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Daily Ritual – Creating Routines That Help Manage Energy and Performance

There has been a lot written here, here, and here about the value of having a daily ritual. The benefits of daily rituals range from increased productivity, stress-relief, higher energy, career, family life and more.

I’ve had a decent morning routine for a while now that has included meditation, morning pages, affirmations and more. I recently finished reading the excellent Power of Full Engagement by Loehr which has opened my eyes to a critical insight I had totally missed up until now.

Energy is our most precious resource

According to Loehr, energy is our most precious resource because everything stems from having enough positive energy to get things done. It makes sense. The book talks a lot about how athletes strategically use recovery to gain energy and rituals to stay focused during stressful times of performance. For us non-professional athletes, these principals apply, perhaps even more because unlike sports, corporate drones don’t get months of recovery during an off-season.

After reading the book and dutifully doing all the exercises (what’s do you value, what are your strengths, who do you admire and why), I revisited my own daily rituals which now include a morning and evening component along with a handy Google Doc to help me track my progress.

My Morning Ritual (20 minutes)

  • Get out of bed and eat a handful of peanuts or a banana
  • Meditate for 10 minutes (I’m currently addicted to this app)
  • Read my vision, values & affirmations
  • Morning Pages (Include what I am grateful for)
  • Daily Stoic daily exercise
  • Note: No email until I finish!

My Evening ritual

  • Before bed, do the following…
  • Daily Stoic evening reflection
  • Be grateful for 1 minute
  • Enter data in ritual tracker 

Do you have a daily ritual you use? How has it evolved over time?

Hell yes! or no F_cking way!

Hell yes, or no way. Essentialism to the rescue!

I’ve read the incredible book “Essentialism” by Greg Mckeown 3 times now, and each time, my (digital) copy gets more and more highlighted. It’s a great read, and one with an incredible amount of wisdom, great ideas, and perspective. Reading it has enriched my life immensely. My biggest and most challenging takeaway is the idea of “Hell yes, or no way.”

Essentialism

If you haven’t read it, I recommend you watch any of the excellent videos that outline the basic concepts including hearing it right from Greg’s mouth in a Google talk:

“No more yes, it’s either a ‘Hell, Yeah!” or no.” #Essentialism— Greg McKeown (@GregoryMcKeown) January 15, 2016

Essentialism, for me works great for small, simple decisions such as:

  • should I work out?
  • should eat that 3rd slice of pizza?
  • should I read this book or that book

But it breaks down for me when I try to apply it to big decisions such as:

  • should I invest in becoming a better or published writer?
  • should I change careers, go back to school or keep doing what I’m doing
  • am living my best life, and if not, what’s that even mean?

I think a big part of the problem is that I’ve been unwilling to be completely honest with myself. Saying hell yea to something life-changing has ramifications that go far beyond my own personal impact.

As an example, I’ve written two books (one a YA-Sci Fi thing, the other a memoir), and I’m stuck inside my head. Do I try to improve them with the help of an editor and finish that journey, or do I leave writing as a hobby and a fun creative pursuit? I honestly don’t know.

The truth is, part of me is scared.

Shit. Even as I wrote that sentence I sort of figured out something important. Trite as it is, that saying “do what scares you most” may very well apply here.

Hell yes, or no way. Eh?