A Journal Entry Concerning Time; Finding Your Internal Compass

Time is probably the most precious commodity that we, as humans, have.  As it passes by, our lives go with it, leaving only memories and wisdom behind.  It’s interesting to watch how many people fill their days with activities they otherwise hate, and their minds with worries of the future or empty entertainment that keeps them distracted from the present.  People that I know and love spend much of their lives worried about how they’ll retire, and often, they skip past the part of their life where they are the most capable and able-bodied.  Others don’t take any time to do this, live only in the moment, and are miserable because they have yet to find how to properly fit into this world.  I watch as people circumvent their own dreams and aspirations for the realities of others.  They do this by using their time to watch television, scrolling Facebook or Instagram feeds, or gluing themselves to the always BREAKING cable news programs designed to breed anxiety and further division.  I still fall into these time-sucks, but I am now cognizant of what they’re accomplishing and how their accomplishments change me for the worse.

Other ways this can be emulated is in the working of a nine-to-five for a company that often does not align with one’s own ideals.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with watching your favorite show on television, and we all need to put food on the table, but the truth is, most of the time we spend in front of digital media is 100% useless and is just a method of escapism that keeps us from fulfilling what is authentic to us as individuals.  The goal here being: to create a reality that is preferable to the one we are told, by society, to follow.

Preparation, however, should not be skirted, and it is important to take steps to create a stable future.  Dwelling on it as life’s main objective, however, seems to lead to missed opportunities, as well as a somewhat bland, and perhaps, meaningless life.  Often, with people who follow this course, once in retirement, purpose is still missing.  Family seems to make up for some of this, as well, a family lends itself to a larger purported purpose, however, with one’s individuality unfulfilled, even the most accomplished businessman, might feel unaccomplished if their true desires and potentials were never fully met.  If they never tried to write that book or taste the snow on top of that one mountain.

As I close out my first “Quest” —the year of self-improvement that I started following my brother’s wedding on October 3, 2017; a day that began with a hangover as I moved to cease my consumption of alcohol and focused to redirect bad habits into good ones— this has been one of the take-away lessons that I have learned.  Last night, as I was journaling, I wrote about it.  Below is that entry.   img_4436

With little more than a week left in my Quest, I will be sharing the changes that have occurred in myself, and the lessons that I have learned along my path.

For me, finding my internal compass has been one of those lessons.  A lesson that can only be learned void of distractions; when one clears their mind and turns off the outside voices.  There are so many profound and exciting revelations that have come from this year’s experience, and I cannot wait to share with you what those have been and how I plan on continuing my growth in my upcoming Quest Part Two.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

Quest Update: As Summer Adventures Come to a Close

I haven’t been blogging or vlogging in quite a while.  I put a pause on this while my friend was supposed to update my website, but since my website still hasn’t been updated, and while my Quest inches closer to completion, it is time to bring you a compelling story of… well, okay, it’s just an update on things that I’ve been up to.  Super provocative stuff here, guys!

Prelude

I am down to the last couple weeks of alcohol-free living.  I feel fantastic overall, and had an incredible summer full of camping, hiking, peak scrambling, biking, backpacking, a wedding, but mainly, working.  Much of my time in the last few months has been dedicated to growing my real estate business, maintaining my fitness, staying consistent with my Quest objectives, and some hiking/adventures when they could be squeezed in.

The Last Little Bit

So, let’s rewind a month when I was in the Enchantments for five days and then came home, grabbed my pre-packed bag of wedding garments and jumped on a plane to Cincinnati to celebrate my friends, Zach and Meghan, tying a knot.  I stood beside Zach as his (co-) best man and had a wonderful time meeting his friends and family.  Also that week, I saw my friend, Steve, who I had not seen in years.  It’s odd how with certain people it doesn’t matter the duration of time that passes between visits, when you get back together with those people, it’s as if nothing has changed.  Zach and Steve are two people in my life that that applies to.

Going back about nine years to when I met them, I was not too keen on Mister Zach.  I determined he was a pompous know-it-all ass before I properly got to know him.  I figured out, however, that he was just socially inept and had a pretty tough initial guard up.  However, once I broke through that guard we became great friends.  We even ended up all living in the same apartment building.  During that period I was their “Kramer,” not because I used the n-word on stage like some raving lunatic, but because on a daily basis I would just open their door and walk into their abode without so much as a door knock.  Much has changed in our lives since I had last saw them… especially with Steve who now has a toddler.  Together, in a group again, it was as if it no time had passed at all… with the exception of Zach’s ability to grow a beard, my inability to retain my hair, and Steve getting … errr… a little rounder.  Ha.

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Zach on his big day biting my girlfriend’s arm

After Zach’s beautiful vows, and my appropriately hilarious and oh-so touching speech that shattered the expectations of everyone involved, but most importantly, the bride and groom 🧐, Steven and I woke up the next morning and drove my bishhh to the airport.  We proceeded to kick her wiggity-wack ass out the car and then drove to Cincinnati’s very own King’s Island.  King’s Island is a theme park.  I’m 34.  Steve is like 38 or some shit?… Basically, two full grown adult males had a date going on all the rollercoasters and rides that a midwestern theme park had to offer, and it was the best day ever!

But let’s not so quickly leap over the Enchantments, as it was an incredible trip through a beautiful, albeit smokey, region of the Cascades.  During our stay we visited all the different alpine lakes, swam in a few of them, climbed Little Annapurna, night hiked up Prusik Pass to watch a very unimpressive meteor shower, slept next to mountain goats  with their rambunctious kids in my hammock, and did some other miscellaneous scrambles.  We were very lucky to get permits, and although the smoke was a hinderance, it could have been much worse.

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Brandi’s signature hiking pose.
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My towel and his vistors

 

Full Enchantments Post coming soon with video footage.

So, that was a month back.  This past week Brandi and I attended a double header baby shower (one after the other) for two of my dudes.  I, then, packed up and went camping near Winthrop, WA, on Monday with my good friend, Adam.  We hadn’t spent any time together this summer so we had planned a couple days in the North Cascades.  The weather decided to be a cranky biotch, so we shifted our trip to the eastern side of the park where it is not quite as rain prone.  We hiked along the PCT and spent a couple days eating, as Adam likes to say, some “good food” in the woods along a creek.  With the weather starting to change, it’s probably the last multi-night camping trip for a while, but I was able to not miss much work at all.  It’s somewhat convenient taking most of your days off in the middle of the week.

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During one of those weekends in there we went camping with our friends Jon and Bre.  On this camping trip we found an amazing riverside camp spot that was completely isolated from other passer-byers.  Jon was generous enough to bring along some delicious stogies he had picked up in the Dominican Republic.  Unfortunately, I had Open Houses to attend on both Saturday and Sunday that weekend so I had to drive back into civilization both mornings and didn’t get to disconnect on this particular trip like I normally would.  It was a very long and deliberate route that I wish had been avoidable on Saturday morning… but, hey, when duty calls.  Clearly getting outside hasn’t been much of an issue for me lately, so no harm no foul.

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My dooooood Jon and I thumbin’ up & hangin’ loose

Beyond that… work + gym + plus a random weekday outing here and there is what my life currently consists of, and I a pretty okay with that.

The Quest

As for the Quest… As I had stated earlier, and as of today, I am two weeks out from completion.  That’s a huge benchmark and I am getting pretty excited to, again, be able to drink a cold and delicious beer.  Although, I am admittedly still wrestling with the idea of continuing with the absence of alcohol, that is seemingly a wrestling match I will lose.  Not because of some innate need to drink, but instead, because I do like having beer and a certain amount of alcohol is probably beneficial to things like my career and social life.

What has changed? 

There is more that has changed than that I recognize, but, simultaneously, not enough has changed for me to give up and go back to my post-Quest life.  Many of my new habits will stay with my for the remainder of years I have left.  Especially meditation, journaling, consistent exercise, hot and cold therapy, writing, and reading.  In fact, a couple weeks ago I realized that I am a completely different person than when I started this a year ago.  I, also, found out what doesn’t work and what I was just doing to say I did it.  Having some crazy journaling schedule… yeah, that did not come close to sticking.  Reading a ton of books a month became more of a chore and hindered performance in other areas.  Not watching TV sounds fun until you get bored out of your mind.

I am, however, in drastically better shape, I feel smarter, better read, more consistent with my mood, less anxious, less depression, I have started a completely new career where I work for my self, and I am better fit to deal with adversities that I face.

I do have a few new Quest concepts that I will further define and start once this one comes to fruition.  My next quest will focus on my shortcomings and areas of my life I wish to further improve.  Unfortunately, my current quest will not be 100% completed quite yet, as I still have some saving to do until I will be able to afford to make it to Patagonia.  That is still going to happen, however, and hopefully at some point in 2019 I’ll make it a reality.  Of course, it has to work out seasonally as well.  Stay tuned.

Summer is out, Fall is in

The seasons changed rather quickly this year, going from incredibly hot to rather cold overnight.  Summer is officially over this coming Saturday, and I am stoked to see some yellow and orange leaves and have some cooler weather to go hike in.  I used to call the fall shoulder season, now I just look at it as the cooler time of year to go hiking.

Lastly, congrats to my sister and her boyfriend on their engagement.  Ditto to my friends Jake and Jen!

IT’S ALMOST SKI SEASON!!!!

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

The “Halfway There” Evaluation; Goals for What’s Ahead

I’m in the driver’s seat, speeding through my checklist of daily tasks, accomplishing more each day than the day prior.  No longer am I procrastinating on things that I have been fearful of… Taxes?… call a bookkeeper, find a CPA… Credit sucks?… repair that motherfucker.  No new leads?  Call all your friends and setup coffee dates.  All my new found habits are, now, routine… Work, exercise, meditate, journal, write… Turn the TV off.  As Gary Vaynerchuk stated in Tribe of Mentors, “squeezing the fuck out of the seconds [of my day].”  And, that’s what the goal was, but there are times when it feels kind of boring or lackluster.  When I’m not motivated.  That’s when I need to keep my eyes on the prize.  So, with that said, it is time to reevaluate my Quest, see where I am at in each vertical, and see where improvements can be made.

MENTAL HEALTH:
Depression is gone, I haven’t had it in a while now.  I stay busy, exercise, meditate and journal, and with that, my mental clarity has never been better.  I can say that this was the outcome I have been wanting out of all this.  Happiness coincides with mental health, and a positive disposition is key to my growth.

One thing I have learned over the past six months is not to hold resentment against myself for not completing one of my tasks.  If I flup up, I just look back at where I was when I started meditating and regain my footing.  It’s very easy to forget to take care of mental health when I get busy, but it’s also very easy to meditate and doesn’t take more than fifteen minutes out of my day.

GOAL:  Now that I have built somewhat of a foundation, I want to take it up another notch.  My goal for the remaining six months would be to continue with the habits I have made and use them to alter emotional responses that I have.  Those responses include: anger, anxiety, frustration, impulsivity, impatience, and others.  

My lovely girlfriend pointed out that I am picking my thumbs, again.  I had completely quit doing that for a couple months and, all of a sudden, I’m back gnawing those nubs like a squirrel gnaws a nut… Fuck.  Done.  Quit that shit and move on.  I had a short stint where I wasn’t meditating regularly, and for whatever reason, that’s when I started picking my thumbs again.  That also coincides with when I started my new career.  Whatever the root cause, this habit can be put in check, as I recently had it in check.  No more lapses.

PHYSICAL HEALTH:
I have been consistently lean and strong for a while now.  Aesthetically I look pretty good, as well.  My gym routine is solid; I get some cardio (rowing, running, hiking, skiing, etc.), have progressed in my yoga practice, lost weight, have almost rehabilitated my shoulder (I think), and eat an all around healthy diet of proteins, healthy fats and vegetables… with the occasional pizza binge. 🍕

This, simply, just needs to continue.  I’m satisfied with the results, but would like to put a couple pounds back on.  That is going to be dependent on how my shoulder and neck feel.  If they continue feeling better week after week, then I might be able to start lifting a little heavier, again, which would allow me to obtain some mass.

GOAL:  Get in climbing shape.  I want to climb some mountains and I need to train for that.  That is the last missing link in my fitness routine.  Adventure routine, more so.

Which brings me to my second goal here which is something I have been trying to do throughout this quest, and that is to complete one adventure per week.  Whether it is skiing, hiking, biking, etc., just one adventure a week and I feel better in so many ways that I would almost put this under mental health if it weren’t for the profuse amount of sweat that trickles off me.  Anyways, hiking season is now upon us, and I plan on hitting the trail regularly, which I have already started doing.  Mount Saint Helens is coming up in May. #ADVENTURING


CREATIVITY:

I write pretty regularly now.  I am working on writing a book.  I write this blog.  I write in my journal.  This area could still be worked on though.  I spend more time watching TV than writing, so it would make sense to flip those habits and write more than I stare at a big screen

GOAL:  Turn off the TV and write, paint, edit a video, etc.  My goal here is to put whatever time I put into TV & video games, instead, into my creative outlets.

Also, in the creative vertical, my goal is to finish writing a book by the time I get back from Patagonia.

CAREER & LEARNING:
I have started my new career in Real Estate.  I’m ecstatic about that, and although I started off slow in this vertical six months back, I feel like I’ve made insane progress here in the last two to three months.  I have some definite goals (which I’ll keep to myself for now) and way more room to grow here than all my other categories combined.  Watch out world, I’m getting after this one.

As for learning, I am learning a bounty of knowledge about real estate.  I’m, also, reading multiple books a month and applying what I learn to my life, business, etc.  It’s interesting how much reading does for your brain overall.  More or less, my vocabulary seems to be expanding, and my ability to read faster and for longer periods is strengthening, too.  A lot of my ideas start with something I read and expand from there.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, BITCHES!

GOAL: I want to keep on with two books per month goal that I set for the New Year.  It’s helping me commit to a certain amount of Audible/reading.  I would prefer to spend more time actually reading, but right now, with the new career, I am going to have to commit to the hybrid approach that I’ve been doing thus far.

I don’t know where to put this one, but I think it fits best under Career, since it will likely benefit my career the most, but I need to get up earlier.  630 AM would be a good time, but that also means I need to get to bed earlier.

RELATIONSHIPS:
Oddly, or not so oddly, starting a career selling real estate has helped me reconnect with many people that I had otherwise lost touch with over the years.  Having kind of been a hermit for the last two or so, it’s nice to reemerge from my shell and be socializing again.

My girlfriend and I are on the same page now more than we have been in a while.  It probably helps that I am having some success at work — haha.  I love her and she’s pretty (she made me write that, but I do and she is).  Beyond that, I should probably spend more time with my family and go visit a handful of friends I haven’t seen in a while.

GOAL:  I cannot tell you what my goal is because my girlfriend would get mad at me.  🍑🍆 .  Hahahaha.  Just kidding…. Or, am I?  🤨  No, I totally am…. Or, am I?  I am.

IMG_2487.jpgGirlfriend and me at a show in Seattle meeting my favorite folk singer, Austin Basham.  He was a super rad dude.

In summary, I have completed so much in the last six months, but have no time to rest and way more to do.  I think that once my quest is complete, after I feel that I have maxed out my verticals, well, then, maybe next year I enter TIER TWO.  Also, there are some other verticals that are not included in my quest that I probably would include if I were to revise it…  Financials (money, investments, savings, credit, etc.), adventures (although this is somewhat prevalent), organization, productivity.  I guess you’ll just have to wait for what I conjure up six months from now.

 

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

PS ~ I have a ton of vids to make a great VLOG, but editing that shit takes so long that I keep putting it off… So, coming soon!

 

Six Months Down, Six To Go! The Quest Continues.

Holy balls!  I’ve reached the top of the mountain and am about to start heading back down.  Well, probably not, it usually takes much longer to summit than descend, however, I am six months into this quest of enlightenment with another six pending… And I feel great about the crazy amount of accomplishments I have made during this period.

So let’s take a lookie-lou at what’s been going down over the past six months…

  • I have turned exercise into a routine, lost a shit ton of weight (20 lbs I didn’t even know I had to lose), now have abs and have gained a solid level of endurance.
  • Drastically changed my diet to include more vegetables and greens, less junk food and cheat days, which has, in-turn, greatly improved my energy levels and focus.
  • I finished my real estate hours, passed the Washington State real estate exam, got hired on at a brokerage, sold my first house (within a month and a half of starting), and am successfully building a sales/referral pipeline.
  • Further made meditation and journaling life long habits (with a couple of lapses, including a recent one).
  • Read/Listened to two+ books per month (since the new year, but was reading prior, just not on a schedule).
  • Refrained from having a sip of alcohol.
  • Started writing regularly, again, and am working on writing a book, as well as regularly updating this blog – sometimes more than other times.
  • Retained my love and exposure for the outdoors (though, admittedly, less than I would like to – this ski season is the first I have skied less than 20 days in a very long time, although sometimes sacrifices must be made to better other areas of life and free up time to do much, much more skiing in the future.).

I’m sure there is other shit that I have accomplished, too, that’s a pretty solid list of not-so-humble brags.  All in all, I haven’t had such a productive six months in my entire life and I am stoked to see where I am six months from now!

With that all said, I still have plenty of short-comings and things to further and greatly improve on, but this is a celebratory post, so I will keep it as such.

I will follow up with a VLOG at the end of the week.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

Don’t Let Today Become Tomorrow’s Disappointment; Journaling

Hello all, I wrote a longer post with more on my personal quest but broke it into two as I didn’t want this to get lost in the mix.

Through trial and error, I have pieced together a system that I think adds structure to my journaling and will ultimately help get me to my goals and complete this quest.

On the front of my journal I taped a quote that I thought up recently (which may or may not be someone else’s quote, I’m sure someone thought of something similar at some point).  The quote reads, “Don’t let today become tomorrow’s disappointment!”  It serves as inspiration to take on the day with vigor and not let it slip past and just fall into the bucket of days that are now gone, not remembered, and did not push me towards my goals.

To add to this concept, I have broken my journaling into three sections: morning, evening, and weekly (I have intent to add quarterly and yearly at a later date).  Below is how I am currently structuring my morning and evening journal sessions with examples of answers I might give.  There’s no science to this, this is just how I do it and the things I want to accomplish.  If you would like to receive my templates, please send a request to alifetosummit@gmail.com and I will send them to you.

MORNING JOURNAL:

Daily Habits:

Journal Exercise Meditate Organize Sauna Spanish Read

These are things I need to do everyday without exception.  Journal in the morning and evening; Exercise in some capacity; Meditate; Organize my work and living space; Sauna (coupled with cold); 10 minutes of Duolingo’s Spanish course; Read a couple chapters.

What is today’s top goal?

Regain my mental clarity and get back on track with my processes.

What is the one thing I most need to accomplish today?

Finish two lessons of Real Estate class.

What is the one thing I would be most satisfied with if it were accomplished today?

Get tail light fixed on Durango.

What am I looking forward to today or in the coming week?

Dinner with my friend Kyle tonight.

What distractions must I avoid?

Internet wormholes, news, and video games.

What are today’s “To-Do’s” / Errands?

This is a general To-Do list to help set priorities so I don’t miss anything.

Freewrite:

Write for five minutes with no structure about any and everything that comes to mind.

EVENING JOURNAL:

What are the three things I am most grateful for today?

  1. Fernie (my puppy) is okay after getting sick.
  2. Stayed on task for hours at a time.
  3. My health.

What did I accomplish today and why was it prioritized?

I slept in later than normal today because I was groggy and needed rest.  I ate healthy today because I want to keep on track with my diet.  I did 5 hours of real estate today because I want to accomplish that goal.  I worked out my legs because I want to remain strong.  I meditated because it boosts my mental health and creates discipline.  (The goal here is to find positive in how I structured my day and give myself credit for it.  Clearly, sleeping in is not a positive thing to do regularly, but instead of beating myself up for it I acknowledge it, excuse it and give a reason why I prioritized such behavior.  I find that I still can see where my faults were throughout the day but also my reasoning behind them which I can adjust as necessary.  This is also just an example, but one based off of previous days.)

What two things did I learn or find interesting?

  1. The Wim Hof Method, one of the most interesting men I’ve ever come across.  I want to learn more about his method and how it is doable.
  2. STOP – a concept I received from my guided meditation.
    S – Stop; T – Take a Breath; O – Observe; P – Proceed.

    I like that.

What did I read today?  Any memorable quotes or lessons?

I read three chapters of Tribe of Mentors… I don’t have the book on me but there were a couple of solid concepts that I take from almost every chapter.  One that I recall from today’s reading was about a canyon and swimming in the middle of it, with the walls of the canyon representing stability, on one side, and chaos, on the other.  I feel like I live my life on the chaos side and could use more stability.  It was an interesting concept and one I would like to digest further.

If today were my last day on Earth, would I be satisfied with how I lived it?

I would most definitely not be okay with today as my last day on Earth.  I was having my share of hardships today and letting things get in the way of my happiness.  Ironically, days I don’t journal I feel like I may be happier and more content, due to this realization I think I am partly using journaling to bring me back to center when things feel off.

How did today help me get closer to my goals?

I worked out, thus getting physically stronger and more capable of my future trek through Patagonia.  I meditated, helping my mental health and adding clarity, part of my quest.  I did my real estate class, getting closer to completing a major goal and milestone for my future career.  I became productive when I didn’t feel like it, overcoming fear and procrastination and turning it into achievement.

What can I do to make tomorrow better than today?

Tomorrow I can wake up earlier, get started earlier, and continue on the path to building better habits.  More importantly, I can forgive myself when things are not going my way or I do not do something to my own standards.

Freewrite:

5 minutes of freewrite about the day and thoughts on it.

On Sunday I am going to post my weekly journal here with my actual responses (maybe slightly edited depending on content).  Until then, have a great week and I hope this may serve as a template to help you with your goals and personal growth.

Cheers 🤙,

~Dane

a Kick Ass Weekend; This Coming Week

This weekend was pretty productive and well-rounded.  Friday night I spent the evening with my lovely girlfriendi at the movies.  Blade Runner 2049 was incredibly well done and kept me locked in through the entire movie.  I don’t say this about many movies, but I will definitely have to re-watch that one.  After getting home, I wrote in my journal until about 2 AM; I was pretty wired from having a coffee later than usual and wanted to get some thoughts onto paper.  I think I will publish what I wrote on here later this week.  I was letting the pen just run and found myself  touching on some ideas that came to me about humanity and the environment while I was watching Blade Runner.  Maybe I’ll add a little more to it first.

I started off Saturday with some writing followed by a solid upper-back workout at Gold’s Gym.  Soooo many pullups!  My overall strength seems to be climbing and I’m starting to up the intensity of my workouts.  I then followed some advice from Dr. Rhonda Patrick (if you don’t know her, Google her and check out www.FoundMyFitness.com) and made sure to sit in the sauna for 15 minutes afterwards.  I try to do this after every workout, barring the ones when I run to the gym because that seems really out of order and too damn sweaty.

I got cleaned up after I got home, did some chores and headed to my friend’s, Erik and Story’s, apartment where I spent the night having some awesome conversation while watching both WSU and UW smash their opponents on the football field.  Honestly, I’m not that into sports anymore so I was only half watching, but I had a blast yukking it up with my dude and dudette.  It was really fun to see them since I don’t get to very often.  Erik received a huge promotion at work and is now the Executive Vice President of his company.  I’m super proud of what he’s accomplished.  He also had some solid advice for this blog and my quest this year that I am pretty positive I will be implementing.  I’m going to think more about this and elaborate later as I make some further changes.

Today my friend Lauren and I went for a 15+ mile bike ride out to Woodinville, WA (from Redmond, WA) and back.  It was a pretty great ride except for the parade of children who were participating in a biking event and nearly got themselves killed multiple times by randomly coming into oncoming traffic.  Oncoming traffic being me on a bike.  I don’t know the math but I think 5 year old kid on bike meeting a 200 pound man on a bike going 30 miles per hour equals SPLAT.  It was less than ideal, but, to find the silver lining, it made the ride harder going from full speed to a near stop and back to full speed every quarter mile or so.  My quads will thank those lil’ rascals later…

Next week I have some things I need to get done in all of the five areas of my quest.  To help overcome areas where I am falling short, I have set five easy goals to help me get there:

1.) Time block 5 hours at least once this week for doing some sort of creative project or brainstorming session.  I did get some brainstorming done through journaling and conversation this weekend, and writing and doing this blog gets some points in that column, but actually getting into a 100% flow state is something I need to achieve and aim for.  Also, something I need to time block for as it’s not as easy to just get wrapped up in hours alone these days.  I think Friday afternoon could be a good time for this.  Monday evenings also, since it could set a creative mind state for the week.  Thought: Experiment with this.  I’ll start with Friday this week as I have a lot on my plate and will move it to Monday next week.

2.) Take care of loose ends and issues that I’ve been procrastinating on because they give me anxiety.  Face those fears and check the items off the list.  Taking care of some personal issues will definitely help with my overall mental health.

3.) Meditate daily, no exceptions.

4.) Yoga AT LEAST once per week.  This is the missing link in my physical health routine so far.  Diet could improve as well, but I’m doing moderately well there.

5.) Study.

Two more items I need to get to this week are rearranging the five key areas of my quest and giving this blog some structure.  The five key areas were well intentioned but they’re just not quite right to me yet and need to be further adjusted.  This journal style blogging is also not exactly what I want to do here, or maybe it is and I just haven’t quite found the right voice yet.  Either way, I am going to spend some time thinking about what I want to write as I go forward.

One thing I am looking very forward to this week is day hiking the Enchantments.  I did this last year and it may have been one of the hardest things I have physically done in my life.  With the craggy peaks and the neon yellow larches… It’s seriously like walking through the Lord of the Rings.

I would like to write more but I got tied up making dinner for the lady tonight and almost put this off entirely.  I’m getting quite tired now and want to get up early tomorrow to get a start on the week.  Goodnight world, I’ll catch ya soon enough.

🤙 ,

~Dane

The Week Before: My Brother’s Wedding & Prepping for a Change

My younger brother, Jake, gets married on Saturday.  I am his best man and am absolutely stoked for the upcoming adventure out to Estes Park in Colorado.  The daunting task of writing a loving and crowd-pleasing speech is still weighing on my shoulders as I have procrastinated my way through week after week of the now-gone summer.  It’s all good, I’ll get it done.

This is my first blog post.  I am going to be doing this blog now for the foreseeable future as I delve back into writing consistently and a quest (of sorts) that I have decided to take on.  That quest is to stop drinking for an entire year starting after my brother’s wedding. This is not because I feel like I am an alcoholic, although tendencies have been established, but instead because I am in need of some focus and think that removing this distraction is going to get me closer to my goals in life.

To make this experience more engaging for myself, I have borrowed from others and used their positivity and lessons to create my own structured plan.  One of those people I am learning from is Tim Ferris and the many astounding people in his book, Tool of Titans, which has had a profound impact on me in the last couple months as I have moved from gainfully employed to home business owner.

Here’s my current thoughts on how I will structure my plan of execution to become sober and more focused in the coming 12 months:

1.  There will be four different aspects I am categorizing everything I do in my life into during this challenge.  Mental Health; Physical Health; Creativity; Financial/Career.  Everything I do is going to be to improve myself within those categories.  I will journal about this daily and post a blog on my progress as I go.  (I am going to go into deeper detail on this in another post)

2.  Removing negativity and growth hinderance.  I also am going to look through those four columns stated above and work to remove the things that are hindering the growth of that particular category. For instance, what keeps me from being creative?  Television & video games are two things that come to mind.  So, those are going to be either removed entirely from my daily routine or rationed out based on performance in other areas.

3.  At the end of my year I am going to have a large reward.  Right now I am leaning towards a trip to Patagonia.  But that is not quite good enough.  I need to further define what is going to happen on that trip and build upon it to create an ultimate goal.  Something like, backpack 150 miles through the Gloopedy Dupedy peaks (Don’t know the name of the peaks in Patagonia) and summit so-and-so mountain.  That’s more what I am looking for and what I am currently researching

4.   I am going to use whatever reward I have chosen as the thing I train for during this time of sobriety.

Now, back to my little brother.  I couldn’t be more proud of him.  And, being his bigger brother is a reward in and of itself.  My entire family will be present and I can’t wait to have a last hoorah as we celebrate him tying the knot with an awesome gal.  I plan on getting white girl wasted.  It’s my last go anyway!

Cheers to Sober October!

~Dane