device that I am aware of:

  • Steps counting / mileage
    • As mentioned above…I’ve notices some accuracy issues, but in the end..I am not trying to match my steps exactly…the goal is to beat the steps from the day before.  I have done the manual method to set stride and actually this is really close.  It comes down to the algorithm for what Fitbit counts as a step.
    • If you feel like your count is really high, you can set
  • Stairs
    • This only counts ascending stair climbs..not decending.  Perhaps rightfully so, but I believe that the it should track both….the band should be able to tell if it is going up or down a set of stairs.
  • Minutes active
    • This will show you how many total “Active” minutes you’ve had.  This means anything that is 10 minutes or more of moderate activity.
  • Hours with activity
    • This counts the number of hours that you had some level of activity.  The goal being to ensure you move some every hour.
  • Days with exercise
    • As it sounds, this is intended to ensure you set a goal of number of days with exercise.  An exercise can be auto logged if it is a moderate activity of more than 15minutes.  I think the time can be adjusted.  So if you start a workout on your fitbit…and stop before your set time (15 minutes in my case)…you get credit for steps and moving, but not for Exercise.  If less than 10 minutes, it will not count as “Active” minutes either.
  • Heart Rate
    • This is the one that all of my Triathlon friends say isn’t good because it isn’t accurate enough.  A fair point, but I use it just as a point of reference.  At some point I plan to get a chest strap and find a way to sync that to see how close the Fiibit HR tracker is to a chest strap tracker.
  • Sleep
    • This tracker is interesting…however I am not quite sure how to improve other than to exercise more, drink less alcohol and eat right.  More insights are desired for this tool.

Additional items you can track with manual input:

  • Diet –
    • I started this, but don’t have the patience to enter all my meals.  Perhaps I will take one week and log everything to see how it goes.  For the few days I did track, I was significantly under my consumed calories.  Perhaps this is why I struggle with muscle gain but not weight gain?
  • Water Consumption
    •  I am using this and still find it hard to meet the goal.  I like the tracker, but would like the ability to have a separate reminder to drink a glass of water.
  • Weight
    • I am using the “Log” for weight and body fat.  I’m sure I could connect a scale to have this auto-log, but this will suffice for now.

 

 

Dislikes:

My main dislike, is that if Fitbit is my “Health App”…then why won’t other apps sync to the Fitbit App.  I am able to connect Fitbit to these Apps, but it is only one way sync from Fitbit to “Map My Run” or “Strava”.  Ideally these would all talk bi-directionally to each other and all “Workouts” “Biking” “Hikes” “Walks” etc could be seen in any app.  Or if it needs to be one way…have the other apps talk to Fitbit where all of my other measures are kept.

Summary:

All in all, for the price, I really like the Fitbit.  I am considering upgrading to their “Fitbit Iconic to gain the GPS, Music and Pay features that come with it so I can go out with out phone or wallet.  The battery life is much better than the Apple watch which is my main and probably only reason for not getting an Apple watch as I am a huge Apple products fan!

If I progress and stay with the healthier life-style, my preferred watch still looks like it would be the Garmin Fenix 5 as it appears as if it would do more accurate tracking of sports data that I am interested in.  I just can’t bring myself to spend that sort of cash for a wearable.  Maybe I’ll just wait for the next version and then buy the older one at a discount:)

I hope you enjoyed my review.  Please comment on if you like it or if there is something else you would like to see.

Please follow my blog for future product reviews or a variety of other content!  Thank you!

 

Posted in Fitness, Product Reviews | Tagged | Leave a comment

September Experiments

Connection:

  • Call mom and dad weekly✅
  • Visit mom and dad at least once✅
  • Call/Visit dad once❌
  • Call sister and family at least once✅
  • Close friends – reach out at least once via email/text/telephone/f2f
    • JO✅
    • BT
    • BB
    • EP✅
    • DR✅
    • RH
    • JK

Health & Fitness:

  • Please note that I was awarded a Fitbit Charge 2 from my company and I have really been enjoying the data it presents.  My daily goals are:
    • 10000 steps✅
    • 5 miles✅
    • 10 floors⚠️
    • 9hrs with some form of  activity✅
    • 30 active minutes✅
    • 64 fluid oz of water⚠️
    • 8 hours of sleep❌
    • Also shooting for 5 days with 15min or more of exercise per day
  • Be more mindful/present
    • Daily Mindfullness – 2 minutes of mindfullness via my Fitbit✅
  • Exercise more to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life
    • Run 1 miles 1-2 times per week✅
    • Bike 10 miles 1 time per week✅
    • 0-200 Situp, 0-100 Pushup, 0-100 Squat challenges from Fitness22 LTD.✅
  • Healthy Eating to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life
    • I will also drink 64oz of water a day  (8-8oz glasses or 4 bottles of water)⚠️
    • Learn how to cook 2 healthy meals – Pick 2 meals❌
  • Reading
    • Harry Potter Book 2 Completed✅
Innovation
  • Consume
    • 15 min of reading daily in the morning❌
      • Finish – Creative Sprint – Sprint #4,5,6 and share on this blog❌
      • Finish The Moonshot Effect – And share actions from this book on this blog.❌
    • 30min of Twitter/Linked-In/News max = morning / evening✅
  • Progress Simpler Goals:
    • REX topic training-Design Thinking Training❌
    • Write paper topic❌
  • Create
    • Innovation Article Topic Defined – Posted to a new blog?

Music:

  • Consume – Learn how to play ….Bon Jovi Dead or Alive❌
  • Create – 1 recording❌

Photography:

  • Consume
    • Complete Photography Course❌
    • Read Blogs⚠️
  • Create
    • Practice and build portfolio – One photo posted to Instagram per week⚠️
    • Explore Adobe Portfolio?❌
Passive Income Business
  • Map Topics❌
  • ID a business or product to start within 30 days❌

 

Posted in Experiments, Finding Purpose, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August Experiments

Connection:

  • Call mom and dad weekly✅✅
  • Visit mom and dad at least once✅
  • Call/Visit dad once❌
  • Call sister and family at least once❌
  • Close friends – reach out at least once via email/text/telephone/f2f
    • JO✅
    • BT❌
    • BB❌
    • EP✅
    • DR✅
    • RH❌
    • JK❌

Health & Fitness:

  • Be more mindful/present
    • Daily Mindfullness❌
  • Exercise more to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life
    • Run 1 miles 1-2 times per week❌
    • Bike 5 miles 1 time per week✅
    • 0-200 Situp, 0-100 Pushup, 0-100 Squat challenges from Fitness22 LTD.⚠️
  • Healthy Eating to feel better and for a healthier body/longer life
    • I will also drink 32oz of water a day  (4-8oz glasses or 2 bottles of water)⚠️
    • Learn how to cook 3 healthy meals – Pick 3 meals in August❌
  • Reading
    • Harry Potter Book 2⚠️
Innovation
  • Consume
    • 15 min of reading daily in the morning
      • Finish – Creative Sprint – Sprint #4,5,6 and share on this blog⚠️
      • Finish The Moonshot Effect – And share actions from this book on this blog.⚠️
    • 30min of Twitter/Linked-In/News max = morning / evening✅
  • Progress Simpler Goals:
    • REX topic training-Design Thinking Training❌
    • Write paper topic❌
  • Create
    • Innovation Article Topic Defined – Posted to a new blog?❌

Music:

  • Practice the 5 positions of the Pentatonic Scale⚠️
  • Consume – Learn how to play ….Bon Jovi Dead or Alive❌
  • Create – 1 recording❌

Photography:

  • Consume
    • Complete Photography Course❌
    • Read Blogs✅
  • Create
    • Practice and build portfolio – One photo posted to Instagram per week⚠️
Passive Income Business
  • Complete Shareable Images for Blogs and Social Media Course✅
  • Complete Start a Blog that Matters Course❌
  • Future
    • WordPress✅
    • Google Analytics
    • Grow email list
    • Website Traffic

 

Posted in Experiments, Finding Purpose | Tagged | Leave a comment