The Simple Life
“There are three things you can control every day. Your attitude, your effort and your actions.”

–Jon Gordon


The fact is simple. You are NOT in control. Not of everything, at least. However, you can focus on what is within your control and play the odds. If you focus on the things you can control, you will place yourself in the most ideal situations, most often. By doing that, odds are, life will work out the way you want it more often than not.


How Do You Do This?

So, how do you do this? By focusing on what you can control.


How do you know what you can control? You must start by understanding the difference between what you can control and what you can’t. This is very important.


I personally believe there are three things that you can focus on every day to ensure you’re focusing on what you can control.

These three things are your attitude, your effort and your actions.

  1. Keep a positive attitude
  2. Work hard every day
  3. Ensure your actions are making yourself and others better

If you can do these three simple things each day, you’re focusing on areas you can control and that are important.


Tod Meisner

Choose to be positive. Positivity is contagious. Positivity makes you worth interacting with each day. Be someone that other people look forward to seeing each day.  


I challenge you to try and be the most enthusiastic person you know. See how much this impacts those around you in a positive way.



Your work ethic doesn’t form overnight. It takes years and years of honing your skills and grinding until you reach your goals. You get to those goals by putting in the work. By sitting at the desk and working hard.


I equate this to the age-old question, “How to you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time. Show up and do the work and work hard each day, one day at a time. Stack these hard-working days on top of each other and eventually you naturally form your work ethic.



You know the Golden Rule. Treat others as you would want to be treated. It is a maxim found in many religions and popular culture. Align your actions with your long term values and beliefs.


Go out of your way to be kind to those around you. Open a door. Give a compliment. Ask someone how they’re doing — and genuinely listen to their answer. Take someone out to lunch. You’ll be amazed at how these acts of kindness will transform your life.


Tod Meisner


Focus on what you can control to ensure your life works out the way you want. There can be a lot of variables in your life and you can’t control many of them. Focus on what you can control and watch your life change. I promise it’s not a cliché, it’s the truth.


What about you? Will you start focusing on these three areas to change your life for the better?


Career Growth

I’ve not lived up to my pledge to fill this blog with regular posts, because as I’ve said previously, life keeps getting in the way. That’s a good thing though, and I have kept up my practice of writing down the thoughts that swirl in my head. I’ve been working on getting those notes into this blog and I’m finally ready to share a few with you now. Be A Better you!


As I’ve faced some rejections and adversity this spring, I’ve been made further aware that you have to look out for yourself because nobody else will. I’ve also been made well aware that YOU are the only person who cares about your personal growth. It’s up to you, and only you, to make it happen!


It is imperative that when times get tough, you stay positive and you stay proactive. The best way to further your personal growth is through positivity and proactivity. If you aren’t doing these two things, you are being reactive and negative and will be unprepared to take action when faced with adversity.


Keep these tactics in mind as you look to grow yourself personally…


Be passionate, but also be realistic

Being passionate is good, but you must look at the big picture when you get passionate about something. Having passion without realistic goals or a taking a proper look at the big picture can lead to frustration.


Fear will only hold you back

Let go of your fears and face things with positivity. Stop worrying! Taking a risk will be uncomfortable, but if you are confident in your choices, there should be no fear of failure. You must be ready to step outside your comfort zone!


Emotional decisions are usually bad decisions

Letting emotions get in the way of a big decision can lead to misguided reactions. You are usually acting with a minimal amount of thought when emotional. Sometimes our emotions are based on an unusual impulse. Always make sure to take time to look at the big picture and consult your better judgement.


Flexibility for change is vital

It is easy to get comfortable with your surroundings and accepting things as they are. Comfortable is easy, change is hard. But, it is important to stay flexible and learn to accept change. Learning to accept change is vital to long-term happiness and success.


Identify what you don’t want

It is important to realize that recognizing the things you don’t want in your life is as important as recognizing what you do want. Identifying what you don’t want helps you to focus on the big picture. Don’t ignore what you don’t want. Recognize it and make the decisions to get you what you do want.


Take ownership of your actions

When you have considered the points above and have clarity about your personal growth, act and act confidently. Take full ownership of your actions and be ready to accept the outcome. Taking full ownership will allow you to achieve success in the long-term.


YOU ultimately control your attitude each day and hopefully these tips can help you find some personal fulfillment.

I hope to write again soon and provide some personal and professional updates in addition to other ways you can better yourself with positive thinking. Stay tuned and thanks for reading.


The Simple Life

I firmly believe goal setting is good. Even though we get beaten over the head this time of year with terms like “New Year’s Resolution” or “New Year, New You,” and tend to tune them out, I still feel it is important to set intentional and realistic goals.


When I say intentional and realistic, I mean we need to move past the thoughts of “I am going to lose 10 pounds this year” or “Saving money will be a priority,” and focus on small changes and steps that can lead you to amazing progress.


We need to change how we approach our goal setting and begin to focus on Progress NOT Perfection.

Tod Meisner
Resolve to Evolve

I touched on this mindset in early 2018, and I’m here again to show you how I was able to achieve most of my goals I shared with you then, and how I’m just as committed this year to evolving and achieving my short-term goals as I was in 2018. It’s really easy; I promise you!


My wife Megan and I are using the same method to become more mindful and intentional in our goal setting. We like to call it the “Resolve to Evolve” plan. Check out the link and click on the template to help you brainstorm, create and carry out your goals for the upcoming year. The action plan only requires you to identify three steps leading up to the goal, along with a 6 month review. 


Your goals should be SMART.  SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. It’s that easy!


Smart Goals

In 2018, our goals focused on five categories: health, career, relationships, financial and spiritual/learning. We chose these categories because these are five focus areas that tie into my core values and beliefs. The easiest way to live an intentional life, one that has true purpose, is to align your actions with your core values and beliefs. By focusing on small changes and measurable progress, you are less inclined to get in a rut and think that the goal is un-attainable.


This method can help you break the routine of setting unrealistic resolutions that you bail on by March and transform your life in ways you didn’t think were possible. Goal setting should be a fun, thoughtful activity that causes you to reflect on your best qualities and how to improve upon them in the New Year.


As I stated, in an effort to hold myself accountable I published the blog last year with my 2018 goals. Here is the update to those goals along with what I have set for myself in 2019.


Tod Meisner
Goal Updates

Health 2018 Goal: Complete 80 workouts by 8/31 – COMPLETE – I worked out a total of 125 times in 2018 and lost close to 20 pounds.

2019 Goal: Complete 80 workouts in 2019 (knowing teaching four days a week limits my gym time), along with maintaining my current weight and running a 5K. Why? Make health and wellness a priority. Workouts need to be the norm and not the exception.


Career 2018 Goal: Obtain more digital marketing certifications – COMPLETE – Two new certifications added to my resume in 2018
2019 Goal: Speak at another Ragan conference and one more speaking gig Why? Public speaking better promotes myself as an educator, speaker and minimalist.


Relationships 2018 Goal: Send one hand-written note per month – COMPLETE – I’m not positive it was one per month, but I sent at total of 15 hand-written notes in 2018.

2019 Goal: One date night dinner per month with Megan Why? With our professional lives getting busier, it is important for us to be intentional about our “us” time. We like to spend those moments over good food and drinks.


Financial 2018 Goal: Pay off my last credit card – COMPLETE – We’re debt free entering 2019 and it feels amazing!

2019 Goal: Donate my time and money responsibly Why? With financial freedom, it is important to me to donate to worthy causes and correlates to my 2019 One Word: Service


Spiritual/Learning 2018 Goal: Read eight books – COMPLETE – I finished Everything That Remains, Perfectly Yourself, Smart Baseball, The Last Boy, It Looked Like Forever, The Big 50, More of Less, Are We Winning and The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity.

2019 Goal: Write nine blogs Why? I like to write and it keeps my mind sharp and my blog fresh. It is also another way for me to market myself and showcase my knowledge and abilities.


Always make sure when writing down your goals to set realistic deadlines, work in a 6-month review or check-in dates to track your progress and have a “why” behind each goal. If you’re not aligning your why to these goals, you’ll lose focus on their importance and more than likely fail to meet them.

Without these steps, your goals will lack direction.  And without direction, you may end up at an unknown, and unwanted, destination. Work to be intentional and not accidental.




One Word

I want to leave you with one final, easy, and actionable step to help you make 2019 the most productive year of your life. Pick your one word. Yes, one word. Author Jon Gordon and others have used this method to help people focus on just one simple word, instead of a daunting list of broken promises or unrealistic resolutions.


My one word for 2019 is “Service.” I want to be able to give more of myself and my time to others in 2019. Whether that is through my time via teaching and speaking or donating funds to causes in which I believe. Our financial freedom is allowing us in recent months to do both and I want to multiply that time this year.


Giving to others fills me with a sense of purpose and better aligns my every day actions with my core values and beliefs. To choose a single word, you must have a clarity and focus in your decision. You are moving toward the future rather than swearing off the past. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Identify the person you want to become
  2. Identify the characteristics of that person
  3. Pick a word

Before you embark on this journey, a subtle warning: Don’t be surprised if living out your “one word” feels unnatural and awkward at first. Remember, the reason you want to focus on this word might be due to the fact that this characteristic may not currently be present in your day-to-day life. Give it time and stay with it.


So, give it some thought. Follow the above steps and think about your one word for 2019. By focusing on one word and setting realistic goals in 2019, you will begin to believe in yourself like never before. You will be on your way to becoming the best version of yourself.




Support, Challenge and Celebrate

Be honest and challenge yourself in 2019. You can’t grow as a person if you aren’t honest with yourself. You must know yourself to lead yourself, and you must challenge yourself without being too critical of yourself. In 2019, begin to believe in yourself without being prideful. We’re imperfect people striving for perfection. We have to learn to celebrate our progress in 2019.


Perfection isn’t possible. But, a constant effort and a constant celebrating of our progress is possible. The more we celebrate our progress, the more progress we’re likely to make. I will consistently focus on my word this year, and I’ll use it to be intentional in my actions and not accidental.


The word and my goals will be used to challenge myself to become the best version of me. I will also work to celebrate the transformative progress I make in 2019. The psychological encouragement that comes from knowing that we are actually making progress is incredibly powerful.


How will you celebrate your progress this year?


Career Growth

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome requires self-awareness. A firm grasp that what you’ve achieved and what you want to achieve are impressive and attainable. You’ve given your best all along the way and that is what matters. You don’t have to be “the best” at anything or have “the best” numbers or achievements to be worthy of the accolades you’ve earned in your career.

Don’t let your fear of being “found out” take hold of you in your career. Consider these three thoughts the next time you let self-doubt creep in.


The Simple Life

Fear Of Missing Out. FOMO. I know you’ve heard of it. It’s a real thing and both people and brands have trouble with it on social media. I’d be willing to bet that both of those groups fight it on a daily basis.

This ever-increasing checking of social media is leading to many cases of FOMO. Our attention is diverted from our real work and real problems by the escape of social media. I’d be willing to bet many of the posts you see on social media come from brands and marketers trying to capture your attention.

But let’s be real, not everything on social is important (gasp!) and not everything on social needs to distract us from what really matters. So, in an effort to help level off your time spent on social media, let me present my four ways to avoid FOMO so you can become a better version of yourself.