As I’ve been growing older, I’ve come to notice that life needs to be lived to the fullest. That you can’t take everything for granted and that nothing is going to fall into your lap. You simply need to go out and do things for yourself if you ever want to become successful. Success is always something I have wanted in life and I feel like now is the best time to go out and get it. I recently hit the big 2-0 and as I’m looking ahead on the long road I’ve yet to travel down, I want to make sure that I can do it all, so that when it’s finished, I can look back on it and be proud of what I’ve accomplished.

This week’s post isn’t going to be directly travel related, it’s more or less going to be about making sure your dreams become goals that can be conquered, and a few things that you can do to put those into action. These things can be used towards travel goals, a better paying job, or to pick up a new hobby.

What’s probably helped me the most with accomplishing some of my goals is getting up early in the morning to start my day. Early for me is around six in the morning, because I wouldn’t normally have to be up until at least nine on my current schedule. Getting up at six lets me crush whatever I want to accomplish for the day and it makes me feel great about it. It’s one of the best feelings in the world to know that you’ve completed X, Y, and even Z before lunch! Becoming a morning person is addicting, trust me.

I also suggest going to the gym and leading a healthy lifestyle. I follow Sir Richard Branson pretty closely because he is one of my inspirations and he claims that going to the gym is a huge part of his success in having multiple multi-billion dollar companies because it gives him a few more hours of energy every day. You really can’t argue with that can you? I generally go to the gym a half hour or an hour after I wake up and by the time I’m done, it’s still only eight.  Plus make sure to always carry around water with you!

Read books because reading is sexy. Or as John Waters once said:

“If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em!”

Well said John, well said. People who read books left and right wouldn’t be the people they are today if they hadn’t. Even if you say that you don’t have the time to read, there is always someway to make time. Even picking up a book for ten minutes here and there is more beneficial than never reading. Gaining knowledge is never going to hurt you.

Discover your passion and find out how you can achieve it, and then begin taking baby steps. Do you want to spend your summer in Italy? Write a bestselling novel? Create a small business or an entire empire? Find resources on how to do those things and begin studying them. Once you feel a little bit of direction down the path you want to walk, sketch out small goals that you can hit to eventually reach larger goals.

Create a “To-Do” list. Everyone is different, but personally I love using task lists because of the rush I get when I’m able to cross something off. I write down everything I need to do for the day and even things that I can do to get ahead (i.e. read more in my current book, write another blog post, study for upcoming exams). I mark everything that I can do to get ahead with an asterisk to separate them. Like I said, this isn’t perfect to motivate everyone to complete tasks, for instance, Pat Flynn hates them because it makes him feel overwhelmed and he feels bad when he doesn’t accomplish everything on the list.

These tips aren’t going to bring you success alone, it’s going to take a lot of hard work, but these are a few ways that you can keep motivated and feel great about yourself and what you are doing. Whatever your dreams, don’t be afraid to chase them, there will never be a perfect time, so start now. Is there anything that you find helps you with success?


  1. I couldn’t live without my to-do list! I have carried a small notebook around with me with various budgets, to do lists, must read list etc since I was a teenager. I am not a fan of the gym but I definitely agree that exercise is important to keep your mind and body healthy and to have more energy. Walking and yoga work for me. I need to try to get up earlier, it’s hard though as I am more of a night owl 🙂

    • That’s great to hear! I really want to get into yoga myself, I know it would be great for my health and probably help me a lot with my strength training in the gym. I’m hoping to take a class on it next semester. 🙂

  2. I know you are completely correct about getting up early but it is one thing I’ve never been able to do. My schedule right now (with a 10 year that I need to get to school) requires that I get up at 6am and that is hard enough! I do live by lists though.

  3. All great tips, Clay. I think having specific goals is so important, although I’m absolutely horrible about setting them for myself. And, I too, am a list person. There are few things more satisfying than seeing a crossed-off list!

  4. This is one of my favorite posts from you, Clay. Very inspirational! I’m a morning person also and am usually awake by about 7am. Early in the morning is when I feel most energetic and motivated to get everything done. It’s definitely addictive. 🙂

  5. I love this post, Clay. I agree about getting up early; it can be very hard to do but it really gives you the jump on things. Besides, the world is very quiet at that time and you can really concentrate on things before the noise of the day begins.

    I also agree that physical activity is fantastic for giving you energy. The gym won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but anything physical will do. Like Katie, walking and yoga work well for me.