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  • Writer's pictureMark Dickinson

5 Simple things to make life better

Set yourself up for an amazing day

  1. Wake up and get up

  2. Walk and listen

  3. Write your gratitude

  4. Write your goals and I Am’s

  5. Work out

Here’s what it’s all about. Start your day off well and you are going to do amazing things. Waking up late and rushing about to get where you need to be on time is no fun. Waking up and starting your day with power changes everything. Here’s what you need to do:

Wake up and get up

5 am. Yes 5 am! Set the alarm and when it goes off, just get up. No snooze, no rolling over and going back to sleep, that is the path of mediocrity. Average is what most people do. If you want to know where average is, just ask ten of your friends what time they wake up and take the average. It will most likely be somewhere around 7:30 am. You want to be exceptional? Get up early. The power is in you waking up before everyone else.

How can you do it? You have to know how much sleep your body needs. If you need seven hours of sleep it will require that you go to sleep by 10 pm, and this is where most 5 am wannabes fail. They cannot discipline themselves to go to sleep early enough to wake up on time. I was a big fan of working late into the evening and finishing things in the peace and calm of late nights. Let me tell you, they are not even 20% of what you get if you wake up and get fired up in the morning. Performance when you are sharpest beats tired, drained obligations to work. When you know you are going to wake up early and start your day in an amazing way, you allow yourself to relax in the evening because you know that you have the time to focus in the morning. Another advantage is that your time in the morning is measured, so you focus and concentrate on what you need to get done much more than in the night hours.

Before you go to sleep you set your alarm for 05:00. Sounds logical right? You would be surprised! If you like to wake up and snooze, then set it for 04:45 and for 05:00. You will get past this phase quickly.

Lastly, before you close your eyes, say to yourself something powerful like, “I can’t wait to wake up at 5 am”, or “I am excited to wake up at 5 am”. Your mind is listening and will do the work for you.

When the alarm rings, get up!

Walk and listen

Put on your shoes and get out of the house. Go walk. Anywhere. Go run. Anywhere. Move!

It is essential that you move yourself. As you move, plug in your ears and listen to something amazing. Get yourself inspired.

Audio books are incredible; get something inspiring and listen.

Great music; music that makes you excited and gets the blood moving.

The walk and listening will get you fired up. You can go far without even realizing it, and at 5 am you have the world to yourself. There is no one else out there, which is a good sign that you are no longer in the average category. Your mind is fresh and so you are able to learn quickly and get inspired.

Listen to nature. Sometimes don’t plug in, just listen to the sound of the world. You will hear the birds, smell a flower, see the darkness begin to break.

I have seen gazelle in the early morning, foxes running, and I never tire of watching the sunrise. It is an amazing moment.

How long should you walk for? I don’t know, but what I do know is you must make it for at least 5 minutes. 40 minutes is a great amount of time. It will get you back to your place way before 6 am and that will give you the time to do the next part before anyone else is around.

Write your gratitude

I forget where I picked up this habit, but I love it. It is a combination of advice that I received from various coaches, and I am grateful to them for their direction. Personally I think this is the MOST IMPORTANT thing a person can do in their life. I like to think of my life as a bucket. You fill up the bucket with gratitude and as long as you keep the bucket full, nobody can dump their rubbish in your bucket. However, if your bucket is not full, anyone can throw anything into it and you will have spade for it.

Personally I have a massive amount of energy and I am for the most part positive. Here’s what I have learned about gratitude: if you fill up with gratitude today, it will have depleted by the next morning, so you have to do it again. The bucket that you filled up has a hole in the bottom and your gratitude slowly drips out throughout the day, spreading around you a sense of goodness and love and kindness. The hole in the bucket ensures that your bucket is empty by the end of the day, so what do you need to do? You got it! Fill it up again. When? Every morning.

How do you do it?

Write down everything you are thankful for. It could be the sunrise, the sound of the birds, your partner, your offspring. The people around you. Your health.

As you learn this habit you will find that life starts to change for the better all by itself. You feel yourself calmer, more focused, less interested in ‘making your point’ or exerting your ego. You become deeper and your influence grows. You are a nicer person just for the sake of being thankful.

You will no longer complain, you will steer away from the news and gravitate towards good things.

Write your goals and I am’s

What do I want to achieve today? I write down 3 things that I MUST do today, no matter what. And I don’t just write down anything. I write down really challenging things. I don’t have a to do list in my life because I have learned how to schedule work. So my day is mostly set beforehand. This means that I can create some massive challenges for my day. I love to do this.

I mean, I have set crazy challenges, and then been amazing when they are fulfilled. The other day I wrote down, “Sign a deal today and get paid 50% deposit, in cash”. By end of the day I had a signed deal and 50% of the deal paid in cash. I had no idea who would be the client, but it happened.

I write down stuff like, “help ten people today” and then try to figure out how to help ten people. By the end of the day I count up how many I have helped and find that I went way beyond.

Tell 3 people how important they are to my life and how grateful I am for them. Wow! Do this and you will be amazed at the outcome. You set out to encourage others, but the greatest recipient of this gratitude is you! Try it and you will see why. Literally, when you are sincerely thanking someone for their impact on your life, they will blow you away with their response. Be genuine and sincere. It’s a wow.

I follow up my three goals for the day, or desired accomplishments for the day, with writing my I AM’s. These are so important. I write down I am blessed, I am strong, I am thankful, I am generous, I am powerful, I am giving, I am loving, I am serving, I am the maker of amazing deals. I am valuable. I always add massive value…

The list is so inspiring and each day it is different. Never skip it. You will feel powerful when you are done.

Work out right where you are, right now!

By now it is a little after 6 am and you are on fire, what you do next is the icing on the cake. You work out.

Are you old? You can work out.

Are you young? You can work out.

I don’t care what shape you are in now, and I don’t care how old you are. I don’t care about your physical capabilities, you can work out.

If it is just 3 pushups, or 3 arm raises, if you determine to do it every day, magic will happen. You will grow.

Commit that you will do it no matter what, no days off, no skipping. Your commitment to yourself is the highest commitment you can make. You will feel strong in your body and nothing can stop you from having an amazing day.

Now what do you do?

Have an incredible day!

At the beginning you may need to plan a nap some time in the day just to allow you to make the adjustment. Start off steadily and you will grow.

When you feel the growth, keep on going and never ever stop.

Call me or email if you want to talk it through.

Photo by Paula Schmidt

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