I’ve frustrated myself a little bit in 2017. It was a very good year for me in truth. Starting on 2nd January when I quit my job to move into ‘Like A Leader’ full time. I had about $12,000 in the bank and decided to take the plunge. Fortunately, I had a couple of tricks up my sleeve that ensured that I could be at my best during this challenge. By developing a morning ritual, I was able to ensure that each day began with me at my best. It wasn’t a lot of work every morning but the results were astounding and I thought to myself, “Why am I not doing this all of the time anyway?”
As a sales professional living and working in Los Angeles, I was recommended to read ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod. As I’d already discovered the benefits of reading such books I attacked it with gusto and managed to cleave through it’s pages in only a few days. I won’t spoil the pleasure for you but, in summary, you would build up 6 habits each morning and, upon completion, you’d be ready to start the day with energy and passion. These habits were based on the abbreviation S.A.V.E.R.S: Silence (meditation), affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, scribing (journaling).
After a brief consideration of what that meant to me, I started on my plan:
5:30am – Wake up
5:35am – Cold glass of water and a shower (A recommendation I had to help me get up on a morning, the glass of water was essential.)
5:50am – Get into my gym gear and make a coffee to go
6:15am – Start the drive to work
Now it’s fair to say that I’ve been up an hour now and not completed any of the savers. But the next 45-50 minutes in the car would allow me to accomplish several. You see I had to leave my house before 6:30am to avoid most of the traffic so I needed to find a way to make it count and keep me energized and excited for the day. Firstly, I can say is that audiobooks in the car is the best thing to happen to driving. If you have a long, busy or boring commute then get on the audiobook train. Then, about 10 minutes from the gym I would put on my affirmation recordings. These affirmation were in two parts, visualization and then empowering affirmations that I took from the appropriate section of ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill.
7:00am – Arrive at the gym
7:50am – Grab breakfast and a coffee and head to the office.
8:10am – Journaling (usually about things I have on for the day)
8:20am – Meditation (Choosing Tony Robbins priming exercise for energy as opposed to a calming approach)
I did this for about a year and it was easily the most empowering year I have ever had. I learned so much from the reading and accomplished so much from the energy that, before too long, I’d made plans to move to my dream city in the world. Next thing I knew I was in Denver, Colorado.
Unfortunately, the change of circumstance disrupted my flow. I was working from home so there was no commute. I no longer needed to get up early to beat the traffic and didn’t even need to leave the house in order to get to work. Heck, I didn’t even need to get dressed if I didn’t want to. I wouldn’t necessarily say this slowed me down with work. I had a lot of momentum already built up and a desire to be successful after making the move. What I didn’t realize is that the momentum doesn’t become instantly lost, but erodes ever so slightly over time. This level of erosion is so small that you don’t even notice it. I only know it now, over a year on, mostly because I struggle to sleep at night. I’m less active during the day, accomplishing less and less and those 5:30am starts have become 8:30am starts. Insomnia has ensued and my personal health and fitness has deteriorated to a point where I can no longer manage a 30 minute run.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly in dire straits at the moment. My first year running my own business was both financially successful and emotionally freeing. I’m 33 years old, 200 pounds and I still have residual muscle from a few years back. However, I still feel like I’m selling myself short and it’s time remind myself what it’s like to sleep peacefully knowing that, today, I gave it my all. So today is 3rd January in the year 2018 and, though it’s a brand new year, that is just a coincidence. Today is a great day to begin any worthwhile project and ‘today’ can be any day of the year. So today, I renew my commitment to my own morning rituals and here is what it looks like to me:
Silence – Though I loved Tony Robbins priming exercise, I actually got more value from Shavasana at the end of a challenging Yoga session so morning yoga will do the trick here.
Affirmations – I once recorded my affirmations using an inspirational backing track so that I could turn to it at any moment, adding extra power by comparing it to the emotion of music.
Visualization – Conjoined with the affirmations above, I would lay out my goals on an audio track with inspirational music. Listening to this before silence really lent weight to my meditation practice.
Exercise – As described above, I’m going to commit to a near daily yoga practice. When travelling then I will transfer this to a simple stretching plan.
Reading – This is a habit that stayed with me. Where a lot of people would listen to the radio or music, I listen to audio books. And, I have quite the backlog to go through.
Scribing – As I want to launch a Youtube soon I think it might be important to get comfortable in front of camera. So I’ll do a few minutes a day on camera and see what comes from it.