My 120-Minute YOUzone

24 Feb My 120-Minute YOUzone

YOUzone at Coffee Shop

No matter what time you go to bed or when you wake up, you have no control over what your bed head looks like once you’re awake, how many pillow lines you have on your face, how puffy your eyes are or how many times your ankles and knees crack as you get up. You do, however, have a choice as to what time  you will arise. If you’re an early bird, you might be annoyingly happy and ready to rock and roll at 4am. If you’re a night owl, you might start at 9am every day.  No matter what your start time is, you have another choice … start your day on fire, or start it with regret. 

Last week, I asked you, “What Is Your Reason To Get Up?” In short, you’re not going to get up and be productive if you don’t have any reason to do so. In this post, I’m going to assume that you have found your reason to rise and shine.

My 120-Minute “YOUzone” Itinerary

I call my 120-Minute morning routine the “YOUzone”. During this time, it’s all about YOU. For 120 minutes every day, you don’t schedule team meetings, make phone calls, hit the snooze button, watch TV or browse the internet. You do wake up in charge of and ready to change your world.  Before reading my itinerary, please realize that this is my way to start the day,  but definitely not the “only” way. My goal is for you to ultimately find “your” way. 

4:45am — Wake Up

At 4:45am, I wake up. As soon as I do, I get dressed, brush my teeth and pound 16 ounces of water.

4:50am — Dynamic Stretching

At 4:50am, I perform dynamic or active stretches for 20 minutes. This helps me to increase blood flow, range of motion, awareness of joint position and athletic performance. What I love about dynamic stretching is that my heart rate starts to pump a little bit, in addition to the stretching benefits.

5:10am — Drive to Coffee Shop & Set Up 

At 5:10am, I head to a coffee shop … preferably one with a fire place. For me, environment is key. I love the white noise and people hard at work buzzing around me at coffee shops. Nobody can stop me with my laptop, wifi, 80’s/90’s Pandora mix and medium roast cup of java.

5:20am — 10 Quick Tasks List

At 5:20am, I build some momentum with my 10 quick tasks list. In other words, the crossing off of some simple items gets me motivated for a big project. Here are some of my quick tasks… devotion/prayer/thinking, check important emails, jot down the blog ideas, log my daily workout for health insurance points (who doesn’t want free Amazon gift cards?), send my Happy Birthday wishes on Facebook, endorse some people on LinkedIn, write a hand-written note, read a couple self-help articles and quotes, post the self-help article or quote with the most value, and then write my agenda for the next day.

5:50am — Eat the Banana

At 5:50am, I “eat the banana.” This is goal getting, not goal setting.

Back in the day, Mark Twain once said, “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning that will probably be the worst thing you do all day”. I’ve adopted this concept to some extent; however, I call it “eat the banana”. What do I mean by this? Knock out the biggest project that aligns with your reason or passions so that you’ll actually want to do it … most people would rather eat a banana than a frog … most people will wake up for a good reason, not for something that they’ll dread.

How do I know what banana to eat? Well, I keep a monthly 10Xer list to help keep me on track. A 10Xer is a goal that I believe has the ability to give my 10 times return. Next week, I’ll write a separate post on “eat the banana”.

6:45am — Drive Back Home & Spend Time With Family

At 6:45am, I head back home on fire! You know that feeling that you have after a workout … the endorphin’s … I have that same feeling after my 120-minute YOUzone. Do I always get everything done that I had planned to do? No. In fact, I underestimate the 120 minutes more often than not.

After I get home, I eat a quick breakfast, get ready for work, drive Ellie and Mia to school and then spend my day with members and staff at the Wisconsin Athletic Club.

Does The YOUzone Have To Be In The Morning?

Your YOUzone doesn’t have to be in the morning. It should, however, be consistent. For example, I lead an athletic club and we have a number of fitness professionals who train clients all morning to generate income. Their YOUzone could be in the middle of the afternoon when the club schedule is slower.

Do I Ever Cancel My YOUzone?

On rare occasions, I do. Let me share a couple examples.

First, when my day is booked solid with a bunch of sit-down meetings, I’ll skip my YOUzone. When that’s the case, I replace it with a workout. 

Second, if I have a planned evening engagement, I’ll stay home in the morning to spend a little bit of extra time with my family.

Am I Too Structured?

Every week, I hear…”Derek, you’re crazy”… “You’re over the top!”… “Anyone who gets up at 4:45am to get everything done is insane” and “You’re way too structured!”

Am I too structured? Maybe I am. But here is what I know.  Being structured with good habits is better than lacking structure with bad habits. In other words, being disciplined works if you are disciplined in the right areas. If you consistently perform a YOUzone for 90 days, you’ll look back and wonder how you ever lived without it.

ACTION: Make the YOUzone a part of your weekly routine. To gain momentum, start slow. Look at your calendar for next week and schedule two 30-minute YOUzone’s. Then, add more days and times as you grow and see positive results in your life. 

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