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If I would have known these minor changes in my routine would make such a huge impact in my life, I would have done them sooner. Unfortunately, I can’t take all the credit. Many of these changes were low-hanging fruit and things I should have been doing all along.
One of my recent posts, The Five Pillars of Elite Performance talks about health (Pillar 1) and its vital role. That post focused on taking a holistic approach to performance, but this post describes some specific changes I made and their impact. This new level of energy, focus, and performance translates directly into business and sales.
There are many people that are way smarter when it comes to this topic, but I am simply sharing what worked for me and the results I experienced.
Every good daily routine begins the night before.
Full disclosure – I am not a morning person. I’m self-aware enough to know that I will not want to wake up 1-2 hours earlier most days. My goal was to establish better and sustainable habits. Once they become second nature, I can build from there.
Breakfast was always an afterthought for me, but I kept reading and hearing how it’s the most important meal of the day. Instead of waking up earlier, I decided to cook my breakfast at night. Since I enjoy my coffee iced, I brew my coffee while I’m making breakfast – two birds, one stone. This takes me about 15 minutes.
Immediately before going to bed, I added classical music to the routine. Don’t make fun just yet – hear me out. I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation, but all I know is that it’s very relaxing. You don’t have to listen to classical if you hate it. My guess is that any genre that is soothing and mellow can achieve the same result.
The soothing symphonies play as I begin five minutes of focused breathing and stretching. I’m not sure if this qualifies as meditation, but it relaxes the body and calms the mind. I don’t try to control my thoughts, I simply let them roam freely. After a few minutes, I tend to find myself paying attention to my breathing – the air filling and leaving my lungs.
The final thing I do before bed is read five quotes that I collected throughout the day. It’s generally a Tony Robbins or Zig Ziglar quote about optimism, gratitude, and achieving greatness. I read each quote and reflect on it for one minute. I do this with all five and they are my last thoughts before going to sleep…
The morning begins the same as the night before, but with a twist. Five minutes of focused breathing and stretching, followed by reading and reflecting on five new quotes. Instead of classical music, I switch to Hip Hop or Rock. The music’s energy gets me pumped.
Checking my Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn used to be the first thing I did in the morning. Reading dozens of messages and notifications was the norm. Before I knew it, I would spend 20 minutes on my phone and “oh shit,” now I’m running late.
Since I made breakfast the night before, I drink my iced coffee and enjoy a delicious meal. Eating breakfast is so simple that I literally feel dumb for rationalizing that it was okay to skip in the first place. Since I’m not starving anymore, I can focus on other things like getting shit done.
While I’m eating, I take five minutes to soak in the morning’s headlines, if the stock market is up or down, and any major economic releases. This gives me a good feel for the overall sentiment of the day. This sometimes plays a role in what I write that day. If the day has been especially negative, I may write something light – The Secret to Happiness – 1 in 400 Trillion.
I still make time for checking my social media accounts, I’m just more structured about how long I allow myself to waste on memes and funny animal videos.
These changes are minor and the only sacrifice I made was reducing my Facebook and TV time.
If I would have known this 25 minute shift in my night and morning routine would result in this level of focus and energy, I would have done this many years ago. It’s true what they say, “you don’t know what you don’t know.”
And yes, since I’ve implemented this, my sales have literally doubled. My guess is that I’m in the right state of mind and more focused. That focus translates into purpose. That purpose drives me to write more consistently without feeling drained.
I’m a big believer of the 80/20 principle. Naturally, I was thrilled to identify the 1% of changes that resulted in a 100% increase in results. The next logical step is to discover the 2% of changes that can grow results by another 90%. I will inevitably reach the coveted 20% of activities that achieve 80% of my desired results in business, career, and life.
Could a 25 minute shift in routine make a difference in your life?