How to Make Your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions Actually Happen

Only 8 percent of people actually keep their New Year’s Resolutions. Don’t be in the 92 percent who break them! Family Therapist Ken Dolan Del-Vecchio shared tips to set attainable goals for 2018.

  1. Make your resolutions very specific and measurable so there’s no wiggle room: “I will take a walk that lasts at least 20 minutes on at least 3 days every week” or “I will put at least $25 into my savings account after receiving every paycheck,” instead of “I will exercise more” or “I will save more.”
    2. Write your resolutions down and carry them with you in your purse or wallet. Writing down your goals makes it much more likely that you’ll follow through.
    3. Make your resolutions achievable, not overly ambitious. Notice that above I wrote “at least 3 days every week” instead of “every day.” Setting overly ambitious resolutions is a recipe for disappointment, frustration, and giving up.
    4. Tell people who love and respect you what you’ve resolved to do and encourage them to bug you, in the nicest possible way, about following through. This kind of loving accountability can work wonders.
    5. Give yourself small rewards as you follow through, even if this only means taking a moment to congratulate yourself. Savoring our achievements encourages us to keep going.
    *It’s important to note that very small, easily achievable behavior changes often spark even more significant changes. Success at making small positive changes in our behavior fuels the self-esteem and motivation that leads to bigger changes.

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California Drought Kills 27 Million More Trees 

Another 27 million trees died in California last year due to the lingering effects of drought, according to new aerial survey data from the U.S. Forest Service. That brings the total number of trees killed statewide to a staggering 129 million since 2010.

trees killed by drought

In a typical year, about one million trees die across California. But beginning in 2014, that number began ticking up as aerial surveyors with the U.S. Forest Service started to notice entire hillsides turning yellow, brown and orange. At the height of the drought, in 2016, they counted 62 million dead trees in a single year (here is a map of the mortality progression).

Adrian Das, a forest ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, previously told KPCC that he wasn’t surprised that after a single wet winter, trees were still dying.

“The trees have been weakened and under a lot of stress and we have these beetle populations that are doing well,” he said.

Drought often kills trees indirectly. By depriving them of water, trees become weakened and unable to ward off diseases, fungus or bark beetles, which are always present in the forest but explode in numbers when trees are unable to fight them off.

Last winter, more rain and snow fell on parts of the Sierra Nevada than in the previous four years combined. Some trees have recovered, and the death rate is slowing down.

The lower rate could also be a result that so many trees have already died, so there’s just not much left to be killed, said Stephanie Gomes with the U.S. Forest Service’s tree mortality task force.

Indeed, this year’s data shows species with lower death rates in the past are dying in different parts of the state. Previously, the hardest-hit species and regions of California were pines at lower elevations in the Southern Sierra Nevada, where the highest temperatures sucked water out of soil, depriving trees of what little moisture existed. Now, Gomes said death rates are increasingly in higher elevations among fir trees in northern reaches of the mountains.

Part of the problem, scientists say, is that forests throughout the West have too many trees. Historically, many forests used to experience fire more frequently than they do now, which resulted in saplings and small trees dying in the blazes and leaving many forests more open. In the past century, firefighters put out those fires, meaning more small trees were able to survive and forests became crowded.

Now, climate change is forcing more trees to compete for a dwindling amount of water. As temperatures rise due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions,more water gets sucked back into the sky and out of the soil and the ground.

Gomes said the U.S. Forest Service is trying to compensate by thinning out forests either through logging or with prescribed fires so trees don’t have as much competition for water. The agency will also be prioritizing removing dead trees that may pose a safety risk, such as those growing along highways, campgrounds, and power lines. But it is difficult for the agency to do this work when more than half its budget every year goes to fighting wildfires.

“As fire suppression costs continue to grow as a percentage of the Forest Service’s budget, funding is shrinking for non-fire programs that protect watersheds and restore forests, making them more resilient to wildfire and drought,” Randy Moore, Regional Forester of the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region, wrote in the news release.

Source: California Drought Kills 27 Million More Trees | KQED Science

Peter Drucker: His Legacy & Thought Leadership 

Peter Drucker

We celebrate the birthday of Peter Drucker this month.

Born November 19, 1909, in Vienna, Drucker is considered the father of modern management because his insights and pioneering ideas transformed the way we conduct business.

Drucker’s 38 books have been translated into more than 30 languages, showcasing thinking that’s as fresh and powerful today as it was when his first book was published in 1939.

Peter Drucker fled Nazi Germany, and his experiences in Europe kindled a lifelong fascination with the issue of authority. “I suddenly realized,” Drucker wrote, “that Keynes and all the brilliant economic students in the room were interested in the behavior of commodities, while I was interested in the behavior of people.”

Peter Drucker – A Man of Firsts

Drucker considered himself a “social ecologist,” and his interest in people led him to powerful conclusions that poked holes in conventional wisdom. Here’s a sampling – all firsts:

  • Introduced (in the 1940s) the concept of decentralization, which remains the organizational foundation of every large organization in the world.
  • Advocated (in the 1950s) that workers be treated as assets and not as liabilities to be eliminated.
  • Advanced (in the 1950s) the idea of the corporation as a community built on trust and respect for the worker where profit is not the primary goal but an essential condition for the company’s continued existence.
  • Pioneered (in the 1950s) the idea that there is “no business without a customer.”
  • Argued the need for “planned abandonment” to counter the tendency of businesses and governments to cling to “yesterday’s successes” that have outlined their usefulness.
  • Coined (in the 1970s) the term “knowledge worker,” predicting that knowledge would become more valuable than raw materials.

“The world knows he was the greatest management thinker of the last century,” said Jack Welch, former chairman of General Electric Co., upon Drucker’s death November 11, 2005.

Powerful Questions

It’s said that “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.”
Drucker was a master at posing the deceptively simple question that could unlock potential.

Early in Jack Welch’s new role as CEO of GE, he invited Drucker to the company’s headquarters. Drucker posed two questions to Welch that shaped the CEO’s long-term strategy: “If you weren’t already in a business, would you enter it today?” Drucker asked Welch. “And if the answer is ‘No,’ what are you going to do about it?”

These two simple questions prompted Welch to insist that every GE business had to be either No. 1 or No. 2 in its class. If they were not, the business was fixed, sold or closed. The strategy that transformed GE into one of the most successful American corporations of the past 25 years started with two questions posed by Drucker.

In his book The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization, Drucker wrote that “answering simple questions requires us to make stark and honest – and sometimes painful – self-assessments. Answers are important; you need answers because you need action. But the most important thing is to ask these questions.”

Here are Drucker’s five most important questions:

  • What is our mission?
  • Who is our customer?
  • What does the customer value?
  • What are our results?
  • What is our plan?

How do you answer these questions?

Thought Leadership

Peter Drucker’s legacy is profound, broad and relevant for today’s leaders wrestling with change and uncertainty.
Consider these gems from Drucker – each a revolutionary thought then and now:

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

“Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.”

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

“You can only manage what you can measure.”

“What’s measured improves.”

“What everybody knows is frequently wrong.”

“Do not simply cling to your past successes; be willing to change, adopt new ideas and continually review all the different segments of business.”

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone made a courageous decision.”

“A leader, any leader, must act for the benefit of others and not for oneself.”

If you own one of Drucker’s books, now would be a good time to re-read it.

If you don’t own one of Drucker’s books, now would be a good time to buy one and read it.

In times of uncertainty, it’s wise to apply the fundamentals. Peter Drucker’s fundamental approach to business continues to bring out the best in leaders.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Drucker.

Source: Peter Drucker: His Legacy & Thought Leadership | Greg Bustin