The first thing I do when I wake up every morning (well, almost every morning unless I hear the kids screaming “mommy!” at the top of their lungs), is remind myself that this is 2019 and it’s my BEST year to date! I do a few other things after that like read, pray, and journal then I’m off to start my day with a strong, healthy breakfast. All of this takes me between 45 minutes to 1 hour so I usually wake up between 6-6:30 am. Now believe it or not, before I started this routine I would easily become distracted by daily demands like emails and meetings not to mention text and Whatsapp messages, funny video’s online, and social media. You might be wondering, why having a morning routine works, how doing a few simple things every day can create intense focus, and why these specific activities help us to connect with ourselves and get clarity on priorities for the day? Well, it’s science!
Inc.com published an article last November discussing the science behind why a morning routine is effective. They confirmed things like waking up early, working out, journaling, and practicing mindfulness, helps us to reduce stress, become effective problem solvers, and boost our brains’ ability to function while being more productive. Now if you want this year to be the year that you start crushing bigger goals like launching your business, increasing profits (if you already have a business), losing the excess weight you’ve been obsessing over since you had your baby, starting a blog/podcast/youtube channel, or whatever your big goal is, here are the top 3 things you can easily start implementing today to change the rest of your life.
Nothing will get you to the finish line faster than starting right now, where you are, with what you have. Steve Maraboli says “an inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention.” You have a choice. You can become a victim of your circumstances, lack of resourcefulness, self-discipline, and good money management skills or you can challenge your excuses with the truth and become the hero in your story. Take action. The only person stopping you is you. Having good intentions and clear goals will not get you results. You have to become a person of action.
This is the most important thing you can do for yourself this year. Now I know you’re probably thinking, “…but Tee, it’s not in the budget, I can’t afford to do this right now.” Well, listen. This doesn’t have to cost you one penny! That’s right. You can make a quality investment in yourself starting today for free and I’ll tell you exactly how to do it, but it will cost you your time!
Take advantage of the millions of free content around you and online. There are very insightful, practical, and easy to understand blogs, videos, podcast, and more available to you right now. You can also reach out to people that you admire, mentors, and so on and ask them to borrow a book or two (who knows they might even let you keep them!).
I can’t tell you how many amazing books I’ve read based on recommendations that have challenged me to be more efficient, focused, and creative. Also, keep in mind that you can borrow books from the public library for free. In Canada, they also offer ebooks and audiobooks all you need is a public library card and you’ll be good to go!
If you feel you’re under skilled/qualified in a specific area instead of complaining and doubting yourself get out there and start developing those skills! Find a way to challenge yourself in areas you want to see growth. You can set aside time every day to work on the specific skill, start volunteering somewhere the focuses on your expertise or join an internship. There are so many options and opportunities out there for you to develop yourself so what are you waiting for? What is your excuse?
Investing in yourself will not only change you personally, but it will enhance the way you think and the way you pursue your goals. Some of my favorite resources on goal crushing and personal development include:
Upgrade Your Life – Pat Divilly
Developing The Leader Within – John Maxwell
The One Thing – Gary Keller
Now you can start training according to your preferred learning style. Here are a few important areas you can start investing in now for free:
- Mindset (Psychology)
- Money management
Zig Ziglar said “gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” and I’ve found this to be incredibly true. Oprah echoed the same principle when she said “be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Gratitude is the foundation that makes life more enjoyable and taking action easier. It helps you to find solutions instead of focusing on problems and sulking over everything that is going wrong in your life like not having enough money or not being able to spend as much time as you want with the people you value most because you’re overworked and tired.
With gratitude you begin to see things that are working for you like the fact that you have a steady income, your family is well taken care of, and you get weekends off work to relax and work on your side hustle. These are regular everyday blessings that we can so easily take for granted when you don’t practice gratitude.
Something that I do to protect my heart from becoming ungrateful is, in my journal, I write 10 things I am grateful for every day. This means from Sunday-Saturday I wake up and one of the first things I do is grab my journal and make a list of 10 things, people, events, and so on that I am grateful for. The goal of this exercise is not to come up with original things to be grateful for every day. That would be great, but for me, I find that writing a list of 10 means I will definitely be repeating some things that I was grateful for yesterday and the truth is I can often find another reason to be grateful for the same thing. Do you know what I mean?
Here’s an example:
I am grateful for my kids because they add a sense of adventure to my life…
(I learn something new with them every day)
I am grateful for my kids because they challenge me to keep my priorities in order…
(they help me to stay focused)
Most days I repeat a few things that I am grateful for, but I find a different reason to be grateful for it. Doing this consistently will naturally help you to become a more positive, happy, and content person. Over time it will become easier to stop comparing yourself to others because you will start enjoying your process, story, and life way more than ever before. You will feel more at peace with whatever challenges come your way and better prepared for new opportunities.
This week I want to challenge you to start implementing one of these 3 activities into your life. Nothing will improve unless you do. You will not magically crush your goals without sacrifice, commitment, and the right tools. Stop waiting for change and get out there and make it happen. Stop dreaming and start doing. Until next time, xo!