Habits for Daily Peak Performance – Part 1
January 19, 2017 by Cathy Brown
“The temptation to quit will be the greatest just before you are about to succeed.” ~ Chinese Proverb
Many of history’s greatest thinkers, entrepreneurs, inventors and visionaries swear by repetitive (and sometimes strange) daily rituals that keep them performing at their peak every minute of every day.
Before he started his day, Alexandre Dumas, author of “The Three Musketeers”, would get ‘in the zone’ by eating an apple under the Arc de Triomphe.
On many afternoons, Thomas Edison would enter a state between sleep and wakefulness known as hypnagogia, (modern day hypnosis) where intuition and creativity peak. He did this by drifting to sleep with steel balls in his hand, which would fall and wake him up the moment he lost consciousness.
Pablo Picasso, a prolific artist with over 50,000 art pieces, spent every night from midnight to 2:30am painting, because he found this to be one of his most productive times.
Do you have your own daily good habits?
Natalie Ledwell, best-selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur of Mindmovies.com, shares her ideas of how to use simple and effective rituals to increase your performance and success all through your day. Over the next 3 weeks we will focus on Morning (this week), Midday – Afternoon (1/26/17) and Evening (2/2/17).
Thanks, Natalie. There are so many great ideas here. Pick out a few for each part of your day and give them a try!
MORNING SUCCESS RITUALS
Studies show your willpower is at its highest in the morning, so it’s important to start strong by selecting success rituals that empower you with energy, clarity and positivity throughout your day.
1. Waking up early
Yes, waking up early is a success ritual in itself, which is why many CEOs and billionaires start their day at the crack of dawn (Richard Branson keeps his curtains undrawn so the sun hits his eyes at 5:45am). Waking up early is a gradual process; so, try going to bed 20 minutes earlier every night, until you’re getting enough sleep to reach your target wake-up time.
From Tim Cook to Anna Wintour, many of the world’s most productive people start their day with a vigorous burst of exercise – which instead of making them tired, pumps them up with even more energy for the rest of the day. If you’re strapped for time in the morning, try high intensity workouts that only take 10 – 15 minutes, but get your heart pumping.
3. Steve Jobs’ one simple question
For over three decades, Steve Jobs started his day with one simple question:
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”
If his answer was ‘no’ on too many days, he quickly made the necessary adjustments to get himself back on track.
4. A super nutritious breakfast
Are you still eating bagels and sugary breakfast cereals? May I instead suggest a nutrient-rich green drink in the morning, or a helping of nuts or low sugar fruits? Preparing in advance is the key to successful healthy eating – so make sure you’ve got your ingredients at hand and prepared to be eaten, cooked or juiced.
5. Morning visualization and or meditation
Visualization is an easy and effective way to use your mind to ‘see’ your desired outcomes for the day, and command your subconscious to turn them into reality.
Meditating in the morning makes you more productive, creative and focused throughout the day, while also reducing stress and mind chatter.
6. Focus on your hardest task first
You know that sense of crushing dread you get when there’s an unfinished tough task dangling over your head? Why not avoid it by simply getting it out of the way the first thing when you start your day?
7. Have a to-do list
Ah, the classic to-do list. If you keep one of your own, perhaps you’ve noticed that just writing down your goals for the day and reviewing them, is enough to make you feel more ‘in control’ of your day and all the outcomes it will bring.
8. The Eyes Closed question
This one is one of the most important morning rituals. As you are waking up in the morning, before you even open your eyes, I ask yourself:
What’s the ONE thing I can do today to move closer to my goals?
… and don’t open your eyes or get out of bed until the answer comes to you
Your one thing for the day doesn’t always have to be BIG – remember that with persistence, even small steps can take you great distances.