30 Days Of Running & No Alcohol Challenge Update

Day 7/30 with no alcohol.

In my previous blog, I wrote about going alcohol-free for a month leading up to Saint Patricks Day. A few friends and I decided after a weekend snowboard trip to go without alcohol for a month for a copious amount of reasons; save money, time, health, and to focus on more important areas of our lives.

It’s Not Easy

The weekends can be tough and often where most people let loose on their goals, disciplines, habits, and routines.

If you’re someone who gives in to pressure on the weekends or has trouble sticking to something you set your mind, stop and ask yourself why?

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

I’ve found for me, that the only way to stick to something is the eliminate ALL possible excuses. I decided to make it interesting and run 2+ miles every day NO MATTER WHAT, to change those habits and support a healthier lifestyle.

Trust me, I can’t wait for an ice cold, craft IPA on tap at one of my local pubs or a nice glass of red wine after a month of hard work! For now, ice cold water will suffice.

Why I Love Sundays

Sunday’s are for family, reflection, introspection, and focus. What worked well and what did not during the last week?

I’m spending my Sunday thinking about the previous accomplishments I made this week of remaining alcohol-free, running every day, and pushing myself harder than I have in a long time.

Spend some time evaluating your schedule and how you’re spending your time. Maybe you watched too much Netflix, spent too much time scrolling down Twitter or Instagram, or maybe you were super productive; crushed your job, spent time with the family, were in a good mood, and things just went well.

It’s equally important to reflect upon the good memories and be grateful and appreciative as it is the bad memories. Why did things go RIGHT? Why did they go WRONG?

What are my wrongs from the past week? I woke up later than I had planned, spent a bit too much money on eating out, failed to read for an hour every day, and a few days I let my emotions get the best of me. Many more of course…

BUT…

The things that went well far outweigh the things that did not. I crushed my fears and pushed my boundaries both physically and mentally to do the things I planned on doing.

Lastly…

Stop Making Excuses

One thing that bothers me is people who say they do things or even want to do something but don’t do it. They talk about things as if they do them but they fail to show results or take action.

These people make excuses for their behavior, attitude, and point blame to others for what is happening to them in life.

This attitude has gotten me into trouble.

Be the type of person who takes 100% accountability for your life. Admit when you fuck up. Admit when you do something wrong. Most importantly, admit when you don’t know something. This will lead you to a deeper sense of knowledge around any subject and help with your level of understanding.

Become the type of person who dreams big, thinks big, and respects the small, patient daily activities required to become the type of person you aspire to be. I believe that it is the actions we take and decisions we make that define us. I use to be a proponent of “selling” myself in order to get ahead on things I didn’t truly understand. This mistake led me to land on my ass a few times. Maybe it’ll happen again, but this time, I’ll admit when I was wrong.

What are you going to do today to prepare for a successful tomorrow?

I Started Running 2+ Miles Everyday… Here’s What I’ve Learned So Far

Running sucks. I don’t think most people run or jog or even workout hard because they enjoy it.

I think they do it for the sheer benefits associated with how you feel after you exert great amounts of energy and the type of person it will make of you to conquer your inner bitch. My several years of yoga practice have allowed me to grow mentally strong and to consistently push through uncomfortable situations.

Never stop pushing the limits of your physical, mental, and emotional boundaries. Many of us have self-imposed boundaries through our life experience which limit can both limit our potential and hurt our ability to explore new things to excite our life.

A few of my friends and I decided to go 30 days without alcohol and to test ourselves for all sorts of reasons, however, mostly to save money, improve our health, and focus on what matters most to us.

As part of this challenge, I made a commitment to run at LEAST 2 miles every day for 30 days.

This means forcing myself to get up at 5:30AM to run even though I’m sore from the 4 miles I pushed through yesterday. It means rearranging social plans to run instead of going get food. It means if I get home and haven’t run and it’s 10PM that I’m going to run at LEAST 2 miles. It takes between 15-25 minutes and for me, it’s about getting it done whether I walk, run, jog, or sprint.

It means a commitment to not drinking and running at LEAST 2 miles every damn day and doing it with a SMILE!

Today is day 7 and I feel AMAZING.

I’m in decent shape and eat pretty healthy but hate running. The benefits of running are what attracts me to it. Running makes me feel strong, confident, and more like myself than any other physical exercise.

I’d much rather go lift weights, do body-weight exercises, practice Bikram Yoga, practice a sport, or simply go for a long walk.

But not anymore. Now it’s a bag with gym clothes traveling with me everywhere I go for the next 3 weeks.

I almost quit on day 4 (running that is).

My hip hurt, my body was achy, and I had pushed myself way past my previous mental limitations. This hip pain was bad and it hurt to stretch or move.

I didn’t want to run that day. I ALMOST told myself the story of a universe where me not running existed, even though I shut that down already.

There is NO universe where I don’t go run at least 2 miles.

It was the inspiration from people I admire like Jocko Willink, David Goggins, and Joe Rogan that ring through my head as I fight a constant mental dilemma only to say fuck it and run anyway. That day I ran 2 miles straight without stopping for the first time in a long time. I also did 50 pull ups, 100 push ups, and ran another 2 miles after the first 2 and wasn’t even sore anymore.

This workout proved my mind is the only thing controlling my limitations and potential.

It’s a wild paradox in which your mind can trick you into NOT doing something, yet that same thing once overcame, proves just the opposite. You needed it even more.

One thing Jocko Willink talks about in his podcast is the idea of going through the motions even when you don’t feel like it. Get up, get out, and get after it. That’s it. Shut your mind off and go run.

Write the blog. Make the phone calls. Do the work. Do whatever it is you have to do that day no matter what. It’s that simple.

This same concept is something I strive to continuously implement in other areas of my life.

I’ve got a lot of work to do, but after a week of running 2-5 miles a day, I feel like nothing can stop me – even when I don’t feel like it.

The confidence you will build when you prove yourself WRONG is AMAZING.

So I ask of you one simple thing.

Do that difficult thing you’ve been wanting to do but continue to make excuses for not doing. Go a little further and work a little harder. Don’t settle for 40%, 60%, 80%, or 99%. Give that little bit more towards something that gets you excited for life and as Cameron Hanes would say, “KEEP HAMMERING“!

2018 Goals!

I started this blog a while back as a way for me to develop my skills as a writer and share my work with anyone who might find my story interesting.

I failed.

However, the lessons learned since I began to consider myself a writer and started on this journey changed my life in many ways.

My intent of this blog at first was to distill some of the failures and lessons I’ve learned in my life. I’ve always been a do-it-myself – learn by doing – type of guy. This led me to make some bad decisions which resulted in mistakes that many people make. These are the stories I hope to share with you all at some point in 2018 as I continue to learn and improve each day.

My commitment to personal growth and self-discovery began last year. I’d argue everything that had happened before that point was due to ignorance and blatant stupidity.

Not many people argue I’m the smartest guy around, trust me, I don’t either.

However, for a long time, I felt compelled to defend myself, my actions, and put on a persona that was not my true self. I was unaware of how influenced I had become by my environment, family, and more than deeply affected my confidence.

Now that you understand that a bit more, outside of diving into the depths of subjects that fascinate me, I intend to fulfill my commitment to you all this year and embrace blogging for what it is (or at least how I see it).

This is a little late but with 2017 in the books and 2018 in full force.

Here are some areas of my life I intend on improving in 2018. These can be considered goals, action items, thinking points, and for me, they are building blocks to my future. To continue acting in accordance with my virtues, limiting my vices and to be myself as often as possible.

2018 Goals

  1. Improve Relationships: A bit personal for me to share, yet something I’d say requires improvement in my life. Better communication with family, friends and important people in my life. I’ve let too many people down and too many people go in my life. Some for better, others for worse. I plan to reconcile lost friendships, put an end to relationships which are holding me back, and continue to build new relationships with people who inspire and motivate me to become better every day.
  2. Exercise: I no longer have a gym membership which was a decision I made to save money in Q3 last year. Yoga, bodyweight and home workouts have saved me. I plan to continue my twice weekly Bikram Yoga practice, run 1-2 times per week, and 2 days of hard bodyweight/jump rope work at home. Basically, continue what has been working great and build as I improve.
  3. Diet: More green smoothies! They don’t always taste great but the feeling in my body afterward is sensational. The confidence and strength gained from treating your body right are incredible. Eat more veggies, fewer carbs, and less refined/processed sugar.
  4. Books: Last year I read somewhere between 40-50 books (several twice). I’m so proud of myself for committing to the glorious habit of reading! I am obsessed. My goal for this year is 50-60 books (Print, Kindle, Audible). So far I’ve read “As A Man Thinketh”, by James Allen and “Sapiens”, by Yuval Noah Harari. 2018 will be my best year for knowledge, that I know for sure.
  5. Writing: Right now I write at least 1,000 words a day in one sitting combined with all of my other writing (journaling, minimal social media, emails, Medium, etc…). I’m thinking deeply about my authorship goals for 2018; a novel, non-fiction book, screenplay, or something relating to comedy. My major goal is to find writing/publishing mentor or agent combined with an internship, part-time job, or career opportunity to build more relationships with people who inspire me and can help to improve my craft. I should subcategorize writing since this is a major part of my and ambition.
  6. Coffee/Caffeine: Yes this deserves its own section. It’s my blog. One coffee a day. I’ve been drinking Mushroom Coffee by Four Sigmatic and I swear to you, NO jitters, NO anxiety – PURE FOCUS! Other than one coffee a day I drink a lot of caffeine free tea, mostly chamomile early morning and late at night.
  7. Blogging: 1-2 posts a week. I write far too much to not be able to share SOMETHING with you all every week. I read and listen to far too many books and podcasts to have nothing interesting to say, ever. I apologize for my lack of commitment and I will stick with it this year! (even if it sucks…)
  8. Reading: 1-2 hours per day. I heard that Bill Gates carves out one-hour blocks of time to read in order to engage with the material in more depth. Once I heard that I immediately applied have been processing, learning, and understanding material at a MUCH deeper level. I throw some meditation, jazz, or other enjoyable background music on and allow the book to consume me. It’s wonderful.
  9. Budget: This is the most important aspect of my life. For lack of a more appropriate word. I’ve fucked up my credit and finances. I thought I had everything figured out and slowly the Compound Effect worked against me and here I am. I will be credit card debt free in 2018 and I intend to stay that way for the rest of my life. 2017 was the year of DECREASE in my life. No more daily trips to Starbucks or Chipotle; a peanut butter and jelly sandwich will suffice. Store brand over name brand groceries. No more eating out for lunch every day. You get the point. I’ll write a blog to detail out exactly how I cut my expenses and minimalized my spending as much as possible. I hope to be in a financial position to eat and live the way I desire at a minimal scale and not worry about much else. Until then, it’s PB&J’s…
  10. Travel/Relocation: A city that is conducive to my lifestyle is a major part of my year. I’m heading back to up New England next month for one trip and would love to plan a Q3 or Q4 yoga/meditation retreat. The destination is still to be determined (still researching). I’m super grateful for my job now and it allows me a super flexible work-day so I may stick around North Carolina for a while if things work out there…
  11. Minimalism: If you’ve read the book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, by Marie Kondo you understand. I plan to dispose or give away any old or unwanted “stuff” in order to be more flexible when I decide to travel/relocate. I don’t think I want to go as far as buying a Tiny House (a little much for me) but getting rid of my excess material possessions feels great. It was cleansing to do before I moved to North Carolina and I realized I didn’t do a good enough job when I was unpacking clothes I hadn’t worn in years.
  12. Try New Things: I had a lot of “firsts” last year. I want to continue to push the boundaries of my comfort zone and explore things that I may love and not know yet. It’s been an interesting time in my life and I intend to keep the door open for opportunity. A few include; try stand-up comedy/improv (still scares the hell out of me, and I’ll DEFINITELY bomb!), tr*avel overseas, drive across the country, perform more “30-day challenges” to find new habits, finish writing a book, and many more. I love the idea of experimenting with new things, especially short-term projects that you can do every day. Neil Strauss has something he does where he’ll do something for a month to try it out. For example, strike up a conversation with a stranger every day for a month. Get rejected for something every day for a month (for reasons I’d rather not explain here), practice drawing or guitar for 10 minutes a day, the list goes on…
  13. Improve Communication Skills: Podcasts, interviews, audio recordings, presentations, meetings, dating, and relationships – our lives are becoming more and more inclusive of many forms of communication. I love to talk but most people who know me also know that I tend to ramble and rant when I get going (JUST SHUT UP ALREADY MATT), I apologize in advance. In order to button this up, I plan to practice my speaking skills and become more comfortable speaking in front of people, a camera, and socially to share my ideas without sweating profusely. I hope to become a better presenter of information; speeches, and ideas. A major life goal of mine is to present a TED Talk on a subject I’m passionate about.
  14. Editing: I’ve realized a weakness of my writing skills is my ability to edit and “murder the darlings” of most of my work. Most of my fiction writing has come out in a way that I can only describe as “stream of consciousness”, which isn’t always a good thing. I have no clear goal for this as of today outside of several reference books I use. 2018 will be a productive year for developing my understanding of the use of plot, narrative, and characters within all of my stories.
  15. Mindfulness: “Be Here Now“, by Ram Dass. A phrase I tell myself often when I become anxious or uncomfortable in any situation. Mindfulness and meditation came into my life at a time of poor health, habits, and decision making all around. This combined with treating my body poorly left me unhappy and discontent with life. Some may argue depressed and lonely. Not my finest hours, admittedly. Whatever, mindfulness for me is being present. Present to make the right decisions, present to stay focused on whatever it is you’re doing, and present to always be grateful, appreciative, and humble towards every beautiful day of life. We don’t deserve much in this life; we earn it.

I’m certain these will continue to vary as time goes on

My life philosophy and habits are what help me become who I am today. With that said, will publish another blog about my professional goals and how I plan to add the most value to the world with the gifts I’ve been given. Also, I will share what I have for upcoming projects once my goals are more clear for this year.

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment below with one of your goals for 2018!

A Look Back at 2017 (w/ Lots of Pictures!)

At the end of 2017, I planned to write this post but continued to procrastinate. I was slacking to share any of my writing for reasons which I deem inexplicable. I was practicing my craft. That’s all I intended to do and sharing much of it felt too soon and became more difficult than I imagined. I set a goal of writing 1,000 words a day and accomplished some things with my writing and reading habits in 2017 that changed the way I live.

I completed Julia Camerons ‘Morning Pages’ over the summer, read several books on creative and non-fiction writing, started blogging, filled nearly 3 journals, 4-5 notebooks, and took many notes in Google Keep that I often forget about nowadays.

For this post, I am going to share some highlights and memories from 2017 which made it a truly remarkable year, avoid the negatives of 2017 (maybe a later post to share lessons learned, failures, etc…), and shed some insight into how I see 2018 turning out.

Where to begin?

How about with the best trip of my life; Breckenridge, CO to ski/snowboard with 20 people from Minnesota (mostly), only one of which I knew personally? (My friend Max)

 

After a disappointing finale to 2016, planning this trip to Colorado propelled my life into a positive direction and I’m happy to say 2018 is shaping up to be even better! I am grateful for all of the amazing new friends I met from Minnesota. Thanks for inviting and welcoming me on your trip to the Rocky Mountain state!

Breckenridge was the greatest vacation of my adult life and I find myself reminiscing of fresh powder, bluebird skies, countless Dale’s Pale Ales, early mornings preparing to shred and late nights, dancing and celebrating such a beautiful place. I’m disappointed I won’t be able to join you all this year at Whistler Blackcomb in BC, Canada, but I’m lucky to have joined you all in the first place. Have an incredible trip and enjoy the powder!

After vacation away in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, I focused back in at work.  I wound up leaving one company to join another and planned a vacation to Wilmington, NC to see my parents, play some golf, and attend the Wells Fargo Championship with my dad at the stunning Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, North Carolina. It reminded me of what Augusta National would be like (I’ve  never been).

 

It was great to see my family, spend some time with my brother, meet some of my favorite PGA Tour players, do a little surfing, and relax on the beach!

Oh, and if you’ve never seen Dustin Johnson in a Wednesday Pro-Am smash his driver you’re missing out. Thanks for the show of hitting three consecutive drives on this hole DJ!

 

 

In March I was fortunate to have moved to Boston, found a new job in the Seaport District and fell in love with the city. I’d take the train into downtown, walk nearly everywhere, and explore often. I miss you Boston. Maybe I’ll be back soon…

Soon after starting my new job I attended my first trade show in Wisconsin. Although I resigned from the company only 3 months after starting, I had such an amazing time at the trade show that it’s worth it to share the only photo of me representing our booth at the time.

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Huge thanks to Zerto for being such a great company and providing me with the opportunity to join their team and represent a game-changing BC/DR technology in the SaaS marketplace.

Thanks to the few colleagues I met in Wisconsin who didn’t allow me to leave without drinking several beers and forcing shots of Jamieson down my throat before I caught my flight home, oh and don’t forget about the cheese curds! (Sorry for the terrible picture quality).

Only a few short weeks after returning from Wisconsin and attending ZertoCON, a conference for Zerto in Boston, I resigned from the company and set my intentions on the pursuit of an independent business venture – a Solopreneur idea – and to relocate down to Wilmington, NC to start a new career and get my financial life in order. I’m happy to report that much of my ambitions and goals have been accomplished and I’m closer than ever to living debt free.

After I resigned it was game time. I planned to drive down to Wilmington, NC with no more than would fill my car. I sold nearly everything and made about $1,000 in a matter of a week. This taught me a lot about what I truly needed for material belongings to be happy. Decluttering my life of excess material possessions helped me find much more joy in hobbies that I previously would escape to TV, mindless organizing, and non-productive tasks.

Throughout the few weeks before driving myself to NC, I did quite a bit! I wandered aimlessly throughout Boston exploring new places, trying new coffee shops, and spent some time with friends in the city. I spent an afternoon at the Museum of Science (highly recommended) and lost myself amongst the fascinating scientific discoveries and inventions of the modern era.

 

I did a 3-day water fast during one of the hottest times of the year which tested me more physically and mentally than anything ever before. I felt more alive, energetic, and clear-minded at this point than ever before. Now I do sporadic intermittent fasting a few days a week to keep my body from overworking itself and it has worked great for me since.

I attended a Tony Robbins Ultimate Wealth and Achievement Summit which had guests of Tom Brady and Julian Edelman speaking on their remarkable lives of achievement, discipline, and persistence towards becoming the best at what they do. As a Patriots fan, this was INCREDIBLE to hear live and in-person.

This was one of the most sensational moments of my life. I put aside the cliches of some people I know and their perspective of self-help/personal growth and immersed myself at this event. Tony Robbins helped to guide into a high energy state and uses his remarkable depth of psychological and physiological expertise to educate you on what it takes to live with purpose and positive energy. To this day, nearly 7 months later, I’m still reviewing the notes from this seminar and some of the techniques, strategies, and ideas gained from ONE DAY of 2017.

 

Lastly, I spent the final 3 days in Boston with a publishing company learning the ins and outs of writing and publishing a book. Thank you Black Card Books and Gerry Robert for sharing your insight into becoming an Author to establish yourself as an ‘authoritative’ person in no matter what industry or profession you are in.

Summer 2017 was phenomenal and full of growth, learning, love, and remarkable energy!

 

After an exciting (but short) few months living in Boston it was time to move. At the time this felt like the best decision for me and one that would allow me to take a step back, evaluate my life, understand what was important to me, and move forward as a better person.

I had dinner with a best friend of mine which I’m grateful to have reconnected with this year. We hung out a ton in Boston and we both realized as disconnected as we were, our lives were going in similar directions and it simply made sense. I intended to travel first thing the following morning but after we ate a four-course Italian meal topped off with some freshly brewed coffee I was convinced to leave that night. I said my farewells and hit the road.

Audiobooks ready, podcasts ready, and plenty of road snacks/drinks to keep me up! What an exciting and fun journey it was for my first road trip that was more than a few hours away. Without audio books or “voice notes” I think I may have gone crazy.

My first few weeks in North Carolina were much of the same as I was doing in Boston: Reading and writing a lot each day, reflecting, thinking, planning, and strategizing for what I was to do next. I kept up ALL of my routines from day 1. My first two months I didn’t wake up past 6AM. I limited alcohol, stayed focused on my work, started a freelance writing business, found my first client, made my first $20 on my own, and learned more than I could’ve ever imagined.

2017 was a year of embracing knowledge, accepting ignorance, and exploring my interests and personal passion more than anything else. To keep things optimistic, I used this time to discover more about myself (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) and to change the way I was living my life and my perspective of the world.

As you’ll see in the below pictures, North Carolina sunsets and sunrises are absolutely stunning. I was blown away each and every day and night by the sky!

 

Only a few weeks into July 2017 I found myself flying back to Boston with my dad to celebrate my uncle Joes 50th surprise birthday party on the beautiful Thompson Island! We stayed at the incredible Revere Hotel for a few nights and had a wonderful time!

As we were waiting for our boarding passes to depart from Boston, Lori Greiner walked into the airport behind us, though I didn’t have I time to pitch her on an idea I have, she was happy to take a picture which was awesome!

 

The return to North Carolina was different this time since I knew I had no other travel plans through the rest of 2017. I was fortunate to have found decent success freelance writing and managed to overwhelm myself with work. I finally felt deserving of the opportunities in front of me!

Only a few months into my freelance writing I realized that I was not going to be able to pay down debt and support myself doing that alone. I needed a job and spent the next few months writing as often as possible and finding a job that would enable me to continue the pursuit of my creative passions.

Over the next few months, I found myself dabbling in film/TV, practicing my writing more than ever before in my life, reading more books than I could’ve ever imagined, trying new things, exploring the area, and pushing my comfort zone as often as possible.

From surfing, mountain biking, and hiking to skydiving on my 25th birthday, I feel so lucky to have enjoyed so many amazing things this year with incredible people. 2017 was filled with so many new people and amazing experiences! Thank you to everyone!

 

I glazed over the fact that I was skydiving before. I couldn’t think of a better way to turn 25 than jumping out of a perfectly good plane! My anxiety and nerves immediately raced from 9AM the previous morning before we jumped when I called my friend Jess and asked her to jump with me. She immediately said “yes” and from that point on I knew I couldn’t back out.

Instead of writing about the moment, I’ll let some of the pictures do it justice and share a previous blog I’ve written (but didn’t share) about the experience and how amazing it was!

 

Oh, I didn’t get cut! I made it onto the TV Show Good Behavior thanks to TW Casting for hiring me as an extra. Wilmington, NC has an incredible history of film and TV. It was great to talk to producers, directors, actors, and get a sense for what it would be like working on a film/TV set for a career. I didn’t know what to expect and have a very limited film background. Luckily things worked out, I met some amazing people and hope to do more acting/film work in the future!

 

Did you find me in the pictures above? This was such a cool experience and I highly recommend you check out the TNT show Good Behavior! It’s a great story starring actress Michelle Dockery.

Anyway, 2017 has been filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, and a year to represent significant personal growth, reflection, and appreciation for life.

Since I’ve been slacking on posting on my blog, my goal for 2018 is to publish all sorts of creative writing practices I’ve done over the last year and share more with you all while working on many other creative projects for the year.

It’s been a cold start to 2018 with all of this arctic-like weather home in New England but I couldn’t be more happy to have seen several inches of snowfall a few days ago here in Wilmington, NC, where they rarely see anything more than a dusting a year.

We celebrated by walking around in the snow-fall, had a toasty fire to keep us warm, beverages handy to maintain our thirst, and laughter all around.

Now it’s time to get down to business, focus on what is most important for 2018 and remember to be present in each and every day. To stay engaged with each moment and appreciate all of the happenings in all of our lives.

I’m certain 2018 will be more adventurous and exciting than ever!

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P.S.

In the interest of not procrastinating any longer, I did not edit any of the writing on this post as of 1.7.2018.

Thanks for reading and I wish you all the very best and most beautiful 2018 imaginable!

One last thing. I took these selfies a while ago and realized I looked a bit like Ryan from The Office… What do you think?

 

Hack your Day; Find More Time To Thrive

Originally posted on Medium: Check it out below along with other recent posts!

Matthew Wetmore: Medium

Productivity Hacks: Find More Time And Motivation To Thrive!

There is no doubt that all of us (even Gary Vaynerchuk…I think?) need downtime.

The world moves fast. We live in a business economy which is “always-on”. This 24/7 lifestyle has allowed us to innovate and grow businesses in new and creative ways. Problems have also been created which eat away at our most valuable asset: time.

The depths of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and the many other social outlets we use to share interesting yet often purposeless information with each other, deprive us of this valuable asset.

Many of us are in front of a screen long before sun up and far after sunrise. To dig into the negatives here requires an entire post of its own. That will be later this month.

Today I want to focus on how to hack into your daily life and make the necessary changes to find more time for whats important to you. Whether it’s time with family, playing with the kids, a forgotten passion or hobby, anything.

I also want to identify ways which I have learned to motivate myself when I feel the body and mind begin to fade. We all know the feeling at 2–2:30PM when the mind melts from existence into the ever too familiar food coma/sugar crash. You rush for caffeine but sometimes that’s no use. The damage has been done.

I write this with 0 intention of sharing diet/nutrition tips for energy maintenance, that also deserves its own article. Another good idea for later this month.

Let’s start with a few I’ve applied in my life and am yet to feel even slightly “disconnected”.

Quit The TV

This is sort of the “have your cake and eat it too” dilemma except with devices.

We have too much! Phones, laptops, tablets, TV’s, monitors, our lives are far to encompassed by screens which often eat away at our dreams.

The day I sold my TV was also the day I was no longer the “I read before bed” type of guy. That guy never learns.

Can you think of anything else you could do instead of melting into mind-numbing television each day of your life? With a little willpower, I’m certain you can; you’ll be glad you did.

Exercise

Write

Read

Cook

Clean

Organize

Work more..? (I know, this is not specific enough for you, me either but it’s staying)

I’m not saying TV is bad. I’m saying I hear so many people say they don’t have the time yet Netflix shows and Criminal Minds is a “priority”? Please don’t complain.

I credit the removal of my TV from the bedroom with improved sleep, better focus, improved mindfulness, and a deeper understanding of my goals and purpose.

I also credit it for the 50+ books I’ve read in both audio and paper format this year. I’ve learned a lot… I’ve never been more grateful for this in my life.

TV sucks anyway. With our phones and laptops able to access practically everything on cable TV, what’s the point? I’m not saying to spend MORE time on your laptop and phone watching TV, but avoid the distraction all together and establish disciplines with your TV consumption.

Detox from Social Media OR Limit Its Use With Intent

A TED talk I watched about the negative implications of social media fascinated me. I realized I was no longer posting on Instagram or Facebook and that Snapchat was just a time-suck. I told myself, “If I’m not adding or gaining anything of substantial value, why am I using it so much?”

I deleted them from my phone that day. I still “check” both, often at night, but only on my personal laptop instead of my phone all day.

No more rabbit hole. No more lost seconds, minutes, hours, and probably days of life. The lack of distractions alone has been tremendous.

Instead, I read and review articles/content/news on sites I prefer. Oh, I do use LinkedIn which has been rather engaging as of late.

Try a week away from social media. Try the “desktop only” method.

If it’s apart of your brand, business, or maybe you’re striving to become an influencer of some sort; fine. This isn’t for you.

For me, the lack of true productivity on these platforms led to a decision to give it up and see what happens.

The major downside? Lack of contribution to communities and groups I belong to. Facebook, for example, I will sit and comment/engage in one sitting opposed to checking throughout the day. I find I add more value this way.

I personally never had a problem with Twitter, nor used it very often, so I decided to keep it and actually start “tweeting”.

It won’t be easy and you may not even like it yet I’m certain you’ll find the same value as I did.

Listen To Motivational Videos/Programs

YouTube is king here.

Whether you’re into “self-help” books or not. Motivational content is a great way to find inspiration when energy is low.

Jocko Willink, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Les Brown, Joe Rogan, Gary Vaynerchuk, I could go forever.

Search their names on YouTube combined with motivation and listen to a few. Not only will you be motivated but inspired to continue to improve yourself.

Do this when you’re feeling the day get away from you. It’ll help you maintain focus and prevail when the chips are down.

It’s easy to work hard when it’s easy, it’s how you react when things are NOT going well which defines you.

Take control of you’re time and own your day. Don’t allow your precious life to dwindle from the constant stimulation of input from the lives of others.

Creative and curious people can change the world. It’s difficult to be curious OR creative when we are constantly stimulated by other peoples ideas instead of our own.

Pay attention to the world and make more progress each day!

A Book To Build Creative Skills And Become A Writer

“Empty Your Mind To Free Your Soul” — Matthew Wetmore

A Book Recommendation To Build Creative Skills And Become A Writer

One afternoon I perused around my local bookstore to poke around at some of the latest book releases. This happened to be right around the time that I desired to become a better writer but didn’t have many tools.

I was missing the classics; Elements of Style, Writing Tools, On Writing, and many others.

I’m glad I can say I’ve since read, applied, and continue to use these almost every day as I work on my craft.

Again, I walked around with no intention at the time but one book stuck out.

How to be a Writer — Building your creative skills through practice and play, by Barbara Baig

I almost didn’t buy it. I googled it and only found a few results and nearly psyched myself out. But I did; this book never left my side all summer.

Barbara Baig is a devoted writer and teacher. She was the Writing instructor at Harvard Divinity School for 20+ years and is now teaching in the MFA Program at Lesley University.

Freewriting

If you have any desire to write you need to start here.

Freewriting does WONDERS for your creative skills and helps you escape your mind. When you freewrite you allow yourself to think freely and your mind to flow into new dimensions of thought that are unable to be obtained unless you enter the deep, focused state of mind.

Do this for just 10 minutes. Write about your day, your week, your life, your relationship; anything you want.

An important thing to note is not to stop writing. Keep the pen or pencil moving. This won’t be easy at first but you’ll learn that the more you “think” when you write, the harder it is for words to come to your mind.

Focused Freewriting

This is an excellent way to study, prepare for a meeting, learn new subjects, and assess your own level of knowledge.

No matter what subject you are studying or interested in, focused freewriting can help you find information and knowledge on a particular subject that you may not be aware you know.

Often times our subconscious mind holds on to a TON of information with which the only way to access it is through deep stimulation.

A good example of this would be remembering character names from movies, books, or TV shows. Another would be the quote you loved so much by your favorite philosopher.

Write your topic at the top, set your timer for 10–15 minutes (or however long you’re comfortable with) and begin. Don’t stop writing until the time is up.

Try writing about a favorite vacation, experience, memory, or freewrite for new blog ideas.

Another way to use focused freewriting is to apply it to get in the “zone” for your job. I worked in cyber security and used this method to learn the technology, lingo, and get my mind ready to discuss security with people much smarter than I.

Why I Recommend Her Book

This book forever changed how I approach writing. It’s made my 1,000 words/day goal a piece of cake. I’m somewhere around 3,000 words today.

I’m also up late on a Monday writing this for my day 4/30 posting on Medium and my blog.

This book showed me how much I had to learn about writing, the world, and myself. Writers are vulnerable people who often see life through a lens which only words can explain.

Barbara will teach you how to look at the world in a new way. Take the journey into this book to expand your curiosity, learn more, have fun, and continue to grow as a writer.

Whether you write blogs, fiction, nonfiction, or poetry there is a place for Baig’s book in your library.

Have you read it before? What did you think? Share below or comment and let me know how you use freewriting in your life!

Strategy Without Execution = Death

Writing is hard.

The lessons I’ve learned haven’t come with ease. I’ve overcommitted and underdelivered, a sure recipe for failure with clients who rely on you to produce. The hard lesson of entrepreneurship or any solo business venture; failure is inevitable and you’re responsible for ALL of the work.

I’m happy. I get to write blogs, articles, network with new, like-minded professionals who share the same mission: Produce remarkable content, grow their business, share their story with more people, and of course, generate more revenue!

What about when someone needs a well-written 1,500 word SEO optimized blog post on an unfamiliar topic? You need to do research, craft an outline, write a draft, edit the draft, format, add internal/external links, insert quotes, oh wait, shit. I forgot an image. Search for an image – 20 minutes later – you find one you like!

A headline, crap! Wait, what is the purpose of this post? Why did I write this? Why is my client’s audience interested in this?  Does it make sense? Does it flow? Ah!

See, I enjoy this sensation. The slight stress promotes creativity for me to think on my feet and make decisions. It forces me to write, no matter what.

Should I write a blog post about what goes through my head under the pressure of a tight deadline? What about the editing process? How do you handle writing about projects which you aren’t an expert in?

My point? I can talk a big game and over back it up but sometimes I don’t. I’m not perfect, but I’m working on it. Learn how to execute on your strategy and anything is possible. I’m always working on mine.