The January Lifebook Challenge: Your BIG BUT!
05Jan 2011

Our January Lifebook challenge was inspired by our dear friend, Sean Stephenson, who wrote a great book called “Get Off Your But!” (you can order it below). All Lifebook Members who join the challenge will receive a free gift – and the Challenge winner will receive the grand prize!

We all have our BIG BUTS. And we’ve gotten really good at using them as a cushion for not taking action on things we KNOW we should be doing.

“I was going to start my diet last week, BUT…”
“I realize I missed my deadline, BUT…”
“I know I said I’d call, BUT…”
“I really want to quit my job and start my own business, BUT…”


I don’t have time. It’s too hard. I’m too old. I’m too young. I don’t have enough money. I’m not smart enough. I’m a middle child. I’m too tired. I already tried that. I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll do it next week. I’ll do it next month. I’ll do it someday…


Our BIG BUTS get in the way of our success. They sabotage our happiness. They KILL our productivity. They keep us from achieving what we’re truly capable of achieving. Our BIG BUTS are the main reason we’re not living richer, more fulfilling lives!

And let’s face it, BIG BUTS are really SCARY to look at…


These are not cool character traits! Which, my friends, is why it can be really hard to admit that you even have a BIG BUT in the first place…

BUT… :-)

If we’re concerned with living the best life we’re capable of living…
If we’re dedicated to our own happiness…
If we’re committed to living the Lifebook Lifestyle…

Then we need to take a look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “What is my BIG BUT? And how can I get it out of the way of my happiness?”

So, speaking for myself… When I look at the goals I DIDN’T accomplish last year, they seem to be the EASY ones…

For instance, I set a goal at the beginning of the year to call or write my sisters and my dad once a week. Now, this is not the most difficult goal I’ve ever set for myself. It requires no study, rehearsal, budgeting, testing, training or sophisticated equipment. Pick up the %*@!$%!#! phone, for God’s sake!

And yet, I didn’t get it done…

WHY? What stopped me? I really WANTED to stay in better contact with my loved ones… It was IMPORTANT to me… I was PLANNING to do it…

BUT what?

But, I simply didn’t take the time…

It’s not that I didn’t HAVE the time. I managed to brush my teeth every morning. I got all my workouts in. I got all my business goals accomplished. Most weeks I even spent some good quality time with Bart and Lisa Simpson…

I simply didn’t TAKE the time to do what I said I was going to do. I didn’t make it a high enough priority. There were more pressing issues. I procrastinated. I got sidetracked. I lost track of time. Blah, blah, blah.

The bottom line is my BIG BUT got in the way.


This month, I will LOSE my BIG BUTT!

  • I resolve to TAKE THE TIME to call or write my dad and my sisters ONCE A WEEK. No BUTS about it!
  • I resolve to TAKE THE TIME to drink my green drinks EVERY SINGLE DAY. No BUTS about it!
  • I resolve to TAKE THE TIME to play with my kids an hour a day. No BUTS about it!
  • I resolve to TAKE THE TIME for myself on Sundays to completely RELAX with NO WORK (and that includes email). No BUTS about it!

Wow!!! That feels so much better! :-)

If you’d like to join the January Lifebook Challenge, simply take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, what is my BIG BUT? What’s the excuse I use most often for not doing the things I really SHOULD be doing? And be honest with yourself!

Then, resolve to make January an EXCUSE FREE month! Resolve to follow through to our commitments. Resolve to get your BIG BUT out of the way of your success!

So, who’s IN???


1. Declare your commitment to this challenge by posting a comment below. (make sure we have your email addy so we can send you your free gift)

2. Report your progress REGULARLY on this blog throughout January.

3. Give a FINAL REPORT on your results at the end of the month, preferably with 3rd party verification.

And by the way, if you’d like to learn more from the expert on getting off your BUT,  Lifebook Member Sean Stephenson has inspired us on this subject for many years! To buy a copy of Sean’s book, click here. To visit Sean’s website, click here.

18 comments “The January Lifebook Challenge: Your BIG BUT!”

  • Shenna Jean
    January 5, 2011
    12:10 pm

    I’m TOTALLY in! Time to shrink these big ol’ buts!! This is such a great way to kick off the year and really hold each other accountable! I’m so excited to see how small our buts are by the end of the challenge!!

    My theme for the year is: MAKE IT HAPPEN and I intend to do just that by kicking but in this month’s challenge! Here is my commitment:

    -I resolve to work out 6 times a week, at least 30 minutes a day, be it yoga, swimming or running, NO BUTS ABOUT IT!

    -I resolve to practice my Spanish at least one hour each week, NO BUTS ABOUT IT!

    -I resolve to take the time to read for at least one hour a week, NO BUTS ABOUT IT!

    -I am piggybacking off of you Jon and starting my Keep In Touch (KIT) Project: Taking the time to call and catch up with 1 family member and 1 long distance friend each week, NO BUTS ABOUT IT!

    Here’s to kicking butts in 2011 and MAKIN’ IT HAPPEN! (How many butt puns can I make in one post?!? hehe Sean will be proud!)

  • Sean Stephenson
    January 7, 2011
    12:10 pm

    I love this post!!!

  • Daali
    January 9, 2011
    12:10 pm

    LOSE my BIG BUT?

    I thought it was my greatest asset… (bad joke)
    Ok here we go…

    I resolve to spend each Sunday with Richard working in our Lifebook’s

    I resolve to shake my ‘butt’ at Zumba 4 times/week

    I resolve to drink a minimum of 3 liters of water a day

    I resolve to tell people ‘why’ I love them, instead of just ‘I love you’

    Let’s do this thing!

  • Chris Knight
    January 9, 2011
    12:10 pm

    I’m in.

    This month, I will LOSE my BIG BUTT!

    * I resolve to TAKE THE TIME to do high priority/high value action items at work while ignoring low value (but fun to do items). No BUTS about it!

    * I resolve to TAKE THE TIME to play racquetball 3X per week, swim 2X per week, weight train with a trainer 3X per week, and run 14 miles per week. No BUTS about it!

    * I resolve to TAKE THE TIME to eat a better breakfast daily. No BUTS about it!

    * I resolve to TAKE THE TIME to improve my portion control when eating. No BUTS about it!

    * I resolve to reduce my soda intake in half. No BUTS about it!

    * I resolve to TAKE THE TIME to help my son with his sports or homework daily. No BUTS about it!

    I already live a no-negative-thoughts allowed reality, but now I will also commit to myself to live a no-excuses-allowed reality for at least this month on the above intentions.

    Chris Knight of Silicon Cheese Valley Wisconsin (Green Bay)

    ps: Daali, I liked your last resolution and plan on doing that more this month.

  • Peter Scott
    January 9, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Awesome challenge, and perfect timing since we’re all going through the process of setting our annual and first quarter goals. My theme this year is “The Year of Massive Action!” No more procrastination, no more excuses, and best of all, no more “BUTS”. I don’t have the literary creativity to highlight as many butt puns as Shenna did, but here are my commitments:

    – I resolve to take time EACH WEEK to check my account to ensure that I am tracking my finances and staying within my budget, NO BUTS ABOUT IT!

    – I resolve to take the time to drink my Met-Rx protein shakes every day (including the weekends!), NO BUTS ABOUT IT!

    – I resolve to put first things first, NO BUTS ABOUT IT! Once I have thought through my work and decided on my most valuable task, I must discipline myself to start it immediately and stay with it until it is complete. When I concentrate single-mindedly on a single task, without diversion or distraction, I get it done far faster than if I start and stop and then come back to the task and pick it up again.

    Thank you all for being a part of my accountability group!

  • Daali
    January 9, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Thanks Chris!

    By the way… I’m from Appleton! (Live in Arizona now though)

  • Merle
    January 9, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Daali, if you’re the Daali who did Lifebook with me, how are you? Nice to see your name.

    Well now! My but is a strange but…perhaps! But in my office, there’s this pain the in butt who has been pushing me too far for a long time. On Friday, I lost it! I kicked his but !!! And I am going to kick his butt until he buts out! And I think my friends at LifeBook would agree he deserves me to kick his butt……butt out…….no buts about it.

    I also really need to start my own business, and my but is the money bit…….I think I’m gonna have to but out of that too! No buts about it.

    And hey…..this does feel good! Thank you guys. P.S. Sean introduced me to LifeBook.

  • Bethany Kelley
    January 10, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Hi everyone!

    I am going to take 30 minutes every evening to read- no buts about it!

    I LOVE to read, but it’s always the first thing that I cut out of my busy days. Having the time to sit and read sounds like such a luxury, however it’s a luxury that I deserve (and one that is 100% affordable to me). A good book feeds my soul and gets my creativity flowing. It is something that gives me energy and relaxes my mind.

    To really go for it, I am going to spend a few minutes making this extra special by lighting some of my favorite candles, making myself a cup of tea, and inviting my dog up on the couch to snuggle by my side- for me, THAT sounds like a dreamy way to spend an evening at home.

    I have a bookshelf full of half read and unread books to choose from, so there is no excuse for waiting another day. I am going to pick one tonight and start. No buts about it.

  • Peter Scott
    January 10, 2011
    12:10 pm

    I know it hasn’t even been a full week into the challenge, but I wanted share a quick update. Simply by resolving to put first things first, and concentrating single-mindedly on a single task, without diversion or distraction, has led to my most productive day in a very long time. Not only with my work, but also with my personal goals. I can already tell that this is going to be an incredible month!

  • Chris Knight
    January 11, 2011
    12:10 pm

    To increase my public commitment, I’m going to share a live view into my daily weight and bodyfat data:

    This comes from a Withings WiFi scale that you can buy on that connects to a free iPhone app.

    Started Dec at 212, ended at 206. I’m at 205.0 today. Goal by April 15th: 192 lbs. (keep in mind, I haven’t been below 200 lbs in 5+ years and haven’t been down to 192 in more than 10 years).

    More important to me is bodyfat drop from the 21.4% I tested at last Friday to 16.0% by April 15th 2011. I haven’t broke this down yet to become monthly goals. That’s on my list this week.

    No BUTS about it! :-)

  • Sandra Garest
    January 11, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Okay VIPs – I’m in!

    I loved the added accountability that the December challenge gave me and am committing to two things this month that are in alignment with my theme of the year… Energy is Everything! I have abundant ENERGY to accomplish all of my goals & dreams.

    One habit that I know will flood my life with positive energy is taking time every Sunday to plan & prioritize my week ahead in terms of both professional & personal goals. No buts about it! I will take the time and not let the week get started without me…

    Secondly, I commit to taking 15 minutes in the classroom of silence everyday for reflection, reading or meditation. There is an art to slowing down. In our busy world it is not easy to master this art, but it is necessary. I need to learn to slow down and access life. Slow down. Breathe deeply. Reflect deeply. Pray deeply. Live deeply.

    Looking forward to hearing about everyone’s success this month & conquering our big buts…

  • Ashley
    January 12, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Happy 2011! This is AWESOME and I am deleting the word “BUT” from my vocabulary. I noticed BUT came into play yesterday when I skipped yoga. I found myself saying “I planned on going to yoga at 4pm BUT I got too busy at work so I missed it.” This will be a great way to stay on track and thank you for your support.

    Here are my resolves:

    1) I resolve to maintain my 31-day yoga challenge (doing yoga everyday in January or at least 31 times in the month) no BUTS about it. Right now I am on 10/12 for the month.

    2) I resolve to call my Dad and Nana once a week no BUTS about it.

    3) I resolve to meditate for 15 minutes everyday no BUTS about it.

    4) I resolve to work in my Lifebook every Sunday no BUTS about it.

    Cheers to a NO BUT lifestyle and a great 2011!

  • Heather Rice
    January 12, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Hey Gang,

    I am so inspired by all of you. My strategy to resolve my buts is to butter myself up :-)
    I realized as I read the challenge and the responses that there was a particular piece that I have not been dealing with. it is showing up in 2 major areas. I have what I fear are 2 difficult conversations I need to have with my wusband and my business manager about some things that aren’t working. I notice that if that subject is avoided everything is “fine and pleasant” but it is growing into an elephant for me! and we all know how big an elephants but is…

    I resolve to breathe, get clear in myself, remember my strengths (that is the buttering up part) and be brave and speak my truth. I think I will throw a little NLP and EFT in for good measure.

    And for a simpler resolution: I will play my violin daily.

    And in the spirit of the theme of this month, I will exercise daily, even if it means pushups/ situps/ squats before bed! That was the one challenge I fell short on last month. Second chances count!

    I really like this idea of monthly challenges. I feel like it is adding incredible value and momentum to my Lifebook experience. thanks to all of you who participate and inspire me.

    Heather in Vermont

  • Jon B
    January 14, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Hey everyone, Here’s my half-time report:

    I’ve been doing GREAT with my commitments this month! My BUT hasn’t gotten in the way ONCE so far… :-)

    1) Literally talked to my sister Tammy more in the last 2 weeks than the previous YEAR! On track with sister Deb and my dad too!

    2) I’ve had at least one green drink every day, despite the fact that we’ve been in living Beirut and Cairo! (big win here!)

    3) Spending time and playing with my kids MORE than my commitment; soccer, dungeons and dragons, seeing cool sites… It’s been awesome.

    4) Taken 1 Sunday off so far and planning another one this weekend!

    You guys have some really nice BUTS and hope you’re all having great success with them this month! Give us an update! :-)

  • Lakshmi Subramanian
    January 18, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Fellow Lifebook members,
    It’s good to see y’all kicking some serious BUT’s. It’s 18th Jan, BUT it’s better to be late than never. My process goals for this month are

    1. Workout 3 times per week. This has been coming good except missing couple of workouts because of inclement weather.
    2. Tracking my finances daily and monitoring. This is something I started last week and I’m doing everyday since then.
    3. Read 5 hours/week preferably 1 hour/day in ‘Marketing Testing’ area.
    4. Write at least couple of blog posts about my LifeBook Journey.

    There, you have it guys.


  • Chris Knight
    January 21, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Howdy Lifebookers,

    Think you can RUN “101 Miles by April 15th 2011?”

    If so, join my @NikePlus Challenge:

    I love running because it’s a high energy expenditure activity, especially when you do interval or HIIT training. I hope you can join me in this 101 miles by April 15th. In the past, I’ve done longer distances in shorter periods of time, but found that I needed a balance between racquetball, swimming, and weight training. :)

    I hope you can join me in this running challenge… No BUTTS about it.


  • Chris Knight
    January 29, 2011
    12:10 pm

    I’m in Chicago for LifeBook day 3 and this morning I used this blog post as motivation to get my run/weight lifting in before the day began… NO BUTTS about it.

  • Sandra Garest
    January 31, 2011
    12:10 pm

    With just one more day to go in the month I’m happy to report that I’ve been successful in taking my 15 each day to step into the classroom of silence and center myself. Even though some days it was really hard to set aside the time with all of the “urgent” things that fill my day, I have to say that I now look forward to these 15 minutes of grounding and self-awareness.

    Throughout the month I mixed up the way I used my time in silence which made it more fun for me. I read my Lifebook, meditated, prayed, wrote in my gratitude journal, planned my week ahead or just reflected on the day. And the days that I was really thinking about skipping this time, I have my fellow members to thank for the added accountability I needed to make it happen!

    So thank you! I wanted to share an excerpt from my Character chapter that reinforces for me the power of creating positive habits: Success in life and work will be determined by the kinds of habits I develop over time. The habit of setting priorities, overcoming procrastination, and getting on with my most important task is a mental and physical skill. This habit is learnable through practice and repetition, over and over again, until it locks into my subconscious mind and becomes a permanent part of my behavior. Once it becomes a habit, it becomes both automatic and easier to do…

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