Earlier this year, my brother-in-law suggested I listen to Tim Ferriss Show since I was getting into podcasts. He enjoyed his random topics, high profile guests and Tim's irreverent humor. I gave it a try and I've been enjoying it a lot.
Tim usually has guests on the podcast that have incredible backgrounds like life coaches (Tony Robbins), best selling authors (Seth Godin) and oscar winning actors (Jamie Foxx, Edward Norton). He interviews these guests and dissects their daily habits to learn more about why they are so successful.
One of the questions he always asks his guests:
“What is your morning ritual? “
The information he gets back is wide-ranging and varied. Some guests get up at 4am and others sleep until 10am. Some require coffee right away and others prefer tea. The exercise routines are vary widely from jogging to yoga to gymnastics.
This show got me thinking … What is my morning routine?
And the routine I have, do I want to upgrade it so I master my morning like these industry titans!?
Mastering My Morning
A few months ago, I decided I would try starting my day off at 6am. Because my kids are incredible sleepers, this would give me about 2 hours of “me time” before I need to get ready for work and make breakfast for the kids on the typical morning.
If I was going to start my day off right, I needed a plan.
After a solid year of listening to and reading books from some admirable leaders like Tim Ferris, Tony Robbins, Shawn Stevenson and Larry Hagner … Here is the plan I devised and have been implementing for those two hours:
The very first thing I do when I wake up is have a 12 ounce glass of water with lemon. Lemon water cleanses your system, freshens your breath, aids in digestion, helps you lose weight and gives you a nice dose of potassium and vitamin C to start your day.
At the beginning of the week, I cut up a fresh whole lemon into 8 slices and squeeze one slice in my water per day for the week. I store the unused slices in a container in the fridge until the next morning. Works like a charm.
After the lemon water is gone, I sit down on my favorite bench outside of my house and meditate.
Three months ago, I had never meditated before and knew nothing about it. It was explained to me that it is just as important to exercise our minds as it is to exercise our bodies.
Headspace is an extremely helpful, easy-to-use and well-designed app that guides you through this new meditative journey. Whether you want to concentrate on being kinder to our spouse, staying focused at work or creating discipline for an upcoming running race, Headspace has been an excellent guide toward beginner meditation for me. There is a free 10-day trial called Take10 that I took advantage of and I got hooked after that.
You essentially take 10 minutes of your morning to find some peace, tranquility and literal head space. You practice visualization techniques, breathing and make mindful expressions about your life intentions and goals.
Meditating has helped me get prepared for the day and flex my brain muscle in the process.
Hydration … Again
After meditating, I drink another 12 ounce glass water while looking over my calendar for the day.
Based on my body weight, I try to get between 96-112 ounces of water in during the day. That's a whole lot of water so I start early. I've been following this methodology:
For every 50 pounds of weight, drink 1 quart (32 ounces) of water per day.
For me, staying hydrated throughout the day helps me to stay focused, alert and it also gets me out of my chair at work more often and stay active (chair, bathroom, chair, bathroom, chair).
When I'm dehydrated, I get headaches, my muscles become overly sore from exercise and I tend to make poor choices with what I eat.
This new hydration plan has helped me stay more alert and active at work and at home.
30 minutes of regular daily exercise will do wonders for your life. It has made a huge change mine. At one point my doctor recommended I go on cholesterol medication (at 31 years old!), but by adding regular and consistent exercise into my life I have brought that bad cholesterol number down to a safe level.
I am much better with my exercise discipline when I have a goal. For example, over the past few years my wife and I have signed up for a series of 5K, 10K and half marathon races throughout the spring, summer and fall. By signing up for these races, we're giving ourselves a physical deadline to be in the best shape possible to take on the challenge.
We live in Michigan so there is little to no running happening for me between December and February each year. To keep me going with exercising and setting physical goals, I have been doing Beachbody's P90X3 series over the past few years. It is a 30-minute intense yet fun workout led by fitness expert Tony Horton. He is truly a dynamic personality and he's keeps you motivated and inspired throughout the 90 days of the program.
Because there is a scheduled, detailed and goal-oriented method to P90X3, I have been able to stay consistent with it and keep up the training.
Breakfast with My Kids
It is usually around this time of the morning that my kids start to wake up and make their way downstairs to see what I'm up to.
I love this time of the day.
“Daddy, can we make breakfast together?” Those words are magic to my ears at this post exercise moment in my morning.
My kids “help” prepare the ingredients for our healthy oatmeal or our green smoothie. We have breakfast together and chat about the day ahead … or watch YouTube Kids videos on the iPad 😉
This is excellent bonding time that I cherish and I think they do too.
Now, if I ever get on the Tim Ferriss Show I'll have the beginnings of a decent response.
Oh, the kids are awake! Time to prepare the ingredients!