I am extremely fortunate and grateful for all aspects of my life. I’ve been blessed with the most supportive and loving family anyone could ask for, the most inspiring friends in the world, and a career I sincerely enjoy. It hasn't been easy getting here, but nothing worth having comes easy. And my guess is that as soon as my life becomes easy, I will make a change to challenge myself again. I thrive from adversity and live for the hustle.
Since my life is so good, it becomes really easy to get caught in the same routine. I work my ass for my job, and love every minute of it. I frequently hang out with friends — paddling out for a sunset surf, swapping stories over happy hour, or shooting pool. I probably don’t call my parents as often as they deserve, but I make a point to keep in touch and let them know how much I love them and appreciate everything they've done for me.
But to break up this routine, I am committed to dedicating 3 days per month to specific purposes. A day for giving, a day for nature, and a day for dreaming.
A day for giving.
Take a moment to think about where you are — in your career, your personal development, and all of your accomplishments. Did you get there alone? Not a chance. Every success has been a combined effort of yours and the people around you. I know mine certainly have.
So one day per month, I dedicate all of my time to helping people around me. Sometimes it starts with a Facebook post where I ask my friends ‘How can I help you?’
But it’s not only limited to my online network. I once made 20+ sandwiches and drove around my neighborhood delivering them to homeless people.
The point is to spend an entire day selflessly serving the community of amazing people around me.
As selfless as it might be, it actually gives me a buzz unlike anything else. Seeing a genuine smile on a friend or complete stranger’s face is infectious — especially when I know I helped cause it. It’s the sort of thing I try to work into my daily routine, but can easily be forgotten when work consumes me. Taking a full day to help others is just as beneficial as taking a day all for myself (which is covered in this article too).
A day for nature.
As a digital marketer, this is the hardest day for me to ‘find time’ for. If I’m not at my desktop, I’m on my laptop. And if not either of those, I am on my phone — checking email, coordinating marketing content, or browsing social media or news sites.
Shutting off my phone gives me anxiety. Seriously.
This is something I am actively working to improve. I am committed to spending one day each month completely off the grid. The focus is connecting with nature. Taking a moment to realize how small and insignificant I am compared to the miracles of the world around me.
I guess the easiest way for me to achieve this would be an entire day of surfing. After all, the ocean stole my heart and I don’t want it back. The ocean can certainly be humbling, and it’s easy to live technology free when the waves keep rolling in.
However, I don’t want to limit my deep appreciation for nature to just the ocean. I plan to mix it up each month — sometimes that might be a hike to a mountain top, or something as simple a sitting in a park watching the wind dance across the grass. In any case, I vow to never take mother nature for granted.
A day for dreaming.
If you’re like me, it’s easy to get consumed by your day job. To the point where work tasks often overflow late into the night, and even spill into the weekends. I don’t particularly mind this because I love what I do. I’m privileged to work with some of the smartest people I know, and feel accomplished to see my projects impacting the bottom line of a very large company. But when all is said and done, I’m still working my ass off for someone else’s dream.
Despite the enjoyment I get from my work tasks, I am committed to spend at least one full day each month working exclusively towards my own dreams. Logistically, this has to happen on a weekend, and I’m content with that. This month, it’s happening today. Between writing this Medium article, finishing a chapter on my upcoming book, and hashing out the objectives and executable tasks for my personal website — it’s shaping up to be a great day!
By taking one full day and dedicating it to my own goals and ambitions, I set the tone for the upcoming work-week. The progress I make during a single day is enough to keep me motivated — slipping in more personal branding and dream chasing into free hours that might otherwise be spent vegging out.
So instead of spending a Wednesday evening sipping a rocks Manhattan and watching Lie to Me on Netflix until I fall asleep on the couch, I find myself sitting at my desk, entranced by ‘Pretty Lights’ station on Pandora, cranking out work on my website or upcoming book.
The Manhattan can stay though.
I realize that 3 days isn't a massive amount of time compared to an entire month. But from my experience thus far, these three days act as a catalyst to similar behavior throughout the rest of my life. And I dig that.
If you press ‘recommend’ …I’d dig that too….