Great FREE tools to move beyond New Years Resolutions!


Did you make any New Years resolutions this year? Are you still on track toward keeping those resolutions?

Resolutions are really DECISIONS to ACHIEVE something, so if you aren’t DOING something to achieve your decisions, no better time to start than NOW.  Even better, lets move beyond New Years resolutions:

“What if you could enter the new year with a set of fresh tools, actionable strategies, and key relationship-building skills that would transform the quality of your life, business, and relationships?

Take a moment to envision the end of 2009.

Did you have a powerful, focused year that made a huge contribution to you and everyone you know?

Or did a year slip by with you being unfocused, unfulfilled and at the mercy of the environment?

These are challenging times that require us to summon a whole new vision of leadership from deep within — a vision that has the power to create passion, inspiration and focus for everyone whom we touch.”

The excerpt above is from a newsletter from iconic motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, introducing a free set of tools that will help you clearly envision what you want your life to be and spell out the other practical steps to achieve that life in 2009:

Now, I have to admit, I was never really a Tony Robbins fan until watching an amazing video presentation at TED where he discussed the motivating forces behind people’s actions.  His explanation was so clear and insightful, that I joined his newsletter – something I only do when I believe someone offers true value.  These clear and insightful FREE tools are the kind of true value that will help you grow into the life you truly desire.

NOTE:  I get nothing but satisfaction from sharing this with you and hope it is as helpful to you as it has been to me.


Petition President Barack Obama to support the Arts

AP photo of Barack Obama on

AP photo of Barack Obama on

I received this announcement from Moses Avalon’s newsletter and thought it was well worth sharing.  If those who participate (creators and appreciators) in the Arts would sign this petition and share it with friends, could turn out well for all concerned!


Dear Friends,
Quincy Jones has started a petition to ask President Obama to appoint a Secretary of the Arts.  While many other countries have had Ministers of Art or Culture for centuries, The United States has never created such a position.  We in the arts need this and the country needs the arts–now more than ever.  Please take a moment to sign this important petition and then pass it on to your friends and colleagues.

Child Malnutrition’s Good News: Plumpy’nut and the like

MSF Treating & Preventing Child Malnutrition

MSF Treating & Preventing Child Malnutrition

This really is a post about good news, but first…

Child Malnutrition is one of the first 3 crisis profiled on the Top 10 Humanitarian Crisis list for 2008 released by MSF (Doctors Without Borders). As the MSF site explains:

“The World Health Organization estimates there are 178 million children that are malnourished across the globe, and at any given moment, 20 million suffering from the most severe form of malnutrition. Malnutrition contributes to between 3.5 and 5 million annual deaths of children under 5 years of age.”

The good news is that according to MSF’s recent press release siting a study published yesterday (Jan. 21, 2009) in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), our world appears to be making progress in not only treating, but preventing malnutrition in OUR poorest countries!  As the JAMA study reports, “children in rural Niger who received ready-to-use food in addition to their normal diet were nearly 60 percent less likely to progress to the most life-threatening form of malnutrition than children whose diets were not supplemented.”

One such low-cost, nutrient-dense ready-to-use food solution seeing great results for Doctors Without Borders is Plumpy’nut:


I love what the Dr. Milton Tectonidis goes on to say regarding what the US Government can do to help preven childhood malnutrition:

“What we want is some small portioin of the Global Food Aid Budget in America to be shifted into higher value added products – these type of specific products that are targeted at the malnutrition in young children. If we can get that whole movement going, it will happen much faster.”

I know we can all donate on the MSF / Doctors With Borders website which is a great way to help and I’m also curious if any readers know how to get involved in this movement to get the US Government behind these value added products (assuming someone has already started it)?  Are orginizations like already making this a part of their agenda?  I would love to hear your comments?

From Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to MLK Day of Service

My family and I will spend this Martin Luther King Jr. Day serving our Atlanta community, thanks to Barack and Michelle Obama‘s call to service:


Martin Luther King, J
Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964

r. in 1964


Although MLK Day was created on November 2, 1983, when President Ronald Reagan “reluctantly” (according to Wikipedia) signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor Dr. King (first observed on January 20, 1986 ), I didn’t realize that the holiday was transformed into “Martin Luther King Day of Service” in 1994.  As Wikipedia explains:

The national Martin Luther King Day of Service was started by former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, who co-authored the King Holiday and Service Act. The federal legislation challenges Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of Dr. King. The federal legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 23, 1994.

This year, you can visit to find service events near you or to even host one yourself!

Anyone can learn to sing, right? What about developing a 6 octave range online?

Can anyone learn to sing?   From the before and after videos I’ve seen regarding Singing Success (like the one below), anyone can:


John Stringer singing at NARAS Grammy Block Party

Me (John Stringer) singing with State of Man at the NARAS Grammy Block Party

I’ve sang nearly all of my life and have actually been paid for it for nearly a decade and a half, which includes my current role as front-man for rock band State of Man (PolyPlat Records).  Since rock was a very new challenge for me 8 years ago, I finally got over my own ego enough to seek vocal training.

My vocal coach now is Jan Smith, vocal coach to artists like Usher, India Arie, Rob Thomas of Matchbox20 and many others.  One session with her taught me more than I’d learned singing all my life.  One of the things she  taught me is that vocalists are athletes!  Naturally, the question I asked myself – and one you can ask yourself  – is what sort of vocal athlete do YOU want to be?  Do you want to be a novice or an Olympian… an amateur or professional,.. beginner or a world champion… average or great (… you get the point)?  Like any world-class athlete, GREATNESS requires a great coach.

Since  I needed quick help in increasing my range for a recent recording session and going to my vocal coach was not convenient, I checked out the online site for Singing Success Program by Brett Manning (vocal coach to artists like Haley Williams of Paramore, Miley Cyrus, Keith Urban and more), thanks to another great program I love called The Songwriting Genius Within You.  After checking out videos showing everything from 6 octave vocal ranges like Mariah Carey’s to the the one I featured above, I purchased the program as a sort of virtual, online vocal coach and it really paid off.   I’ve learned a lot and can already hit higher notes with more ease and the best is yet to come.   I also signed up for the affiliate program as well and highly recommend it.

Whether you want to learn to sing or radicly improve, take it from someone who has trained with a top vocal coach – I highly recommend Jan Smith for those who can afford her  and/or  Singing Success by Brett Manning!