Last week I mentioned that we are knee-deep in Eben Pagan's course Wake Up Productive which is all about streamlining your life, ridding it of the junk that isn't working and forming habits that help you succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
So far, I'm loving it! I feel more focused, more on-track, I have more energy and I feel more driven than ever before.
But that could also be because I have recently introduced a new routine into my life.
You see, Eben is a big believer in creating what he calls a 'Personal Success Ritual' which involves doing something physical, emotional and intellectual to start your day, and should take you about 90 minutes each morning.
I know. You don't have time. His solution? Get up earlier.
So instead of making excuses and whining that we're tired, Josh and I have committed to our own routines which have us waking up each morning and taking about 2 hours to get ourselves prepped for the day.
I know, that sounds like a long time, so what the heck am I doing that is taking so long? Here's my new routine or as I like to call it my 'Ritual to riches':
- wake up at 7:30 (physical)
- drink 1/2 litre of water (physical)
- brush my teeth (physical)
- wash my face (physical)
- workout for 45 minutes (physical)
- shower (physical)
- make a green juice (physical and emotional - it helps with your overall state of wellbeing)
- visualize for 10 minutes (emotional)
- read a blog post that can help me improve (intellectual)
- start my day
This routine definitely isn't for everyone and most people may not have the time in the morning to do all of this, but Eben claims that even drinking water, brushing your teeth, working out, showering and eating a clean meal is enough to put yourself in the right mindset for the day.
In fact, he believes that your first ritual of the day is your highest leverage activity and from there it all spirals - you get to choose if that spiral is up or down.
That means if you are waking up, having a sugar-laden, carb-heavy, fatty breakfast while watching the depressing news you are going to feel like shit and be more susceptible to negative triggers and bad moods.
Alternatively, if you eat a balanced meal - a smoothie, an omelette, fruit and muesli - and focus on something that sheds a light of positivity on your morning you should be able to glide through your day without getting bogged down by the things that are out of your control - traffic, a long line at the coffee shop, the subway/bus being late, someone cutting you off, someone walking too slow, your coworker having a cold and possibly sneezing on you, an extra-long meeting at work, having to take the stairs, the restaurant running out of the daily special, your favourite barrista having the day off, the toilet overflowing, a baby screaming at the restaurant you're eating at and so on.
You could even make things easier on yourself by prepping for your morning routine the night before: Set out your cups of water, put your running shoes by the door, lay out your clothes for the next day or pre-cut the ingredients for your breakfast.
Anything you can do to help make this new routine easier will only help you further commit to it.
Ultimately, it's a relatively little tweak to your life (getting up 30 minutes earlier) but if you want to feel happy in the morning, and throughout your day, get more done, live healthier and give your nervous system a break it is a tweak you can't afford not to try.
After all, what do you have to lose? 30 minutes of sleep? Come on. You can do better than that.