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 up 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.

Support each other.

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 strength in the collective experience.

We are 1/3 of the way there. Let’s get everyone to the top – together.