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The Super Ultimate 2011 Turbo-Charged 30-Day Jump Start

Group Immaculata 2:
The Super Ultimate 2011 Turbo-Charged 30-Day Jump Start
for health, creativity, happiness, power, and enchantment
(January 2nd – January 31st, 2011)

(TO SIGN-UP PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.)

Overview:
Like the 2 Week Pre-Thanksgiving Enchant-A-Thon this past November (which had over 120 particpants from across the country!), the Super Ultimate 30 Day Jump-Start aims to provide structure, community, and some good ol’ fashioned light-hearted fun for those who are looking for a boost in health, focus, and productivity in 2011.  Whether you are just looking to start the year with better eating and exercise habits, or you are looking for new methods and techniques to create momentum in your artistic field of choice, this could be a great way to do it.  It’ll be fun, it’ll be an experience, and it’s FREE, yo.  In short, at the end of the 30 days I want all that participate to be like “Hot damn, that was the best January of my life!” Or at the very least “No complaints.”

Who is this for:
Writers, artists, designers, musicians, comedians, builders, pastry chefs, illustrators, jewelry makers, entrepreneurs.  Oh, and cartographers.  And magicians.  Really, it’s for anyone looking to make positive lifestyle changes, but as the sole writer on the site (for now), much of what I experiment with and talk about will be my experiences, struggles, and breakthroughs as I try to maintain my focus and aim to reach my goals as a creative person.

How does it work?
The short version: Pick the positive changes or resolutions you have for 2011, stick with them for 30 days, and know that you are not alone.

The longer version: There are three aspects to the Jump-Start — Health, Productivity/Creativity, and Doing Awesome Things.  First, choose a plan that works for you (as outlined below).  Then, before January 1st I will send you “The Official Jump-Start Guide” which will provide more information, along with a few Handy Tipz n’ Trickz ©.  Then, via this blog, email, and a Facebook Group page, I will continue to provide resources, content, creative “assignments” and write about my personal experiences to keep you motivated (or at the very least give you something to make fun of).  For those in LA there will also be a handful of optional group activities and/or excursions.  All the while you will be part of and in communication with a large community of like-minded people experiencing the same ups and downs, which will provide the added motivation you need to stick with it when the going is tough, and maximum high-fivage you when the going is great.

HEALTH
If you’re out of shape and you know it, constantly exhausted, seemingly always getting sick, don’t sleep well, or are caught in a cycle of caffeine/alcohol/sugar consumption that affects your mood, then the Immaculata “cleanse” could be a great way to get back on track.  It’s not always easy, but after a couple weeks there’s no doubt you’ll feel the positive affects in a major way.  And the best part is your aren’t doing it alone.

I suggest the following for the 30-day duration:
* No tobacco, No alcohol, No drugs, No firearms
* No fast food, No sweets
* Only drink water, tea, or fresh juice.
* At least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.
* 20 – 45 minutes a day of meditating.
* Show daily gratitude.

For other ideas, you can read about my first Immaculata this past September, the first group Immaculata this past November (which includes quotes from the participants), or read more about my personal goals for January.

In addition to the above list, I will personally be adding the following for my personal goals in January:

* A completely Vegan diet.
* Write at least 1 hour every single day.
* Do at least one thing each week that I’ve never done before.
* Floss daily!
* At least two volunteer/charitable acts over the course of the month.
* Take at least 24 consecutive hours off each week from the internet.
* Spend at least one hour every week reviewing my goals and progress as to make improvements for the following week.

I encourage you to pick and choose the aspects that suit you best.  But don’t underestimate your ability to kick ass on just about all of them.  And remember, the goal isn’t necessarily to conquer every single vice you have in one month, the goal is to feel the benefits of taking a break from these things, to get some perspective on how they might affect you more than you think, and to then make choices on what to introduce back and to what extent after the 30 days are up.

PRODUCTIVITY/CREATIVITY:
If you are like me, you have no lack of ideas for projects.  The problem is actually picking the ones to work on.  The past couple years I’ve spent more time being overwhelmed with the possibilities than I have actually getting things done.  I will be putting various productivity and workflow methods to the test over the next few weeks and invite you to try along with me.  So far I can wholeheartedly recommend the following:

1. Conduct an Annual Review.  What was awesome for you in 2010?  What was shitty?  What are your goals for 2011?
2. Based on your goals for the year, set your goals for January.
3. Decide on a productivity method/creative workflow that keeps you focused and engaged.  I will personally be experimenting with one called Zen to Done.

Throughout the month I will be blogging about this method, as well as providing other resources I will be experimenting with.  In addition, I will be giving periodic “assignments” to help spur creativity throughout the 30 days.

DOING AWESOME THINGS
This pretty much speaks for itself.  My goal is to do at least one thing every week that I wouldn’t have normally done out of fear or sheer laziness.   I will provide suggestions throughout the month, and for participants in LA there will be a handful of optional group activities you will be invited to attend.

I of course encourage you to modify or add anything else to your personal agenda for the month.  What is going to make it the ultimate jump-start for YOU??

So what’s the catch?!  There is no catch to this.  However, if this sounds like something fun to take part of I’d certainly appreciate if you could send this link around, post it on Facebook, Tweet it, and email it to anyone you know who might be interested in joining you.  The more the freaking merrier!

To sign-up:
Simply fill out the form below the FAQ, and I also encourage you to sign-up in the official Facebook invitation and join the Facebook Group page.

FAQ

Um, where does this come from?
As long as I can remember, I’ve said this every year VERBATIM: “Seriously though, THIS is the year I’m FINALLY going to make BIG things happen!  Everything is going to change.  I’m going to get in shape, finally make some decent money, and do all these like totally rad things.  Oh my god, this is it I can sooooo feel it!”

Then I wake up with a hangover January 1st, push my resolutions to the first available Monday, repeat for a few weeks, and then sleepwalk my way through another year of vaguely defined goals and ensuing  highs and lows.  This pattern has been destined to repeat itself, as I’ve had no underlying purpose, and therefore no lasting plan of action.  That’s not to say I haven’t done anything I’m proud of the past 34 years.  For example, The 1989 LA Beatlefest Battle of the Bands Second Place Trophy didn’t win itself.

But riding the momentum of some of the changes I made in 2010, I want to not only take my health and fitness to another level in 2011, I want to start actually instilling new practices that will provide more focus, productivity, and happiness, and ultimately break me out of the longstanding habits and mindsets that have continually held me back from achieving all that I want.  It’s a great big experiment to be sure, but with specific goals and an actual plan, I have no doubt that I’ll be able to achieve more this year than any other.  And so why not invite a bunch of friends and strangers to join me?

So what makes you such an expert, hot shot?
Hot shot?  What are you, a feathered hair sportin’ jock in a 1980’s teen sex romp?  If so, just wait, me and my rag tag group of losers are going to beat you in some sort of epic and random sporting event in the next few weeks!

In any case, if you want actual credentials, I have a BA in Religious Studies, so suck it!

In reality, I am absolutely not an expert on health and fitness, however I’ve done the Immaculata 3 times now and every time it leaves me feeling amazing.  And now there are dozens of other people who have done it and can make similar claims.  So there’s that.

Otherwise, I am simply trying some new things, working on my own personal development, and sharing my experiences and results in the hopes that they can provide insight for others.  Oh, and I was once on an MTV Dating game show, so there’s that too.

Why no alcohol?
First off, eliminating alcohol as part of this isn’t to make any judgment on the act of drinking.  Drinking can be a lot of fun.  It can be delicious in your mouth.  It can make your problems temporarily go away.  It’s pretty much the most popular leisure activity ever in the history of the world.  But, in my own personal experience, I’ve found that taking a temporary break from it can be an enlightening experience that gets you back to your status quo.

But I have a wedding/bar mitzvah/birthday/Tequila Club meeting in January!
Yeah, I get it.  Like breaking up with someone, there’s never really a good time to stop drinking, or stop eating sweets, or cut out smoking, or anything else.  All I can say is that from personal experience, the reward of sticking with the plan in the face of these situations is all the more empowering.  And let me tell you, empowerment feels like soooo good.

Why 30 Days?
According to experts and scienticians, 30 days are ideal for creating new habits.

Why does it start January 2nd?
Eh, one day to recover.  There’s 31 days in the month so why not.  That said, if you want to start on the 1st, by all means!

What does this cost?
Participating in Immaculata is free.

How can I get more involved?
First and foremost, spread the word!  If you know anyone who might be interested in participating, please have them get in touch.  Or if you have an idea for a group event or excursion, please let me know and I will send you more info.

Is this a cult?
More or less.