Want to Change Your Life? Start in the Morning.

Here’s a game changing thought for you.

The way you your morning goes impacts the way your day will go. The way your day goes impacts the way your week goes. And the way your week goes impacts the way your life goes.

Imagine tomorrow that you woke up and were Tom Brady for a day. Some of you men reading might be ready to die after being Tom Brady for a day. Just walk around the streets for a few hours and have a few thousand women clamoring over you, throw a few balls to Gronk and go home to your super model wife. This is a nice hypothetical so far...

But you're not just waking up as Tom Brady, able to do whatever you want for the day. Imagine you're waking up as Tom Brady on Super Bowl Sunday and you have to go out and compete at the highest level.

Now you might think this is easy. "I'm Tom Brady. I have all the skills I need."

But you woke up as Tom Brady on Super Bowl Sunday, the day of the game, not a week before. You may have all the skills but you have no preparation. No scouting report. No idea who you're up against. No idea what the enemies strategies are. No idea what your strategy is. You have no GAME PLAN!!!

In order to succeed, Tom Brady puts himself through an IMMENSE amount of preparation. He determines what he wants to accomplish and sets himself goals. He studies the strategies necessary to accomplish his goals. He practices the skills he will need constantly. He visualizes over and over what its going to look like. He has a GAME PLAN.

Imagine going up against the Eagles defense with absolutely no game plan or strategy for success. It would be chaos. You'd get sacked constantly and beat up badly. You'd throw interception after interception. You might turn to the right to hand off to your running back but find out he went to the left. It would be CHAOS.

And this is exactly how most people go through their day. In CHAOS. With no GAME PLAN. Most people do not set their intention for the day. Most people do not go over there goals and practice their strategies and skills to get there.

Well today lets discuss to not be like most people!!!

Much like game planning is the most important part of success on the grid iron, morning routines are the most important part of success in life. Your morning routine is your game planning session for the day. Without it you wander through the day without intention, without strategy, without focus.

Rather than set out to change your life. Or set out to have your best year yet. Start much smaller than that. Start with a GREAT MORNING!

Game plan every day with a morning routine. If you set the tone for the day, every day, with a great morning, your life will DRASTICALLY IMPROVE. Every successful person I’ve studied has a morning ritual of some sort, including Tom Brady. And usually the more successful the person, the more detailed their morning routine.

Okay great, but where do you start?

As the great Tony Robbins says, “success leaves clues.” So let us craft our morning routine to look like those that have already figured it out. No need to reinvent the wheel here.

Essentially, a great morning should include 5 things. These five actions are best remembered with the acronym SAVERS. This acronym was developed by Hal Elrod in his book “The Miracle Morning.” A phenomenal read that I recommend to everyone!! Hal studied countless successful men and women and summarized what he found in a great game plan for everyone to use daily. At a certain point in my life I knew I wanted a morning routine but I didn’t know where to start, until i found, "The Miracle Morning." This book lays it out for you so plainly and simply with the acronym SAVERS.

Do these 6 things every morning and your life will change.

S - ilence

A - ffirmations

V - isualization

E - xercise

R - ead

S - cribe

Let’s break these down.

“S” is for Silence

Silence is mediation, time in thought, a gratitude practice, ect. It is important that every morning you fill your cup first. Before you let your mind get lost in the urgency of the day. Make the world around you stand still and focus on YOU. Spend some quiet time in thought. Meditate on your goals, your emotions, your relationships. Take inventory of everything you have to be grateful for. Get to know yourself and how you operate. When you eliminate all other thoughts and distractions you will learn a great deal about your own mental strengths and weaknesses. Starting your day with this practice will eliminate negative thoughts and emotions and will put you in the right mental state to seize the day.

“A” is for Affirmations

Affirmations is the act of speaking aloud, or affirming,  your passions, desires, and goals. It is great to want to be a millionaire, or to have the desire to help thousands of people escape poverty, but there’s something about speaking these things aloud that speaks them into existence! The language you use with yourself is critical to your ability to overcoming challenges. Positive, reinforcing self talk will increase your mental and emotional strength 10x over. This works in the opposite way too. If you’re constantly talking negative or complaining, you just get more of the same negative outcomes you’ve already gotten. However, if you speak aloud positivity. If you speak aloud your goals as if you’ve already achieved them. If you speak aloud empowering beliefs about yourself. These things will come to fruition. This may sound hokie to you like it did to me at first, but this simple act will do more for you than you could possibly imagine.

“V” is for Visualization

Visualization is similar to affirmations but in the visual sense. Rather than speaking aloud how you want to see yourself or the goals you want to achieve you simple imagine them visually. The images you display in your head are also vitally important to the results you achieve. Start your day by creating your ideal day in your mind. If you don’t intentionally write the movie that plays in your head then your environment and the people around you will write it for you. Every day you get to be the writer of your own story. Start the day by getting a very clear picture of the characters involved, the plot, the obstacles to overcome, and the happy ending. If you envision these things enough they will start to become your reality.

Tony Robbins is the best trainer I’ve come across for those of you who want to learn more about how to really visualize.

“E” is for Exercise

Exercising in the morning was once the bane of my existence. I’ve always been active and enjoyed working out at most times of the day whether it was afternoon, evening, or even late night. But never in the morning! I’m telling you, give this a shot. “But I don’t have enough time, I get nauseous, blah, blah, blah.” Those are all the same excuses I used so I’m not buying them. The list of benefits of morning exercise is a long one. It increases mental focus throughout the day. You achieve more fat burning from the same amount of exercise. It's easier to get it done before other obligations come up. The benefits are obvious but I still was against this. However I found a simple hack. Get a short 10 minute exercise routine done in the morning and still have plenty of time in the afternoon or evening for a longer more in depth workout. So I started doing a routine of body squats, push ups, core exercises, and the occasional burpee. And here’s what I noticed. The consistency of doing just a little bit every day has produced 2x the results of hard workouts 3-4 times a week. My abs are now POPPING thanks to this morning core exercise habit. Also I noticed that I’m much more awake, focused, and creative to start the day following this routine. Give it a shot!

“R” is for Read

A selection of books on my nightstand.

The fastest, easiest, most efficient way to accomplish anything you want in life is to read about how others have already done it. No matter what your goal is. No matter how big or how small. Someone, before you, has already figured it out and done it. And someone has written about it. All you have to do is read it, decipher it, and put it into action. You can cut the learning curve in half by just reading about how someone else has done it.

From the time I was about 14 to the age of 21 I didn’t finish a single book. As a youngster I read everything I could get my hands on. And now I read for at least 20 minutes every day usually much more. But, I had a 7 year period in there where I was like most Americans and didn’t read anything I didn’t have to. Over one fourth of Americans didn't attempt to read a single book last year. Most people finish school and think learning is a thing of the past for them. If you stop learning you stop growing. And if you aren’t growing you are dying. FACT!

Find whatever type of reading speaks to you most and start your day with it every morning. For me it has been biographies, personal development books, and the occasional blog like this one. Find something that is going to make you better and consume it every morning. Small chunks over time make a HUGE difference. It is said that if you read for an hour a day on any given topic for 7 years you will be a leading expert in the world on that topic. So pick your topic and get to it!

“S” is for Scribe

Scribe means to write, journal, or get ideas out of your mind and into the world. Something about putting your thoughts, goals, and ideas on paper makes them real. It allows you to review them and it gives you a whole new perspective on them.

Of the 6 SAVERS this one was probably the most foreign to me when I began this routine. Even more so than meditation. It is surprisingly challenging to articulate the thoughts inside your head into understandable words. This challenge really makes you better though. If you are able to understand your own thoughts and effectively communicate them you can accomplish anything!

I challenge you to implement the SAVERS routine, starting tomorrow morning, for the next two weeks. That's all the time you will need to start to see the benefits. And at that point your morning routine will be an ingrained habit that you won’t want to break.

Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days—which inevitably create a successful life—in the same way that unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre mornings generate unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre days, and ultimately a mediocre quality of life. By simply changing the way you wake up in the morning, you can transform any area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible.”

-Hal Elrod (Author of Miracle Morning)

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