Thing BIG and go small
Doing one thing is the bomb dot com. I recently read The One Thing by Gary Keller and it was truly mentally life changing. The thought process about how to get so much done, one thing at a time, makes so much sense and challenges the mindset of multi tasking.
To thing BIG with our goals and go SMALL with our actions was like reading pure gold.
The reality is that successful people have a full plate. Replacing the dialogue of multi tasking comes when we have our epic to do list, and marry it with an actionable strategy.
*Spoiler alert* That strategy is to focus on ONE THING at a time. Mentally switching lanes takes time. And it is often time wasted switching from one task to another, accomplishing very little in the process with all the mental swerving.
The Habits of Success
Successful people have a few things in common, one being their habits. They literally set their day up for success. Look to the Lewis Howes, Steve Jobs and Warren Buffets of the world, their routines run parallel.
They are READERS. They value their TIME. They are up EARLY to seize the day. Their day is a solid routine taking growth, knowledge, physical and mental diet (aside from Warren Buffets morning McDonalds run) to heart. What they consume, in every way, how every minute is spent, are healthy habits that formed over time with their non-negotiable commitment to routine. There is little to no room for nonsense, and a whole lot of healthy discipline.
In other words, they don’t toy with their most valued resource, time.
Habits should be a process set up for success, allowing our focused time to be productive and allowing free time for fun! The best example of this comes from Warren Buffet, who I happen to be fascinated with. He has been THE richest man in the world, and is consistently amongst them when not number one (4th in the world currently in early 2019). When you reach THAT level of financial freedom, people could get sloppy with their time or habits. Yet he is STILL consistent, with a youthful state of mind and thinking process that we can all learn from.
Buffet has said that he has the diet of a 6 year old. He washes down his morning McDonalds rum with a coke, and has a love of strawberry milkshakes. When you own stocks in Coca Cola, you’re really just investing in yourself. *Maybe I should be buying stock in Actavis, the manufacturer of Botox.. HA!*
Buffets breakfast routine on days he is feeling prosperous includes a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, which he pays for in cash. He orders a less expensive option other days.
So I’m no doctor, and I’m certainly not here to judge one of the world’s richest men, but I am not here to suggest that you mirror his eating habits, we’re just here for his routine based hustle.
Speaking of hustle… last year I noticed across social media that HUSTLE became this dirty word, when in fact the problem is not the hustle, but the BURN OUT that a misaligned hustle brings. When your hustle is aligned, you’re in good mental company with yourself. Striving for THAT LIFE that you can see and, at times, FEEL burning is a commitment and purpose in itself. Why? Because when you have more, you can give more, do more, reach more people and live a life with a ball rolling in the direction of abundance.
It’s all about balance, and focus. Hustling towards burning desires, NOT burning out. Being and STAYING aligned and productive is KEY.
We all have the same 24 hours as Beyoncé and Buffet.
Someone, Somewhere, Needs YOU
The mind is your best friend or the biggest sabotaging frenemy that exists. So we’re going to get real here and commit to NO self sabotage. You have message, a dream, a vision. Time to get it out to the world, because someone, somewhere needs you.
This comes down to two things: TIME BATCHING and ROUTINE. Taking the BIG (24 hours) and breaking it down into SMALL portions assigned to tasks that are given a set amount of time, allowing you to flow through the day, knowing how much time everything is given.
Shifting how you focus and spend your time can take some adjusting. There’s always some pain in growth and it will cost you comfort and old habits that aren’t in line with the vision you hold for your life.
Comfort zones are where dreams go to die. Read that again.
A commitment to changing your life is also the commitment to getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. So let’s commit to shake up our routine in the name of success. Commit to the growing pains of building a success based routine. And mentally prepare to say no to all things, habits, people and routines that don’t fit the vision of the life we want and are working towards.
Whether you use an actual time cube for spending your time, or you’re old school and use a timer, you need to choose a method and GO FOR IT. You can always change your method, but choosing no method is a fairytale story to wing it that you’re selling to yourself.
Don’t buy it, winging it never ends well.
Everything I do is to inspire women to unapologetically pursue and build their dream lives. The content I create around that mission serves a specific purpose: to INSPIRE, MOTIVATE, TEACH or SET AN EXAMPLE for women.
Basically, I am straight up a professional problem solver, a sounding board helping my tribe get from where they are to where they want to be. Their REAL life to their IDEAL life.
We all have a TODAY reality and a TOMORROW ideal life that we are striving for. Mind blowing to hear it like that, right?
So what does that ACTUALLY look like? Carry on… and take notes.
FULL DISCLOSURE I listen to A LOT of music. I can jump in and finish lyrics in almost every genre of music, from the dirtiest gangsta rap to the classics of my childhood (think Bob Segar and CCR) I am basically that meme of folding laundry, listening to music about selling drugs and killing people, while folding floral tea towels.
Don’t judge. It’s called balance.
Ever heard the song Successful featuring Drake? “I want the money, money and the cars. Cars and the clothes, the hoes, I suppose. I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful”
Don’t we ALL want some form of success? I’ll take mine, hold the side of hoes, k thanks.
Early 2019 I completely committed to creating a morning routine to enrich my life, my mindset and to spend my time wisely, in a structured fashion. I was doing many pieces of what is now a solid routine, just a bit more chaotically, you know, winging it. My routine currently goes from 5am to noon.
Here’s the thing, we ALL have time we are spending that we can rework. As an avid reader (mainly at night when everyone else is asleep in my house) I realized I could get in an extra book every couple weeks if I cut out some music and used that time for an audio book. And I was instantly obsessed (I started with Lewis Howes School of Greatness, listen to it if you haven’t already)
My routine is a guideline used to set myself up for success. It breaks down the big 24 hours of my day, into a smaller routine. I use the word guideline because it’s all super easy when you live alone, but throw in some kids, school schedules, sports commitments, a partner, and now you have a bunch of balls to juggle while getting through your routine. I am here to tell you IT IS POSSIBLE. Be easy on yourself, let your roommates know what’s up and they may even get on board.
My kids have adjusted nicely, accepting that Saturday mornings at home with them include me doing my mindset work while enjoying a hot coffee in bed. It is non negotiable. Early morning sports mean podcasts are part of Saturday mornings when we are on the road. With a solid commitment in our relationship to set no alarms and sleep in together on Sundays (the only day that our schedules allow) my boyfriend knows this means that I am showering with Lewis Howes or Cara Alwell those mornings because I didn’t listen early in my day, so I take Lewis and Cara (via audio) into the shower with me to get a podcast in.
Writing this early second quarter of 2019, I will share what my daily routine looks like during this season of life. Print it off, circle what works and replace what doesn’t. Just START and SHOW UP – your future self will thank you.
Devil's In The Details, and she always will be
Current season day in my life:
5am: Wake up
I pull back my black out curtains, turn on my Himalayan Salt Lamp and click my diffuser (prepped the night before) with Lavender to fill the air, crawl back in bed and I’m good to go
5-6:30am: Mindset + Meditation
This can vary depending on my mental needs. But includes time both in meditation and time listening to something for my mindset, geared towards personal growth. Currently listening to YuActivation by my own life coach Tonia Mattu to activate each chakras unique energy using sound healing. Grab your copy, like yesterday, it is life changing
I have 3 sons. Two who still live at home. They are not morning people, so school mornings are ALL ABOUT routine. They need their morning stretch and roll before coming fully to life. I wake them up with good mornings, little back rubs and turning on their salt lamps. Then I DO NOT make eye contact. I carry on with my own routine, listening to Abraham Hicks or a podcast during my shower and then switching over to music *briefly* to get the boys inspired to get going, get dressed and get the hell out the door to school *that’s exactly how it feels – it is marathon-like* I am OBSESSED with not being late, thankfully one of my sons feels the same (one out of three isn’t bad, right?)
7:45-8: Audio Book, Bed Making + Coffee
My commitment to raising the best sons I can is done with the mindset of living my life in ways that will become second nature to them, that they will grow up and choose to mirror in their own ways, in their own lives. I cannot start my day without my bed made with military precision. I throw on an audio book while I make all the beds, gather laundry, tidy our rooms and finish hair and makeup before heading downstairs to speak one of my love languages: COFFEE
My coffee is VERY specific. I will not drink it if it’s not perfect. I prep this for the walk to and from school with my boys. I use my matte black Starbucks tumbler which keeps my coffee lawsuit hot for 2 hours, not that I would drink a coffee that old
I walk my boys to and from school most days. This walk alone covers about 8k steps. I keep a step tracking app on my iPhone with the daily goal of 10k steps (I use Steps App) and always have headphones for the solo walk home. I typically listen to Style Your Mind by Cara Alwell ( @The ChampagneDiet if you’re on Instagram) because she is girlboss goals
8:30-9: Time to Take Stock, Make Lists + Morning Pages
When I get home, I sit at my desk or on my rooftop deck, finish my coffee and look at my emails, day timer and the calendar on my phone. I am NOTORIOUS for saving things I have to do in my calendar with pop up reminders. NOTHING gets deleted from my phones calendar, and until it’s complete, it can only get bumped to a later time or day. This frees up SO MUCH mental space, because it is like an automated mental check list. I have reminders popping up to reply to a certain email, make a call, book an appointment for Botox, you know, priorities – all scheduled within my days schedule where they fit and can be accomplished right away
My day timer is a process in itself. Things either get written on certain days, highlighted when complete (never crossed out) in case I need to revisit or read in the future OR they are written as a list on a sticky note where they can be highlighted as completed and moved to the following week because TRUTH BOMB being a creative, blogging, maintaining a website, social media growth and management are basically ALL grey, with little to no black and white needing some wiggle room. Example? You go to update your website on a Friday and something crashes, good thing you can bump that sticky note to the weekend or following Monday in your day timer
YOU GUYS probably the most significant addition to my morning routine has been to add in morning pages. If there is ONE THING you will take from this, choose this. Morning pages are your morning brain dump married to lighting a fire under your own ass. Set your own rules for three full pages every day. I get all thoughts out of my head, without judgement. I first write out whatever is on my mind, things I’m worrying about, things I woke up thinking about, things that I am upset about, things I need to work through, I acknowledge questions or unknowns, ANYTHING that is taking up mental space. Then I write things I am grateful for, to do lists – sometimes specific for the day ahead, sometimes for the current week/month or season of life. I finish off with my TOP tasks that need to be completed for the day ahead
If you want to get really specific, you can read The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, which is where this practice started, designed for creatives
9-9:05: Morning Texts
Now that I know what’s up for my day, the REAL FUN begins. Before I open social media I send out some texts. My mom and my guy receive texts before I open social media (priorities, ya know?) I also tend throw out a third morning text to someone else, rotating between my oldest son and my girlfriends. I NEVER post to social media before checking in with my most loved people
9:05ish-9:30: I open my social media. THIS TAKES DISCIPLINE and I too, fall off this wagon. But it is SUCH a freedom. Up for more than 4 hours before touching an app. ALL THE YES. I now take stock of all comments, interactions and messages. I creep through who has viewed my content *Instagram Stories is a top obsession*
9:30-10:30: Post, Study + Read
I am ALWAYS in an online course, registered for a webinar and have a book on the go. If it is a day that I am posting to social media in the morning, this happens first and then I spend the rest of this time either watching a module in a course or reading
10:30-10:45: Breakfast + Water
I LOVE pretty things. In fact, I am obsessed. Breakfast should be no different as far as I’m concerned. I am a creature of habit, and unless it’s Sunday when I make Belgian Waffles (because weekends are for waffles), I eat only a couple of things, depending on the season
Fall and winter, I eat scrambled eggs with sautéed spinach, 12 halved cherry tomatoes, all drizzled with Sriracha
Spring and summer, I am OBSESSED with overnight oats, chia pudding and smoothie bowls. They are always Insta worthy, layered or lined with natures super foods, because I am committed to finding the fountain of youth and deterring as much aging as possible. Also, we eat with our eyes first, so just like I won’t consume a less than perfect coffee, my food needs to be perfectly plated
No matter the season, I infuse my water for flavour and add to it. I add 2 TBSP of powdered collagen to my water daily, abundance drops + choose from whatever I have prepped in the fridge to infuse. Basil + strawberry, fresh mint or oranges all top my list as faves
10:45-12/1: Time at my desk
This time is SUPER focused. I light a candle, lock and put my phone face down, silence the emails on my computer, put on a playlist (usually Drake) and do a combination of writing blogs and social media captions, creating graphics, working on the SEO for posts going up on my site, or create new listings for my Etsy store. Also – adding in time soon to launch a podcast, because Presence is everything and I’m ready to add this *already named* gem to mine
This flow and focus gets easier EVERY DAY. It helps to fill my space with things that I LOVE and that make me happy, which helps keep me focused (I take this VERY seriously, recently replacing my black printer with a white one because it was distracting) Pretty pens, my floral day timer, candles, pink note books, and a glass mason jar of infused water are daily essentials
That’s it! But might feel like a lot, right? Here’s the thing – it’s doable. Always SHOW UP as the best version of yourself, one thing at a time. So THINK BIG, get clear on those big dreams. Then GO SMALL with your actions, because small things done consistently truly bring greatness.
*Second quarter of 2019 has 13 weeks. This “life season” includes all of April, May + June. I will redo this day in my life next season! Aka, summer when the kids are home!
Tag me on Insta @StudioNinety9 as you add to your morning routine – I want to see it! ~xoj