And so, we’ve gotten to the end of week two!
Hopefully, you’ve begun to think about what your morning routine will look like. If you haven’t, now is the time to start. Next week we will begin putting it all together.
Before that, let’s recap the week! So much content to go over and I want to make sure you grab as many morsels of information and insights as possible.
This week the focus was on habits, themselves. We cherry-picked some of the more popular morning habits and went over why they work and possible ways to add them to your morning routine.
Day 8 – Meditation. We learned the many benefits of meditation, including how it can curb the effects of default thinking. For the majority of the time, our thoughts operate on a loop – we think about the same five or ten things over and over again. Then there are the triggers that cause us to react in predictable ways. This is all default thinking, and even though we’re aware of it, it can be hard to change. Meditation can help. It’s the practice of bringing our awareness to the present, away from thinking that lives outside of this moment. This would include default thinking patterns like criticism and judgment, overthinking, and fearfulness. It focuses our attention on the now, and everything contained therein; our senses, our existence, lack of self, existence itself…
Day 9 – Reviewing goals and making to-do lists. We learned about the power of taking time to review our goals daily; that by doing so we can ensure our direction stays clear and on course. We learned how a simple process of reviewing your goals daily, can reconnect us with our passion and purpose and in so doing provide the fuel we need to start the day in the most productive way possible. We learned how creating daily to-do lists can make the rest of the day run smoothly. To-do lists add clarity and efficiency which simplify plans, making them easier to commit to and complete. Combining these two habits – reviewing goals and creating to-do lists – we can ensure that our days are simplified, organized and are based on our primary objectives and goals. It prevents a random and often chaotic life from taking over with its persistent requests for time regarding things that feel important at the moment, but that ultimately don’t matter.
Day 10 – Morning Nutrition. We all understand the importance of morning nutrition, especially on long-term health. This week we learned about the very real and immediate effects adding good nutrition to your morning routine can have on your day. There is a direct influence proper nutrition has on the way your body feels and performs. It also influences the way your mind thinks and how we feel emotionally. As we look for every advantage in creating a process that helps us achieve our goals, what we put in our bodies, especially in the morning, should be of great concern, as it directly and immediately affects the way we think, feel and perform on a daily basis.
Day 11 – Asking Power Questions and Journaling. We learned there are ways to hijack control of our thinking from our subconscious; two of those ways include journaling and asking the right questions. Journaling has many benefits one of which is the treasure trove of information it can access and unload. Combining that with good leading questions can get the mind to think, feel and behave as you want it to. This is the heart of self-mastery.
Day 12 – Exercise. Without some type of exercise, we can’t function well. Our bodies deteriorate and so do our minds. It seemingly happens slowly, over time, but as we seek to perform at higher levels on a daily basis, we’ll start to notice its immediate effects. Instead of following general advice on how to get and stay fit, we focused on how to create an exercise habit we can stick to. The idea is simple: the little that we do and can commit to is better than the much that we do only for a while before quitting. The most important thing is to build a habit around daily exercise – no matter how small. Once a habit is formed, we can build on it as we choose.
Day 13 – Visualization and Gratitude. We learned that visualization can affect the subconscious as effectively as reality can, sometimes even more. Fear and paranoia are great examples of this, as they gain their power through the use of negative visualization. This is also why some people seem unstoppable. Most top level athletes will tell you that visualization is a big part of their training. Michael Jordan said he’d watch a blank TV screen for hours, visualizing the game he was preparing for. He’d watch himself take the winning shot, make the steal, and simply dominating the other team – and then he’d go out there and do it. We learned that beyond a general gratitude for life and to people who have been generous with us, gratitude could also be used to increase the power of our visualizations. It does this by doubling down on the faith we have in them. Action doesn’t happen without faith. There is very little we will do without believing in the possibility of a certain outcome. Using gratitude in this way takes what most people laugh off as make-believe – us too at first – and slowly gets our subconscious to believe in it. If part of what makes us procrastinate (for example) is fear or doubt around your goals, practicing these two habits can set our minds right and get us going on the right path again.
All of these habits would be wonderful additions to any morning routine. And this is just a short list; there are many other habits that weren’t included. Now is the time to think about which ones might be best for you. As we learned in week one, this should be based on a number of considerations: goals, lifestyle, current overall motivation, just to name a few. Also suggested is that you start small. Pick three habits, and that’s it. It may seem small, but it’s not when you think about it. Adopting just one of these habits and being consistent with it will change your life significantly – just one. By that measure, three could change your life to the point it becomes unrecognizable – but it demands consistency. Consistency will always be the most important piece of this puzzle. Always remember that!