Read time: 8 min
Over the past half-decade of self-experimentation,
What is the single most powerful habit for personal growth?
Understanding the three “S’
If you understand these, you can win the morning.
And as the saying goes. "When you win the morning, you win the day."
This whole routine takes no more than 45 mins.
My day starts when this is completed.
Grab a pen and cup of your favourite coffee..
Hopeful Moksha :)
1. How to Change Your State
Before I do anything.
I take a cold shower.
In terms of changing your "state."
I have yet to find something that works better.
When I wake up, I feel ready to audition for "Thriller' by Michael Jackson.
I am the zombie.
No makeup is required for auditions.
Just put me on the set.
I am slow and simply not there.
So to change this apocalyptic state.
I head straight to the shower.
I start off warm, then slowly move it to cold.
I stay in the cold for as long as I can.
I don't count time, I just try to be present.
I simply do this to get my engines going and blow off the cobwebs so I can start the day.
The second part of changing my "state" is to breathe.
3 rounds of 25-second breath and holds.
For this, I use Whim Hoff App,
It’s simple, and it works.
Breathing connects your whole being.
If you experience anxiety in the morning or the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Breathing helps ground yourself.
It brings you back to the present moment.
Breathing tells your body you're safe.
Over the years, breathing has been magic for anxiety.
The final part of changing my "state" is to move.
"Where energy goes, energy flows."
I learned this from Tony Robbins.
By changing your state and moving your body first thing in the morning.
You set yourself up for the day.
I do not count this as my “workout” for the day.
But another wake-up call for my body and mind.
I call this next slot of time “The Morning 300”
This could be push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, squats, or kettlebell throws.
I put on some music and just go for it.
It doesn't matter what it is.
As long as 300 different moves are done.
You have now just primed yourself.
You are now auditioning for Gladiator.
You have just woken up your body and nervous system.
You are ready to go.
Recap: How to change your "State" first thing
- Cold Shower.
- Breath: WhimHoff App.
- Move" The Morning 300."
2. How to Change Your Story
I have journaled for 10+ years
At home, I have a 6ft shelf of all thoughts on paper.
Writing helps cage your monkey mind.
Here is my morning writing ritual.
Open notebook (Leuchtturm1917 Soft Cover) immediately after “Morning 300”
And just let it all out with a giant brain dump.
Whatever it is…get it out of your head on paper.
Whatever you think, you believe.
Your thoughts shape your reality.
So by letting go of the thoughts that do not serve you.
Helps create space for the thoughts you do want instead.
- That person who got under your skin yesterday.
- That driver who cut you up.
- That boss who you can't stand.
- A dream that brought up past memories.
Usually, it is just a mess of scrambled irrational thoughts first thing.
Let it out on your journal.
Keep It snappy. No more than 5 mins.
We're not drafting novels here.
By letting go of this subconscious negative narrative.
You can focus and craft a better story.
See it like trying to drive with a dirty windscreen.
Make your journey easier by cleansing your mind.
After you have got it all out.
We now need to "change your story."
A story that will empower you, enrich you and propel you forward to where you want to go.
We do this by asking better questions of one's self.
Here are my questions:
1. What's ONE thing I'm grateful for?
2. What's ONE thing that would make today great?
3. What's ONE event I am excited about?
4. What's ONE crazy idea I would love to work on?
Again, no essays. 1 sentence, max.
I write these questions in the front of my journal, so I do not have to write them out every-time.
For healthy habits to last.
They have got to be fun, quick, and rewarding.
Don't dwell on perfect answers.
Whatever immediately surfaces, get it down.
These questions create strong foundations for your story.
A story that focuses on..
- Future excitement
- Present moment
Recap: How to change your "Story" first thing
- Get your old thoughts down that do not serve you.
- Create a better story that will propel you forward.
3. How to Change Your Strategy
"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." Tony Robbins
Staying in your journal.
These next questions will help move to where you want to go.
For this, we need a "strategy."
A goal without a plan is just a dream.
To make change, we need massive action.
We also need a focus for all that energy to be pointed at.
Without a strategy, you are shooting for the stars and could end up on the moon.
These are the prompts that have helped me get clear of the making big decisions.
- What is everything I could possibly do today?
- What is my ONE THING today that helps me get closer to my end goal and north star?
- Why wouldn't I work on this today? What is the distraction? What is the temptation?
Here's why it's so effective:
Question one: What is everything I could possibly do today?
This enables you get out all of your possible "to-do's" on paper.
What you choose to focus and work on is more important than doing something well.
Getting out everything you could possibly do today gives you a bird's eye view of today's temptations and distractions so you can identify the most important task.
If you have a list of 15 "to-do's" to do in a day, it is almost certain that nothing important will get done that day.
Question two: What is my ONE THING today that helps me get closer to my end goal and north star?
Identifies the critical MUST DO that will make the greatest change.
Now that you can view your list of possible actions.
Highlight the one task.
Usually, this is the one you have put off for the greatest amount of time.
Block out 2 hours to do your one thing.Then once done, move down your list.
Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there is not the same as doing 120 mins of deep work.
Let the rest of the so-called "urgent “to-do’s” wait.
They will still be there tomorrow.
My never-ending impulse to procrastinate, put off and fritter away my days stops when there is clear strategy.
And, If you do start procrastinating or get distracted.
It is perfectly normal.
Gently come back to your one thing.
Question three: Why wouldn't I work on this today? What is the distraction? What is the temptation?
By asking this you become aware of why you may fail.
This prompt forces you to confront the brutal truth over the comforting lie.
The truth is, you know exactly what you should be doing.
But we all love to run away from these hard choices.
Instead, we love to double up on information, distractions and quick dopamine hits.
So—stop looking for new things to do.
- No new books
- No new apps
- No new podcast
- No new Youtube vids
- No social media scrolling
All this can wait until you have done you.
Then see these as indulgences later.
I repeat, only when you have completed your task. You can entertain the above.
If you do not put barriers and systems in place you will fail.
The programers at the likes of Facebook and Tiktok fighting for your attention will win.
It like bringing a knife to a gun fight. You do not stand a chance.
Your time is their currency.
Don't let them steal your time. Guard it with your life.
These strategies will help align with your goals and aspirations.
More importantly, in a world of clickbait time stealing distractions, they will help put you first.
Recap: How to change your "Strategy" first thing
1. Create time to get clear on how you are going to spend your time.
2. A quote to reflect on: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Abraham Lincoln
We Are All Running Out of Time
“Every man has two lives, and the second starts when he realizes he has just one” Confucius.
"I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” Steve Jobs
One thing I can promise you is that change will not come overnight.
But one, five or ten years a year from now, you may wish you started today.
All the real benefits in life come from compound interest.
My old version of myself?
Sitting in bed with my phone for an hour.
Unispired, overwhelmed, lethargic and not wanting to face the day.
Can something so small as doing this first thing change your life?
I think so.
Some of these questions may not resonate and work for you.
Some of these ideas may have a huge impact and change everything.
If there is one takeaway from this framework.
Experiment, iterate and find what works for you.
Small steps, every day.
Congratulations! That’s it.
To all your health and happiness.
Chris & No Ordinary Moments Team
*We had these stickers made as cues for greatness throughout your day :)