Starting the Day Off Winning

The older I get, the less I’m a fan of New Year’s Resolutions – I love goals, but to wait until the new year to start something just seems stupid to me.

Waiting for something like the new year to come around before making changes you know you want/need to make in life seems like you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s a lot like people building up elaborate rituals that have to be completed before they can start doing something important – like working out.

If you mess up, it gives you a prime excuse to not do what you set out to do.

So anyway, I decided last night that I’m going to do a 30 day challenge and get my ass out of bed early and start winning.

How am I going to do that?

Well I want to accomplish things in three key areas for myself:

  • Mental
  • Spiritual/Philisophical
  • Physical

To that end I came up with the following list:

  1. Get out of bed at 4:45am – this gets me around constraints with my wife and son in the mornings
  2. Hydrate – down a shot of pickle juice for electrolytes and a 16 oz glass of water – help get my system going and my brain to wake up
  3. Light exposure 30 minutes – to help get my circadian rhythm going – especially important during winter
  4. During the light exposure:
    • Read for 10 minutes – something philosophical/uplifting – I’m reading As a Man Thinketh by James Allen right now
    • Journal for 10 minutes – reflect on what I’m reading/anything else going on in my head
    • 10 minutes of mobility work – help undo some of the damage from sitting at a desk most of the day and hopefully get rid of some persistent aches/pains and get some blood flow
  5. Meditate for 10 minutes – calm and focus my mind for the upcoming day
  6. Shower and shave – working from home, I don’t do this at a regular time of day
  7. Cold water exposure for 3-5 minutes – a blast of cold water helps wake you up by causing your hypothalamus to increase your body temp (not to mention the adrenaline), as well you get some dopamine and it’s also something uncomfortable that helps you discipline your body and mind. There’s also some fat vascularization that happens with cold exposure and thus you can loose some stubborn visceral fat.
  8. Get dressed – putting pants and shirt on – gets you ready to do things outside the house if need be
  9. Write out three main objectives to be accomplish that day – give myself a focus to create more wins during the day and make sure I’m focusing on worthwhile things for work.
  10. Avoid caffeine until 90+ minutes after getting out of bed – allows the body to process adenosine properly and thus avoid a crash later in the day when the caffeine has worn off

Notes on the First Day

So how did it go this morning? I didn’t end up getting out of bed until about 5:20 – “luckily” the Mrs. and my son aren’t feeling the best so they stayed in bed and I was able to get my stuff done without rush or interruption – that won’t always be the case. The process definitely took longer than I had expected. Closer to 90 minutes – which is actually pretty good now that I’m thinking about my time estimates. So maybe I’ll need to “be like Jocko” and get out of bed at 4:30 to get started.

I’m thinking about changing some of the order – perhaps do the shower, shave, cold-water, and get dressed first so the Mrs. is sure to have hot water for her shower. I’m not worried about sweating with the mobility work – it’s only light stretching/strengthening stuff to improve muscle engagement patterns.

Meditation felt good, ended up being a visualization exercise after journaling and realizing that mentally I’m not comfortable with the idea of owning a bigger/nicer house. So I visualized walking through the place and what kinds of rooms there will be and what kinds of activities my family will do there. Yeah this is a direct influence from my reading.

Not sure what I’ll read next – As a Man Thinketh isn’t a long book at all, but it is a bit slower going as I’m having to re-learn some focus to really take in the ideas. I’m debating on Taoism for Beginners and King, Warrior, Magician, Lover. We’ll see in a few days, it will be nice to actually read through this books instead of having them sitting in a stack on my desk with the intention of reading them.


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