In 2019 I missed one morning, I blame my brother-in-law…
I have a daily routine that sets me up for success every day if you have read The Game Changer Formula you’ll know how it works. This routine helps me show up better, stronger and more focused every day.
I blame my brother-in-law for that one missed morning because when he visits beer seems to taste better and nights definitely get shorter.
2020 was different. I am proud to say that I have a 100% record, thanks to a secret weapon I call Sean.
My routine has supported me in achieving massive goals in 2020 despite the challenges we have all faced. I want to tell you about Sean, my secret weapon but first let’s look at what’s involved in that morning routine and the benefits I receive from each of the elements.
There are five things I do every working day before I have breakfast and before getting my son ready for school:
- Mindset manual
- Daily debrief
What is it? I have discovered over the years that the major hindrance to achieving my potential and hitting my goals is myself, my own mind and limitations that I subconsciously set up. We all have a set of stories we use to run our lives efficiently. We have developed these since childhood and many of them are a great help to us. Others however hold us back, way back!
My mindset manual is a little black book I keep and every time I identify a story that’s holding me back I write a new one to replace it. In essence I replace disempowering thoughts with empowering ones and I have found that starting each day reading my mindset manual has allowed me to overcome countless limitations.
What are the daily benefits? Reading my mindset manual every day has increased my confidence, made me more powerful and surer of myself. Simple things that I would have avoided in the past or procrastinated on for months now get done quickly, calmly and efficiently. Put simply it means I can achieve more every day and therefore, because I hit my goals quicker now, I have stretched new goals beyond what I would have thought possible two years ago
What is it? I like to compare meditation to exercise. Meditation is like the gym for the mind. Where the body benefits from movement in the gym, the mind benefits from stillness. Meditation is clearing the mind of distractions as much as you can and attempting to maintain one clear focus.
What are the benefits? Meditation helps me build the strength of mind and the ability to focus that I need to have a powerful day. When things are not going my way during the day meditation helps me acknowledge the issues while not allowing them to affect my mindset. It enables me to focus on solutions in a calm and appropriate manner. This means I solve more problems with less stress while avoiding distractions.
What is it? In sports, athletes often use visualisation by picturing the achievement, such as striking a ball, receiving a medal, swimming in a particular time or knocking out a boxing opponent. I create a mental picture, or ‘film’, of my achievements for the coming day complete with the feelings of success I will have once accomplished. This is like a practice for the day, everything seems easier the second time around.
What are the daily benefits? Visualisation for me turns the unknowns into knowns. By visualising the outcome of, let’s say an important meeting, I feel like I have already achieved that outcome and as far as my subconscious mind is concerned I actually have. Visualisation has without doubt helped me to achieve my 2020 goals.
What is it? Each morning I do a mental review of the previous day and I ask myself three questions.
- What went well?
- What could have gone better?
- What do I need to do today to make it a ten out of ten day?
What are the daily benefits? Every day I learn from the previous day. By understanding what I need to keep doing, what I need to stop doing and how I can improve I am creating slight improvements every day. Those incremental improvements each day compound to massive advances by the end of each month. Think of compound interest.
What is it? Getting the body moving each morning is a great primer for the day. Everyone has their own favourite exercise. For me it’s a 5k run and a swim in the Atlantic in Galway Bay. By the time I get home I feel ready for anything, the blood is flowing; the mind is clear and I feel strong and powerful.
What are the daily benefits? Apart from the obvious health benefits, exercise has a dramatic impact on how I show up for my day. It has been shown that regular physical activity affects energy production at a cellular level, giving a boost to the cell’s powerhouses in the brain and helping it to work more efficiently. This increased efficiency helps me focus throughout the day and keeps my mind clear and alert. I find that when I exercise I am more creative, more alert and far more motivated. As an added benefit exercise improves my sleep.
The secret weapon
Now, there is just one more thing I do before breakfast and that is to deploy my secret weapon. I said earlier I call it Sean; I call it Sean because that’s actually his name.
Every morning when I come back from my exercise I connect with my friend and accountability partner Sean Murphy. You see, my secret weapon for achieving 100% compliance on my daily routine is accountability. I am accountable to someone else, not just me, someone I don’t want to let down.
Some mornings I don’t want to get out of bed, for sure. Some mornings I could skip the exercise, the meditation or any element of my morning routine. This morning for example it was -2 degrees outside, the water temperature was 5.9 and it was dark for my swim. I really didn’t want to get up. But if I stayed in bed Sean would know and I won’t let that happen. So every morning when I come home I send Sean a text message that says something like “five out of five done”, or a picture of my swim, or simply a “done”. It’s this accountability that is the missing link for many people when it comes to making a commitment. If Sean doesn’t receive a text, he’ll know something is up and he would most likely challenge me on it but I won’t let that happen.
Many people who have set goals over this first week in January will have dropped them by the end of the month. What’s the best way to avoid that? Get a Sean.
One key of my accountability partnership with Sean is that he is not accountable to me for anything. It’s a one-way system. I have found with a two-way system that if one person drops the ball that’s the end of the accountability and it’s difficult to get it back up and running. I suggest using three people where A is accountable to B, who is accountable to C.
If you are thinking about leveraging this secret weapon for yourself, you can download some suggested criteria for choosing the right person and some sample scripts to get it setup here. The quicker you do this the more you will achieve in 2021.
Thank you Sean!