Here’s the deal: I’m going to tell you my experience in doing the program. I will not reveal to you the specifics of what the program is besides saying it’s 12 habits that are to be done each day that will instill a sense of discipline in you.
I should start by saying that I am a night owl by nature. If I don’t have to get up, I’ll stay up late into the night. I’m not sure how this developed but it’s been going on for years. I can’t say for sure if this is good or bad, but part of the program is getting up early, and I knew this would take a bit of adjustment. So I started getting up earlier and earlier the days leading up to the start of the program.
When it came to getting up today something interesting happened. I woke up much earlier than I had to and sat in bed for about an hour trying to go back to sleep. At some point I just said fuck it and got up and started moving. I’m not sure if this was due to excitement at starting the process or if I just couldn’t sleep. Either is equally possible because I have traditionally have had a hard time sleeping and will wake up at random times. Cranked out some of the exercises, but in all honesty I didn’t think I’d have a problem with them as I’m pretty fit and usually go to the gym pretty regularly. Doing these every day could prove troublesome in the future though as my muscles may get sore.
Finally I’d like to note that I did get a lot more work done today than usual. This is work that I’ve been meaning to do for a while and didn’t get done specifically because of a lack of focus. I’m not sure if this is because I’m following a program and want to do it properly or actually building self discipline. Time will tell on that.
Today I had a hell of a time finding the will to get up. Once that alarm hit, I had to hit snooze. The difference from day 1 being that I was tired as hell. Switching up your sleep schedule like this is pretty killer and I expected a shock to the system.
What I did during day 1 was to force myself not to fall asleep or take a nap which would make me tired and able to fall asleep right away for preparation of day 2. Not to worry though as this was a momentary lapse in discipline. I got up a few minutes later and got started. If you are starting this course, be prepared for the initial hype levels of starting the program to wear off. You’ll be forced to harness more will to do some of the stuff in the book.
I’m very interested to see how this plays out over the course of the next couple weeks. Will it get harder or easier? I have struggled with being an internet crack addict for years now. I have real difficulty focusing on doing work on the internet when all I have to do is open a new tab and start watching youtube. I know there is software available to block out sites you don’t want open while you are working, but I wanted to develop the ability to focus without artificial help.
I’m developing a mindset that I’m starting to call “The Push”. The Push is basically when you have an urge to get up and distract yourself from getting into a flow state of work, you sit back down and tell yourself you won’t move until your task is completed. Feel free to coin your own term if you so choose, but I’m doing this more and more on the program.
Today I got up really early before I was supposed to. I’m finding that when I go to sleep at a certain time to allow myself to get enough rest to get up early, it gives me really intense dreams, nightmares even. Normally people would be averse to this, but I think that shit is hillarious. I say bring it. The only problem is that it will wake me up at random times during the night and I have a hell of a time getting back to sleep. Perhaps this is what it’s like to be excited to get up for the day.
Absolutely crashed around 11:30 am. Took a nap that lasted for a few hours. Woke up in an absolute daze and had to walk around for a while to get back to normal. Took a real big chunk of time out of my day to get shit done. The interesting thing about this is that I managed to hammer out my tasks later on before going to bed. Parkinson’s Law in effect? Very possibly.
Here’s the thing about going to bed early, everyone else is still up, and they are loud. I’m a pretty light sleeper and any little sounds or movements can wake me up. If you have this problem as well, I implore you to buy ear plugs! I use the cheap foam ones. Ear plugs have allowed me to get to sleep faster by filtering out all of that background noise going on. They have also had the secondary effect of giving me a much deeper sleep as my brain isn’t forced to process a bunch of random noises during the night.
Here’s the thing about 30 Days of Discipline, it may be a lot harder for some of you folks in certain areas than others. I know that’s a pretty obvious thing to say, but what I mean is that getting up early and doing my morning exercises is pretty easy for me. This may have to do with me working for myself and making my own hours. Also, by working for myself I don’t have a bunch of office friends who want to go out for beers after work or something like that. The hardest challenge for me so far has been sticking to my list of things I have to get done.
We can talk all the productivity hacks you want, but at the end of the day it’s about forcing yourself to sit down and actually work. Doing the work always seemed easier to me when I was working for someone else because if I didn’t I’d be fired. What happens when you work for yourself and you don’t do the work-nothing. It’s hard to keep yourself churnin and burning, which I suspect is the main reason most people don’t do it.
Here’s another challenge, I like watching football. The game will most likely end late and could cause trouble with getting up early. I’m planning on watching the game and then still getting up early and take it from there.
Reporting no trouble today in getting up and doing my morning routine. I’m finding it better to try and jump out of bed immediately upon hearing the alarm instead of just sitting there for 10 minutes trying to get my bearings. I’m also attempting to do more reps in my morning exercises than the day before. After I get it down to one set, I’ll try and bang them out faster.
My routine usually consists of me getting up, getting the exercises done, then immediately jumping in the shower for about 5 minutes. I’ll then go out and get my eggs ready for my breakfast and grab a cold brew coffee that I had pre made in the fridge. I’m trying to get this under 45 minutes total which should be easy by the end of the program. Besides the program’s morning exercises, I’ll throw in some posture exercises as well. They take about 30 seconds to perform so it’s no big deal.
Damn, I crashed hard today and slept from 11-3 in a really deep sleep. I was just feeling tired as hell and sat down for a moment and lights out. If you are doing the program, be on the lookout for feeling tired, maybe get up and do some pushups or jumping jacks or something. I’m not sure if this was cheating or not but whatever I’m rolling with it.
Felt like absolute shit after getting up. This affected my work. Even if I have really shitty sleep, I’ll still have a window of about 1-2 hours where I’m energized and able to perform at 100%. After that window it goes downhill fast. I could totally notice that I couldn’t think straight. Just be on the lookout for this as it will very likely show up for you.
After I got up from my nap I was initially dazed, but was able to pull it together and work a lot more efficiently. Managed to bang out a huge portion of the stuff I had to do for the day. Here’s a pro tip: if you are doing the program, some really handy software I’ve found is a site called Trello. I just have it open in my first tab and it’s a really easy way to go about your work.
I knew I was going to be in some trouble today because of that damn nap I took yesterday. I tried to go to bed last night at my normal hour of between 9-10 PM. I initially fell asleep for a few hours but woke up around 1 AM and sat in my bed for a few hours trying to go back to sleep.
I have a history of insomnia so this is familiar territory, but I was able to tell that I could potentially go back to sleep which ended up happening some time around 3:30 AM. I’m torn on whether it was a good idea to go back to sleep because it was incredibly difficult to get up when the alarm went off. Part of me believes I should have just stayed awake.
I crashed hard again today around 12. I literally could not stay awake. I have no idea how special forces dudes do that. Best I can do is just limit how long I’m asleep and not just roll over and go back to sleep when I wake up. That being said, after I woke up, I felt energized as hell. I used this post nap energy to great effect by getting a lot of work done. I sat down for about 6 hours and worked straight through. Every day up to this I’ve been pretty good about getting stuff done, but this is the first day that it’s really kicking into high gear.
Woke up around 12 today on my rest day. Felt really good and energized. Pretty much sat around for a couple hours watching football until my nephews came over and watched them for a couple hours. Around 6:00 I’m pulling up my Google Calendar and giving myself projects to complete for the next week.
I would advise anyone doing 30 Days of Discipline to make use of their rest day to plan everything out for the next week so you don’t waste time during the actual day making lists to do.
Week 1 analysis
I’m finding it to be a real challenge to get up early every day and by Day 7 haven’t come around to it yet. I’m doing it, but finding that I’m tired as hell. That being said, it’s a good feeling to be up before the sun and watch the sun rising as I’m doing my daily exercises.
Everything else in the program I’ve done with relative ease. Even though I’m doing everything else with ease, I believe that anyone doing the program will benefit from doing them. When I wasn’t doing the program, I know damn well I wasn’t performing these actions everyday, and it’s stuff you really should be doing. I am doing the daily exercises every day, but I’m finding them to be a huge pain in the ass. Not because I can’t do them, but because it’s extremely tedious. That’s what it’s all about though I guess.
The biggest difficulties I am having is getting up early and doing my to-do list for the day, but I’m not too worried about the getting up early as It’s not a huge concern for me in my life. The reason that I’m doing this program is to get more disciplined in my work. On Day 6 I really hit my stride with getting a lot done and am pretty pumped. I find that when I get started working I am able to get in a flow state really easy and able to bang out hours of work.
Bottom Line: After a week into the program, I can absolutely say that I am getting much more disciplined in doing my work, which is what is most important to me. At this point I absolutely would recommend purchasing 30 Days of Discipline. If you are interested in starting 30 Days of Discipline for yourself, click here.