How much do you want success? Have you ever interviewed the top professionals in your field and asked them what they credit their success to? I have, and I’ll guarantee that no matter which field you are in, almost all of those who are successful will say that persistence is a greater key to success than anything else. The next question is… How do you become persistent enough to excel in your field or business? The answer is: consistent routine and focus on your goals. Today I’ll help you do that in 3 steps with a couple of tips attached.
I’m not sure how many times I’ve heard my coaching clients initially say to me that they are not a ‘morning person’. While I believe there are some people who are extremely efficient in the evenings and inefficient in the mornings, this is not true for most people. So, here’s an important question: Is it really that you aren’t a morning person, or have you simply bought into our cultural paradigm that mornings are evil? I have found that my clients who are willing to explore morning routines end up loving them after they see the benefits: feeling energized as soon as you wake up, getting so much more done in the day, and having a much better attitude throughout the day. Today I won’t argue over whether or not you are a morning person. Today I’ll simply encourage you to try something new if you feel stuck… Start getting up at a consistent time, each day, that allows you to focus on your goals in the morning before you are distracted by anything else.
Second step: When you wake up in the morning the first thing you want to do is role out of bed, go to the mirror in your bathroom, and state your goals, out loud, with positive emotion. What this does is trains your brain to begin associating mornings and positive emotions with your goals. Soon you will find that mornings are exciting, enjoyable, and profitable. What is that? You don’t have clearly defined goals for the next few years of your life? Oh! No worries. That’s what I help people with on a full time basis. Contact me and ask for help with your goals.
Step three: Realize that great mornings begin the evening before. What I mean is that if you prepare yourself for a good sleep and mindset in the evening, your morning routine will be far greater and easier to maintain. I’ll give a quick example. If you are partying late into the night or simply watching TV or even get into a fight with your partner just before going to bed… how are you going to feel as your head hits the pillow? What thoughts will be racing through your head? Will you be well rested by 5am the next morning? Let’s play out a second scenario. You make sure you are getting to bed at a decent time and for the last 30-60 minutes before falling asleep you are slowing yourself down and relaxing and putting thoughts into your head that will help your mindset (maybe reading a good book). Then, just before you close your eyes, you focus on what you are grateful for that day, what you are proud of yourself for accomplishing, and finally visualize yourself waking up refreshed the next morning and immediately rolling out of bed and getting on with your morning routine… how are you going to feel as your head hits the pillow? What thoughts will your mind be processing and focusing on? Will you be well rested by 5am the next morning? I can even wake up better refreshed and within a minute of my alarm clock going off if I really implant the idea in my mind just before I nod off the night before. I have discovered that if my evening is relaxed and I’m feeling good about myself, the next morning is typically smooth and relaxed. It’s almost uncanny the way it works until you understand it.
A couple of tips for maintaining a schedule that will help motivate you consistently:
1. Practice feeling good about yourself. In our culture there is so much that reminds us of how we might be failing in some way. To battle this it is helpful to practice thinking of 3 things you are grateful for and 3 things about yourself you like each evening and morning. It makes sense that if you are feeling better about yourself you will get more done and have an overall better attitude throughout the day.
2. Take it easy initially. If you are anything like me you are an all or nothing person who can bite off more than you can chew when you start something. There are strengths and weaknesses to this, but I would recommend starting slowly and building with success in your morning routine. For a first step you may want to simply get up in the morning at a certain time without necessarily getting a lot done… simply get used to getting up for a week. Then, you can add in various routines. I exercise first thing each morning. When I started I began with making sure I was at least doing something each morning. So, if I’m not feeling great or am tired I will simply make sure I do a little stretching or yoga. When I feel normal I do my high intensity workout. I never have to feel bad about even 2-5 minutes of stretching because I am maintaining my consistency and routine and can be thankful before bed that I started my day the way I wanted to.
The key to success is persistence which works a whole lot better when you have a great attitude and a consistent routine. The best time to establish routine and have a great attitude is in the morning. I would love to hear about your successes in establishing or maintaining a great morning routine. Please share your thoughts below.