You know the first evening of a new year is always a great time to reflect on the past year and what may lie ahead. I think about past resolutions, new ones for this year and have already seen the infamous #resolutionfail posts on social media. 2020 was a year, like so many, I won’t forget. From the pandemic to welcoming my second daughter into the world to making great strides in my personal development… it’s been a rollercoaster year! Yet, I am optimistic for the year ahead and continuing this path. I also hope to share even more wins and perspectives with those who are now following and may begin to follow me in the coming year.
I know I haven’t been posting as often as I should since I started all of this, and many have asked (and probably more thought) that I have given up or washed out. The fact is, I have been hitting my “Daily10” targets regularly for over 130 days now. I completed my first 100-day cycle over a month ago and only missed six days out of 100. I did derail the first time but really got it together when I restarted in September. I still have a long way to go, but I am so proud of the progress I have made in every area of my life. It’s all about growth, and I can’t wait to continue to celebrate small milestones even if I don’t post every one. I will get better about it though. And even with all that 2020 brought, I didn’t have to get back on Prozac, so that’s a plus, right?
So here is to a new year, new possibilities, and maybe even a new “boost” of confidence to continue what I’ve started. And I wish everyone else the best on their journeys with the new year ahead!
So I finished another 10 day cycle a couple days ago. And yes, I admit, I am still struggling to write my updates in a timely fashion. Some might say that I am taking on too much, but I want to take on much and then grow to meet it. Not whittle down my aspirations into mediocrity. But I did have a near perfect 10-day run.
The best part is, things are starting to spill over. I had one of the best weeks in my career that I have had in a long time. Introducing myself to new prospects, showing people how to overcome their debt burdens, and having a passion for my work that isn’t hiding behind fears or doubts. It’s hard to explain to people outside my industry, but just firing on all cylinders and feeling accomplished I guess. Still some areas that need improving, but it’s all coming together and feels right again.
My workouts have been amazing too and the weight scale has started moving in the right direction again. I missed very few workouts throughout everything going on the last several weeks and it has shown. I feel good. I did plateau, mostly because of my diet, but that’s coming back in line too. I am not saying it’s perfect by any means, you may see me at the Taco Bell drive thru, but they have power bowls right?
I keep toying with the idea of treating what I am doing with this blog as a journal. I do journal every single day, I rarely miss. But I also put my doubts and frustrations into that. It’s my way of releasing those I guess, and don’t know that I want to exude that side of things into the world when there is definitely more than enough negativity anywhere you look already. I chose love and positivity for what I want to bring to the world.
But anyways, I just wanted to check in with all who still follow me and let you know I am doing great. I hope you are too. I will grow into posting and updating as often as I should soon. But in the meantime, whatever you are doing to improve your life and the lives of those around you-KEEP GOING!
Lastly, there’s a lesson I am working on learning from things I’ve come across the past several days. Those who follow me know that I struggled greatly with the loss of two wonderful people, my mom and dad. I was talking with someone recently who had walked this same path, and the words she spoke into me can be greatly summed up in this:
I guess turning 40 is supposed to be a sad or depressing time or at least some people see it that way. I can remember my mom turning 40 and the people at work got her a cake with a tombstone that said “Lordy, Lordy Cleo’s 40” and my young mind couldn’t grasp why that was such a big deal. I still honestly kind of wonder why it is a big deal. I mean, I feel kind of renewed in a lot of ways lately. Kind of like my best years are right in front of me. I still have a lot of things to work on, but working on myself these last few months has REALLY made a difference in my mindset.
I haven’t been reporting my progress like I should, but have been keeping up with my Daily10 each day. I keep finding tweaks and changes to make them work better for me. They have, for the most part, become such a habit that I haven’t been keeping up with the “streaks” like I was when I started all of this. So with this being my birthday, this is as good a day as any to restart the tracking with “Day 1” and get back to posting about my wins and losses. I may even start treating this more as a journal-type thing than sporadic posts since I already journal daily anyways, we will see how that goes.
A Renewed Vision
One thing that has greatly been on my mind with my “coming of age” is what I want to leave for the world. This blog is mostly for me and for my own sense of accomplishment through hoping to inspire someone else. But it is still only about me in a sense. I do help people every day with different types of insurance and financial products. IF the time comes that life insurance, disability, or critical illness policies are needed, they will be glad they met with me but hopefully those people never have to use it. My customers use their health insurance every day, but who thinks of their agent when their doctor bill gets paid? This has really had me doing some soul-searching on my focus moving forward.
I definitely want to keep doing (almost) everything that I am now as far as vocationally. But, I also REALLY want to focus on the Debt Free Life product that I am a representative with. I mean it is something that almost everyone can use as almost everybody has debt. Even someone without any debt could benefit from the guaranteed growth and “becoming your own bank” aspect of this program.
With that being said, I want to make it my “mission” to introduce my program to enough people to help pay off $250 MILLION in debt. Not in a year or 5 years by any means but since we are on average $250k in debt, I will have to help 1,000 households through this program. That’s just under 40 a year, working through retirement age, which is very doable.
I also hope to introduce other agents, advisors, and even hire new ones to expand that mission. This sounds like a mlm or “get rich quick” scheme, but it’s not. It’s math, albeit not simple, which is why I have software to break it down into a system anyone can understand and follow.
That’s enough for today, I just wanted to let you all know as you may see “cross-posts” between what I am doing in my life as well as how my Debt Free Life program can help others. Remember, reaching greatness means reaching your potential in every area of your life which will include finances so I am not off the mark of my original intentions.
As always, thank you all for reading and for the birthday wishes!
As some of you have noticed, I haven’t posted in a couple weeks. I completely derailed from my plan, and now have to restart my journey, back to day 1.
On July 27th I became a father again, welcoming my new daughter into the world. With this, very little else has really mattered as far as my personal development. But I know that in order to be here long term for my family, I need to get back to pursuing my best self and best life. Not just for me, but also for them.
I have learned from all of this and will be making some adjustments moving forward to my plan and my vision. One thing is that I HAVE to be a lot stricter on myself with my “free days” and not stopping at 9 of my “daily 10”,considering that “good enough”. If I had been more dialed in, I would likely have went into this with enough time “built up” to not have to start over.
It’s all water under the bridge now though, I completed 55 out of 61 days and made a lot of progress toward my goals. Just look at the difference in me between my first video vs the last one I posted before stumbling:
And now I start again. Tomorrow will be day 1 and I am looking forward to adjusting my plan and getting back on track. Thank you all for your continued support and I can’t wait to share some of the changes I will be making.
50 days in. Wow! how time flies! I am halfway through my first 100 day cycle, and have really made strides in some life domains, but still continue to struggle in others. I do keep in mind though that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Getting to reset every 10 days is hugely helpful psychologically. At least it is for me. Here is an overview of where I am…
What I am, and what I am not…YET
So, I found out the hard way that I am not a runner yet, and wasn’t ready to go head-first into the “Couch to 5K” program. In fact, it was more like face-first. I did well with the first 2 weeks of the program, I did miss a day but made it up. Then the third week came, and with it came these 3-minute jogging “bursts”. And my body rejected this challenge. The minute bursts the first week were tough, especially when walking was the extent of my cardio up until this. Then the minute and a half bursts in week 2 were really hard. By the 90 second mark, my lungs were on fire and I my breath was heaving to get oxygen into my system. Then it doubled to 3 minutes in week 3. I barely made it past 2 minutes when I started struggling to keep going. I tried to find that “second wind,” but my body wasn’t having it. My left quad cramped up and shut that second wind back down. I tried to bend my leg and stretch the cramp, but lost my balance and ended up in the grass. Yes, I warmed up and stretched before starting, and yes I did laugh at myself for what would have had to have been amusing if anyone had seen it. I do plan to restart the program and repeat the first two weeks again though. Then I will see how that third week works out next round.
My morning routine is really dialed in. I won it for the past 9 days straight. It really does make a difference in how your day goes, and how I feel going into my day. I knock out most of my Daily 10 in the first hour of my day and love starting each day with a win. I feel really accomplished in that area and am trying to carry that into the rest of my day. I am now working on a better “work-day startup” ritual for the first 30 minutes I am at my office. Like a “pre-shot” warm-up to set up my day. I will let you know how that progresses in coming posts.
So How’s Work?
I am really excited about things coming down the pike with work, as well as the progress I am making on myself. It has been slow to come, or slower than I had hoped, but I feel like I am getting more and more back to my old self each day. It’s not the things at work that are getting me there so much, but the things that I do in other domains to build my mind (and even body) to get back to success. Plus the company that I get some of my contracts through gave us all a 10% raise effective August 1, which even further solidifies that I am where I need to be in that aspect. The insurance industry has been very good to me and will continue to be once I put in the work to give back to those I work with, both as clients and business partners.
After Action Review?
Normally this is where I talk about what I will “Keep, Start, and Stop” doing in the coming days, but I have something else on my mind. Plus, it’s really not any different than the last update. Seems like we are all going through so much right now. So much turmoil. So much disagreement amount so many different things. I can’t get on social media without seeing arguments over acceptable vernacular, proper protection for each other, politics, or whatever the cause may be. I see so many who are passionately taking their stances. I see those who are suffering because of others actions. I want everyone to think, no matter your stance on the different things going on in the world, the words below from John Tew:
Thank you for reading and make it a great decaday!
I am writing this update a day later than usual, mainly because I let the weekend get the better of me. So much so that I used up two of my “off-days” (technically one from decaday 4 and one from decaday 5 as I write this) which now leaves me with only 5 left for the next 58 Days. I knew things like this could happen, and I did plan for it. However, I also know that there is going to be a LOT happen in the coming weeks that is going to really test my focus on improving myself. I wouldn’t change the things that are coming for the world, but it won’t just be about me for the next few weeks for sure.
The thing about failure is what do you do with it? I am a big football fan, and just like in any sport, the best players are the ones who go back out after a busted play and set up a big win for their team. Like the quarterback that throws an interception and goes back out the next offensive play and hits a big pass or even touchdown. But it takes practice, which may be the theme of my first 100 days. To fail and get back up for the next play, over and over again. I mean it’s not that I am bombing every domain, but some days I am STILL only getting the minimum required in. I will keep pushing though until those minimums turn into maximums, it’s all about progress. It’s just important that I at least hit my minimums each day.
So how did it go this round?
Honestly, quite well. I completed all of my “BLS Year One” strength training days, and start the Couch to 5k program. Most days I did well with those too, but did miss one due to a heavy rain and then the holiday. I know, excuses, but too late to change it now. I spent quality time with my family. I made small strides vocationally and finished the “decaday” with a new commitment to those I work with. I spent time with loved ones, and nailed my morning routine most days.
Then I woke up on the 4th and thought to myself, “it’s a holiday; a little extra sleep won’t hurt!” Four hours later it was almost noon, I had housework to do (among other things) so I blew off my morning routine. I ended up making up a few things later that day, but just didn’t get into the grove really. It is quite remarkable how something so simple as routines can have such an impact on your day. Then that night, I wasn’t tired at all. The 12 hour sleep from the night before had me wide awake, so I stayed up watching TV (which I RARELY do) and slept through my morning routine again the next day. Both day’s failures were from OLD habits and as we all know old habits die hard. The good thing is that I was back on my game this morning, though I was so tired in the afternoon from the change up in my sleep pattern. Scientist say that going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is the healthiest way to rest, and MAN do I believe it!
After Action Review
For these next 10 days, I still want to stay focused on the two parts of my life that I feel like I am struggling the most with, physical and vocational. I want to START a new apprenticeship or partnership program for new insurance agents, like I did in my early days as a manager. I honestly think that teaching others will also help me to get back to where I was and want to be as a productive agent. I want to STOP making excuses and finding reasons not to follow through with planned exercises, routines, or whatever the case may be. I want to keep reporting here, my successes and failures, and hope that you all continue to offer tidbits of advice, motivation, and encouragement along the way. I really cannot thank those who reach out with comments or privately enough!!!
So I have basically been on this path for a month. How many of you are wondering about results? Previously I would try thing for a week, a month, maybe longer if I had some success. However, I know now that I am just barely scratching the surface. I am just getting some habits set in stone, and even struggling to make other habits stick. Some people say it takes “21 days to make a habit” but that has been disproved over and over again. This is why I am not worried about the progress that I have or have not made after a month. This is why I am ONLY encouraged to see “the messy middle” (as Michael Hyatt calls it) coming on the horizon. I know I’m ready. I know I will overcome the adversity and demons that are are still nipping at my heals, telling me this is too hard. It’s not. Everyone is stronger than they think and the days to prove this are only ahead for me. I cannot wait to face those days.
But it is important to keep a record of where I am…
Becoming who I want to be begins and ends with my health and energy. It’s no secret in looking at me that I am not in the best physical condition so I have made this one of my top priories. I can say that I have not missed a workout since I started this program and am seeing and feeling results. I do want to report that I am down 7 pounds in 30 days, and over 20 pounds since the first of the year. I have an energetic little girl, so it’s hugely important that this continues to be one of my priorities so I’m not too tired to play with her. Plus, in sales, confidence is a big part of “winning the sale” so I have to feel good about myself when I am presenting to customers. I want to report I am seeing a big cardiovascular improvement, specifically not running out of breath while talking. It was embarrassing, but not uncommon to run out of breath while explaining a policy to a customer. Who would want to buy from a guy that sounds like he might pass out on the table at any moment right?
So what about the struggle going on inside me? We all have one, that inner fight. Call it productive vs. lazy, good vs. evil, or whatever you want to label it. Fact is, we all struggle inside whether we want to admit it or not. My struggles aren’t any worse or better than anyone else’s, we all have our stuff. Some may seem to handle it better than others but we never REALLY know what others are going through. That’s why I try my best not to judge, you just never know. But anyways, my Miracle Morning is a HUGE help in dealing with my inner struggles. I have not missed a single day of my S.A.V.E.R.S.. Although, I don’t exactly do them in the order the book suggests. After I wake up, drain the bladder (TMI right?), and brush my teeth, I read for 15 minutes. Then I review my planner to see what the day holds so I know what mindset I’m prepping for. I recite my affirmations aloud, spend five minutes with one of my vision boards, scribe (journal) what I am thankful for and what would make today great, and then meditate for 10 minutes. I save the meditation or “silence” portion until after the others so I can use the quiet to dial in my mind. Then it’s off to exercise and get the endorphins fired up. All this before 8:00am!
I make time each evening to spend with my family and my hobbies. My daughter is growing so fast it’s unreal. Some days we get to spend more time than others, but it is what it is as they say. I know how important it is to “Unwind” before bed so some days I pick around on guitar. Some days I might do a project on my house or Jeep. Just something that is entertaining but still stimulates my mind as I’m not much of a TV watcher.
And then there’s the struggle. I still find myself having a hard time with work. It’s not that I don’t like what I do, I love it. I truly love helping people and teaching them about ways to protect their finances, future, and families from something unexpected. I know this is excuses but I can’t overcome if I hold it in. I think the combination of the father’s day stigma and missing my dad coupled with a widow I met with to file a death claim triggered me more than usual the past 10 days. I talked to the lady on the phone first and her story was eerily familiar with her husband passing much like my father did and with a similar diagnosis. But the good news is, that 10-day cycle is gone, I can’t change it, and I can only learn from it and move forward. Luckily, the organization I partner with now had an INCREDIBLE web-conference today that really helped me shake that off, see that others have struggled the way I have and became great leaders, and inspired me to lean into my recovery in this aspect more. Funny how things come at just the right time.
After Action Review…
I am going to start leaning into my mentors more and being more raw in telling them what is going on in my head. I have kept my issues somewhat bottled up and only “dripped” sprinkles of what’s really on my mind here and there. My mind is a very powerful thing and who knows? they may have insights that could help me more than the “professionals” I have hired and paid to try to overcome my mind.
I am going to stop shutting down when things don’t go as planned. I may have said this before, but I need to reiterate to myself to keep leaning into the pain in order to grow. If I can overcome this physically in my workouts, there’s no reason that I shouldn’t be able to do it in all areas of my life. I am reading “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins right now, and it is doing SO much in helping me see what can be done with the right mindset.
I am going to keep working on my mind and body daily. The progress, both seen and unseen is driving me for more. And the encouragement of followers keeps throwing fuel on this flame. There is so much waiting for me in so many aspects if I just keep doing what I am doing each day. And I want to find others to join me so we can all push each other. I am pushing toward my potential… Who’s coming with me?
So I have come to the end of my 2nd 10-day cycle. To be honest, it didn’t go quite like I would have liked, but it’s in the books now and I am moving forward with a plan to keep progressing.
The first thing I want to focus on is the vocational side of life. I spent a lot of time the past 10 days doing the annual enrollment for one of my larger voluntary benefit groups. Service is a big part of my business so I am in no way complaining about that time spent, but now to refocus on my Debt Free Life agency insurance sales while finding the right people to help pursue and fulfill my vision of introducing others to this industry that has been so good to me these past 8 years. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to learn how to earn extra income and TRULY have the desire to help others.
As far as my other domains. I did excellent with my workout regimen, though the meals could have been better to match that routine. I got to spend much needed time with my family and play with my little girl. Her and her mama are a huge part of my happiness. I completed my Miracle Morning each day to take care of my spiritual, emotional, and intellectual needs.
I must say, I had some anxiety issues a couple of days this week which I really struggled with at times. Funny how that can creep up on you when you think you have everything under control. But sometimes the right thing comes along at the right time and I heard a very interesting take on anxiety and nervousness. I wish I would saved where I heard this, it was on a playlist of motivational speeches on YouTube. I was listening on the way into town this morning but then had a phone call and got sidetracked. But anyways, the speaker was talking about how reporters always ask Olympians if they’re nervous. And most of them say, “not nervous but excited!” The premise of the whole video was, nerves, anxiety, and excitement all give our bodies the same physical response. Elevated heart rate, anticipation, maybe sweating, etc.. So what if we can re-frame that feeling as excitement and use it as fuel? I feel like this is a great concept that I will definitely be implementing in the coming days.
As far as my “after action review” for the past ten days, here is where I stand. I will START searching with new avenues for the people to align myself with to grow my business. I will STOP letting anxiety control my ability to complete my daily 10, and re-frame it as excitement to use for fuel to achieve my daily goals. I will KEEP grinding each day to get better in every area of my life. It’s only been 20 days that I have been more focused, and will be laser focused more and more in the days to come.
As always, THANK YOU for following along, reaching out with encouragement, and walking each step on my path. If you haven’t followed me on social media, I try to spread inspiration each day on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Man! Some days just seem to lay speed bump after speed bump right? And it wasn’t even anything overly “bad” today either. A meeting went long, I sat on hold with a carrier for 45 minutes, A customer showed up 30 minutes early and took much longer than I had planned for (which lead to scheduling a follow-up to finish), and a few other unplanned interruptions… really nothing “bad.”
So why am I telling you this?
I have started to have people mention seeing what I’m doing with this blog. Some find it inspiring, some say “what $&@! is that !@&$ you keep posting about?”, and of course there are always critics. Don’t get me wrong, nobody has been mean about it. But I have got, “I don’t see how you find time to do those 10 extra things each day.”
First off, it’s not “extra things.” It’s implementing daily HABITS in a manner that will culminate to reaching my full potential. We don’t consider bathing, brushing our teeth, or changing our clothes an extra thing right? These are daily habits that we do without even thinking about.
That’s what I want my Daily 10 to become. Habits that I do without even thinking about. Routines that are just as natural and embedded in my spirit as driving to the office. And then developing a team of people in my business to have similar habits that become a part of their nature- to help them reach their potential. And they will spread these habits to people they bring into the business, an so on and so on.
Think about Chick-fil-A employees. You can visit one of their locations anywhere and say “thank you” for something to an employee. It has become embedded in their nature for their response to be “my pleasure.” So much so that these employees will carry not only that saying into other areas of their life, but also that positivity. And positivity is something that desperately needs to be spread!
So back to my day…
Although these speed bumps were laid out for me throughout the day, I still not only “managed” to complete my daily 10, I intentionally exceeded the minimum in several of the domains. Yes, I do skip watching the morning news so I can meditate, read, and other things to work on myself. No, I’m not playing “bubble gum popper” or another game on my phone to pass time during the day. Ok, so I slip occasionally, but it’s progress not perfection right? But I know by shifting this mindset and creating these habits, I will be where I want to be at the end of my 1,000 days.
Or “Dekaday” depending on how you want to spell it. Either way, I finished my first 10 day cycle yesterday. And man, was I fired up today to get to “reset”. Getting to mark off that first set of days and start fresh today was invigorating for my motivation!
I talk about it in this video:
And now to keep moving. I do an “after action review” each week, which is something I learned in a Michael Hyatt book. Just like the military does after a training excersise, I write down “what worked, what didn’t, what will I keep doing, what will I stop doing, etc..” There are several things, but here is what I want to share:
I will KEEP pushing to get my Daily 10 done each day. The small wins of checking each off is already building confidence that will pour over into other things I struggle with.
I will IMPROVE the “quality” of my Daily 10. What I mean by this is that I will strive to do more than just the minimums in each domain. I particularly want to improve this in my vocational domain as it is an area that really needs improvement.
There’s something about starting over…
I can’t tell you how excited I was to jump out of bed this morning and start my morning ritual. Breaking down my habits this way truly breathed life into them again, even the ones I have been implementing for longer than just 10 days. I know this is just the first experience in this, but it was exciting and I can’t wait to see how this part of it progresses.
Thank you all for following along this past 10 days and let’s keep it going!