Photo Credit: architectureartdesigns.com
"Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can."
Bookends are the routines that you utilize to start and end your day. As many of us know, we really cannot control what happens in between. We can; however, for the most part, control the routine when we wake up and before we go to bed. These routines have been crucial for Brandon and I to maximize our day as well as be more focused and more productive. We've learned over the years that when we have mindfulness and intention as we go about our day, we can more efficiently and effectively accomplish the goals we set out for ourselves.
In the book, The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, he talks about your MVP (Most Valuable Priority). The trick for us has been spending time before we go to bed to identify what is our MVP, and then in the morning, incorporating strategy to attack that MVP right out of the gates. Focusing on the urgent and important tasks, sets us in motion to conquer our MVP on a daily basis. We have realized that your input very much determines your output. If we feel organized, productive and accomplished before we step out of the door, our day will be intentional, focused and progressive.
We recently watched a YouTube clip by The Art of Manliness called The Power of a Morning & Evening Routine, which yes, is applicable for both males and females. If we are unhappy, want more out of life or want to create something for ourselves; we can manage our energy and our priorities by getting better routines. As we manage our mental energy, we will reduce the "will power" reserve and increase our ability to hustle for our own goals that will lead to more positive behaviors. In the clip, he suggests that when developing routines, we should: 1) Identify our most important goals 2) Write down our routines and 3) Be adaptable and flexible.
One of our favorite books on routines and bookends is the book, The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs by Hal Elrod. He uses the SAVERS acronym for establishing a successful routine: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Read and Scribe (journal). Some of these may or may not be a part of your routine and can be incorporated into either a morning or evening routine. We found this to be a great blueprint for identifying our rhythm. We found if you focus your morning on setting yourself up to accomplish your goals and the evening on honing in on those goals, you'll see a much more positive result in your life.
Here are some things we incorporate into our daily morning routine: taking care of our dogs, drinking a full bottle of purified water (may add apple cider vinegar), daily business preparation checklist, devotion, reflection, prayer, a 20 minute run on the elliptical, read, shower & getting ready while a self development audio plays and a quick breakfast.
Here are some things we incorporate into our daily evening routine: the gym (3-5x/week depending on our schedule), wrapping up business tasks, creating a next day to-do list, preparing for the next day's meetings & appointments, updating our calendar and taking 15-30 minutes to unplug.
"Remember, the moment you accept total responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you claim the power to change anything in your life." -Hal Elrod
Always remain creative and productive!
Brandon & Amanda
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