As I write, I was thinking it'd be good to add some of the points that have colored my path along the way. Everyone knows the importance of habits. Good ones propel you forward. Bad ones hold you back. Since we are not creatures of discipline, routines and rituals are keys to success in every part of life. There's a lot written about the importance of morning routines, and I'm a firm believer that morning routines are the most important. The Boston or Bust mission is built around morning workouts. To say I have been religious about my morning routine would be a lie. I've struggled. If I don't have to THINK it's much easier. That means planning and commitment.
My background about routines and rituals come from three sources: (1) The Corporate Athlete Program by The Human Performance Institute which I attended in Orlando, Florida in 2012; (2) Tim Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Workweek; and (3) the book The Power of Habit.
The Corporate Athlete Program focuses on "Rituals" to establish throughout the day. If you establish rituals consistent with your mission and goals, you don't have to THINK about what to do. You just do it. This is particularly important when life gets chaotic and throws you curveballs (life is a curveball pitcher, people, so expect the curveball). The first step is defining your mission, then establishing rituals that move you toward that mission (and replacing the bad habits that move you AWAY from your mission). There are two times where these rituals are most important - at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day.
The Power of Habit addresses the concept of a Keystone Habit; the idea that certain habits can have a waterfall effect and have a positive (or negative) effect in many other areas of your life. A Keystone Habit is a habit on steroids. As I've said before, momentum is magic. When you have it, there's a positive energy with all that happens. There's confidence. When you don't have it, it's like being stuck in mud. To get anything to happen takes immense amounts of energy. Keystone Habits have a way of creating momentum in other areas of your life.
Tim Ferris is a productivity hack. He tries to find ways to realize success by thinking outside the box and asking questions other people don't ask. He (like me) uses himself as a guinea pig for many of these theories, and has realized great success. He has a podcast (I regularly listen during runs) and recently interviewed Tony Robbins where Tony shared his morning routine. It was inspiring and a bit annoying because I THOUGHT about one hack that I haven't consistently deployed, and which he does every morning. Once the alarm gets up, he puts his feet on the floor. No snooze button. The snooze button is the greatest momentum killer around, and one of my worst habits.
With all that said, I'll be committing this week, this month and this quarter to creating a morning routine that will be planned every evening before bed. The routine will consist of the following:
- Alarm goes off, feet on the floor and contacts in the eyes.
- Drink of water.
- Write for 20 minutes minimum.
- Eat breakfast (prepared evening before).
- Meditative Trigger Points - loosen lower body, focusing on breathing and relaxing.
- Write TOP 3 daily initiatives.
- Prep for Workout: Water bottle, pre-workout drink, mix post-workout shake
- Post-Workout Drink.
- MOVE every 90 Minutes.
- Eat every 2 1/2 Hours.
- 30 Minutes prior to bed, assess the day and plan tomorrow.
This has been done in pieces over the past several months, but I've never focused on pulling it all together at once. The time is now!