In this episode:
01:07 – Putting theory into action
02:23 – What order works best?
04:15 – Deciding how long
06:08 – Does it have to be in the morning?
09:37 – It’s about the result
12:52 – The 4 things that form habit
17:16 – A quick recap
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James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. You’re listening to episode 2 of the Power Focus Series. I have my special guest Anita Chaperon back with me. Welcome back.
James: So, if you haven’t listened to the first episode, please go back to episode 1, which is How to Create Your MPR, where in that episode, we actually talk about what an MPR is. Hint: it’s a Morning Power Routine. We talked about improving your confidence. We went through an acronym that explains the six different steps to having a Morning Power Routine. I even checked that Anita did her power routine prior to the call, and she passed with flying colors. So today we’re going to talk about execution, and how we turn this MPR into a habit.
How to put MPR into action
Anita: Yeah. Absolutely. So, the most important thing to note here is that the best kind of information in the world is not going to make a blind bit of difference to your life unless you actually put it into action. At the 1% Club, we strongly believe that action trumps theory. That’s actually one of our little taglines.
So today we want to talk about how do you put it into action, and more importantly, how do you create a habit out of it so that you don’t have to agonize over it and think about it every single day. It just happens because it’s a part of your life.
So in the previous episode, we spoke about how to actually figure out what the elements of your MPR are going to be. Once you’ve taken stock of your existing MPR, then you’ve plugged in the gaps according to the S.A.V.E.R.S. model, then you come to this point. At which point, you’ve got to define how long you are going to spend on each of the elements.
Actually in the third episode, I’m going to give you a few tips on the things you must, must, must have in your MPR if it is to work in the easiest way possible.
The question of sequencing
But for the moment, basically, once you’ve lined up your elements, you need to put a little bit of thought of how you want to sequence them. This is very important because it goes back to how that routine is going to flow. Remember, the only reason why you’re doing this MPR is to empower you and to set you up in the best possible way for your day, whether it’s business or personal. So you want to think about how you’re going to sequence these elements and what suits you best, what works for you.
The way, I find for my personal sequence, the way it works best is if I do my journaling first, so scribing, because that clears my mind. And then I can go into my meditation, which can now be as quiet as possible because obviously we all have monkeys running around in our brain. Then I would move into my affirmations because now I’ve cleared the slate with the meditation. I do my affirmations and then I reinforce it with the visualization in the theater of my mind, as Maxwell Maltz says. And then I would finish the entire sequence with my sun salutations, which usually take me about 10 minutes. They’re quite intense. They get the blood flowing, they make me breathe with full intensity, which is really, really good for the brain as well. So once I come out of the exercise segment, I’m really ready for my day. I’m full of energy and I just want to execute. You can see how, for me, that flows really well because it’s got a sequence.
For some people, it’s different. Some people would start with the exercise because they want to refresh themselves and get themselves going. And then they’ll do breakfast and give themselves some time, and then they’ll do journaling, meditation, reading, etc. So find what works for you.
Second step: Duration
The second step is to decide how long you are going to do each element for. I would advise you very strongly to start with the minimum amount. Get that done into your routine first. And then you can increase it.
“Start with the minimum amount.”
Like for example, a common mistake that I see with the people I work with is they’ll decide to meditate. They’ll go, “OK fine, I’ll meditate for 15 minutes.” Fifteen minutes doesn’t seem like a lot but when you have to sit still with the monkeys in your brain, it’s like eternity. So I’d rather start with 5 minutes. And then allow yourself to be a little bit rubbish at it at first. Consistency is your only objective at this stage.
James: So when you say your routine, how it works for you, how did you actually determine that?
Anita: So basically I would go through the S.A.V.E.R.S. element and run each one through the filter of what are you trying to achieve. In the first episode, we spoke about what is your end goal, why are you doing this power routine? So run each element through those filters, and if it helps you get to that end goal, then implement it. And then also ask yourself, “Do I want to journal full on for 20 minutes, or do I just want to do 5 minutes?” Or “Do I want to meditate for 5 minutes or can I actually do it for 20?” “Do I have the time to do it?” Etc.
It depends because if you’ve got kids for example, you’ve got to be really, really cautious as to what you include. A lot of the people that do have kids and very little sleep, with young kids especially, they’ll opt to do just three elements because those three elements bring them the most value, the most effect in their day. So they’ll do exercise, they’ll do meditation and journaling, and that’s it.
James: Does it have to be in the morning?
Do you have to journal in the morning?
Anita: So the point of a Morning Power Routine is to set you up for the day ahead. Yes.
James: Yeah, because you know, I don’t want to feel guilty about it or anything. This is the weirdest thing, it’s kind of like counterintuitive, but I found a way for me to be powered up in the morning is to make sure that I go to bed early enough so if I’m getting into a habit of going to bed at the right time, I actually set an alarm for 10 o’clock, which is when I need to go to bed basically. I need to have my cookies and milk. Not really. I know either of those things are banned from your food thing so I thought that would be inflammatory.
I set an alarm for 10 p.m. so that I’m powered up for the next day. That just sounds crazy when you say it out loud, but I found if I have a stop time, that’s when I purge my head and do my daily journal, which I call fly in the wall or progress journal, and that releases my brain to then sleep. My brain is quiet. I’ve got no monkeys running around while I’m trying to get a sleep. The surfing, I’ve got covered. I do that in the morning and then in the evening. So that’s all good.
Anita: Yeah. So there’s a few aspects to that. One is you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing for quite a long time. You’re very well read as well, and that all has an impact on that on the discipline. Plus, you already do a few set of things in the morning that already cleanse you and prepare you for the day.
James: Oh, like my first thing is I want to go and get a glass of water. That’s like, the first thing I want to do when I wake up is I go out, I get a glass of water, and then I grab my binoculars and I’m checking conditions. But that’s the first thing, it’s that glass of water, and then I’m thinking food, and I’m just quietly surveying the conditions with my binoculars, and then I’ll sort of combine my exercise and visualization often when I’m sitting out at the back.
If you know anyone who surfs, out of an hour surfing, you’re probably spending a lot of time just sitting out in the back, waiting for the right wave to come along. So you have that combination effect, if you like, of exercise, visualizations. Really that just leaves me to the reading. I had a good combo of stuff, and then I do my journaling at night. So is that something that you’d recommend I change or just keep doing?
Anita: Well, you can definitely test journaling in the morning as well.
James: It’ll be really short. It’ll be like, “I’ve slept and now I’m awake.” But I know what you mean. My big plans for today, and you know, I feel blah, blah, blah and stuff like that. I get it. I can see why it would be interesting. But I’m torn.
Anita: No, but don’t be torn. This is why I was saying that you’ve got your experience in this and this is what works best for you. The things you’ve described pretty much describes my morning routine as well, except that you’ve got different elements that fill you up, in terms of spirit, in terms of feeling empowered for the day and like you’re living your best life right?
James: Yeah. I’m always benchmarking off the result part of that component. In episode 1, we talked about status quo, result and why. My status quo is my ultimate. Basically I’m happy with what I’ve got and that’s always the goal. And if I’m not, I change it because my why is right there and I instantly kick in with change.
Anita: Exactly. It goes back to, if you don’t have a reason to change it, don’t change it, you know, if it’s working. But also, there’s the other kind of catch to that, OK, you excluding, but a lot of people wouldn’t know if this is the best thing that they can do for themselves.
James: Especially if you’re starting out. If any of the concepts we’ve talked about are unfamiliar, then it’s got to be exciting. Like I talked about in the last episode, how affirmations, as cheesy as they might sound, really helped me when I was in a formative part of my career, and visualization is something I have developed, and developed, and developed now, to the point I reckon I could probably shift to a space vehicle, you know, like in Star Wars. I know that’s probably an over-exaggeration but I really feel that’s a muscle I’ve developed and it’s something that I’ve noticed and recognized in other people who are getting good results, is that they often think about things in advance, is one I’d frame it, before it happens.
Anita: There’s actually scientific proof now that your thoughts create physical manifestations. And also, more importantly, thoughts create physical changes on a cellular level in your body. If you’re kind of a logical person like me, that’s really, really motivating because you know that by what you think, you can actually change your environment. And it’s not a woo-woo thing anymore. It’s not like mumbo jumbo from hippies. So there’s a lot of grant to that.
“Your thoughts can change your environment.”
And also, what I’m noticing especially, I don’t know if it’s the same for men, maybe they’re not so open in sharing, but with women, what visualization and affirmations do is they help them get back to who they are because very often, when you’re taking care of business and family and husband and this and that, you tend to forget who you are and how smart you are, and powerful, and how you’ve got a business brain on, and this helps you get back in there. I know it sounds a little bit cheesy to tell yourself, “Oh yeah, I’ll come up with great business ideas. I’m a details person,” etc., etc. But it actually, really gets you back to who you really, truly are. It also helps you identify limiting beliefs because sometimes, things would pop up in your brain and you go like, really? Was that in there? So yeah, they’re really, really powerful.
James: I have no doubt our “necktop computer,” as Professor Hewitt talks about, is amazing. An amazing device we don’t really fully understand but we’re learning more about it all the time. So just back to this, would there be any point writing down your S.A.V.E.R.S. routine as something to refer to every morning in case you’re likely to forget?
4 components of forming a habit
Anita: Yeah. So in any habit forming activity, you’ve got four components, which is very quickly, it’s your action, so to trigger. You have to have a trigger. The trigger is the action, which is what you were talking about, in terms of writing down your S.A.V.E.R.S. elements in the way you decide to do them.
“You have to have a trigger.”
I would suggest also, write down by each one how long you’re going to spend on because psychologically, it makes it an appointment. So you no longer tend to skip it because you know it’s going to take X amount of time, and you’ve already scheduled it in, and that’s it. So the trigger has to be something that you do already every single morning. So for me, my trigger is after I finish washing up my bulletproof coffee utensils, and then I now I get into my powerful routine. That’s it. Find something that works that you’re already doing and you’re doing consistently every single morning. That will trigger your sequence, what we call the actions.
The next element is reward and celebration. I like to lump those two together even though in popular habit formation psychology, they teach you that they’re separate. The reason why I do that is because reward and celebration need to happen immediately after the action for them to be effective, kind of like what Pavlov’s dogs, right? He rings a bell, the dogs come over, he feeds them, and pretty soon he can ring the bell and the dogs just salivate even if the food is not around.
James: It’s amazing how quickly people can be conditioned.
James: Anyone with animals knows this, or kids.
Anita: Oh kids, especially.
James: Well what if adults were conditioned by their kids? You know, like their kids are specialists at this, they do things like sh** their nappy or cry. The nervous, first-time mom is running over with the food, “Oh, here’s some food.” The kid is a specialist that demanding attention from an adult and they condition like nobody’s business.
Anita: So yeah. Basically, condition yourself to be happy. The point of the reward and celebration is just to associate happy feelings with what you’ve just done because establishing a new habit is always not easy. Or not to use a negative terminology, it’s always challenging. That’s also negative. Anyway, but the point is to associate happy feelings with what you’ve just done and to do it immediately, and do it in a way that feels natural to you. Tony Robbins has got that fist pump and he goes, “Yeah!” You know, like that’s how he anchors himself. But if that doesn’t work for you, then just find something that does.
James: That doesn’t work for me, surprisingly.
Anita: No, it doesn’t work for me either.
James: What works for you?
Anita: OK, so the key is that it could be a feeling, it could be a word, it could be a movement, it could be anything that makes sense to you. For me specifically, because I’m very body-centric, and feeling-centric, for me, every time, let’s say after my meditation, I meditate with music, and the music tapers off after my time is up usually, so I make a point of hearing the last sound that I could possibly hear, and then I just wait for 3 or 4 seconds after that just to feel the stillness and the happiness that I’m feeling, etc. So that works for me.
I know for some people that would probably be like completely woo-woo, and that’s OK. I’m alright with that. My perfect example is back in the days of Perfect Strangers, there used to be that comedy series, Balki and Larry used to do this happy dance, happiness dance. It was completely ridiculous. I insist you include the link to it in the podcast notes.
James: Yeah, we’ll put it there, for sure.
Anita: If you want to do the complete dance.
James: If we’re going to do a worksheet for S.A.V.E.R.S., would it have S.A.V.E.R.S. down the left-hand side and then a time allocation and then a tick box done for each day of the week?
Anita: The accountability, yes. And we start with just Monday to Friday because that’s when you’re most set in your routines and it will be easier for you to just keep to it and leave the Saturday and Sunday free. If you’re the kind of person that you just want to do 7 days a week, then that’s fine as well. Do them if it’s easy for you.
James: Well, weekends are just days when the surf’s more crowded but it makes no difference to me. We’ll get a sheet up there in the resources page. So just a quick recap, in terms of executing this MPR, which is your Morning Power Routine, you’re going to play around with configurations to get the one that’s just right using the S.A.V.E.R.S. acronym we talked about in episode 1. You will have a trigger that you know when it’s time to do it. You’ll be having a reward/celebration, maybe separate or together. And what was the other? You said there were four things. It was something starting with A.
Anita: So that was the action, which is the list of the S.A.V.E.R.S. elements.
James: The list. And we’ll come up with the list that you can access and use that to get started. It would be really interesting, below this episode on SuperFastBusiness.com, if you want to post how you’re going with this. Tell us if you’ve started doing your MPR, what sort of results you’ve got. If you’ve got any questions for Anita, I’m sure she’s going to stop by. And also, if you want to stop by Anita’s site, you can check out 1percentclub.co. And it’s number 1percentclub.co. She runs that with Andre Chaperon. I’m sure that there’s a lot of discussion about it in there as well.
So Anita, next episode, we’re going to be talking about how you can actually review and optimize your MPR and to evolve it for the long term so that you get into the super advanced Yoda level. Is that right?
Anita: Yes. And most importantly, I’m going to give you quite a few, about five super tips so that you make things as easy as possible for you to adopt it as a habit.
James: I am looking forward to the five super tips. We’ll see you then.
Anita: Thanks James!
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