In his book, Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day, English author and former Hindu monk, Jay Shetty writes about the power of routine. He noted “Location has energy, Time has memory”. Jay describes how waking up early and mastering a morning routine can go a long way in making the best use of our time. He noted:
“Sleep researchers say 85 percent of us need an alarm clock to wake up for work. When we wake up before our bodies are ready, the hormone melatonin, which helps to regulate sleep, is usually still at work, which is one of the reasons we grope for the snooze button”
Jay recommends waking up one hour earlier than you would normally would. Waking up early leads to a more productive day. “Create a time cushion at the beginning of the day or you’ll spend the rest of the day searching for it.”
“Looking at your phone first thing in the morning is like inviting one hundred chatty strangers into your bedroom before you’ve showered, brushed your teeth, fixed your hair. Between the alarm clock and the world inside your phone, you’re immediately overwhelmed with stress, pressure, anxiety. ”
Jay recommends the following morning routine, which is an acronym for TIME:
Every morning make some time for:
- Thankfulness. Express gratitude to someone, someplace, or something every day. This includes thinking about it, writing it, and sharing it.
- Insight. Gain insight through reading the paper or a book, or listening to a podcast.
- Meditation. Spend fifteen minutes alone, breathing, visualizing or with sound.
- Exercise. You can do yoga as most monk do, but you can do some basic stretches or a workout.
“Thankfulness. Insight. Meditation. Exercise. T.I.M.E. A new way to put time into your morning.”
Thankfulness, Insight, Meditation, Exercise and Dress for Success (TIMED)
I start my day in a TIMED manner (Thankfulness, Insight, Meditation, Exercise and Dress for Success)
The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is to fill the gratitude journal. The five minute journal contains the following: An inspirational quote, 3 things I am grateful for, what would make today great, a daily affirmation and a section for reminiscing about what happened during the day and ways I could have made the day better.
I have consistently filled the gratitude journal and it has made all the difference for me. As American catholic Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast once said “It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” Starting the day with a sense of gratitude makes me feel good about conquering the day and setting intentions for getting better.
It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful. – David Steindl-Rast
I dedicate at three to fours of my day to personal development and improvement. I have incorporated challenges into my daily routine such as the 100 Books Reading Challenge, 365 Podcast Listening Challenge, 50 Audiobooks Listening Challenge, 50 Reports Reading Challenge, 50 Magazine Reading Challenge. Achieving these goals is one of the most exciting thing that I do on a daily basis.
I am obsessed with trying to become a better version of myself daily. As Reid Hoffman advised “Be in Permanent Beta Mode”. Success they say leaves clues and one of the best ways have found to connect the dots is by reading and listening to personal development books. As Greek Poet Archilochous once quipped “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; We fall to the level of our training.” To be the best, you have to study the best.
We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; We fall to the level of our training. – Archilochous
Meditation is one of the habits have been able to develop as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the lockdown, I started meditating regularly in the morning. I use the calm app and I love listening to the following three meditation teachers:
- Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt (10 Minutes)
- Daily Trip with Jeff Warren (10 Minutes)
- Daily Jay with Jay Shetty (7 Minutes)
Staying mindful and starting my day with the above meditation sessions get me centered for the day and it has made all dfifference.
Stillness is what creates love. Movement is what creates life. To be still and still moving—this is everything. –Do Hyun Choe
After meditating in the morning, I start my exercise routine with Calm’s Morning Wake Up session with Christain Slomka. The session comprises of various stretch routines, breathing exercise and body movements. The session is for 7 minutes and it goes a long way in getting my body in the groove. I try to go to the Gym without fail 7 times a week. I spend on average, 2 hours per gym visit. I run on the thread mill, occasionally play basketball and also participate in a weekly yoga class.
Some days are tougher than the other, they are some days I don’t want to go to the gym because of bad weather or am not feeling like it. I usually go to the gym daily because I have set challenges/goals such as running 3-5 Marathons per year or finishing a triathalon. I also look forward to the daily adrenaline rush/runners high that I get after a gym session.
I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count. -Muhammad Ali
Dress for Success
I dress up everyday during work, whether I am going out or not – I dress up. It helps with my mood as feeling good makes me expectant of great things.
All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.