Today was probably the best morning routine I’ve had in weeks!
I’m looking at my list, and I hit every single part. Oh, except for slicing bread. I haven’t done that yet. I suppose if I wanted to, I could get up right now, run out into the kitchen, and slice the bread. But that seems kind of silly. I can just as easily slice it right before lunch.
And I’m feeling really good. I haven’t hit every part, or nearly every part, of my morning routine in weeks, not since Graham’s concert. Even though I’ve been telling myself that perfection isn’t the goal, that the importance is that I’m trying, and that I’m more mindful of it all… a little part of me kept insistently wondering if it was possible that I was truly doomed for failure.
But today I did it. And now I realize that everything I’ve been telling myself actually has been doing some good. It has been crucial that I kept trying, even when I was tempted to chuck it away and tell myself that I’m just not wired that way and I might as well quit.
So if any of you goal-setters or resolution-makers or whatever you want to call yourselves… if any of you have been struggling with whatever you’re trying to accomplish, and you were tempted to give up… please don’t. Just because you haven’t reached your goal yet doesn’t mean you’re not going to. You can change.
(This is not to say I consider my goal reached. Not at all. But the fact that I completed my routine successfully today tells me that I haven’t just been sunshining myself into delusion by insisting that the effort matters.)
Now then, let’s take a look-see at Fearless Leader Jon’s e-mail challenges over the past couple of days.
Recently, my family got to go skiing in Colorado.
We stayed at friend’s house in Crested Butte.
While we were there, we realized the last time we had visited was in 2011. We hadn’t been there for 3 years. Suddenly we started talking about all the things that had changed during that time. Then, we started to dream about what we hoped would be true of our lives if we visited 3 years later. It became a fun, easy way to look into the future a little bit.
Today, as we get closer to ending the first 30 days of hustle, I want to ask you two similar questions:
1. If you do another 30 days of hustle, where do you want to be after the second 30 days?
2. If you hustled for 12 months, what do you hope is true of your life next year?
That’s it. Two simple questions. Two easy ways to look into the future a little bit.
Well, darn. I thought I’d written this down in my journal, but apparently I did not. I must have gotten distracted that morning.
So, let’s see. Another 30 days of hustle, where would I want to be?
Assuming I would continue my “morning routine” hustle, I would want to be at the point where my morning routine was a habit. Where I’m just automatically reaching for my journal when I wake in the morning. Where I’m automatically heading to the kitchen after waking Kiersten, so I can make her breakfast and unload the dishwasher. Where I’m then automatically heading to my bedroom to dress and make my bed. And so on.
I think that’s when I will consider this challenge ultimately successful, when my routine isn’t just a series of tasks to check off my list, but things I do almost without thinking about it. That’s part of the reason I wanted to do this challenge. I really wanted to make all of these things habitual.
Of course, in a way this flies in the face of my being “intentional.” But, if I’m working to make all of these things a habit, that’s still intentional, right?
I’m going to go with “yes.”
The “12 months” thing is harder. I don’t really want to spend all 12 months this year getting my morning routine down pat. (I mean, if that’s how long it takes, that’s how long it takes… but I’m really hoping it doesn’t take that long!)
There are so many other things I really want to get myself to do this year!
Here’s a small portion:
1) Establish a real, honest-to-goodness budget.
2) Get my Etsy shop Palms & Soles to the point where it’s really productive.
3) Get myself and my family healthy – good food, good habits, good preventative care.
I have more, but they’re so nebulous that they’re kind of difficult to write. Things like “spend more time doing things as a family” (doing what? No idea) or “make more time to be with Eric” (again, doing what? Again, no clue). These are things I hope I can, at some point, bring into sharper focus.
But I guess I do have a couple of dreams that are worth pursuing. The next step will be to go from dreams to goals. I have no idea if I can use what I’ve learned in the 30 Days to do that or not. We shall see.
Today’s hustle challenge is about gratitude.
I lost sight of that when I was building my blog Stuff Christians Like. I put my head down, hustled and then acted like people didn’t matter. I distanced myself from a lot of folks who were actually helping me along the way. I very rarely said those two important words, “Thank you.”
I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did. Someone in the last 27 days made your goal easier. Maybe they didn’t run those miles with you or finish that business plan with you, but in some way they contributed to your goal.
Today, let’s thank them. It doesn’t have to be a complicated, fancy thank you note. It can be as simple as a text message or a phone call. Maybe you need to publically tweet your appreciation. The format doesn’t matter as much as the act does.
That’s it, take 60 seconds as soon as you’re done reading this and thank someone who helped you with your 30 days of hustle.
Shame on me. I had every intention of doing this. But 60 seconds after I read that, it was maybe 6 in the morning. If I tweeted it, not many people would see it. If I posted it on Facebook, ditto. If I sent a text, I might wake someone up.
So, no gratitude sent. Bad, bad me.
Let me take this opportunity to belatedly thank the people I need to thank.
First, Jon Acuff and Crystal Paine. Without their help, I would not have had a) the motivation to start this challenge or b) any ideas on how to achieve my goal. Jon gave me the incentive to START. Crystal gave me the tips and methods I needed. So I owe them a gargantuan “thank you.”
Second, I want to thank everyone on Facebook and Twitter who gave me positive feedback about this whole idea. My mom, for starters. (I can pretty much thank my mom for just about everything I’ve ever wanted to do and succeeded at – she is one of the most supportive people I know!) My sister Danielle is another. My friends Lisa Leiplein, Sarah Sheldon, and Heather Davis are three more.
Thanks also to the great folks at the 30 Days of Hustle Facebook group, whose own journeys and struggles and setbacks have been a great inspiration to me. I also want to thank Jai, a woman I follow on Twitter who left a few comments for me on this very blog a few weeks back. It encouraged me to know that she was interested in my journey and would be following along.
Finally, I want to thank my husband Eric, who was as supportive as he always is of everything I want to do and accomplish; my daughters, who made me feel like this was worthwhile even when I didn’t feel like doing any of it; and my life’s soundtrack artist Graham Colton, whose music always makes me feel more ready to tackle anything I want to achieve.
(I will be doing my best to direct everyone’s attention to this post so they can see my thank-you; I don’t want to cheat anyone!)
Now, Day 28:
We are on the home stretch!
We’ve only got two days left, so it’s time to ask a simple question as today’s challenge:
Do you want to do another 30 days?
Do you want to continue working on that same goal for another 30 days?
Do you want to find a different goal and focus on that instead?
Do you want to hustle all over again?
I don’t know if we’ll do the whole year, but I know we should do 30 more days.
If you’re up for it, so am I. I’ll create more challenges if you’ll dare to do them.
Today’s challenge is easy, all I want you to do is to decide if you want to go at it again.
I don’t think we’re done.
Share your response on the Facebook group and let’s get ready for round 2!
This was, indeed, easy: YES. I absolutely want to do this again. I don’t know yet if I want to continue to focus on my morning routine, or if I want to start addressing one of the other dreams that I posted above.
But this challenge has revived me. I feel more energized, more focused, more intentional than I have in a long, long time. And that’s been exciting for me. I’ve really enjoyed this process, even when I felt down and discouraged. That’s been another great thing about the Facebook group; their own struggles (and encouragement) helped me to see that I wasn’t alone, and when they overcame obstacles, it gave me that much more inspiration to try again myself.
I want to let you guys know in advance that after this 30 days is over, Jon is going to open our Facebook group up for 24 hours to anyone else who wants to try a “hustle” challenge of their own. I’ll be sure to link to it and let you know when it starts. I encourage anyone who wants to change their lives in any sort of way to try it.
Most of all, don’t be afraid of failure. Believe me when I say that the effort alone is worth it, regardless of whether you reach your goal!