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by Blaine Strong about a year ago in how to

Why to Make your First Hour a High Priority

Like most people, I used to think that morning routines were a little overrated. I did not necessarily think I needed a routine to get motivated for the day. What I soon found out was that my perspective of morning routines needed a shift. The more I started listening to podcasts and looking into some of my favorite entrepreneurs' practices, I became intrigued. I started reading and researching different concepts of morning routines and that is what then became Morning Mastery.

Let's start off with some perspective, which really helped me. I always thought that if I were to be successful in life, it was going to come from all of the big decisions that I made throughout my life, the people I knew, etc. While these things are all important, I found out that it was actually in my daily habits, and ultimately my morning habits. The small things that added up over time to create long lasting change, also known as the Compound Effect (a great read). As soon as I understood this concept, I started thinking about what a morning routine could look like for me. A quote by a navy seal, that really spoke to me was, "If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed." He said that small wins will breed more wins throughout the day, and eventually bigger wins. This made sense to me. Our days build off of momentum. If you start the day with lots of wins early, they will continue. There is no right or wrong way to create a morning routine in my opinion. You have to find what works for you.

After diving into different types of morning routines, I was able to put together what I felt was something sustainable and more importantly, got me fired up, to get out of bed every day. I definitley wanted to include some form of meditation. For me, sitting still has never been easy. I have always been very active and my mind tends to wander, especially when you try to get me to sit still and do nothing. Therefore, I looked into doing more breath work. After attending my first breath work class, it really lit me up. I wanted to get certified to teach breath work, so I did. This became my form of meditation. It helped give me something to focus on and stay present. Breath work has given me a clear mind, more endurance, better sleep, and a strong, healthy body. There are many types of breathing exercises, but conscious breathing is an important part of my morning routine.

The next part of my morning routine is movement. Motion creates emotion. Movement has also been know to change your mood. Movement earlier in the day will help create a space of happiness and gratitude. We get to release those endorphins early and work on getting the blood and oxygen flowing through our bodies. Now, this does not mean you have to do your entire workout for the day, first thing in the morning. For me, it usually means 15-30 min of something light. I usually do something more functional with body weight training, such as animal flow, yoga, core, and mobility. Other times, I may do some steady-state cardio such as a jog or a short HIIT style workout.

The final portion is focused on mindset. This portion expands into different things like goal setting, gratitude, affirmations, vision casting, etc. For me, I focus on writing down big goals and daily goals. My bigger goals are more like annual goals and the daily goals are my basically "will do" list for the day. I usually say what I am grateful for in my head, but sometimes it helps to write things down. I need to get better at doing my affirmations consistently. I also created a mantra on money, since that is one thing I am focused on right now. My mantra is, "I am a money magnet. Money flows through me easily and abundantly." Obviously, its not all about the money, but money does give you more choices and I make my money by helping others. I try to have all of my goals attached to something bigger. This is a part of vision casting. Think about what you would do with more money. Who would you take care of? Where would you go? What would you invest in? How would you make the future generation better? Beyond money, you can also ask yourself questions like, "Who do I want to become? Who do I want to attract into my life? What do I want to work on? Where do I see myself 5, 10, 20 years from now? How do I want to be remembered?

As I noticed my morning routines evolve over time, I started talking with some of my friends recently about what was really necessary for us during this time of quarantine. We all agreed that having some sort of morning routine was very important. It started as a Facebook group and then evolved into a live session on zoom each morning. We made it open to anyone who wanted a little more structure for their lives, as we did, during these unique times. We have since had guest speakers and trainers come on the zoom sessions and donate their time and expertise. It has been a blast.

So where can you start? I invite everyone to create some type of routine for themselves. It can be the first hour of the day or even just fifteen minutes to start. Take some time to brainstorm. Write down some ideas that fill your cup up and that get you fired up. You know yourself best. This is a great time to reflect. What are my strengths and what can I get better at? A big change for me, was not having to get up early for clients any longer. I needed to get back into my regular sleeping schedule and start waking up early again. So for me, the morning mastery program we launched, was what held me accountable. My suggestion is to start with something and expand and build on that as you progress. Have fun with it.

You can follow me on Instagram @Blainestrong if you want to be apart of the Morning Mastery Live sessions and/or if you have other questions. Stay healthy, stay positive.

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Blaine Strong

Yes, Strong is my real last name. I grew up in Pasadena, CA. I was always into sports and anything that challenged me. My passion is helping others find their power and seeing their potential.


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