As the year of 2016 comes to a close and you are perhaps doing a bit of self- reflecting, ask yourself: did you DARE yourself with action or just dream about it? I wonder how many new entrepreneurs started to launch their ideas into a real business with sales as I wrote about December, 2015.
If your interested in an old book to jumpstart your goals for 2017, consider the classic “I Dare you” by William Danforth. If you’re not familiar with William Danforth, he was the founder of Ralston Purina Company. His famous book is an old time classic in the self-help genre of Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Earl Nightingale, Jim Rohm Stephen Covey and many others. The concepts of mental, physical, social and religion are all part of his Magic Square. Ultimately, the book asks the question, have you said “I Dare You” to yourself and actually did something.
Reflecting on 2016, there were a few personal “I Dare’s” that were impactful to achieve a few of my personal goals. When you look at your year, was there one thing that stood out above anything else in 2016? Yes, there were more things going on in the world other than the ELECTION in the US! Maybe you dared yourself not to establish too many goals or none at all or had a better year physically and emotionally by actually wasting time. It can work!
I use my #1 example of a Dare for context on thinking of these simple two words to ask yourself going into the 2017. My dare included a donation of $300 to a non-profit organization but keep in mind that Dare’s do not necessarily have a monetary cost or value. As we all know, the free things in life we remember the most.
Personal #1 “I Dare” for 2016 – As mentioned earlier, this DARE had nothing to do with money, business profit, new business launched, new fitness routine or an endurance race. The rescue and adoption of a Dog was the big “I Dare You” – her name is Deca. So for most of you, this sounds like not much of a personal “I Dare You”. The idea of actually taking in a dog was a HUGE I Dare You as it was a completely new thing in my world. The TRIGGERING event of this adoption of DECA came from reading a fabulous book (see below) A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.
This is the not only the first dog ever for my wife (Jan) or me but also very first pet. I love dogs but never could have one when I was a child because of living in the inner city of Pittsburgh and really no room for the do to play in the yard. Keeping in mind that I am married to a Greek woman who is deathly afraid of dogs (bitten when she was a child) and the concerns of everything imaginable from chewing Hoka running shoes, bathroom issues in the house, tearing up house, biting, no more travel, terrorizing friends visiting, how to manage an animal to our life, etc. This would be a hard sell to Jan, along with all the concerns to make sure the dog was right for us. After a referral to a local fostering dog individual, the first meeting of DECA was beyond expectations – she did not jump on Jan!
As I dangled the idea out to my Jan, I was secretly reading books and watching YouTube videos on everything that you should know as a first time dog owner. I know this is crazy – this is not a business or something that unusual. I was just looking to add an animal to our household, but could definitely add bit of “disruption”. As expected, most of the reading was common sense, however there were ideas that resonated with this new lifestyle change. This research overall did help with settling down the “I Dare You” nervousness. After a “test” period of several weeks with DECA it was such a great feeling signing the final adoption paperwork. It’s been a clear highlight of 2016.
The most amazing thing has happened with DECA, she is has fallen in love with my mom and many other seniors at the assisted living facility where my parents are living. The hardest decision of anyone’s life is when we all face aging parents but it’s a fact of life and DECA has made this transition so much more enjoyable. The result this simple “I Dare You” resulted in to helping so many assisted living friends smile.
Watching DECA cry, when her pack leader leaves the house, or when my wife walks in door and DECA’s tail crashing love is the best feeling imaginable. Also, the additional connection component with our godchildren has been so special for the entire family. Finally, but self interest only, nothing better than a running partner that shows up on time and available at any time of the day or night is magical. I would of never expected to be going on 17-mile trail runs with a dog if you asked me a year ago. DECA (Lab/Rhodesian Ridgeback/Greyhound) has plenty of horsepower and can run this slow guy into the ground.
I fully embrace the concept of “man’s best friend” now and this “I Dare You” has changed life forever.
27 “I Dare You’s”
1. Rescue a Dog – it will CHANGE your life
2. Spend time with children – personally this was our Godchildren
3. Mom and Dad
4. Lifting weights the entire year consistently 3-4 days a week
5. Adding personal home to Air BNB and rent it out – YES this actually was quite fun meeting some new people in our home.
6. Bike across the country in Trans Am Race, visit 5 National parks
7. Getting Up at 4AM consistently and retooling sleep schedule
8. Cold Showers In The Winter
9. More Short Term Goals and Less Long Term Goals- Intense focus on 6-month big goals and 12 months with a total of 5 only. Does not sound like much, but if you have constantly set longer-term goals it’s a complete change of mindset and focus.
10. Gratitude Journal – not stopping and starting but consistency through the year.
11. Waste Time – YES, Dare you to waste some time and be surprised what can happen.
12. Laminating 5 Goals cards – I have written about this many times and the power of keeping a laminated card with you at all times (in your pocket) and looking at a picture of the Goal every single day.
13. Walk and Stand – Simple yes, but the I DARE was to stand more often through work day and use a foam roller to rest a leg, and walking every day (not working out) 30 minutes minimum per day and no technology attachment.
14. Failure – Yes Dare Yourself to risk failing.
15. Kettle bell Swings every week 3 times a week. This one is simple but huge benefits in the health category, try it.
16. Get rid of stuff – Still a challenge but Daring yourself to eliminate current “stuff” and not buying more stuff that’s not necessary and won’t bring joy.
17. Build Something with Your Hands – Failed this one but on 2017 calendar
18. Chop down a dead tree, plant a new one and then split the entire tree with an ax. Simple but a heck of a workout and mental cleanse.
19. Develop simple system of persistence and grit with a free online accountability system.
20. Forgive people often – especially in an election year!
21. Fire time wasting clients and focus on great clients and it’s not about the money!
22. Establish Meditation practice and adhere to it for the year, 4 times a week. This is extremely tough for Type A personalities but it helps.
23. Define your meaning of success – My simple definition – full control of time and life on my terms.
24. Design a travel workout kit of a few items.
25. Listen to a great podcast on personal interest every week and read one book a week without looking at the reviews!
26. Excuses are just B.S. and stop making them, measure it.
27. Give money to the homeless, no questions asked.
Podcasts and Books for Consideration
With the continued evolution and popularity of podcasts and audio books, considering adding a few to your self-education list.
20 Books For Consideration– Fiction and Non-Fiction
- The Four-Hour Body – Tim Ferris
- 11 Rings – Phil Jackson Audio
- Vagabonding Audio – Rolf Potts (this is one to read every year!)
- Old Man & The Sea – Hemingway
- The Mindful Athlete – George Mumford
- The Dip Audio – Seth Godin
- The Presidents Hat - Antoine Laurain
- Mindful Work - Gelles
- Relentless – Tim Grover
- Primal Endurance - Mark Sisson
- The Invoice - Jonas Karlsson
- A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman - MY FAVORITE BOOK OF 2016
- Kale & Coffee – Kevin Gianni
- Everybody Writes, Ann Handley
- A Life Well Played, Arnold Palmer
- LuckyDog Lessons, McMillian
- All The Wild That Remains – David Gessner
- Ego Is The Enemy, Ryan Holiday
- Born For This, Chris Guillebeau
- Essential: Essays by The Minimalists – Milburn and Nicodemus
10 Podcasts To Test Out
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- Success Insider
- Paleo Magazine Radio
- The Growth Show
- Primal Endurance Podcast
- How I Built This
- TED Radio Hour
- This American Life
- Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
- Bulletproof Radio
As the year comes to a conclusion, are you saying, “Where did the year go”, I hope not! Capture and embrace the coming of 2017, but first things first – ENJOY every day and minute with your family and friends during the holiday season!