Day 15: Reality Check

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Day 15: Reality Check

You Matter. 

This life you are building? Matters.

This morning matters. 

So stop playing it small.

Stop staying in your comfort zones.

Stop telling yourself this hour, this habit, this morning doesn't really matter.

It does.

Your challenge:

Grab that notebook or paper. Honestly, without judgment, make 2 lists:

1: Where are you playing it safe and small lately?

2. List ways you can choose not to. It's that simple

 

Make each choice today carefully, intentionally with the mindset that this matters. Each choice can help you grow. Don't stress about them, but see them as choices that have purpose. Start with your morning choices and go from there.

Then head into the weekend making every minute count. The time you have matters. 

The world needs more of us to stop playing it safe and start living more fully. 

It's scary, it's uncertain, but it's damn worth it. You came back here for another go at DED. You wanted more. So deep down, you know this matters. 

 

Now go, get after it. 

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Day 14: Yes or No?

Day 14: Yes or No?

When you say ‘yes’ to others make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.
— Paulo Coelho

Ah, Boundaries.

Turns out, they are foundational for living the lives we want, and essential for preventing the 'burnout and checkout' way of living so many of us find ourselves in.

In order to refocus and invest in creating a life we really want, not only is it about doing what we need and want to get there, but also taking stalk of where our energy and time is going out.  We only have so many hours in a day, after all.

Think about your time and energy every day--not only in terms of the people and projects in your life, but also where you are directing your attention. If we don't fully understand and choose carefully, the cycle of burnout and checking out continues, and we feel we never have the time to do what really matters  

 

 

But how often do we put aside time to take an honest look at where our energy and attention is being pulled in all directions? How often do we define our boundaries for ourselves....

 

 

 

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If all you hear are crickets and early morning traffic right now, ha! Ya, us too.

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Well, let's change that.

 

Grab a paper or notebook. These questions will only work if you do. Don't like there in bed reading your phone. I dare you to take 5 and write these down. 

 

Your Challenge : Reclaim Your Energy and Boundaries

 

1st, we got 3 questions for ya. Make a list, don't worry about grammar. And no judgement, only honesty---

What (or who) am I tolerating that I really don't want in my life?

How am I behaving as a reactor rather than an initiator?

How am I spending too much time on things that aren't my priorities?

 

Next: 

 

Where am I feeling resentful, or stretched too thin?

Where do I feel I'm giving alot but not feeling supported in return?

Do I feel taken for granted sometimes?

Maybe....

  • Do you feel this way with certain friends?

  • Workload?

  • Co-worker dynamics?

  • Family obligations?

  • Pulling too much of the weight, or doing more than your share of the effort with a romantic partner?

 

In each case where we feel we are giving too much or stretched too thin, it may be because we have allowed ourselves and those around us to cross our unspoken boundaries. 

Recognizing and saying no prevents us from falling back into a loop of giving until we burn out. But if we don't know what our boundaries are, it's much harder to be proactive and to recognize when they are about to be crossed.


1. Make a list of what you want, but don’t yet have, in different areas of your life.

Make sure to include work life, home life, relationships, family patterns, health, finances, spiritual path, and any other areas that are important to you.

2. Make a list of what you will never tolerate again in your life.

This could include patterns from past lovers, friends or family, or even our own inner dialogue and habits. 

This question is key--when we can poinpoint those moments of 'I don't want this to keep happening' or 'I don't want to feel this way at work/with friends/with lovers' those are clear signs there is a boundary there that has been crossed. Time to define those boundaries.

3. How would you like to strengthen boundaries in various areas of your life?

  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around health by ___________.

  • I want to strengthen my boundaries at work by _______________.

  • I want to strengthen my boundaries with family by ______________.

  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around finances by ___________.

  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around relationships by ___________.

  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around fun by ___________.

    • This is important--if we don't build fun into our lives, we fill it with obligations and work, which can take its toll. Fun is vital too.

  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around ________ by ___________.

  • I want to strengthen my boundaries with MYSELF and __________ by _________.

    • This last one is key--we often put ourselves last, neglect self-care, break promises to ourselves because we think others and other priorities are more important. So, make a few boundaries for you, too.

Once you have these boundaries written out, play with them, edit them until they feel right. 

Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.
— Anna Taylor

Go out into the day with these boundaries in mind and see how they feel.

Sometimes it isn't about overtly saying 'no', but simply you changing your behavior or words. At work maybe it's as simple as telling your boss or co-workers that you need to leave on time today due to an obligation (hint: that obligation is you!), rather than staying late again without pay.

Or it means shifting the conversation with a friend who often leans on you with their problems but doesn't ask about you.

Or speaking up and lovingly letting your mother know that her worries, while well-intentioned, are not helpful. But instead her insights and wisdom would be even more appreciated rather than her worries.

You may find that the more you exercise your boundary muscles, the more in control, energized, and empowered you feel. 

By setting boundaries, it's not about saying 'no', being selfish and giving less to others. It's really about telling people in our lives who we are and what we need. When we say no to the things we don't have the desire, time or energy take on, we can then say yes to the things that really matter. Only then can we show up more fully in our work and our relationships.

By communicating boundaries, we protect our time and energy so we don't give too much. In doing so we take a stand for ourselves and what truly helps us live the life we want. The added power in living like this is it will inspire others to do the same – a domino effect of clear, healthy boundaries and people taking a stand for what they need.

 

Hit play while you scheme and dream this AM...

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Day 13: The Power of Vulnerability

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Day 13: The Power of Vulnerability

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minute + 20 minute video

It's been a heavy week, material-wise, so today we're switching it up and got a rad video below.

Before we do, take a second to read why this topic is so damn important.

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At its core, vulnerability is about risk, uncertainty, and emotional exposure. It’s about showing up and being seen – as you are.

For many of us, we're never taught how to deal with this uncertainty or how to manage the emotional risk that comes with it, so we spend our time trying to outrun and outsmart it. We do this by making things definite and certain – black and white, good and bad - and by shying away from the opportunity to explore the muddled (and uncomfortable) gray zone that exists in almost everything.

This inability to lean into the discomfort that vulnerability brings ultimately stops us from being able to fully feel all the things we set out to chase in the first place – joy, creativity, trust, love, fulfillment, and belonging.

It stops us from truly putting ourselves out there, being seen, and exploring what actually matters to us – and what doesn't.

So this morning, before we dive into life, we'll leave you with this – one of the most powerful talks on vulnerability out there.

If you haven't heard of Brené Brown, sit back and submerse yourself. There's a reason this is one of the most viewed TED Talks ever and it's worth every second.

Enjoy.

And because it's almost Friday...

Photo Credit: Ally Pintucci

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Day 12: Let's Talk Barriers

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Day 12: Let's Talk Barriers

A collab between Julian DeSchutter & Amy Tanner

By now you've likely played around with your night time ritual and maybe still tweaking your morning ones.

Maybe you’re killing every single check-in or maybe you are struggling a little more than you expected to.

Whether you missed only one day or have struggled to get out of bed every single day, it’s worth taking some time to examine the habitual walls and barriers you are experiencing or that may be lingering just over the horizon.

To start, know that whatever barriers show, it's almost certain they can be surmounted. Sometimes it takes just a little re-examination, other times it takes you completely re-looking at the process.

Either way, if you can find the motivation, you can overcome whatever barriers lay in front of you.

However, you can be certain of two things. You can be damn sure they won’t be conquered if 1) you fail to recognize them as barriers and 2) you fail to make your plan to charge straight at it or strategically side-step it.

So with that, let's dive in.

 

IDENTIFYING YOUR BARRIER(S)

STEP 1.
START WITH YOUR SUMMIT

First off, ask yourself: have you found that thing, that project that actually excites you? Is your goal actually something you care about or something you need to achieve?

Maybe what you originally selected doesn’t excite you the way you thought it would?

Maybe what you thought mattered actually didn't once you dove in?

Well, good news – SUMMITs can be changed.

If you're struggling to find purpose, meaning, or validity in your SUMMIT, give it a good hard look and know you have the chance to switch it up.

How? Cross it out and write a new one.

If you are struggling to get up and make it count, look back at what you have chosen to spend your time waking up to do and make sure it's something that actually matters.

If your SUMMIT isn't working, ask yourself:

Is it specific enough?

Is it unreasonable enough? (If you journal most days when you wake up at 8am and spend time reading each day, then trying to do this at 4:30AM in the morning when you know you can just do it later may not give you that motivation to tackle it).

Speaking of motivation, do you actually care to do it? What difference will it have on your life if you complete it? What difference will it have on your life if you don’t?

Now break it down into small chunks or intervals so that progress doesn't seem so far away. Make it so you can feel success this Friday, then the following Friday, and the Friday after that.

Ask yourself: what is one success you can achieve by this Friday? Start there.

Create a tracking system so you can visually see your progress.

Now that you’re stoked (or re-stoked) on your SUMMIT again, let's dig deeper to identify what else could be standing in the way.

 
You can have anything you want, as long as you’re willing to pay the price.
— Unknown
 

STEP 2.
EVERY SUMMIT WILL HAVE A COST.  KNOW IT. COUNT IT. PLAN FOR IT.

These costs may be financial, social, physical, mental or emotional. There’s an old saying that goes “you can have anything you want, as long as you’re willing to pay the price.”

Examine the costs. Your resources are finite.

Ask yourself “what would it take for me to reach my SUMMIT?” then decide if that’s a price you are willing to pay.

Knowing you're willing to pay the price gives you a hell of a lot of conviction to chase it.

There will be tradeoffs. Ask yourself “what won’t I accomplish because I’ve committed to DED?"

The bigger, more ambitious your SUMMIT, the more likely you will have to give up to get there.

Knowing what you are and are not willing to give up to achieve your SUMMIT will set you up for success and limit your feelings of guilt for not completing something that maybe you were never fully stoked on in the first place.

All that said, just know one thing – if your SUMMIT is the right SUMMIT for you, then everything you give up is worth it once you get there.

 

STEP 3.
KEEP GOING.

Persistence will overcome any setbacks or errors.

The bigger the SUMMIT the more likely setbacks will occur. Late nights will be had, alarms will be slept through, motivation will be fleeting. Don’t use your setbacks as an excuse to abandon ship but as an opportunity to examine what didn’t work and why. To paraphrase one of my favorite authors Cheryl Strayed “perseverance doesn't sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Perseverance is the old fat guy you have to haul up a hill.”

Damn Early Days is not meant to be easy. It's meant to show you what you're capable of when you commit to something.

It’s a journey of small steps that will amount to miles.

Keep moving.

 

STEP 4.
FIND YOUR TRIBE.
LOVE THEM HARD.
BECAUSE YOU CAN’T DO GREAT SHIT WITH AVERAGE PEOPLE.

One of the reasons we created the Damn Early Days community is because doing stuff alone is almost impossible.

Use it to introduce yourself, get to know other people, support them, and set up check-in dates.

Share your success and challenges with those that are in this together aka the DED community.

Ask for help. Help others.

You’re not in this alone. There's over 1000 people in that group.

There’s strength in the collective experience.

We are 1/3 of the way there.

Let’s get everyone to the top – together.

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Day 11: You Have To Be Willing To Fail

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Day 11: You Have To Be Willing To Fail

One of the biggest things we hear is how people don't realize there are so many others going through this.

There is.

Take some time out today – either right now or later in the day – to share with the rest of the community why you are here and what you hope to get out of Damn Early Days.

Sometimes, powerful things can happen when you put your intentions out to a group like this.

At the very least, you'll realize so many other people are going through the same struggles you are.

 

 

Day 11: You Have To Be Willing To Fail

Let's be honest, most people are not willing to fail.

They hate it.

They run from it.

In their eyes, if they suck at something, it means they suck. Since their self-worth is tied directly to their performance, any failure is proof they aren’t good enough.

Sound familiar?

But that is exactly why most of them stay mediocre.

If they aren’t willing to fail, they aren’t able to learn from their mistakes. If they never learn, they’ll never grow and develop into something more.

 

"Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success."

- Thomas J. Watson   
 

 

IF YOU’RE NOT WILLING TO FAIL
YOU GUARANTEE YOU’LL STAY AVERAGE-AT-BEST.

If you want to grow into an extraordinary version of yourself, you must be willing to fail — a lot.

That sucks to hear, but it's also the truth spewed by so many of the greats over the last 1,000 years.

Failure brings humility.

It develops your character.

It helps you laugh at your mistakes and not take things so seriously.

Like a plant placed from the shade into sunlight, your growth rate will accelerate 10x.

If you embrace the possibility of failure, you open yourself up to enormous success you’ve never seen before.

Keep that in mind as you go through Damn Early Days.

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And because life is better with music, I got something for you.

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Day 10: Let's Reflect

Day 10: Let's Reflect

As we roll into the end of the second week of the program, we want to take a moment and acknowledge what we all have collectively done these last two weeks.

Over the past two weeks, hundreds of you have committed to winning at your own game and dove into something that most are unwilling to.

You put what matters to you before the world had a chance to take that space away.

More than that though, you played a part in building a community spanning over 10 countries and almost every time zone. That means at almost any time of the day, someone around the world is getting up to get after it.

That's powerful and we want to thank you for your willingness to embrace that side of life.

We think that's pretty damn cool.

 

Before We Look Ahead

Before looking at what's ahead, it’s worth taking time to sit back and reflect on what just happened.

Most of us have a fear of slowing down – unwilling to stop long enough to let what we’re doing catch up to us. Maybe this is because we don’t want to confront how we spend our time or maybe it’s because we feel like we’ll lose momentum, but if there’s anything history has taught us, it’s that slowing down to reflect only helps us move faster, further, and more purposefully.

With that, we have a single request from you this morning – take some time to reflect on what these last two weeks have been for you.

It will not only make a big difference in the rest of your 21 Damn Early Days experience but if you incorporate reflection into your life, it will have a huge impact on where you end up.

To get you started, we got some simple questions...

 

Questions Worth Thinking About

Keep in mind these are just a guideline to get you started. Your reflection is an exercise in asking the questions you care about.

About Damn Early Days:

Ask yourself:

  • What have you gained from waking up early?

  • What are your biggest struggles so far?

  • What positive stories have you been telling yourself throughout?

  • What self-defeating stories have you been telling yourself throughout?

  • Do you feel you're getting closer to what you want?

  • What differences do you notice in your life, routine, and mood before and during 21 Damn Early Days?

  • What emotions have you gone through? What caused them?

  • Were there mornings that were particularly tough? What contributed to them being that way?

  • Were there mornings that were particularly enjoyable? What made them more enjoyable?

Looking Forward:

Ask yourself:

  • Put yourself in your own shoes at the end of Damn Early Days. What do you want out of this? What defines “success”?

  • What do you want to feel at the end of this?

  • What do you need to do next week to move yourself closer to your own success?

  • What can you carry into next week that you learned this week? What can you drop?

  • What’s the top priority in your life right now?

  • How can you use 21 Damn Early Days to focus on it?

And of course...

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Day 9: The Power of Tiny Gains

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Day 9: The Power of Tiny Gains

 

Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day
failure is simply a few errors in judgment, practiced every day.

—Jim Rohn

 

Estimated Read Time: 6 minutes

As you go through Damn Early Days, you might be wondering if a single morning really matters?

I mean, in today's world it's the huge transformations and overnight success stories that get all the hype.

And why wouldn't they – they just sound so damn good.

“I lost 30 pounds in 30 days without lifting a weight”
“I made $60,000 in TWO months without leaving my couch”
"I found happiness and rode off into sunset with the love of my dreams all by taking a magic pill...”

Those words and words like them litter the pages of magazines, blogs, infomercials, and courses everywhere. And with that kind of ubiquity, you’d almost be foolish NOT to believe them.

But if you’ve ever talked to anyone that has done anything of accomplishment then you know how much merit they have – nil.

Despite the underlying knowledge that there is no shortcut, we still flock to these get {insert lofty, audacious goal} quick schemes like a moth to the flame, believing that we will be the lucky ones who part the sea and get to bask in the glory without putting in the work.

But look around and let me know how that's doing for most people.

 

Breaking Our Biology

There seems to be some sort of (faulty) wiring in humans that overwhelmingly underestimates what it takes to accomplish big goals and grossly overestimates what it takes to accomplish a series of small tasks.

We buy into the narrative of a heroic, defining moment where we achieve it all and completely negate the value of making numerous small but good decisions on a daily basis. We convince ourselves that the change is only meaningful if there is some crazy large visible outcome associated with it.

And we're all miserable because of it.

See, not only is it causing us to fail, it's causing most of us not to try at all. For the sake of sanity and your life, this morning, we’re going to break that notion and make your life a hell of a lot easier (because we kind of feel bad about the whole 4:30AM thing).

 

Welcome To The World of Tiny Gains

People don’t suck at creating habits. In fact, they are really good at it.

What they suck at is choosing the right habits to build.

Most of our habits are decided haphazardly, driven by short-term desires with no care or understanding of their long-term effects on us.

Almost every habit you have — good or bad — is the result of numerous small decisions, repeated over time. There was no point that you “got smart” or “became fit”. It was a gradual change that happened through thousands of tiny choices, again and again. At some point you looked back on it all and were smarter or fitter – hopefully both?

Yet, when it comes to setting new goals and ambitions, this knowledge is the first thing we throw out the window. We choose to forget how easy it can be to follow simple decisions everyday and instead choose to focus on the biggest, baddest, most ambitious thing we can – the outcome.
 

Looking at Tiny Gains

Tiny gains are small decisions made frequently that move you slowly and steadily forward. They start small and add up to something big.

The math is simple. If you focus on simply getting 1% better every day, in 365 days you will be almost 38 times better.

Yep – 38 times better.

On the flip side, if you're bad habit is making you 1% worse every day, you'll be left with virtually nothing at the end of year. This applies to running, money, learning and just about every other life goal that can be quantified. Yet at no point are you growing (or shrinking) more than 1%.

Want to write a book? Start by writing a paragraph the first day and gradually increase how much you write as it becomes easier.

Want to run a marathon but couldn't even chase down the ice cream truck last time it was around? Start by putting on your shoes and walking around your block. Then run for 10 seconds and walk for a minute. Increase from there.

Want to learn to meditate like a zen ninja, but can't sit still for 10 seconds? Start right now by stopping everything and taking just 3 breathes. Then step it up and go back for 4.

It sounds simple – and, well, it is.

In a world of huge transformations and instant gratification, consistency trumps big but short-lived spurts of energy, every single day of the week.

Find something worth sticking to, break it down into tiny components, and get after it – bit by bit, day by day.
 

So, Why Don’t We (The World) Embrace Tiny Gains?

If they are so easy and awesome, why don't we all embrace them?

Well, there's a simple reason: in the moment they feel insignificant, unsexy, and have no emotional charge.

Basically, they are boring.

If you don't believe me, tell the next person you see that you just did one push-up and tell me how they respond.

That's what I thought...

But the truth is, if you're previous best was zero push-ups then one push-up is infinitely better and closer to 100 push-ups than most people.

See, many of us would rather bask in the what-ifs of lofty goals than do the dirty (and sometimes boring) work that will help us get where we want to go. We'd rather talk about the potential of the success we could have than put in the time.

Don't be one of those people.

To make it worse, when people who are at the top talk about building the company, losing the pounds, or writing the book, they talk about it as a singular thing. They make it seem like success happened in moments, rather than being the accumulation of months, years or even decades of work adding up.

It's easy to let yourself fall prey to these stories and let them trick you into doing too much, too soon. When you get motivated and inspired to take it to the next level, it's easy to fixate only on the end result (ex: every single New Year's goal). It's natural to think that we need the result, the transformation, the overnight success. But know that it's not what you need. You need better habits.

Audacious life goals can be fantastic and we're proud you have them. But let’s be honest for a second, it’s probably those audacious goals that are the very thing stopping you from getting where you want to go.

There is power in small wins and slow gains. Break it down. Keep it simple.

Tiny gains will take care of the rest.

And because you made it this far, you deserve this.

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Day 7: How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

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Day 7: How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

Estimated watch time: 21 minutes

We all know what to do. We just don’t know how to convince ourselves to do it.
— Mel Robbins

If you really wanted to, you could walk into a bookstore right now and buy at least 10 books by authors in any area you wanted to pursue.

You could open up Google and find at least 100 step-by-step-by-step instruction guides on how to get it.

Hell, you can search anybody online that's "been there / done that" and be in touch with them in under an hour.

So why don't most of us have what we want?

Well according to Mel Robbins, one of the most badass experts on leadership and defeating doubt, it's because we have an instinctual habit of screwing ourselves over.

Watch as she drills through the mental clutter that stands between ourselves and what we want and gives us a straight-forward answer on how to get after what we want.

Sit back and enjoy it.

It's worth it.

In five seconds flat, self-doubt can take over and rob you of your power, and rob you of joy, and rob you of potential. Or in five seconds flat, you can use one stupid little trick, to take it all back.
— Mel Robbins

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Day 16: Hit Pause

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Day 16: Hit Pause

We've become so wired to do nowadays that we rarely stop to see if what we're doing has any value at all.

Knowing that, this morning's instructions are simple:

Hit pause on everything and take 10 to dive into where you are at.

Are you focusing on the right things?
Are you in the right head space?
Are you falling back into a routine?
Becoming complacent?
Do you need to adjust your SUMMIT?
Is how you're spending your time still working for you?
Is it going to get you where you want to go?
What needs to shift?
What needs to stay?

Those questions are worth thinking about, so throw on these jams and dive in.

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Day 6: How Not To Suck At Building Habits

Day 6: How Not To Suck At Building Habits

Estimated read time: 5 minutes

As we dive into the depths of Week 2, let's have a little #RealTalk on what this is idea of change or growth is all about – habit building.

Why?

Because habits, as we mentioned in the piece on Evening Routines last week, when directed towards what matters, habits are what will allow us to stay on track, reduce the willpower we need, and move further, faster.

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Time and time again, it happens. People come out of the gate blazing, riding the high of starting something new, and as things get tough and the energy dwindles, so does their ability to stick with it.

A few weeks in the ambition and goal is all but a distant memory and they are back to the same old routine, stuck in their ways and not getting what they want.

We don't want that for you – or any of us.

So stick with us and take a read.

 

 

While most people focus on goals – the "where you want to go" – it's habits that will get you there and it's where most of your energy should be spent.

Once you dial in the right habits, life becomes so much simpler.
 

Why We So Frequently Fail

People don't suck at habits.

We are actually really good. What we suck at is building the right habits.

Most of us fail at doing that because the environment and structure around them sucks.

They don't want to drink, but their friends drink, so they end up having a few.

Or they know they'd be better off going to the gym than binge watching Netflix, but the remote is more accessible than their gym shoes, so they end up on the couch – 600 seasons deep in the latest Netflix Original.

What's worse, these bad habits created by bad environments create a self-reinforcing negative loop. They lead to the belief that we suck at creating good habits. Then things get difficult and we buy into that, losing our will to keep going. We stumble and fail and this reinforces our belief that we can't do it. The whole thing spirals back to where it began and we end up back on the couch binge watching Friends and spoon feeding ourselves ice cream, rather than getting to the gym.
 

So, How Do You Fix This?

(and bring a little faith back into yourself)

You fix this by creating the right environment for yourself to succeed. This isn't done by making big changes, but rather a bunch of small ones that keep build on each other and keep you coming back.
 

1. Start Super Small.

Yes, tiny actions are the key to success.

See, we have this ability to downplay what it takes to accomplish our big goals, yet overestimate the effort it takes to overcome a series of small goals.

It’s the consistency of chasing and accomplishing tiny goal after tiny goal that will get you where you want to go.

Starting small helps change the narrative.

Start small gives us small wins, which build into proof points that you can create good habits. Start showing (and telling) yourself you can accomplish this, past failures don't matter, and despite temporary setbacks, you're going to succeed.

Then make the habits so easy you can't possibly fail. This helps create a positive reinforcing narrative and builds momentum. It also builds trust with yourself.

If you want to form a habit of writing – form the habit of writing 5 sentences.
If you want to form a habit of running – form a habit of getting your shoes on and walk for a minute.
If you want to form a habit of meditation – form a habit of sitting in a chair silently for 30 seconds.

Set the bar for success as low as you can, make sure you nail it again and again, and go from there.
 

2. Progress Gradually.

Starting small might seem silly, but keep in mind that your doing to prove that you can do this. From there, you'll gradually add more. Move from five sentences to 10 – from one minute to two. Keep focused on building the routine and let the gradual increases become your new normal.
 

3. Go All In.

We have a simple rule at Chasing Sunrise and it goes like this: no f*cking maybes. It may sound harsh, but so many times we straddle, half in-half out, neither fulling embracing something or moving on to the next. That ain't no way to live.

If you have a habit that will get you to where you want to be in life, it's worth going all in on. And if you're not sure you have the confidence, just remind yourself that if you believed in Santa for 8 years, you can believe in yourself for at least 21 days.
 

4. Create Social Accountability.

You'll be seeing this one work throughout the program. The power of having people hold you accountable is something else--we suddenly find we can do so much more when we know others are holding us to our word. Tell people you’re going to do your new habit and ask them to hold you accountable. Hell, maybe even set up a consequence for not pulling through.

Having people you are accountable to not only holds you to it, but allows you to go through the fire with other people – in this case, hundreds of others.
 

5. Create Structure & (Unmissable) Reminders.

If you allow yourself to ask if you should do your habit each day, you're giving yourself the opportunity to skip out. Create a structure that doesn't give you the choice. Complete your habit at the same time each day (say 4:45AM), without question.

To remind yourself make your reminders absolutely unmissable.  Have it taped to your toothbrush or print out a life-sized version of yourself holding up a sign (ok maybe that one is a bit harder). Whatever you have to do, make sure it's there every day and absolutely unmissable.

Pro tip - own the fact that you want this. Feel free to put up reminders anywhere and everywhere they will serve a purpose. It might seem silly at first, but no one will be laughing then when you're smashing your dreams.
 

6. Keep Notes & Check-In.

Most people dive into creating habits and then rely on their memory to remember how it's going.

Guess what? It doesn't help us.

We end up with a cluttered mess of recall and aren't actually sure what worked. As you begin to incorporate good habits, take some time to keep notes throughout the date.

Write down what you notice, what's hard, what's easy, what helps and what doesn't.

Make this really simple so that it's almost brainless to do. Then, at least once a week, go through your notes and see how the habit has been going. Have you been sticking to it? Failing? What’s helping? What’s not?

Doing this frequently helps you understand the environment you’re in and how it effects you. It'll let you make small tweaks frequently and get better, faster.
 

7. Listen To Yourself.

You can have all the knowledge in the world, but if you aren't paying attention to how it's working for you, it's useless.

Paying attention and mindfulness are two of the most powerful tools in building habits. Pay attention to when you have the urge to procrastinate or pick up your phone and distract yourself (it's totally normal and okay to have these distractions). Pay attention to how your mind tries to rationalize what it's doing (we're masters at this) and remind yourself why your habits are important and what sticking to them will give you.
 

8. Enjoy It.

This is something most people skip. They get so focused on the habit and the work behind it that it becomes a chore they need to do before they move on to the next thing.

Stop this.

Not only will your life continue to feel like a hamster wheel, but you'll eventually get burned out and give up.

Change your perspective to look at these habits as an opportunity to learn. It's some time to focus on yourself, do something that matters to you, and inch yourself closer to what you want in life.

Take a few minutes every time you're building a new habit and remind yourself why you're doing it, why it matters, and enjoy the fact that you're working on it.

 

Wrapping This Dose Up

All of this will do nothing if you don't actually implement it.

So with that in mind, I want you to create one simple habit you want to do each morning.

Make it stupidly simple, write it out on a piece of paper (see how important writing is becoming?) and for the next 15 days, I want you to do it.

Build it up until it's something that is so stupidly simple, you almost forget your doing it.

If you can do that, you've just unlocked one of the most powerful secrets to life.

Oh, and for getting all the way down here, here's some maximum fun morning vibes as a reward for ya. 

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Song or Good Link for the Daily Dose? Let us know

Day 5: Your Life In Perspective

Day 5: Your Life In Perspective

Sharing today, one of the most powerful reminders we know, for getting real perspective on just how short this life truly is.

Day 4: Come Alive

Day 4: Come Alive

Stop playing small. Get outside your comfort zone. Remember what makes you come alive

Day 3: Motto of Real Champions: 'Just Don't.'

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Day 3: Motto of Real Champions: 'Just Don't.'

Alright – who here is more excited about early mornings than you have been in a while?

*raises hand*

And, by chance, who here also already cut into their sleep by letting a late bedtime creep up on them?

*sheepishly raises hand again*

It happens.

Breaking old habits is hard. There's just something so seductive about an intimate late night cellphone session in bed or that afternoon cup of coffee. It's just so good in that moment – until early mornings find you and you hate the fact that you ever committed to this.

While these last few days have been about dreaming, setting intentions, planning, and getting our goals and systems together, the real magic in this is learning how NOT to do things.

Sure "Just Do It" is great for when we need motivation and need to pull through, but what about all the other stuff we shouldn't do? What happens once the momentum isn't riding high and the old routines start to creep back in?

The real motto of champions is "Just Don't".

You're here, doing this hard thing, so you clearly give a damn about yourself and your goals. So what do you do when all the things you shouldn't be doing start to creep back in? What things are you giving a damn about, but really shouldn't be?

If you're are going to be successful (and rested) throughout this, you have to be able to say no frequently – to others and yourself.

Ask yourself: what things in your life are good in the moment but actually killing you in the long run?

To give you a few ideas and a little inspiration, take a read. Mark Manson has a hack for stopping all the things you really shouldn't be caring about – and he calls it The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck. It's worth the read.

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Day 2: Create Your Hour of Power

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Day 2: Create Your Hour of Power

How about your bedtime? Relaxing, or falling into bed exhausted, perhaps after getting lost in our phones or Netflix a bit too long?

What if we rethink what mornings and bedtimes can mean. What if mornings aren't about getting up in order to show up for the outside world, but it's a time when we get up in order to show up for ourselves. Afterwards, then, and only then, do we shift and show up for others.

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Day 1: Understanding Why You Are Here

Day 1: Understanding Why You Are Here

You committed to this challenge because something inside you told you you wanted more. More from life, more from each day, and more from yourself.

This morning, we're focused on that why.