by Jason Townsend
Travelling can be the best experience of your life, and it can also be one of the most disrupting.
I’ll be the first to admit that pursuing a life on the road while chipping away at your calling is no walk-in-the-park. As I write this, I’ve uprooted from my base in Melbourne, Australia, and relocated to the Prairies of Canada to be with my girlfriend, and even after 2 months I’m still going through a period of adjustment.
Similar to my past travel experiences, the process of packing up life – your interests, your routines, your silly little habits and quirky ways – throws a huge spanner in the works. The more you move around, the more time you take to try and ‘find your groove’ and get the ball rolling again. The regular disruption of visiting the next Lonely Planet hot-spot, as fun as it is, often slows progress, increases stress, and can de-rail your progress altogether should your strength and focus falter.
So, if you’re like me and find yourself trying to juggle life and work on the road, then you realise that it takes planning, focus, and routine to get things ticked off your list. You need a plan of action when the alarm bells ring, the eyelids open, and before your morning coffee gets in the way.
I needed a new habit for my mornings, so I could overcome the disruptions before they took hold.
Master your day with a morning routine.
You’ve probably heard many others talk about a successful morning routine. Anthony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, Hal Elrod – there’s no shortage of uber successful names out there that are all reaping the reward of their mornings. Maybe you too have tried a formula of your own?
The fact is, these people recognised the benefit of waking up with purpose, using their morning routine to begin each day better than the last, and getting huge amounts accomplished along the way. They made their morning routine a winning habit, and reaped the rewards.
I believe you can too.
I’ve refined my morning routine down to the five most essential steps that make every one of my days more effective than the next, no matter where in the world I find myself, and I’m confident you can achieve the same results.
If there’s a more vital habit for your daily health and wellbeing, then I’m yet to discover it. Since the body consists of almost 80% water, it’s most important to rehydrate and flush toxins from your body first thing in the morning. I highly recommend at least a litre of pure, filtered water within 30 minutes of rising.
HOT TIP: To really jump-start my body, I follow the water with a chaser glass of green drink which contains many superfoods, alkaline-rich plants, vitamins and minerals. There are many out there, but my current drink of choice is Greens Plus.
Weights, Yoga, running, walking – the body needs movement to assist in oxygen transportation. Ensure that hit of fresh air reaches your brain by moving your body every morning. I recommend something that takes no longer than 10 minutes, since mornings are the most productive times of the day for my business work. I like to leave my actual workouts for either before lunch or later in the afternoon when I’m tired of sitting still.
My morning movement involves about five minutes of Yoga – a sequence known as Sun Salutation, combined with deep breathing throughout.
It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘should do’s’, cultural shock, information overload, and general chaos of life on the road. Meditation is a way to practice recognising disruptive thoughts and controlling them so that they don’t control your day. It’s a real game-changer for creativity and productivity, and as such is an essential habit in my morning routine.
For a more structured approach to meditation, I recommend the ‘8-minute meditation’, a simple and effective meditation practice for the busy amongst us. Having a timed meditation session also ensures I don’t miss out on other important parts of my day, like my morning dip in the ocean.
This is an essential part of the day that many of you will already be familiar with. ‘Breakfast’ is important to restore the energy used in biological repair and growth activities that occur in your body. As such, you need adequate fuel to replenish your stores.
Below are some fundamentals I follow each and every day:
- A mostly plant-based breakfast with natural, unrefined fats and protein (e.g. avocado, eggs, spinach, beans, mixed vegetables, sweet potato, wholesome oils and seeds).
- No sugars (including fruit) or refined grains.
- A cup of warm lemon and ginger water to aid in digestion, and boost my immune system.
BONUS: For the multi-taskers out there, I take time to read my latest book (currently The Art of Work by Jeff Goins) while I’m having breakfast. This habit helps me: a) slow my consumption of food (I’ve a tendency to swallow without chewing); and b) progress with my learning and personal development. It’s a win-win.
5. Do creative tasks first
The final step in starting your day the best way possible, is to do what matters first.
The night before, prior to turning out the light, take 5 minutes to write down your three most important outcomes you want to accomplish for the day ahead. Then, after you’ve finished steps 1 through 4 of your morning routine, block Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, G+, and email and any other distractions you face, so you can dive straight in and make real headway in your project.
Success is not a game of chance, it is for those who are committed. Commit to a habit of dropping unproductive tasks with low value, and reap the rewards.
TIP: Turn your phone on airplane mode every night, and choose not to turn it on until after you complete your morning routine. If your project involves a computer, install Self Control (Mac) or Cold Turkey (PC) to block your access to disruptive websites while you complete your top three objectives. These small steps will help you create a distraction-free environment.
Master your life, master your mornings
Determination, motivation, and gusty action is what it takes to unlock your best day. Say goodbye to hitting the snooze button, from this point forward, it’s all about taking action and sticking to a morning routine that has one focus – getting your day started the right way.
I’m committed to my cause, so to get the best of both worlds – helping people do what they love while experiencing the beauty of life on the road – so I decided I needed a habit to keep me motivated, centred, and on track. A way to hold myself accountable for my daily actions, and create a plan to get massive value out of my day ahead.
That’s why my morning routine means everything to me, and is the most important activity in my daily life.
It’s up to you. Take action, get up 30 minutes earlier, and follow the morning routine of five essential morning habits, and watch the minute hand slow as you become a master of your day, and kickstart your cause.
Over to you: Why are you committed to a new start to your day? What will it enable you to achieve? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
Special gift for Podstel readers…
As a special thank you for all of the Podstel readers, and because I love Dan’s work (and you!) so much, I put together a handy bunch of resources. Check out this Kickstart a Cause page, drop your email address, and I’ll send you over some awesome FREE stuff I’m preparing specially for you.
Here’s what you’ll get:
- A set of workbooks with scientifically proven content that will have you DIG DEEP, discover your hidden talents, and what makes you tick. These are the BEST questions you’ll find to unveil the person you really are.
- The 10 signs you’ve made it to your calling, developed over years of extensive research and testing, which will give you the means to benchmark your progress and set MASSIVE goals for your success.
- The Morning Routine “Cheat Sheet”. Don’t leave your success to chance. This tick-and-flick reminder will help you put your morning routine on autopilot.
Thanks so much for reading, and don’t forget to check out Kickstart a Cause.
About the Author
Jason is an adventurous Aussie and the founder of Kickstart a Cause, helping mid 20’s corporate workers escape their unfulfilling 9-5 jobs to live and work on their own terms. He sees himself as a ‘Cause Crusader’ and gives away a Passport to Freedom to all those courageous enough to travel a road of passion and purpose. When he’s not inspiring greatness in others, he can be found travelling the world exploring the beauty of nature.