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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 September 10, 2019

    7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

    7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

    Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

    Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

    This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

    One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

    Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

    Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

    1. Gratitude

    Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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    The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

    Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

    So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

    Gratitude-Quotes

      2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

      This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

      For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

      What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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      Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

      3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

      This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

      Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

      An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

      Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

      write down goals

        4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

        According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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        There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

        5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

        Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

        Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

        6. Rise Earlier

        The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

        For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

        So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

        Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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        7. Listen to Uplifting Music

        Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

        Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

        It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

        Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

        More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

        Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
        [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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