This New Year let’s not say “New Year, New Me” because change doesn’t happen like that.
Change happens by moving intentionally and incrementally forward.
It’s building one good habit after another.
It’s becoming self-aware and accepting of ourselves.
It’s giving ourselves space and expanding our worldview.
What might be better to say is, “I’m going to work continually to be disciplined this year in the areas that I’ve uncovered aren’t serving me anymore and lean into better decisions, perspectives and relationships. I won’t always get it right but I’m going to learn and keep improving.”
It’s important to start and let the changes come progressively over time.
This way, when the next year rolls around you can confidently say “New Year, New Me”
Episode 275 features Jon Vroman, Founder of Front Row Dads, which has become a diverse group of 230 dads from 12 different countries who share a common bond of choosing to put family first as they grow their businesses.
During the episode, Jon mentions a great resource to pick us is 15 Commitments to Conscious Leadership by Jim Dethmer: Buy it here
Jon Vroman founded Front Row Dads because he wanted to win at home and not just at work.
Over the last 5 years, Front Row Dads has become a diverse group of 230 dads from 12 different countries who share a common bond of choosing to put family first as they grow their businesses.
The mission of Front Row Dads is to help men deepen their connection with their children and build a family legacy that they’re proud of.
Outside of the podcast, live events, and online summits, FRD has a highly engaged membership that supports each dad in aligning with his family values and staying committed to the most important people in his life.
Jon has been featured on Today Show and Inc.com for his work in helping others “Live Life In The Front Row™”. He’s been requested to speak for the US Navy, Vitamix, Dove, Keller Williams Realty, Entrepreneurs Organization, and many others.
As the author of the #1 bestselling book, The Front Row Factor, he shares inspiring stories, compelling science, and life strategies that challenge you to explore your values, establish priorities and reconnect to a higher purpose and deeper meaning within your life.
In 2005, Jon founded FrontRowFoundation.org, a charity that helps individuals who are braving life-threatening illnesses, to experience the event of their dreams, from the front row.
I remember walking my son to kindergarten and being amazed at how much he’d grown and how fast those first few years of his life went by.
It reminded me of when I was in kindergarten, over 30 years ago, and how quickly the time seemed to pass. I still remember the fifth-grade classes being on the third floor and thinking, “I’m never going to get up to fifth grade. It’s going to take so long. I have so many years ahead of me.”
As I write this, my son isn’t in Kindergarten anymore. He will be heading into fifth grade next fall.
How quickly time passes us by.
How precious our time is.
How easily we dismiss it.
The game clock is continually running and there are no timeouts. This moment is fleeing just like the last.
We all have things in the category of “easy to do” but we choose not to do them. It’s not that we don’t want to do them, what it comes down to is the priority assignment we put on that thing to actually do it.
Whether that is to take 10 minutes to go for a walk, read a book, meditate, sit in thought, etc, or other things like; sitting and talking with your spouse in the morning, reading a book to your child before bed, sending a note to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, etc.
It’s not that it isn’t easy. It is extremely easy. What is difficult is putting it ahead of other “time wasters” that are urgent but not important. What is difficult is creating a daily habit. What is difficult is changing who we are now with who we want to become.
Those are the things that are difficult.
If we can put all the things we do up for debate on their priority level we might be able to better filter out the urgent and not important and sprinkle in the more fulfilling and long-lasting.
It might not be easy but we can be damn sure it is worth it.
Going into this past year the main storyline had been that Jimmy Garoppolo was probably in his last season as the 49ers starting quarterback. They drafted his replacement. Trey Lance was eager. They were just waiting things out.
Despite all of that distraction, his perseverance to stay focused has been something to admire. Even as they were going into must-win games over the past three weeks of the regular season, one to make the playoffs and the last two to stay alive, the main storyline that remained was “could this be Jimmy Gs final time suiting up in a 49er uniform”.
It had to be on his mind. It had to have been asked in every interview. The pressure to perform was at an all-time high.
And he rose to the occasion.
Did he play his best game against the Packers in the divisional round? Absolutely not. He struggled at times. He made errant throws. But he never lost focus.
When the pressure was at its highest he made several elite-level throws to help the team to victory.
He could’ve been thinking about the off-season and his next team, his shoulder injury, his thumb injury, or a myriad of other things. He could’ve been distracted.
But he wasn’t.
He was focused solely on the game and even more sharply on each play.
That’s what can happen when you focus and live in the present. You aren’t worried about the next play, the next drive, the next game. You are solely focused on the task at hand. Playing this play like it’s the only one that exists.
Because it is.
We don’t know what the next hours or weeks or months have in store so why worry or why let others’ loss of focus and dreaming of the future get in our way?
We can’t. We must stay tuned to our process. To our own cadence.
We must be thoughtful about where we want to go as that will help plot the next few steps down the path. The direction is much more important than the speed at which we arrive.
If we don’t know where we are going, it’ll be hard to pack our bags and be prepared properly for the journey ahead. Although drifting slightly of course can be corrected, the further we go down the wrong path the harder it’ll be to turn back.
Stay focused on our desired outcome and where we truly want our life to go.
One of the most difficult parts of starting anything is if it feels like it’s going to be a long and arduous process with no end in sight. We get discouraged right out of the gate.
This happens a lot when we set a barrier for entry to new habits and routines too high.
Something we may consider to overcome some of these challenges is what I call “Script the First 15”. Similar to how a head football coach may script the first set of plays during the game, we can do the same for our life.
Think of all the actions that are being taken in those first 15-minutes and write them down so we have a clear vision of exactly what needs to be accomplished.
Having this checklist can allow us to be more hyper-focused on completing what we’ve said we want to complete and can create momentum for the minutes or hours following this where we might continue on with this particular project or task.
When we write it down it allows us to stay on track. 15-minutes is a short enough amount of time where we don’t lose focus but feel free to switch this to 10 minutes or even 5 minutes. Whatever works for you.
The more days we can stay on track the better chance we have to develop a great routine.
“Script the First 15” and we can set ourselves up for success right out of the gate and keep the momentum flowing for the rest of the day.
We might convince ourselves that the next “life hack” or shortcut will get us to the next level quicker or that speeding up and working harder will be the key to our success.
I’m not sure that is entirely true.
Have you ever been driving and seen someone fly by you, weave in and out of cars, and get in what appears to be the fastest lane only to end up right next to you at the next stoplight? Or, even worse, those actions to maneuver cost themselves much more by getting into an accident.
We have to understand ourselves and where our “north star” is pointing us to help set the tone for our daily work and future plans. Just because others appear to be going faster or are more accomplished doesn’t mean we have to be doing the same thing they are.
The quicker that we accept that consistent work over an extended period of time is what ultimately drives us to a happier and more fulfilling life, the sooner we can avoid the pitfalls of cutting corners and trying to make ourselves feel like we are accomplishing things. In reality, it may be holding us back from the generous work we really want to be focusing on and putting out into the world.
Like realized it wasn’t fitting into your life and just quit it.
We all want to do more. Workout more. Make a few more calls. Spend more time with family. If you’re not doing more its said that you are falling behind or missing out.
But at what cost?
When was the last time we prioritized our day/week and analyzed the things that are distractions versus the things that are actually helping us grow or are important to us?
I believe this is one of the most ultimate struggles we have inside ourselves. We want to do everything and be everywhere. We stretch ourselves too thin.
Whether it’s wasted activities that are “time robbers” or giving our time to others who simply don’t respect it, there are a lot of applications to this question.
Something I’ve continued to ponder when it comes to prioritizing my time and efforts because I was doing so many things at surface level and feeling like I was just treading water. It wasn’t until I realized that I needed to go deeper into only a few of them and “quit” the others that I started to gain momentum.
By the way, it wasn’t easy, nothing ever is.
So, Here is how I prioritize some things now…
And the list goes on….
There are a lot of balls to juggle and only so much time available. So let’s take a step back so I can share a bit more of how I found time.
For the longest time, my Sundays were filled with NFL Football all day long. As a huge 49ers fan (still disappointed in our Super Bowl loss!) I never missed a game. And I didn’t miss others, either. I played fantasy football, used to bet on games, and wanted to “enjoy” my Sunday. And that’s fine if you choose to do this. But for me, it wasn’t cutting it.
My son was growing, and it was a priority to be there with him and for him.
I started the Just Get Started Podcast and wanted to spend time editing it for the following week.
I also had business ideas I wanted to work on and test out.
And I was getting into CrossFit and had lofty goals of strength and weight gains.
Oh, and another HUGE priority of mine is sleep. I am a firm believer in all of the sleep research out there that you need a minimum of 7 hours per night of actual sleep, not just laying in bed.
So when I started to add it all up it made sense. Remove as much of the Sports/TV that I could while still allowing myself enough to satisfy those “cravings”. And that’s what I did. I only watched my 49ers and occasionally a game or two here and there if they were on a bye or played the primetime game. I also took out almost all TV watching during the week and spend that time with my son before bed and then work on some projects after.
As I’ve built this habit, it’s been amazing how I’ve trimmed even further without even noticing. I don’t have the NFL Sunday Ticket not so I can only watch my 49ers when they are on Primetime slots. I have taken out almost all weekly TV watching as well besides catching a few shows I like to watch like Shark Tank or Westworld. Since these are streamed, I can watch whenever I want so I am in more control.
Again, you may decide to do something different but it first starts with your priority list. What is most important in your life to focus on. Do those things first and if you are running into trouble with time available then you have to look farther down the list to what you are doing that is causing the problem. Although it may be fun or cool to do, you may have to make the sacrifice because, in order to grow and evolve and be fulfilled, you have to be focusing on the things that are most important.
Figure that out and I am confident you’ll free up a lot of wasted time and be much happier each and every day.
When Was The Last Time You Quit?Brian Ondrako2021-03-19T10:42:27-04:00
We all need an “Accountability Mirror” to look ourselves straight in the face and force us to deal with our shit, whatever that happens to be at the time.
That mirror for me happens to be my bathroom mirror. I get to glance in it many times a day and it offers up a lot of brutal honesty especially when I’m down on myself.
But I’ve added a layer to it that has helped me get through the troubled times when my confidence is starting to lack and the “Imposter Syndrome” rears its ugly head. I’ve added words in the form of questions.
I’ve written these two questions in dry erase marker that I have no choice but to look at every time I’m in there.
Question #1: Why can’t it be you?
I get down on myself a lot. Most of it stems from my childhood, but that story is for another day, and some of it is that I’m just a “late bloomer” and although I’ve had a ton of experiences and learning lessons along the way, I have to continue to kick myself to believe that I alone can make an impact in the world. Even though my mission is clear I still tend to question myself every once in a while.
This question kicks me in the pants and “gets in my face” about why anyone else would be better suited to tackle the mission and change the world than I would. It pushes me away from the comfort zone and reassures me that although there are a lot of unknowns, on the other side of fear is the fulfillment I’ve been looking for. Keep moving forward
Question #2: Why am I here?
This question came from reading (listening to the audiobook) of “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins. He was on the beach at the Naval Base in Coronado where they ran through the infamous “Hell Week” of Navy Seal Training. Goggins went through three of them. As he faced physical exhaustion and his mental fatigue was on the edge as well he muttered this question to himself, “Why I am here?”. He recounts many times throughout his journey after that where he uses this question to check himself and remind himself how far he has come and why he made all the sacrifices to get to this point. He certainly puts in more eloquently.
I use this question to pull me back into reality when I start reverting back to old habits or old ways of old thinking. Just because you’ve accomplished certain things, physically or mentally, doesn’t mean the demons can’t come back. They will and you never know when they will show up. This question is a constant reminder of what I am trying to accomplish and all of the struggles I’ve gone through to get to this point. There is a reason I am here and it’s because I’ve put in the time and effort and I can’t let a few moments of regression get me down.
These two questions have been a staple in my mirror for almost 12 months. I have no reason to take them down and I don’t want to. I want a reminder. I want the reflection looking back at me constantly. If motivation is on one level then regret is on a whole other tier above it. I certainly don’t want that so these questions check me at the door and help me stay focused on where I am going.
What do you use at motivation or the driving force to keep moving forward?
Please send me a note or message me on social and I’d love to hear!
It’s a new year, a new decade, and a clean slate to get it all right this year. “This is going to be my year”, It seems is the type of thing we say to ourselves each orbit around the sun. Why will this year be any different? What have you learned in the past 12 months that will make you believe you can change?
We all have aspirations at one time or another to break outside of our comfort zones and explore new ideas or endeavors. Then fear sets in and the excuses start to flow on why we “Can’t” do it. Just like a butterfly that landed on your shoulder, it’s there for a second before the idea fleets from your mind. All too often, that isn’t the last time we think about it. It continues to pop up at random with no regard for the timing of it all and the longer it goes without being acted upon the fear generally turns into regret. A disappointment of what could have been. Arguably, one of the worst individual feelings one could have.
I have a hunch that as you are reading this there is something festering inside that you want to accomplish but for whatever reason, you haven’t taken the leap of faith yet. Whether it is the smallest action or the biggest idea we all know that overcoming the fear of starting can be quite challenging. Let’s try to get started on it before the chance of regret from not trying can even weasel its way in.
I think I have the key that will unlock that door for you. It might be quite literally the simplest action you can do but could end up being the hardest. Because it involves self-observation and accountability for your actions.
Think of all of the reasons or excuses you can come up with as to why you can’t get started. You can write them down or just think of a couple in your head. They probably seem legitimate and you may even be able to convince yourself there is some truth to them.
Now I’d like you to try something.
Simply change the “can’t” in the sentence to “won’t” and see how that sounds.
Here is an example:
I can’t go to the gym because I don’t have time.
I won’t go to the gym because I don’t have time.
Which one stings a bit more and why?
“Won’t” does sound a whole heck of a lot worse because it’s a choice. Can’t is final. Can’t has some boundaries. Can’t is a line in the sand that we are not able to cross.
But won’t, that’s a different story. That’s personal. That’s a direct reflection on you as a person, what you prioritize, and how you want to live your life. You are making the conscious decision to not do whatever it is you want to do. You are standing in the way of it happening. You are your own worse accountability partner.
This simple exercise on reflection can fundamentally change your perspective on what you are trying to accomplish and get you in the right frame of mind to accomplish it. I’m not saying it’ll work out every time and you may find instances where you confirm that this isn’t the right path. It’s okay if that is the outcome. However, most of the time, it will allow you to take a deeper look in the mirror and help you gain perspective on why you are scared to do this in the first place and what you would really lose (if anything) from trying.
We all have fear and doubt. We all overcomplicate things. We all worry about stupid shit that is ridiculous and mostly meaningless.
It is the perspective shift that is needed in order to overcome these obstacles and start moving forward. Please keep it simple and believe that you can do it. Once you alter your perspective and start improving your mindset it can open up a lot of doors you never imagined possible.
Now get out there and crush 2020!
The Surprisingly Simple Way to Make Sure You Start In 2020Brian Ondrako2021-03-19T10:41:55-04:00
I love engaging and meeting new people. Please reach out on these socials to connect (if that’s your jam).