The ABCs of Impact

Impact means making a difference, and we want to have an impact in the world through our work and lives. Purpose is one of the four Ps of positive shift, and an important part of our happiness. To have an impact, we must focus our soul attention.

The ABCs of Impact

Always Be Clear about how you will focus your soul attention. Know your purpose, and create a value statement or personal mission statement for a tool to stay on course and make an impact.

Always Be Connecting your actions with your value statement. Follow through with a daily commitment, choosing to act on top priorities that fall in the sweet spot.

Always Be Communicating. Communicate your purpose: advocate for the causes you believe in and convince others to join you. Concentrate on the value that you provide. Communicating is a two-way process: listen and learn from others.

Learn more about the building blocks of positive shift.

Posted in goals, Ideas That Work, personal development

Daily Inspiration

Sometimes mistakes can provide inspiration. Recently I made a typo and inadvertantly omitted the i in daily planit, resulting in The Daily Plant. An idea was born. Why not post a quote every day that plants a seed of thought that will inspire positive shift?

We begin with a quote from Brian Tracy: “The only true measure of what you believe is what you do, not what you say.”

So begins The Daily Plant. Just join the Daily Planit Facebook page at to get growing with the daily plant!

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Posted in quotes

Paused or On Hold?

As I take time to review the past year, and set goals for the coming year, I am struck by the thought:

have I paused, or am I just on hold?

The symbol for both looks the same, but they are very different things.

To pause and notice is a key part of making positive shift happen. But being on hold just means being stuck nowhere for awhile, unable to move forward with potential projects. To be on hold is not a good feeling.

The pandemic has been a big part of putting things on hold this year. With so many facing loss, unemployment, and stress like has never been experienced before, it didn’t seem to be the right time for talking about happiness. For that reason (and for one other to be discussed below) I have not been present here at the daily planit. But as I review the building blocks of positive shift, I’ve come to realize something. When we are going through hard times, these practices of positive psychology are coping strategies that help. We need more than ever to exercise, meditate, relate (although it may look a little different), and have a purpose. So in 2021, I intend to spend more time here.

What will you give your soul attention to in 2021?

The second reason I have been absent during 2020 is that I turned my sole attention to my passion of literacy. When I recently saw the phrase “soul attention,” it struck me: Flow often requires your sole attention; Focus requires your soul attention on what you value. This has been so for me in 2020 as I built the Phonics Pow website and populated it with fun tools to unlock the power of reading. It has completely consumed my thoughts and my time. I will continue my work there in 2021, but hope now to also attend to things here at the daily planit.

The Keep It Super Simple Annual Review

For my weekly review, I’ve been using my monthly calendar printed from Google, and simply make notes about progress on projects, trips taken, books I’ve read, and movies I’ve watched. These I save for the year. At the end of the year, I review the calendars and select top favorites to enter in the KISS Annual Review form, adding goals accomplished and choosing a few goals for the upcoming year. I also use a simple Net Worth Worksheet to review finances.

The steps to perform an Annual Review are still good to follow, and more detailed forms are available there too. I’m hopeful that the year ahead may be a better one for everyone.

Posted in goals

Kanban with Keep

I’ve tried many ways of managing projects, but recently became interested in the kanban method. I wanted to experiment with it, but did not wish to download a new app to try, and I wasn’t sold on the idea of using a whiteboard and sticky notes. I ended up creating a template to put into a plastic project file to use with 1.5 x 2 size sticky notes. Turns out I could only find 2 x 2 size sticky notes, so here’s that one: the 2x2Kanban. I like that projects flow through the Sweet Spot priority matrix and mission statement in order to make choosing what to focus on an easier task.

Click on picture to download pdf of blank kanban template

Close-up of the Sweet Spot priority matrix:

AND I’m using Google Keep (which I already use a lot) as a kanban board. While Google Keep is not really intended for kanban, by pinning some of the notes it works in a very similar way to keep projects handy and easily updated. It’s easy to set up, choose different colors for various types of projects, and update. The notes show up alongside Google Calendar with a click of a button.

I’m actually using Google Keep for my to-do list too, and often for reminders. These methods have been working rather well for me. Here’s to making positive shift happen in 2021!

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Posted in Ideas That Work, information management, work skills

Screen and Page: 2021 Oscar Contenders

For several years I’ve been reading books that have been adapted into movies, and watching the movies. I don’t always read or watch based on this criteria, but when I do, there are often pleasant surprises that I might not have tried otherwise. Of course, not all have been a good fit for me, and I haven’t enjoyed all of them. Sometimes I just get one or the other accomplished. And sometimes I choose to read books that have not been made into movies, and watch movies that are not based on a book. But on the whole, following the screen and page method has been a rewarding way to go. Three of my most enjoyable reads this year have movies in development or production, or are coming soon: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak, and The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn.

With the pandemic restricting new movie releases and movie theater showings, this year has been different to say the least. Still, the Academy Awards look like they are set to happen April 25, 2021, and I’ve been reading about some exciting contenders.

The Half-Life by Jonathan Raymond

The movie based on the book is called “First Cow” (PG13) and is available now on Showtime or to rent via Amazon Prime.

The movie “News of the World” (PG13), based on the book by Pulette Jiles, is due to come out in December.

The movie “The Midnight Sky” (PG13), based on the book “Good Morning, Midnight” by Lily Brooks-Dalton, is also due to come out in December.

The movie “White Tiger” (R), based on the book by Aravind Adiga, is due to come out in January.

More possibilities based on fiction books include French Exit, Let Him Go, and I’m Thinking of Ending Things. Check the 2021 Screen Reads lists at and Goodreads. Place your vote for a Screen and Page Oscar Contender at, simple collaborative lists without log-in.

Nomadland has been mentioned as an Oscar Contender, and is based on a non-fiction book by Jessica Bruder. Personally, I don’t enjoy reading non-fiction and the movie trailer didn’t grab me, so this isn’t my top choice for a screen read.

Update: So, I got “the Half-Life” by Jonathan Raymond read. I liked the descriptions, but the story was not at all what I expected. There was not a single cow in it! The trailer for the movie “First Cow” looks like it completely changes the book and leaves out a major character!

Also watched “The Midnight Sky” on Netflix. I was underwhelmed. Seems like they took an idea and stretched it waaaaay out.

Join the Screen and Page Group at Goodreads, and get news about upcoming releases at the Screen and Page Facebook page.

Posted in Books

2020 Calendar

Make positive shift happen in 2020 with a free printable CD Case Calendar! Keep handy information about the building blocks of positive shift at your fingertips. Here’s how to make a stand from a CD case.

Posted in productivity

The 10 Week Productivity Challenge

desktop10weekchallengeWhen we increase our productivity, we get more of the important stuff done. Productivity is also one of the top skills that employers want. Get started today with the 10 Week Productivity Challenge to learn how to manage your tasks and make the most of your time! Sign up here to receive an email course with the top ten tips to increase productivity. This free course guides you through how to:

  1. Look at time use with an audit
  2. Choose (or review) a system
  3. Follow a routine
  4. Plan
  5. Have a direction
  6. Increase focus
  7. Take action
  8. Review
  9. Simplify
  10. Pay attention

Productivity is about making the most of the time we have. There’s no better time to begin than now!

Posted in productivity

A Mindful Moment

In the moment that we notice, lies the potential for change.

Mindfulness is about noticing, paying attention, and being aware.

Mindfulness can mean observing the world around us. When we are mindful, we notice a beautiful sunset, inhale the smell of a flower, listen to moving music, feel a cool breeze, and savor the taste of food. We use all of our senses to notice what is going on. We look into the eyes of the people we love, and listen closely to what they are saying.

Mindfulness can also be about an inner focus: noticing our own thoughts and emotions, and whether we are paying attention to the negative or the positive, the important or the unimportant. When we are tuned into what is going on within us, we might notice that our energy levels are low and see that it is time to re-charge. We might become aware that we are spending too much time on work or social media, and neglecting the people right in front of us.

In our busy world with countless distractions, too often we become so absorbed by the virtual world that we forget to look up and notice. We are happier when we connect with others, so plan a face-to-face meeting with a friend, or get together with family, and focus on them. Pleasure is added when we anticipate a fun activity, or recall a fun time in the past.

There are meditations designed to increase mindfulness, like this walk along the beach video (24:41) from Jason Stephenson. But there is a difference between the two terms even though sometimes they are used synonymously. While very helpful for meditation and deep breathing (and all the building blocks of positive shift), mindfulness is really about being aware of the present moment. Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote that mindfulness means “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

A Mindfulness Exercise

Listen to a CD of the sounds of ocean waves, while imagining all the sensations of standing on an ocean beach, surrounded by blue sky, green palm trees, and the sweet scent of colorful flowers. Imagine feeling the warmth of the sun, a gentle breeze, and the sand beneath your feet. As you touch on all the senses, feel your connection with the world. Inhale deeply and stretch up, while imagining you are filling up with hope, peace, serenity, and calm. As you slowly exhale, reach toward your toes while you let go of all tensions and worries.

Tools to become more mindful:

Learn more at the Positive Shift Happens Toolkit

Posted in Ideas That Work

The Building Blocks of Positive Shift: BE MEASURING


The building blocks of positive shift are not complicated. You likley have heard of some of them before. Many of them are simple, and most of them are not hard to do. Why, then, do we often fail to practice them? They require an investment of time, and we may be so busy and distracted that we forget the convincing research on the Benefits of Happiness Habits in Infographics. I’m positive you will gain many benefits if you practice the activities have been shown to increase well-being by studies in the field of Positive Psychology. Learn more with resources at The Positive Shift Happens Toolkit

BEMEASURING Building Blocks pdf

Breathe: breathe deeply

Exercise: regular physical exercise

Meditate: practice focused attention, returning wandering thoughts back to the focus point

Emotionally Aware: understand your own emotions and empathize with others

Aspire: take action toward meaningful goals

Share & Spirituality: volunteer or contribute to a cause you believe in, perform random acts of kindness, connect with a higher power or philosophical and religious beliefs

Uplift: yourself with positive music and thoughts, and others with kind words

Relate: spend time interacting with people

In Flow: use the talents that cause you to lose track of time

Notice: look up, be aware and mindful, pay attention, smell the roses. Plan and anticipate activities, remember good times.

Gratitude: begin the day with appreciation, and end it by thinking of a few things you are grateful for. Thank those you are grateful for.

While the first letters of these activities happen to spell BE MEASURING, it is not usually important to measure them! What is important, is to make them a regular part of your life. The building blocks fall into the Four Ps of Positive Psychology: Power Up, Pause, People, and Purpose, with three in each area.

Posted in Ideas That Work, personal development

Reading Lesson Plan


All things phonics are moving to a new website at, please join us there! Many of the links that were formerly here are now at Reading Lesson Plan.

Posted in phonics

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