Productivity

Episode #24: Making the Most Out of the Last Few Months of the Year

Listen to this episode 43 minutes

Today’s podcast is all about how you can plan to make the most out of the rest of 2018.

On this week’s episode, Russ and Mika are talking about why they love the 4th quarter of the year.

Many entrepreneurs dread this time. The holidays and change of season can make those last three months hectic and can cause a bit of a slump in your productivity.

Today’s show is all about how you can approach the final stretch of the year. We’re talking about what you can accomplish in the next 90 days so you can set your self up for success at the beginning of 2019 and beyond.

 

In this episode, you will learn:

• Why it’s important to make a plan to be productive in Q4.
• The things that Russ does to maximize his time at the end of the year.
• The importance of investing in outside accountability.
• Why you should actively plan to simplify your holiday activities.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

RussPerry.co
MikaPerry.com
Sobr.com
DesignPickle.com
Russ Perry on Instagram
Mika Perry on Instagram
The Sober Entrepreneur by Russ Perry
TheSoberEntrepreneur.com
The Russ Perry Show
Better Homes and Gardens
MBG Podcast – Ellen Vora, MD
Orgain Protein Powder – Chocolate Fudge
T3 Hair Dryers
High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove
Tim Ferris Podcast – How to Conquer the Messy Middle with Scott Belsky
Behance
Big Dawgs
Calm Meditation App

 

Transcript:

 

Russ Perry: Everyone, welcome to another episode of Good to be Home. I’m your cohost Russ Perry.

Mika Perry: And I am Mika Perry.

Russ Perry: Let me be the first to say, happy fall! Which, if you live in Arizona like we do, really is just more summer. Right?

Mika Perry: It’s still a hundred degrees.

Russ Perry: Yeah. Seasonality is very abrupt in Arizona. It’s like it’s so hot, it’s melting. It’s not hot, it’s melting less, and then it’s hot again. That’s about it.

Mika Perry: Yeah. It really doesn’t cool off until after Halloween, that’s kind of the pivotal point.

Russ Perry: Halloween is a roll of the dice whether it’s going to be miserable for the kids or not. We’re concerned about heatstroke in Spider-Man costumes.

Mika Perry: And the chocolate melting.

Russ Perry: Chocolate melting.

Mika Perry: Yeah. It’s a sad time. No, but it’s fun. But yeah, we’re still in the heat and wearing shorts and T-shirts, but that’s kind of nice too.

Russ Perry: All right. Today, I’m going to take total ownership for this episode because, as an entrepreneur and a businessman, there is a big push the next three months for the end of the year. Quarter 4, as we talk about it, and as we brand it. But I was thinking, and we were having this conversation, is like I love quarter 4 because it is the opportunity that a lot of people just write off in the sense that most people are like, “Oh, we have the holidays, it gets busy. There’s all these things. You can’t get as much done.”

But I say, “Bah humbug.” I think if you approach these next three months, you will be so set up going into 2019, and it will blow your face off. It will be so powerful in terms of what you can accomplish over the next 90 days, and to not just roll over for the fruitcakes and mint pretzel things from Costco, which are so good. You know what I’m talking about?

Mika Perry: Oh, sure do.

Russ Perry: Those are so delicious.

Mika Perry: Yes.

Russ Perry: We’re going to talk about kind of how to get ready for the next three months, this holiday season. Whatever you want to call it, quarter 4, the holidays, the end of the year, it’s all the same thing. I’m going to kind of talk about the things that I literally do during this time from a practical standpoint. Mika, you had a bunch of really cool ideas, just more of seasonality in our home. In specifics, what is the Perry family going to be up to?

Mika Perry: Exactly. Before we do that …

Russ Perry: Before we do that, back to our What are we Reading, Listening, Eating and Loving segment.
Mika Perry, you always kick us off on this one. Take it away.

Mika Perry: … All right. For reading, I love Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I’ve mentioned that I started reading magazines while traveling, but specifically I’ve picked up now a couple times Better Homes and Gardens. Now, I didn’t know that they’ve been around since the 1920s, 30s. They’ve been around forever, and actually, they have a cookbook that they’ve released for years … I mean, decades. Not years, decades.

I mean, we’re talking last century. They know what they’re doing, but here’s the thing, is I totally had a stigma, or I stereotyped them to be for the older crowd. Now, maybe I am now old, and so I’ve now become their demographic, but I don’t care because, you guys, the tips and information they have in Better Homes and Gardens is really good.

I think they’ve updated the brand. I know they have because the cover, their text or typography, they’ve changed it. The interviews, the information in there is really relevant. So much so that I’m almost thinking of emailing the editor and saying, “Good job.” I’ve never done that for a magazine, that’s how good I feel like they’ve been producing content in this.

Russ Perry: Fantastic. You should email the editor.

Mika Perry: I’m going to because I think need to hear that they’re doing a good job, and they need to know. This guy needs to know.
All right. Listening, I’ve mentioned this podcast before, mindbodygreen, but I listened specifically to an episode recently. It’s an interview of Ellen Vora MD on inflammation and the connection between blood sugar and anxiety.

I thought it was a very insightful, very easy listening type of interview. She was very cool because she’s an integrative psychologist, a holistic psychologist, but very down-to-earth, and says it like it is, and really just the connection between the rest of the body and the mind. And how mental illness and psychology shouldn’t just focus on what she said is inside your skull, in your brain. It’s a whole body situation and the fact that what you put in your body makes a significant difference.

While I was listening to it, I was just thinking about how it’s so simple, when you think about it, to eat better and to just eat good food, yet it’s so challenging because of lifestyle, because of availability. I mean, I personally can attest to that, it’s just hard to eat always what’s right for you whether it’s our cravings, it’s tough.

I think for me it’s helpful to always constantly be putting information into my brain of why good food is so import. Why it’s important to put an emphasis on that in your life to help your overall well-being.

Okay. For eating, I love Orgain protein powder and chocolate fudge. We ran out of it the other day, and it was like, “Oh, no.” I remember you looked at me kind of with panic in your eyes like, “Mika, are we out of protein powder?”

Russ Perry: I had to eat eggs.

Mika Perry: Eat eggs, my goodness. But for me it’s funny you mentioned eggs because I don’t eat eggs anymore, so a morning protein is actually a challenge for me to figure out how I’m going to get protein in the morning. I think we’ve been using this Orgain powder for two or three years now?

Russ Perry: Yeah, a while.

Mika Perry: A while. It’s a plant-based protein, it tastes awesome. It tastes better than any whey based or vegan protein I’ve ever had. Our kids love it, I talk about it all the time, showing in our smoothies that I’ve posted before. It’s awesome. I haven’t tried the vanilla one, and they also make one with super greens in it, but I don’t get that one because, from a skincare perspective with melasma, super green foods like chloroform can actually trigger acne and melasma.

Russ Perry: I think I’ve looked at the materials of it, and I do feel like there’s less sweetener or less artificial sugar in that.

Mika Perry: Yes.

Russ Perry: Because I do know regular protein, like animal-based protein, tastes terrible, like you’re eating animal, parts of animals. So there’s a lot more sweetener in those to mask those flavors. This, I noticed, it’s a lot less.

Mika Perry: Okay. Loving, this is something I’ve also been using for at least a year now, but it’s my T3 brand hair dryer. I used the same Conair, whatever, $29.99 blow dryer from whatever, Amazon, Target, for years. I have a lot of hair. It’s not super thick, but I’ve more fine hair, but a lot of it, and it takes a while to blow dry it. At least that’s whenever I’m at a salon, and they’re styling it, and they’re like, “This is taking forever.”

A blow dryer, I didn’t realize, it really does help. I thought it was a gimmick or whatever, “It’s not worth investing more in a blow dryer.” But for someone like me, for someone like pretty much everyone out there that needs to blow dry their hair, but it takes time, and it’s super annoying, it really cuts it down.

I don’t have a problem with frizz, but I know that there’s ionic technology that helps that. For me, it’s just about cutting down drying time, and it really works. I’ll link it here in the show notes so that you can check it out. You can get it on Amazon, and I’ve actually gotten mine at Costco.

I believe I got it on Black Friday day, but I know that they have it at Costco, and will also put in a link that the show notes from early sale, if you’re looking to buy it at a lower price because it’s over $100.

Russ Perry: All right. Now, before we move on to my list, just a few facts. Stephen Orr is the editor of Better Homes and Gardens, if you want to-

Mika Perry: Oh, you just looked it up?

Russ Perry: … Yeah, if you want to reach out to him.

Mika Perry: All right.

Russ Perry: And the original name of the magazine founded in 1922 by Edwin Meredith, who was the previous Secretary of Agriculture under Woodrow Wilson, the original name was Fruit, Garden and Home from 1922 to-

Mika Perry: Fruit?

Russ Perry: … From 1922 to 1924 until it was-

Mika Perry: Fruit, Garden, and Home.

Russ Perry: … changed in 1925 to Better Homes and Gardens.

Mika Perry: Interesting.

Russ Perry: Right? Very cool. Okay, so what am I reading? I just finished the book High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove. This is a book that was recommended on a podcast, which I’ll get to in my listening, and it is a fantastic read.

Actually, I wasn’t quite sure about this book. If you don’t know, Andrew S. Grove was the third employee at Intel. He led the company for a few decades through the microchip hay days, especially as they pivoted away from creating RAM, which was Intel’s original business.

It was a quick read, and a primer, and just really good one-on-one management basics. I’m talking stuff that I feel like I should’ve known, but I was getting a lot of insights out of, like have regular one-on-ones with your team. And I’m like, “Oh, man. I’m not doing that as much as I should.” Or I’m doing it very reactively, like there’s a problem, and we have a one-on-one, or there’s a new project, and we have a one-on-one.

I really like it. It’s actually, I guess now, I heard in a podcast at least, that it’s recommended for lots of start-ups, and younger leaders that don’t really have a lot of experience. I see now why because it was totally practical, down-to-earth, and I highly recommend the book. Again, High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove.

What am I listening to? Well, I’m back into podcasts, and not just ours. I’m listening to podcasts more because I am been working out a little bit more, and the length of those workouts have increased, so I need something to do. Just the old hip-hop won’t get me through those, so I was listening, actually, most recently to the Tim Ferriss podcast with a guy who I really admire.

I’ve actually had a few emails with this man before, his name’s Scott Belsky. Scott was the founder of an online community called Behance that he sold to Adobe for hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe at least $100 million. Scott is a real big champion in the creative space, and in this podcast, they were just talking a lot about the books and things that they are consuming to become better leaders.

Scott’s an investor now, and that’s actually where the book High Output Management came from, but if you’re not listening to Tim Ferriss podcast, it’s always super long, and it’s kind of my go-to when I just have something to do that’s like a long cardio session or something that I-

Mika Perry: Or a flight, you can listening [crosstalk].

Russ Perry: … or a flight, right. They take their time, there’s lots of details, the show notes are always really in-depth. So, recommend that.

What am I eating lately? Pico, pico de gallo. Real fresh pico de gallo, and it’s a change-up because we don’t really go out to Mexican food very often, and I’ve been a big fan. I’m a huge, huge chips and salsa fan guy, like big chips and salsa fan, but I’ve been having chips and pico, which has just been really delicious and fresh. Not much to expand on that.

Finally, what am I loving? I am loving my online personal trainer. I actually signed up for a service. It’s through a gym in North Scottsdale, but they have an online training company called Big Dawgs Athletes or Big Dawgs Athletics. Normally, they work with real athletes, it’s kind of why I signed up for them because a lot of their clients are professional CrossFit or other weightlifting people, much younger, much better in shape than I am.

But what’s fantastic because I’ve been able to have really consistent workouts throughout all the travel, and my training coach Mike is on top of it. I can ask him questions. I’ve never done it before, so probably for a lot of people, they have, maybe, I assume people have done it. To me, this is a new novel concept, and I’m really enjoying it.

I’m also really enjoying the fact that I can be like, “Hey, I’m going to be in a hotel here.” Or, “I’m not going to have access to these things when I’m traveling.” And everything is customized, so big fan of Big Dog and thank you for training little ol’ me. I was not an athlete, but it’s been very, very helpful.

Definitely check them out because they work with clients anywhere. They’re online, so you just basically tell them what your goals are, and they’ll set it up for you.

All right, so that wraps it up. If you want to get the whole list of what we’re Reading, Listening, Eating and Loving, you can always go to our website GoodToBeHomePodcast.com, and we have the list there. Just pop in your email, Mika is a very diligent updater of that from time to time.
Let’s get started then. Let’s go on to the main topic.

Mika Perry: Quarter 4.

Russ Perry: Q4.

Mika Perry: Q4. End of the year. I love fall and definitely love the holiday season. It’s just a time of warmth, not temper … Well, definitely temperature. It’s temperatures are dipping, but for some reason, it gets cozier and warmer. Also, figuratively warmth of family, and gatherings, and it’s just a happy time for me.

My favorite holiday is Christmas. My second favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. My birthday is in the fall. Russ, your favorite holiday is Halloween, so it’s an exciting time.

Russ Perry: Right. This will be our second holiday season in our home that we built last year. Kind of a funny anecdote is we decided to put a fireplace in our master bedroom. It’s kind of a fun touch, and it’s like we want to turn it on so badly, but it’s still so hot outside, so we’ll turn it on for 20 seconds, and then we’re sweating bullets.
It’s hopefully going to be a little cooler this year that we can use it.

Mika Perry: We’ve totally turned on the air conditioning to turn on the fire, to balance it out before.

Russ Perry: Maybe, maybe. I don’t want to admit that. That’s pretty wasteful.

Mika Perry: It’s just once or twice.

Russ Perry: “Cool down the bedroom, so we can have ambiance.”

Mika Perry: We can have the fire. Hey, you only live once.

Russ Perry: Okay. As Mika said, this is a fun time for our family. We’ll definitely be talking about it a lot, but I wanted to just start with some really practical things that I am currently doing right now. These are things that I think are very helpful for anyone whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, but they are the … It’s almost like my mental housekeeping that I do to get ready for the next three months.

By doing these things, why I do these things, is so that I can make sure that I have a good strategy for all of the distractions, be it great distractions. Don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with the family, I love having time with the girls when they’re out of school, but it can be easy to just go through the motions of the holidays. And then all the sudden, it’s January 1st, and you’re stressed out big time.

You’re like, “Oh my gosh. It’s the next year. What happened?” Because all of these activities will take you away from gaining any momentum unless you have a good plan. Here’s what I do to have a good plan for the next three months.

The first thing is a round time blocking. This is not a new tip on our show, but briefly, if it’s the first time you’re listening, or you haven’t heard us talk about time blocking, it is managing your calendar, your digital calendar. We use Google Calendar and managing it where every part of your day has a purpose.

So if you look at my calendar, it will have blocks of time scheduled from pretty much when I wake to when I go to bed, including dropping the girls off at school, working out, having meetings, planning time. All of the things that we do, diner time, pizza night, birthday parties, yoga, meditation. Whatever it is, it’s all in there. If you look at the calendar, as Mika said before, there’s no white spots, there’s no blank spots.

This can become very good in theory, but over time whatever your plan was can just go out the window, and so every quarter, including this time, I replan the next 90 days. I’ll probably spend three or four days working on this where I will go through every week from now until the end of the year and block out all the time.

It sounds insane, but once I’m done, everything is set. My teams know when to schedule meetings with me, I have all my travel scheduled, if I need to rearrange meetings around those times I’m out of the office, I can do that, and it’s very clear. Then what each week becomes is, “Okay. What am I going to specifically be working on for that week?”

If I go out into, say, the middle of October, and I have, I’m just going to pick a random day, I’ll pick an easy day. I’ll pick October 25th. Here’s what I have: wake up, meditate and study from 5:00 AM to 7:00 AM. Now, there is a lot more detail that goes into that, but I have that time blocked out, and the kids probably get up between 6:00 and 7:00 anytime, so that ends that session.
Then I have, spend time with girls and take to school. I take Reese to school when I’m in town. Then from 7:50 to, let me pull the times here, 9:30, training, physical exercise. I do that in the morning, and that also includes a shower in there.

At 9:30 to 1:00 PM I have, create. Now, what this means for me, I don’t know what I’m going to create on October 25th, but that is a time where no meetings will be scheduled. And what’s important that we can all have time to work on it whether it’s a strategy, a video, writing something.

Then at 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM I have a block that says, meetings okay. What this means for my team is they can schedule meetings with me. They can schedule a half-hour meeting, one-hour meeting. This is just like a hall pass, “Hey, this is the time that you can schedule meetings.”

Then from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM I have wrap up, which is typically emails, and I will do that.

So there are four things in my calendar on Thursday, October 25th. This is pretty much how I plan out every day for the rest of the year. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it gives me a framework for what I’m going to do, when I’m going to do it, and then I fill in the details.

Now, some days are different, like Mondays and Tuesdays, there’s a lot more meetings scheduled, and then I try to taper it off where Fridays are really a little bent, and I don’t have anything planned after 12:00 PM. I try to keep that just completely free for me and making sure that I close out the week strong.

Again, this might be a laborious task, you might think like, “Oh my gosh, that seems crazy to block out every single day.” But it’s really actually easy. Just set up one week, and then click on the event, and say repeat every week. Then go to the next week, and if there’s a conflict or something that it doesn’t work out, then adjust it for that week.
You can do this week by week, and for the most part, you’ll have it done in just a couple hours worth of work.

Mika Perry: Yeah, and I do this too. I like to think of it as theming out your day and your week. Also, to have a recurring pattern so that the flow of your days and your weeks work really well. I think, especially during the busy holiday season, end of the year, it’s super important to have these kinds of habits and flows in place to help you keep moving forward and not be derailed by positive things in life, like holiday events and the business of the season.

But just so you don’t forget and forego things that you’ve been working so hard on the first three quarters of the year and kind of throwing it all out the window.

Russ Perry: Right. I think a lot of people sort of accept that, “Oh, it’s just we’re not going to get as much done these next three months.” If you can combat that, you can be the exception to the rule, maybe you do get less done because it is, there’s all this stuff, but you’ll get so much more done than the next person.
You’ll be in a very powerful place at the beginning of next year, already moving down a direction you’re really happy with versus just sort of being like, “Oh, man. I’m so behind. Now it’s time of time to get focused.”

Mika Perry: Now, we’re not saying focus on achieving, focus on your goals and focus on moving forward professionally and personally, and don’t let the holidays and family distract you. Like you said, it’s a special time, and you need to honor that because that is what gives you fulfillment in life, but I think it’s a great time to have that advantage for yourself to reflect and also use this time to plan really ahead.
So don’t wait until January to plan the next year. Don’t throw things out the window, like I said, but take this moment to be three months ahead of your next year.

Russ Perry: Actually, Mika, I want to bring us something you’d really … We were kind of mapping out this episode and talking about the topic, in the conversations before we were recording you said something really insightful. I want to give you props for you. This is the only time where you can look at what you’ve done this year and still have enough time to get whatever else it is you want to do.

Mika Perry: Course correct.

Russ Perry: Course correct.

Mika Perry: Yeah. Yep.

Russ Perry: We’re sitting here, there’s still three months out-ish. That’s a ton of time, but it’s only going to be used if you plan it. Otherwise, you will go to 16 different holiday parties, you’ll go on a ski trip, or a snow trip, or whatever you do during the holidays, and it will be gone. The kids will be out of school for some time, you’ll be spending time with them and them boom. You’ll just wake up, and it truly will just vanish.

Mika Perry: Well, here’s an example of that where it’s like I just hit pause for a minute, reflect and say, “Wait, I still have three months left to achieve something that I maybe set for myself as a goal at the beginning of the year.”

One of that for me was I set a goal in January, a personal goal, to meditate for 30 days straight. Now, this was inspired by my meditation app Calm, which I’ve loved, and I’ve used for three years now. I wasn’t tracking my patterns as much initially, so I maybe have hit this in the past, but this year I said, “I want to meditate for 30 days straight.”

Now, what was happening is that I would get to 20 days, and then I’d miss a day. The longest I’ve gone is 28 days. 30 days collectively? Sure. I think I’ve meditated for a week straight now, hour-wise, whatever, but to get to 30 consecutive days is hard because life happens, and you miss a day. There’s been times where it’s 11:55, and I was like, “Oh, no. I didn’t meditate today.” And then it’s the next day, and I [inaudible] late night or something.

But I realize now, at quarter 3, quarter 4 changing, and there’s a little bit left of the year and reflecting back, that was putting unneeded stress on myself. I was being really discouraged that I wasn’t hitting 30 days. In fact, I was almost getting embarrassed by it. I was like, I need to report on the school at the end of the year and to say I never go to 30 days was like, “Oh.”
What that was doing is I was negating and neglecting the fact that I had meditated so much and that was really beneficial, but because I set this number for myself I was feeling down about it and not wanting to do it anymore.

So I took this moment in time now to say, “You know what? It’s not about hitting that number anymore, it’s to just be consistent about it and make it a habit and practice again in my life. And focus on the benefits of it, not on this target number I’m trying to hit.”

Russ Perry: Right. Meditating for 30 days is in itself just a silly random thing to choose, but who you have to become to develop the self-discipline to incorporate meditation into an already busy life with kids, and demands, and all of these other things. That’s why you do it, is because it requires you to have more organization, it requires you to have more time, and calm, and space for it, and you’ve achieved that.

If you don’t take time to reflect on that now, you can’t get to the end of the year and be like, “I got to 28, darn it.” And then maybe try to do it again or sort of forego meditation overall not realizing, wow, you actually have created a very good habit around meditation that’s improving your life.

Mika Perry: Yes, so it was just a mindset shift for me at this moment in the year that I do have three months ahead to switch my mindset around meditation. I could hit 30 in a row, but I’m not making that my focus anymore because I was losing the benefit and the joy of meditation.

Russ Perry: I think you could.

Mika Perry: I might. Right now I want to … But I’m not going to feel bad about it anymore because I have meditated for 28 days straight, that’s awesome.

Russ Perry: Yeah, that’s four weeks.

Mika Perry: Yeah.

Russ Perry: Well, and then there you go. I mean, that is one of the themes here right now is this time of the year is probably the best time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished this year because there is going to be then this final lap around the sun or a final quarter around the sun here before we start anew.

There could be updates to what you wanted to accomplished, there can be new things, you can do things better. Unless you create that time and space for yourself to look back and sort of be like, “Oh, man. That was awesome.” then it won’t come.

Naturally, we’re going to be so critical of what we do, always. I feel like sometimes you and I can be overly critical of ourselves, and if-

Mika Perry: 100%.

Russ Perry: … Yeah, and if we actually look back and review the distance we’ve traveled versus just being fixated on the horizon ahead, because you never get to the horizon, then you actually can say, “Holy cow. Look at what has been done this year.” That then is even further fuel to continue down your path whatever it may be the next three months.

Mika Perry: Can I give some more examples of what I’m thinking? Or do you have … You said you have some other strategies and practical tips.

Russ Perry: You know what, honey? You can do whatever you like.

Mika Perry: Okay. Right now, I have two other examples. One is fitness related and one is with the home. I’ve had a multitude of fitness goals throughout the many years that I’ve been working out and even focused on fitness, but, right now, I feel like I’m in a really good place fitness-wise and feeling the benefits of my personal training sessions.

I was at a point I’m like, “Do I keep doing training? Am I seeing results?” but I was jumping too fast on it. I started training in the spring. We had our summer vacation, which obviously isn’t a time to make any gains in fitness, it’s more maintain, like maintenance, but then we came back, school started, and quarter 3 happened, and now we’re going to quarter 4, and I’m really encouraged by the steps I’ve made.

They’re not as big of a gain that I would want, but the fact that I am not falling behind and making small improvements makes me feel really good going into the last quarter of the year. What happened is that last year I had a fitness school that happened right around quarter 3 and because it wasn’t going well I kind of just said, “Screw it.” for the rest of the year, for the holidays.
I was like, “You know what? The holidays are coming, we just moved into this house. It’s super busy, I’m putting fitness on the back burner, my gains.” Then January came, and I was like, “Oh, great. I could’ve been in a better position than I am right now.” I had more weight to lose, more muscle I needed to build, that sort of thing. And so this year now, kind of being in that same time spot in the year as last year, I feel like I’m mentally and physically in a good place to keep moving forward and make small steps and small gains.

That’s where kind of my focus is, is the small steps. I’m not going to go on a crazy strict meal plan, a crazy hard workout every single day, I’m focusing on making small steps so that I will be in a better place at the beginning of the next year than I was last year.

Russ Perry: Well, that’s a great Segway to my next item.

Mika Perry: Awesome.

Russ Perry: I think it’s the small steps is the huge piece because you’re not going to make massive strides over a month, two months, or even three months. Three months you can accomplish a lot, but when I look back at our lives 12 months ago, I’m like, “Wow. We’re in a way different place.” If I look back three months, it’s just like, “I think we’re [inaudible].” which is a cool place. But it wasn’t that there was this huge drastic difference versus a year ago.

I think that’s what we always underestimate what we can do in a year and we overestimate what we can do in three months. I think that’s a famous saying by some coach or trainer, and we go to balance the two. In this point, another thing that I’m going, a practical tip, is I’m investing in outside accountability to make sure that I keep on track through the holidays.
What I mean by this is I’m a big fan of coaching. I do consulting in coaching myself. I hire coaches and consultants all over the place, and it is, simply for me, a accountability partner that costs me real money that I can say, man, I don’t want to let them down, but more importantly I don’t wan to let myself down. I don’t want to waste this money because this money is money that could be going to our family, or savings, charity, whatever it might be, and I’ve decided to use this for something, so I better use it wisely.

So I’ve invested in, like I mentioned, a virtual fitness coach. If I miss my workout, I get an email about it, and it’s like, “Oh, man. I feel like they’re watching all the time.” But more simple than that, I’ve invested in business training and coaching through the year.

Another thing that is a common hack and tip that I’ll do, and I, full disclosure, haven’t done yet, is plan out all the date nights and invest in the babysitter for all the date nights, so they’re all planned. There’s several other ways you could do this, no matter what you’re wanting to do, or where you’re wanting to grow over the next three months, is find someone who’s better at that than you, or maybe a coach or a consultant, and have them be an accountability partner through the next three months here.

You’re going to be much more focused on that task if someone else’s job is to make sure you stay on track with that.

Food is always a crazy topic, but I’m going to try again to have a little bit of help during the days and investing in a meal prep program. Just I get hungry a lot of times, and I’ve been working at home now, and I just want to eat 18 protein bars, which I’m pretty sure is not a good strategy for food and wellness. But whatever you can do to set you up for success over the next three months now, that’s a worthwhile investment, so you’re not having to think about it later on.

Kind of to sum it all up, the final thing I do, and it really is just a ongoing process, it’s a process that was really defined in my work with Warrior. It’s not a Warrior specific thing, is really looking at the next 90 days like a set challenge for what it is specifically I want to accomplish in the next three months.

If you start on October 1st, and 90 days from October 1st, or let’s just say 12 weeks because it’s a little shy of 90 days, you’ll be finishing up the week before Christmas. I think that’s a great mental model of, “Okay. I’m going to start the first week of October, I’m going to end right before Christmas and New Years.” What is it that you want to do?

Then I get hyper specific on one specific thing in my body, in my wellness, in my mental state, in my kind of personal development with my family and then with my business. So there’s four specific things that I’ll do body, being, balance and business, and then I will-

Mika Perry: Wait, say that slower.

Russ Perry: Oh. Sorry, I’ve had a lot of coffee. I will set a outcome in one of the four areas of the quadrants of life that we kind of focused on inside of Warrior, body, being, balance and business. Then I will back out, “Okay. That’s where I want to be in 90 days. Where do I need to be in 60 days to be on track? And then where do I need to be in 30 days to be on track?”
This will be built out, and it’ll be my last big push for some big stuff this year. Then I’ll end right before Christmas, and then I won’t really worry about goals, and targets, and accomplishments, and all this stuff until the New Year.

Mika Perry: That’s awesome. I want to touch a little bit on family traditions. I think when you think of family traditions the holiday stuff really do come into mind. This season, this time of the year, is one where there’s a lot of emphasis on that, and I think that’s great, but it’s something that you should also focus on throughout the year.

Don’t forget family traditions throughout the year. We have a January family tradition of our New Year staycation that we do as a family. We have our summer travels, and then we also have our holiday traditions, our quarter 4 end of year traditions. Just to personally share, I think people have asked, “What do you guys do for Christmas?” And, “What are your Thanksgiving plans?”
For us, for the Perry household, we are staying home. We’re keeping it really simple. I think there’s a pressure to pack a lot in, but we kept it really simple last year and enjoyed it. I think it really keeps the focus on what’s most important. It’s just time with family, that’s all.

For Thanksgiving, we’re hosting at our house, we actually have the family tradition of Friday Thanksgiving. This started years ago actually when we were engaged, I think. Russ comes from a huge, huge family with lots of extended family. We only see them really Thanksgiving, and that side of the family has a tradition. It’s backyard Olympics, so it’s I don’t know how many people.

Russ Perry: It’s a big deal.

Mika Perry: It’s huge.

Russ Perry: It’s also rigged. The kids always win.

Mika Perry: But it’s like Alex does it, and he has the computer and monitors up of tracking everyone’s scores. We do this huge backyard Olympics thing. It’s really fun.

Russ Perry: By the way, Alex, he’s my aunt’s counsin’s husband, and he is a personal financial planner, and you should the spreadsheets he uses to aggregate all the scores, weight them appropriately. It’s like live tracking of rankings in backyard Olympics. It’s amazing.

Mika Perry: It’s awesome. That’s what we do on Thanksgiving Day, but we found that we have our immediate family, and felt kind of like we weren’t spending a lot of time with them.
Also, I love cooking, and I love Thanksgiving cooking. It’s a huge buffet, the turkey. I didn’t make the turkey. We were just bringing one dish to share in a potluck and then that was it. While that is a great family tradition, we kind of felt lacking in the immediate family bonding. Especially because my parents live in Tucson and inviting them up to a bigger gathering where they don’t know as many people.

It just was like we felt like we wanted to do something else, and so we started the tradition of hosting our immediate family members on Fridays at our house for a really simple traditional Thanksgiving diner. I guess I can mention that a lot of that extended family, they’re vegans and vegetarian, so this is legit. We’re making just green bean casserole, turkey and really simple.

Russ Perry: We’re pouring the fat of the turkey onto other things to eat, so not vegan friendly.

Mika Perry: This past year we invited your grandma, we invited your aunt and uncle who were also at that Thursday one. Also, your mom is there, your sister is there on Thursday, but it’s kind of like a round two Thanksgiving, and that’s just been a really fun time for us. That’s what our Thanksgiving plans are.

For Christmas, I, again, love hosting Christmas. I love just being in the house and keeping things really simple, so we’re not traveling for Christmas. We have done Hawaii Christmas before, and we’ll probably do a travel trip again in the future, but right now we’re enjoying our home. We love just keeping it simple with our small kids.

Russ Perry: Right. I want to point out, as silly as it sounds, you have to plan sometimes to have a simple Christmas. If you don’t have that as part of yous game plan for Q4 here, you’ll say yes to things. All the sudden yes momentum where you’ll be traveling, you’ll be driving on Christmas day, you’ll be going to someone’s house, you’ll be committing to a cousin, or a brother, or a parents that you just kind of are caught off guard by.

What is massively important is if that’s your plan, keep it on the forefront of your mind because there will be a lot of opportunity to go against that plan.

Mika Perry: Well. Then also just saying yes I’m thinking about the boundaries you create for yourself and overwhelm. It’s a super stressful time of year for a lot of people. Also, it’s a lonely time too. There’s a lot of emotion around, depending on your situation, around this time of year coming up.

I think setting clear boundaries for what’s important to you and yourself, we’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, that it’s okay to focus on you and your needs. Then expand out to your family, and your kids, and your husband, and then even further out to your extended family, and then your community, and friends, and all that, and your work as well.

I think it’s an easy time to say yes to everything, to work parties, to charity events, to giving opportunities. There’s a lot of yes opportunities, and I think it’s important to maybe sit down with your husband, or wife, or your kids to decide, here are the things that we are going to say yes to this holiday season.

Russ Perry: Yeah. I remember when we were in marriage counseling, and our counselor Jamie had one of the most money sessions we’ve ever had. We were talking a lot about the things that we’d done, and it was actually around holidays, and he said, “You guys are so focused on everyone else’s holiday traditions.” Including my family and what we do, what Mika described, backyard Olympics, all that.

“You’re a young family. You’re a new family. You need to be focused on creating your own new holiday traditions because your kids are going to perpetuate and live through you.” It was this permission to saying no at that point. That for me was this huge relief. Now we’ve found some workarounds.

The Thursday-Friday combo for Thanksgiving is kind of a workaround to say yes and still have our turkey and eat it too, but any young families out there I would really, really, highly recommend having the courage to say no to some of the “family traditions” that you might feel obligated to in lieu of creating your own.

That becomes a much more powerful thing for you and your family than driving all Christmas day all around just to have 20 minutes, or 40 minutes, of all of these “Christmas traditions” that are just hand-me-down traditions that you’re putting on and wearing, and you look ridiculous.

Mika Perry: Yeah. I think it’s also important to focus on the very small traditions too. For this Halloween season and the fall, I have these little baking and craft ideas for the girls and I to do together. Then that’s something that maybe you can give to those family members that you’re not planning on driving around and seeing. You can send them a card or send these cookies that you made for Halloween, so that you still stay connected, but you’re not overcommitting to big things all the time during the season.

Russ Perry: This is just a primer for the next few months. I hope it’s helpful, I mean, hearing my real tactical things that I do and then just getting a glimpse into the Perry family life, and what we’re going to be headed towards.

I’m sure this is not going to be our last conversation around the holiday seasons, but I would love to hear, we’d love to hear, what are some of the things that you’re going to be doing this holiday and the next three months? Q4 holiday, whatever you want to call it, as well as what are the things that you are getting ready for?

What do you want to accomplish over these next three months? When you’re looking at 2019, and the ball’s dropping, and everything’s getting ready for next year, what kind of place do you want to be looking ahead for the year to come?

Mika Perry: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I feel like if you’ve been listening to past episodes, and you’ve gotten to know us a little bit more, you know that we love to plan ahead. That’s not coming from an anxiety standpoint, but it’s coming from a purpose standpoint.

While it may be odd when it’s 90 degree, 100 degree weather, to sit here and be thinking about Christmas and talking about it with you guys in the holiday season, in winter. In 2019, we feel like we’ve accomplished and done the things we wanted to do and have had really positive things in our life because we planned ahead.

We think ahead, and we purposefully write things down, we purposefully have conversations about how we want things to go, so that’s where this episode’s coming from. It’s to say, “Hey, let’s not wait until the end of the year, let’s be purposeful about this season before it starts.” And think about it, come up with plans, and really create that season, that quarter 4, that you want for yourself, and your family, and your business, and your life.

Russ Perry: Well said, babe. Well planned.

Mika Perry: I didn’t plan it.

Russ Perry: Well, this ends our early holiday edition of Good to be Home Podcast. We hope you’ve enjoyed it, and if you want to catch our past episodes and all of the things we recommend on the show, please head over to GoodToBeHomePodcast.com.

Not to mention, check us, and follow us, and subscribe to us on iTunes and leave a rating as well. We love hearing those and love getting your feedback.

Mika Perry: Thanks for sharing with your friends and family too. I recently realized you can share episodes with people using the three dots. You hit that on the iTunes app, and then you can share a link.

Russ Perry: Oh.

Mika Perry: Yeah. I didn’t know that, so I’ve been using that share feature.

Russ Perry: Well, plan on sharing our episode. We’ll talk to you next week. Thank a lot, everybody.

Mika Perry: All right, and happy Q4.

Russ Perry: Thanks for listening to this episode of Good to be Home.

Mika Perry: And don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes and give us a rating.

Russ Perry: See you next time.