Clarify Vision

How are your New Year’s Resolutions Coming Along?

Are you still following your New Year’s resolutions?

For many of us, a New Year’s resolution lasts a couple weeks, maybe a couple months.  Why is this?  Why do we lose motivation?  Where does the lack of interest come from?  For those of you who are diligently following these routines and achieving your goals, bravo!  For the rest of you, here are some tips to get back on track with those pesky goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year.  Enjoy.

  • Be clear. If you are setting a resolution or goal for yourself, make sure it’s very clear and specific.  Vagueness may be easy and attractive, but the more specific you are, the harder you will work.  Trust me.
  • Look in the mirror. Each day, wake up and look in the mirror.  I recommend reciting two simple phrases to start each day; “I am responsible” and “I like myself.”  Are you responsible for your actions?  Do you like yourself as a person?
  • Motivate yourself. Find ways to motivate yourself with music, rewards, checkpoints, or whatever you have to do to create self-motivation.
  • Practice the five second rule. Whenever you are faced with a quick daily decision (i.e. getting out of bed, what to wear, etc.) make it in five seconds or less.  This creates urgency in your routine and trains you to be decisive.
  • Set and keep appointments with yourself. Are you supposed to workout today?  Treat it like an appointment you would have at work.  It’s very important to not let yourself start to slide.  Are you keeping appointments with yourself?
  • Find an accountability partner. Or create your own mastermind group.  Including others in your goals can be very helpful.
  • Do it for someone else. If you struggle to be self-motivation, keep a picture of your kids on your desk or focus on someone else and do it for them.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson supports a local autism awareness group in Rochester, NY (AutismUp) and he will be speaking at their Lights Up Gala on Saturday, April 29th.  You can show your support and make a donation at

Life Tip #55:  Write your goals down on paper with positive affirmation

It’s Autism Awareness Month — Do you Support a Cause?

What cause can you get behind?

April is Autism Awareness Month and ever since the J-Mac game 11 years ago, I have been very passionate about supporting the autism movement and spreading awareness through AutismUp, a local organization here in Rochester, NY.  Do you have a cause that you are passionate about?  I strongly suggest that you find a cause and become passionate about helping out any way you can.  If you are searching for a cause to get behind (which I strongly suggest), here are some tips to help you out.  Enjoy.

  • Find something you are passionate about. For me, my heart was touched after the J-Mac game in 2006.  Autism soon became something that I had a personal connection to and my passion followed shortly after.  What are you passionate about?
  • What fits your purpose?  This is very similar to asking a business about their mission.  What is your purpose in life?  Is there a cause remotely close to what you would define as your purpose?  The closer the cause is aligned with your life purpose, the more personal joy it will bring you.
  • Support your family and friends. If you are struggling to find something you feel really passionate about, ask your friends and family members.  They might be able to point you in the right direction or bring you along to a fundraiser/event and transform their passion on to you.  Sharing your passion can be very powerful.
  • Share with others. Once you have your cause chosen and you get behind it, make sure you share it with others.  Not only can they help support, but it will help spread the word and awareness as well.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson and J-Mac are attending a Zappos Autism Awareness event in Las Vegas next week.

Life Tip #84:  Leave a legacy by leaving the world a better place by how you live your life

How to Overcome Negative Procrastination

How do you overcome procrastination?

Each day, we are faced with tasks and items that need to be done.  Procrastination can sprout up at any moment and convince us it’s okay to wait or not perform the task at all.  There are some rare forms of positive procrastination, but for the most part, it’s an ugly characteristic that must be dealt with.  I have learned some tips and tricks over the years on how to deal with this unwelcomed train of thought.  Let me know how you deal with it as well!  Enjoy.

  • Create energy. In your life, there will be many opportunities for you to sleep in or be lazy.  I have found if you exercise regularly and eat well, you will have more positive energy to avoid procrastination.  Going to sleep at a decent hour helps as well.  Develop inner energy for yourself.  How do you create energy for yourself?
  • Setup daily disciplines. Whether it’s when (or how) you brush your teeth, eating breakfast regularly, or how you get dressed, you must develop daily disciplines.  This will help you feel accountable for all your actions.
  • MVPs every night. These are your “Most Valuable Priorities” that will help prioritize what’s truly important to get done.  Recognizing the true aspects of your life that need attention is a step in the right direction to kick your procrastination habits.
  • Bunch activities. Be efficient and do multiple things at once.  Bunching your activities together will help free up time to continue on your path toward success.  How do you multi-task each day?
  • Reward yourself. Each time you accomplish something or find yourself being productive, it’s okay to treat yourself as a reward.  This will create a sense of positivity in your brain that procrastination is not an option.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson is re-releasing his Anniversary version of his book on March 1st?  It has been 11 years since the J-Mac game and he is still sharing his story with others.

Life Tip #34:  Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

What Does Your Perfect Team Look Like?

How do you build your Team?

Last week, I shared part 1 of my how to build a great team series.  This week, I continue my TTEAMM acronym and give you the second three crucial aspects of a perfect squad.  While we all want to win and be successful, sometimes we overlook the key aspects of building a successful group of people.  Here are a few more tips to focus on when searching for perfection.  Enjoy.

  • As you may have heard, attitudes are contagious.  We must find people for our team with an attitudes that match the overall goals of the group.  If someone has a poor attitude, it can infect the group as a whole.  How can they handle good and bad situations that arise?  Make sure your team is filled with positive attitudes that stop at nothing until the job is done.
  • What is your teams’ why?  Find people who will be able to align with the goals and values of the whole.  Be very clear and carve out roles for each individual.  This will help establish boundaries as well as optimize the efficiency while attempting to accomplish certain tasks.  What is your why?
  • Mental toughness. Having team members who don’t get too high or too low is crucial to your success.  Being mentally tough takes more than just being thick-skinned.  Your team must learn to deal with adversity and success alike.  Do you have what it takes?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson’s former boys basketball team at Greece Athena High School in Rochester, NY is currently 15-2, lead by his former assistant coach.

Life Tip #66:  You can’t live a perfect day without doing something nice for someone who can’t pay you back.

What are the Ingredients of a Great Team?

How do you make a great TTEAMM?

A great team is something that can be built.  With the right ingredients and development, any group of people can come together for the betterment of everyone and form a strong unit.  This week, I give you the first three letters (T, T, and E) of my TTEAMM acronym with the focus on building a great team.  As you read them, think to yourself; What is a great team really made of.  Enjoy.

  • In order to have a great team, they must trust one another.  Trust must be earned and awarded at all times.  The instant trust goes away, marks the beginning of the end.  Trust each other, trust leadership, and trust the process.  It can take a while for trust to be built, so stay patient.
  • You must have a unified common goal amongst your squad, bringing everyone together for a sole purpose.  I always liked to take my players out for dinner outside of the court.  These little activities can go a long way in building a team atmosphere.  How do you get your team to stay together?
  • Those who have drive and passion should have a spot on your team.  They know what it takes to be successful and don’t stop until goals are achieved.  It is crucial to stay upbeat and focused throughout the journey.  How is your enthusiasm?

Did You Know?  In honor of the 11-year anniversary of the J-Mac game, Coach Jim Johnson and J-Mac are speaking at a local school in Rochester and also giving a basketball clinic to 6th-graders.

Life Tip #65:  You should always look to add value to others

Have you thought about Leaving a Legacy?

What will your legacy be?

As we go about our daily lives, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture and what we wish to accomplish.  How do you wish to be remembered?  What will your legacy say about your life?  These types of questions must be at the forefront of your mind each and every day.  It is crucial that you carry yourself in the highest manner as often as possible.  Recently, I was asked about my thoughts on my former team (Greece Athena High School, Rochester, NY) and their 7-1 hot start.  I have thus compiled some tips to help you leave a legacy worth remembering.  Enjoy.

  • Develop a leadership philosophy. Live with the philosophy that everything I touch turns to gold.  This will rub off on others and they will be ready to lead when you are gone.  What is your leadership philosophy?
  • Be a role model. Set a high standard for yourself as well as your team and expect to live up to those standards.  Once you have achieved your goals, raise these standards and set new goals.  Always seek to grow and develop ways to strive forward consistently.
  • Train and develop leaders. Prepare others to take over once you are gone.  This will allow your program or organization to not miss a beat.
  • Have a succession plan. Once you are gone, who will take over?  What will the new regime look like?  How will it operate?  It is important to have these items taken care of while you are still involved.

Life Tip #65: You should always look to add value to others

Do you Have a Financial Independence Plan?

What is your financial independence plan?

In order to achieve financial independence and wealth, much like anything else, we must have a plan to get there.  In my younger years (teens and 20’s), I did not see the value in saving or starting a retirement account.  I wish I had.  Starting your retirement account 5-10 years sooner can result in a significant amount of money when you retire.  Below are some other financial tips for you to include in your financial plan.  Enjoy.

  • Set a financial goal. What do you wish to earn?  What do you wish to have when you retire? What percentage should you invest?  All of this is specific to you and your life, so make sure you set your goals sooner rather than later.
  • Pay down your debt. Student loans, car loans, and even your mortgage can burden you for a long time.  Make sure when you come into some extra cash, you pay down these debts as it will save you much more in the long run.
  • Seek ways to increase income. Whether it’s at your current job or your dream job, find ways to increase your value and ultimately, increase your pay.  Don’t settle for your current situation.  Maybe start a side job to earn extra income.  Live the lifestyle you can afford.  How can you increase your income?
  • Seek advice. Your parents, coworkers, or even other friends can be a great resource of information and advice for you.  Make sure you utilize their knowledge to create your own plan.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson was a late bloomer when it comes to investing and saving.  He didn’t start a retirement account until he was 33 years old.  It’s never too late to start!

Life Tip #4:  Pay yourself first, make it a high priority to start a retirement account

2017: How can you Create Positive Change in your Life?

Are you creating positive change?

Now that the new year is here and 2017 brings nothing but hope and wonder, how are you creating positive change for your future?  In this week’s #CJJblog I am going to give you a few tips to help ensure your future is bright.  Below are some thoughts I had, but be sure to let me know if I missed anything.  How are you preparing for your future?  Enjoy.

  • Develop a morning routine. This will start your day on a positive note and set the tone for the entire day.  Eat a good breakfast, exercise, or read 30 minutes every morning.  Do this consistently and you will find yourself having more productive days more often than not.  What do you do in the morning to get your day started on the right foot?
  • Organize your life. Whether it’s your car, your office, or your home, get it organized as soon as possible.  The feeling you get after cleaning or organizing something meaningful to you is unlike any other.  Positive actions lead to positive thoughts, which ultimately leads to positive action.
  • Write down your goals daily. Start with your top 3 list of goals, then expand outward.  If you do this on a daily basis, you will soon end up with a master list of your top 10 goals, where you can focus on what really matters to you.
  • Create/join a mastermind group. There are endless benefits to surrounding yourself with like-minded productive individuals who share your goals and values.  A mastermind group will also help to serve as an accountability partner, whom you do not wish to disappoint.  Do you have a mastermind group you can talk to?
  • Change one habit. Whether it’s eating poorly, smoking, or exercising regularly, I challenge you to make one improvement on a bad habit you are trying to break.  Make positive change in your life and positive outcomes will soon follow.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson will be attending the National Speakers Bureau Showcase in Minneapolis, MN on January 12th.

Life Tip #29:  In decision making, always ask yourself “If I make this decision, then what?”

What is your Leadership Philosophy?

How do you lead?

As leaders, we all should have our own unique philosophy.  How should we lead those around us?  Should we be strict and not cut corners?  Should we be laid back and promote fun and happiness?  There are many choices you will have to make on this leadership journey, but here are some tips to consider when establishing your philosophy.  Enjoy.

  • Lead yourself first. What do you value?  Make sure you establish trust and confidence in yourself before anything else.  You must be clear about your mission and values to your team.  Prioritize them and live your life as consistently as possible.
  • Develop your own philosophy. We can read books and watch videos about others and their philosophy styles, but it’s extremely important that you establish your own style.  Make it unique and relevant to the group you are leading.  My leadership philosophy: Everything I touch turns to gold.  What’s yours?
  • Lead by example. Have a plan and execute it through your actions.  Always imagine you are on stage and act accordingly.  Be prepared at all times and expect the same from your team.  When was the last time you lead by example?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson speaks to other local groups around Rochester, NY.  Last week he spoke to a group of Boy Scout leaders and helped them lead their troops.

I was a great honor to host Coach Johnson one evening to speak to several of our life-long Boy Scout volunteer leaders who serve hundreds of youth in Lighthouse District within Seneca Waterways Council, in Upstate, NY… Coach Johnson – a very inspiring leader who engages the audience with thought provoking questions to reflect ourselves in the direction of our lives.

– Jonathan Seiler, Lighthouse District Executive, Seneca Waterways Council, Boy Scouts of America –

Life Tip #40: Add more disciplines to your life to become a more attractive person

How do Leaders be Consistently Successful?

Are you being consistently successful?

As leaders, we must place most of our focus on being consistent with our actions.  Each day is a new opportunity to prove our ability to lead our team.  As we progress through the journey toward success, we must always remember to act as if we are on stage and act accordingly.  Below are a few tips I have compiled to help you stay consistent with your leadership actions.  Enjoy.

  • Confidence without ego. Believe in not only your abilities, but your teams’ abilities as well.  Never be above utilizing other people and their abilities to help your team achieve its’ goal.  Let your ego go and do what is best for the team.  Do you have an ego at times?
  • Develop and grow relationships. Your team members deserve to be treated as humans and not workers/players.  As you develop relationships with them, not only will their productivity increase, but their ability to give constructive feedback to help the team will be prevalent as well.
  • Always grow. Never be satisfied with what you already have accomplished.  Instead, look ahead to what is possible.  Celebrate your accomplishments, but never be content.  Continue to seek knowledge in your field.  What are you doing to consistently grow your mind?
  • Share your “why”. This is your mission.  Share it with your team and ask that they do the same.  What do you hope to accomplish?  Both individually and as a team.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson recently spoke at Addison Central Schools staff development day and delivered his leadership and dreams keynote?  Your school can be next!

““Jim Johnson shares an inspiring message that is truly a ‘feel good’ story.  As an educator and school counselor, I think it’s impossible to walk away without thinking about that one kid who you would like to give the opportunity of a lifetime.  Jim delivers his heartfelt story beautifully and with humor, without losing the sense of magic that happened that night.”   -Mary C. Clark- Addison Central Schools

Life Tip #106:  Develop willpower by making and keeping promises with yourself and others

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