Either you run the day or the day runs you! – Jim Rohn
One of the biggest challenges we all face is staying in control of our day. Far too often we end a long day exhausted with nothing really to show. We work hard, but in the end of the day often you can question – did this get me closer to my goal? If you didn’t start the day right, then the answer is usually “no”.
One way to ensure you stay in control of your day is to start it correctly. If you wake up to a buzzing alarm clock, stumble out of bed, get ready and leave for work; then you have already lost control of your day.
Owning your day, starts by waking up earlier to spend time alone to refine your purpose, set proper mindfulness and establish priorities for the day. You can accomplish this with set routines that you can easily run though in the morning hours. This process takes a bit of effort to get started, but makes a massive difference in the long run. There are countless leaders and successful entrepreneurs that recommend a good morning routine because of the benefits they experience.
The well known leadership speaker, Robin Sharma, has been a major promoter of a morning routine. He calls his concept the Holy Hour and even provides some tactics to help you get out of bed early.
The first step to get started is to adopt a proven routine. A few years ago, I was introduced to the book, “The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)” by Hal Elrod. The book is the tells the story of his interest in finding common traits that successful people share. From his studies, he discovered the value each placed on their morning routine. Hal created a set of morning routines called the S.A.V.E.R.S (explained below). This simple routine can help you get organized with a solid morning strategy.
So, let me explain the S.A.V.E.R.S and share a few hacks that work for me.
Morning meditation or prayer is a time of purposeful silence. If you are like most, your day runs at light speed. This time is to establish an optimal mindset that can guide your actions for the rest of the day. Many successful businessmen and celebrities claim that this daily time of clarity and self awareness helps them deal with stress of a high profile life.
I find great value in my morning meditation. For optimal organization to get into a meditation session, I have found the iPhone app, Calm, to be very helpful.
Affirmations allow you to program your mind for optimism and success. We all have self doubt and limiting beliefs which make it vital to surround yourself with optimism. If we can believe in our actions, great things can happen. Henry Ford summed up the idea by the statement, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right either way.”
There are many ways to time hack daily review of affirmations. You can record affirmations to play while driving or just listen to recordings by others on YouTube. I have found that just simply writing my affirmations on a index card and repeating them 3 times each day is most effective.
Visualizing is creating a mental image of what you really want. In the process you visualize exactly what you want to achieve or attain, then mentally rehearse what you will need to do to accomplish it. Keep only positive thoughts – where everything works out for you. Then think about after you achieve your goal.
For example: if you want to own an island; you would visualize yourself finding great success in what you are doing now. With this success, you would have great amounts of wealth or insider knowledge of gaining an island without money. You would visualize finding the prefect island. Then, imagine yourself owning the island – walking on the beach, looking at the waves, the sun glaring off the water, toes in the sand. You get the idea.
The actor, Jim Carrey, wrote a check to himself early in his career for 10 million dollars. He dated for 10 years in the future and added in the memo line, “For acting services rendered.” He then visualized it for years. Less than 10 years later, he made 10 million dollars for his starring role in Dumb and Dumber.
I find that early in the morning my mind tends to wander too much when I am trying to visualize. My hack is to write down the vision of success (with details of how I enjoy it) as the images pop in my mind.
A very simple workout will get your body in a positive mode and mentally prepared. Your brain soaks up 20% of the oxygen in your body. Cardio-focused workouts boosts blood flow to your brain delivering the essential oxygen to stimulate the important muscle. As a word of advice: Don’t overthink it. A simple set of jumping jacks, sit-ups or even a walk around the block will do the job and get your mind ready for the day.
I have experimented with several great apps, such as Seven and yoga videos on Youtube. However, I will primarily run or walk in my neighborhood because I love being outdoors.
( R) Read
Keep your mind active and thoughts progressing by reading every morning. If you really don’t like reading a book, then listen to an audiobook or consider a daily thought guide. You can even time hack by listening to an audiobook while you exercise.
I have found the greatest success reading something that is thought-provoking. I really enjoy Easwaran’s Thought for the Day app which provide a good variety of secular quotes or readings and bible verses with additional thoughts about how the message relates to our lives.
Journaling (or scribing) is the last step of the S.A.V.E.R.S. method. During this step, you are to write what is on your mind. This can include anything from thoughts to feeling to ideas. You can either us a blank notebook or use a daily journal guide like the Five Minute Journal.
I use a blank notebook to free flow thoughts and ideas what is on my mind. I also created my own guide that covers different mindsets that I want to cover such as gratefulness, daily priorities, thoughts of others and awareness of fears.
That’s the overview of the S.A.V.E.R.S. strategy. Many have found success with this strategy. Even the Author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, claims that “I can always make another dollar, but I cannot make another day.’ If you want to maximize every day of your life, read The Miracle Morning.”