A Year Long Journey with Mike Iamele (month 6 update)

Every day, we hear stories inspiring stories from the Fabulous community so today we’re launching the “episodic” series of Mike Iamle as he navigates through the Fabulous app.

Mike, 31, is a self-employed entrepreneur helping artists, entrepreneurs, and visionaries of all kinds discover their unique genius so they can build a life and business around that genius. He lives in Massachusetts with his husband and two dogs, Roscoe and Birdie.

He was going through a particularly challenging time and knew he needed some serious support to overhaul his life. At the time, he had been suffering from severe digestive flare-ups for over three months, was in the middle of a lot of business and financial stress, and had just returned home from a family trip to Aruba where just about everything that could have went wrong did go wrong.

It was in January that he found the Fabulous app, in a frantic online search of the best productivity and wellness apps. This is his story, and it will updated monthly.

Month One

It feels like it’s flown by, but so much has already changed. In this time, I have already accomplished so much. I’ve listed a more of the bigger changes in my life

Starting the next chapter of his life after so many years of putting it off
  • I started and am 1/3 finished writing a book I’ve been putting off for years
  • I started waking up at 5:30am every day (even weekends) and have a luxurious 3-hour morning routine
  • I have an hour-long evening routine, which barely gets adapted on weekends
  • I’m reading my fourth book since starting the app
  • I bought tickets to Tony Robbins’ Date with Destiny for my dad and I in December — six days of intensive self-work, which I hope will fundamentally change our relationship
  • I’m working with a new therapist
  • I just hired a new photographer for a photo shoot to capture my changes over the last few years (since last photos)
  • I’m eating 100% paleo
  • I’m getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night
  • My partner and I are taking a for-fun, nine-week course on classical music (as an unconventional date night every Monday night) and rewarding ourselves with opera tickets in the spring if we pass
  • I signed up to volunteer five hours per week at the local arts council to promote the work of local artists
  • I feel more confident in myself, my body, and my work than ever

One month sounds so short, yet in other ways sounds so long because I feel like I’m just getting into a rhythm of how good this new routine feels.

It really struck me when Fabulous told me to think of the rituals as sacred. Now my morning, evening, and reading time is sacred.

I’m learning to prioritize myself because I know now that my health depends on it.

Month Two

His home ‘KonMari-ed’

I seriously cannot believe that I’ve been using the Fabulous app now for two months. In these two months, I have now accomplished the following:

  • I snagged a new photoshoot with an artist I’ve really wanted to work with, and have been processing seeing myself so powerfully
  • We’re on the precipice (days away) from a new website launch that captures my evolution over the last 5 years and where I am today
  • I’ve started working with a new therapist
  • I’ve missed just TWO DAYS of my 2.5-hour morning routine, getting up at 5:30am every day, even on some of the toughest days I could imagine, like being sick and feeling like I was going to vomit the whole time
  • I’ve shifted positions around my company to really evaluate what our needs were and where I was holding onto too much stress, which included letting someone go
  • I’ve still going strong on paleo (apart from oats, which I’ve been reintegrating) and healed a lot of my digestive issues
  • I’ve read 8(!) books
  • I’m taking a classical music class with my partner for fun (over just watching TV at night), and we’re going to the opera to celebrate the weekend after classes finish
  • I’m in the process of re-doing our entry-level eCourse — which is a huge endeavor — but somehow has felt totally manageable
  • My energy levels have been phenomenal, even on days when I’ve gotten a little bit less sleep, and my stress has been almost nonexistent
  • My partner and I have ‘KonMari-ed’ most of our house and have donated THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS worth of clothes, books, and DVDs

I just feel like every area of my life is transforming.

Work isn’t stressful anymore. I’m up for 4.5 hours before I even check e-mail or Facebook. We’ve added narration (by me) to every blog post to make it accessible to sight-impaired readers. I’m making headway on major projects. My relationships are all feeling amazing. And my health is improving.

The two days that I missed (due to major challenges) were the two worst days of my last two months. I can feel the shifts. I even plan my weekends around my routines.

I’m so grateful. I can’t even imagine where I’ll be in a year. But it almost doesn’t matter. Because I feel so good right now.

Month Three

Getting in a Fabulous workout at home

I’ve been using Fabulous for three months now. I realized that my three-month anniversary came a week and a half ago or so.

Every day, for the past 100 days, I’ve been getting up at 5:30am: exercising, eating breakfast, journaling, meditating, tapping (EFT), and making my bed for 100 solid days.

In that time, I’ve missed two days. But I’m shocked and proud of myself that I’ve been doing this for 100 days. Even on days when I didn’t feel like it. Or when it was really, really hard to get myself motivated.

My journey is now becoming a part of my life. I forget to track my progress sometimes because I do the same thing every day. I’ve finally hit a steady routine.

I know three months isn’t terribly long, so I’m still conscious about not letting anything slip. But I’m damn proud. It’s the longest I’ve continuously exercised every day.

And the results I’ve seen have been nothing short of miraculous. Somehow I’m more intentional with my time. It seems like I get more done, but I’m a lot freer.

My partner and I are connecting more — we took a classical music class together every week, which led us to celebrate by going to our first opera, which led us to become annual members of the local fine arts museum and going to six(!) classical music shows next season, plus one other opera this summer.

A million other miracles have happened, but now that I’m at three months, it feels important to reflect on where I came from before this journey.

In December, I spent New Year’s Eve in Aruba with my family. At the time, I was very stressed about money. We had an employee who wasn’t working out for a variety of reasons, but I didn’t want to give up on her and worried about her financial situation, so I was cutting well into my own finances to make sure she could be paid well.

And I was very, very ill. I was in an ulcerative colitis flare up for over three months straight! I refused to take steroids, but couldn’t get it under control with diet.

So, in Aruba, shit just the fan. I was tired and stressed and couldn’t eat much. I was also trying to manage my sister’s emotional breakdown, my cousin’s crippling anxiety and depression, everyone getting a stomach bug (on top of my sickness), and so much more I can’t even begin to describe.

I came home from that experience, and the next morning I got up and I started exercising. I had no energy and I was so sick. But I knew that what I was doing wasn’t working.

I knew that there was chaos all around me. And though I was never the start of it, I’d always run right in and try to save everyone.

So I started exercising first thing instead of checking my phone and seeing who needed me.

Six days into the exercise, I found Fabulous Sphere because I knew I needed support. I needed to prioritize me first.

That was 100 days ago.

My health is not just better — it’s better than ever now. I’ve released that employee who wasn’t working out. I don’t check my phone, FB, or email for the first half of my day. I’ve read 12 books and I go to bed early. And I’ve said no to so many opportunities to only make time for me and the people I care most about.

It’s been such a journey. I know it’s only been 100 days. But so much of my life has shifted. And I’m so goddamn proud of myself.

We are capable of such amazing things. And we realize that potential through daily, habitual actions.

It’s been a hell of a journey these last 100 days. I can’t wait to see what the next 100 bring.

Month Four

I’ve been using the Fabulous Sphere app for four months now. I’ve never before had a consistent practice of any routines for this long, so it’s been shocking to see how extensive the routine I’ve built has become.

I was particularly nervous about this month for two reasons: (1) my mother-in-law was visiting and staying with us, and (2) we were leaving for a week vacation in Aruba. I was worried about my ability to manage a 5:30am wakeup and a 2.5-hour morning routine amidst the craziness.

Even more triggering was the fact that the last time I was in Aruba (a mere four months before), I was so sick and trying to manage so much family drama that it actually prompted me to desperately search for Fabulous. So, to say I was nervous of losing my entire routine would be an understatement.

But I’m ecstatic to say that the prompts from the app actually helped me commit to myself more than ever. This month:

  • I woke up by 6am the latest, even on vacation, and had amazing meditations listening to the ocean before anyone else was even on the beach.
  • I woke up at 5:30am and completed my entire morning routine the entire weekend my mother-in-law was in town, and we had the most relaxed, laid-back visit we’ve ever had.
  • My husband Garrett and I went back to Aruba as a free gift from our resort for having a wedding there in November 2017. Since our room was free (and flights on points), we indulged in an 80-minute hot stone couples massage, which was by far the best massage of our life. The trip was so relaxing, we came back more connected than ever with a promise to do that trip every 3-5 years if we can swing it.
  • I locked my phone up in a safe the entire week in Aruba and decided to totally unplug.
  • Inspired by my new routines, I started a new conceptual art project on Instagram called The Unique Genius Experiment. The details of the project are that I share Instagram stories of myself taking steps outside of my comfort zone, led by my “genius” (which my COO assigns me), every day for an entire year. It’s terrifying and is already pushing me into new situations—like asking my dad to go skydiving with me!
  • Since taking that classical music class together a few months ago, my husband Garrett and I have been enjoying our new annual museum memberships by going to regular date nights at the museum.
  • Garrett has been so inspired by my new exercise routine that he adopted his own back in month two and is about to run his first half-marathon this weekend!
  • Because we’ve been getting up earlier, even on weekends, we’ve had time and motivation to get out and do more, like garden at our home and volunteer in the community.
  • Dancing naked in front of the mirror every morning has made me so much more comfortable with my body, and I noticed how much more confident I felt while in Aruba.
  • I’ve now read 16 books this year!

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been exercising continuously every morning for over four months now. Even when I’ve woken up exhausted or stressed or on vacation, I’ve still committed to myself. I feel so much more in tune with my body, so much less stressed, and just plain healthier.

I never realized how much I used to wake up with anxiety until I feel how relaxed I am after exercising, journaling, meditating, and tapping (EFT) each morning. And I never realized how frantic my days were without a to-do list of what I actually cared about.

I’m so excited for where the rest of this year will take me. And, as intensive as it’s been, I feel more committed than ever to keep prioritizing my morning routine.  

Month Five

Trying not to get too excited that I’m halfway through the year!

I’ve been consistently using Fabulous now for over five months. Honestly, I never thought I would have lasted this long exercising and creating time for myself in the morning every single day. My morning routines have significantly changed my life.

  • For the past five months, I haven’t missed more than a few days of exercise for extenuating circumstances. I’ve exercised on vacations, trips to visit family, when we’ve had houseguests, and even when I didn’t feel well.
  • I haven’t had one sip of alcohol I started my morning routine. I just haven’t felt any inclination to drink at all, interestingly enough.
  • Since dancing naked in front of the mirror every morning as my celebration for a completed 2.5-hour morning routine, I’ve come to love my body so much more. I posted to Instagram nude photos of myself with words of everything I had hated about my body in the body—which was way outside of my comfort zone, but a way of stepping into my increased body love.
  • I’ve tried so many new activities this past month, inspired by the new things I’ve done with the app. I took an improv class, went to a bunch of new Meetup groups, tried qigong, and even signed up to go skydiving with relative strangers.
  • I stepped out of my comfort zone and am organizing a local event to benefit a community art non-profit. I’ve already gotten a popular venue to donate the space and have recruited some leaders in the community to help me.
  • Now that it’s summer, multiple people have been commenting on my body and asking me what workouts I’ve been doing, which is very new for me.
  • I have so much less anxiety or stress than I’ve ever had, and my digestion is greatly improved. I find myself wanting to complete my whole morning routine to feel mentally healthy—especially when I don’t feel well.

I’m so proud of myself for making it over five months with this routine every single day. It has fundamentally changed my life and allowed me to be more productive at work, less stressed, more open to new experiences, and more comfortable with my body.

Next up, six months of daily morning routines. Because I have no intention of stopping any time soon.

Month Six

Looking back at when this journey started six months ago

I’ve officially practiced my morning routine nearly every single day before the past six months.

I remember way back when I first started—when I was a week or two in—it felt like impossible to imagine still exercising, meditating, journaling, and all of it in six months.

Six months ago, I was struggling with such bad digestive issues that I sometimes couldn’t leave the house. I was under immense stress. And I was struggling financially. It was hard to believe I’d even last a month with this routine.

Over the last six months, I’m so proud to say I’ve accomplished so much, from making major changes in my business, eating a fully Paleo diet, reading daily, and trying new experiences like improv classes.

Over the last month alone, I’vestarted three new local community groups to connect with other entrepreneurs, spiritual seekers, and gay friends in the community and made a ton of new friendships and connections

  • started three new local community groups to connect with other entrepreneurs, spiritual seekers, and gay friends in the community and made a ton of new friendships and connections
  • Tried even more new experiences, inspired by my Fabulous routines, like taking sailing lessons and paddle boarding for the first time
  • Signed up for an acting class because I was so inspired by how much fun I had in an improv class last month
  • Went on a family vacation with my in-laws who tend to stay up late, and not only did I hold my conviction to not to drink any alcohol (since the start of the year), but I actually got up and did my morning routine every single day, even when it was really, really challenging
  • Launched a new level of my work, which is something we’ve been working toward for years but that I’ve been really afraid to share with the world, which was a huge accomplishment for us

My confidence, overall, has improved tremendously, and I realized that I’m so much less afraid of trying new things because I get up every day and do my routines, even when they’re hard, and prove to myself that I can do hard things.

I’m really proud that I’ve stuck to these routines for over six months. Choosing myself again and again every morning, especially when it’s hard, has been my greatest accomplishment so far. And I can feel it changing me in really subtle and overt ways to become more of who I want to be. 

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