Summer Diet

San Diego

In the US and north of the Equator, we’re heading into summer. My daughter, age 10, sighed into the phone yesterday morning, “Dad, can you believe I won’t have school for three MONTHS? I told her that maybe this was the start of many adventures, and a great way to mark off some new projects to undertake. And then later, I realized that this was good advice to me. So, I thought I’d share a “summer diet” of sorts for you to think about, as well.

A Summer Diet

  • I will consume only two types of books this summer: those that enhance my business capabilities, and those that thrill me personally.

  • I will only read the blogs of a few friends, unless someone I trust sends me something I “must” see.
  • I will allow 3o minutes for email a day, and 30 minutes for social networking a day. Period.
  • I will produce 3 blog posts a week, 1 newsletter a week, 1 audio post (minimum) a week, and 1 video show a week (minimum).
  • I will complete and make available one new content project a week.
  • I will not do interviews or guest media for the rest of the summer (except what I’ve already accepted).
  • I will launch my next conference event.
  • I will revitalize the strategies of several new clients and previous clients.
  • I will free up at least two hours a day all summer long to act on my life goals and interests.
  • I will set and attain measurable business goals for every week of the summer.
  • I will enter the ocean or a lake once a week (at minimum). It’s summer!

The point in writing all this down is so that you might stir your own thoughts up and think, “What might I do over the next few months that jars me to think differently? How might I revisit my business? How can I not squander time, but still value and acknowledge the change of season? And finally, it’s a way of pointing out (to myself) where I might be wasting my time, and writing the potential positive version of that perspective into a list.

And You?

What might you add or subtract this summer? What business or personal interests will you change up? And if you’re heading into winter, what mental differences do you think exist between what I’ve written and how you’re perceiving the next few months? runs on the Genesis Framework

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  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Chris,

    In Phuket now so the beach every day is a given ;)

    Good food for thought. I will post 3 to 4 times weekly, not because I “need to post daily for search engines.” I will pen insightful, helpful, impactful comments on authority blogs. I will stop reading blog posts that are not teaching me anything new(see, authority blogs).

    I will continue meditating morning and evening as well stopping work the split second I hit my daily hourly allotment, as I learned over the past few weeks that working light, intelligently, and calmly means less work, more completed, and more money in my pocket.

    Thanks for the important reminder Chris. Enjoy your summer!


    • Chris Brogan

      I love every little bit of what you said here, Ryan. Sounds like you’re living an exciting life. :)

  • Jane Boyd

    Hey Chris, I see a plan to do the work here. I see intention. I see habits. I see order and no excuses. I see reinvention plus oh so much more. Most of all though, I see Turning Pro in action. Great plan. Your summer and well beyond will be awesome.

  • Brad Patterson @ Kwaga

    Brilliant. Sharing this with the greater public really solidifies it for you, Chris.

    I’m getting married this summer and have chosen to work a day less per week and get back into shape (lose 20 lbs… 1/2 way there) and sink back into the real world, stepping back a bit from the virtual work world.

    Please do a post in the fall on your thoughts on this summer diet. Cheers, Brad

  • Jim Mitchem

    I will continue my own diet that started with being hospitalized in march, leading to me quitting smoking, contracting (and beating) skin cancer, starting (and nailing) a real diet for the first time in my life that has me eating healthier than ever, allowing my self to let go for two weeks in a remote caye in the bahamas with my family (starting sunday) and then trying to be grateful upon my return, and finally practicing humility every day as a way to remain grateful for all the gifts I’m given in life.

  • Hannah

    I will start to write my book this summer supported by my amazing book coach and let myself try on the hat of a writer during this awesome summer.

  • Amy Neal Miyamoto

    I will admit I had to smile at this list. 1) Lovely pictures ;) 2) It feels like it contains the essence of “Turning Pro” + leveraging the equally powerful yet diverse energy potentials of tech tools + “joyful” endeavors + staying connected to Nature. Enjoy those trips to the ocean on “the other” coast. AND looking forward to more video shows. ;)

    P.S. This book might not meet your “summer reading” criteria, but it has been a game-changer for me in terms of how I view my time spent with the kids in the summer (year -round really) – and speaks to your daughter’s inquiry.
    Self Design: Nurturing Genius Through Natural Learning by Brent Cameron (Pretty paradigm changing stuff!)

  • Christina Pappas

    I love this idea Chris and I had to think about it. We always consider January as the kick-off to the year because it’s really traditional and new year’s just empowers the notion but September – the after summer, after rest, is really when we start. This summer I have embarked upon a writing class that is forcing me to write 1000 words a day. It’s tough work but I have found joy and peace in just putting something on paper (or screen rather). I will bask in the sun as much as possible even when it’s so hot I cant breathe. I will spend time with my parents because Im lucky enough to have a nice boat in the family and it should be enjoyed :). I will work on my blog and put more structure around it and really define what the heck it is I want to write about and what I want to add to the community. And, just for fun, I will go camping for the first time even though Im scared.

    • Amy Neal Miyamoto

      I love the going “camping for the first time even though I am scared”! Rock on! I am sure it will be full of adventurous firsts! ;)

    • Cathy Tibbles

      I took the kids camping last summer – scared the crap out of me! (So went a whole 20 minutes out of town.) I learned a lot of what to do next time we go for ‘real’! :)

  • Pasi Rahikka

    I hear the wild outdoor swimming is trendy. Happy Midsummer Night:)

  • Alan Weinkrantz

    uh… limiting to 30 minutes of email is sorta kinda really hard…. I know your saying about email can become someone’s else’s priorities, but the realities are this stuff streams all day long. I dont respond to everything and everyone. Maybe I will try to work towards actually emailing back with a limit of say… one hour per day. Maybe :)

    • Chris Brogan

      Try. What’s the difference?

  • Raul Colon

    I guess since for us its sort of summer all year it is good to get a reminder from the north to make some changes. Which also makes our summers more productive because we can enjoy the beach year round.

    I will take you up on the challenge of going to the beach at least once a week. :)

    • Cathy TIbbles

      I’ve often wondered how the lack of seasonal changes effects the productivity and sort of ‘goal setting / restart button’ that it provides us up north!

      • Raul Colon

        @16ed25a57ebf7b4e53a646f73cb2594f:disqus I have to say that we go off holidays. But having great weather all the time can cause to problems. People who love to work like me never take a break because we can always enjoy the good weather. Problem is we rarely do.

        On the other end people who in a cold weather environment might stay to work a few more hours because being outside is not an option (my experience working in Manhattan) will never stay those extra hours since there is always some better option than working.

        • Cathy Tibbles

          Yeah, human nature. We can always enjoy the ocean. Its right next door, but do we? (I’m getting better at this!) :)

          • Raul Colon

            Now I feel better about not driving 10 minutes to the beach! :) I am not alone!

  • Ken Perry

    thanks for the post Chris. For me it’s simple. Less Halo –more writing and recording. More prayer. More spending time with my two sons and wife. Less planning and thinking about goals– more time working towards them.

  • The Franchise King

    I knew exactly what you meant by, “Dieting,” Chris.

    I’m right with you.

    In Cleveland, we don’t tend to take summers for granted. And, even though I need to increase my income, I’m not going to do it by spending hours on end online this summer, either.

    We usually agree on things, and this is a great example.

    See you soon, hopefully.


  • Dave Thackeray

    The first thing I’m going to do is take a book tour with Sharing Superheroes and its little brother. The UK needs to wake up to digital marketing and I’m pretty sure I’ll be playing a big part in rousing it in the next few months. I also need to figure out how to do less than 5 episodes a week when Digital Daily has ‘Daily’ embedded in the title.

  • marketing expertise

    What kind of books “thrill” you personally? Are we talking fiction, biographies, history…?

    • Chris Brogan

      All of those topics.

  • Elsa Aaron

    I’m going to sing, dance,
    And Jump around and prance
    Chuckle, smile and laugh
    Eat ice cream until I feel to barf

    I’ll say thanks for my good health
    And seek ways to increase my wealth
    By blogging bit every week
    You can go now and take a peek

    I’m going to thank heaven for the health I’m in
    Plant and eat my veggies with vim
    I’m going to continue reading for pleasure
    And a bit for learning, which I treasure

    I’m going to love and nurture every kid I know
    And take pride in watching how they grow
    I’ll not forget those in need
    And give without a hint of greed

    I’ll lime and fete with my friends
    And we’ll check out the latest trends
    In food, fashion and style, to keep abreast
    Then discard it all, for our life’s the best!

    Oh oh, I guess rum punches at lunch is not a good idea!

  • mscj19

    Interesting comments: “I won’t read blogs, but I will write them . . .”

    • Chris Brogan

      Yep. And?

  • B

    I’m intrigued by your “30 mins for email, 30 mins for social media” plan. How do you personally plan on implementing that? I ask because that’s something I’d love to implement myself, but find it hard considering both of those things are a few quick keystrokes away.

    PS, don’t tell me “pure willpower” either. :)

    • Cathy Tibbles

      Yep – I’ve asked teh same question! 30 minutes – ai yi yi. How?

  • Daniel Decker

    Be goal + Do goals = Happy life : )

  • Mike Jones

    uh… limiting to 30 minutes of email is sorta kinda really hard…. I
    know your saying about email can become someone’s else’s priorities,
    but the realities are this stuff streams all day long. I dont respond
    to everything and everyone. Maybe I will try to work towards actually
    emailing back with a limit of say… one hour per day. Maybe :)

    • Chris Brogan

      Who cares that it streams? It is really useful?

  • Paul Stoltzfus

    I am annoyed (pushing me closer to the point of crossing you off my “top 5 list” ) every time your post appears in Google Reader and the author is “by ceb” This is wearing on me Bro! I hate cheap and details are important to me – especially the details out front. You’re a person not an acronym (I hate acronyms too – they are superficial unless it’s insider language) ***end of rant

    • Chris Brogan

      Delete me, then. If you’re worried about who authored the post and not the content, I couldn’t imagine what value I could bring you.

  • alexandralevit

    If everyone had a summer diet like this, we would all be happier AND more productive. Thanks, as always, for the wisdom.

  • Iulian Ionescu

    I’m a big believer in long term and short term goal lists. I like the name ‘diet’ though… So, I will work my goals into a diet!

  • Cathy Tibbles

    Ha! I just wrote a similar BBQ guide to work this summer. Its the work-to-live philosophy as opposed to the other. What will I do? Just watch my kids. Their wonder at the world (snails, seashells, flowers) fills me with appreciation all over again.

  • Marc Ensign

    Balance my friend! One thing you didn’t mention…health. Make sure you leave some room in there to get out and ride a bike, go running, walking, whatever. For those of us that spend most of their day in front of a screen (or behind a guitar) it’s a must. Not only are you only as good as you feel and all that stuff, but some of my biggest a-ha moments came while on a 30 mile bike ride where no one could find and bother me.

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