‘Success breeds success.’
Start your day great, and the rest will follow. That in essence is why you should implement routines into your mornings. While there are many things we are all familiar with — drink a large glass of water (with lemon), eat a healthy breakfast, and take your time — successful people take it even further. The 5 daily habits that really took my mornings to the next level, are inspired by both Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar. Here they are.
1. Get moving
One of the easiest things you could start with is exercise! Simply by getting your blood flowing early in the day means that you are more vibrant, alert and energezigtic throughout the day.
If you want to take moving to the next level, you should try ‘breath walking’. As ‘About Health’ states, ‘breath walking is the science of combining specific patterns of breathing synchronized with your walking steps and enhanced with the art of directed, meditative attention’. The video below shows you how it works.
2. Express gratitude
In this step, you think of all the things you are grateful for. Start by thinking of the people you love, your family, your friends. Move on to your health, your job, the things and the opportunities you have. By doing this, you lift yourself up. Just by feeling grateful for everything you already have. Furthermore, if you acknowledge the things you already have, it is easier to believe in the things you will achieve in the future, which will come in useful in the next step.
When you practice this on a regular basis, you will see how many things there are to be grateful for. ‘I am grateful for my parents and the great childhood they gave me, even though they divorced when I was 11.’ ‘I am grateful that I grew up in The Netherlands, a country with unlimited possibilities.’ ‘I had the opportunity to follow two studies and to open a business with zero experience and zero capital at age 21.’ I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
3. Envision your success
Marla Tabaka puts it beautifully on Inc:
‘As we routinely and intentionally visualize a desired outcome, and step into the belief that it is possible, our brains increase the motivation to make it happen. We become more and more determined to do whatever it takes to achieve our goals.’
In addition to increased motivation, creative ideas will start popping into your head that help you to achieve your goal. You may wake up at 3 AM with a brilliant thought, or experience a download of pure genius while in the shower. This is because visualization prompts the brain to ‘wake up’ to messages and resources that it previously shut out. Now that it’s well aware of your goal it assists you in becoming more conscious and open to finding the answers.
When I visualize my success, I see the perfect workweek I have, getting things done on the projects that are meaningful to me. I envision a life lived on my terms, where I only work because I want to and not because my life depends on it. I plan holidays whenever I feel like it and I go wherever I want. I take my parents on trips beyond their imagination.
4. Use affirmations
Another simple thing you could do is the practice of affirmations (which Tony calls incantations). An affirmation is a statement about yourself or your situation, phrased in the present tense as if the statement is already true. They help purify our thoughts and restructure the dynamic of our brains so that we truly begin to think nothing is impossible.
‘I Nailed My Way To Success’ itself is an affirmation. So are:
- ‘I am a lifestyle entrepreneur, making money while I sleep.’
- ‘I am a genuine game-changer and today, it’s my turn.’
- ‘I am a cognitive creator and today, I am going to make it happen.’
Once you really want to get productive, you should try to combine steps 2-4 with 1. All three can be practiced while moving. For example, you can express gratitude while cycling, you can envision your success while working out, and you can enchant your affirmations while breath walking.
5. Plan your day
‘In order to be a winner, you must not only expect to win, you must also prepare to win and first plan to win’Zig Ziglar
Why you should plan your day? Let me make this clear with Ziglar’s following example:
‘Okay. As an honest, intelligent person, do you, as a general rule, get about twice as much work done on the day before you go on vacation as you normally get done?’
Now I am going to ask you a long question, so stay with me all the way through. ‘If we can figure out why and learn how and repeat it every day without working any longer or any harder, does it make sense that we will be more valuable to ourselves, our company, our family and our community?’ The answer is “Yes.”
I want to make it crystal clear that I am communicating with you about you-I’m not referring to anybody else, but to you about you. You have undoubtedly already confessed that you are honest and intelligent.
Now on the night before the day before vacation, do you get your laptop or a sheet of paper out and plan, ‘Now tomorrow I’ve got to do this and this…’ We’ve coined a very clever name for that–we call that goal setting. So, you set your goals. Then you get them organized in the order of their importance.’
So, you should treat every day like it’s the day before vacation and you will turn your shoulds into musts. You do this by a brief planning session in the morning. Ron Friedman calls this ‘an intellectual mise-en-place’, referring to successful chefs who put everything in place before they even start actually cooking. Friedman carefully discusses how to spend the first ten minutes of your day planning, and he shares one question you should ask the moment you begin to work:
The day is over and I am leaving the office with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. What have I achieved?
This simple question helps you prioritize and distinguish between urgent and important tasks. You should then use this to create a plan of attack by breaking down complex tasks into specific actions.
By implementing the five habits above, you will be more determined, clear, motivated and energized. Do this every day. It will soon become a habit that will dramatically improve your success.