I had forgotten a little something about concerts.
I love live music, as most of you who know me are very much aware. So it’s not uncommon for me to attend anywhere from 2 to 8 shows a year. Last year, for instance, I attended… wow, 7!
Actually, maybe attending so many shows last year caused me to forget this, a little phenomenon I like to call “Post-Concertitis.” I’ve heard others call it “post-concert depression,” but for me that doesn’t quite explain what happens after an unforgettable concert, especially when it is incredibly memorable and basically seared into my head forever.
I love nearly all the shows I attend, but some of them are just that special.
Well, Saturday’s show was just that special. I mean, of course it was — how often do you have your favorite musician play in your home? This is a once-in-a-lifetime sort of event, and even today, three days later, certain parts of it continue to fill my head.
What I call “Post-Concertitis” is a phenomenon in which I cannot stop reliving a show. I suffer from this after nearly every show I attend, but most of the time I relive only a few key moments. But when one show is chock-full of “key moments,” details tiny and large that have been branded into my brain, it becomes much harder. I basically feel like I’m walking around in a fog.
It’s a little scary, in a way, because when you’re reliving one day over and over, it doesn’t give you a whole lot of consciousness left to live the day you’re actually in. It’s almost like an altered state of consciousness that hasn’t been created chemically.
What I’m saying is that I am in the midst of Post-Concertitis, and it has really thrown a monkey wrench into my hustle, which up until now had been moving very well indeed. Combine my state of Post-Concertitis with the Australian Open that started two days ago, and I’m kind of a mess.
I’m not ready to give up, though. I’m trying to offer myself a little grace, remember that it’s not easy to regain one’s composure after having a truly unforgettable experience, and do the best I can to climb back into the proverbial saddle.
I haven’t blogged about Fearless Leader Jon’s e-mails in a while, and so I’m a little behind. A quick peek at my recent posts tells me that I last did a Hustle blog for Day 10. It’s Day 14, so I definitely have catching up to do.
Day 11’s e-mail went like this:
Yesterday we talked about our triggers, today we’re going to attack them.
One of the simplest, most proven methods of dealing with obstacles that block our goals is “If-Then statements.”
Here’s what they look like:
“If Jill calls and wants me to go out tomorrow night, then I will tell her I have to study and can’t.”
“If I have to fly cross country, then I will pack a healthy snack instead of eating something fatty at the airport.”
“If I feel discouraged about my progress, then I will call my accountability partner and get some encouragement.”
You basically take every trigger from yesterday and then write what you are going to do when it happens.
That’s today’s challenge. Write at least three If-Then statements down.
Here’s what I wrote in my journal:
1) If I am tempted by social media, I will set a timer to remind myself to leave within a reasonable time frame.
2) If I am feeling slightly ill or achy, I will follow only my first 2 hours routine, and then add from my second 2 (1/2) hours as I am able.
3) If I am troubled, I will take the time to pray my concerns, talk to my husband and a friend (as needed), and then leave it in God’s hands.
4) If I am fatigued, I will respond similarly to when I am ill or achy.
(Clearly I should have added an “If… then” to dealing with Post-Concertitis, only I have yet to actually find anything that actually deals intelligently with it!)
If your GPS didn’t have street names on it, it would be useless. If your laptop keys didn’t have letters on them, it would be useless. If your entire contact list in your phone didn’t have names for each person, it would be useless.
Because data matters.
For maps and keyboards and phones and … for goals.
If you’re not measuring your goal, you’ll never really know if you’re making progress.
That’s what we’re aiming for. The real goal of a goal is to help you do better than yesterday. You’re not competing against someone else in most goals, you’re competing against the you from yesterday. And unless you know how you did, you won’t know how you’re doing.
Today’s challenge is to make sure you’re measuring your progress. To the best of your abilities, figure out some data your goal might deliver.
If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy. The scale is your data machine, as are calories, minutes exercised, etc.
If you’re trying to research a new business idea though, maybe data feels fuzzier. In that case, I would make measurements like this:
1. Number of other businesses I studied.
2. Number of pages of material I read related to the industry I’m looking at.
3. Number of new followers I gained on Twitter that might turn into customers some day.
There are always ways to find data from your goals.
Data doesn’t lie.
Find one thing you can measure related to your goal today.
This was tricky! I didn’t really have any idea how to measure my progress in following my morning routine. And then I realized: I’m doing it right now. By blogging about my attempts and progress and setbacks, I can see exactly how my routine was developing.
I could write down my routine as checklists and make a new one every day, and see how well I’ve done in my routine by seeing how many lists are completely checked off. But I’ve learned recently that I’m not a big on-paper person, at least when it comes to lists. I prefer to use my computer or my phone. Maybe it’s because I don’t like the clutter of paper, or maybe it’s because I type faster than I write. Or maybe because I’m far less likely to lose either my phone or my computer than a piece of paper. Or maybe because I can carry my phone with me a lot easier than a piece of paper.
Anyway, I think I’ll stick with tracking my progress by blogging.
By the way, I did great with my morning routine on Saturday and Sunday — though Sundays are easier because I have far fewer items on those lists. Monday was rough, no question about it, because I stayed up way too late Sunday night and didn’t bother doing any of my evening must-dos. I didn’t even take a shower. And I hadn’t taken one Saturday night either, which means that by Monday I was probably starting to reek.
(Apologies if that’s too much information.)
So part of my Monday morning was spent making coffee. My devotional time was pretty worthless. I got as far as writing 5 lines in response to the book that I’ve been reading, Believing God by Beth Moore, and then I got distracted by my daughters and never really returned to my journaling time.
I managed to make breakfast for both of my girlios, though my breakfast was pretty pitiful. In fact, it was so pitiful (Kiersten’s leftover grits plus a roll from Saturday) that when I tweeted it to Real Simple Magazine, they featured my tweet in their blog.
I’m trying not to be proud of this!
I didn’t do any kitchen cleaning. I didn’t do any housework at all, really. I certainly didn’t do any writing, except for polishing up my concert recap.
I think that’s a big part of the reason my day was basically wasted yesterday. I had virtually no morning routine to speak of, and thus I had no momentum for the rest of the day. Yes, I can partially blame Post-Concertitis, but I think my shambolic morning routine played its part as well.
Again, I’m trying to give myself grace. Sometimes you truly do need recovery time from something wonderful, just as you do from something awful.
I’ve done a little better this morning. Last night I cleaned the kitchen and set up the coffeemaker. I finally put away the final bits from our show party, which returned our kitchen table to normal. So I could bring the grits and the Cheerios back out onto the table. And I took a shower! (I did take it last rather than first, which means that I slept with damp hair, which means it is a disaster today, but it’s progress over Monday so I’ll take it.)
This morning my routine still isn’t quite up to scratch, but: at least I got my devotional in. Both girlios got breakfast. I got dressed within a reasonable time frame. I didn’t run the dishwasher last night (it wasn’t full enough) so that wasn’t part of the equation. Really, the only things I didn’t do this morning were that and running a load of laundry.
I’m not doing paid writing at the moment, but that’s because I knew I needed to get all this out of my head before I started my freelance work. (I’ve seen the term “brain dump” several times recently, while researching morning routines, and I think I now understand what that means. I think I’m doing it now. Y’all are my brain dump. I can’t decide if I should apologize to you.)
Okay, so let’s move on to Day 13.
This is next level WHO we’re about to get into. (That kind of rhymed.)
Someone has already done what you are trying to do. Someone went before you and fell in some potholes. They know where the road is dangerous, they know where the wins are, they know the way to the finish line.
Find those people and learn from them.
There are no shortcuts to success but relationships come pretty close. Learning what worked (and didn’t) from someone else can be a huge help for you.
Here’s 3 ways to do it:
1. Read books by people who have done it. Sometimes even something simple like this helps.
2. Interview your circle of friends. I guarantee at least one person has done something similar.
3. Post a request for help in our Facebook group. That group is full of amazing hustlers. I promise someone can help you.
This is WHO round 2. (Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick.)
For me, talking to my trainer Jeremy, who lost 200lbs helps me with my tiny goal of losing weight. He’s a genius.
Find one for you too.
This one is easy. Crystal Paine of Money-Saving Mom is really the one who started this whole thing for me, so she is definitely my next level of “Who.” I am still reading her blog, and I’ve also started reading the comments for her “Making Your Mornings Count” series so that I can learn from her amazing readers, as well.
I’ve also had a few friends tell me that they have a morning routine, too, and have encouraged me to keep at it because it’s worth having it in place. That gives me the motivation to keep going.
And now we’re at Day 14.
Time to hit the books!
Yesterday I briefly mentioned the idea of reading a book. Today, let’s talk about it a little more.
One of the most important things I’ve done toward accomplishing my goals is read books. Over and over again, I have been amazed at how critical a simple book can be in helping me crush some goal.
So, when was the last time you read a book about your dream?
When was the last time you went to the library and felt like a billionaire? (I can get any book I want!) When was the last time you dusted off a classic or found a new title to add to your arsenal?
Want to hit your goals?
Find one book. That’s all we’re talking about this month. One book.
Post which one you’ll read in the Facebook Group.
Here’s what I wrote in my journal this morning:
Today’s Hustle goal is both easy and hard. Easy because I love reading. Hard because one book?! Just one?? Hard to choose…
But I love this title (and the “Not Introduction”): Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff. Since the story of my life seems to be creating, it seems only right that this will be my “dream” book.
I’m lucky. I subscribe to a Daily Free EBooks service, and every morning I receive an e-mail full of free eBook listings in genres that interest me. So I picked up Create for free, and it’s sitting in my phone on my Kindle app, waiting to be read.
The “Not Introduction” I referred to was what the author called his introduction, only he called it a “Not Introduction” because no one reads introductions. I like his sense of humor already, and I’m looking forward to reading his book this month.
So there you have it, I’m caught up in my hustle. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some freelance writing that won’t do itself!
If you made goals at the beginning of the year, have you found yourself slipping at all? Are you ready to get back in the proverbial saddle and start riding (metaphorically) again?