Provision #248: Write it Down

Laser Provision


To stay motivated for life, sometimes you just have to write things down. The process of writing things down clarifies your thinking, keeps you on track, and moves you forward. This works for individuals as well as groups. The next time you’re feeling stuck, take out your pencil or keyboard and start writing.

LifeTrek Provision


This past week I had two motivating experiences, and they both involved writing things down. They also involved sharing the joy, which was the fourth Provision in our current series on Ten Ways to Stay Motivated for Life (See the archive on the Web for past issues). There’s nothing better than getting excited about something with friends and then committing that excitement to writing.

Allow me to tell you the stories. Last week in the bulletin board section of LifeTrek Provisions I mentioned that I had written a book entitled “Flesh and Spirit: A Holistic Approach to Losing Weight and Living Well.” I also mentioned that I would be marketing it as an e-Book. Several of you wrote to ask where you could buy a copy. The only problem: I had not yet found a distributor.

One reader and friend immediately took up the cause. I sent him the book and he converted it to the standard DOC format for the Palm Operating System. He then sent it back and pointed me in the direction of several outlets. Within 24 hours, the e-Book was available for purchase from Handango. 

It was very motivating and great fun to pull that together so quickly. At one point my friend was chatting on line while my family was looking over my shoulder. We would write down and submit one version of our promo material, critique it, change it, and upload a revision. We would have a new idea, only to start working on that as well. How about a free demo version of the book? How about bundling past issues of Provisions as e-Books? How about a Pocket PC format? Once the ideas started to flow out of our fingers, there was no stopping them.

Apparently a lot of people appreciated our efforts. In the first few days on the market, 61 people downloaded the free demo version. That’s fun too. But it was even more fun to write down our ideas and see them evolve, in lightning speed, at their inception, right before our very eyes. Click Here to See For Yourself.

I had the same experience this weekend, as the LifeTrek coaching staff went on retreat to talk about, plan, and jumpstart the evolution of our company. Four of the six people involved with the company are looking to transition to full-time coaching as soon as possible. Since we last met, all four have either enrolled in or completed their coach training. This fact combined with other external factors made the gathering electric.

Once again, it helped to write it all down. With newsprint and markers we generated a slew of new and expanded ideas. To mention seven:

  1. We will offer a free teleclass every month to you, the readers of LifeTrek Provisions.
  2. We will share more of the leadership for writing Provisions on a weekly basis.
  3. We will develop new consulting and coaching programs for use with corporations and organizations.
  4. We will expand our repertoire of assessment instruments, including the Discovery 360 process.
  5. We will market more coaching products on the LifeTrek Web site, with a standard shopping cart.
  6. We will use more portals, such as AvantGo and Handango, to spread the word about LifeTrek coaching.
  7. We will organize our first LifeTrek coaching retreat, open to the public, before the end of this year.

The energy in the room was palpable as these and other ideas were put down in writing. It wasn’t enough just to speak them out loud. They had to be written down in order to crystallize and take full form. “Offer. Share. Develop. Expand. Market. Use. Organize.” Those powerful words of action became even more powerful when we saw them and many others written down on paper.

At one point we reviewed our work from the last retreat regarding our values and mission. Reading what we had written down four months ago was freshly motivating. “Inclusive. Open. Affirming. Balanced. Flexible. Trustworthy. High-Quality. Courageous. Spiritual. Practical. Individual. Corporate.” “Did we say that?” we asked ourselves with renewed appreciation. “That is definitely our vision. That’s why we’re here. That’s what we have to contribute to the world through the coach approach to personal, professional, and organizational development.”

I’m sure our work on this retreat will impact many of you in the year ahead. But right now I want you to be impacted by the process rather than the product. What made this such a motivating, energizing, and productive time was that a group of people shared the joy and wrote down their ideas. In my experience, that formula works every time. If we hadn’t written it down, some things would have stayed fuzzy, slipped through the cracks, or been forgotten. As Confucius once said, “The weakest ink is stronger than the strongest memory.”

The point is that writing things down serves not only the mind but also the motivation. Nothing brings things into focus better than having to write them down. And once they’re down, you can use that writing in all sorts of ways:

I keep a personal mission statement taped to my computer monitor. From that convenient vantage point, it’s easy to review and rehearse my core values on a regular basis.

  • One couple enjoys the surprise, even after many years together, of putting or finding love notes in new, unexpected places.
  • Many people keep daily logs in order to stay connected to their patterns and energy flows. The logs become sourcebooks for motivation and change.
  • Reflective journals go beyond awareness to the inner conversations themselves. In reflective journal writing, we ask not only “What’s happening?” but “How do we feel?” “What are we learning?” and “What do we want to be happening?”
  • Art is a kind of writing that comes from the other side of the brain. When you get tired of writing things down, try drawing them out. This can be very powerful.

Want to stay motivated for life? Write things down. Do this on your own and with others. The process of writing things down will clarify your thinking, keep you on track, and move you forward. It will solidify your preferences and build your confidence. It will make a difference in the way life goes.

To reply to this Provision, use our Feedback Form. To talk with us about coaching or consulting services for yourself or your organization, Email Us or use our Contact Form on the Web for a complimentary coaching session.

LifeTrek Readers’ Forum (selected feedback from the past week)

Editor’s Note: The LifeTrek Readers’ Forum contains selections from the comments and materials sent in each week by the readers of LifeTrek Provisions. They do not necessarily reflect the perspective of LifeTrek Coaching International. To submit your comment, use our Feedback Formor Email Bob.


Congratulations on the 20,000 and 110 nations • what a bully pulpit! And now the Rome marathon! Keep on keeping on! And thanks for allowing Gordon Cosby to preach to your readers.


Thank you for your dedication, coaching, and tremendous service. Please send info on the electronic version of your book. Thanks! (Ed. Note: Click Here.)


It is really amazing how far flung your messages are going around the world. I am so happy for you. You offer so many valuable advice and tips for better, healthy living. I know because I really know how important it is to take care of myself. It is well worth every effort that I give. Recently my chiropractor offered me a knee cuff with magnets. Do you have any information about magnets? (Ed. Note: Will comment in a future Wellness Pathway.)


I would be very interested in the e-Book on weight control. Have you considered a digital format for the reading of your book? Audible.com distributes material like this. (Ed. Note: Thanks for another great idea! Will pursue.)


May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
Immediate Past President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org
Author, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a TimeOnline Retailers

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