January 06, 2012

Open Source Civilization

Open Source is in my world since Linux became known as an alternative OS and I use examples since I read Eric S. Raymond's book The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

My thing was (and is) open source education (see: open source curriculum), but looking for real life community solutions one must look beyond software and content alone. Looking for the ultimate DIY tool-box you can start your life and survive if possible with these modular (hardware) tools:

Starting with the open source Blueprints for civilization (modular hardware) by Marcin Jubowski: see Open Source Ecology

Open Source Education has a few angles in which it develops, looking at the available curriculum (content), the teaching methods and the used resources: Here are a few links:

Speaking of an open source knowledge ecosystem by Richard Baraniuk:

And as a guide for open source teams: How Open Source Projects survive poisonous people:

The above Google talk is aimed at coding projects, but useful for any non-profit or volunteer-based project.

January 24, 2011

Update january 2011

Working on a temporary combined page due to heavy traffic and on metamagazine.com
Trying to put all my fragmented old Blog-pages in this open Blog.

My Book-collection of 550+ books is large and heavy on the server so if possible (exporting existing pictures etc) I will link that to the online version of Bookcollector (from Collectorz.com). An old (2008) incomplete booklist is available on LibraryThing.

Things that keep my busy lately:
* Global Economy and financial crisis: we need to develop a sustainable currency, I started with a pilot with time-based currency on tijdruilen.nl ; It needs some additional work on the backend (Cyclos software).
* Publishing my Meta-files and Meta-frameworks as meta-tool or handbook: "Metahandbook: Frames for Life". What systems and frameworks to include and what not to include.... Selection and narrowing of content is hard.
* Hosting Business - my idea was an automated business model (with Tim Ferris' 4 hour workweek as reference), but theory and reality don't match with my specific configuration.
* Hiring a Personal Assistant online for specific tasks, and JV with programmers for certain ideas and tasks.
* MetaLifecoaching: working on a set of tools related to coaching, Life-coaching and more specific Meta-Lifecoaching including Energy Psychology and Energy Medicine using biofeedback-tools.
* Some concerns about use and misuse of social media; which medium to use for what? At the moment I have a very fragmented reality online. I was trying GetGlue for a while with moderate success, but it's not complete yet since Facebook (and other networks like Hyves) uses it's own likes... I did activate sharing it on this Blog.
* Reading and studying books related to the Ascension-process and 2012, the Global Shift, consciousness, spirituality, enlightenment etc. Highly Sensitive People (HSP) play a key role regarding sensitivity and intuition.
* Organizing, GTD and LifeHacking (broad sense)

June 30, 2010

Omnigadgets iPhone 4 - iPhone 5 - iPad 2

I am stil waiting for a good deal for the iPhone 4 : The iPad (large iPhone but without the camera's) broke the sales-record last year. The Android phones and devices filled the emptiness (Void) of over 10 week delivery-time of the iPhone 4 last summer. Also the antenna-problems (which obviously was a design flaw) didn't help much either. The new HTC (Desire Z) and Samsung Galaxy S (and Samsung Galaxy Tab) are good alternative candidates.

I now have a Kindle (3G + WiFi) for reading books and my PDF-documents, but the combination of listening to a specific audio-lesson in MP3 and reading the corresponding PDF does not work well. Searching through documents on my iPhone does not work as convenient as my desktop or laptop and (for what I heard the iPad does not do that either, unless you put these documents in Google Docs or a specific app). The fact that Flash is not supported feels a bit like cutting off a large part of the Internet-content. I could use a remote viewing app like Teamviewer to work on my desktop with my iPhone, but this is improvising. Rumors say the iPhone 5 might come out in april 2011 and the new iPad 2 (with camera's) even sooner in February 2011. Since the price of the iPhone 4 didn't drop (it even increased, the 32 GB model including 2 year telecom-services: T-Mobile now to €329 + €29,95 a month, was €269 + €29,95 a month when introduced).
Maybe I will buy the new iPad 2 instead of the iPhone 4 or even wait for the iPhone 5.
Picture and movie editing, visual and speech-recognition, streaming camera recording, stereo-audio recording and a longer battery-life (currently max. 8 hours continuous use) is what I'm aiming for.

Below my initial comments - in concept - of June 30, 2010:
Yes I will also comment about the new Apple iPhone 4. The long awaited new iPhone after the iPhone 3GS was announced just over one month ago and sales skyrocketed in the first days to almost 2 million pieces with the pre-orders.
OK I admit it: I really want one. But why? Mainly for the features I miss on my current iPhone 3G: Good quality pictures, videorecording + editing, multitasking, a compass (which was already included in the 3GS) and Blue-tooth Keyboard support.

I wonder how many people actually use these specific features, but we will find out soon:
Given the new video + editing possibilities on the iPhone 4, this should increase video-blogging: This feature will definitely increase the number of movies on YouTube.com (Although movies and clips can be recorded in HD(ready) quality it gives no guarantee about the value of the published content.
Quality pictures: pictures taken at workshops or seminars currently (with 3G) are often not acceptable enough for archive-use. The new 5 MP (low light support) camera will probably produce better quality pictures. I assume with multi-tasking background support there will be note-taking apps like Evernote that support recording, scribble note-taking and taking pictures at the same time (without interruption of the stereo(?) recording).

Multi-tasking: for what I have come to hear it's a low level multitasking-feature like music or streaming background sound but it's a good start. Background recording or better live Speech-recognition with Dragon Dictate (not yet available in EU) or Dragon Naturally Speaking on my iPhone would be nice.
Live sound analysis like Shazam or SoundHound now does for music with (con)textual information and recognition with GPS combined with personal preferences could be a new killer app. A location based genius-like app for suggested places to go to, attractions to visit and people to meet (a bit like aka-aki, but with live location-based feeds: sort of a "around me"+ app)

May 26, 2010

Trend Fusion Artist Lady Gaga

At first I must have ignored Lady Gaga's popularity as an artist until it became obvious a few months ago she's one of the most influencial people in performance, music and fashion at the moment (even to the world according to Time May 2010 Time 100). At the moment many fans and artists use Lady Gaga as inspiration for creating their own style. For example: Lady Gaga combines several (known) styles in her performance art video's and clips: she dresses extravagant, sexy, uses all kinds of fashion accessories, Bling-bling (diamonds and sparkling jewelery), extreme makeup, masks, Gothic subculture, spiritual symbols, new wave, avant-garde and Electropop. On sites about Lady Gaga it is said she's influenced by Marc Bolan, David Bowie (both artist in the Glam Rock genre), also Queen, Madonna and Michael Jackson are mentioned as wel as Deepak Chopra in het Times interview, her dress-style is a tribute to Andy Warhol known from his pop-art.

OK this was only my introduction to my point: Lady Gaga to me is an example of an even bigger Fusion-trend in music and fashion using popular items and concepts from the past. The fact Lady Gaga is the most downloaded artist on YouTube (almost 213,000,000 times at the moment for the Bad Romance Video). This specific Lady Gaga video has some common elements with the classic 1982 Thriller videoclip by Michael jackson (13.42 min.); the supernatural, zombie-like creatures, the crawling dance, the world in a world, and struggle for power.

The interesting part about the designs is the link to cultural, cult and fashion-trends. It's very loose and therefore adaptive, which means anybody can join in and reuse the ideas to their own like. Lady Gaga created a movement, a tribal sphere of creatives who are inspired to create their own style. She's a catalist for style innovation and that's why she's setting a trend.

Update June 10:
I just watched the new Alejandro video (Also see YouTube) via the official Lady Gaga website. Well produced but maybe a bit too much erotic and less Gaga style what we know her for. Some interesting new dance-moves to say the least. The eroticism might just be interpreted as a selling tool like Madonna once did but with the difference that it had been done before: is she going for easy publicity? Sure sex sells but is she going mainstream and follow Madonna's path (Gaga even uses similar religious symbols) now that we can see her real face in the video? Is she testing her public? Suggestions and rumors about Lady Gaga posing nude for Playboy are getting heavier and Gaga seems to explore this medium as a way of expression. Below the quotes from Popcrunch.com:

“No-one wants her to do it. Her business people are trying to convince her that it could be seen as being a bit lowbrow and cheesy, and will alienate her fans who like her edgy appeal,” says a spying Bunny close to the rumored Playboy deal. “She thinks it will be an experience, and she’s always looking to grow as an artist. She doesn’t think there’s anything distasteful about it. She sees it as just another form of expression.”

The source squeals: “She’s been chatting with everyone about it all week. She’s always been a fan of Hugh Hefner’s, and his whole sex-as-art kind of thing. She’s always looking to shock and entertain, and something like this would be perfect for her. She wants her shoot to be like nothing Playboy has every seen before. If she doesn’t drop it, her nude shoot will be like nothing Playboy has ever seen!”

We shouldn't forget Lady Gaga is an artist trying to explore (and maybe exploit) every medium and channel to the fullest. The challenge is to continue and top the teasing-climax after publication. What is the next level after full exposure? What if Gaga's erotic videoclips are reduced (in the public minds eye) to a teaser for her posing nude for Playboy? Can she continue to make other (new) forms of visual satisfaction? What new performance dimensions will she explore or develop? Will her "little monsters" (as she calls her fans) stand by her and support her in her exploration at the edge, in nudity expression? Does she dissociate from her fans and cross a point of no return? She is playing with fire since the public expects something extraordinary; an ordinary nude beach-shoot for Lady Gaga would probably be considered artistic suicide.
I sincerely hope Lady Gaga will continue to explore her creative expression as an artist and not reduce herself to just another Playmate or Playboy-Bunny.
[Will probably be continued]

March 17, 2010

Life is a Game; and the rules are changing

What if you could consider your Life as a Game?
What would be the Rules (general principals, norms & moral guidelines) and Goal of the game?
What kind of incentive and punishment are you giving yourself (You, the Player)?
What activities, interactions and accomplishments would you earn 'points' for?
What kind of points would you like to score?
Would you go for accumulation of Wealth (currently measured in a relative subjective form of Currency: Money) or maybe another value good like: Gold, Clean Water or Energy-units?
Also directly related: What kind of Bad (like waste and garbage) should you avoid or deal with?

On a more Psychological and Spiritual ground you could deal with- or eliminate 'mind'-things that are taking a lot of your time, like worries or unnecessary energy-leaks (resulting in stress): Humans tend to have energy-leaks towards the past or the future. These (often recurring) thoughts about certain people or events are an indication (and opportunity of awareness) that you are not being fully present in the now. You need to accept and forgive to give closure to these (often negative) energy-absorbing thoughts. For the future it is best to be positive (or at least neutral) toward anticipated events. If you sense fear in yourself, you can accept this fear as a signal that you need to prepare or even practice for the anticipated event, like a Fire-drill. As an alternative visualization exercise: If you can accept the worst-case scenario as a possibility you will feel relieved. A generic attitude (by default) with focus on a smooth and positive outcome is best for your body's energy-system and for your health. The stress-level can physically be measured as Heart Coherence (measuring the HRV: Heart Rhythm Variable) with a sensor attached to your finger or ear. This stress-variable can be measured with a portable device and added to your current Life-game.
[Related Biofeedback: Heartmath emWave, Game: The Wild Divine]

The interesting (self-reflecting) factor in your Life as a Game begins when you start thinking about your passions, the things you really like to do (normally: things that give you energy), your natural skills, and your success-variables.

[Changing Rules]
The New Economy, and life within this economy has new rules. The new consumers label themselves as Fans (Apple inc.) vs Customers (Microsoft) which adds a new dimension to Brands. People tend to be loyal to their personality patterns, or put differently: "people don't like to change their common behavior". Brand loyalty can be measured in real life (a tendency to buy one product over the other: ceteris paribus) but in a game-setting these Brand aspects might be described in product-context terms like "Popularity" (based on current sales), or product Quality terms "component or ingredient declaration and Quality" (which is most frequently used), "Industry Standard", "Connectivity & Usability", "Open vs Closed Source", and the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) "Product Lifespan & Lifecycle". I would not be surprised if sustainability and social accountability (like ecological fair trade & treatment of employees) as a Brand value become more important. As an example: the iPhone application (Goodguide.com) scans and checks barcodes with databases revealing the context and lifecycle aspects of the product and Brand. This way you are able to score all aspects of a product (energetic, ecological, ethical, political and sustainable). For example if you want specific info about your ecological footprint you can add these values to your Life-game and make a purchase choice on a product-level.

Web 2.0 (inter-connectivity (RSS), personalized pages, communities) and Web 3.0 (mobile contextual info, meta-tags, and P2P tribes) changes the way we communicate and interact with others. You can see online companies adding interactivity to their communication with terms like dialog-marketing sending personalized mail (harvested by a contest, web-form or social networks). Amazon's personalized and customized recommendations based on previous orders and similarities with other customers in the data-pool are probably the best example.

Given the fact we can communicate and interact relatively easy worldwide with other people on the Internet, a personal challenge with the right social networking coordination can immediately become a collaborative project, multipliable initiative or even a tribal movement. The implications of unlimited scalability through the available technology are enormous and we can only grasp the near future. The power and possibilities of Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, tribes, social networks (which are now very measurable) and mobile technology will definitely change our world-view and the way we live.
I hope we will create some real life contexts (domains / arena's) to play with this technology in sandboxes before all newbies and digitally impaired are broadcasting everywhere and (unintended) clogging or even destroy (by overloading) the system. Peer review (like on Wikipedia) might offer a solution, but I seriously see a need for Computer, Media and Internet (Communication Technology) education (Information Literacy) in non-invasive, limited impact controlled sandbox context.

Back to your Life-Game, some final thoughts:
What is your preferred Arena (playing field)?
What are your specific targets (within this context or arena)?
What resources will you use? (information, tools, materials, people, funding)
When have you reached your "level"?
How will you be awarded and how will you share your experience and accomplishments?
How can you document and model your accomplishments as a teaching for others?

Other related info: Game Theory, Moral Psychology, WikiHow: Make-Your-Life-a-Roleplaying-Game, Goalsetting community: 43 Things]

January 06, 2010

Development of an iPhone-aplication: XS Explorer

Project Proposal: Accessibility Explorer or XS Explorer      
Accessible Europe is a project of Toegankelijk Nederland.nl – draft 1.3

In order to collect user generated accessibility data about locations (buildings and travel destinations) and use the great potential of a potentially worldwide user database. I propose an iPhone application named Accessibility Explorer or XS Explorer (as a shortened name). With the Apple iPhone you can survey and take pictures of the location directly from inside the XS Explorer application and use it to visualize specific attention area’s. The iPhone touch screen can also be used to draw a sketch of a room or situation and you could link it as comment to a question. You can even record audio comments making this useful as a real reviewing tool. The build in GPS-receiver will be used to place the location on maps and link it to pda, mobile phones (smartphones) and other navigation devices through Points Of Interest (POI’s).

About Accessible Europe
Accessible Europe’s mission is to chart the accessibility and usability of public buildings, attractions and travel destinations. The primary focus is on people with specific disability challenges like being unable to walk (and therefore use a wheelchair), being unable to see (blind or short-sighted using tools to navigate and distinguish visual information), difficulty with hearing (using special hearing devices or totally deaf, meaning alternative means of communication other than audio or voice. Other specific challenges needed adaptations or requirements in buildings are asthma (COPD), obesity, baby-care and being short.

Accessible Europe collects and shares location based accessibility information about available public facilities (for specific disabilities) in and around buildings (objects) like restaurants, libraries, hotels and museums.

If you’re planning a family reunion in a group facility it is vitally important to know beforehand if your aunt in a wheelchair can sit at the dining room table and if there is a wheelchair toilet where she can go to powder her nose. If the meetingroom is on the second floor you also need to know if there is an elevator and if the doors of the elevator are big enough for a standard-size or XL-sized wheelchair.

Become an Accessibility Explorer
With the proposed multilingual iPhone application all iPhone users can become instant Accessibility Explorers or XS Explorers. The idea is adding new objects on the go. Any (public) building or destination you visit can be added. Keep in mind we're looking for accessible locations. After registration (with username, password and email with confirmation) as an Accessibility Explorer you can use the Accessibility Explorer tool (or XS Explorer for short)

1.    Stand before the main entrance of the object/location. Press “Add new object”, the current GPS location will be stored while typing in the name of the object. Select the function of the object from the rollbar: (for example Restaurant, Cinema, Public Toilet, Hotel, Retailstore)
2.    When the name and function are saved, the online database is checked if this location (300 meters) or if this name already exists in the database. If location and/or name exists you will be presented with the option to review and/or edit the existing data or add a new object. Used Object-ID's will be stored on the iPhone. Active Explorers will be reminded to review and comment visited locations / objects.
3.    Add general contact info or URL for the object (usually found on folders, brochures, businesscards found at the entrance or reception).
4.    Take a picture of the main-entrance or front of the object. (picture is automatically uploaded in background, after being resized to max. 1024 pixels if needed) Select the categories-types (logo’s) you want to review or chart (default = all); Wheelchair toilet, Wheelchair, Deaf (or bad hearing), Blind (visually impaired), Asthma (COPD), Obesity (extreme overweight), and baby-care (lactation-room and/or diaper changing facility).
5.    Fill in the category questions with a score +, +/-, -, unknown (default), not applicable. comment each question if needed. These scoring is based on the ITC (International Accessibility Codes which are in the contextual help on screen with examples to determine the score. Exact measurements (with / length / height in cm) (of doorways or elevators for example) can also be added if the Accessibility Explorer has a measuring-tool available for this.
6.    Take pictures or draw a sketch at each critical point (entrance, corridor, leverage angle, turning circles, etc.). Registered XS Explorers also have the ability to draw or sketch on top of a new or existing picture. The original pictures are stored in the archive.
7.    Fill in extra info at the notes section. Save all object info on the iPhone.
8.    Review the explored object and upload it to the server. (upload with pictures can also be done later when in WiFi-range). Personal comments and notes can be added to each of the questions, categories or rooms.
9.    Registered Accesibility Explorers could receive Explorer community points for each object they successfully upload. (The system keeps track of all submitted locations and feedback on the information-quality)

After internal checking of the submitted data the owner from the object will receive an automatic message:
Your location "[Location name]" classified as "[object function]" on GPS mapped location [GPS object location] was visited by an Accessibility Explorer [XS Explorer Nickname] on [object visit date].
Please review the data online [XSexplorer object URL/Object ID]
If you feel this information is incorrect or incomplete, please register as Accessibility Explorer and edit the object.
You can also change or add more contact information, your opening hours and a description of 2000 characters.
If you score at least one + in the XS Explorer review you may add our "Visited by Accessibility Explorer" Logo and link to your homepage. If a visitor clicks the logo he will go to the review of your location on our webpage. You can choose copy and paste the code or banner from the MyXSexplorer page.
If you want more information on how to make your location more accessible please visit [Accessibility Explorer building tips URL]
Thanks for your support,

The XS Explorer team.

Find accessible object
1. press "search from current location" to check for objects nearby (scalable in "Settings" from 1 km to 50km radius). All accessibility options are selected by default but can be unclicked. The results in unchecked categories will be grey and nearest results with checked criteria with show first. Options to search for object type, name, city, province or radius from current position.
2. Select your location to display Accessibility info and contact info.
3. Click call [name location] to call the specific location.
4. Click Show on map to show the location in the maps application
5. Click Navigate to location to start your navigation application

Extra software features:
·    Accessibility Warnings: A dangerous or critical notification about an object / location. (like Wikango speedcamera warnings app)
·    For larger outdoor objects like theme-parks you can add sub-objects like wheelchair-toilets and continue from step 4 with a new picture.

Database entries:
XS explorer username, object GPS location(s), object name, object function, date and time of initial data collection, date and time of submission (or mutation) [also: keep mutation history], contact information Location question categories: accessibility streetwalk path (bestrating), entrance, entry level (begane grond), elevator, toilet, wheelchair toilet, bathroom, corridor, primary room, hearing , blind / sighted, obesity and baby care questions.

Applications for other mobile platforms like Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Google Android should be added as soon as the basic iPhone app is running. The accessibility database website should have a mobile / pda-version for viewing on a small screen. Primary connections to Google-maps and augmented reality applications like Layar should be implemented from the start. Being an XS Explorer using Interactive augmented reality while answering questions about the object could a cutting edge application and fun thing to do. This could give the Accessibility Database a real boost.

ToegankelijkNederland started in 2001 with zipcode based location information using a paper questionnaire; the answers were transcribed on the input webpages connecting and storing it to the central database. The current database was setup with the presentation in mind and is not ideal for collection of GPS based object-data.

A few years ago pda’s and smartphones became more and more advanced with build-in camera’s and GPS. XS Explorer collects and charts location based information with GPS. GPS-info is used by mapping and navigation devices. For exchange and connectivity between systems it is more logical to use GPS as a general identifier than zipcodes. It is still highly recommended to also collect the formal address and object information like name and contactinfo (such as telephonenumber, email and URL). The iPhone app is focused on easy data collection and location based retrieval.

Costs & Investment
The initial XS Explorer application for charting Accessibility should be free from the Apple App store to promote the XS Explorers community. Advertising from featured Accessible locations could pay for the community. Integration with other applications or adding other personal location based info could be sold as a paid iPhone application XS Explorer Pro. Spin-offs or combinations with desktop-syncing applications like Evernote are ways to monetize this app.
This app can easily be modified and used for adding meta-info about any GPS-location (like an external addon for MotionX GPS) or object and any questions can be added.

Option 1: Low Budget: An initial investment with a programmer-auction site like Elance.com or rentacoder.com could be around EUR 3500 for the app, database and basic CMS with a monthly cost for hosting and maintenance of around EUR 200.
Option 2: Adaptation or sponsoring by a software-development company showing high valued real useful application of their technology. This is a win-win situation since the company created a new service for a potential group of 15-35% of all people who use one or more accessibility tags for objects. A wheelchair accessibility tag usually means strollers with babies or small children will most likely also fit.
The only condition for sponsoring or Joint Venture is that usage of the accessibility-database is non-exclusive and should be open to anyone. (Also for other application builders).

A new database and community website should be developed for this Accessibility Explorer application. An API for search, import / export and object-mutation requests could be made to facilitate synchronisation and connections between other databases and applications.

AccessibleEurope (ToegankelijkNederland.NL) is currently (December 2009) in the final phase of testing a new accessibility website made in the CMS Joomla. Instructed volunteers from the different disability-organisations will visit specific object locations (like restaurants, hotels, public service buildings and theatres). These volunteers will measure and test accessibility and usability by answering a basic set of questions for their specific disability in all (or most crucial) functions (and/or room-types) in an object.

Data example
Normal wheelchair accessibility for example requires a minimum passage with of 80cm including enough space for a a turning circle of the wheelchair; this is scored as +/-. For an extra large wheelchair you should have a minimum of 100cm and a larger turning circle; these entries and passages are scored +. Examples of other measured aspects are height-differences (should be minimal), toilets, (bathrooms / showers), elevators (is it big enough and can it be operated from within the wheelchair?), reception or service-desks (can it be used from within the wheelchair?), lockers (within reach), usable table height, and available exits.

I need help setting this up. If you have experience with building iPhone apps or like this project please contact me for more info.

Toine Fennis.

September 20, 2009

Identify Roadblocks - Don't Give Up on Change

I came across a good article by Marshall Goldsmith about roadblocks or traps you can fall into, and how to prepare for them. Very useful for the 4D NLP base-model (Current Situation, Wanted (changed) situation, Blocks and Resources) checking for congruence, future pace and especially realistic / SMART goalsetting.

Question for Ask the Coach:
Change is hard. It takes forever and I don't even know if it's working. Any tips for making this process easier?

Change takes longer than we think and the process is difficult. Acknowledging these facts can make your attempts more successful. My co-author Dr. Kelly Goldsmith, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, and I researched why people give up on their goals. We discovered that there are five common reasons. Understanding these roadblocks will help you apply some preventive medicine — and increase the odds that you won't fall into the same old traps.

1. Ownership
"I wasn't sure that this would work in the first place. I tried it out — it didn't do that much good. As I guessed, this was kind of a waste of time."
The classic mistake made in leadership development, coaching, and self-help books is the promise that "This will make you better!" After years of experience in helping real leaders change real behavior in the real world, I have learned a hard lesson. Only you will make you better.
To have a real chance of success, you have to take personal ownership and have the internal belief that "This will work if, and only if, I make it work. I am going to make this work."

2. Time
"I had no idea that this process would take so long. I'm not sure it's worth it."
Goal setters have a chronic tendency to underestimate the time needed to reach targets. In setting our goals for behavioral change, it's important to be realistic about the time we need to produce positive, lasting results. Habits that have taken years to develop won't go away in a week. Set time expectations that are 50% to 100% longer than you think you will need to see results — then add a little more.

3. Difficulty
"This is a lot harder than I thought it would be. It sounded so simple when we were starting out."
The optimism bias of goal setters applies to difficulty as well as time. Not only does everything take longer than we think it will, but it also requires more hard work than we anticipate.
In setting goals, it's important to accept the fact that real change requires real work. Acknowledging the price for success in the beginning of the change process will help prevent the disappointment that can occur when challenges arise later.

4. Distractions
"I would really like to work toward my goal, but I'm facing some unique challenges right now. It might be better if I just stopped and did this at a time when things weren't so crazy."
Goal setters have a tendency to underestimate the distractions and competing goals that will invariably appear throughout the year. A piece of advice that I give all of my coaching clients is: "I'm not sure what crisis will appear, but I'm almost positive that some crisis will appear."
Plan for distractions in advance. Assume that crazy is the new normal. You will probably be close to the reality that awaits.

5. Maintenance
"I think that I did actually try to change and get better, but I have let it slide since then. What am I supposed to do — work on this stuff the rest of my life?"
Once a goal setter has put in all of the effort needed to achieve a goal, it can be tough for him to face the reality of what's needed to maintain the new status quo. When one of my high-potential leaders asked his boss, the CEO, "Do I have to watch what I say and do for the rest of my career?" the CEO replied, "You do if you plan on ever becoming a CEO!"
Here are the cold, hard truths. Real change requires real effort. The "quick fix" is seldom a meaningful one. Distractions and things that compete for your attention are going to crop up — frequently. Changing any one type of behavior won't solve all of life's problems. And finally, any meaningful change will probably require a lifetime of effort.

[The original Ask The Coach article 'Don't Give Up on Change' by Marshall Goldsmith was copied from: Harvard Business.org]