I have been asked a few times what is it that keeps getting me out of bed in the morning, what do I say to myself, how do I keep pushing forward through the heat and the rain, through the sweat, through pain, through the tears, through all the challenges and obstacles that have been thrown my way on this walk.
What’s my morning routine, what do I do every day, to persevere, to keep going? To keep walking?
One of the first things that I would have to answer that with is I have a Goal that I am working towards, a destination that I must reach. I have a ‘VERY’ clear image in my mind of the completion of this goal and when it will be achieved. I can’t even tell you how many times I have walked into the church parking lot, across the grass and past all the gravestones right to Dad’s resting place in my mind up to now (I still do it daily). I can tell you the way it smells, the noises that I hear, and I can even feel the heat of the sun on my neck. I could go on and on but that would be a discussion for another time.
Do you have a goal that you are working towards? If not, why not? Give some thought to this question. If money, time, resources or potential were unlimited, what would you have, do or be?
Besides setting a goal, here is a look at some of the habits that I do daily and how you can implement some of these ideas in your life if you are looking to radically transform your productivity throughout the day and accomplish everything that you want—Moving you closer to your goal!
1. Reading time
It has been my experience that picking up a good book or studying first thing in the morning for a minimum of 30 minutes causes my mind to open and soak up information. Don’t forget that at the end of the day if you are not learning, if you are not growing, and not getting better every day, you are going backward! This peaceful quiet time in the morning is a way to really focus and pay attention to what you’re reading and studying. Some of my best breakthroughs have come from reading. The ability to see a problem from a different angle or perspective can cause you to come up with or see the solutions that were right in front of you for that next big breakthrough or to overcome that hurdle that is standing in your way. I aim to read a minimum of two books per month, including the ones that I study daily. When the average person barely reads one book per year, just think of the things you could learn by investing time every day reading and learning something new that will advance you closer to your goal, even if it is only one book per month. That would equal 12 books per year! Do you think that you could learn something new that could change your life if you read 12 books per year?
2. Use of electronics
I have fallen out of the rigid routine that I practiced at home due to the changing environment and the things I need to do in a day. The first month of this walk I am ashamed to admit that I have been sucked into the black void and became the servant to my phone! The first thing I would do in the morning before even getting out of bed some days (my phone sits right beside my bed serving as an alarm clock) would be to look at my phone, checking all my social media accounts, email, and text messages. I have a bad habit to wander off down the rabbit hole of clicking on this thing, then that and winding up killing off hours with ease, not getting anything productive done!
When I was at home my cell phone used to be turned off at night by 7 pm and stay off till at least 9 am and when I did turn it on my ringer was Always on silent. To me that time with family in the evening is sacred and nothing comes between that for me! Leaving it turned off in the morning also allows me to get the important things done that I know will set up my day to be a success (most of which are covered in this blog). I pay for voicemail service, so I might as well use it. I do however set time aside during the day to check my phone of course.
However, during the first good portion of this walk, it took me a little while to adjust my morning routine and to realize what I was doing. I would get distracted by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and emails. I would wander down the rabbit hole…the black void wasting countless hours being at best entertained by the noise, which left the important work not getting done and not being accomplished. I was wondering why I had such grand visions of being productive on the road yet was struggling every day accomplishing the minor tasks I needed to complete. Since I use my phone as an alarm clock and timer (which I will cover later in this article) it now gets turned to airplane mode which still allows the function of a few apps but doesn’t let outside dings and notifications in especially while you are sleeping. (I feel sorry for those of you who are so addicted to your connectivity that you sleep with your phone beside your bed and wake up at each and every ding or time the phone lights up, interrupting your sleep, then wondering why you are always so tired or irritable during the day, I know how you feel I have been there!)
Do yourself a favour – turn off your device at night, put it on airplane mode or at the very least don’t have it sitting beside your bed or even in your bedroom, put it somewhere else. This also goes for during the day as well – we are all guilty of thinking, well I’ll just answer this one text, or message then I’ll get back to work. A study has been done that said it takes on average 12 minutes to get back to productive work after every distraction, that doesn’t include getting back to sleep.
Become the master of your electronics and technology, you control it, don’t let it control you. Don’t become a slave to the constant dings, constant notifications and connections that we are bombarded with. The world will not end if you don’t answer that text message or even phone call immediately.
This has probably been one of the biggest game changers for me and I am sure that I still have a lot to learn to be more effective. The ability to sit in the silence of my own creation letting go of all outside distractions, letting go of all the noise, silencing all the chatter and the monkey brain.
Sitting and focusing on one vision, on just one thing. Allowing the release of everything else that happens to pop into your mind and staying focused on the one vision. I generally will choose the goal that I want to achieve and see that goal as though I have already accomplished it. Currently when I meditate I not only see but more importantly, I can feel all the smells and the weather while I am walking into the parking lot at the church and walking up to Dad’s gravesite.
Create a beautiful picture of that thing, of that vision, of that goal that you want to accomplish, sitting there and really looking at it and really having a very clear image and a picture really helps in the accomplishment of that goal.
One of the other tools I use with medication, if I have a question that is bothering me or a question I need an answer to I will sit with my notepad and jot down the question in one color of ink, then drop into my meditation and turn the question over to my subconscious mind, I release it and don’t think about. While meditating just allowing thoughts to come and go, allowing the universe and energy flow to and through me in whatever form necessary. What happens may seem a little strange to most. When you have a question that you are seeking an answer to and you turn it over to your subconscious mind. What that allows is a subconscious mind to release the question so it can find the answer and almost every time without fail as I’m sitting there in the quiet and dark of my meditation an answer will come to me and when it does I simply write the answer down on my paper in a different color ink and set back into my meditation.
It could be a question of why do I feel a certain way in this situation? why do I seem to struggle with certain things? why do I act a certain way? why do certain situations cause me to behave the way I do? why do certain words trigger me to reacting rather than responding? How can I stay happy? how can I stay in my place of gratitude?
It allows your mind to let go of whatever problems that you are trying to solve and go searching for the answer. Have you ever tried to remember someone’s name and it was right on the tip of your tongue but you just couldn’t spit it out, then later when you were doing something completely different with a different focus the name comes out, that is the power of your subconscious mind looking for the answers to the questions you have given it to find.
Sometimes it is only the last few minutes of my meditation that I can silence the noise and focus. Don’t think you are doing it wrong if at first you have a lot of noise or struggle to sit quietly for more than a few minutes. Practice every day and it will get better.
4. Morning Coffee
The highlight of my day! For the past 2 years, I have made it my mission to find the best things, trick and life hacks that I can use in my life. To find the best for my day-to-day life and performance. To be able to do or input the minimum amount of effort while maximizing the gains which can be enhanced performance, enhancement or clarity, enhance productivity, energy, and health. What I found is a company name Organo Gold or OG for short. They have found a way to be put reishi mushroom into their coffee. The taste is phenomenal and has some major health benefits as well. The mushroom acts as a buffer for the caffeine so it releases it slowly and slows down the absorption of the caffeine in the body, so you don’t get that Coffee rush of caffeine followed by the crash, leaving you wanting and craving more.
Another huge benefit that I found since I consume a large quantity of water throughout the day is that the OG coffee does not dry me out or act as a dehydrator as ‘normal’ coffee does. It has a few other health benefits. It allows the water intake that you do take to absorb into your body to flush through rather than only trying to rehydrate all the dehydration that has happened from the multiple cups of coffee. That then allows your body to flush itself of all the toxins and all the waste that we consume and put into our body, by keeping me quite regular! I have tested this experience on numerous occasions (because of my lack of planning on getting more coffee, which I now have fixed as it auto ships right to my door every month) and here are my results. After switching to regular coffee again, keeping in mind that I only have two cups in the morning, within a matter of days I get tension headaches, muscle soreness and trouble sleeping. When switching back to my OG coffee within two days the headaches are gone, the muscle pain and soreness are gone, and I feel great again!
If you are up for a 30-day coffee challenge email me and I will get you all set up hello@theLfoundation.ca. You can Thank me later!
5. Happiness and Gratitude
For years I was falling into the wrong thinking and lack of Happiness, that I’ve also found many other people succumb to. “When I get my new house I’ll be happy, when I get a raise I’ll be happy, when I get a new car, when I find the love of my life, when I have kids, when my kids are out of the house, when I retire I’ll be happy” have you ever said something along those lines?
Well I’m here to tell you that if that’s you and you are waiting to get something or achieve something always waiting for it then you will be happy, I will guarantee that when you get what you want, IF (and that is a big if) you get what you want you will just have those things and still be unhappy.
Happiness is not something you can get from material things or even outside sources for that matter. Happiness is and can only be brought upon and created from the inside. If you’re not happy right now with what you have with your life, with the way things are or not happy with yourself, there’s no way that any outside source or circumstance will change that for any length of time. You may find filling that void with material possessions or things (like I tried) will make you happy for a short while but inevitably as I’ve come to discover the new shiny object wears off as does the happiness that came with it. Do not expect others and things to make us happy.
However, on the flip side of that when you are internally happy and grateful for all that you have in your life right now, then you don’t rely on more or others to make you happy. You have created your happiness from inside and that is when the material world will start to reward you for your happiness, for your gratitude, and for your appreciation. I do want to preface this with one other thing, being happy and grateful for what you have in your life now does NOT mean that you can still not want bigger and better things and that you cannot go after bigger goals. You absolutely should, and you absolutely can because when you come at it from a place of happiness and gratitude the world will bend over backward to give you what you desire.
One of the main focuses that I spend my time working on is my attitude. When I am in a negative attitude looking at all the bad things, at the rain, at the lack of donations, at the heat, at the soreness of my feet, all the things that causes my mind to switch over to the negative, the negative view, negative thoughts, it instantly zaps my energy and any drive I have. One of the things that I am extremely aware of is the attitude of the people in the environment that I’m in and around. I tend to not hang around for too long in a negative environment or people. It is very difficult to remain in a positive mindset when you have negative attitudes trying to penetrate your positive barrier.
When I find myself drifting to the side of negative thinking, I will take a few minutes outside or just in a quiet place and remind myself of all the wonderful things that I have in my life that I’m extremely grateful for.
There are a few things that I do, simple little motions or phrases that will trigger a positive mindset instantaneously and change that mindset to one that is much more positive and productive. One of the best ones that I’ve used is simply ‘I am great’ said with an incredible amount of enthusiasm and when I can in a vehicle alone or sometimes in a supermarket I will say it as loud as I can. Five times out loud seems to be the key and instantly after that 5th time I can feel an incredible shift to a positive attitude!
It never ceases to amaze me how the simplicity of getting thoughts out of my head onto paper changes my perception and my viewpoint of those thoughts. It’s almost as if I can see it in a visual context. Rather than just obscurely in my mind. The incredible clarity that comes from taking thoughts and ideas that have perhaps not been completed in my mind and putting them on paper to form the completion or a full vision of the thought or idea. When I have problems or challenges I will also journal on those points. When I do, the answers and responses that I get to my challenges do my questions the opportunity to get it out of my head and onto paper you look at things in a different perspective quite literally and figuratively.
This could be a session at the gym lifting weights, something as simple as going for a walk, bike ride or even rollerblade. Yoga, or a cardio session of your choosing. Not only is this a great way to clear out all the aches and creaks in the body but it also does incredible things to help clarify and stimulate your mind. I personally prefer lifting heavy things to mentally recharge, there is something magical that happens when you need to devote all your attention and mental and physical energy towards moving something.
The next time you are in a slump or feel like you are in a bad mood, go for a 10-minute walk or better yet hit the floor and give me some push-ups!
Well there you go, a little insight into my morning routines. Another thing to mention is that I usually have this list completed before 8 am and spend an hour or two each day on it. Pick what you like from the list and start to use it in your life today, and watch the magic happen. Don’t try to implement it all however as it will be too much of a change at first and inevitably you will revert to your old habits (trust me on this one, I have seen it many times and experienced it just as many).
Do something every day to not only exercise your body but also your mind, your future self will thank you!
The Lefebvre Foundation was created in memory of Simon Lefebvre, who died of cancer in 2016. The Foundation’s goal is to raise endowment funds to help society become and live cancer free through the effective use of awareness, education, support and treatment for the physical and mental health and well-being of all those who are affected by cancer.
The Can-Survive Walk is a 5,716-kilometre walk being completed by Simon’s son, Jimmy Lefebvre and his family. The Lefebvre’s will walk 7.2 million steps from Grande Prairie, Alberta to Saint Louis, Prince Edward Island between May 1 and August 31, 2018.
To support the Can-Survive Walk, visit our Donations page. Donations both big and small will go towards the L Foundation’s endowment fund. Thanks in advance for your support! To date, over $27,000 has been raised to eradicate this dreadful illness. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, over 80,000 people in Canada died from the disease in 2017.