Welcome to Blog Post #2!
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve gotten wonderful feedback on the blog. Thank you to the numerous amounts of people who have reached out and shared your story! The first blog post got over 35,000 views from over 35 countries and over 2000+ shares on Facebook, Twitter, and Quora. I do my best to write back to every single person and I continue to welcome your thoughts and questions. Many of you have asked what I do on a day to day basis that puts me in the right positive mindset. In this post, I’ll discuss the three routines I do throughout my day that keep me focused and higly productive. My goal here is to provide a simple structure that you can use to get the most out of your day. At the end of the blog awaits a simple challenge for you.
Habit #1: The Morning Routine. (1-1.5 hours)
1. Drink Water (1 minute)
This is the most important thing you can do in the morning. Drinking water, preferably 12 ounces or more, helps you purge toxins from your body and balances the lymph system. In essence, it makes you feel great. Your body has been fasting for the last several hours and hydrating yourself is the best thing you can do to start the day.
2. Exercise (30-45 minutes)
Grab a small snack [ fruit, granola bar] and exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes. Whether it’s a light jog around your neighborhood or lifting weights, it doesn’t matter. This will instantly jump start your metabolism and release endorphins to make you feel happier, confident, and optimistic. The mornings that I exercise undoubtedly lead to the days when I am most alert and focused. Very rarely will you ever need caffeine after this.
3. Shower and get ready (Estimation: Guys: <5 minutes, Girls: 20+ minutes)
Only one piece of advice here: Rock out to your favorite music. Music is one of the most natural and effective tools to improve your mood and get you ready for the next step. If you’re a 90′s kid, the Pandora 90′s hit music is a favorite of mine.
4. Go through Daily Affirmations (5-10 minutes)
Let’s face it: we all have that little voice in our head that is either saying either “you can” or “you can’t”. Daily affirmations is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful ways to train that little voice and it requires very little time. Daily repetition of this habit can profoundly impact the person you become.
All it involves is repeating [and envisioning] ten ideal views of who you are (or would like to become). Write it in the structure of “ I am the [guy/girl] that _____________.” For example, one of my affirmations is “I am the guy who sees strangers as new friends waiting to be made.” I know it sounds a bit cheesy. But trust me, repeating this to myself every day for months has transformed the way I see strangers and approach new friendships. It also hits on one of my core values: meeting new people. Over time, you’ll see that you become the person that these affirmations point to be. And it’s magical. You can craft your dream self.
Here is a great place to start: If you could paint 10 ideal things about yourself what would they be? Daily affirmation will make your subconscious mind (the little voice) be on your side.
In the words of Mr. Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
5. Go through Your Daily Agenda and Visualizations (5-10 minutes)
So you’ve got the mindset of a champion. Now what? It’s time to figure out what I liked to get called the “Get shit done” list. List out the 3-5 most important things you have to get done that day. These are the items that you have to finish before going to sleep that night. Now visualize yourself completing them. Play it out in your mind exactly how it will go. It is astounding to see how much easier even mundane things are to complete when your mind has already envisioned it. If you are nervous about an upcoming midterm or presentation, having your mind visualize the event will you a sense of confidence. This is one of the most important steps to productivity.
6. Eat a healthy breakfast (20 minutes)
So you’re feeling like a champion. You know exactly what you need to get done. Now is not the time to stuff yourself with a high carb and fatty breakfast. To put it more bluntly, you might as well skip steps 1-5 of the morning routine if you don’t plan on eating healthy. Focus on high protein, fruits, and whole grains. As my good friend Jack always says “feed the body, not the mouth.” On your first day eat the healthiest breakfast possible–you’ll be astounded at how great you feel.
This morning routine should take around 1.5 hours and should leave you feeling better than waking up in a new Bugatti
Goal: Leave your door in the morning physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared to dominate the day.
Habit #2: The Midday Check-in (<1 minute)
Your morning rocked. You were productive, focused, and felt awesome. Then 2 p.m. rolls around and suddenly you’re not feeling so hot. Now what? This is where the midday check in comes in.
Set your alarm at some point in the afternoon. When time comes, stop what you’re doing and meditate on your personal life mantra for a minute.
For me, my alarm rings at 1:11pm. Everyday. When this happens, I stop what I’m doing (most times I’m in class and it’s kind of funny) and I close my eyes. I meditate on my personal mantra which is “My inner world creates my outer world.” To me, this means that my reality is created in my mind. I remind myself that I am feeling the way I am because I chose to feel that way. While the external circumstances of my day I sometimes may not control, I do chose how to react to it. I control my mind, not the other way around.
This only takes one minute but you’ll be surprised at how rejuvenated you become.
Goal: In the afternoon keep your focus in check. Remember: mindset shapes reality.
Habit #3: Night Routine (<5 minute)
At night, it’s important that you reflect on how your day went and be grateful for the things that you did well. The night routine has two components:
Reflecting on your day. Take out a notebook and write out 2-3 aspects of your day that you can improve for the next day. It doesn’t have to be extensive–it’s just to make you conscious of what you can do better ( psychologist call this course correction). Then, write out one sentence of how you’ll fix that the next time it happens. For example, this was one of them from a couple of nights ago:
- Reflection: In Finance class today I looked at plane tickets for the World Cup and didn’t pay attention to the lecture.
- Improvement: Be mindful–focus on just the lecture and look at plane tickets after class.
Daily gratitude: Research shows that being grateful is one of most vital traits of being happy. Take a couple of minutes to reflect what you’re grateful for that happened that day. The importance of the gratitude isn’t relevant here–only that you’re grateful. Here where two of mine from last week:
1. “Today Vibesh and I met two awesome Belgian girls at Murphy’s [bar].”
2. “We threw a party for all the european exchange students in Chicago and had a blast”
Goal: Continue to craft that person you wish to become by being conscious of your actions throughout the day. Conversely, be grateful for the small things made you happy that day.
These three simple routines will have a dramatic impact on your productivity and happiness. My challenge is that you try it out for one week with a friend and share your experience. Feel free to leave a comment on how the program went for you. The first semester that I followed through this routine I saw dramatic changes:
- I took 21 credit hours, more than I’ve ever had, and got a 4.0 for the first time in college.
- I went out 2-4 nights a week and never missed a class.
- I was the healthiest and most focused I’ve ever been–the concepts in class became much simpler to understand.
- Waking up at 6 am felt normal. I had no need for coffee/stimulants. Even at midnight, I felt full of energy.
- Limitless didn’t seem like a science fiction film.
I can’t wait to hear how it will help you.
Challenge: Try out the morning, midday, and night routine for one week. Do it with another friend and leave a comment below with how your experience went. And don’t forget to subscribe.
As always, let me know how I can help.
P.S. Highlight of next week’s post: The Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting. Subscribe below to get exclusive content.