Today was the first day of a personal development challenge that I set for myself. The main objective of the challenge is wake up everyday as early as possible and sketch or do art for one hour.
Here is the background on this challenge that I set for myself… I grew up wanting to become an artist with a goal of having an art show one day. I went to college for studio art and thought I was going to be an illustrator in my career. Then in 1998 I was introduce to the internet and more specifically web design. Quickly I realized I can make a lot more money creating website designs. This career has been very creative and made me very successful to where I am today but I am not satisfied. In the last 5 years I barely have done any sketching, painting or pushed my creativity outside of web design. Today I made a challenge for myself to change that.
Yesterday I had a breakthrough! It was Saturday afternoon and I started listening to Jared Easley’s podcast called “Starve the Doubt” and then I reached episode #4 with Andy Traud to learn about the book he wrote called “The Early To Rise Experience: Learn To Rise Early in 30 Days“. I really enjoyed the episode but at first I didn’t really want to read another book. There is a pile to read books already on my desk. Later in the day, I then was watched “The New Money Masters” series and came across Marie Forleo. She talks about following your passions. Specially what I took from her was when she said “If money was not important, what would you be doing with your life or working on?”
This made me really think about my career and the regrets I would have if I stopped doing art all together. I thought about all this before but know if I start making progress today then I could change my life. Art and drawing is really important to me and really good for my mindset. In the past because I stop drawing, I told myself I wasn’t good because I wasn’t making money off it. I told myself art was was a waste of time. These are all beliefs that I changed today. I knew today was the time for change. Later I went for run and then did some meditation. After I opened up the LIFT app on my phone and checked in to my goals for the day. It was in the app that I saw EarlytoRise as a goal – Andy Traud is doing a cobrand with LIFT app.
This attraction influenced me to buy the book “The Early To Rise Experience: Learn To Rise Early in 30 Days“. I already wake up at 7am with a morning ritual but really wanted to get up earlier to accomplish more in my day. Turns out the book is more than about just waking up early. Its about designing the best life for yourself, each day. For me, it is forcing me to start the day with creative freedom before you enter the world. I recognized the resistance I was feeling everyday and know how much just sketching would mean to me.
Today I started the challenge and I really looked forward to waking up. I got up at 5:30am on a Sunday, drank a large glass of water and started reading right away. Then I drew the sketch of my dog shown here, then went for a run and set some rules for myself.
For 30 days, I will
- Wake up as early as possible, meaning I need to go to bed earlier
- Read when I first wake up
- Sketch or do art for one hour, without any care of how the art comes out
- Exercise or Run for one hour
- Complete morning ritual before checking email or starting work
- My morning ritual includes:
- Drink a protein / juice / greens shake
- Shower and use a neti pot or steamer
- Perform Qi Gong or Breathing exercises
- Tell myself what I am grateful for, do an emotional flood or meditate
- Visualize my future
- Write in my Journal or Blog
- Write down the top 3 priorities for my day and tape to my office door
This is going to be an amazing month, follow my progress at @myhappyprogress
Here is an excerpt from day one to start the challenge: “Your mindset matters. I’m inviting you to believe in yourself. Take moment to imagine how your life will change because of your daily decision to rise early. Imagine how much peace you’ll have as you start your day.”
It is now 10pm and time for bed.
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