Self-Improvement Stuff, Part 3: #RESOLUTIONADAY

As I wrote previously, it doesn’t matter when you start something, as long as you start …now.  So, it’s with much excitement I’m re-launching #ResolutionADay …my brilliant idea of adding a new resolution every day for a year. Previously, I made it to Day47.

I was on a Zoom recently and everyone was sharing their resolutions, and most had one or two. All but one person on this particular Zoom laughed about having already failed followed by the typical, “well, now I have something to look forward to in 2022.”

When I got to talk, I (obnoxiously) listed 12 New Years Resolutions I made and said, even with the resolutions that tripped me up, I wasn’t giving up.  I could’ve gone on and on listing things I want to do that would absolutely improve my life. And so …I decided to start #ResolutionADay, again. Read More

Self-Improvement Stuff, Part 2: #FreshStartFebruary #FixUpFebruary #ForgivenessFebruary

We’ve arrived on the eve of February and many of us crashed and burned on our New Years Resolutions. Studies say 80% of people abandon their resolutions before the end of January.

So, that’s it, right? Wait until next year to improve, right? It’s OK. Nobody actually makes good on the things they promise themselves at the beginning of each year.

No, I say. What’s that old proverb about the best time to plant a tree?

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

So what! I know what happened in January. You were good for a week doing whatever you were going to do, then skipped a day. But you got back to it. Then you were good for a few more days and before you knew it, you were completely off track. I know. I’ve been there. Oh, wait. I’m there, now.

The best time to start a new habit or take steps towards a dream is 20 years ago (or 31 days ago). The second best time is now.

It’s OK. I’m giving you full permission to forgive yourself for your failings and if you failed at Dry January or Veganuary, or you didn’t get on that treadmill for 20-minutes each day, or you ate a cookie or twelve …me too. I was going to kick some butt at #75Hard. I was going to really start writing, daily, and finally finish my romance novel (don’t ask …but I have a GREAT story and for some reason it felt like the right thing to build around a romance). I was going to roll up my sleeves and recommit to my day-job for the entire 9-5 day. I was going to end the bad habits and sloth-like behavior around my early mornings and evenings and focus on my writing and marketing clients. I was going to pray with purpose each morning and journal to organize my thoughts.

Guess what I did instead? Woke up to my alarm at 5:15 a.m. and put on my favorite humorous Podcast and laid there listening.

#FreshStartFebruary #FixItFebruary #FuckedUpFebruary

80% of people fail at their New Years Resolutions. But what percentage of people start again in February? There’s probably not even studies on that because nobody thinks Febuary 1st is a notable date …but let’s change that.

Studies also show that, sometimes, it’s easier to focus around a single, central anchor. So pick one of mine, or make your own?

  • Fresh Start February – take a look at your New Years Resolutions and start again (plant that tree NOW)
  • Fix Up February – OK. So you broke some things …like promises to yourself. Fix that and promise yourself, again.
  • Fucked Up February – Well …we fucked up in January. Apologize (to yourself?) and don’t F’ up again (I used curse words specifically for reader Nick G. He likes curse words in his self-improvement stuff.
  • Forgiveness February – Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes. Guess what? You’ll mess up and fail, again. You will. We alllllll will. Failure is OK if you learn and improve from it. Use any metaphor you want (baby learning to walk, kid learning to ride a bike, person learning to drive, etc). Mistakes and missteps happen. Work to avoid the same missteps. Don’t beat yourself up (easier said than done …I’m 47 years old and I still don’t do the best job of it)

So, join me in #FreshStartFebruary. Let your critics roll their eyes and think, “oh, here he goes again.”

Let’s do this. Tomorrow …we re-introduce #ResolutionADay. See you then.

Self-Improvement Stuff, Part 1: #75Hard

What crazy thing is Don doing now, you ask? Oh, I’m gonna kick my own butt for 75 days. I always do something during Lent that challenges me, so now I’m adding the infamous #75Hard to the 40 days of Lent and, basically… it’s my way to prove I’m better than you.

#75Hard is something my super motivated friend N.G. introduced me to, invented by foul-mouth self-help guru Andy Frisella. If you want to be ridiculed and yelled at for why you’re not doing stuff, Andy’s your guy. Not my cuppa tea, but motivation is different for everybody. However, his #75Hard is a genius (f’ing) concept that, as my buddy C.W. put it, is about proving to yourself you have the discipline to stick with something.

I like that Andy just has this out there for free. He doesn’t make you join an email list or pay $9.99 to get secret training tips. Nope. It’s just an idea. Do it if you want. That’s kinda genius, too. It creates a community of people hashtagging things with #75hard and keeping each other motivated and then, if you wanna listen to Andy’s podcast or buy his book or follow him on Twitter or buy his supplements, so be it. Guess what? He’s gotten some of my money, even though he didn’t want it.

My #75Hard (along with my buddy C.W.) starts today. My diet is the classic “No S Diet”, another brilliant and FREE idea from a guy named Reinhard Engels. He’s another guy. He just made a website years ago. Hasn’t changed much. Wasn’t selling anything. Yet, some people weren’t satisfied with his simple idea so he actually wrote a book, even though it says what his website already says (not to mention the “No S Diet” is pretty simple and barely needs a whole website).

Join me, won’t you? Or at least cheer me (and C.W.) on in our quest.


I Want Stuff, Part 4: Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Not sure if this is Dad Stuff, Self-Improvement Stuff, or just an old-fashioned I Want Stuff post.

I’m obsessed with quality sleep. I feel if I get 7 hours of sleep I’m Superman. If I get 6 or less, I’m Wile E. Coyote – meaning no matter what I do, everything blows up in my face. Lack of sleep, I think, is the most detrimental thing people, and our society, has done to itself. For thousands of years, humans went to sleep when it got dark. We worked 9-to-5 and didn’t average 45-minutes on our commutes (meaning we could watch the 11 o’clock news, get to bed at 11:30, sleep until 6:30 or later if we stayed up for Johnny Carson, and we had lots of time to get to work by 9.

Now? We don’t. We have a million distractions, we have blue and artificial light. We have phones that shine in our faces constantly (don’t say “not me” because we’re all guilty …if I text you at 10 o’clock at night, you’ll very, very likely text me right back and we’ll text back an forth a half-dozen times.

So, I’ve finally given into the hype and sponsored ads and promotions I’ve seen on social media, as well as the various self-help gurus I follow, and I got (what I believe are) the top-of-the-line blue light blocking glasses from BLUblox. They arrived yesterday and, like I’m supposed to do, I wore them for the 2 hours before bed. Yes, they are red lenses and, yes, they caused my three teenagers and wife to laugh at me, and, yes, they darken the world and are exactly like you would think it would be like to wear sunglasses, indoors, at night. That said, and I know it could be nothing more than placebo effect, but I fell asleep at 10:45 p.m. and slept through the night and woke up, almost surprised, at 5:45 a.m. and I felt amazing. If you’ve been thinking about this, trust me that I spent way, way, way too many hours reading articles and reviews and I’ve concluded BLUblox are a leader in this product category.

More analysis to follow.

Me in my BLUblox glasses. I look like U2’s Bono, right?

I Want Stuff, Part 3: Ash & Erie Because I’m Short

I have a confession. I’m short. My father was short(ish). His father was short. Three uncles on my mother’s side are short. I have 3 short older cousins. My other grandfather stood 5’4″ I hear. And no matter how I comb my hair . . .I’m still 5’5″.

So imagine how excited I was to learn about Ash & Erie …clothes for men under 5’8″. Read More

Lung Stuff, Part 13: A New Pulmonologist

One of my goals for 2021 is to get a handle on my lungs and breathing. The retirement of my long-time pulmonologist coupled with the onset of a pandemic that attacks the respiratory system, has me a little worried. It seemed like as good a time as any to re-focus on my lung health. Plus, from about mid-September of 2020, my coughing and wheezing has worsened. My family, once again, is worried. I am, too. Read More

Dad Stuff, Part 11: A Different Kinda Thankful

Last year, I was lucky enough to start hosting the annual Thanksgiving gathering at my house. For the first 30-35 years of my life, it was always at my Aunt Denise’s house and for the past 10-15 years, turkey-day was at my Dad’s house. I hoped that when my Dad decided to retire from hosting that I would be able to host.

Some might ask, “really? You actually wanted your siblings, parents, in-laws, and nieces and nephews at your house and to do all that planning and cleaning and cooking?” Read More

Random Stuff, Part 7: Ghosts and Aliens

Two things I want to see before I die…

  • a U.F.O. and/or an alien from outer space
  • a ghost

But do I, really? Because once I see a ghost I have to wrestle with telling anyone, keeping it to myself, or living the rest of my days wondering if I really saw either of them and was it a moment of insanity. Read More

Dad Stuff, Part 10: I Own a Chest Freezer

I see it and hear it. I’m not blind or deaf. I know when I’m at parties and I walk up to a group of people and they’re talking about their chest freezers, they stop talking as I approach. They look around and won’t make eye contact. They try to pretend they were talking about something else and I can feel the tension. Everyone is very uncomfortable talking about their chest freezers in front of me knowing I don’t have one. Read More

I Want Stuff, Part 2: I Have a $100 Visa Gift Card

Am I the only 47-year-old man that goes into a tailspin when he’s given (or wins …ahem …yes, I won!!!) a $100 Visa Gift Card? It’s like gold. It’s found (won) money that can’t be deposited into a bank. It can’t be invested. It must be spent. But how should it be spent?

Immediately my mind goes to the question, “what have I wanted for a while but really isn’t worth the money?”  Read More