I?ve heard every success story about how vital mornings are, how the early bird gets the worm. And it?s true. Well partially true. Mornings just have the potential to be the time of day where you can do the necessary things for yourself. It?s before all the emails, phone calls, and text messages.
My morning starts with me fixing myself a cup of coffee and then I just sit there, and that?s where the journey begins. I may read, I may pray, I may think, or I just may sit there and do nothing. But I do it daily, and I do it alone.
It?s my routine.
This is not about ? Waking up early so you can make more money.? Although, it could help you make more money.
This is all about routines and habits. Making the day easier so you can start the day with the least amount of resistance as possible.
I was thinking back to my days playing baseball; during summer league we would play every day. If I had a good game, I would eat the same breakfast, maybe drive to the ball field a certain way or eat a particular piece of candy. I created routines, habits that would help me repeat the previous day?s success.
And that?s what a cup of coffee does for me. It?s a replication of the previous days’ success.
It?s my trigger. My morning habit that triggers a whole slew of other actions that steers me in the right direction.
First I Think
While coffee is apparently full of caffeine, for me, it?s the process of sitting down, slowing down and processing what I need to do for the day. It?s critical that I go through the process.
You have to find something that relaxes you. You have to find that thing that get?s you in the mindset to work.
I think of great habits in sports terms.
Have you ever thought about how a basketball player prepares for a free throw? Or how a baseball player prepares to hit? They don?t just swing the bat or shoot a free throw.
In fact, the process starts long before they ever get to game time.
I?m sure they do a few other things to get in the mindset to perform. But the takeaway here is athletes typically have a string of habits that prepare them to perform at their highest level.
That?s why the comparison of sports and business is so applicable.
In sports and business, we are all trying to perform at our peak. The better you play, the more money you make, the more success your experience, and the more you can do with your family, for your family, or for yourself.
Here?s the beautiful thing, we can use some of the techniques athletes use to develop amazing habits for ourselves.
Professional Athletes Have Been Doing This for Years, Adopt These Habits & Change Your Life
Positive Self Talk: We have negative thoughts daily. We don?t always say what we?re actually thinking out loud, but there?s this voice in our head that?s doing the talking. It?s our responsibility to catch it and stop that little voice and replace it with positive self-talk.
I?m not saying go around making these affirmations that you say daily, but if you hear yourself saying ?I can?t do this,? STOP!! Replace it with ?I can do this, I?m qualified to do this.?
And if you’re not qualified, start thinking about how you can get the skill set to do whatever it is. But most likely, you’re qualified, you just don?t believe in yourself. You have to believe in yourself, you can do more than you think.
Visualization: Before a game, I would have to take some time to myself and close my eyes and see myself playing how I wanted to play. This probably isn?t something you?re going to do before going to work, you may never do it, but if you have a presentation or big speech to give that you’re nervous about. You may want to take a moment, close your eyes and visualize yourself crushing it.
Controlled Breathing: Breathing is great. It helps with the stress. Today there’s a lot of emphasis placed on mental health, with meditation being one of the tools to help. Meditating it?s all about focusing on your breath. ?Breathing in?.Breathing out?Breathing in?Breathing out.
This is a good one, life’s a game, and sometimes the game gets a little faster than what we?re ready for. Breathing in and out slowly helps slow your heart rate, helps to relieve stress, and enables you to get back in the game (work) with a re-focused approached.
I believe in this 100%. You don?t have to meditate to control your breathing. I would do this in the on-deck circle in a baseball game, and today, I still do it while walking, while driving, there?s time. A great time to do it, in the car or at your desk, just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths and get back to work. It?s small, but it helps.
Deliberate Practice: Practice does not make perfect, practicing the right way is what makes you perfect.
Here?s where sports and business collide again. We all know individuals make a team, but the better each player is, the better the team could potentially be. Therefore each player had to develop their individual skills, and there would be practice sessions based upon that skill alone. Of course, we would practice hitting, but then we would practice, hitting fastballs low and away, or we would practice hitting curveballs to opposite field.
It was nothing more than skills training and training with a purpose.
As a working professional, you have to practice your skills too. Maybe improve your writing, or your understanding of social media, or your management and communication skills. There?s always something we can work on, find ways to develop your skills, whether it?s some classes, or just reflection time so that you can analyze your performance.
Before you start chopping down the tree for the day, don’t forget to sharpen the ax.? I mean simply stop for a moment and think!? It slows life down for us a little bit.? And don’t forget to use these tools when it’s necessary:
- Be mindful of your self talk.
- Visualize your success.
- Always breath.
- and practice your craft.