5 Things I Wish I Did Differently at 18 Years Old

When I was 18 years old my life was a complete mess. I had just dropped out of high school for the second time, I was depressed and my days were spent playing video games in my parents basement.

Here are five things I wish I did differently:

Now although it’s easy to look back in hindsight and see the things I could have done differently, it’s important to remember that everything I’ve been through has made me who I am today.

And I like who I am today, so I don’t necessarily regret what has happened in the past and instead I’m using this as a reflection if you’re in a similar position that I was.

Just because you can do it the hard way, doesn’t mean you need to do it the hard way. Click to tweet.

Here are the five things I wish I did differently at 18 years old:

1. I wish I had started reading better books.

The main thing I lacked at 18 years old was perspective, and reading better books (or just, any books) would have helped me gain more perspective. Here are five books I would recommend for you.

2. I wish I had started eating healthier sooner.

I didn’t realize how much of an impact what I was eating was having on me until I was about 23 years old. Since then I’ve been able to get rid of all of my acne, my energy has improved and my mood swings are less frequent. All from paying attention to what I eat, amazing!

3. I wish I had been more intentional with my environment.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn

Your environment has a greater impact on you than you have on your environment. Who you choose to surround yourself by is going to have a direct impact on your life. Over the past few years I’ve spent a lot of time building relationships with people who inspire me to be my best, and it’s had a huge (positive) impact on my life.

Consider what kind of friends you want, what kind of values you want to live by, and then go hang out in the environments where these kind of people hang out.

4. I wish I would have used consistency to my advantage.

We all have goals and projects to accomplish, skill to learn, but when we think about how much time and effort it will take to actually get good we become discouraged.

Instead, use consistency to your advantage. If you focus on learning a new skill for 15-20 minutes each day, a few years later you’ll be thankful you started back then. And it only takes a few minutes each day, and we all have time for that.

One example from my life is this past year I started a YouTube channel, and I put out one new video per week. Now I have over 45 videos, my video-editing skills have improved and I have a following that can help me accomplish other goals.

5. I wish I would have traveled sooner.

When I was 18 I lacked perspective, and travel is one of the best ways to get a better perspective. Over the past few years I’ve traveled a ton and it’s improved my life in tremendous ways. The earlier you can start traveling, the better. Work a part-time job, ask your school for grants or options to study abroad. Get creative and find ways to travel, even if you’re young.

So those are five things I wish I did differently when I was 18 years old. And of course, I also wish I would have quit playing video games and buy cvv.

What about you? What are some things you wish you had done differently or started sooner? Share your answer in the comments below.

P.S. If you are still playing games but you want to quit right now, check out Respawn.


3 Steps to Improve Your Style and Feel More Confident

This post originally appeared on Game Quitters.

As a gamer the chance of your style being poor is high. Sorry, it’s just the truth! But it doesn’t have to remain that way because today my friend Sunjeev Prasad of Street Gentlemen is here to teach us three steps to improve our style:

Improving my style has had a major impact on my life and I know it will help you out too.

When it comes to style it’s easy to focus on how it will improve the way other people perceive you, but I think this is a mistake. Improving your style is much more about how it will improve the way you feel yourself. It will improve your sense of confidence. And the best part is, it doesn’t even have to cost a lot of money.

To improve your style, there are three easy steps you can take right away:

1. Focus on fit.

If it doesn’t fit, you’re not going to look good. Fit is the most important thing. Think about whether your clothes are flattering your body. Go for “comfortably close.” It doesn’t have to be a skinny jean, but you don’t want any boot cuts either!

At first fitting clothing can feel a bit weird but trust me it will feel way better. If you’re ever at a store simply ask a staff member if your clothes are fitting properly and they will be able to help.

2. Keep it simple.

Go with a neutral wardrobe – blacks, grays, whites, and khaki. That way your outfits will always go together. Keep it basic and go with timeless looks.

3. Always plan ahead.

Lay out your outfit the night before and spend an extra five minutes making sure it looks slick. That way if you’re rushed in the morning you won’t neglect your style game.

With a little bit more effort on the three steps listed above your style will improve and you’ll begin to notice not only how people treat you differently but also how much more confident you feel yourself.

Just look at the difference in Sunjeev himself:


You can find Sunjeev on his Website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Lifestyle Media

Watch: How To Build A Career That Matters & Find Meaningful Work. Adam Poswolsky at TEDxMileHighYouth

My good friend Adam “Smiley” Poswolsky recently spoke at TEDxMileHighYouth about the quarter-life crisis millennials are facing and how we can all shift from going to jobs that leave us depressed and miserable to building a career that matters and finding meaningful work.

Life is only short once, don’t settle. Watch his TEDx talk below:

I’m also a big fan of Adam’s #1 Amazon bestseller, The Quarter-Life Breakthrough.

What do you think? Is having a career that matters important to you? Comment below.


5 Steps to Get Unstuck and Start Living Your Potential

liveIn June of this year I realized that I had fallen off track. Nothing in my life supported my success. I was drinking frequently, avoiding writing, and had stopped talking and thinking about my goals all together. I have aspirations of being a professional fitness model, inspirational speaker, and published author, but I wasn’t living in alignment with these goals. I was hiding.

We all have a desire to grow, to evolve, and to become stronger versions of ourselves. This is why we seek promotions, work we are passionate about, want to make more money, be more fit or seek more fulfillment in our dating life.

It’s easy to talk about being a better person, making a difference, contributing to our community. It’s much harder to take action and make some real change in our lives.
Growing means change, and change is uncomfortable. Our basic survival needs are food, shelter, and water. We’re beyond the point of survival and we’re all looking for the feeling of being alive, which means growth, fulfillment and love. Growth and change mean doing things that we are not used to, living a way that isn’t familiar to us, which means feeling emotions we are unfamiliar with.

Why would we feel weird, uneasy, nerve-wracking emotions when we could just as easily feel what we’re used to feeling?

You’re either growing or you’re dying.” Lou Holtz

In the moment it’s much easier to stand still. Over time this decision becomes harder. All of a sudden we realize that the whole world is passing us by, we’re getting older, and our life hasn’t made any real progress. Have you ever felt this way?

Time is always moving forward, and when we don’t move forward with it, we get left behind.
Our lives can be as amazing and beautiful as we want them to be. Most of us begin to walk on the road of high aspiration and then someone cautions us; “It’s bumpy ahead,” and so we stop walking.

Or maybe we’re resilient enough to keep walking even though we know the road is rocky. All of a sudden we’re in the experience and realize this path has many twists and turns!! And so we stop walking.

The problem is, when we stop making progress, we’re always eventually going to wonder what our lives would be like if we just kept moving forward. (Did you know the #1 regret people have before they die is that they never tried to go after the goals they knew they had?)

accept what you can't change, change what you can't accept

It’s easy to make a momentary decision to stand still instead of growth, change, and adapt until one day we’re overcome with this underlying tide of emotion that sneaks up on us and sweeps us away. An unsettling feeling that starts small and then takes us over telling us that we’re not living up to our potential. Working at jobs we don’t like, for pay that is average, for a life that we’re settling for. (We even settle in dating!)

I’m guilty of this too.

In June of this year I felt the underlying tides of emotion creeping up on me. I spent two months partying and drinking denying my desire to become a stronger version of myself. As a result I felt like I had fallen behind and it almost felt hopeless to even imagine myself getting back on track.

I moved away from my friends, my environment, and started focusing on my goals again. I isolated myself and sacrificed everything in my life that wasn’t encouraging my success. I lost a lot of my friends, I lost my old habits, and at first it was the most uncomfortable feeling in the entire world. Once I settled into the space I created by deciding to make a change, I realized how much room was in my life for the things that I wanted.

When you decide to back away from your highest aspirations, the things that you really want to do with your life, you begin to deny the things that make you happy. The need for distractions like TV, drinking and smoking becomes apparent when we’re unsatisfied with the quality of our lives.

Growth means change and change is uncomfortable. I welcome this unsettling feeling now – I know that it is a definite sign that I am moving closer to the life that I want to live.

Let’s Make your Aspirations Real

Take your goals out of your head and put them onto paper – this is the first step to making them real.

  1. Take out a pen and a piece of paper.
  2. Think about what you want your life to look like. If you had a million dollars and all the time in the world what would you want? Would you be married? Do you have kids? What does your house look like? Are you a singer? A professional athlete? A dancer? How much income are you making each year?
  3. Imagine this: you want to go on a road trip but you don’t know your destination. You might end up somewhere you like but you never know because you’re not guiding the direction of your trip.

    When you decide your destination and you start heading in that direction your chances of ending up somewhere you love is much, much higher. You intentionally head in the direction you want and your destination becomes inevitable.

  4. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Write down bullet point notes of what your life looks like.
  5. Examples:
    – I have a beautiful wife and 2 children
    – I live in California and have a house on the beach
    – I am an angel investor and make my money by investing in small businesses and helping them achieve success
    – I have a supportive group of friends who love to go bike riding
    It doesn’t matter what your goals are – they’re your aspirations and unique to you alone. Who cares if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else? It’s what you want to do, so write it down, and go after it.

  6. Write down one thing you can do today to take one more step forward towards this life
    The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Find a way to take one more step forward and as you build momentum you’ll find the journey is equally as rewarding as the destination.
  7. Do that thing today! Then wake up tomorrow, and write one thing you can do today to take one more step forward towards this life.

Build momentum by waking up every day and writing down one thing you can do to take a step forward. On day two you’re already one step closer then you were yesterday! Always take a step forward because when time passes, and you look back, you’ll find that you’ve taken more steps than you ever would have imagined.

Give yourself the fulfillment that comes with taking small steps every day. Most of us never take a step forward because we’re so focused on how far away the destination. When we start looking at the moment right now we see the single step that we can take to move us closer.

There’s a difference between surviving and feeling alive. The choice will always be up to you – to live with the unsettling feeling of a lack of progress, or to solidify your goals by writing them down and making real progress on them every single day.

One choice promises regret, and the other, fulfillment.

We all feel stuck sometimes. If you feel like you’re going through a quarter life crisis, here is a guide to help you breakthrough this rut and start living your life passionately again.


How to Create Good Habits – Part 1

habitsI was going to start off this article by captivating your attention with the amazing power of creating habits. Then I remembered that the biggest source of motivation to create habits was to just start doing them. Starting small, building, and keeping the momentum rolling will give you more motivation than anything I could say here. The process feeds the fire.

Today’s post is the first in a series on forming powerful habits using the easiest way I know. I want to help you build a foundation to effectively create new habits on your own. You do not need a 300 page book before you effectively establish a life-changing habit. It comes from within you.

Let’s Get Started

Humans are creatures of habit. That sounds cliché but it is 100% the truth. We look for patterns in order to understand the world around us, and we also act through patterns. These behavioural patterns are called habits. We usually develop habits without any conscious awareness of them, which results in both positive and negative habits. These habits are created when we consistently react to the same situations with the same responses. Overtime, these consistent responses program us to respond the same way in the future.

Why are we programmed to create habits? They are a huge advantage to us because they free our mental capacity to focus on higher-order problems. If we had to think about proper grammar every time we tried to communicate something, then it would take hours to read or write anything. If you have ever learned a second language, you can appreciate how much easier it is to express ideas in your native language. Speaking your native language is a subconscious habit. It just happens.

We sometimes learn habits that feel right in the moment, but have negative long term effects. This is seen with people who drink alcohol to relieve stress, or gamble because of the thrill. Eventually, these also become habits and are hard to break.

Habits are difficult to break because following them makes us feel good, and not following them makes us feel bad. There is resistance when we try to go against our habits. It just doesn’t feel right. However, humans have an amazing ability; we can consciously decide to overcome this resistance and establish a routine that brings us closer to our goals on auto-pilot.

Successful people consciously decide to build positive habits, taking over initial control until their new actions happen unconsciously. When someone starts going to the gym, it isn’t easy, but after going for a month straight, it becomes easier to go to the gym than it is to stay at home. Any new adventure is a challenge at first, but eventually our innate human abilities take over and we just do it.

Are you ready to create habits and free up your mind for more important things? Do you want to stop procrastinating? Do you want to start working out consistently 5 times per week? Whatever habit you want to initiate, it’s time to identify it – and I am going to do this with you.

Exercise #1:
I want you to create a habit list. Separate your habit list into three columns. In the first column, write any negative habits you want to get rid of. In the second column, write out the positive habits you’ve already established that fuel your success. The third column is the fun part. Here, I want you to brainstorm a minimum of five habits that you are going to change with the help of this article series.
Reflect on column 3 and start to feel what your life would be like if these were already your habits. Don’t think about whether or not you’ll be successful (because you will be). I just want you to imagine your life with these habits firmly established. What would it feel like?

Here is my list of 5:

  1. Spend 1 hour each morning, Monday to Friday, improving my writing
  2. Only socialize on facebook for 5 minutes per day, after I’ve already completed my night-time routine
  3. Run a 600m race every day around my block. (I want to compete in in-door track and field next year)
  4. Quit television, except for playoff sports of my favourite teams. (I’m still leaving room for the most important television I watch)
  5. Spend two hours each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, writing a new blog post for

I have heard from many people that the easiest way to create habits is to do it every single day. I agree, however it doesn’t make or break a habit if you choose specific days to do it. Sometimes, scheduling constraints will only allow you to start a new habit once per week – and that’s perfectly fine.

In the next article on habits, we are going prepare ourselves to succeed by making one of your habits easy to stick with long term. This part will reduce any friction while you’re implementing the new habit and streamline your success when you’re ready to implement it. I’m ready to create a new habit, are you?


Teaching Social Dynamics in a School: An Update.

autismMany of you have noticed it’s been a bit quiet on the Kingpin Social front lately. A lot of people have been asking me what we’ve been up to and what we’ve been working on.

Enter Kevin

If you recall back in October, we released a blog post called Who Is Kingpin Social? where we discussed what Kingpin Social stood for and what we wanted to accomplish.

In the post we mention an exciting new project – teaching our Social Dynamics curriculum in an actual school – beginning in the Spring of 2013.

So the answer is simple: I have been in the lab creating different platforms for self-development and methods of communicating our Social Dynamics curriculum. I have been taking the last few months to develop a platform to learn Social Dynamics for the Autism Aspergers Friendship Society in Calgary (AAFS).

(Click here to check out some of the great work that they are doing for the autism community.)

AAFS asked me to develop and run a 12-week program that would be a fun and engaging way of learning the foundations of Social Dynamics, which to us are: building healthy relationships, creating a positive environment and developing purpose. What better way then through games? I have observed that youth among many others in this current day and age really connect with and are motivated to play video games. I was also part of this demographic as I used to love playing video games. The problem is this isn’t the most productive or positive way to invest so many hours of our time and energy. The Autism community is really no different.

Our program is designed with the concept of “gamifying self-development” in mind. This means developing ourselves through different game mechanics we create and connect with. The perspective we are trying to develop is to start seeing our lives as an open source video game that we are responsible for creating – whether it’s character development, discovering your final quest or even exploring the world map. These are all game mechanics that can be applied to real life and your real life character to create real value while still having fun and being motivated. Obviously all elements of life don’t need to be viewed as a game, and some areas of life are better not. This is another part the awareness that we are attempting to pass along.

Working with Dean, the AAFS’ executive director, and the rest of the team at AAFS has been an amazing experience. What I am coming to realize is the greatest value to me personally is the experience I gain from the unique challenges in communicating such a valuable concept to a diverse group of individuals. I love trying to find new and engaging ways to teach without it feeling like teaching. This opportunity allows me to direct my creative energy to thinking outside the box in the ways we can teach, develop, and learn Social Dynamics, and I hope to share more of these methods and techniques with you as we develop them further.

Thus far we have just completed week 5 of the program. This week was directed towards the communication of value where we focused on communicating emotions and needs.

It has been an incredible learning experience thus far and I am looking forward to what is on the horizon. One of the days I’m most excited about is one where I will be bringing in local b-boy (breakdance) crews in to showcase and present their relationships with each other and with the dance itself is definitely something I’m looking forward to!

Keep an eye out for future posts as I will be updating the status of the program and experiences as I feel like there is much to be learned from this opportunity.

I would also love your feedback, comments, and questions. Feel free to leave them below!

Entrepreneurship Lifestyle

Kingpin Social Goes to Startup Weekend

startup weekend calgary
This past weekend Kevin and I participated in “Startup Weekend” here in Calgary. The event is a culmination of putting 80 entrepreneurs in a room, pitching ideas, selecting the best ones, forming teams, and then speaking 56 hours building these new businesses as much as possible to compete in a final presentation in front of a panel of judges… with various prizes going to the winners.

11 different teams were formed of various sizes. Kevin participated on team “Outrank”, and I joined “Mood2Food”. My team was fortunate to win 2nd place!

There were many lessons learned throughout the weekend, which Kevin’s team leader wrote about here.

“Startup Weekends” run across the globe so if this sounds like a fun idea to you, check out their website and sign up for one in your area… both Kevin and I highly recommend it!

Health Lifestyle

How Our Decisions Affect the World: Nutrition Edition

brian mark ripped“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs and medicine, but rather, will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” – Thomas Edison

Eating healthier foods has substantially increased my energy levels, my gains in the gym, and has made my overall outlook on life more positive.

I’ve been working out since I was 14 years old. Going to the gym and maintaining a strong, healthy figure has always been important to me. It started out being just for aesthetics, then I started playing football and had something to train for. As I studied various resources training I noticed that they all referred to diet being about 40% of the equation when it came to gaining weight and lifting heavier.

I figured if I could go to the gym 4–5 times per week and consistently increase the amount of weight that I was lifting that I would be able to eat whatever I wanted. This proved true for the years I did work out, I did get stronger and I did get bigger.

I’ve been paying attention to my diet since I got back from my Kelowna trip in October. I’ve seen more gains in my aesthetics, my strength and my weight in the last 4 months than I saw all of last year combined.

There are thousands upon thousands of external resources that people can use to improve their gains in the gym, lose the 50 pounds they’ve always wanted to, or increase their overall health and well being so they have the energy to live a happier life. The truth is – “how–to” is completely useless without reasons to stay motivated and stick out a healthy lifestyle throughout all the good times and the bad.

Reasons We Fail

As rational creatures often times we use our ability to rationalize to justify behaving irrationally.

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say our goal is to lose 10 pounds. We decide that in order to lose 10 pounds, we’re going to have to eat cleaner, drink more water, and go to the gym 3 times a week.

In a valiant effort to set ourselves up for success we decide that we’re going to go to the gym at 6pm after we’re done work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Our goal is to cook healthy food for ourselves every night and stop going to the store to pick up quick munchies that trick us with their delicious, sugary taste.

Monday rolls around and we succeed. We go to the gym, eat good food and feel great about our progress. Tuesday more of the same story, we eat good food and drink a healthy amount of water.

On Wednesday our boss dumps a bunch of extra work on us. With all of the extra work we forget about drinking water all day. 5pm rolls around and we’re tired, and we just had extra work dumped on us, so we decide that we’re going to skip out on the gym today.

“I’ll go tomorrow. I worked hard today… I’m too tired.”

We stop at 7-11 on the way home to pick up junk food.

“It was a long day, I need some food now. I’ll eat good tomorrow.”

We get home, munch on our bag of Doritos, and feel as good as we possibly can about our lack of integrity, inability to take action and lack of self-discipline. Our brains rationalize 4, 5, 6, 7, different reasons why we didn’t go to the gym, but underneath all the B.S. we know the truth.

We set a goal to go to the gym, eat healthy and drink lots of water, and we failed. This type of behavior can lead us down a self-destructive path and often because we don’t have a reason to stay continuously motivated we fall short of our initial goal.

There’s always going to be a reason not to do the things we need to do to accomplish the goals we set out for ourselves. The truth is, we need to find reasons TO do the things we need to do, otherwise we will engage ourselves in situations that will side-track us from our ideal, and we’ll justify our impulsive behaviors with countless valid excuses.

Why – To

I believe we all have a duty to be responsible for our health and well being.

Our current habits and behaviors have been and are continually being shaped by our environment. The choices the people in our life make day to day have an impact on our decision making process, and vice versa. The choices, habits and behaviors we carry with us have an impact on each and every person that we come in contact with, and each person they come in contact with, and so our choices, habits and behaviors ripple through society.

When we form the habit of living an unhealthy lifestyle, we are not only making that choice for ourselves, we are impacting everyone around us negatively.

yoloWhen I moved into my first house at 18 years old I decided I only had one life to live, and I was going to spend my life high 90% of the time. I smoked marijuana 3 times a day for 6 months straight.

My choice to smoke marijuana impacted my roommates, because each time I would get high they would see it and their brain would register that behavior as not only mine, but their own. Our brains have empathetic mirror neurons inside of them, when we watch someone else performing an action, the same neurons fire as if we were performing the action ourselves. And so the cycle of destructive behavior re-ran its course as I would watch them smoke weed, eat unhealthy and make decisions that harmed their quality of life.

When we make the decision to live a healthy lifestyle and we form the habit of consciously improving our health and well-being, we are not only making that choice for ourselves, we are positively impacting every person we come in contact with, and each person they come in contact with, thus, creating a cycle of constructive behavior witin our environment.

Since monitoring my health and well-being I’ve noticed an overall improvement in the quality of the health of everyone in my environment. More and more of my friends are cooking in bulk for themselves, going to the gym more, and breaking through long-time plateaus with their fitness goals.

The choices that I’ve made over the last 4 months to get healthier and healthier day by day have formed healthy habits, and these habits have impacted my environment around me. As I watch measurable improvements in the quality of health in the people I love, I am inspired to reach for more health, vitality and wellness.

What’s Your Goal?

Nutrition is one of the most important areas of our life. The healthier we eat, the more energy we have, the better we feel, and the better our body responds to the goals our mind sets for it. Each one of us lives a unique lifestyle, and each one of us will have a unique goal based on our individual circumstance.

I play football so my goal is to get stronger, lift heavier and move faster. My diet regime and workout routine reflect my goal.

Perhaps your goal is to lose 50 pounds so you have the energy to play with your children. Maybe you want to gain 10 pounds and have a leaner, more aesthetic look. Perhaps you just want to have more energy and you don’t care about how much weight you lift.

No matter what your goal is, get specific about your goal. Set a realistic, obtainable goal and this will be your first step in giving yourself a reason “why–to”.

Instead of just stating “I want to lose 10 pounds”, set a realistic time frame for you to lose that weight. Dieticians typically recommend healthy weight loss to be 0.5–2 pounds per week, so realistically, losing 10 pounds would take you about 10 weeks. Your goal would look something like this.

“I want to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. I will be 170 pounds by April 12th 2013.”

Let’s say your goal is to gain weight. Bodybuilders recommend you aim to gain about 0.5 pounds of lean muscle mass per week. If you want to gain 10 pounds of lean muscle mass, your goal would be 20 weeks. Your goal would look something like this.

“I want to gain 10 pounds of lean muscle in 20 weeks. I will be 190 pounds by June 21st 2013.”

Get Serious

Life doesn’t give you the things you want on a silver platter, unless you actually believe you can wish yourself into achieving your goals.

Any goal that has ever been accomplished has come with time, energy, patience, consistent effort, discipline, integrity and willpower. There is always going to be a reason for you not to do the things you must do to realize your goals, no matter what they may be. Get serious. Your decisions to be lazy and procrastinate on one of the most important areas of your life – your health – impact your environment, and create habits that ripple through society and negatively impact everyone around you. Your decisions to be healthy over time create habits that positively impact the people you love, the people they love, etc. No matter what you decide to do, you will be influencing those around you.

Get serious. Stop making excuses and start making it happen.

What’s your “why-to?” Leave a comment and let us know.

By the way… applications for our Mentorship Coaching program will be closing soon. There are a limited number of spots left, so if you want to accelerate your success in implementing the strategies of Social Dynamics to live a more badass life, apply today.


7 Practical Lessons to Stay Committed to Your Dreams (Stop Thinking, Start Doing)

dreamsI moved out to Kelowna on July 20th with the purpose of playing Junior Football for the Okanagan Sun. My hopes were high, my enthusiasm was strong and I was certain that once I moved nothing could go wrong.

The first month was riddled with disappointment. I got fired from my bartending job for unethical behavior, I pinched my nerve in my shoulder and I sat on the bench for the team I wanted to play for. I had no money, the end of August was closing in and I would owe my landlord $475.00 that I couldn’t afford.

I had to choose between two options.

The first option was to pack my bags and go home right now. It was August 21st when I wrote my journal entry “the commitment to stay instead of run”.

I have to figure out a way to stay in Kelowna and play ball!! It’s the end of the month meaning I’ll have to magically come up with $475 dollars to pay rent to my landlord. It’s time to step it up.

But wait. If I leave now, I can get home before the end of the month. I can skip out on rent, but that means skipping out on my team, and skipping out on any potential opportunity of starting for the Okanagan Sun.

Option one seemed dim.

The second option was to stick it out in the Okanagan and crank my commitment to an entirely new level. Deciding to stay out here meant everything would change. I was in a hole at the end of August and there was a reason. I was lazy, unorganized, I didn’t have a job, and I didn’t want to make my ideas happen bad enough. I said I wanted it bad, but my thoughts were different than the words coming out of my mouth and my fingertips.

On August 28th I launched Sober Attraction with the purpose of tracking my 30 Day Lifestyle Project. I’m proud to say that, without fail, I have completed each individual Day for 27 Days Straight (3 to go!!!!) of 2,200 words of writing, 20 minutes of meditation and 60 minutes of yoga. This project was a direct challenge to one of my biggest problems – sticking it out when times get tough and staying committed regardless of circumstance.

Along the way I learned a few valuable lessons about how mold your dreams into life.

1. Figure Out What You Want

During my time at Kingpin Social I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted. I had to ask myself this: what could I see myself spending the rest of my life on and being happy while I did it? Most people are afraid to ask themselves this question. They don’t want to set themselves up for failure, set themselves up to question their daily routine that they’ve grown comfortable with.

Challenge “the normal way” of doing things and take a second to ask yourself what you want to be spending your time on. It’s September 2012 people. Pretty soon it’ll be October 2012. Where did this year go? What have you spent your year doing? Have you taken any steps closer to your ideal life?

Figuring out what you want is the most important part of making your dreams happen.

2. Set A Goal to Take You Closer to Your Dreams

I want nothing more than to be an independent writer, paid for the work the contracted work that I do. I want to be a great football player on and off the field, I want to have a calm, centered mind that I can work to find a solution to any obstacles that arise along my journey. I want to be physically fit, have a great body and I want to be happy every day of my life.

I’ve been writing for 2 years seriously now, and my career hasn’t “taken off”. I think one of the reasons for that was that I was never able to hold my focus for a long period of time for a writing project. I’ve written 3 books that I am proud of, and can’t write off, but I could have put more effort into my books to make them better.

Set a goal to take you closer to your dreams. Once you know what you want to be figure out what sort of goal that you could set to develop habits that would support your dream. In my case I want to be an independent writer. In order to be paid for the writing that I do, it would be beneficial to have writing habits. It takes 21 days to build a habit, so when you set your goal I would recommend setting them for at least 21 days to build good habits that will move you closer to your ideal life.

3. Find a Reason to Commit

When I started my 30 Day Lifestyle Project I was full of enthusiasm. Every day was a blessing and I was certain that there was no way that I could fail. I love writing, I love meditation, and I love doing Yoga. What could go wrong, right?

After a few days I began to feel the effects of my commitment. About 12 days in I began to ask myself why. Why am I doing this project? Why am I putting my body through this? I was doing yoga for 60 minutes a day, I had football for 2 hours a day and I don’t have a car so I was bicycling everywhere. My mind was tired because of all the thinking I was doing to keep myself motivated. Meditation was difficult, writing felt like a chore and I felt like I wanted to quit halfway through the project.

Around Day 15 of my 30 Day Project, Coach Jamie Boreham of the Okanagan Sun sat the team down to have a conversation.

Jamie Boreham“Why do you play football?” he asked people. Some people said they loved the game, some people said they loved to hit, then one of the stand-outs on the team stated that he plays for his family.

“That’s deep,” Boreham replied. “Every time I stepped on the field I played for my Grandfather. He played football in high school and broke his neck, after that he was never able to play again. Every time I step on the field, playing or coaching, I brush the 30 yard line. 30 was his number.”

The metaphor Boreham used for football can be applied to every walk of life. I realized that I had to live my life for more than just myself. I had to do the project for the people that I loved. September 15th was my Grandmothers birthday and I dedicated the project’s completion to her. She was my reason to keep going. She is my reason to keep pushing on the days that I want to pack it in and call it quits. I had to find a reason to commit, an emotionally charged reason, one that would make me move through any pain, apathy, or adversity that would arise as a result of the 30 Day Project.

4. Focus on the Things that Matter

Day to day thousands of sources demand your attention. Every day we see countless advertisements, commercials, billboards. We receive countless text messages, phone calls, and emails, Facebook status updates, Twitter feed updates, radio ads.

With all the external stimuli around us it’s hard to stay focused on what actually matters. It’s important to keep your dreams close to you. Talk about them with your friends, write about them in a journal, have a whiteboard in your room that you write on, create a vision board.

Once you figure out why you want to go after what you want remind yourself every day of that reason. Every time you want to fall flat on your face and collapse draw on that internal strength, that emotionally charged reason of why you committed to your dream, for the inspiration to move through any obstacles standing in your path. Understand that time passes and life always moves forward.

No matter what you’re going through the pain will pass and you will be a step closer to your dream if you continue to keep walking when the going gets tough. The storm will subside.

5. See and Feel the End Goal

I knew I was going to finish the 30 Day Lifestyle Project before I started it. The first few days were loaded with enthusiasm, and when that enthusiasm began to fade I would remind myself how great it will feel to complete the project. I imagined the integrity that would be pumping through my veins. I imagined my family telling me how proud they were of me. I imagined myself full of confidence, charisma, and determination.

I had to see the end goal before a single step was taken. Once I committed to my dream, which in this case is to complete the 30 Day Lifestyle Project, I knew that I was going to finish. Every day I reminded myself how great it will feel to finish, how full of energy and vitality I will be, how incredibly centered I will have become by letting go of my fear and embracing my power to be the best that I can be.

See the end goal before a single step is taken. Once you’ve figured out what you want, set your goal, found a reason to commit and start focusing on your reason, begin to see and feel the end goal. How sweet will it feel to accomplish your goal? How full of life and energy will you be knowing you had the courage, strength, determination and intelligence to move through each day regardless of circumstance?

6. Take One Step at a Time

There were days in the 30 Day Lifestyle Project when I wanted to fall flat on my face and call it quits. Pack in my bags and give up on everything the challenge represented.

No matter what happened in my life I refused to miss a task I assigned to myself. I took one step at a time, one day at a time and before I knew it I was half way done the challenge, three quarters of the way done, and now three days until completion.

Life happens day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, and breath by breath. Take one step at a time, even if it’s a small one, and insist on moving forwards. Time is always moving forwards and if you’re not moving forwards with time you’re moving backwards by law. Every breath you take is an opportunity to take one step closer to realizing your dream. Love every breath, embrace every moment, and take one step at a time.

All great success comes with great struggle. In the times of struggle remember that all you have to do is take one step. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

7. Find an Avenue of Accountability

TimeA major reason for my projects completion was the accountability I created for myself. Each day I created a blog post stating whether or not I had completed the tasks for the day.

There was one day when I missed all the potential Yoga classes I could have gone to for the day. I was going to write a blog post detailing my missed assignment with a promise to make it up tomorrow but then I realized that I would have failed the challenge – the challenge was 30 days STRAIGHT of 60 minutes of Yoga. One day missed in the middle would be a failure. Instead of writing my post of failure, I opened up Youtube and did 60 minutes of grueling Youtube yoga.

I promised myself after that day to never miss a day of my Yoga classes. After that day I was greeted with absolute certainty that I would see the project through until completion. Find your avenue of accountability. Tell as many of your friends as you can that you’re going after your dream and that you want support. Confide in a best friend that you know will give you feedback when you need it.

Stay accountable to yourself too. When you say you’re going to do something, do it, let no excuse, no one and nothing stop you. The only way you fail is when you stop trying.

What kind of life do you want to live? 2012 is almost over, and when it leaves you will never get it again. You don’t have to wait around for the right opportunity to come your way. You can start creating opportunity in your life right now. Ask yourself what you really want, start setting some goals, finding reasons to commit and focusing on the things that matter. You will see success by imagining it in your mind, feeling how it will feel to complete your goal, and taking one step at a time.

In 27 days I’ve become a completely different person. I’m still Brian but I’m more determined, more focused, more courageous. I’m willing to step up and take risks when I need to, I stick to my word when I say I’m going to do something and I have a higher standard for myself than I ever have before – and I’m confident that I can meet it.

I moved out to Kelowna in July with hopes of starting for the Okanagan Sun. After I pinched my nerve in my shoulder I wanted to give up and go home, second string wasn’t a fun experience. In the the next 3 days I will have completed 600 minutes of Meditation, 1800 minutes of yoga and 66,000 words in a month’s time. Not only that — I’ve earned a starting spot on the Okanagan Sun roster.

2012 is almost over. What do you want to achieve with your year?

P.S. If you want to accelerate your success in implementing these strategies and reaching your goals, we’d love to help you. Apply today to our Mentorship Coaching program and we’ll gladly offer you a free coaching session to see if we’re a good fit.