Personal Growth

Win The Morning – Net Worth Update: $90K

Win The Morning – Net Worth Update: $90K

Whether you’re a college student struggling to manage your sudden rush of free time, a young professional learning what it actually means to be “busy” for the first time, or a full fledged adult with children and all kinds of responsibilities, there is one habit that can shift your perception of the world and jump start you on the path to long-term success. And that habit is what I define as “winning the morning”.

From this post, I hope to show you:

  1. Why I feel it is so important to start your day off early and right if you want to be a successful person.
  2. How to create a morning routine that will ensure you are going to have an awesome day, not just in the morning, but until the moment you go to sleep.

When you think about it, especially if you’re an employee, the early morning is the only time that you have entirely to yourself. In most cases, no one is scheduling any meetings before 8 A.M. or expecting you to be at work significantly earlier than that. Your roommates may or may not be awake in the early morning, but even if they are, it’s pretty unlikely they’re going to do anything to disturb you before work. It’s one of the last true personal times we have in our modern lives. And that’s why it’s so important that you capitalize on that time you have for yourself each and every morning. I’m a big advocate of creating a morning routine that I can stick to because it is the actions we take in the morning that set the baseline for how the rest of our day will go. After experimenting with different morning routines over the past few years, I have really settled in to one that I feel best sets me up for the day ahead. Check it out below:

  1. The number one most important thing to put yourself on track to win the morning is to wake up early. It just makes logical sense that the earlier you wake up, the more time you have to capitalize on that personal time that can really only be found in the early morning. When I first graduated, I would wake up around 7 or even 7:30 A.M. before rolling out of bed and heading straight to work. I quickly began to realize, however, that while the extra sleep can be nice, it’s much more rewarding to get important things done in the morning. I began waking up at 6:30, then 6:00, and then 5:30. Sometimes I try to wake up even earlier at 5:00 A.M., but I can consistently find myself waking up at 5:30 which usually gives me plenty of time to take care of the things I have incorporated in my routine. My suggestion for you would be to find the earliest time that you can wake up without having the opposite effect of negatively impacting your day due to being overly tired.
  2. Immediately after waking up, I drink my morning cup of coffee. To be even more efficient, I have my coffee maker automatically programmed to begin brewing just before 5:30. Not everyone needs coffee, but I do, and this is one of my favorite rituals of the day.
  3. Once I’ve consumed my daily joe, I go to the gym and exercise. There’s something about breaking a sweat in the early morning that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. Knowing that most other people are in bed while you are working to make yourself better is a great feeling. Not to mention, working out early in the morning ensures that you can’t skip your workout after a long day of work or an impromptu happy hour with your best friends.
  4. Lastly, after coming back from the gym and before getting ready for the day, I like to learn something new. Whether it’s reading a book I’m interested in, learning how to code, learning Spanish on one of my favorite apps, Duolingo, or reading answers on Quora (another one of my favorite sites), it feels rewarding to spend time on personal development before spending the majority of my day working.

The morning routine may or may not be for you, but it’s the one I’ve found that works for me. If you’re looking to create yourself a morning routine, feel free to copy the above, but most importantly, do what works for you. Maybe you are just naturally better at working out in the evening, but would rather spend much more time reading a book in the morning. The important thing, in my mind, is creating a solid routine and sticking to it. Not only does this allow you to improve yourself in whatever you’re doing in the morning, but it teaches a sort of discipline that you may not have developed before.

What are your thoughts on the above? Do you have your own favorite morning routine that works best for you? Feel free to share below in the comments so others can see if they would enjoy your daily routine.

Net Worth Update: $90K. I’ve learned that upon investing in real estate, your actual net worth is nothing more than a best guess. I still love the figure because it is a tangible figure that allows you to measure how you’ve progressed over a period of time, but here’s an example for why it can be an unreliable one: On Zillow, the “Zestimate” of our first investment property just skyrocketed by $400,000. While I’d like to believe my net worth increased by my share of that increase in the past month, I’m not getting any crazy ideas that that updated figure is accurate. In short, it’s impossible to know the exact value of an asset like an investment property until you sell it in the market. So, anyway, my best guess is that my net worth has increased by a few grand if we hold the value of that property constant. This is due to regular paychecks and saving – I haven’t brought in any side hustle income other than trying to keep expenses low during the work week in which I get a $64/day stipend for traveling. I don’t expect my net worth to increase too significantly over the coming months, other than when I receive my bonus in December, while I invest in an online computer programming course that will give me more long-term flexibility as a person and an employee. I read all the time how investing in yourself while you’re young is one of the best financial moves you can make, so I’m experimenting with this notion with a significant amount of money for the first time and intend to make it payoff significantly.

Posted by CoffeeForTheBuzz in Personal Growth
Go Out There and F****** Want It – Net Worth: $85.5K

Go Out There and F****** Want It – Net Worth: $85.5K

A few winters ago, I sat down on my couch after eating a bowl of my mom’s delicious chili and was settling in for a relaxing evening. It was the holidays after all. I flipped over to HBO and on the screen flashed images of the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins preparing for that seasons’ Winter Classic. Bruce Boudreau, who was coaching the Capitals at the time, had seen enough of his team after an abysmal first period in the midst of what was a significant losing streak for what should have been one of the best teams in the league that year. After minutes of giving his team an NSFW earful for not performing, Boudreau uttered a phrase that I keep top of mind to this day. “You can’t just go out there and think you want it. You have to go out there and *** want it!” While it was a comical moment on television, there’s no denying there’s real value in the words that the disgruntled coach spewed off that night.

So why did I decide I wanted to learn computer programming? There are a lot of reasons. Of course, like everyone else, I saw how glorified Apple became over the past 10 to 15 years, I watched The Social Network and envisioned massive success like Mark Zuckerberg, and I had this feeling deep down that coding was the way of the future. I dreamed of building the next big thing and at work I realized that everything I was best at included the use of computers. Eventually, I stumbled upon Codecademy, a free learn-to-code resource, that is a truly phenomenal place to begin developing basic skills related to computer programming. For a time, I was determined to start a successful web design business, and I learned just enough to be dangerous with HTML and CSS to pass as a real web designer. I once made $1500 on a web design project which felt like an incredible success to me even though it took 4 months to finish the project. At some point, life got in the way, and I was somewhat discouraged by the amount of sheer effort it was taking me that didn’t seem to have produced a significant pay off in my life yet. So for a few months, I forgot about all the hard work I’d put into learning to code and decied my efforts were better spent elsewhere. But then, on one of those Sunday mornings where you begin to wonder what direction your life is going, I read about the Flatiron School’s online web development program and was intrigued. It seemed like the perfect way to reignite my interest in computer programming with the structure to keep me motivated and dedicated to the task at hand. I took the school’s bootcamp prep course and realized that I was truly passionate about the consistent challenges and opportunities that go along with computer programming and committed to myself to equip myself with skills that would allow me to one day change the world. I no longer just thought I wanted it, I knew I *** wanted it.

The road to changing careers and the trajectory of my life will not be an easy one, but I like it that way. In addition to learning how to code, I believe the program I’ve enrolled in with The Flatiron School will give me the confidence and skills it takes to take my freelancing business to the next level while becoming extremely employable by all kinds of interesting and exciting companies at the same time. I’m ready to take on this challenge full speed ahead and to experience the things I’ve been dreaming about trying in the coming months.

Posted by CoffeeForTheBuzz in Personal Growth
The No Challenge

The No Challenge

As any baseball player (even the best) will tell you, it’s completely normal to go through a slump from time to time. The same can be said for those of us living normal daily lives. You know the feeling. You haven’t had any big accomplishments in a while and your motivation is kind of dwindling. You don’t really have any clear goals that you’re driving towards which makes it that much harder to stay focused and gain positive momentum. These kinds of ruts are normal and are to be expected in life. One method I’ve come to realize helps me break free from a rut like the ones described above is what I refer to as “the no challenge”. The best part is it’s nothing more than an incredibly simple shift in mindset.

When I feel like I need to switch things up to break out of a rut, I make it a point to say “no” to nearly any offer that comes my way for at least a week. During a slump, it can be incredibly easy to be swayed into saying yes to whatever comes up because there really is no downside to doing so. If you’re not making much life progress during your evenings after work, what’s another dinner at the new burger place down the street with your buddies? And that’s why, for me, the no challenge is so successful. When I force myself to say no for a sustained period of time, a few things happen.

  • I gain back an unbelievable amount of free time. All that time spent golfing, at the bar with friends, watching the newest episode on HBO, or taking the boat on the lake is now reserved for yourself to get things back on track.
  • I re-focus my priorities and am able to redevelop clear goals. Without the distraction of all the things I was just recently saying yes to, I am able to take a step back and think about the bigger picture. Where do I want to be in 3 months? 6 months? A year? Saying no allows me to dedicate more time to planning the way I want my life to turn out which allows me to begin building momentum for the days, weeks, and months ahead.
  • It helps me get my mojo back. Saying no to other people and things, in a weird way, makes you feel quite sure of yourself. It’s easy to say yes to things, but it can actually be quite hard to say no to that night out with your friends or the weekend getaway. Overcoming this difficulty can help you boost the way you feel about yourself.

In full disclosure, I am all about living life to the fullest and accepting as many opportunities that come my way as possible. But if you ever find yourself in a rut that you can’t quite seem to get out of, try giving yourself the no challenge for just a week. You’ll be amazed at the change in perspective such a simple task can have on your life. It might just be the fuel that gets you right back on track.

Have you ever tried something like this before? How did it go? Leave a comment below if you’ve tried this in the past or plan to try it soon. Excited to hear about your experiences!

Posted by CoffeeForTheBuzz in Personal Growth