Tag Archives: michael hyatt

THE MORNING ROUTINE

This New Year’s, I heard about the “morning routine” on three different levels, a one-two-three punch, if you will, that helped me to re-engineer it in a way that today, 14 days, two weeks, into the new year of 2016, I’m feeling like if I did this for 351 more days, I’d be pretty damn unstoppable! Firstly, I read “the School of Greatness” which I blogged about in my last post – please feel free to read.  In it, Howes emphasizes the importance of setting up a routine, no matter what it is, and advises that it include certain key components.  I chose from his list of recommended components and came up with the following commitment to my morning routine: journaling/free-writing/ setting up day, prayer/ visualization, yoga/forearm work.  Let me further break these down: journaling/ free-writing/ setting up day:  This is simply opening up a journal, old school or new school (I personally use the DayOne free e-journal) and writing what’s on your mind for a few minutes.  I find it cathartic to write my thoughts and emotions out and find that it gets my head cleared out and my shoulders unweighted.  After I do that for anywhere for 5-20 minutes, I write out my day’s main to-do’s and plug them in on my calendar. yoga/forearm work: Many people build their workout right into their morning, but since I teach classes, I enjoy pairing another workout with my classes later on in the day.  However, I do have a goal to be able to do a forearm stand and I heard that I should do a few minutes of practice every day, so I decided to guarantee it gets done by building it in to the morning.  I have a nice amount of space when I fold my murphy bed that becomes my insta-yoga-studio!.  I lay my mat out and do a few vinyasas, poses, stretches, etc and when I feel warm enough, I’ll start kicking up into inversions.  I was scared at first that I would fall over, smash into the walls, etc, but I’m more comfortable now and doing it in my apartment it actually the best way to guarantee it gets done. visualization/prayer: By the time I’m done trying inversions, I’m usually warm and a bit sweaty, so it’s the perfect time to go into a child’s pose and then a little meditation.  I relax in a sitting position, close my eyes, and start some visualization.  If visualization is a practice shared between Olympic athletes and business greats alike, I’m sold.  In the School of Greatness, they talk about imagining the feel, the sound, the taste and smell, even, of your achieved goal.  It’s mandated HD daydreaming!  After this very enjoyable exercise, I get into prayer, praying over others, giving thanks, seeking answers, and simply having time with God.  It’s the perfect end to the perfect start to a new day. Around the same time that I was reading the School of Greatness, I came across Michael Hyatt’s podcast on “How to Become a Morning Person.” He was talking about what it takes to really get up early and take charge your day with the first step being “throw away the ‘I’m not a morning person’ story.”  He’s got some great tips so listen to it here: but what stuck out for me was the importance of protecting your evening in order to ensure your morning.  So, for example, if I want to be up at 7am with 7 hours of sleep under my belt, then I should be asleep by midnight and so I start getting ready for bed at 11pm.  11pm is the mark for shutting everything down and saying, “no more, I will pick it up tomorrow. ” Sounds practical, but up until this point, I was traveling down a slippery slope of allowing that “bed time” to creep later and later for no good reasons: watching silly videos, doing work, watching silly videos, etc.  Michael Hyatt breathed a very realistic reminder into my brain and I’ve been sticking with it. Finally, I went to church service on the first Sunday of the New Year and their message was about “Giving God the first part of your:______”  The blanks were filled in with “my day, my week, my relationships, & my energy”  The way these translate are:
  • my day: quiet time in the mornings
  • my week: church attendance on Sundays
  • my relationships: sharing God in your relationships
  • my energy: serving God
Again, this theme of starting the day properly with a morning routine that protects everything that’s important to you to “self-care” and “put your mask on first” was just another great reminder. Btw, I did not do this perfectly for the past 14 days.  I certainly had mornings where I mussed up or had to leave so early I didn’t get it in, and all that showed me was the cost.  Those days, in particular, were not as peaceful, not as fruitful as the days in which the morning routine was paid time and attention.  On the days when I implemented my routine, literal miracles were allowed to occur in my day – those days were not only peaceful and effective, they were miraculous.  And the correlation is uncanny.  I am so sure that when I leave the house having written, prayed, moved, & doing what I deemed important for me, all things go better. And so, I hope that if you’re in need of a morning routine, that you’ll pull something out of my experience.   The first step is designing (or re-designing) your routine, the next step is protecting it to ensure it takes place, and the third step is doing it consistently.  Go ahead and bon voyage!

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

I recently got turned on to Essentialism, a book by Greg McKeown, by way of a podcast  interview conducted by one of my favorites, Michael Hyatt.  Upon first listen while working out, I found it disruptively clarifying and enlightening.  I remember nodding while walking around the gym floor in agreement with so much that was being offered.  Weeks later, I was in Barnes and Noble, reading the book.  And just a few weeks ago, I listened to the podcast all over again in order to apply one of its most important principles.   I will build up to this biggest principle after first sharing a few other valuable takeaways that I’ve gained from Greg’s teaching.  Here it goes – enjoy and prepare to say “Ah ha!” MAKE YOUR LIFE A CLOSET OF YOUR MOST LOVED PIECES The first lesson is important to get clear on.  Do what is most Essential to you.  Do what you would LOVE to do.  Imagine your life as a closet.  You have a finite amount of space.  So when you have pieces of clothing that you want to add in, unless you want a crammed, unusable closet, you have to take items out.  Likewise, in your life, make sure to trade things out before you take things on.  Now comes the next important step: Editing your wardrobe.  How do you decide what items you are going to keep vs toss?  Do you keep things because you “might wear them again one day,” because “you might fit them again one day,” or God forbid, because you “just already own them?!”  Well, here’s a concept: only keep the things that you LOVE.  Ask yourself, “Do I absolutely LOVE this piece?” or even better, “Would I buy this piece all over again?” In the same way, set up strong filters for what takes up your life.  Do the things that you LOVE to do, not merely the things that already exist.  Ownership of a piece of clothing or of things in your life can be very tricky.  If something has real estate in your life by virtue of simply being owned, then it doesn’t deserve your time.  Only if you LOVE it and would DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN should you consider continuing to do it.  And THAT is one of the biggest distinctions from Essentialism! GIVING YOURSELF THE SPACE TO MAKE A SOUND DECISION Our next challenge is giving ourselves space in which to apply this distinction before making decisions.  Oftentimes, we make decisions hastily or under pressure.  And oftentimes, we are quick to say “Yes” because we want to help, because it’s uncomfortable to say “No” and because we want to be accepted.  But there is a trade-off and the trade-off is being in this position of having a crammed closet full of non-essentials.  So, how do we give ourselves space to get to clarity before saying “Yes” or “No” to something?   Simply say this instead:  “Let me get back to you,” “Let me think about it,” and then take the time that you need to  confidently decide, based on what YOU want to do. If you really want to be radical, practice saying “No” and then only change your mind if you find yourself wistful over it!  Here’s what it comes down to: If YOU prioritize your life, OTHERS will prioritize it FOR you! OPPORTUNITIES EVENTUALLY BECOME STUMBLING BLOCKS: This sounds so wild, but if opportunities remain unchanged in your life, they are actually stumbling blocks preventing you from advancing.  Opportunities should be continually evolving, growing, and expanding.  If you are saying “Yes” to the same opportunities today that you were saying “Yes” to several years ago, those are now stumbling blocks.  You will have to say “No” for a little while in order to create space for different opportunities to develop.  Understandably, this is scary and is probably the reason why most people stay in the same place: because it’s more comfortable to stay busy than to be still during inactivity.  But again, there’s a tradeoff: Saying “Yes” to the same opportunities and not advancing. SCHEDULE A QUARTERLY OFFSITE TO “GET ESSENTIAL” Now that you know some important practices, here is the Headliner Practice that you’ll want to really hone in on and that ties everything together.  Use the power of 3: Every 3 months, take 3 hours, and figure out the next 3 most important goals for your life.  This is how you get clear on that million-dollar question: What’s Essential? and then use the rest of these tools to protect that! Any bonafide business is taking time to get off-site to ensure clarity on their vision and their business.  We, as individuals, can benefit from this same practice.  So, start setting aside a quarterly offsite during which you do the following: Look back on the last 90 days of your life.  Be a journalist and investigate your life.  Read over your journal entries looking for the news.  Look for the trends.  Look for the essentials.  Look for the nonessentials.  And then, be the editor and decide what needs to be edited and write your new plan.  Ask yourself “What are my new goals?” and plan the next 90 days of your life. Every 90 Days, dedicate an OffSite Day to: Thinking, Reading your Journal, and Evaluating in order to  “Get Essential!” BONUS: MAKE TIME TO READ, THINK, & DREAM: This is often seen as a luxury or worse, even as a waste of time.  Well, rebrand it as a priority and use this as your affirmation: Bill Gates, one of the richest, most successful men in the world, sets aside time to think and read FOR 2 WEEKS out of every year!  He actually schedules one week twice a year during which he goes away with tons of articles and books and does nothing but read and think.  He has been doing this for decades so that means that even at the height of Microsoft’s life, he was taking time off to do this.  Now, if that isn’t proof that reading and thinking is time spent wisely, I don’t know what is! BONUS: MAKE TIME FOR: Sleep (7 hours) – It will promote productivity Play – It will promote Brain Elasticity Think – It will promote Essentialism BONUS: BOUNDARIES, BUFFERS, RULES & HABITS Sometimes, creating little rules helps preserve or even create your Essentials.  For example, Greg offered the following examples that he’s implemented in his life:
  • One or even two days designated as date night for himself and his wife where nothing else can compete
  • A day dedicated as a “Give back” day during which he will entertain requests to “grab coffee” and such
I really love this habit and have consciously begun setting up rules for myself within my schedule, in regards to what jobs I take, etc and I find that simply clarifying these things for yourself frees you from the deliberation involved every time if you were to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.  It’s so powerful and nobody has to know what “rules” you’re applying – they’re just for you, based on what’s Essential for You! Check out the full podcast that inspired this whole post and my slew of new habits and I wish you a Life transformed from the UnDisciplined Pursuit of More to the Disciplined Pursuit of Less!

God is still providing us with Daily Manna

Hi guys! This podcast from Michael Hyatt, which I was listening while running on Tuesday, took on new meaning while I was speaking with a friend last night at dinner. In the podcast, Michelle is being interviewed by Michael (which is a role reversal!) about her life’s huge curveballs in the form of cancer and adopting three children! The huge takeaway from this for me, which only took on meaning for me two days later, was that God provides enough manna for the day…and that’s all we need. While Michelle was struggling with her cancer diagnosis, she realized that God got her through it day by day for four years and will continue to do so.  Naturally, she wanted more than just one day’s worth of provision. She wanted to see the light at the end of the tunnel already. She wanted complete healing already. She wanted victory over it already. But just like in the Bible, when the Israelites greedily attempted to collect more than what God intended for them to collect for the day (just a day’s worth of sustenance), the rest of it would rot. They needed to trust that God would sustain them the following day all over again. And He did. I realized yesterday that I am in a rush for certain things in my life. But God is growing and preparing me. My foundation is being solidified so that when I expand, I won’t collapse. My friend asked me, “Do you want to grow too fast and then collapse or not be able to handle the growth?” He gave me the example of the Freedom Towers’ construction and how long the laying of the foundation took compared to the building of the rest of the towers. I realized that a slow steady construction is preferable because the subsequent growth will be lasting and sustainable. And so, I will stop looking for the final result to happen today. I will trust that whatever God provides for me today is what I’m supposed to consume and that bit by bit, day by day, promise by promise, I will get to the Promised Land! Can you be grateful to God for giving you manna to conduct your business today, execute your exercise and diet today, pay for things today, extend grace, patience, and joy today? Can you be at peace with one day’s worth of provision rather than attempting to collect for the future? It’s terrifyingly freeing! Amen! PS: Listen and subscribe to the podcast if you want!

Overcoming the Resistance!

I discovered Michael Hyatt by way of a Facebook comment from a former-NY, now west-coast friend.  She throw his link at me, I bit, and have been chomping away ever since!  The titles of his podcasts all captured me and I was at a loss for finding even one that I did not want to hear; everything from “A Leader’s Heart” to “How to Take Control of your Inbox,” resonated with me.  I plugged Michael in during car rides, runs, & cardio sessions and it was the best multi-tasking tool!  I could complete a 45-min cardio session and “Learn how to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty” all in one shot! Well, they say that the best way to get something to “stick” is to repeat it, so here’s one podcast that especially grabbed me: “How to Overcome the Resistance!” At first, this conjured up images of war for me for some reason, but after a few seconds, I realized that this was fortunately, way off base!  So, in actuality, the resistance is “That invisible, destructive force that  opposes you anytime you try to accomplish something significant or make an improvement in any area of your life.”  Resistance is that thing that causes procrastination, negativity, skewed perspectives, etc. Here is how to identify resistance: INVISIBLE: you cannot see, hear, taste, touch it; you can feel it INTERNAL: Michael Hyatt gives an example here of a Barracuda experiment where a glass partition is placed in a tank to separate a Barracuda from his prey.  He smashes into the glass in his attempts to attack the smaller fish and becomes gradually less aggressive until he gives up completely.  Eventually, even when the glass is removed, the Barracuda, so trained to, no longer attacks the fish and they can actually swim about the tank, unassailed.  The Barracuda’s obstacle is internal.  The resistance is self-generated, self-perpetuated, the enemy within, the story we’re telling ourselves.  For example, “I’m just not good at this,” or  “No one will hire someone my age,” etc INSIDIOUS: It opposes every good thing and prevents us from becoming all that God designed us to be.  The resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. INFALLIBLE: The resistance will always show up and point true north.  In this way, we can navigate based on the resistance.  For example, the presence of the resistance can act as a guide on your journey to significant work.  For example, you won’t experience resistance if  checking Facebook vs work doing work.  You won’t experience resistance ordering dessert vs hitting the gym.  The more important the work, the more opposition we’ll experience. So, now that you can identify resistance, the next task is HOW TO DEFEAT IT! Here are the resistance’s primary strategies and the prescribed countermeasures: FEAR: usually happens at the start of a project.  Our typical response is PROCRASTINATION; the  countermeasure is to START. Until one commits, there is hesitancy.  The moment one commits oneself, then providence moves too.  A whole stream of assistance comes your way.   Whatever you can do or dream, you can begin it.  Whatever it is you think you need in order to begin won’t show up until you take the first step.  Develop the discipline of beginning.  Look fear in the face and just step into it. UNCERTAINTY: This usually happens in the middle of a project.  Our typical response is to get DISTRACTED; the countermeasure is to FOCUS. Stay focused and develop the discipline of pushing through; this is the only way to get out of the middle of a project.  Anxiety, self-doubt, etc, all present themselves in the middle of a project; that’s how it always feels in the middle.  But remember that you always feel uncertain before you feel certain. DOUBT: usually occurs at the end of a project.  Our typical response is to QUIT; the countermeasure: FINISH. Practice not quitting.  Finish at all costs.  Develop the discipline of finishing. I think that for those of us who want to make a difference in this world, we’re up against resistance all the time.  I loved the examples of when we experience resistance and when we don’t.  Of course we won’t experience resistance with sleeping in, eating junk food, and maintaining the status quo.  When we will experience resistance, however, is in re-engineering our mornings (another great podcast of his), eating clean, and going above and beyond.  So, hats off to all of you who are beginning, in the middle, or finishing some significant project.  You are undoubtedly being challenged by some resistance, but I have no doubt that you will begin, focus, and finish that good work!  Here’s to resistance…bring it on! Here’s the podcast: download and subscribe…he’s good!