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Creating Intentional Habits – How to Set Yourself Up to Win Every Day

by Jeff Walker, Creator of Product Launch Formula & New York Times Bestselling Author

One of the ways that I've gotten the results I've gotten in my life, which, at least by my standards has been pretty remarkable, is by creating intentional habits.

I want to drill down on a habit that I think is the one that drives everything (for me at least), and that is your “morning ritual.”

I've intentionally set out creating a way that I start each day and I have certain things that I do that set me up for a great day. 

Because how you start the day is how that day tends to go.

Meditation First

So what I do (and I’ve got to tell you that I'm not perfect; I probably do this 90% of my days) is this: the first thing I do when I get up is to meditate. That's like a cornerstone for me, it makes an incredible difference.

What I've noticed is that when I started to meditate, it has a cumulative effect.

When I'm meditating day after day after day and I have a real good streak going, it has this amazing cumulative effect, so I absolutely want to get that meditation in, every morning.

The meditation is the first thing I do when I get out of bed.

That is my focus when getting out of bed, the number one thing that I need to get done when I get out of bed. When I get that done, then it sets up a fantastic day.

After meditation, I go right into yoga and stretching. I'm not some amazing yogi, what I do is a very minimal practice, maybe 20 minutes of yoga. 

It’s not intense, but it gets me stretched out and I think's the fountain of youth.

Next I hydrate. I drink water. It's so simple. I fill up a 16-ounce glass of water and I drink it and then I fill it up again and I set it by me so that I know I will drink that second glass of water. It's super simple.

Gratitude Practice

Then from there it can go in a few different directions. I’ll usually do some type of a gratitude practice combined with journaling. I use my journal for the gratitude practice, but you can do it on your phone, you can do it on your computer, you can do it wherever you want. 

I like to write it down and I usually spend five, ten, maybe fifteen minutes of journaling about what's running through my head. The key it to just get it down in writing and there's usually some amount of gratitude in there.

What I’ve found that works for me is to just list two or three things that I'm grateful for, or the wins that I've had in my life, like the things that happened the day before that went well, and the things that I'm anticipating going well that day. 

If I do those things I’m anticipating, I win.

Really, if I just do the meditation, the yoga, and the water, I win. Then anything beyond that is amazing. I try to do this at least 90% of my days.

Focus is Key

Some days I'll have what I call Focus Days. On those Focus Days, I’ll be doing my most focused, productive work and for me that always revolves around being creative.

So I'll usually go into what I call focus sessions, and for 50 minutes I'll put on my headphones, I'll put on binaural beats (like "Ultra Focus", from Centerpointe's Super Learning & Memory Suite).

I'll put on some kind of music without a strong melody and without any words, any lyrics so that I can really focus.

I'll set a timer for 50 minutes, then I'll go full out for 50 minutes working on a task that I've preplanned, a creative task or creative job, whatever you want to call it, I'm working on it.

It could be a sales letter, it could be a video, it could be a course, it could be whatever. I’m very focused on that for 50 minutes. My fingers are on the keyboard and they're not going to leave the keyboard.

I just keep going for 50 minutes.

After 50 minutes, then I'll take a 10-minute break. Usually go get a cup of tea, maybe do some pushups, work on the balance board, something like that.

And then I'll go in for another 50-minute session. And if I do that, if I go through my morning ritual and get two focused 50-minute sessions, then I have won the day.

Often, it's not even 10:00 a.m. and the day is won and it's an amazing day.

It's All About Ritual

But it's all about ritual. This is my ritual. Yours is probably going to be very, very different. But what I've done is I've intentionally programmed myself to go through these steps to set myself up for a great day.

Another thing I like to do is to periodically go back and look and see how is this serving me? Do I want to tweak it? Do I want to change it? Is there something I want to add? Is there something I want to take away?

A lot of times people will mention, “Well Jeff, that’s fantastic for you, but I've got this going on in my life. I can't do this, I’ve gotta do this.”

You can figure out a way to build in a morning ritual.

I've got kids. Trust me, I know what it's like to have kids. I was a stay-at-home dad. When I was a stay at home dad, I had a three-year-old and a one-year-old. So I know what it's like in those types of situations.

You're not really in control of the very beginning of your day, but try to find a way to ground yourself. There used to be nap time when my kids were young, and that's when I would ground myself.

It's all about being intentional in how you start your day.

This one habit, creating an intentional way to start your day, creating an intentional morning ritual, will make an incredible impact on your productivity, on your happiness…

...and on your life.

About Jeff Walker

Jeff Walker has taught thousands of students, who operate in hundreds of niches, how to launch their businesses from scratch, and they’ve generated over $1 billion in sales (and that number grows every day).

He’s the creator of the Product Launch Formula and author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller "Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams."

Jeff Walker