30 Days of Hustle

I've decided that today is the day. Today is the start of something new. A new mindset. A new way of living. It's going to be great and no one's gonna stop me.

Oh, how I wish it was that easy. 

But it's also not that hard. I've just been making it hard on myself for so long that I've convinced myself that I'll never be as productive as I would love to be. But that doesn't have to be my reality. So what can I do to change that? Well, I've been thinking about this a good amount and I've come up with a personal challenge that I'm ready to take on. So today is the beginning of:

"30 Days of Hustle"

Thirty days of focused, intentional living - specifically in the way I begin my days - to prove that I have it in me to change. Because time and time again, I've shown myself that I can be a person that takes on life altering goals and completes them. 

But then something happens

...and a few weeks in to this super productive period something throws me off balance. Could be stress - anxiety - my daughter having to stay home from daycare or even something productive like a photo shoot. And then, all of the sudden - my focus is gone. Yes, Im still working. Im still checking things off of my To Do List - but at such a slow or irregular rate in comparision to only a few days earlier. And then I find myself back in my stressed out, procrastinating ways. 

Which is strange, because there are times where I am the most productive - prolific guy around. During those periods, Im rocking the Pomodoro Technique - Im setting timers - Im beating down deadlines and crossing a crazy amount of items of my To Do list. 

 Evernote has become the hub of my business - that - along with using the Pomodoro Technique has allowed me to be more focused.

Evernote has become the hub of my business - that - along with using the Pomodoro Technique has allowed me to be more focused.

In thinking about what challenge to take on first, I've come to the conclusion that this 30 day challenge will be focused on how to begin my days. I cannot underestimate the importance of protecting that quiet time in the early morning - before my wife/daughter are awake - where I make my coffee and breakfast and spend time alone journaling/reading. That's where I'll set the tone for the day. That's where I'll reclaim my focus. 

And that's why today is the start of something new - well, not technically new - since at one time I was rather disciplined with my morning routine. But new once again.

Side Note: This 30 day challenge just happens to fall in line with the start of training for my first 10K run in November. I've run three separate 5K runs this year but I've never taken on a 10K so this will be new - huge challenge. 

A video I filmed with my GoPro during my last 5K. 


So, here we go. What's my 30 day challenge? 

  1. Be up at 5:30 AM every morning. I like waking up early - around 6AM - but this is very early so we'll see. 
  2. No social media or internet for the first hour of each morning. DANG! Not gonna lie, that's going to be a challenge since my instinct is to immediately check that after waking up. But I need to be aware of how much influence that has on my well being as I am just beginning my day. I took this same challenge on at the beginning of the year and I was actually very successful - but as usual - I became undisciplined. So it's time to get back on that and start my days in a more pensive - quiet state of prayer - reflection - journaling - reading. 
  3. 150 pushups a day. I like push ups - so cool
  4. 50 sit ups a day. I hate sit ups - so not cool
  5. Train/workout/run a minimum of 3 times a week. Cool. For the most part. 
 From earlier this year when I was on point with my morning routine - one that mainly focused on reading and journaling over coffee

From earlier this year when I was on point with my morning routine - one that mainly focused on reading and journaling over coffee

You may have read those goals - watched the intro video and said...ok...you're seriously talking about push ups - workouts - morning rituals? Where's the hardcore stuff? Like making sure that you're marketing non stop or checking 50 items a day off of your To Do lists. 

Those are important - and of course I'll be working non stop during this time. But for this challenge in particular, I've decided to focus on how I begin my days. Earlier this year, when I was on a more strict morning ritual, I would religiously get up at 6AM: Make my coffee, make breakfast, turn on music, journal in Evernote and/or read for the first 45 minutes of the day before I was allowed to look at the news, Instagram or Twitter

That said, here are a few items not included in the 30 day challenge - but are just as important and will hopefully be completed in a similar timeframe:

  1. Edit - Publish the videos + features on my trips to both New Orleans and Austin to Americano Mondays.
  2. Begin working on the new Americano Mondays video series, #myAMritual 
  3. Publish the two archived coffee shop features from last year that I never featured. 
  4. Finish shooting + interviewing all necessary people for a new feature on Civil Coffee. 

I can honestly say that setting aside my mornings as a quiet - noise free time was beneficial not only mentally but spiritually. And yes, I still get up early, I still make my coffee - I mean, come I'm a coffee nerd. But instead of quiet time to think/reflect/brainstorm Im watching the news. Im checking my social feeds. I'm doing everything I should not be doing. And in doing so, Im allowing outside voices to dictate how I mentally being my day.

I owe it to myself, my daughter, my wife and my craft to put everything I can into the hope of looking back in one month - realizing that in that period of 30 days I began a new chapter in my life. 

I can do this!