Inspired by this blog post, “Why You Should Make a Resolution Each Month Instead of Each New Year”, I decided to take a month-to-month approach to resolutions in 2015. In many aspects of my professional life, I preach experimentation, responsiveness, fail fast, aim-fire-adjust. So why not take that same approach to my personal life and my goals for the year. When you look back on the year that past, could you have predicted the events and experiences you might have had? Maybe or maybe not. But why should I set a resolution that spans an entire year when I barely know what will happen in the next two months?

In this blog post, I’ll post my monthly resolution, in some cases multiple, and track my progress. Feel free to tweet me (@espnguyen) to help me stay accountable. Taking the same approach? Write or tweet about it and tag it with #responsiveresolution.

January 2015 #responsiveresolution

By the end of the month, be waking at 6am each weekday morning.

One thing I know about myself is that if I’m able to get up before the kids, I’m in a much better mood. There’s just something about my mindset that changes when I wake on my own versus having someone else force me out of bed. Not only that, when I’m up before the kids, I get so much more done.

I was inspired by this blog post, “12 Lessons of Waking Up at 4:30am for 21 Days”. I’m not ready to do 430am yet, but maybe at some point. One of the things I love is point #11, “A new view on the world. Waking up so early allowed me to see details around me that I’ve never seen before.”

[UPDATE] Hours after posting this, Eric Kraus (@erickraus) decided to adopt the same resolution and challenged me to wake up at 5am. Challenge accepted.

January Summary

My first month of #responsiveresolution is in the book and I have to say it was a success. Weekday mornings I got up sometime between 5 and 6am. On weekends, I turned my alarm off and just let myself wake up naturally. Generally, I was up in the 630am range on weekends.

I hit a little dilemma the last week of the month when I traveled to Seattle, a two hour later time change for me. Should I wake up at 5am CST or 5am PST? Presuamably my body clock was set to 5am CST. I decided to get up as early as I could, local time. I ended up getting up around 330–4am Seattle time. The problem was I was going to bed much later than my body clock was used to, somewhere between 10 and 11pm Seattle time.

What did I accomplish?

My early mornings consisted of a variety of activities ranging from working out, reading, working, and playing Minecraft. The Minecraft thing deserves a blog post of it’s own, perhaps a series. It’s been a fun exploration and teaching opportunity with my boys.

Getting up early was also a new found way to squeeze in a meeting at 6am. Eric Kraus and I took advantage the extra time to meet and catch up on things at a local donut shop. I really enjoyed meeting at this time because I wasn’t rushed to get to my meeting. During the day, it feels like I’m always rushing to finish something up before joining a call or getting to a meeting. Once the meeting ends, I’m frantically off to do the next thing on my list.

This early morning meeting felt relaxed. Getting there was stress free and I left feeling energized and intellectually inspired to get on with the day.

The most interesting thing to happen, in my opinion, was that my boys started to get up earlier as well. Not because I told them what I was doing, mind you. They just did. Which was kind of bothersome since it felt like it was cutting into the quiet time I was trying to carve out for myself. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll grow out of it in their teenage years.

February 2015 #responsiveresolution

Back in December, my sister-in-law got married to the handsome and charming Christopher Butler in Phoenix, AZ. It was the perfect excuse for a getaway for our family during the holidays. Paige asked me to capture the occasion on video, which I did, but I have yet to devote time towards editing it so that she and Chris could enjoy it from the guest point of view.

So, my February #responsiveresolution is to get Paige and Chris’s wedding video trimmed and edited. Who knows, maybe I can use some of my new found time, based on my January resolution, to work on it.