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This one is all about how to start the day… and the cornerstone of a successful life. I don’t know if I could have achieved some of the incredible stuff I’ve managed to pull off, if I hadn’t made this part of my life.


Video Transcript and Relevant Links

Okay, so we’re back at intentionality again and creating an intentional life.

So, last week we talked about what I think is the absolute number one cornerstone habit that will create an intentional life for you and that is meditation. If you didn’t see that video, go check it out.

So this week I want to talk about where that fits in and really what I see as the other cornerstone habit that… and when I say cornerstone what I mean by that is this is the one habit, or I guess this is the second one, but these are the two habits that if you put them into your life and they become part of your life, then they will make everything that you do more intentional. That’s what we’re talking about is, I think the way you create the design for an amazing life, lead an amazing life, is to be intentional about leading that intentional life.
And so the second cornerstone habit is the way you start your day. I like to think of it as my morning routine or my morning ritual and I’ve been working on my morning ritual. This is my 10th year now. I started 10 years ago doing this. And basically all that means is I have consciously programmed the way my day starts every single day and when I say every single day, that’s my intention. No one’s perfect and I’m more like maybe 90% of my days start this way…
But my day starts with, the first thing is, well, brushing and flossing my teeth and drinking some water. Lately, I’m drinking some lemon water, but just drinking some water and then immediately going into meditation—that absolute cornerstone of the cornerstone. So, meditation is the cornerstone of my morning ritual. After that, then I will do some exercise, exercise and/or yoga and so this is just what works for me, okay? I’m just telling you my ritual. Your ritual will probably be different.
I highly recommend you have some level of meditation in there, but your morning ritual is going to be different. I’m just walking through mine and my thought process, but one of the key things is, it’s not set in stone. What I’m doing now is different from what I did 10 years ago.
So as you sit down to plan out your morning ritual, your morning routine, what you want to do is you also want to plan in a debrief. You want to say, look at the calendar and say 30 days from now, “This what I’m going to do for 30 days, and then after 30 days I’m going to review it and see how it’s working.” Do a little process. Just sit down with your computer, with a piece of paper, your journal, and look back and say, “How’s this working? How’s it fitting in my life? Is it making my life better or is it making it worse? Am I able to fit this in or is it too much of a rush? Is having a morning ritual stressing me out, you know, trying to pack all this in? Stressing me out? Is it leaving me more tired or not? Can I add in more? Are certain pieces working or other pieces not working?” But it’s sitting down and designing the way your day starts because if you don’t do that, how do you start your day?
I know a lot of people, they wake up, they reach over, they pick up their phone, they look at their phone, and now you’re in the rabbit hole. Now you have lost control of your day. Now maybe you’re in email, you’re in social. You’re looking at your texts, whatever. You are now letting someone else set the agenda for your day, setting the intention for your day, setting what you’re not going to accomplish that day because once you start down that path, it’s really hard to recover.
What this is all about, this morning ritual, is about putting you in the right frame of mind, in the right state, the right emotional state, so that you can create that intentional day. And then you know what? You string together a bunch of intentional days and you want to end up with an intentional life. So exactly what my morning ritual looks like… that’s not what’s important. What’s important is, you sit down and plan how you’re going to start the day.
You know, like I said, I’ve got hydration in there, I’ve got meditation in there. Usually, sometimes I have some journaling in there. Sometimes I’m playing a little bit of music. I’m playing a little bit of guitar. Sometimes I’m doing some learning, some reading stuff that is making my life better as opposed to reading Facebook or Instagram or something like that. Certainly nutrition is in there. That’s my morning ritual. It usually ends, that’s the last part of my morning ritual, is usually food.
Here’s another thing… if I miss? That’s okay. You just get back on the habit the next day. If you miss for a week? That’s okay. Then you just start again. You just come back to the practice. That’s what this is about. It’s about starting. It’s about sitting down, being intentional. It’s about designing it and it’s about following that process. And then when you fall off the wagon, when you stop doing it, it’s about coming back to the practice. That’s the key.
And one final thing is that sometimes I’ll have different morning rituals, rituals for different days. Like for my creative days, for my ski Fridays, for my days where I’m going to spend with the family, I’ll have a different process. So I’ll actually have a different morning ritual lined up for different types of days, but that’s super advanced stuff. Just start with one morning ritual and just start super simple and be forgiving of yourself if you miss, if it’s not perfect, if it ends up being a little wonky. That’s okay. It’ll get better over time.
So, I’m Jeff Walker. Wherever you’re watching this, scroll down, leave a comment for me, and let’s go get ‘em this week.

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35 Replies to “Designing an Incredible Life (Part 5)”

  1. Thank you, Jeff! So inspiring! I have sporadic routines, but the mornings are not yet conquered…

  2. Carel Schilp

    Reply

    Hello Jeff,
    I’ve been watching some of your videos and they are sound advice, so thank you for providing them.
    I have a question for you: In your PLF program, do you also cover how people should handle the sudden success if their product launch goes very well.
    I’m asking this because I imagine the change in income has a huge impact on your life
    once that ball starts rolling.

    Regards,

    Carel.

  3. Karen Robinson

    Reply

    I’ve just started having a ‘proper’ ritual last Monday – a benefit already that I didn’t expect is improved sleep. I’m normally a poor sleeper but by day 3 I slept until 6.00am – a wow moment indeed

  4. Job Nguerebaye Ngaroita

    Reply

    Thank you Jeff. Really interesting and helpful indeed.

  5. Curious what you do differently or add in for your creative days, or your ski fridays.. I’ve had a morning routine for 2.5 years, thinking I need to change it up for my different kind of days and would love examples…

  6. Luise Deloch

    Reply

    Thank You for your honesty and integrity.
    Yes, I can just echo that this is a beautiful way to start the day….am not always succeeding but aiming most of the time….
    Have a good day still.
    Regards
    Luise

  7. Bill Evans, phantastic pianist, said (and he that was when already was very accomplished):
    “You alway practice the fundamental basics.”
    Which applies to propably everything…

  8. Really enjoying this video series Jeff. Lots of great info. You mention you play the guitar. I’ve been playing and teaching beginner guitar lessons now for over 40 years. I would love to be able to do a launch on a new course, but living on a fixed income doesn’t allow me to do that right now.

  9. Eileen Halverson

    Reply

    You could not have said it better! Yesterday I was off the wagon of intention. I was on social media much too long. Several hours to be exact.. best part of day gone and no excerise, little water or food. I didn’t have a large enough block of time to finish a project I had planned for the day. Thanks for this message today.

  10. As far as I’m concerned, I try to keep control in difficult situations. After years, it happens to me without wanting to be able to advance.My formula is to try to fill my contempt with positive thoughts. Even if I do not do yoga, I happen to walk to have the good state of mind.I am trying to ask good software to establish a list of quality.

  11. Jeff, I’m really enjoying this video series, its really making me think, thank you. I’ve tried a different morning routine for a few years now and I don’t feel I’m too successful as there are only a few small things I really have stuck to and many I just don’t keep up. I’d love to hear how you vary yours depending on your day and how you stick to it.

  12. Hey Jeff – I was wondering if you have an evening ritual to complement your morning ritual? Thanks! Love your work, wishing you continued success in 2019!

  13. Janet Neustedter

    Reply

    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you very much for this series, I really appreciate it! I have been struggling with my M-F mornings: my husband and I get up at 5, throw clothes on, brush the teeth and walk our 2 dogs. Get in the door 45 minutes later, make a shake, shower, out the door to work. I have decided that Saturday and Sunday are my “me” mornings with more intention.
    Thanks for the tips, it really provides focus.

    Janet

  14. Hi Jeff!
    Glad you mentioned starting your day with “meditation”. This for me is prayer to Almighty Creator and His Son Saviour Jesus Christ. For example, if I happen to be running late some mornings and unable to pray, guilty feelings try to creep in; however, this is when I get some unexpected successes (or blessings) that day — as if Creator is telling me that He knows my heart and since I am only Man and not perfect — He still loves me and has my back. By putting prayer first when I awake, I am able to face the day with more calm and gratitude. Hope this helps someone.

  15. Excellent. It’s so easy to go down the rabbit hole. Intentionality drives focus. Great reminder and encourager to get it right as best we can.

  16. I’m in the rabbit hole every morning and realized I had to change!!! Thank you for the tips. I, also, love that you are succinct and give us the “pearls”. On each topic, thus, keeping the videos short so they are easy to watch. Thank you so much for this series! Lily

  17. Hi! I have an absolute morning routine for my work week- Logging what I am appreciating, meditation, exercise. I am a bit looser on the weekends and other creative days. I like the idea of a routine for those days too.
    Thanks. I feel like I have this one going for me…thank goodness.

  18. I like it, Jeff! It’s amazing how easy it is to grab our phones first thing in the morning. My guitar skills are a little rusty, but that could be fun to add to my morning routine! 😊

  19. Jeff, your authenticity is a golden key with all you share. Thanks for sharing your intentional and empowering morning ritual.

  20. Jeff,

    Thanks for sharing. This is great. I have been working on my morning ritual as well, trying to avoid the pitfalls of fears, worries, etc. running through my mind. I intentially think with a happier, more positive focus to get me going. That’s been huge. And I think you made a really great point about phones… I don’t do this, not sure it was ever a big habit… But the times I can remember picking up my phone first, my brain goes mush fast and my day tends to be totally off. And I can imagine so many people doing this… Not going to say it ruins a day, but it almost, kind of, sort of does. Lol.

    Also been working on my meditation practice in recent days/weeks, setting daily time and intention to it. Still trying to get best way and time routine in… mornings I tend to be groggy, so not always best for my meditation. Maybe I could just get more sleep, first, haha.

    I appreciate this series of emails you’ve been sharing with setting an intentional life. I have been actively working on changing how I operate to be more successful and intential. Your posts just really resonated with some stuff I am already doing and this gives me more clarity and inspiration.

    Thanks!

    Matthew

  21. Cindy Schell

    Reply

    Jeff- This is a wonderful video series. I particularly appreciate the suggestion about the focus sessions. I’m guessing there is a book coming out intentionality in the future. Looking forward to reading it!

  22. Good morning Jeff, I would add – pay attention to my first thoughts as I open my eyes. exchange any negative chatter to more positive. This puts me in a state of mindfulness.
    Thanks so much for the encouragement!!

  23. I agree 100%! I have 2 rituals: morning and end of day.
    So morning includes getting up and drink water, then meditate 15 minutes, then I write 10 appreciation statement, then I head to the fitness center, which I bike to. So a total of 1.5 hours of fitness work, more water. Then I have a healthy smoothie for breakfast. Then shower and finally settle into my office. By end of day routine includes replaying the day and only focusing on the things that I feel went well – and I celebrate those with a feeling of appreciation for each. That’s my ritual!

  24. Fantastic, Jeff — thanks so much!

    I agree that the quiet time/meditation, setting intentions, not getting distracted by phone & emails first thing — all of that is crucial to having a life that’s under control and aimed at our vision, not meandering away from it.

    Morning rituals are right at the center of that.

    Thank you for all you do!

  25. Hi Jeff. What I appreciate about this is that rather than being focused just on developing a product and launching it to make a bunch of money you are shifting focus over towards personal development. Now I still like the idea of launching products and building a bigger and better business but I also respond to your suggestions on how to start the day better and how it can help both with the business as well as bring more satisfaction with one’s life in the long run.

    Your focus on meditation first thing in the morning is a really a first rate way to start the day. However I do wonder if some people really understand meditation and how to do it. Moreover there are also so many different ways. My approach is to concentrate on quieting the mind. Sometimes I focus on the air blowing from my furnace or maybe the ticking of the second hand of my clock, anything to keep extraneous unwanted thoughts from coming in. Then after 15 minutes I relax and then surprisingly I begin to get inspirations about what I may want to do for the day or on projects I am working on. I can only say, it works for me.

  26. I have to say when I committed to a specific focused morning ritual over 1 year ago, my whole life changed. I had been doing a yoga practice sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon. This was consistent per day, but not for time. Many mornings I would wake up and the first thing I would think is F***! Now, being a yoga practitioner and mediator for 20 years at this point, I knew there was something wrong with this picture and I needed some major changes in my life.

    1 year ago I attended a yoga and mediation retreat for 10 days and was given a specific practice from my teacher with instructions to do it every morning, no matter what. I did the practices and man did my energy shift and in a huge way! Very noticeable from the first few weeks. That has propelled me forward to this moment. I live in a new, dream location, my kids have all the opportunities I could ever want for them, I live in my dream home right next to an amazing mountain bike park and I am getting ready to launch my dream business. Now with all the changes I must say I wake up with anxiety sometimes, but that gets me curious and by the end of my practice, I am in the zone and ready for my day.

  27. I love you, Jeff! Thanks for all you share with us — very generous and very appreciated!

  28. The video series is so good. Thank you kindly. Everything you have touched on is a valuable reminder of what I have forgotten to do.

    Other parts of our lives get analysed, such as business, income etc – so why not apply this same theory to our lives – the most important thing we have and the only thing we really have control over!!

    Many thanks.

  29. Thanks for the reminder. I call it rhythm but it amounts to the same thing. Waves come and your words remind me that intentionality and preparation make me ready for them. Thanks Jeff – you are an encourager!

  30. Carol Joyous

    Reply

    I am loving this series, Jeff! I blend my meditation in with my morning practices and prayers. This includes checking on my pets, snuggling with them, cleaning and refilling their water bowls, feeding them, meditation and exercise for me, and then breakfast. I refuse to have any contact with the outside world until I have completed my morning meditation and practices because when I don’t do them, the day frays quickly. Have a morning practice seems to give form and focus to the day. Even my pets look forward to it because they know they’re going to get some snuggle time, along with their breakfast. LOL It’s the equivalent of getting up on the right side of the bed.

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