Season 1, Ep. 4: Maximizing Your Morning Routine

How we start our mornings can have a disproportionate impact on the success we experience throughout the rest of the day. And yet, many of us simply roll out of bed without any clear plan for how to effectively use our mornings. We sleep late and hit the snooze button multiple times, or we grab our phones first thing and dive right into the stress of work. But what if by intentionally setting aside time in the morning to invest in your physical and mental well-being, you could feel more confident and purposeful in both your life and your leadership?

Join us as we talk with University of Oregon’s Curtis Taylor—Associate Head Coach of their distinguished Track and Field team—as we discover how the routines of competitive sprinters can shed light on how we can design and improve our own morning routines.

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Speaker 1 (00:02):

Tucked in the green trees of the Willamette Valley is a city where running reign Supreme, Eugene, Oregon, known as Tracktown USA. It’s home to the university of Oregon. And they’re incredibly successful track and field program. The campus’s historic Hayward field has witnessed many of their triumphs over the years. And in 2017, it was no different on a beautiful spring day, eight women, three of them, university of Oregon athletes lined up for the 100 meters, a short distance sprint race

Speaker 2 (00:36):

Boy out pretty evenly. Ariana Washington got off to a good start as did Hannah Cunliffe Cunliffe offend Steven Steven’s in Kinloch. It’s Oregon. Once again, Dasia Stevens is going to take it and lay number five, one, two, three for the ducks

Speaker 1 (00:52):

Lunged over the finish line. The trio of Dasia Stephens, Ariana Washington, and Hannah Cunliffe finished one, two, three to sweep the 100 meters and help propel the women of Oregon to their ninth consecutive PAC 12 title. The 100 meters is one of the most prestigious events in track and field. It’s where nine to 11 seconds of maximum effort can forge legacies think of Usain bolt or Carl Lewis. Watching these athletes accelerate and power through the finish line is so impressive that it can be easy for us to forget that more goes into a race than simply running fast and finishing strong for the best sprinters in the world, how they start the race, how they get in and out of the starting blocks. All of this has a huge impact on their performance. The same is true for us as leaders. Many of us think that our day starts once we get to the office and that our success will be determined by what we do between the hours of nine and five. But what the best leaders have learned is that from the moment you wake up, how you start your day can go a long way toward improving your performance and your leadership effectiveness.

Speaker 1 (02:04):

I’m Daniel Harkavy. And this is the building champions podcast for the past 20 plus years. I and my team here at building champions have been helping top business leaders to improve the way they live and lead. Our goal for this podcast is to share stories and insights that will help you to become a better leader. This episode is about morning routines and how starting your day with intention can lead to better leadership and better results As amazing and talented as they are in their own, right? Even the best athletes rely on the wisdom of an experienced coach to help them to reach their goals for the university of Oregon’s women’s track team. One, man in particular has helped to guide them to success in short distance races. My name is Curtis Taylor

Speaker 2 (02:59):

Associate head coach

Speaker 3 (03:00):

Here at the university of Oregon. And my emphasis is on, uh, the sprints relays and hurdles.

Speaker 1 (03:06):

Curtis joined the coaching staff in 2014 and as coached Oregon athletes to multiple NCAA titles, conference championships and all American selections, he knows how important a good start can be for a sprinter success.

Speaker 3 (03:21):

It changes, it changes the dynamic of the race. One a good start makes you more confident and it puts you in a position where you feel like I’m in a great I’m in a great spot here now to do what I need to do as opposed to having a poor start where you’re behind. And so you put extra stress and pressure on yourself and try to get back in the race. The races are, are, are not necessarily won and lost at the start, but it puts you in a position. So later on, you can do the things that you need to do properly that do make the difference in the actual outcome of the race.

Speaker 1 (03:59):

A good start creates energy, confidence, and readiness. While a poor start can leave you feeling stressed and behind, like you’re constantly having to dig yourself out of a hole. This is true for runners and short distance races. And it’s absolutely true for us as leaders. Whenever I have the opportunity to speak to a group of leaders and the topic of morning routines comes up, there’s always a large number of people who see it as an area where they both need to and want to improve. For most of us, the benefits of having a morning routine seem obvious. Research has shown how having one can increase your energy mood, performance and productivity throughout the day. But unfortunately there’s a disconnect between seeing the value of a morning routine and actually taking the steps to create your own. And that disconnect is all about intention. What you do with your morning is a choice. And every day you make a decision about your morning routine, whether you realize it or not, most of us don’t go to bed thinking tomorrow morning, my plan is to sleep past my alarm, read some stressful emails, frantically, get dressed, and then chug a cup of coffee down on the way out the door.

Speaker 1 (05:17):

If this is what your morning routine looks like right now, chances are you didn’t intend for it to be this way. You probably didn’t give much thought to your morning at all. At worst, you defaulted to some haphazard routine that leaves you stressed and scrambling feeling like you’re stuck or in a reactive mode. And at best you’re getting by without a routine, but you’re missing out on all of the opportunity to maximize your morning. What’s so important to realize is that developing a morning routine requires clear intention and a sense of complete ownership. Ask yourself, are you taking control of your day or are you letting your day take control of you? Is your morning just a random series of events that happen before your real day starts at the office? Or do you see this time as a gift, as an opportunity to invest in yourself and to create a routine that has the potential to transform the rest of your day for the better this intentionality is key, but it can be hard to make that decision to devote time to a morning routine when it feels like there’s so much to do.

Speaker 1 (06:25):

And there’s so many demands on your very busy time in our increasingly complex, fast paced lives. There’s a real temptation to wake up and forego the seemingly frivolous stuff like praying, meditating, putting good stuff into your mind or exercising and to just instead get up and get going as fast as possible. In fact, according to Curtis, there’s a similar temptation and sprint.

Speaker 3 (06:54):

One of the big things as far as block starting is concerned is that the idea is what you want to do is get up and get running as fast as possible. That’s the worst thing you can do. The patients have it and the timing to make sure that everything is set up right in that during the right positions, we’ll set you up so that you can do things better later on in the race

Speaker 1 (07:15):

Running is all about speed. So patience is one of the last things you might think you need to run a short distance race. Well, but the best sprinters know that patients in the blocks reacting to the gun, staying low, driving forward, and then standing up at just the right moment. It’s crucial for success. This patients is something leaders need to learn as well by checking email, first thing in the morning, or by skipping breakfast and a workout to head straight into the office, you may feel like you’re getting ahead, but in reality, jumping right into the stress of the day without doing anything to set yourself up physically or mentally is actually putting you at a disadvantage. One of the primary benefits of a morning routine is that it builds momentum. If you set an even simple goal for the morning, like stretching for 15 minutes or reading one chapter from an inspirational book, hitting that Mark.

Speaker 1 (08:08):

First thing after you wake up, gives you a win that can help propel you into your day. These little wins, add up to give you a big psychological boost, putting you in a more positive and proactive mindset, which will lead to better performance and better results throughout your day. Now, once you’ve bought into the idea that developing a morning routine can transform the rest of your day for the better. The next question you might have is where do I begin? What should my routine look like for sprinters? When developing a routine for getting into the starting blocks, it helps them to break it down into its individual parts. First there’s the physical.

Speaker 3 (08:53):

A lot of people you’ll see them. If you watch sprinters, when they start, some of them will take one jump and some of them will take a couple of jumps and some of them will do maybe to knee bands or something, but we want to keep that routine consistent every single time. And we’ve talked about the phone booth. Now the kids don’t understand it quite until I explained it to them nowadays. But the phone booth is like when, when, when Clark Kent steps into the phone booth, and then he comes out as Superman. So you want to think of yourself as when I’m getting into my block. Start as I go into my warmup and go to my, my, all of these other things. I want to think of myself as being the best possible person. I can be the best possible athlete I can be at that time

Speaker 1 (09:40):

For sprinters and effective routine. Before the start of a race combines, both the physical and the mental preparation, what each individual routine does to physically and mentally prepare can differ, but every athlete’s routine makes sure to cover these two key areas at building champions, we believe that an effective morning routine should follow those same principles. It should incorporate both physical and mental components, but what that looks like should be specifically tailored to what works for you. Physically, you need to be mindful of what you put into your body and you need to get your body moving. How you feel yourself is key to creating the energy you need to perform throughout the day. Whether it’s starting the day with a glass of water and a healthy breakfast, or taking 15 minutes to stretch and do some strength training, your morning routine should include some element that creates energy and sets you up.

Speaker 1 (10:35):

So you can perform at your best mentally. Your routine needs to get you into a positive, proactive mindset that will prepare you to take on the day rather than letting the day take control of you. This is the phone booth idea Curtis was talking about, as you think through what physical and mental elements to incorporate. It’s important to remember that there’s no one perfect morning routine, just because some famous and successful leader meditates for an hour and drink some rare herbal tea doesn’t mean that you have to follow that exact same routine. In fact, you probably shouldn’t. What you should do is listen to yourself, test some things out and find what will work for you. As long as your routine intentionally covers both the mental and the physical in some form or another you’re on the right track. Because ultimately as a coach, I’m less concerned about what your routine looks like and more concerned with whether you’re actually making the decision to start being intentional with your mornings. As you start thinking about developing your own morning routine, there are four quick things to keep in mind. First consistency is huge for sprinters, a consistent starting block routine allows them to handle whatever adversity they might face on race day.

Speaker 3 (11:50):

You want to try to do some things the same way. Every of course, just going to be different situations. They may be rainy. It may be hot. Maybe windy may be a higher stress meat because it’s a championship level meet or something like that. But if you can keep your routine the way that you go about your block starts the same way you approach them. Then the rest of it becomes less stressful and you get to focus on the routine and not the, uh, other issues that are occurring at that time.

Speaker 1 (12:21):

A routine that’s constant gives your day a firm foundation by consistently executing on your morning routine, you are proactively building a sense of confidence that will help you to deal with whatever your day has in store for you. The second thing to keep in mind is setting yourself up for success by preparing for your morning, the night before. If you want a journal, when you wake up, put your notebook and your pen out on a table before you go to sleep, if you want to go for a morning, run, lay out your running clothes. So you don’t have to think about it. When your alarm goes off by taking the steps to prepare for your morning ahead of time, you’re making it easier to execute on that routine. The next day, another thing to keep in mind is starting small. When creating any type of routine, you want to go slow and add things. One at a time when working with young athletes who are new to the program, Curtis stresses the importance of building their starting block routines. One step at a time

Speaker 3 (13:21):

When we talk about block starting, there’s maybe I don’t know, 12 to 15 things that have to happen. So after we’ve talked about all of those things and we’ve rehearsed all of those things in practice, we try to take them one at a time and add them. And sometimes it takes, maybe they might pick up three or four of the things in the first year and they pick up three or four more things in the second year. Maybe they pick up five things in the third year that they’re able. So now you’re doing 11 of those 14, 12, 15 things, right? Um, so every year it’s something new that we worked on with each person, even though everybody may be doing the same thing in general, two individuals working on something specific for them,

Speaker 1 (14:06):

For young athletes, whose routines are still fairly raw, building it one piece at a time prevents overloading guarantees that these habits will persist in the long run. If you currently have no morning routine whatsoever, and you say to yourself tomorrow, I’m going to wake up at 5:00 AM, make breakfast, go to the gym for 45 minutes shower, make tea read, and then meditate before leaving for work at 7:00 AM. Then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Trying to do too much at once is counterproductive. It’s hard to make that many changes simultaneously. And when you inevitably fall short of that lofty goal, the sense of defeat you feel could keep you from continuing the good work of creating a healthy morning routine. That will last. So remember to take it one step at a time, start by identifying the one thing you want to do in the morning.

Speaker 1 (14:59):

Reading exercising, working on a personal project and focus on doing whatever that number one thing is for a week or maybe two. Then as that becomes more of a habit, start adding other elements to your morning routine and build it slowly over time. And the final thing to keep in mind is review whether you’re new to morning routines, and you’re still testing the waters, or you’ve been practicing your morning routine for 20 years, it’s absolutely crucial that you occasionally review and adjust your routine coming up. Todd Mo setter, our vice president of content. We’ll sit down with one of our building champions, executive coaches to unpack the ins and the outs of developing an effective morning routine.

Speaker 4 (15:52):

Hi, I’m Todd Mo setter. And I work on the content team here at building champions. And this is the part of the podcast where we have the chance to sit down with one of our experienced executive coaches to talk about what we heard and take a look at how you can apply it to improve both the way you lead and live today. I’m excited to talk with Dan foster. He’s a vice president and principal coach. Who’s been with us for almost eight years now with an MBA and years of experience in the real estate world, growing and developing high successful teams. Dan loves helping leaders live and lead with greater intentionality and purpose so they can achieve the results they desire. And for many of us that starts with our morning routine, Dan, thanks for joining us. Hey, thank you Todd. Glad to be here.

Speaker 4 (16:31):

So when we think about what we just heard and this analogy of the way we start a race, a sprint has a connection to how we start our day. Yeah. How have you seen morning routines and the way leaders start their day have an impact on their overall effectiveness? Yeah, well it really sets the course for the entire day, right? So we talk a lot at building champions about how, as a leader, your leadership effectiveness is going to be defined by the decisions you make and the influence you have on people. So if you’re not starting your day off, great, if you’re not having some sort of routine that gets you in the right mindset, man, it’s going to impact everything. All the decisions you make throughout the day are going to be probably impacted by the fact that you’re trying to play catch up.

Speaker 4 (17:16):

Maybe you got off to a slow star. It feeling like, Oh my gosh, I’m just not at a hundred percent today. I’m dragging tired. Um, and that’s going to impact the decisions you make. It’s also going to impact how you engage the people that you love, that you lead, that you serve, and they’re going to notice it. And so from an overall leadership effectiveness standpoint, I think it’s huge. And it has a direct impact on whether or not you can be the leader that you want to be. Yeah. I think what’s interesting is everyone has made a choice about their morning routine, whether it’s been an intentional choice and they’re choosing to do certain actions because to your point, it’s purposeful and it’s going to lead to an outcome, right. Or whether they’re just choosing to do whatever they happen to be doing without thinking about it. Yeah. So when you coach and work with leaders, what percent of folks do you think have their morning routine kind of dialed in? Or is this an opportunity for a lot of people to kind of focus on

Speaker 5 (18:12):

Is a huge opportunity. I mean, I’ll be honest, you know, most people, when we talk about a morning routine, first of all, everybody’s got a routine, right? I mean, I think this is the point you’re trying to make is that we all have a routine. It’s just whether or not we have a routine that is purposeful and intentional and sets us up for greater success in the day. So my routine could look like us sliding into the day, grabbing my phone, checking emails and social media and, you know, responding to things while I am trying to get ready. And I’m not connecting maybe with family before I get to work or something, that’s still a routine. And we get into a habit of doing it day after day. And it shows up in our leadership for sure. Um, where I think there’s opportunity for leaders is that intentional and purposeful piece to say, okay, where do I need to be improving in my life?

Speaker 5 (19:01):

Where do I need to be improving in my leadership? What are those relationships that I want to focus on before I get to the office? What are those areas of my life? Like my health and my personal development that I want to spend just 10, 15 minutes focused on before, you know, I have to start answering phone calls or be in meetings and engaging with others. So it’s that being intentional, it’s being purposeful. And that’s where there’s an opportunity to actually get up in the morning and have a routine that you follow that allows you to be progressing towards the best version of yourself that you can be. And that’s where you can have a tremendous impact in your leadership of others.

Speaker 4 (19:41):

When you think about reasons, uh, that trip people up, like maybe why they have a hard time consistently getting into an effective morning routine, what do you think is usually standing in their way?

Speaker 6 (19:54):

Hmm. Well,

Speaker 5 (19:55):

You know, I mean, let’s be honest. I mean, life just happens, right. Um, you know, it, it throws us curve balls, whether it’s, uh, a kid that gets sick in the middle of the night and you’re exhausted and saying, yeah, you know, I don’t, I don’t think I’m going to get up and do my routine. You know, it could be where your company calls an emergency meeting at 6:00 AM to meet with a strategy team and you get to go do that instead of follow your normal routine of working out. Um, it could be just a simple decision where, you know, you decide that you’ve got someone in your life that just needs you to be present in the morning to, to listen and to, to hear what’s going on with them. So life happens. And when it does then frequently that can throw us off of our routines.

Speaker 5 (20:38):

So I think there’s that I think though, that for most leaders, I think it’s a lack of belief, uh, is really what it comes down to where, you know, I believe that spending time reflecting and reading and meditating, whether it’s prayer or exercise, whatever you put into your routine, do I believe that that’s going to help me grow in my leadership to become more effective as a leader, if it’s going to improve who I am. And if you don’t believe that, then it’s going to be pretty hard to get up every morning and have that sort of routine, especially when you do have life happening and you’ve got other challenges going on. So that belief, uh, I think is huge. If you don’t believe that this is worth it and that it will help you be a great leader, it’s going to be tough to, to see that happen.

Speaker 5 (21:29):

And I think the third thing would just simply be boredom. To be honest, I see this a lot with my clients where they get into a routine and they develop these habits and they’re great, but they stop being innovative and curious about their morning routine. And it becomes, it becomes stagnant. It becomes boring for them. And they’ll tell me, like, I’m just tired of doing the same routine. Okay, well, you don’t have to do that. Right. Change it up a little. Um, you know, the, the weather’s changing here in the Portland area, we’re starting to get warmer, warmer days. So from my morning routine, I’m outside in the morning. Now I’m sitting next to the fountain, that’s in our backyard and I’m doing my reading and I’m, I’m doing my exercising and stretching out there. You know, during the winter I have a blanket and I’m by the fire. So mix it up a little, do something different, get creative with it, do different types of exercises, but don’t let it become boring. It should be something that, uh, is exciting for you to do because you know, the impact that it has on your leadership, but it’s also something that’s exciting because you’ve created, uh, the space for you to be learning in different environments and, and just overall growing as a leader.

Speaker 4 (22:40):

Yeah. I think the point you touched in there about belief, I think is so key because routines can change over time based on, um, acute events. Like you said, travel sick kid. Um, they can adapt and evolve over time based on needs, but in most instances of our life, it always comes down to a value proposition. Yup. Am I getting the right return on this investment? And if leaders don’t believe that starting their day a certain way, they’re not going to invest the time. Yeah. I think there’s also what we’ve seen with our clients is this pressure to always be connected and on. Yeah. So in today’s environment, this I’m going to take time for me versus answering the phone, the email, the social media, it’s this need to be available to other people because of a misaligned expectation of where I add value a belief, correct. Versus maybe a belief that no investing in me is the best way for me to then invest in others. Yeah. Couldn’t agree more. I mean,

Speaker 5 (23:46):

You, as leaders and as individuals, we all set up these boundaries, but usually we’re the first ones to violate those boundaries. It’s usually not a customer or a, someone that we lead someone in our organization. Uh, it, they, they may, they may, um, you know, come up and, and punch on those boundaries just a little bit to see, you know, what can they break through and can they get your time? But for the most part, we’re the ones that make the choice to do that. And, uh, if we don’t have that belief that, um, that this can help our leadership, we won’t keep it sacred. We won’t keep that time, uh, you know, set aside for us so that we can go out and, um, develop ourselves so that we can be the best version of ourselves for our team, which our team needs us to be. Because as leaders, one of our greatest responsibilities is to develop the people that we lead. And we can’t do that. We can’t give away what we don’t possess. So if we’re not building up ourselves, if we’re not taking the time to grow and learn and be the best version of ourselves, it’s going to be very difficult for us to pour into us.

Speaker 4 (24:55):

One of the things I love about this segment of the podcast is we get to sit down with a coach who has practical experience working with clients, right? This isn’t just theory. You’re hands on working with leaders that are going through this. Can you share some tips, insights, best practices that you’ve seen leaders do with their morning routine, that’s made a huge difference for them?

Speaker 5 (25:15):

Yeah. So I think, um, I think really tying your morning routine to areas where you want to see development and growth, and that can be both physically and mentally, right? In terms of who you are as a person, your overall wellbeing. So ahead of times, you know, for example, if you know that you’re wanting to get more in shape, you’re wanting to be physically more healthy. Well, then your morning routine should reflect that your morning routine has to, I think, tie into your overall goals for your growth and development. And if it’s not, there’s going to be that disconnect. And I think you miss an opportunity as a leader to tie in both of those. So I think my, my clients that, uh, tell me, you know, Dan, I want to grow in my leadership in this area. Um, and I want to get, you know, physically I’m noticing that I’m tired at the end of the day. I’m not as engaged as I should be. Well, then let’s tie that into your morning routine. What books, podcasts, articles can you be reading or listening to while you’re doing your exercising? You know, when you do your exercises, what type of exercises are you doing in the morning that seemed to give you more energy as you head in to the day and throughout the day. So tying it to that overall growth and development goals that you have.

Speaker 4 (26:32):

I love that concept because for most of us, especially leaders, we spend most of our days in activity, right? With a pace we’re being reactive, we’re answering questions, we’re doing emails and we don’t have the space to just be right to be present, to be reflective. So if you can’t incorporate that into your morning routine, it’s probably going to be difficult to incorporate later.

Speaker 5 (26:53):

I couldn’t agree more. Yeah. I mean, if you think about everything that’s coming at you, as soon as you walk in the doors of the office or wherever you go to work each day, uh, you just get bombarded. So the, I, the idea of you finding time, 20 minutes, 30 minutes to really do some deep thinking, it’s pretty rare. So you might as well seize that moment that you have when, when you, when you’re doing your morning routine.

Speaker 4 (27:16):

So, uh, Daniel outlined, uh, the two main components of a morning routine, right? Mental and physical. Yep. I think about the mental piece. And we’ve touched on it a little bit back in the old programming days, there was the concept of garbage in garbage out, right. What you put in is what you get out. Yeah. So where have you seen your clients really focus their energy and attention on this mindset piece or feeding yourself mentally?

Speaker 5 (27:37):

Yeah. Well, it is, it’s all about the inputs, um, that you, that you do both physically and mentally, really, to be honest. And so, um, and I think for the morning routine, what I’ve learned from my clients, they’ve shared this with me and I’ve found it to be true in my own routine, but it’s not just your inputs first thing in the morning, but they tell me that their morning routine really starts the night before. And it’s, how are they going to bed? And are they spending a lot of time, uh, on their phone, in front of a screen? And, uh, are they, um, are they allowing themselves to relax and truly get into some deep sleep so that when they do wake up, they’re refreshed. And at that point again, it’s about the inputs. So what are you deciding to look at first? Are you grabbing that phone?

Speaker 5 (28:21):

Checking, social media, checking emails, uh, watching the news, because again, it goes back to those inputs are going to have a direct impact on your attitude, the way you show up, um, the way you think about yourself, others, the circumstances that you find yourself in. So I think for most of my clients, they’ve realized that they need to put the screen, um, away and they need to either have their phone turned off or have it silenced. And instead of reaching to grab that phone, as soon as that alarm goes off, yes, we’re all going to grab our phone. Cause I think we all use the alarm feature on it. But when you shut that alarm off, you turn the phone over and instead you grabbed the book or you, you turn on your audio book, whatever it might be. And you find an input that is going to be positive. It’s going to remind you of your purpose. It’s going to remind you of your priorities in life and what you need to do to be intentional and focused as a leader throughout the day. So it’s all about those inputs for you mentally. And if you’re choosing the right inputs in the morning, just the probability of you having a more successful day in terms of good decision-making and influencing others, I think skyrockets.

Speaker 4 (29:39):

Yeah. I think those are some great tips in there. Um, I would challenge us because I’ve fallen into this trap ourselves that they are, they did invent an alarm clock before the smart now. Right. So if that actually is one of your stumbling blocks yeah. Remove it. Yeah. Right. I mean, don’t, don’t, don’t assume that that’s the way things have to be for me personally, I still use my smartphone for my alarm, but I put it in airplane mode before I even come back to bed. I do it pretty early actually. So I’m being present with the kids and in the morning, I don’t take it off airplane mode until I’m ready to actually begin my Workday.

Speaker 5 (30:16):

Yeah. Great idea. Great idea. You just got to remember to take it off

Speaker 4 (30:18):

The, the airplane mode. Well, there’s some days where actually I’m glad that I, that I don’t. All right. So we talked a little bit about the mental impact inputs. What have you seen clients do really successfully around the physical side? Yeah.

Speaker 5 (30:30):

Well, I, again, I think it’s two things here. It’s your inputs again, and it’s going to be movement. Um, so inputs, it’s going to be, what do you decide to put into your body right out of the gate in the morning? You know, are you grabbing a donut and a cup of coffee and starting your morning routine with a donut and a cup of coffee, if so, may not be the best choices, um, in terms of kind of what you’re fueling your body with to be able to go out and be your best as a leader. So I think I’ve seen a lot of my clients really get serious about what is the first thing that I’m putting into my body. For most of them, it’s water. They’ve gotten away from coffee. They’ve gotten away from tea. They’ve gotten away from anything with caffeine. And they’re really focusing on, on making sure that they have a big glass of water in the morning.

Speaker 5 (31:17):

Um, and seeing the benefits of that in terms of thinking more clearly breathing better, um, and, and just being more focused for their routine. So again, I think it’s the inputs, right? In terms of the food and the drink that you’re putting into your body. But I also think it’s that movement part where you’re, you’re getting up, you’re moving, you’re exercising, you’re stretching, even if it’s just going for a simple walk, that movement allows the blood to start to flow throughout the body. Your brain starts to become more engaged. And I, I can’t tell you how many times a client has come into their session and said, I had a total aha moment Dan, about my leadership or how we were going to solve this problem. And I’m like, great. You know, tell me what, what, what were, where were you at? What was going on that caused you to have that aha moment was where you brainstorming with everybody where you white boarding. And they’re like, no, I was just walking my dog this morning or, you know, no, I, I decided to just simply, um, you know, walk around the backyard with my, with my water and, and kind of think through things. And it’s in those moments of just moving around, being intentional, stretching, exercising, whatever it is that I think we allow ourselves to have that thinking time that we talked about before, where all of a sudden things start to become a little bit more clear, the fog goes away.

Speaker 4 (32:37):

I love that we can connect that space from a mental perspective, with a physical routine as well. Right. Because then we’re getting the benefit. The water piece for me actually was, was quite a game changer recently because someone gave me a different perspective on it. Okay. And that was, if you think about during the day, how long do you typically go without a drink of water? Oh man. Like for most of us, maybe an hour, maybe two hours, depending on what we’re doing. But for most of us, when we go to sleep, we’re going seven hours without any liquid. And then you wake up and you’re like, Oh, I’ll just start my day and not have any liquid we’re actually dehydrated. And to your point, the effect that that can have on you both mentally and physically is, is huge. Yeah. I think back to what Curtis said in our first segment that, um, sprinters come in and they have a starting routine as well, right. They’re sprinters, they’ve done it. And that when he wants to make adjustments, he tells them don’t try and change 10 things at once. Right. We’re going to focus on one thing. And once you get good at that, we’ll add another and another and another. So if there’s someone listening right now that wants to start making some adjustments to their morning routine, and we don’t want to give them 20 things to start with, where would you have them focus their attention if they wanted to start making some change?

Speaker 5 (33:47):

I would say, um, start with getting up at the same time every single morning, that’s where it starts, in my opinion. Um, you may not, uh, have the, the five things or the 10 things that you’re going to do. Right. All nailed down, but start with just getting up because to be honest, that’s where I see the biggest struggle, um, is that that folks, um, will be like, um, getting up at five 30 today and, Oh, you know, I got some, I don’t have as much that I need to do in my routine. So I’ll do six 15 tomorrow. Well, that just, that leads to inconsistency. And then what happens is, is what’s dictating whether or not you start your morning routine is how you feel. So if you can be, I think the first step is if you can be dedicated to getting up at a certain time every morning and get that under your belt where it’s like, man, 5:00 AM, okay, I’m up. And now what am I going to do? Let, and then let’s add, like you said, one thing to that. Okay. Doing that really well. Let’s add a second thing, but it all starts with, can you be disciplined enough and committed enough to getting up at the same time every morning?

Speaker 4 (34:56):

When we think about routines and rituals, if we’re being honest, at some point we’re going to fail. And I think too often we equate a short-term failure within a longterm decision. Well, I fell off the wagon, so I’m just going to quit because sometimes it’s harder to pick ourselves back up and get into something. Right. We can feel some shame. We can feel some regret. I know personally I fallen off my routine. I know you have before. So for leaders out there that either a, they were on a routine and now they’re kind of in a dip and they need to get back on or they get back on at some point in the future, we know they’re going to fail. What advice would you give? Yeah, well, one

Speaker 5 (35:38):

First, um, extend yourself some grace, right? And some self-compassion and, um, know that you’re not perfect and that you are going to have times where your morning routine is just clicking and humming along and things are going great and you’re consistent with it. And there’s going to be times where life just happens and it takes you off the routine and that’s okay. But the, the main point is that, do you believe that having a morning routine is going to enable you to be the leader that you need to be for the people that you love, that you lead, that you serve? And if you believe that, then you’re going to get back on your horse. Again, you’re going to get back into that routine. And I would say again, start small work up to it, get focused on the right disciplines, getting up at the same time, identifying one or two things, but it really starts with that belief.

Speaker 5 (36:29):

If, if for some reason that belief has been shaken, then I think it’s one of those things where you need to find some folks that can encourage you and find some accountability around your morning routine. Um, finding others that you know, that have been doing it and are successful asking for some encouragement, some ideas on what you can do, but it starts with that belief. Um, the belief, that one it’s okay if I mess up, secondly, I believe that I’ve got to get back on my horse again and get this going, because if I don’t do a morning routine or I’m focused on my development and my growth and my overall wellbeing, that I’m not going to be the leader that I want to be in the future.

Speaker 4 (37:10):

Well, like we’ve talked about, we all have a morning routine. Yep. The question is, is yours helping propel you to a good start? Like we talked about Ann Curtis talked about, is it launching our day in a way that we are in a position to win or is it putting us behind and we have some ground to catch up. Exactly. So as we transitioned to wrap up, Dan, is there any closing thoughts you have when thinking about a morning routine and its impact on a leader?

Speaker 5 (37:39):

Yeah. I, I think that, uh, one, uh, don’t be intimidated by a morning routine. The idea of having one, um, I know there are seasons in life that we all go through where, um, adding something new to your day that is, um, purposeful and intentional. And it’s about reading. It’s about exercising that can sometimes feel overwhelming. Um, but I would tell you as, as a coach that I think this can be a game changer for you. I think that if you’re wanting to be a better spouse, a better parent, a better partner, whatever it is, a better leader than you, you, you have an opportunity in front of you to start something new, to start your day, uh, with intentionality and with purpose. And I would encourage you to give it 90 days, try it for 90 days. And if you don’t see, uh, an, a positive impact on the influence that you’re having on people and the decisions that you’re making, man, give me a call, uh, because I, I really believe this is a game changer that all leaders need to engage in. If they want to have a leadership legacy where they have tremendous influence and they’re making great decisions and it starts with how they kick off out of the day and how they start their day.

Speaker 4 (39:00):

Before we wrap up a question that may beyond many of our listeners mind is we’ve talked about the different components of routines where you’ve seen clients do. I’m curious, Dan, what’s your routine look like?

Speaker 5 (39:12):

Well, thanks, Todd. Um, yeah, for me, it, it starts off and I try to keep it pretty basic. So, uh, for me it, I have discovered that I’ve got to start with water. Um, that is a huge thing for me. I, I think I mentioned it earlier, that for me, a big glass of water, um, it helps me breathe better. Um, so before I’m doing any exercise, I’m drinking water, it helps me think better, more, more clearly. So I start off with water and then I get into my stretching and I will stretch for probably anywhere from eight to 10 minutes. And during that stretching time, I, uh, tend to focus on prayer and meditation. For me, my faith is really important to me. So I bring that into my morning routine as well. From there, once I’ve, once I’m done stretching, I will then load up the podcast or the audio book on my, on my phone.

Speaker 5 (40:06):

And I will get onto the treadmill if it’s in the winter and I’ll be doing about 30 to 40 minutes on the treadmill. Um, and then I’ll, um, head to do some weightlifting, some strength training. And if it’s the summertime, then I’m outside and I’m still listening to the podcast or the audio book, but I’m walking outside, usually with the dog. And when I come back, then it’s back to just a quick strength training. So usually that takes me about 50 minutes or so I’m up at five 30 every morning having my glass of water, starting my stretching, where I do my prayer and meditation. Then I load up the podcasts and I start my exercise routine.

Speaker 4 (40:42):

Dan, thank you so much for sharing your expertise and your insight. Be sure to subscribe so that you can be up to date with our latest episodes. And if you don’t mind, we’d love to hear what you think. Take a moment to leave us a review. We would love to see how we can improve our routine of making these podcasts for you. Thank you so much. And look forward to catching up with you. On the next episode,

Speaker 1 (41:07):

I absolutely believe that a morning routine can be a game changer for your life and your leadership. It’s something that many of us know is important, but far too few of us are taking the step of being intentional in deciding to create one for ourselves. My hope is that this week you’ll take the time to assess the decision to improve this area of your life, because when it comes down to it, it’s all about choice. And again, as a coach, I’m less concerned what your personal routine looks like. What matters most is that you’ve made an intentional decision to invest in yourself by creating a morning routine. If you make this decision, I promise you it will have a positive lasting impact on your life and your leadership. Thanks to Curtis Taylor for sharing his wisdom and expertise. If you’re convinced you need to develop a morning routine and are looking for some more concrete tips, I’d encourage you to check out our morning routine guide. You can download it@buildingchampions.com forward slash podcast. I hope that what you heard in this episode was a value to you. If it was go ahead and share it with your friends, your colleagues, or family members, whomever you think would benefit from listening. We’d also love it. If you could leave us a rating or a review, your feedback will only help us to grow and to be better.