Welcome to Lifelong Learning Coach

Welcome to Lifelong Learning Coach!  My name is Jim Ponchak and I am a math teacher and basketball coach.  I strongly believe that learning and growth should not stop when school stops.  I also believe that it is not enough to learn new things; we need to apply our learnings.

“Contrary to popular wisdom, knowledge is not power – it’s potential power.  Knowledge is not mastery.  Execution is mastery.  Execution will trump knowledge every day of the week.” – Tony Robbins

The goal of Lifelong Learning Coach is to share things I have learned to help others learn, apply, succeed, and repeat.  I will share my thoughts and learnings on ideas, books, courses, and other sources that are helping me grow into my best self.

To paraphrase John Newton: I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I am going to be, but I am better than I used to be.  

I hope you find something here to help you become better than you used to be!


3 Highlights From the Week

1. I am thrilled that NBA Coaches are taking a stand for racial justice!  During a video conference with reporters, Greg Popovich highlighted gross injustices done to black people in America that have not been taught in schools.  It was great to see the coach use his platform to educate and inspire change.  You can read the story from USA Today here.

Greg Popovich Racial Justice

2. There is a free 5 day tiny habits challenge available from BJ Fogg.  He runs the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford.  I am excited to learn more as I participate in this challenge next week.  Here is the link to join if you are interested. 

Tiny Habits 5 Day Challenge

3. I am part of a great group of supportive coaches on coach.me who share materials with each other. Today I was reminded of the importance sleep, nutrition, and exercise play in controlling your energy level. Read more about it here.

Energy Requires Action by Josh Everett

I highly recommend coach.me for its free habit tracking as well as for finding coaches to help you master habits.

My 1st Month Attempting a Ketogenic Diet

In June I decided enough was enough and I needed to get in better shape and lose some weight.  I heard a lot about the benefits of a ketogenic diet and decided to give it a try.  The biggest difficulties for me have been staying away from breads and sugars, but the benefits have been well worth it.  In the last month, I have lost 15 pounds.  I have done this primarily through the changes to my diet as I have not been great about exercising consistently.  I hope to improve my experience in month 2 by being more consistent with exercise.

Here is what I have done with my diet:

1) Intermittent Fasting

The idea of intermittent fasting is for your body to fast for 16 hours and you to eat your meals during the other 8 hours.  I do not follow a water only fasting routine and then eat my meals between 10 am and 6 pm as some people do when following an intermittent fasting regimen.  Instead, I start my day with Bulletproof Coffee to get a boost of fat for fuel without having anything to eat.  This is enough to keep my hunger satisfied until lunch time.  I then typically consume my meals between noon and 8 pm.

Read more about Bulletproof Coffee here: Bulletproof Coffee

2) Supplements

When I started researching a ketogenic diet, I looked at Drew Manning’s information on it.  You may recognize him as the guy who intentionally gained 60 pounds in 6 months to see what it was like for his clients to lose the weight.  You can read more about him on his website.


It was through this site that I discovered the Ketologic products to help supplement a ketogenic diet.  I started out with the “Fuel Your Best” sample pack to see if I enjoyed the products before making a larger an investment in them.  It was a good way to try the different products and flavors.  I enjoyed the products and chose my favorite flavors from the sample pack when choosing my flavors for the 30 Day Keto Jumpstart Bundle.  The products taste good, are easy to use and leave me feeling satisfied.


3) Snacks

I am not very hungry between meals, but I do want a snack now and again.  I have been staying away from high carb snacks like chips and pretzels.  Instead I have been having a handful of macadamia nuts, cheese, or nut butter.  These snacks all have good fats and are low carb.

4) Meals

For meals, I keep it low carb and high fat.  Salads with meats and cheeses are great.  I also like chicken, beef, or pork with vegetables.  If I am not having a salad, I usually have broccoli, asparagus, and/or cauliflower as my vegetables.  You can find lots of keto friendly recipes online.  Below are a few that I found on pinterest and have enjoyed.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken With Bacon

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins

Deconstructed Pizza Casserole

This article by Dr. Mercola on mercola.com explains the some of the science behind intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet.  One of the things that I have learned from his book Fat For Fuel is that it is important to not overcompensate for reduced carb intake with increased protein intake as too much protein can be harmful for your kidneys.


Why Intermittent Fasting Is More Effective Combined With Ketogenic Diet

I hope you found this article useful and that it spurs your interest in learning more about a healthier lifestyle!

Please note that I am not a doctor!  I am simply sharing information on what has worked for me.  If you are considering trying intermittent fasting and/or a ketogenic diet, you should consult with your physician first.  

5 Morning Rituals To Setup An Awesome Day

Have you ever felt like you were drifting or just going through the motions?  One way to get yourself back on track is to establish daily practices that will make you more productive and set the table for your success. 

Here are 5 things I do each morning:

1. Meditate: I find meditation has a calming effect on me and leaves me feeling refreshed.  I started out experimenting with meditation by searching for guidedmeditations online.  I eventually settled on the Headspace app as my go to for meditation.  It has a variety of topics for meditation and you can set different time lengths based on your preferences.

2. Stretch: I know that my lower back gets tight and makes it hard for me to be as active as I want to be at times.  I added 5 minutes of stretching to my morning routine to keep my back loose.  I find it is important to do this even when my back feels good so it keeps feeling good. 

3. Practice Gratitude: I write down 3 things I am grateful for each morning.  It puts me in a positive mindset and reminds me of all of the good things in my life. I am also a fan of gratitude walks where you think about or vocalize things you are grateful for while taking a short walk.

4. Watch, Listen To or Read Something Positive: I do not watch the news in the morning because so much of it is negative.  Instead I choose to take control of what information I am absorbing.  During the week, I like to start my day with Darren Daily from Darren Hardy.  Check out http://dd.darrenhardy.com to join and get it delivered right to your inbox each weekday morning.  On the weekends, I will search for a positive video on YouTube or listen to an audio book or course I am enrolled in.  

5. Establish My Top 3 Priorities: If you want more direction,you have to plan for it.  Each day I write down my top 3 priorities for the day.  Writing it down helps me remember them and bring clarity to my mission for the day.  

I hope this helps you have an awesome day too!  If you enjoyed this and found it helpful, please share it with a friend.  

Have an awesome day!

Planning Your Week: Setting Your Table for Success

One of my favorite John Wooden quotes is “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”  Time is one of our most valuable commodities yet many of us don’t plan things out to maximize this finite resource.  I have been guilty of this on more than one occasion.  I find that when I create a daily plan for myself I am much more productive and much less forgetful.

There are many strategies that people use to plan their days out.  I have experimented with different things and encourage you to do the same.  In my opinion, there is no one size fits all approach here.  I found what works best for me by trying different things.  One of the things that has helped me the most is my Weekly Compass.  It is a one page sheet where I write down all of the things that I have to do for the week ahead.  I define my personal mission at the top and divide the rest of the page into 4 sections.  The first three sections contain goals and the final section is for distractions.

The compass helps me prioritize my week by getting me to categorize my activities and commitments into one of my three goals or a distraction.  If the activity aligns with my goals, it is scheduled in my calendar as a priority.  If an activity is a distraction, I need to evaluate if I should eliminate it, delegate it, or do it if I am able to complete the activities that align with my three goals.

My personal mission is to be a light in the world.  I hope that my example and the things I share will help others be more successful in their lives.  My three goals are health, family, and impact.  If something does not fit in with these three goals, I put it in the distractions section.

If you would like a copy of my Weekly Compass to test out for yourself, please email me at jim@lifelonglearningcoach.com with Weekly Compass in the Subject.

Have a great week!


Be Better Than You Were Yesterday

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and

start being excited about what could go right.”

– Tony Robbins

It is in the spirit of this quote that I share my site with you today.  Like me the site will never have all of the answers, but it will always have room for growth.  It will never be perfect, but it will always strive to be better.

Remember to drop your comparisons to others and use yourself as the benchmark.  Are you better than you were yesterday?  I hope you will find something here that helps you answer this question with a resounding, YES!  It might not be a yes everyday though and that is okay too.  We can learn from the days where we fail to get better if we reflect on why we didn’t improve.  Were we distracted?  Did we run our day or did our day run us?  John Maxwell wrote a great book about this, Sometimes You Win — Sometimes You Learn: Life’s Greatest Lessons Are Gained From Our Losses.  We cannot always win, but we can always learn.  If we learn from our mistakes, we keep getting better.

I wish you great success!  For those days where you stumble and fail, fail forward by learning from them.


The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

Mel Robbins created a simple rule to help fight negative thoughts and feelings to get to action.  All you have to do is countdown 5-4-3-2-1 when doubt or feelings get in the way and then launch yourself into action.  This tool helps improve productivity and get things done, especially the things you know you need to do, but often procrastinate.

The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

The LASR Method

The LASR Method is a foundation of lifelonglearningcoach.com. We all have an amazing ability to reinvent and create ourselves by adding knowledge and skills. We just need to follow these steps – Learn, Apply, Succeed, and Repeat.


The first thing we need to decide is what we want to learn. What do we want to accomplish? Is it a skill we need to accomplish a personal goal, advance our career, or improve our relationships? Once we decide what we want to learn, we can use the Internet to find out more about it. We might discover books and articles, audio books, podcasts, and/or videos to help us learn our new skill.


Learning it is not enough, we must apply it. Learning a new skill or idea is great, but it will not help us grow and improve our lives unless we use it. When learning about something new, I recommend taking notes on your WOWs and NBAs. Your WOWs are what you will do within one week and your NBAs are your next best actions. These will help us apply our learnings to improve our lives.


Success is a choice and we choose to succeed by learning something new and applying it to our lives. Even if it doesn’t work the way we hoped, we will gain valuable feedback that will help us in the future.

Thomas Edison on inventing the lightbulb.

“I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”


The final thing is to repeat the process. As lifelong learners we know that our learning is never over and there is always room to grow and improve.

Lifelong Learning Coach

Learn, Apply, Succeed, Repeat