Month 5 of my Dozen Months of Discovery is finishing up today and my challenge for this month was to write one blog article a day for the entire month of May, 31 days to be exact. As I write this post, this will be my final one of the month and I thought to share a few things I’ve learned throughout the month.
There are many people who write blog posts daily and have for years, for them this achievement is fairly pedestrian. I was originally going to learn the keyboard for this month but after a conversation in April with a friend and talking about sharing more of my message online, it became clear that a challenge like this would be good for me. I haven’t been consistent sharing my voice online besides my Podcast, which is mostly geared toward guest interviews. The written word is still very important on the internet and since I hadn’t blogged consistently in the past couple of years (5-10 posts a year), I wanted to challenge myself to get into a headspace where I can articulate my ideas into text and have to think through things more slowly versus just spitting off thoughts in my head while recording an audio Podcast.
With that, here are a few things I took away from the month:
Consistency is still the most important
This word has continued to pop up every month of the Dozen Months of Discovery and is a constant message shared with guests on the Just Get Started Podcast. Doing something once or twice is nice but putting the time and energy in to continually accomplish something takes more than just momentum; it takes discipline, prioritization, and grit. Whether it is a week, month, or longer or a different interval of time (launching a Podcast episode weekly), being focused on never missing this helps build the foundation to future success. One of the most glaring differences between anyone who achieved anything is putting in the work over an extended period of time. That has to be part of the equation.
You get better by practicing
Different than consistency, simply putting time into practicing something you are not great at improves that overall skill but it might help build others as well. For instance, I am not a great writer by any stretch but making a point to write every day helped improve my sentence structure, grammar, messaging, and most importantly my creativity. My writing has improved, even if just incrementally, but my creativity and observations flying around in my head were able to be articulated in a different way by making myself have to go through this daily practice. So keep practicing areas you are weak at. You don’t need to practice all of your weaknesses but weaknesses that might be essential to your overall growth, like writing, was something important for me to focus on.
Prioritize & Strategize
I’ve discussed the importance of prioritization before and when you have a challenge like this or anything that is important at the given time you have to make sure you understand where it falls on the priority list. It doesn’t have to be #1 but if this goal, however long, is important then you need to make sure it’s a priority or it’ll fall off early on when other “cool” things pop up and you’ll lose steam. Secondly, once you’ve recognized your priorities and have them listed, you need to strategize how you are going to fit them in during the day. Some days, I wrote my blog articles first thing in the morning while others I wrote right before bed at night. There are always a lot of balls to juggle each day and if you can think through what you’d like to get accomplished and the time it might take then you can make a simple to-do list to get these things done and block out the right time to do them.
Just Finish It
Everything prior is all leading up to the big takeaway, sometimes you just have to muster up the intestinal fortitude to get through “it” and finish. Some days get away from you and you might be tired but keeping your mind focused that you must keep the streak going can be enough to push you to the finish line. Remember, we all have bad days and we all have days that feel subpar but one of the most rewarding things you can do is finish whatever you had planned even when your tank is on “E”. That energy can propel you for multiple days going forward and be just the thing to pull out of your memory bank the next time you come across a tough timeline or situation and remind yourself that you’ve been here before and you’ve finished the race.
I look back at the past 31 days and it’s cool to see the great content I’ve put together, especially an 8-part series on a sales topic I had thought about writing for a year. Using this month as a motivator, I was able to complete those articles and will now be putting those together along with other content for a new Sales eBook in the coming months. These 31 blog posts may do nothing besides additional content sitting on my website but I take away the fact that I completed another challenge (5 out of 5!) in my Dozen Months of Discovery and can use those experiences for future personal and professional goals I have going forward. Sometimes putting a timeline and line in the sand can be helpful and if you struggle to achieve certain goals you’ve had in the past then maybe this is the time to put that time constraint around it.
Every opportunity is a chance to learn and grow and I hope you’ve continued to do that for yourself this year and will set a new bar for yourself next time with the aspirations of exceeding your expectations once again.
Well, I knew it would happen at some point and my impulses to jump on a new idea would shake up my Dozen Months of Discovery.
It’s actually a great lesson to follow your feelings and passion and don’t be stuck in a certain path just because that’s what was initially scripted.
Originally, when I planned out my twelve months I had April slated as a month where I was going to learn the Ukelele. Solid choice and it was going to allow me to be that “beginner learner” again like I experienced in March learning Spanish. However, as I spoke with a friend and editor of a book I had been thinking about writing, it was determined that maybe the best thing to do was to put a time window into play and just get it done because it can be very easy to procrastinate especially when writing a book.
So, I took a short look into the future and said “Adios, Ukelele, and hello Book writing!”.
Little did I know the path it would take me down.
As I rounded out March and already had some ideas and notes down for the book I intended to write, one focused on the Just Get Started mission, I stopped myself and really thought about the path I was going down.
This is where self-awareness comes in.
My mission is to help the next generations of our world through earlier self-discovery about themselves and the world around them. This book idea was geared toward that but I had a change of heart.
So, I pivoted and started writing a fictional book taking the elements of the non-fiction book I was going to write and turn it into a story about a boy learning entrepreneurship at an earlier age. I had the idea finally and started writing. I scripted out notes, had the plot laid out, and began on my way. But there was just one problem…I couldn’t stop thinking about rhyming.
See, I am already in the process of publishing my first children’s book called “Luke’s First Round Of Golf” and finishing up on the illustrations as I type this. I couldn’t help but think; maybe this is my “thing.” Maybe someday I’ll write a longer story but I love the rhyming aspect of children’s books, I always have. I love rhyming, in general, having been a fan of the greats of Hip Hop all my life. It’s in my DNA.
So, after a second pivot one week into April I began freestyling on this book.
What did I learn through this process
Go with your gut, sometimes it is always leading you in the right direction
If you are not truly invested in something, you won’t get your best work. Don’t settle for something you deem so important
Be patient – some days you don’t have your best stuff. Even Michael Jordan had off shooting nights.
Hold yourself accountable to finish – There are a lot of ways to weasel out of things and put it off until later but later sometimes never comes. Get back on the horse and ride and finish what you started. Parkinson’s Law works well here “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”
I am in month 3 of my Dozen Months of Discovery and for this month I decided to learn Spanish! I’ve always wanted to learn a language (Well, I tried once but failed Italian in High School). I thought this was an incredible opportunity to see what I could learn in 30 days.
I grade myself at a B+ after all is said and done. There were a lot of challenges going on in the world as we all know so I had to be hyper focused on keeping up with my practice and lessons and I’d say I learned a good amount.
Some things I learned like:
I learned the entire alphabet and pronunciations (Did anyone know there are like 5 separate sounds with each letter!)
I learned numbers up through 100
I learned articles like The for both Masculine and Feminine words
I learned many phases for general conversation
I probably learned a lot more that hasn’t fully sunk in yet and look forward to continuing practicing and evolving my Spanish speaking skills!
To listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts – Listen Here – or search “Just Get Started Podcast” on any major Podcasting Platform.
To get a refresher on my “Dozen Months of Discovery” you can view the write-up on the blog article here
Review On Apple Podcasts
If you enjoy this episode I’d be grateful if you would leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts, if you believe I’ve earned it. Thanks for listening!
This new One Mic Session is a recap of Month 2 of my Dozen Months of Discovery in 2020 where I chose to complete 1-Hour of Stretching every single day in the month of February.
Almost every day, I used a video online from Sean Vigue Fitness (link to video) which is about 40 minutes long and then I added 20 minutes of my own stretching exercises and mobility work to round out the hour.
Here are a couple takeaways I talk about in the episode:
Finding Your Balance
Ain’t Over Til It’s Over
Finish What You Started
Breathe & Have Fun
My challenge to everyone…For 7 straight days perform 30-minutes of stretching by using the video above, searching for your own through YouTube or an App you download, or just sit in some poses you know. It doesn’t matter. It’s that you are commiting to something and exposing your body to things that it needs which is activity and mobility so it can open up a bit more. Do you accept this challenge?
Report back to me or share your results with a friend and let’s pass on the good vibes!
On this One Mic session, I share a bit of my experience and learning from doing a 30-day social media detox in the month of January. This is the first month of my Dozen Months of Discovery in 2020 and helped me set the table for the rest of 2020 and kick it off on a positive start.
I share some of my thoughts on:
and much more
Listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts – Listen Here – or Find it on any other major Podcasting platform by searching “Just Get Started Podcast”
My 30-Day Social Media Detox And What I LearnedBrian Ondrako2021-04-24T17:44:47-04:00
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