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.
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.
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.
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