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…


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.


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?

How Nature and Overcoming the “Bad Days” are Connected

We all have those days. You know, the nights where you told yourself you’d be in bed by 10 PM only to lie sleepless until well past 1 AM. That was how my day went today.

I plan to wake up at 5:30 every morning of my life. This is the only way I know to create true personal time. Whether you write, play guitar, exercise, read, or whatever. The early morning hours before most of America is awake have proven to be my BEST times of the day. Maybe you are the same.

But… today was different. This was no ordinary day. I’ve been in NC for around two months. I can count on ONE hand the number of times I’ve slept past 7 AM.

It’s four, well now five.

Today – it was 9:30 AM. What in the hell happened? I could’ve stayed negative and dreaded doing anything, watched TV and sat on my ass all day.

Instead what I did, was start my day as if it were 5:30 AM after taking care of pressing obligations for the day. I exercised, ate a healthy breakfast, meditated, wrote my journal and morning pages, and read for 15 minutes.

See, for most of you, this isn’t a problem. For me, however, my off-days crush me. I feel defeated and vulnerable. These aren’t good feelings.

Exercise is the FIRST way I combat any signs of mental overwhelm or anxiety. Second, it is to write. I write every morning. I consider this my mental therapy. I get my cluttered morning thoughts onto paper and organize my day. Therapy one day, goal setting the next – this writing organizes my day and adds structure to a life where most of us are highly over stimulated.

Why did I choose this photo?

For one, I made a commitment to write, schedule, or publish a blog every day. I wasn’t sure what to write about today so I figured I’d pick a nice photo.

Secondly, this photo was a great day and it reminded me of how much I love nature.

I spent a portion of my afternoon today walking through this amazing park near me to clear my mind. Again, today was NOT my day. I walked with no music or audio book for the first few minutes to connect with nature.

From the trees, birds, and insects to the children and families playing in the playground laughing. Walking amongst Mossy Oaks and large Pines while soaking in the sun and enjoying the fresh air. It is intoxicating!

Sometimes – all we need is some exercise, fresh air, to bring us back to our prime. Our best self.

Final Thoughts

Before I head to bed for the evening and get some MUCH NEEDED rest, I want to share something.

I listen to an audio book everywhere that I go. In my car, walking or running around my neighborhood, folding laundry, basically anytime I can or find myself idle.

This lifted my spirits and changed my mood. I was uplifted by a new sense of wonder and possibility. The sun, the air, and nature helped me overcome one of my least productive days since I’ve lived in North Carolina.

Audio books have changed my life and inspired me in more ways that I can begin to describe. Instead of watching TV or playing a video game, try to find more constructive ways to be inspired. Throw on some headphones, go for a walk, while getting lost in an amazing audio book. I never regret learning, but I always regret the hours of my life spent binge watching a show or plain sitting on my ass.

Here are a few in my library:

How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson

The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

For you fiction lovers:

The Absent Mind, by Eric Rill

The Cold Dish, by Craig Johnson

Live as if you know nothing at all – Keep the desire to know more alive

I never thought of using Twitter as a source of inspiration until my experience with WordPress University – #everydayinspiration. I’ve since made strides to consistently improve my writing – opening up tremendous opportunities for freelance work to help me grow as a writer.

My daily writing practice has helped me realize my current skills as a freelance writer. With ideas flooding in each day I will be building my platform to share much better content, articles, newsletters, to display my portfolio of work. So any suggestions on content, blog posts, newsletter ideas, and weekly feature ideas – please comment, message, or share your ideas with me!

“You study, study, study, and at the end, you are lucky enough to discover the greatest gift of education: that you know nothing at all.”

At first, this insulted me. What do you mean study to become educated to know nothing at all? I was naive. I took this at face value. I reflected on its’ true meaning which opened my eyes to the world of lifelong education even further. Life is full of energy. It contains powers far greater than our minds will ever conceive.

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing” – Socrates

Reflecting these past few months has helped me display the remarkable progress I’ve made in my life. I am confident saying my skills, passions, and purpose have become less self-centered to focus on helping as many people as possible in my short time here. After graduating with my Bachelors Degree I had so many questions on what was next – I still do. The beauty of all the recent growth, as well as personal development, is the joy I’ve found thinking about my life, future, plans, and goals. During this time I’ve identified my core values which I intend on living the rest of my life upon, expanding each to become the best possible form of that person.

The skills and experience I have gained are heavily praised by so many which I encounter each day including; family, friends, colleagues, strangers, and daily interactions. I often find that when I meet new people they feel inclined to mention how ‘wise’ I am for a young professional. Yet for some reason up until recently, my internal uncertainty had been eating at me from the inside out each day. This uncertainty led me on a journey of self-discovery, reflection, and understanding of my life’s purpose. I was certain – however – of my mission in life. My purpose is to no longer be ungrateful. To understand how blessed I truly am. To share this as often as I can. Help as many people as possible. Learn as much as I can and become the best person I can with the life I’ve been given.

“Those who look ONLY to the past or the present, are certain to miss the future” – John F. Kennedy

Here is a little context of my past – I underperformed in high school (to say the least). My grades were poor – so was my attitude. Through middle school life was on track, I did well in school, only to slowly spiral downhill after. I spent a majority of my time with questionable people, making questionable decisions. Is that why I have all these ‘questions’? I used to be in such a rush for everything in life. Never enjoying the moment nor satisfied when I reached the destination. That may be why yoga/meditation have become such a crucial part of my life today.

I neglected my physical, mental, spiritual, emotional health for years. I came to this realization after high school but didn’t learn immediately. Lucky for me was a chance to go back to school and begin a career in the Technology sector. My uncle is CEO of a company that changed my life. This opportunity balanced with a college education built a foundation of skills I will be forever grateful – yet uncertainty was still lingering around the corner. I suffered in the sense of suffocating my intelligence by not treating my body or mind the way they deserved.

I began to see correlating effects behind what I ate, what I read, what I wrote and their respective counterpart outcomes in my life. These came in the form of habits, routines, diet, fitness, nutrition, business, financial, and much more. I no longer escaped life through my vices. I visualized what my life would become and knew change when imperative to my growth.

Since graduating college with my Bachelor’s Degree, I’ve come to this fascinating realization it was only the beginning. My journey into lifelong education remains the foundation of my life along with my core values, principles, and habits. The more I learn, the more I realize what I don’t know. I develop new questions, immense and superior problems, harder challenges – this was my wake up call. Life is a combination of finding yourself while learning from your experiences (failures & successes). This philosophy helped me realize who I was becoming and how I needed to change that.

As I said – these past few months have brought clarity to my vision of the world. Hence this empowered enthusiasm, joy, and passion for putting 110% into life each day. I no longer feel restricted by the grasp of the influence the lives of others had on me.

“Live as if you know nothing at all, to keep the desire to know more alive.” – Unknown? – I wrote this in my journal one night, if anyone knows if this has been used before please message me,

The beauty of true wisdom lies within the knowledge we have to be humble and understand that we know nothing at all. Be the optimist – see the good in life – the bright side of things. We all experience negative emotions. Let them occur, try to begin viewing them in the light of opportunity. Bad things are going to happen, but there is a chance, somewhere somehow – something good will come from it. Enjoy the highs and respect the lows of life. Be proud and grateful of good moments and let the bad ones fade quietly and quickly.

This process of seeing what is right in the world changed my perspective on how I viewed others. I treat everyone in my life with the same level of respect. I remain humbled by each interaction. I am fortunate to be where I am, possess the skills I have – I remain blessed to be the person I am today. This constant reminder of appreciation, respect, and humility is what helps me to focus on what is truly important in my life. I’m not always perfect – I get frustrated, angry, or upset – until I remember what is important when it matters. To prevent a situation from escalating out of control. Be mindful of your environment and who may be influencing your life.

It is this level of humility which keeps me grounded when I need it most.  So, “you study, study, and study to find out life’s greatest gift of education, the wisdom of knowing nothing at all.” Good. The greatest gift we can leave this Earth with is never saying we wish we followed our dreams or did more. So many of us desire more out of lives. Don’t wait around. Life is nimble – stay on your toes, work hard and don’t sit around waiting for an opportunity – you’ll wake up wondering where it all went.

Writing and Thinking Space: My places to write

Where do you write?

Where do you produce your best writing?

Best thinking?

I’m back again this evening with your daily dose of ‘everyday inspiration’ encouraged by WordPress University. The question for today as I highlighted above is, “Where do you write?”

I write everywhere.

My bed in the morning and night. I begin expressing gratitude for what is great in my life and end each day with what amazing things have happened that day. This was inspired by the “Five Minute Journal“. A simple little journal with great powers of increasing happiness.

As I settle into Wilmington, North Carolina I feel fortunate to have space in the office at home where I sit each morning with a fresh cup of coffee to begin writing. Somewhere between 5:00 am and 6:30 am. I hand write three ‘Morning Pages‘ (sometimes I dread this, sometimes I am excited) as I’ve discussed in previous posts. This is not always enjoyable, especially when I am running on little sleep (often), but ALWAYS worth it.

Morning pages have shaped how I start my day. They clear the clutter in life. To express the negative and endless chatter of the mind. Writing morning pages in my office help; declutter my day, organize thoughts, ideas, concepts, plans, goals, strategize, and focus on what is important.

These help to get the mind into the ‘flow‘ of writing. I’ve gone 12 days in a row and have thirty-six pages consisting of; a lot of complaining, ranting, some good, some bad, frustrations, goals, objectives, ideas, projects, and more. This is my art. This exercises my mind to think about my life, family, friends, and make it real before I get overtaken by the day. It is important to note I write these each morning before looking at any technology. No TV, no media, no stimulation (except coffee or tea).

As a Writer, the hardest part of the job can be simply writing. This is a new part of my routine to get into a better state of mind to write. The creativity comes flying out of nowhere in my mind. It helps to surmount the ugly side of writing. The jumbled, mixed up thoughts and unfocused attention. As I continue to master my writing techniques and style, I’m very curious to see how the Morning Pages help me become better every day.

About my most recent writing space:

The office at home isn’t anything special. It includes a window which shines a ton of natural sun each morning (on clear days), plenty of space to stretch, exercise and move around as needed.

I keep books on my desk for inspiration (yes, I’ve read most of them). Most important is; my vision board, full-size world map and of course a fresh cup of coffee. My vision board is filled with my life aspirations, dreams and goals; mentors, leaders, role models, quotes, life goals, dreams, pictures of what I desire, and much more. A vision board helps me remember why I discipline myself and work so hard on myself. Why I say no to things which sound fun today but won’t contribute to my purpose. Don’t worry, I get out when I need it, I’m happy.

I look up each morning thinking about where I can go. Where do I want to travel? What do I want to see? Where could I live? What experiences could I have? Who do I want with me? Who would want to join me? Where I begin? More importantly, how am I going to get there? When am I going to go? I look up and see the world. The endless possibilities our fascinating planet has to offer. The map helps me dream. It aids the creative juices with forward-looking thinking. Possibility thinking. The idea of what exists in our world that I am missing. Travel is high on my list of life goals and I convince myself each day that if I keep doing what I am doing travel will become much more simple to justify. I don’t want to keep telling myself I want to travel, but… “I want to travel”. And write.

I dream of being a Travel Blogger or Writer.

Explore the world, meet fascinating people, and soak in unique experiences of other cultures and places on our planet. To write about the adventures, the experiences, cultures, and learn along the way. That is a big-picture purpose of my blog. A place to share my adventures and travel experiences with the world. Maybe the more I think about it and keep convincing myself it is real, it will actually happen…

As a writer, my best work doesn’t always come from the office. I’m notorious for heading to a local cafe for both Wifi and a change of scenery. I enjoy writing from new places, about new places.

Some days I will head to the beach, find a bench (yes I took the featured image above) or picnic table and spend some time writing outside. I find this soothing and very beneficial. I’m a nature and outdoor enthusiast so once my body is moving and I am physically outside my mind starts to flood with ideas and inspiration. This is critical for idea generation and to deeply ponder their possibility.

Cafe’s are probably my favorite. I will order my usual grande (medium) black iced coffee or a cappuccino, throw my Spotify writing playlist on and boom. I spice it up some days depending on the time and project. I will write for 5-10 minutes to get my mind right, then shift gears, set a timer and focus! This keeps me in the seat, focused, ready to attack the page. No distractions, interruptions or anything. Even the smallest distraction for me while focused writing can be a killer.

Lastly: Here are a few tips that have helped me avoid distraction while writing. This is why I imagine Authors do a lot of their writing between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am.

  1. Keep your phone on silent and put it away. Don’t even tempt yourself. It is not worth it and will be there when you are done.
  2. Set a timer. This helps me stay focused on the task at hand and disciplined to what I am working on.
  3. Close all unnecessary applications. Don’t be tempted to check an email or let your mind race to another task on your list.
  4. Kill the tabs. Don’t overwhelm yourself with countless tabs open in your browser. You’ll most likely need a browser open, so hide your Bookmarks bar and stay focused on what matters!

I hope you enjoyed my post. I’ve been working hard on my website and blog!

I encourage you to check my ‘Connect with meorContact page and submit a comment on what you think I should write about in an upcoming post. I will respond ASAP!


Inspirational Quote of the Day brought to you by Bruce Lee

It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was a legend in Martial Arts, a cultural icon and also became well-known for his philosophy catching fire later in his life.

I chose this quote today for #everydayinspiration. This comes from WordPress University. They send out daily recommendations for blog updates and to educate users on using WordPress. Today the prompt is to leverage a quote and create a post. Here is what I have for you.

Thank you Momentum, the ‘new tab’ productivity Chrome Store Extension for helping inspire productivity through stunning imagery, inspirational quotes, and the ability to keep a To-Do list of important tasks right on your browser each time you open a new tab. When I first learned of Momentum I took immediate action, told two of my close friends at the time because I knew how great it was. I use it daily without fail. Anyone who uses a desktop computer opens a new tab at some point each day. should have it installed for something better to look at than a blank page. Momentum is a productive way to stay on track, remind yourself of tasks for the day, week, or month to stay focused.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I get distracted researching quotes and incredible images they display. But that is sort of productive, right?

Hack away at the unessential, says Bruce Lee. What does that mean? To me, that means to hack away from unessential people. Unessential tasks such at mindless scrolling through Social Media. Hack away at what is distracting you from what you are here to get in life. Trust me I’ve had my fair share of unessential fatuity. Sometimes this happens for a short time, but most often it takes a major event to realize the unessential even exists.

Be mindful of your ‘unessential‘, stand guard of your mind and focus on the daily decrease, not the increase.

For me, I was caught up in unessential habits, routines, and disciplines which were not contributing any value to my life. I began to focus on the ‘daily decrease’ of bad habits such as sleeping in, not exercising, eating poorly, watching too much TV, Netflix, and not reading nearly enough.

What in your life do you consider to be unessential which could use improvement?

If you started small while ‘hacking away‘ each day at your ‘unessential‘, how do you think you would feel? Would it make your life better? We have all something unessential that is prohibiting us from reaching the next level. Don’t let your time escape you, start hacking away at the futile and push forward to success.

One Word Inspiration: Choice

Choice: an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

Our lives are compiled of conscious and subconscious choices which shape our existence. The one life we get is impacted by the choices we make, even more so as we enter our adult years. The choice to go to school, start a business, travel the world or whatever. These decisions will lead up to be the memories of our lives and who we end up becoming.

Who do I need to become to get all I want?

This question fascinated me. It enabled me to begin looking at my life from a big picture perspective. I made a choice to begin assessing my life. To think about what possible changes needed to be made for me to to get all I want out of my one life. What I desire out of my life. Who I want to become. What I want to accomplish. The associations I want to have. The impact I want to leave on others. The type of person I want to be known for. The skills I need to achieve my greatest desires.

These are choices. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 365 days in a year. The choices we make end up shaping a good portion of who we become.

Who are you becoming?

Our lives consist of habits as I learned in “The Power of Habit”, by Charles Duhigg. The beautiful thing about the human body and mind is our fascinating ability to change. To learn about our habits and disciplines. To apply the necessary changes to better shape the outcome of our life. How you decide to do this is up to you.

What are your habits? What are the choices you are making each day? Are you satisfied with them? Are you fulfilled on a daily basis? Are you maximizing your potential? Will you be satisfied with your life when it is all said and done?

We are faced with choices each and every day which makes up a majority of our lives. What do I wear today? Where should I stop for coffee? How am I going to get there? Should I take the train, bus or drive? This is why productive and successful people have disciplined habits and routines. They often wear the same clothes every day, eat the same breakfast, or wake up at the same time most days. You need to do what works best for your life. Be mindful of how the choices you make are impacting your life. If they are good, keep them up. If they are not, reassess how you can make small improvements in your daily life.

What choices am I making?

I will travel the world and write about my journey because it is the life I desire. A choice I will make to immerse myself in the world we live in and escape from the material world most of us are far too accustomed with. This is a difficult choice and requires a lot of planning, scheduling, organization, risk, and execution. I believe in my gut this choice will shape my future. I want to learn from life. There is no ‘right’ time make the choice you’ve been contemplating. We all say we want such a great life but rarely put the effort in to deserve it. I’ve lived the life of uncertainty while I was influenced by other people rather heavily. This is the change I want to share with you all. The ability to make conscious decisions to change your life through small disciplines, habits, and choices.

I’m in this unique stage in my life where I feel excited to be alive and grateful for another opportunity each day. This has enabled me to start thinking about investing in areas of my life that are of the utmost importance. Contributing more to society in a way which will help shape my future. I find joy in the little things each day. I relish in the opportunity to appreciate the people who serve me in my life and which I am fortunate to serve. I believe I’ve impacted some people in my life in a way has helped them change their life forever. For this, I am grateful.

We all make choices. Make sure you are making the right ones for you. For your life. For your purpose. Be yourself, and don’t settle for mediocrity.

Here is an article from Tim Ferriss that helped me to understand that regret is past tense decision making. We all have regret. Take control of yours today and don’t wait to make important decisions in your life.

Two days into my “Vacation”

As I sit outside with my absolute favorite breakfast from my mom (poached eggs on toast) I feel amazing. The world has been kind to me. I was dealt some pretty good cards. It’s around 75 degrees, I’ve got my breakfast, a delicious glass of OJ and my physical, mental and spiritual health intact. Let alone that, my family here and doing great. I honestly could not ask for much more at the moment, only to be a little more clear on how I will succeed if moving down to NC is in the plans.. This place is exactly what I’ve been looking for. The beaches, parks, outdoor life, golfing, and surfing – the list goes on. I’ve been here for two days, and cannot even begin to explain the experiences I’ve had thus far.

The grass is green… like really green.  The birds are chirping and people are smiling. I’ve made a point to smile at just about everyone around me and amazing things happen. People smile back. When I get my coffee, I ask he/she’s name and say Hi ___, thank you for my coffee and I say it with a smile. That shows them I care and appreciate their service. I plan to apply this rule to my business life as well. Understanding my customers, their needs and how I can be of service and help them.

My parents are so happy I am here and undoubtedly so I am. I missed them dearly and I almost didn’t even realize it. I’ve enjoyed learning about myself in Boston and having to ‘fend for myself’ or as most people would say just being an adult. I’ve always done whatever is necessary to succeed and had good intentions. Why is it that so many of the like-minded people I find always tend to feel my passion and enthusiasm for life. Life is incredible and we only enjoy it by helping others enjoy life too. Without other people enjoying life with us it would be boring alone. That is why the journey of learning about others is so fascinating. What they love and are passionate about. These are the type of things that build your relationships with trust and loyalty. These same folks often tell me “wow you are so wise for your age”, “wow Matt you are so smart”, or “You are going to be so successful, I can just tell”. I’ve had these conversations with people I’ve known for years and also some who’ve I’ve just met. Two of which happened within 24 hours which has helped me dramatically. We talked passions, dreams, ambition, life, accomplishments, failures and much more. Life is perfect at this moment. All while the stars were shining and waves crashing. Blissfully peaceful.

Time to start my vacation, it’s Monday and I know it will feel different than a traditional weekend day. Which means even more so I need to stay disciplined, focused and always remember the big picture of why I am here. One thing I started asking myself a few months back was, “What do I need to do for today to be a success?” and what I found is that the more you accomplish this, the greater the successes become. This is powerful, give it a try and see how it works for you!