Day 30: Start All Over Again

You read that right. Today we start all over from the very beginning.

This is a process, a journey, a never ending adventure to find out who we really are, and what we’re made of.

We have to wake up everyday and decide that we want to be happy, confident, strong, brave, amazing, and unapologetically ourselves.

It truly is the biggest job of our lives, and we’re the only ones that can make this happen for ourselves. 

We’ve challenged ourselves everyday for the past 30 days, but the truth is, we’ve challenged ourselves everyday since we were born. That’s how we made it this far. 

Yes, this 30 day challenge was meant to wake you up, get you out of your comfort zone, and start asking yourself the hard questions, but it doesn’t end today.

Today is just day 1.

Don’t forget to give yourself credit for being where you are at this very moment. Sure, it may not be where you thought you’d be, and it may not be where you want to be long term, but you’re alive and kicking, and that deserves some kudos.

Who you are today is much more different than who you were when you started this 30 day challenge, so the way you approach each of these challenges will be different. Maybe not in dramatic ways, but I promise you each challenge will feel different.

You may continue to implement some of the things you learned, or you may decide to practice all or none of them. Whatever you decide, I hope you wake up everyday just feeling grateful to be alive. It truly is the greatest blessing.

I’m so incredibly proud of us for making it this far, and I’m beyond excited to see where the next 30 days will take us. I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey as much as I have, and that you will share my 30 day challenge with your loved ones, so we can all continue to be the best versions of ourselves.

I would love to hear what you've really gotten out of these 30 days, and what you hope to see more of this year on Artisan & King.

More than anything, I hope you're proud of yourself. You decided to take part in this challenge, and whether you did all 30 challenges or not, know that your consciousness has been elevated by just being present.

You did, you made it to today. Congratulation!

All my love!

Barrett

Posted on January 31, 2017 .

Day 29: Marry Yourself

I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out.

This is the final step in completely honoring and loving ourselves.

For the past month we’ve challenged ourselves to grow, evolve, and change for the better.

We’ve had honest conversations with ourselves, pushed ourselves to try new things, and to take a really long look in the mirror. We did this because we knew it was time to get out of our own way, and finally live our lives as honestly and authentically as possible.

Today we take the ultimate vow.


CHALLENGE:

I want you to symbolically, physically, and spiritually marry yourself. 

Buy yourself a ring, a bracelet, a necklace, get a tattoo, or whatever else works for you, and pledge to love yourself in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and for better or for worse.

I created the Heart Happy Bracelet a year ago, so that more people could do this. To make the bracelet even more meaningful a portion of the proceeds go towards two important charities. Feel free to check it out here, but remember this doesn't have to be what you use to fulfill this highly important challenge.

Heart Happy Bracelet

Just make sure you do this today!


EXAMPLE:

Over two years ago, after I ended a relationship, I realized I was looking fore someone else to fill a void in my life that only I could fill. Three days later I came across a small ring that I loved, and it just clicked that I needed to marry myself. I vowed on that day to take care of myself, to love myself, and be the man I wanted to marry, so that one day I could find my equal.

It’s a promise that has been challenged over the years, but one that I always come back to, and has helped me make some hard decisions. 

Remember if we don’t love ourselves, why should anyone else? This isn’t about being self-obsessed, this is about having the confidence to know what we deserve, and it’s time we started treating ourselves the way we would want others to treat us.

It's scary to completely love yourself in a world that doesn't want you to, be fearless!

You’re incredible, and worthy of all the love and happiness in the world, and if you don't believe that yet, you need to start today.

I hope that over the past 29 days you’ve fallen in love with yourself the way we all should.

Be brave, be bold, and never feel badly about loving yourself.

Posted on January 30, 2017 .

Day 28: Go On A Date

With yourself.

I'm dead serious.

It’s beyond important that we fall in love with ourselves, and what better way to do this than take ourselves on a date.

We often get caught up thinking about other people, especially when we’re feeling vulnerable. However, it’s so important that we treat ourselves the way we would want others to treat us. 

This is also a great way to get back in touch with what makes us feel excited, and reminds us what we’re truly passionate about.

It’s time that we wooed ourselves, and enjoyed our own company.


CHALLENGE:

Take yourself to dinner, lunch, the movies, whatever, but just do it on your own.

This may sound crazy, but I promise you that you’ll actually really enjoy yourself, especially if you’re doing something you love.


EXAMPLE:

  • Go see that movie you’ve been dying to see.
  • Go take yourself to dinner at a restaurant you’ve been really wanting to try.
  • Go take a pottery class on your own, and just enjoy your own company.
  • Stay in, light candles, put on mellow music, and take a bath.
  • Go have a glass of wine somewhere in your neighborhood, and just enjoy being alone.

Dating yourself should be fun, and if you don’t enjoy your own company, why should anyone else?

Being alone isn’t something we should be scared of, it should be something we actually enjoy.

Remember the more you focus on meeting your own needs, the more likely you are to meet someone who adds happiness and joy to your life. Not because you need them, but because you want them.

We need to learn to fall for ourselves, and get back in touch with what it is that we enjoy.

Dating yourself should be fun, and if you don’t enjoy your own company, why should anyone else?

If you actually take part in today’s challenge, tomorrow’s will be even easier, so go do something special for you!

Posted on January 29, 2017 .

Day 27: Change Your Hair

It’s just hair.

And if you really aren’t this idea then try something else you’ve been wanting to experiment with when it comes to your looks.

This week was meant to largely focus on our bodies, and changing our appearance can be something that is super easy and fun.

We don’t need to lose a ton of weight, gain a bunch of muscle, or become someone totally different, we just need to get even more out of our comfort zone, and live our most authentic lives.

Changing something about the way we look can be a quick way to boost our confidence, brighten our overall mood, and just make us feel a little different in a exciting way.

We don’t have to go crazy. We don’t have to do anything dramatic, but we should try something new when it comes to the way we look.

Why not? Life’s too short to not do something a little crazy, right?!


CHALLENGE:

We’ve all played with the idea of changing our hair, getting different glasses, or wearing a color we might not normally wear.

Well, today we finally do it.

We have to get out of our comfort zone in as many ways as possible, and this is a big one, so let’s spice it up. 

If you’re having a hard time figuring out what would look good, but want to really go for a new look, then talk to someone you trust, and whose style you admire, and let them help guide you.

Everyone loves a makeover.


EXAMPLE:

  • Dye your hair blue.
  • Dye your hair blonde.
  • Cut your hair shorter.
  • Shave your head.
  • Pierce your ears.
  • Get that tattoo you’ve been wanting for years.
  • Wear something you love, but never thought you could pull off.
  • Wear bright red lipstick.

Just try something new.

Remember if you end up hating what you do, almost anything is reversible. Your hair will grow back, your clothes can easily never be worn again, and your make up washes off super easily.

Tattoos are the one thing that I would really say be 100% sure you’re in love with. I waited years before getting each one of my tattoos, and I’m glad I did because I knew I was ready to have these things on my body forever. They mark very specific chapters in my life, so for that reason alone, I’ll always have an appreciation and huge amount of love for each one.

Additionally, last year, I finally dyed my hair blue after years of saying I wanted to. The second I was done I looked at myself in the mirror, and I just felt undeniably like myself. It was something I thought I’d always talk about doing, but never actually do. I’m so glad I did it, and got it out of my system.

I think there’s something incredibly fun about being able to look back at your life, and say, “that time I had blue hair.”

I said it once, I’ll say it again, it’s just hair, or glasses, or clothes, so have fun with it!

Posted on January 28, 2017 .

Day 26: Ask For Help

This isn’t a weakness, this shows your human.

We could all use a little help, and I fully believe that the key to success is collaboration.

Growing up we learn that we need to play nice with others. It’s polite, creates a more enjoyable environment, and what’s expected socially. However, in countries like the US, we're taught that it’s up to us to fix our lives, make our problems go away, and make our dreams come true.

Sounds like a lot, right?!

While I agree with this idea in many ways, I fully believe that we need to collaborate to grow as people, broaden our own horizons, and figure out new and innovative solutions to progressively grow in all areas of our lives. 

Furthermore, no one ever got ahead by doing everything on their own. When we come together to collaborate, pick another person’s brain, or let it be known that we need help, we’re much more likely to get out of a bad or confusing situation, and productively grow.


CHALLENGE:

Reach out to someone you trust, and ask for help figuring out a problem with work, your personal life, or anything in between.

Or reach out to someone you trust, and inquire about collaborating on something you believe in, and think you both could mutually benefit from.

Do it today!


EXAMPLE:

  • Reach out to a friend, who you know is good with technology, and ask if they can explain to you how a certain feature works on your computer.
  • Reach out to a work colleague, and ask if they’d like to brainstorm with you about ways to make the company grow.
  • Reach out to your mentor, and ask if they would like to work on a project with you.
  • Reach out to a friend, who you know is into fitness, and ask if you can go to the gym with them to learn some new things.

If people don’t know you need help, they often won’t think to ask if they can help, so ask!

Remember, “Don’t be shy about asking for help. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it only means you’re wise.”

No one should have to go at life alone, and I promise, you’ll be amazed at what happens to your life when you start asking for help.

Posted on January 27, 2017 .

Day 25: Learn

Never stop.

We should be on a quest to constantly gain knowledge.

Our brains want to be expanded, our minds want to flourish, and our curiosity is endless, so why would we ever want to stop learning? 

Unfortunately, many us forget that learning doesn’t stop once we graduate from school. Formal education may come to some form of an ending, but as we mature, we actually set ourselves up to learn even more than when we were being taught in schools.

Yes, most of the day is usually taken up by our careers, but if we truly want to prosper professionally and personally we must be gaining new skill sets and broadening our own horizons.

Let’s continue to grow, evolve, and change for the better!


CHALLENGE:

Make a list of all the things you want to learn, and then pick just one to start learning today.

Acquiring a new skill, talent, or proficiency of how something operates or works will continue to make you more valuable professionally, and allow you to pursue your dreams with greater ease then hoping to just get by.

Starting something new is always scary, but as we’ve discovered through the past 24 challenges, new and different isn’t actually scary at all. If anything we’ve begun to understand that challenging ourselves only brings more rewards to our lives. 


EXAMPLE:

  • Learn how to speak Spanish.
  • Learn how to cook.
  • Learn how to make jewelry.
  • Learn how to use power tools.
  • Learn how to use photoshop.
  • Learn how to do karate.
  • Learn how to swim.
  • Learn how to use powerpoint.
  • Learn the history of the Amazon.
  • Learn how the government runs.
  • Learn photography.

Whatever it is that you want to learn, remember it’s for you to enrich your own life in some way, so don’t judge it, and jump in feet first.

I can honestly say that every time I’ve learned a new skill set, I’ve made my life easier in so many ways. I’ve increased my flow of revenue, I’ve gained new insights into life, and I’ve become a better person.

Admitting that you want to learn something new comes with a humbling feeling because you’re admitting you don’t know everything, which no one does. However, as you begin to learn something new, an excitement enters your life, and you find you approach all aspects of your life with a fresh perspective. 

Learning is invigorating, and helps remove a stagnant feeling of laziness from our lives.

We all should be learning something everyday till the day we die. If you think you’ve learned everything that you’ve wanted or needed to learn than I highly recommend listening to someone you don’t agree with, and thinking about what motivates them to wake up everyday.

Remember everyone you admire started not knowing how to do whatever it is that they do now, so there is no excuse why you can’t live out your wildest dreams.

Learn something new, and then learning something else, and then something else, and then never stop.

The world is full of incredible opportunities, don’t miss out on as many of them as possible!

Posted on January 26, 2017 .

Day 24: Take Care Of An Errand

It’s important to take care of the little things.

We all have a never ending list of things we need to get done, and this weighs on us the longer we let these errands go by.

Let’s make our lives a little easier, and check some of that to-do-list off.


CHALLENGE:

Today we finally cross off at least one of the things we’ve needed to do for some time.

It can be anything, just make sure you get it done.


EXAMPLE:

  • Cut your nails.
  • Take your dry cleaning to the dry cleaner.
  • Hang up a picture.
  • Paint your room.
  • Do your laundry.
  • Go grocery shopping.
  • Return that shirt you’ve been meaning to.

There’s no task to small to complete if it makes you feel less stressed.

The great thing about the little things is that they're often quite easy to get more than one done in a day, and they feel like victories because they are.

Don’t judge your to-do-list, just get it done!

Remember the little things slowly add up to bigger moves, and that’s what were learning through this 30 day challenge. One day at a time, one step at a time, we make our lives better.

Posted on January 24, 2017 .

Day 23: Exercise

Our bodies wants to move.

We’ve gotten so used to the idea of exercise being a chore when it is in fact what our body craves.

We need to remember that our bodies were made to move, and exercise isn’t a punishment. It’s a gift we give to ourselves to keep our bodies running at maximum efficiency.

The point of exercising should be to have some “me time,” release stress, and sweat out anxieties we’re holding onto. 


CHALLENGE:

For our final 7 days, it’s time got our butts to the gym, a workout class, or follow an at home workout.

We want to get sweaty, feel the burn, and let our bodies become more fit.

Our goal shouldn’t to become a certain size, or look a certain way, although these can be secondary goals. What we should stay focused on is achieving a higher level of fitness, becoming more flexible, and building our strength.


EXAMPLE:

I’ve provided a few different at home workouts that are super easy to follow, and can be found by following this link:

BARRETT'S AT HOME WORKOUTS

One of my favorite sayings is, “the harder the workout, the harder the body.” Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, and to break out of your comfort zone. 

Remember your body is different then my body, which is different than another body. We have to honor our own bodies, and remove the excuses.

The more we wait to get our fitness and health back on track, the longer it will take to reach our goals. Stop running away from the gym, and start running, or at least walking more.

Your body is an amazing machine, be proud of it, and more than anything be grateful to have this body!

Posted on January 24, 2017 .

Day 22: Eat Healthy

Honor the temple that is your body.

We’ve been doing so much work emotionally and spiritually, it’s now time to get back to our bodies.

There’s an old saying, “You are what you eat,” and it’s incredibly true. We have to be aware of what we’re putting into our bodies, so that we can continue to make these machines run at maximum efficiency.

Yes, we need to think of our bodies as machines because that’s what they are.

The food we eat turns into fuel for our bodies to run on, and it make sense that if you’re putting crap into your body, it’s going to run like crap.

We need to rethink how we eat, and remember that fitness is 80% what we consume, and 20% actual exercise.


CHALLENGE:

For the next 8 days we’re going to begin to make healthier choices about what we’re eating.

We’re not going to go from 0 to 100 because that just doesn’t work, but we’re going to become more conscious about what we’re putting into our most prized possession, our bodies.

We’re going to remove the word diet from our vocabulary because diets tend to come in and out of trend, and have an ending. From here on out, we’re truly changing our lifestyles. 

We’re going to start to cut back on the amount of animal products we consume, so things like meat and dairy should become less and less of our staples.

If you’re really up for the challenge then I would recommend trying to go vegetarian for the next 8 days.


EXAMPLE:

  • Instead of going for quick and easy, try to take some time out of your day to go grocery shopping and then prepare meals like lunch that you can grab for work that are healthier than what you may be consuming now.
  • Instead of eating a burger, try eating a salad.
  • Instead of drinking soda, try drinking water.
  • Instead of eating all your food, try eating 80% of your meal, and wait to see if you’re actually full.
  • Instead of drinking sugary and colored alcohol, try drinking clear booze and mix it with water and lime, have a dirty martini, or give it up.

Giving up alcohol will make you lose weight so much quicker than if you’re drinking.

Small changes will make huge differences. Very quickly, you’ll notice changes in your mood, energy level, and the way you sleep. Things like your skin and weight will take longer to see the effects, but I promise this is a science, and results will come if you stick to this challenge long term.

I know this may sound extreme, but this is meant to push you physically, mentally, and spiritually. 

I was never a big meat eater, but I always said it would be impossible for me to give up chicken because I ate it so often. However, after educating myself on the true cost and effects that chicken has on our bodies, the environment, and the lack of laws surrounding animals in factory farms, I’ve vowed to never eat it, and all other meat, ever again. 

I don’t miss it, I don’t crave it, and it actually grosses me out now. For the record, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been, and have gained muscle. 

The key to success for me was reprograming my brain to no longer equate vegetables to sides. I always felt like there had to be meat on my plate for it to be a complete meal, this just isn’t true, and there are countless resources that explain why we need to consume less meat.

I’ve written a piece discussing many of the reasons why I gave up meat, and it can be found here:

10 Reasons Why I'm Giving Up Meat

I was a vegan for 50 days, and had to stop when I was hiking the PCT out of survival, but the second I was off the trail, I realized how much my body hated meat and processed foods. It’s very interesting to give up meat, then go back to it because if you’re actually listening to your body, its incredibly apparent how much different you feel.

We know excuses are played out, and it’s time we gave ourselves the gift of not only feeling good, but actually feeling healthy.

Food should work for us, not against us, so let’s change our thoughts and habits, and make healthier decisions.

Posted on January 22, 2017 .

Day 21: Plan A Trip

Get out of your comfort zone physically.

Traveling to places near and far helps broaden our horizons, and educates us in a very unique and special way.

When we see how other countries, cultures, nations, and villages live, we allow our minds to expand, and from a first-handed perspective understand that different doesn’t mean bad.

Additionally when we leave the comfort of our own homes, we often find an even greater appreciation for where we come from. Venturing into unknown territories is truly the greatest gift you can give yourself.


CHALLENGE:

Today you finally and concretely plan a trip for sometime in the near future. It doesn’t have to be a lavish, expensive, or super far away trip. It just has to be to somewhere you haven’t been before.

Get creative! 

Don’t let excuses like money, time, or travel partners hold you back. We talked about this on day 1.

Remember that if you want something badly enough, there’s always a way to make it happen. 


EXAMPLE:

Make a list of all the places you’d like to go to, and see if you can make any of them happen.

Check your bank account, realistically see what you have to work with, and also see where you can start saving a bit more.

Then check out websites and apps like KayakAirbnb, and CouchSurfing that can help you find cheap airfare, accommodations, and other things to make your adventure possible.

Even if it’s just an hour drive to a new city, seeing something different will wake your soul up, and create a new sense of curiosity that is vital to truly living.

We often regret the things we don’t do, not the things we did, so stop waiting, and start traveling. There is no greater education than the one you give yourself by seeing the world in real life with your own two eyes.

Personally, my life and understanding of the world completely changed the first time I traveled abroad. I was 19, and studied abroad in Paris. I racked up $5,000 in debt to do this, on top of my student loans, but it was worth every penny because it opened my eyes, my soul, and my mind in so many ways.

Two years ago, I made a promise to myself that I would take a trip out of the city where I live every month for the rest of my life. Sometimes the trips are just a two hour drive out of NYC, and other times the trips are to foreign countries abroad, but either way the point is to just get out of my comfort zone.

I promise you’ll find new parts of yourself as you journey through the world, and you’ll also find a greater appreciation for the place you call home.

There’s so much to see, so much to do, and so many people to meet. So go get out there! 

Posted on January 22, 2017 .

Day 20: Speak Out

For what you believe in.

As we mark a turning point in world culture and politics, it's more important than ever to use your voice.

We no longer can assume that everyone has each other's best interests in mind, and it's our duty to work as hard as we can for positive and progressive change.

We must remember to listen to people's differing ideas, so that we can actively understand their perspective. We have to be willing to hear things we may not agree with. We have to approach others with compassion and kindness, but also with grit and questions.

Ultimately we must stand up for what we believe in. Especially if what we're fighting for is the greater good of all people, and our earth.

Today of all days this is more important than ever.


CHALLENGE:

Today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life, I challenge you to say in as many ways as possible what you believe in.

Use your voice, your presence, your writing, and whatever else you want to use, to show the world, and your circle what you stand for and against.

We must all take a stand.


EXAMPLE:

  • Write a Facebook status saying what you believe in, and hope to see over the next couple of years.
  • Attend a protest that is aligned with your thinking, and peacefully leave your mark.
  • Attend a peaceful rally in your town or city that stands for what you stand for.
  • Get involved in your local politics, and be a part of real change.

Whatever you decide to do, do it whole-heartedly with compassion, and humanity in your heart.

Remember that we are more powerful when we work together, and have each other's best interests in mind.

There truly is no winners and losers. In life it's either we all win, or we all lose. This goes beyond the idea of money and power, and ultimately references the world's resources, collective consciousness, and greater survival.

We've seen the facts, and know that we're at a tipping point. We need to view each other as brothers and sisters, not enemies.

We must live in the present, and deal with the cards we've been dealt. This doesn't mean we have to sit idly by, and let the world self-destruct.

We've got this. It won't be easy, but remember nothing worth having ever comes easy.

Stand tall. Stand proud. Stand with love.

Posted on January 20, 2017 .

Day 19: Pay It Forward

Give. It feeds the soul.

We often forget how much we truly have, and as we’ve been trucking through the challenges, I think it’s safe to say, we’ve all begun to realize how much we have spiritually, mentally, and physically. 

It’s awesome. 

We’ve created these lives, and we’re going to continue to make them better. However, we must remember that in times we have also taken. Taken energy, taken time, taken emotions, taken money, and taken many other things because someone in our lives wanted to give to us.

Now we pay it forward, and give. 


CHALLENGE: 

For the next 11 days, in some way, you have to give to someone.

Giving comes in all different forms, and as we learned yesterday, without expectations. We give because we want to. We know that ultimately giving to someone else is also giving to ourselves because we are a part of the greater good.


EXAMPLE:

  • Give a homeless guy on the street $5. It may feel like no money at all, or a lot of money, but I promise to this guy it will feel grander than you realize.
  • Give your time to a soup kitchen, and positively interact with the people who are just excited for a warm meal.
  • Give your old clothes to a homeless shelter. What you probably don’t wear anymore will become someone’s favorite thing.

Just give in some way.

After hiking 770 miles on the PCT, and experiencing the amazing kindness from strangers that I did, I definitely was reminded that we could all give a little more. Additionally being in a position that required me to ask for a things I take for granted, like clean water, was humbling, and reminded me that you never know where life will take you.

Giving brings it back to the basics. It connects us with another human in a fundamentally deep way, and allows our lights to shine brighter.

I promise that if you actively take part in this specific challenge for the next 11 days, your life will become enriched, and things will not seem as big of a deal as they used to.

Give, and watch your life runneth over with joy. 

Posted on January 19, 2017 .

Day 18: Overthinking

Stop it right now!

Then start thinking about a positive thought. 

Expectations come from overthinking. We’re all guilty of this, and it’s never served any of us well.

We stress ourselves out about what could happen in the future, when we should be focused on what’s happening in the present moment. We create stories in our heads about something that we don’t have all the facts about, and then create problems where problems don’t actually exist.

We need to stop this. It’s hurting our relationships, and it’s hurting our own potential.

Yes, we can have positive expectations, but the thing is, we still can’t control the universe, and other people, so we need to just ride the wave of life as it flows.


CHALLENGE:

For the next 12 days you have to consciously catch yourself thinking negatively, and train yourself to stop worrying. 

This can be very difficult, but I’d wager that you’re more aware of your own thinking than you give yourself credit for.

We often let our minds wander to negative headspaces when we stop focusing on our tasks at hand. When we’re truly concentrating on what we’re supposed to be doing in the present moment, we find ourselves a lot less stressed, and productively going about our day.


EXAMPLE:

1. You’re dating someone new, and have already begun to worry about what could happen in the future. Instead of focusing on your work, and the fact that it’s going really well, you keep playing out scenarios in your mind based off of past experiences that no longer serve you well.

A. Stop. Catch yourself. Remind yourself that you’re having fun, and that this person isn’t your ex, and there are no rules to dating and love. Just because someone in the past did you wrong doesn’t mean this person is going to. Be grateful you’ve met someone so amazing, and get back to work.

2. You’re being recruited for a new job opportunity that is a huge change from what you’re currently doing, and offers an extremely exciting opportunity to do something you love in a new way. You find yourself questioning everything because there are so many pros and cons on both sides of the coin.

B. Stop. Catch yourself. Remind yourself that you have a great job that you’ve enjoyed doing for x amount of time, and that if the opportunity is right, it will all work out. Be grateful that you have a job that supports you, and a possible new opportunity to grow. Then go back to whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing, and enjoy the rest of your day.

It sounds easy because it is. Overthinking, creating expectations, and making yourself mad thinking of all the scenarios that could play out, are not productive to living your best life!

Stop falling down the rabbit hole of craziness, and having expectations of what your life is supposed to look like.

I can promise you, I never thought I’d be where I am today at 28. However, I always knew that if I worked hard, remained persistent, and quieted the negative voices in my head that everything would work out. So far it is, and maybe tomorrow it won’t, but why worry about tomorrow when today is all we have?

If you’ve been keeping up with your journaling and saying 5 gratefuls than overthinking should already be less of an occurrence. Ultimately, the point of this 30 day challenge is:

  • To build up your confidence.
  • Remind you of how amazing your life is.
  • And more than anything, to live in the present moment. 

Life is a journey, and it’s meant to take you a wild adventure, so give in, have fun, and stop overthinking.

Posted on January 18, 2017 .

Day 17: Hug

Let’s hug it out.

A hug is a warm embrace, and just feels really good.

There’s nothing like seeing someone you love or care for deeply for the first time in a while, and giving them a big hug. When wrapped in the right person’s arms you can feel like you are home no matter where you actually are. 

Hugs are awesome!

And there are a ton of benefits that come from hugging. For example, embracing someone else creates a sense of physical well being and an idea overall closeness. Hugs can also help reduce stress, fight depression, boost your immune system, balance your nervous system, elevate your mood, increase empathy, and do a plethora of other amazing things physically and emotionally. 

So, today we hug.


CHALLENGE:

Hug 3 people today. They can be close friends, family, coworkers, or complete strangers. Just make sure your hug is consensual. 

Really open up your arms, and ultimately your heart to three people today, and try to make this a challenge you do for the next 13 days.

I promise this will feel really good.


EXAMPLE:

Walk up to one of your coworkers, who you feel is appropriate to hug, and just give them a hug.

Surprise attack your roommate with a really big hug, and say, “You’re awesome.”

Walk up to a stranger on the street, who looks like they may not be having the best day, and just ask if they’d like a hug. 

I’ve done all of these, and it’s totally changed people’s whole days. You’ll feel better about making someone else feel better, and the good vibes will continue to just flow.

Opening your arms to give a hug is literally opening yourself up to someone, and signifies that you are there for them. Hugs are free, kind, and just an awesome way to spread the love.

Posted on January 16, 2017 .

Day 16: Declutter

Let’s take cleaning up one step further.

If you took part in yesterday’s clean up challenge, today will be slightly easier because you’ll have probably already started the process of decluttering.

We want to continue to make our living environments feel as zen as possible, and add to our overall feeling of peace and joy, which is life’s ultimate success.

So, let’s take a critical look at the things we have surrounding us, and declutter.


CHALLENGE:

Today we’re going to remove some of the excess from our lives. By removing outdated, old, and useless things, we’re physically and metaphorically making room for new beginnings, breathing space, and an overall freshness.

We don’t need to hold onto things just because, and we’ll feel an overall lightness as we pair down, and remove the “extra” from our worlds.

In order to properly declutter, we’re going to have to remind ourselves that things are just things. 

We often place sentimental attachment onto things, which we then call “my belongings” when in fact these things are just stuff.

By putting the word “my or mine” in front of something, it makes things feel more important than they really are. A shirt becomes more important when we call it “my shirt,” but we need to remember that it’s just a shirt.

This will be beyond helpful when you start really looking around your living environment, and analyzing what you’re holding onto of useless and important reasons, rather than just an idea of ownership and sentimental value.


EXAMPLE:

Go through your closet and be critical about what you really need, rather than what you want. You’ll find that you have a decent amount of stuff in your closet that you rarely or never wear. Remind yourself that these things are just clothes, and you have the opportunity to help someone else out by donating these things. You can even make a little extra money by selling gently worn clothes on things like eBay or to consignment stores like Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads, or Beacon’s Closet.

A great tip if you’re having a hard time getting through your clothes is turn all your hangers the opposite direction, and as you wear something turn the hanger in the other direction. This will physically show you what you’ve worn, and if something hasn’t been touched in 6 months, it probably isn’t going to get worn.

Another great tip a friend gave me is to go through your things with the thought, “Do I want to bring this into the next phase of my life?”

Something I’ve been thinking a lot about is, “Do I want to wear this, or bring this, into my 30’s?” It’s an awesome question to ask yourself when sifting through things that bring up sentimental feelings. 

A final tip to help you get rid of things, is to take a picture of whatever it is you’re going to get rid of, so you can still look at it in some form, and have the memory or feeling recalled. 

I often say, “the less possessions you have, the more freedom you have to explore and travel because you don’t feel like you have things weighing you down.”

Don’t feel like you need to throw away all your belongings, or that you need to stop shopping forever because that’s probably not going to happen, and that isn’t the main objective of this challenge. What we’re looking to do through today’s challenge is get back to what’s important, which is building positive relationships with people, not things.

Remember the less stuff you have, the less space you need to live your life full and free. As humans that live in consumer societies we’ve been taught that we need things to add value to ourselves. This just isn’t true, and as someone who lived out of a backpack for 45 days, I can tell you that we’re much happier with a lot less.

People won’t remember you for what you had, what you wore, or where you lived. What they will remember you for, is how you made them feel, so let’s make as much space for other people to be around us as possible.

Posted on January 16, 2017 .

Day 15: Clean Up

No one likes being a mess, or living in one.

When the space around us is cluttered, chaotic, and unorganized our minds are so much more likely to take on this type of energy.

Our room, apartment, house, or overall living environment is a reflection of us and our mind sets. We want to be as clear headed as possible, and allow ourselves to have every part of our lives working for us, not against us.


CHALLENGE:

Today’s challenge is all about cleaning up and organizing.

Whatever your living arrangements are, take time today to tidy up a bit, or do a full on clean thats been long over due.

Finding a home for things that have just been sprawled all over will physically declutter your space, but will also dramatically change your headspace as well.

Additionally, doing a quick 5 minute tidy up every day will help remove the need for those bigger and more daunting clean ups that we tend to find ourselves in need of doing.


EXAMPLE:

  • Do you laundry.
  • Put away your laundry.
  • Clean off your desk.
  • Clean your bathroom.
  • Clean your bedroom.
  • Make your bed.
  • Have a maid come and clean your space for you.

A clean and calm living environment will remove stress, anxiety, and give a you an overall peace of mind.

Your home is the foundation for everything else in your life. It’s the place you go to reset, regroup, and recharge. Make sure it is your personal oasis where you can go to just be. 

By really taking full advantage of today’s challenge, tomorrow’s will be even easier.

Posted on January 15, 2017 .

Day 14: I Love You

It’s true, I do.

We need to stop holding back from others, and ultimately our own deep feelings, and spread the love.

Yes, saying I love you comes with weight, but life is short. We truly never know when our last day will come, and everything can dramatically change in the blink of an eye. 

It’s beyond important that we keep in mind how precious life is, and even more so how important those that we love really are.


CHALLENGE:

Say, “I love you.”

Say it to everyone you truly feel this way about. Don’t worry if they say it back, don’t say it with expectations, just spread the love.

Expressing your gratitude by letting others know how much you love them will not only build them up, but it will also build you up.


EXAMPLE:

  • Send personal texts messages to your loved ones.
  • Meet up with your friends, and let them know how much they mean to you.
  • Finally say I love you to your significant other.
  • Call your family, and express how grateful you are for all they have done.
  • Give a toast to those special people over dinner.

There is no right or wrong way to say, “I love you.” However, I strongly encourage saying those three words to the people in your life you couldn’t imagine being without.

It creates a stronger bond, connection, and relationship. 

Remember love creates love, so let the love flow freely.

Posted on January 14, 2017 .

Day 13: Find A Mentor

We all need someone to look up to.

There’s something incredibly important about having someone in your life, who you can go to for advice when it comes to things in both your personal and professional life. 

A mentor will have years of wisdom, knowledge, and guidance to share with you, which will undoubtedly help guide you in making smart and informed decisions. They’ve been where you currently are, and have navigated the ups and downs of their own journey to find what works, and what doesn’t.

A mentor can be anyone that you look up to in some way, this isn’t about age. 

It can be an attitude, lifestyle, career, or relationship you respect, and want to learn more about. I highly suggest looking within your work place for someone that you could learn a lot from. 

I was lucky enough to find my first mentors when I was 23, and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today had it not been for this amazing couple, who for the first time gave me something to aspire to.

These two incredible men pushed me to question: 

  • Where I was living. 
  • What I was doing. 
  • Who I wanted to ultimately be.

They never just handed me anything, but constantly challenged me to think critically about my life and the choices I was making. 

In the past year, I’ve found myself another amazing mentor, who has challenged me to dig deeper when it comes to my love life, my career, and how I see myself. Additionally his partner has since become a mentor in some ways as well, and has inspired me to push even farther with my own activism.

I’m beyond grateful to these men, who have since become family. They’ve all truly changed my life in many ways, and they’ll never know how much they all truly mean to me.


CHALLENGE:

Find yourself a mentor.

This challenge isn’t going to be completed right away, but you can start reaching out to people you look up to now.

Think critically about what it is you’d like to achieve. If you’ve been following along then yesterday’s challenge should’ve already opened you up to being honest about what your dreams are. Use those dreams as a starting point for thinking about people you may know, or know of, that could help guide you in making those dreams a reality.

You can have one mentor, or you can have many, but remember this is a relationship you will want to nurture, so I would suggest starting with one.


EXAMPLE:

Reach out to the head of your department at work, and ask them to have coffee.

Send an email to someone who lives in the same city as you that you know to have a lot of experience in a field you’d like to grow in.

Ask your social network if they know of someone who would be able to answer some questions you have about a certain field.

Get creative. 

There are so many avenues today to reach out to people we look up to, and worst case scenario, you don’t hear back from them. 

I’ve made incredible connections with people I respect very much through social media, and they’ve since become friends and mentors.

I can almost promise you that if you approach someone with maturity, politeness, an open mind, and curiosity they’ll be eager to share their wisdom with you.

Collaboration is the key to success, so start nurturing the relationships you already have, and building new ones as well.

You never know who you’re going to meet, and how they can change your life. You just have to be willing to get out of your own way, remove fear, and be open.

Posted on January 13, 2017 .

Day 12: Dream Big

We should all be dreamers. Dreaming is what pushes us to work for something better.

Today we’re going to finally own what our wildest dreams are because if we don’t own them, they have no way of coming to fruition.

As children we we’re able to play pretend, imagine amazing things, and proclaim what we wanted to be when we grew up without any hesitation. However, as we mature, take on the weight of society, and let our fear get the best of us, many of us lose sight of what our dreams really are.

This ends today as we go back to our youthful spirit of endless possibility.

One of my favorite quotes is, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.” This was first spoken by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was Africa’s first woman President. Talk about dreaming scary dreams.

Let’s follow Ms. Sirleaf’s words, and dream big!


CHALLENGE:

Today we’re going to write down a list of all the things we dream of doing. 

Think of it almost like your bucket list. No dream is too big, so write everything your heart desires down.


EXAMPLE:

Here is a preview of a list I’ve had for a while. I’m super excited to share that many of these things are happening this year!

My Wildest Dreams

  1. Travel to Australia for a month
  2. Travel to South Africa and go on safari
  3. Marry the man of my dreams
  4. Have at least two wildly successful published books
  5. Travel to Thailand and help elephants
  6. Travel to Cambodia and help children
  7. Have my own program that helps millions of people become the best versions of themselves
  8. Have dinner with Oprah
  9. Have Oprah produce a show I create with her
  10. Travel to Tokyo and have the best sushi of my life
  11. Leave the world a better place than how I came into it
  12. Help others find their peace and joy

I’ve found that when we say what we want out loud, and write down what we really desire, these things happen.

I have crazy amounts of stories about asking the universe for things, and getting what I asked for. This isn’t luck, this was a combination of hard work, persistence, and letting go of fear.

Be specific in what you ask for because I promise you’ve already gotten so many things you dreamt of, it’s just a matter of perspective.

These things aren’t just going to happen. We’re going to have to work really hard to make our dreams come true. It’s up to us to get creative, try new things, and put these dreams out into the universe to be heard.

We’re capable of so much more than we allow ourselves to think we are. We need to stop holding ourselves back, and yes, dream scary dreams.

As Brian Littrell said, “Shoot for the moon even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

Happy dreaming my dreamers!

Posted on January 12, 2017 .

Day 11: RELAX

Phew, it’s been an intense 10 days.

Well, today we take a much needed mindful break, and relax.

However, because we’ve been doing so much intense work, and have begun to see the rewards, we don’t want to just sit around and do nothing. Besides, doing nothing isn’t actually relaxing, it’s just being lazy.

Being lazy is so 2016. We’ve seen what happens when we expect others to do the work that we should’ve be doing, and thats why 2017 is all about making changes.

We're ready to be beyond happy and confident, and we know we're going to have to put in the work everyday.

It just is what it is. There’s no secret way around it, and we’ve decided that this year is truly all about being the best versions of ourselves.

So we’ll give ourselves a break and consciously relax.


CHALLENGE:

No matter where you are, and no matter what you’re doing, I want you to just stop. Close your eyes, and take 5 deep breaths.

Seriously.

Stop what you’re doing, and just breathe.

Taking 5 deeps breaths is a proven way to calm your mind down, relax your body, and release whatever stress you’re holding onto.  

Let's breathe.


EXAMPLE:

You’re at your desk working, and opened your emails to find today’s challenge. Once you’re done reading this, you’ll stay seated at your desk, close your eyes, and take 5 deep belly breaths.

Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Stop thinking about anything other than your breath. Just focus on the inhale and the exhale, and let your mind be free of thinking for about just 30 seconds.

I know this sounds crazy, and I'm sure you have a great excuse about why you can't do this right now, but as we talked about on day 1 of this challenge, excuses are just holding us back from feeling really fucking good.

This challenge will literally take you less than a minute to complete, and is now a tool you have to manage stress and anxiety.

I’m convinced smokers are so addicted to smoking because it’s a subconscious break to breathe. Yes, I’m well aware that there are chemicals in cigarettes that make smoking physically addictive, but there’s lost of scientific studies done on the powerful affects of mindfully breathing.

You have nothing to lose by doing this, and truly everything to gain. 

I mean why wouldn't you want to feel a little less stressed, right?

I would highly suggest trying to take a 30 second break every hour during your work day to do this challenge. You don't have to move away from your desk, and it's super easy to do.

Breathing is a mental, physical, and spiritual reset for your body and being, and just feels really really good. When you connect to your life force, i.e. your breath, you connect to yourself, and there's nothing more important than that.

Stop holding it in, and just let it go!

Enjoy today, and let your breath guide you into a more peaceful state. 

Posted on January 11, 2017 .