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5 Ways My Crazy Morning Routine Will Transform You into Superman

5 Ways My Crazy Morning Routine Will Transform You into Superman

Why do most people get stuck in a repetitive and boring lifestyle? It appears to me that the majority of us do not seek out ways to get more out of life.

For me, I am reminded of an inspirational quote from Steve Jobs, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

This quote inspires me to wake up motivated. In my crazy world, I am always moving at 100 mph at the next objective. I am always moving forward and endlessly creating. I wake up every morning knowing that I create and own this day!

I have developed a powerful morning routine. Here is what it looks like.

3 am: wake up, stretch, take a pre-workout, do 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 40 bicep curls, and listen to an audiobook.

3:30 am: take a nootropic, do 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 40 bicep curls, and run for 7 miles while listening to an audiobook.

4:30 am: cool-down, shower and personal hygiene while listening to an audiobook.

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5 am: eat breakfast, use posture belt, and read.

5:30 am: use posture belt and read.

6 am: write book or blog or prepare lesson plan for teaching, do 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and 40 bicep curls.

7 am: write in five-minute growth journal and spend time with family before heading off to work.

This is a crazy and powerful routine. It is also a routine that is hard to follow and requires extreme dedication. Here are 5 ways you can use my morning routine to transform into superman.

1. Plan ahead and do those things others are not willing to do.

“If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.” – J.M. Power

The key to a successful morning routine (and sticking with one) is to plan ahead the day before. I plan out my day on a small white board, take a photo of the white board and save it as the background on my phone. Since we use our phone for everything, it is easier (and faster) to glance at the background than it is to unlock my phone and open the calendar app.

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Furthermore, our brain is great at providing us ways to solve problems just by sleeping on them. By establishing my calendar the night before, my brain is already thinking ahead (and finding solutions) to ensure I stick with my calendar. It is a huge time saver and those first few minutes in the morning are the most important.

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning as the committee of sleep has worked on it.” – John Steinbeck

2. One year = 365 opportunities to create a powerful habit.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

The hardest part in establishing a morning routine is actually sticking to it. Step one is easy, we can put together a plan, but actually executing it can be a monumental task. If you can conquer this task, then you are ahead of the game.

Even if you travel a lot, adapt your morning routine so you never miss a day. This means that you must first start with a realistic plan. For this, use the If-Then planning technique. If X happens, then I will do Y. For example, If I have to work late and cannot get to bed at a reasonable time, Then I will move my morning routine to the right one hour. Or, If one-hour is not enough time to run in the morning, Then I will cut the time from my shower or from reading by 15 minutes to give myself the extra running time.

Remember, you are going to fail at times – as I do. If you miss a morning, guess what… you can start again the next day. Don’t let one failure turn into 364 more.

3. Do more before 7am than anyone else does in one day.

“I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.” – Marsha Doble

There is no better way to start the day than to simply exercise! I start my day off with 100 push-ups, 100-sit-ups, and 40 bicep curls. You will notice that I get 300 push-ups, 300 sit-ups, and 120 bicep curls done before 7 am every morning. I also run for 7 miles at 3:30am, which I know is crazy.

I run outside in the elements at every available opportunity. The only time I will run on a treadmill (because I refuse to miss a day) is when my wife prevents me from running outdoors, usually due to a severe thunderstorm or blizzard… yet, I do wake up earlier than she does!

Moreover, I use my morning run as a way to induce creative thinking. Albert Einstein used music as his way to bring about creative thought. When he was stuck and in need of inspiration, he would play the piano.

Einstein remarked, “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come close to the conclusion that the gift of imagination has meant more to me than any talent for absorbing absolute knowledge.”

For me, running brings about my creative inspiration. It is amazing how ideas pop in my mind when I run. It is as if those ideas were just floating above me waiting for the perfect moment to drop in my mind.

Here are two powerful reasons why we should exercise, especially in the morning.

  • Neurogenesis: Exercising in the morning prepares the brain for optimal learning and sparks neurogenesis. Neurogenesis demonstrates that exercise is strongly correlated with increased brain mass, improved cognition, and new brain cell production. Neurogenesis is sparked by exercise and will literally grow our brain cells. Additionally, aerobic exercise is the optimal vehicle for the production of the magical substance known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
  • Metabolism: Metabolism is the sum of total energy our body expends each day. Just as in our car, we burn less fuel at rest compared to when we are moving. Simply put, the more active we are during the day, the more we burn, and the higher our metabolism. A morning workout will help you burn more calories in the day. It is simple math, the earlier you start burning calories, the more you will burn in a day. If I start burning calories at 3am and you start at 7am, then I have a four hour jump on you.

4. Be obsessed with improving.

“If you’re changing the world, you’re working on important things. You’re excited to get up in the morning.” – Larry Page

After you exercise in the morning and spark neurogenesis, you then need to do something to keep your wiring strong. I read, write books, blog, create lesson plans, and listen to audiobooks. BDNF production increases neuron growth, so maximize your time and enhance your neural connections… become a super learner.

Additionally, we all seem to have horrible posture. Every morning I wear a brace that improves my posture. I simply use an old martial arts belt and follow the steps I found at pranayoga.

    • Step 1: Place strap over your upper back and hold the ends in each hand.
    • Step 2: Drape each end of the strap over its respective shoulder.
    • Step 3: Cross the strap in back holding one end in each hand.
    • Step 4: Pull the straps so that you feel it in your trapezius muscles and secure the ends at the front.

    5. Read and make the day subservient to you.

    “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson

    Simply put, I do not live in this world to be average. I want to be the absolute best and so should you. Use your morning to become fit, highly motivated, happy, productive, and use it to improve your intelligence. The absolute best way to improve your intelligence is to read! I read 100 books a year and grow exponentially from every one of them.

    Listen to audiobooks, create playlists on YouTube, create boards on Pinterest, and find other creative outlets that assist you in becoming better. Reading will open doors in your mind. These are doors that have always been present, yet they were previously invisible. Reading will enhance your brain connectivity. It will increase your vocabulary, cognitive efficiency, and overall intelligence.

    Additionally, listen to audiobooks. Audiobooks offer us a way to upload knowledge to our brain. Think of plugging yourself into a computer. You have the ability to learn something new at any time of the day. I listen to audiobooks as a way to speed up my learning. I listen to them at 2x the speed in order to listen to as many as possible.

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    Remember, you are responsible for the success and happiness in your life. Greet each day as if you own it. Be the creator and force the day to bend to your will. Wake up, exercise, read, and improve. Become obsessed, crazy, and creative… become superman!

    Featured photo credit: Warner Bros. via warnerbros.com

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    Dr. Jamie Schwandt

    Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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    Last Updated on January 15, 2019

    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

    In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

    Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

    Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

    Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

    Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

    The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

    There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

    How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

    According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

    Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

    Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

    The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

    Listen carefully:

    We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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    The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

    Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

    8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

    There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

    Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

    1. Pray Daily

    You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

    When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

    Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

    Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

    2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

    A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

    By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

    Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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    If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

    This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

    How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

    3. Smile Often

    Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

    Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

    Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

    The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

    4. Organize Your Working Desk

    A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

    When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

    Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

    Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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    5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

    I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

    Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

    What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

    6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

    God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

    I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

    I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

    7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

    You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

    How do you do that? This is my formula:

    First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

    If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

    If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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    If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

    Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

    8. Go Exercise

    Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

    The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

    You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

    12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

    The Bottom Line

    It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

    It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

    Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

    More Resources About Mindfulness

    Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

    Reference

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