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The best way to begin your day can be compared to the opening sequence of Mission Impossible.
I mean after Ethan Hunt beats the crap out of bad guys.
The camera pans away from the action as you hear the subtle buildup of strings beckoning with anticipation of what’s to come…
Then suddenly a fuse ignites and the spark races along the wire, twisting and turning in sync to the symphony until the determined flame reaches its destination. 🔥
That lonely spark represents a key component of success.
Unfortunately, most people slam the snooze button on the alarm and keep their flame momentarily snuffed out before stepping out of bed and launching into the day.
They don’t have a coherent plan or strategy.
They just wing it and hope for the best.
I want to help you create momentum with a purpose operating as your most bad-ass self and owning your day with total satisfaction when all is said and done.
Momentum Booster: Plan and Prepare
Momentum is forged the night before in the last remaining hours and moments before your head crashes into the pillow.
This is the time when you must clearly define in laser-like detail what the top priorities for your life and business will be for the next day.
I can’t overstate this enough, you must be super-specific.
The brain needs a clear strategy so it can toss around ideas and organize them into a logical plan subconsciously throughout the night to help you perform your best when it comes time to sit down and actually execute.
“Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance”-Brian Tracy
Don’t leave your days and life up to circumstance in a reactive state allowing the world to mold your intentions for you.
You should know what every hour of your day entails.
Script it out piece by piece, hour by hour on paper, then transcribe that data into a digital format with Google Calendar or something similar.
Let your calendar be your boss and unlike the corporate nazi dictating most people’s lives you will come to respect and appreciate your calendar for holding you accountable to what YOU deem as important.
Have a morning routine in the calendar followed by an evening routine which could comprise a 20-minute nap to renew your alertness, a round of intense exercise, or perhaps some meditation.
Use my protocol I discuss in great depth below if you like!
Then follow the evening routine with a nightly practice of fully winding down.
At night you should be out of “work mode” with anything related to your tasks from the day put away.
This is necessary for your mental and emotional well being.
Do some stretches, drink some warm tea and take a bath so your brain and nervous system can de-stress.
Of course I’m just throwing some ideas out there.
Find what works for you to be on your game and renewed for the next day.
But I challenge you to optimize this further…
An hour before bed consider doing any of the following to make it easy on you the next day:
- Sleep in your workout clothes or hang them up
- Place your sneakers by the door
- Roll out your yoga mat and set up exercise equipment
- Premix shake
- Determine what workout you will take on.
- Write the primary 3 core tasks that will help you get ahead in your business/life tomorrow
I’m going to take a step back and ask you a question.
Have you ever heard of decision fatigue?
It’s the reason why Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs always wore the same hoodie and black turtleneck with jeans.
They understood that the more choices you have to make in the day the faster your supply of willpower dwindles down.
And eventually you become burnt out and can’t make the right rational decisions.
This is called cognitive overload.
You should find ways you can limit decision fatigue and stop overloading your brain with too many choices especially in the precious morning hours.
Just like Steve it’s completely alright to have a closet full of black shirts and just a few pairs of jeans.
Rotate your chosen style every now and then so life doesn’t feel stale.
This process works with music too…
Do you always find yourself switching up your tunes when working on something?
Instead create a Spotify playlist with a consistent style of music.
Your brain will become familiar with the tracks and this will help you get and stay in the zone.
Momentum Booster: Carpe Diem (early)
Carpe diem means seize the day.
Isn’t latin a kickass language?
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine it’s 5:00 am.
Suddenly you hear your alarm going off in the other room.
As you rise out of bed to turn it off a slight smirk comes across your face because you know that by taking on the day early you have a leg up over the timid souls who don’t have intention for their day.
I bet just visualizing that scenario increased your anticipation to power through the day as soon as your feet touch the floor in the morning right?
The more clarity you have with seeing the day’s events unfold, the more your brain trusts that this can be your reality.
It’s the ones who own their day the earliest that seem to accomplish the most.
That’s why I advise you to wake up earlier than you currently are.
Start with setting your alarm 15 minutes before.
Then next week lower it gradually again by 15 minutes until you find your perfect wake time.
Your body’s internal clock (aka the circadian rhythm) needs to adapt to the change in schedule so work at it a week or so until you find yourself wide awake moments before your alarm goes off.
This is so your energy levels and all the processes like digestion, cortisol production, and melatonin secretion occur at the right time every day like clockwork.
It’s best to strive for 5 or 6 am because that gives you plenty of time to run through the habits of your morning routine which sets you up for an excellent rest of your day.
But that being said I understand it could be a stretch and you cannot fathom waking up that early.
In that case, I totally get it, honestly you just aren’t used to this.
All habits are built over time.
Your brain is a muscle and you have to train yourself to install a new pattern of operating.
A simple way to make this wake time consistency stick is to use the alarm app on your phone and set your sleep and wake time for the same time everyday.
Have your phone in another room so you don’t just hit the snooze button then say “screw it” and fall back asleep.
Momentum Booster:The Warrior Ignition Protocol
When that alarm chimes…
It’s GO TIME!
I developed a simple but incredibly effective morning process designed to prepare you for your day and show up as healthier, energized, and ready for whatever life throws at you.
It’s called The Warrior Ignition Protocol.
Watch the video below to learn how to set up this morning sequence for yourself and of course change it up to your preference and present lifestyle.
This app gives you the ability to create several types of routines.
And please for the love of all things sacred (including your own productivity) there should be absolutely NO email checking.
The time for responding to your inbox should be relegated to a predetermined time in your calendar for later in the day or you can set it up as an alarm label in your phone.
Don’t take my word for it, as top high-performance coach Brendon Burchard says:
“ The email inbox is nothing more than a convenient filing system for OTHER people’s agendas”– Brendon Burchard
Relentlessly checking email can become a detrimental habit that can cause a release of stress hormones like cortisol.
This is ideal for waking you up but it’s not so wonderful when you get the anxiety and mental fatigue from scrolling through your emails.
All notifications in your phone should be disabled except for calendar, routinery and apps relating to productivity, like the apps mentioned further down the page.
You want nothing disrupting your focus and impeding your progress in these early hours.
I’m going to break this whole protocol down a bit more so you can harness its benefits to the fullest!
Remember this is meant to IGNITE your day and fire up your mind and body so you are more alert and purposeful with everything else you do.
But first I want to implore you to make sure you do one simple thing.
Make your bed.
This is the first victory of the day. It’s something that’s doable and will give you a sense of satisfaction and pride.
Alright let’s begin.
WIP Part 1: Quench The Warrior
It’s important to drink water as soon as you can in the first 5 minutes after you wake up (and make your bed).
Your body is in a massively dehydrated state as you rest, expelling over 70% of your body’s H20 supply.
This becomes even more crucial when you realize that your cells, organs, and brain need hydration to function at optimal levels.
I suggest mixing some Himalayan sea salt with lemon juice in room temperature water the night before.
WIP Part 2: Center The Warrior Mind
Meditation is a gamechanger but we often think it’s a hindrance that takes up time or just isn’t necessary.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Set aside 5-15 minutes (you can bump this up later if you like) to calm your anxious racing mind.
Place one hand on your heart and one on your belly, and just concentrate on the breath flowing in and out of your nose.
Count the breaths. Inhale for 5 then exhale for 7. A longer exhalation keeps the body in a relaxed state.
Draw your attention to the coolness of the air as it enters your nostrils and the warm release of air as it leaves your nose.
Thoughts will inevitably pop out of seemingly nowhere.
And quess what?
You can’t get rid of them.
It’s impossible to still your mind entirely.
Just notice these thoughts regardless of how weird, dark, funny, mischievous, and random they are and simply refocus back on your breath going in and out.
When that 10 minutes is up tap the routinery app to move to the next habit.
It’s time to work on your fitness!
WIP Part 3 : Awaken The Warrior
Not enough people realize that testosterone production and your ability to grow muscle peaks in the late afternoon around 5-7 pm.
The morning should be reserved for only 20-40 minutes of low to moderately intense movement as you save that longer even more hardcore workout for much later.
Your goal is to get the body alert and loose.
Which is why I like to start with 5-10 minutes of light yoga to open up the hips, stretch out sore muscles, loosen the hamstrings, and turn on the core as you increase blood flow to warm the whole body.
Now sometimes I switch this up and skip the next part I’m going to mention and just do a straight hour of yoga, but again the key is for it not to be so taxing and strenuous that it burns you out.
It truly helps to have a go-to fitness app (or a few) that provides a workout for you to follow along with so you aren’t racking your brain for ten minutes wondering what the hell you should do.
In Down Dog you can tweak the instructor’s voice and the type of yoga flow, as in slow-paced with longer holds or a quick yoga flow without many breaks in between each pose.
You can even save classes and the app will remember the length of the class so all you have to do is open the app, hit play, and step on your mat.
For NTC here’s my favorite yoga flows, most of which are with Nike master trainer Alex Silver Fagan who has the flexibility of a flamingo.
- Energizing Yoga Flow
- Quick Heat Yoga Flow
- Core Strength Yoga
In addition to being an app Black Swan Yoga is a real Yoga studio based in Austin texas.
I love the unregimented “real time” style of the workouts which makes it feel like your actually in the studio (or sometimes the park) with the instructors.
There’s no countdown bar or pose list.
BSY doubles as a meditation app which you could integrate into your morning protocol or save for an evening mental decompression.
It’s only $8.99/month for unlimited access!
Here’s a few of my favorite Black Swan Yoga flows:
- Good Morning Sunshine
- Treat Yo’self
- Twisted Flow
- Fists Of Fire
- 10 minute sweat
- The Take Off
- Front Line Strong (1 hr class but amazing!)
Now that your body is limber, energized, and primed for action the next step is to elevate your heart rate even more for 20-30 minutes.
Nike Training Club has a plethora of various types of workouts besides Yoga.
Any exercise with master trainer Kirsty Godso is going to really work you!
She’s known as the Hot Sauce Burpee Queen for a reason.
To further mix things up I’m going to suggest you try out this next app that is the brainchild of Chris Hemsworth.
Yep. Thor has a workout app!
In Centr you have access to Chris’s team of elite trainers.
These are the same warriors that mold Chris into movie ready physique.
In a few taps you can turn on a dumbbell burner and ab chiseling exercise from Luke Zocchi, a fitness expert to many stars.
If you can’t tell from the picture below his biceps are the size of a small child.
Or bring the fuego with Ashley Joi who’s a ball of energy that dishes out explosive cardio sequences guaranteed to get your heart rate skyrocketed.
Develop functional movement patterns with Da Rulk, a beast of a man who trains elite special forces like Navy Seals and hometown heroes like firefighters to be at the top of their mental and physical game.
Examples of functional movement patterns are bear crawls, pulses, hostages (whew those burn your legs), and side-to-side gorillas.
You may know these as animal flows.
How about training with Chris’s personal stuntman!
Learn plyometrics and improve your mobility with Bobby Holland.
His moves are certainly difficult if you aren’t used to mountain climbers and lateral movements.
This man can do a thousand backflips.
Ok, not literally but I impore you to check out Bobby’s Insta for some jaw-dropping superhuman gymnastic feats.
In Centr, you also have an easy-to-follow daily planner that serves you the workouts, the post-and pre-workout meals, meditations and additional fitness tips.
The meals can be customized to your preferences whether you follow a gluten-free, vegan, or pescatarian way of living.
Many of the culinary creations are whipped up by expert chef and fitness dynamo Dan Churchill who owns the restaurant Charley’s Street in New York City and Australia.
He’s such a positive mate with loads of energy and passion!
You should listen to his podcast called The Epic Table
On his show Dan interviews athletes, entrepreneurs, and health professionals to understand how to extend your longevity and ramp up performance in all aspects of life.
Feel free to constantly switch up the apps to keep things interesting.
This protocol is a template not a doctrine so modify it to fit your life.
One day throw on some NTC.
Then the next day dive into your preset Centr schedule. Or build your physique and flexibility with Alo or BSY.
It’s your practice so if you find another workout app that suits your needs then go for that.
Or just go app free entirely and get it in the best way you see fit.
But what if you can’t fit in a longer workout?
Everyone has a different schedule and you may have meetings in the morning or really need to shorten this for whatever reason.
In less time than it takes to bake a pizza you’ll work your core, open your hips, boost your heart rate and tone your booty with movements like wall sits, mountain climbers, lunges, and side planks.
If you have an android phone than search the app store for 7 minute workout.
Obviously it goes without saying that exercise is a VERY potent drug.
Anyone can attest to this that has pushed past their perceived mental and physical limitations with a tough workout.
Through the endorphin and dopamine release exercise elevates your mood and purges excess toxins from the body through sweating.
One little-known mind-blowing benefit that exercise bestows is the growth and development of brain cells through the release of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).
Scientists have literally dubbed this “miracle grow for the brain”
As you learn new ideas throughout your day your brain will encode this information into new neural pathways. The prevalence of neurotrophic factor helps solidify these connections even more.
This is why it’s so easy to learn and recall information when you’re listening to an audiobook or a podcast as you sweat up a storm lifting weights or run on the treadmill.
All that information will also move into longer-term memory storage as the BDNF is produced.
BDNF may also play a role in impairing the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. (source)
WIP Part 4: Fuel The Warrior + Level Up The Warrior
Now you could skip the rest of this section entirely some days going without eating for several hours.
Doing so puts your body into a fasted ketogenic state using your own fat stores for fuel.
The liver will produce its own supply of glucose if you wait long enough and push through the sensation of hunger.
Most people think of fasting as only something they would attempt if they desired to lose weight.
But there’s a slew of additional benefits you gain.
When you’re in a fasted state you are switching from a glucocentric (sugar dependent metabolic state) to an adiptocentric (fat adapted metabolic state)
Then your body isn’t constantly wrestling with the effects of elevated blood sugar and your energy levels will stay regulated throughout the day.
You probably knew that last point, but what isn’t always mentioned is the increase in human growth hormone (HGH) that comes about after a period of letting your body repair itself during a fasted state.
HGH diminishes as you age and assists with muscle growth, having clearer skin, and it slows down the aging process.
Being in a fasted state with very little sugar intake can invoke autophagy which is when your system cleans out old worn-out cells and cellular debris and grows new cells to take their place.
It’s also far less demanding and energy expending if your digestive system isn’t being forced to work double-time to break down the complex carbs from a full-course meal.
Try out different windows for fasting.
A common method is to eat what you want in an eight-hour time frame then fast for 16 hours.
This is a 8-16 window.
For example, you would stop eating your last meal at 7 and start your feeding window around noon the next day.
This may seem insane if you aren’t used to this but you already have fasted for several hours.
It’s called sleep.
Just hold off for a bit longer.
Side note: your last main meal should be eaten two to three hours before bed so your brain isn’t diverting energy to your digestion.
Fasting doesn’t mean avoiding all food but only eating the food that is extremely low in sugar and is easily absorbed and converted into a working fuel source.
In case you were curious coffee is ok during a fast.
That being said you want to brew up black coffee normally because it has almost no calories or sugar added.
If you add healthy fats to your coffee (like coconut oil/ghee/mct oil) to turbo-charge your body’s ability to enter a ketogenic fat-adapted state it will break your fast because of the added calories.
But your brain will be firing on all cylinders.
This is known as Bulletproof Coffee, a concept brought to the mainstream by Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey.
Dave came up with the idea after witnessing Sherpas in Nepal putting butter in their coffee.
The fats will actually slow the release of caffeine into the system so you can ride the wave all day.
But please heed this advice :
Don’t drink coffee after 1 pm
Caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours.
That means it will stay in your system 6 hours after ingested.
It’s worth mentioning that whether you purchase your coffee from Bulletproof or somewhere else just do your due-diligence to make sure it’s not blended and it’s single sourced.
This decreases the likelihood of mold toxins being present in the beans.
Mold toxins (mycotoxins) like any form of mold can cause brain fog, irritability, depression, and other undesirable ailments.
If you choose to still eat “breakfast”opt for a healthy meal with quality fats, low sugar, moderate protein and a good amount of fiber and veggies.
As I pointed out above, eating this way is necessary so you can maintain your creative energy for the rest of your workday without crashing hard from the glycemic overload typical of the standard morning meal.
Ditch the pancakes and cereals which can give you that quick hit dopamine-spiking sugar high.
The only caveat to this would be the Paleo or Keto pancake mixes from the awesome company Birch Benders that has cassava flour and monk fruit.
For actually healthy and uber delicious cereal go for anything by Magic Spoon which is keto-friendly and tastes just like your favorite childhood cereal like apple jacks or fruit loops
Except this time the loops are colored by beet juice and other natural dies instead of the chemical paint that coats most commercial cereals.
I want to mention that the healthy fats should come from high-quality animal sources like free-range eggs, pastured bacon, or grass-fed beef.
If you’re vegan get it in with avocado (which also has over 6 grams of fiber) or some other means.
There should also be some antioxidants like blueberries, goji or cacao nibs and other fruits to energize your body and keep your brain young.
Choose turmeric added to your eggs and cinnamon added to your oatmeal or cottage cheese (because probiotics).
Both of these spices assist with curbing blood sugar and lessening possible inflammation that could stem from that.
Apples and some grains like quinoa, black rice (epic in an overnight porridge with fruit and coconut milk), which are high in fiber, also slow down sugars uptake in the system.
Fiber is your guts favorite food.
Conversely too much sugar will destroy the bacteria in your gut and create dysbiosis: an imbalance of good vs pathogenic (bad) bacteria.
If your gut is healthy your brain is healthy and your digestive system is moving right along as can be experienced from the subsequent trips to the toilet.
Other fiber sources are broccoli, beans, oats, and almonds.
On the side of your meal you could have a shake with some pea protein (again high in fiber to keep you satiated) or grass-fed whey which has a high CLA content compared to regular whey protein.
CLA or Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a fatty acid found in grass fed milk that can assist with weight management.
Grass fed whey also has a better nutrient profile overall compared to cows that eat feedlot crap all day which can include bubblegum to fatten them up.
Who knows what else in that goop?
So to reiterate :
- Meals with low sugar (apart from fruit)
- Moderate to high fiber
- Probiotics (give you more good gut bacteria)
- Prebiotics (Feed your good gut bacteria)
- Quality fats (also oils such as olive oil in a dark jar)
Aside from the nutritional aspects of a delicious morning meal I strongly suggest you supplement with vitamins and minerals to assure that everything is running smoothly.
I call this leveling up the warrior.
It’s like when your playing an role playing game like Zelda and come across a shiny new shield or sword that makes you much harder to kill.
To level up your energy get some Vitamin B12 in your system. There’s many options for this.
At the time of writing this post I am supplementing with 4 capsules of grass fed beef liver from Vital Proteins.
Yeah that sounds gross but organ meats like liver have the highest nutritional profile compared to pretty much anything else on earth!
Liver also has the most abundant amount of Vitamin K12 for joint, bone and skin health.
And you want to take Vitamin D for circadian regulation and immune support if you live somewhere without much sunlight or it’s the dead of winter.
Another fantastic mineral to support your immune system is zinc.
WIP Part 5: Calming Cleanse & Embrace The Chill
After feeding the ravenous beast within head to your bathroom and take a freezing cold shower.
Sounds crazy right!
Well, hear me out.
As I talk about in this post , there’s a bunch of reasons why you should do this if you want to dominate your day.
And it only takes 2 minutes.
If your new to this start with just a minute or even 30 seconds.
Of course don’t skimp on your regular process of lathering with soap and cleaning your body in warm water.
After a few minutes embrace the full-on initial shock of the cold and stay there under the freezing cold water.
Here’s a few benefits of cold exposure.
- Become more resilient to the challenges life throws at you
- Lose weight
- Regulate blood sugar
- Improve cardiovascular health
By now you should understand exactly what I mean when I say cold showers are better than a cup of coffee.
You will feel indomitable and more alert than ever before.
But please for the love of all things sacred put on some clothes because no one wants to see you naked except your lover.
That concludes the Warrior Ignition morning protocol.
You can change this up but understand that the order of habits outlined link into each other in a way to grow momentum and get the ball rolling.
After the cold shower get out in the sunlight for at least 20 minutes or supplement with 7,000 IU of Vitamin D on the low end of the spectrum.
If you have a darker complexion and therefore higher levels of melanin, a pigment in the skin that makes it dark, you will need to take in even more vitamin D to reap the benefits.
Direct sunlight exposure should be the primary way you receive Vitamin D but as I suggested below supplement if the weather isn’t permitting.
By direct that means no contacts or glasses so the UVB rays can go into your retina and jump start your body’s internal chronological cycle.
Don’t stare dead on at the sun either unless you want to burn your eyes until you look like scorpion from Mortal Kombat.
After you finish this protocol it’s a great idea to use the energy from your food and that freezing cold shower to dive right into your major task of the day.
Or set up an alternate version of the WIP like I show in the video above where you work on your #1 task right after meditating.
The next point will help you with this.
Momentum Booster: Slice Up Your Tasks
Holdup, let’s backtrack to planning & preparing.
Once you have your most important cognitively demanding tasks written down (what I call your core focus priorities) then you should break them down even further into smaller sub-components that serve the main tasks.
It’s crucial these steps are well defined and specific.
Otherwise you will work tirelessly for hours on end on a bunch of random components of the main task and you’ll look back with disdain knowing you could have whittled away at things that actually mattered.
An analogy I like to use is making a ham & cheese sandwich.
You wouldn’t go for the large thick tavern ham devoured during a giant holiday feast because that would be too much to wrap your mouth around when you have all the layers in place.
Nope, you need the ham to be as thin as possible so you could squish the sandwich down while leaving plenty of room for anything else to complete your sandwich creation such as chips or pickles.
On that tasty note I want to point out that events and things will happen in your day that are totally unexpected and out of your control.
Leaving extra wiggle room by knowing exactly what’s required to efficiently slay a task in a reasonable time frame will give you the ability to deal with other things.
This also affords you the opportunity to build a consistent schedule that you can return to every week with extra activities such as learning a new language, enjoying a movie-night with your spouse, attending toastmasters, developing your judo skills,etc.
In other words: finish what matters so you can enjoy what also fires you up!
It’s all about getting quick wins under your belt because your brain thrives on progress.
And it’s majorly motivated to repeat an action if it receives positive feedback from doing something.
To put this another way: if what was initially difficult can in fact be conquered, then you let your brain know that it’s doable for the future when you go through the same process again.
That means less resistance and more confidence.
You’ll feel superaccomplished when the sun sets knowing you are making huge strides towards your goals.
But narrowing down your tasks is only one piece of the productivity puzzle.
You must instill a sense of urgency and have a time frame and deadline to complete each subtask.
That’s where the technique of Pomodoro comes into play.
Invented by Italian economist Francisco Parillo, The Pomodoro technique aka “tomato technique” consists of 25 minutes of a laser-focused attack on a task.
This is followed by 10-15 minutes of recovery time which may involve stretching, taking a walk outside, or whatever you need to do to be mentally renewed for the next set of tasks.
My preference is a process made popular by Cal Newport in his exceptional book Deep Work when I’m working on a project that has many components.
Cal recommends periods of 90 minutes of uninterrupted devout concentration on a single task.
This is “deep work” , whereas less brain energy sucking tasks are known as “shallow work”.
That may seem like an awfully long time to be at your computer.
But it actually works with your brain’s timing of how long it can sustain focus before its starts seriously wandering and the demands are cognitively too much to handle
Then you give into distraction, and before you know it, the day is over with and you have nothing to show for it because you lost focus.
That being said I lower the time to complete a task based on the requirements of the task itself.
The smaller the time frame the more deliberate you have to be with every second to knock out the task.
You are invoking Parkinson’s Law which states that “work expands to fill the time allotted for that work until it’s complete”
Experiment with a timeframe that fits your schedule and mental energy.
Here are a few of the best Pomodoro applications available:
In this app the time counts down as a virtual tree is slowly planted.
As more virtual trees are planted overtime, it will reward you with coins that can fund the planting of REAL trees in regions across Africa.
Forest also functions as a website blocker so you stay focused on the task at hand.
Tragically your little tree will die if blocked sites are accessed during a planting session or if you just use any app on your phone if use your phone.
Forest is also available as a chrome extension and is cross device compatible so no matter what you’re using you can plant your trees and get to work.
This is a unique app that has a multitude of HQ soundscapes to help you focus.
Some of these sounds are weird, like a cat’s purring, soup stewing, a woodpecker pecking, the sounds of people playing tennis or coffee beans being ground.
Still, the rhythmic qualities of these sounds are enough to bring you into the zone of creative output.
Tide fM comes as a chrome extension with limited sounds available.
But the mobile app really shines because it has WAY more sounds and even meditation tracks to help you be more productive, relieve stress, and overcome addictions, among others.
Here’s a few of my favorite sounds:
- Bamboo (sounds of rain pattering down in a bamboo forest. Very calming but also focus inducing)
- Roof (also in the chrome extension)
- Forest (happy chirping of birds on a bright sunny day)
- Cafe (sometimes being auditorially in a high energy environment with chatter is stimulating)
I truly love the option in Tide’s focus mode that requires you to flip your phone screen down before the sounds and timer starts.
This prevents you from checking your phone during a focus session.
Momentum Booster: The 5 Second Rule
Nope, this isn’t the often debated idea that you have just five seconds to pick up your food from the ground before nasty germs chew away at it.
Or was that the 10 second rule?
Anyway, I digress…
This rule has the ability to actually change your life.
Before her breakthrough success Mel was under immense financial stress.
This was after a failed media career along with the 7 chain pizza business of her husband Chris that started to quickly go under.
Bills began showing up in her mail and every time she picked up the phone it was bound to be a creditor.
She did what most would do in this dire situation:
She disconnected her phone and ignored her responsibilities.
Every morning she would lay in bed filled with dread and rejected the notion of actually starting her day and doing something about her derailed existence.
Mel constantly smashed that evil snooze button giving in to the temptation to wrap herself in comfort under the warm bliss of the sheets.
As a result she missed out on taking her daughters to school and really being available for her family.
One day Mel decided that enough was enough.
Recalling the rocket launch she saw on TV the night before, Mel cryed out 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 before literally BLASTING out of bed in a way that would make Elon Musk drop his jaw.
Miraculously this simple concept of 5-4-3-2-1 worked!
Absolutely flabbergasted, Mel started researching WHY this simple phrase led her to take back control of her life and be the mother for her daughters when they needed her the most.
And then help her go on to kick-start a massively successful and purpose driven career as an inspiration for people all over the world.
It turns out that The 5 Second Rule is a form of meta-cognition, which is a technique to outsmart your brain.
It’s also a “starting ritual” that can be linked to any habit you want to break or develop as long as you preface the action of acting on that habit with 5-4-3-2-1.
Counting FORWARD (1-2-3-4-5) doesn’t work.
Examples are when you are about to work on a challenging project, jump out of a plane (yikes), approach a wild animal, ask someone on a date, etc.
Or take on that grueling HIIT workout.
As soon as you anticipate taking the plunge into the unknown, your limbic system, the most ancient and primal part of your brain freaks out.
This alerts the amygdala, the brain’s fear response center, that something is about to happen that it’s not ok with.
Danger Will Robinson.
In these first few seconds the alarm bells ring and the negative voices in your mind whisper words of doubt and coerce you into staying safe.
That’s right : It only takes five seconds for your brain to stop you from taking action!
But here’s the thing…
As you count backward from 5 and land on 1 the limbic system actually shuts off for a brief second.
After this the prefrontal cortex (aka the conscious decision-making center of your brain) assumes control overriding your base instincts and the urges to withdraw and play it safe.
Here’s the definition of the rule in Mel’s own words…
“The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must 5-4-3-2-1 and move or your brain will stop you.”
Or in the words of Nike: Just Do It!
Seriously, just do something that moves you towards your goals at that moment.
But don’t wait longer than 5 seconds or your limbic system will stop you.
- 5-4-3-2-1 jump back into a plank for those rounds of burpees
- 5-4-3-2-1 open your mouth and say something nice to that attractive person!
- 5-4-3-2-1 start typing on the keyboard right after you countdown for that book chapter that’s been mulling in your head.
This is just one tool in your mental arsenal you can use to take back your day, build momentum and stay on course.
And that wraps up this post my friend.
Let me know if anything I shared in this post helped you in the comments below!
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
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