What’s Your Morning Routine? 4 Habits to Make the Most of Your Day

sunset yoga womanEvery day has a beginning and an end. The sun rises. At noon, the sun is high in the sky. When the sun sets, evening begins. Have you ever wondered whether having a great morning routine would make a difference to how your day ends?

What are you doing to begin your day in a positive manner? What’s your morning routine?

Over the years, I have come to view the early morning as a time to get myself settled, visualize the day, and become motivated to work with my finance industry coaching clients.

This wasn’t always the case however. For many years, I didn’t have a positive morning routine because I was too consumed with getting my day started: reading email, checking voicemail, and setting myself up for a stressful day.

Thankfully those days are behind me. Now I view my morning routine as a way to center myself and create the energy and serenity I need to have a wonderful day.

Here are 4 ways finance professionals can have a great morning routine:

Rise and Shine

A great morning routine begins with…you guessed it, waking up early. My husband claims that he’s not a “morning person” but I don’t buy it. I think we can train ourselves to be excited about getting up early.

When you get up early, you get to work early. Imagine how great you’ll feel when you get stuff done and out of the way before the morning is over!

Studies show that early risers tend to be happier and more successful than those who sleep the morning away. Besides, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “the early bird gets the worm”?

What if you’re not an early riser? Is there some way to overcome this? Yes, get one of those clocks that gradually brightens the room with a light simulating the sun. I’ve heard they really work!

You can train yourself to be an early riser by making the commitment to do it. I recently read a story about a CEO who is at his office by 5 a.m. every day. I don’t think it’s necessary to get to work that early, but I know for sure that the extremely successful clients I have worked with over the years usually get to work one to two hours earlier than the typical person. That means around 7 a.m.

What time do YOU get to work?

Put Technology in its Place

After you wake up, what’s the first thing you do? Do you pick up your phone and check your email? Is your phone on your nightstand?

In this connected world, the fastest way to a stressful and overloaded day is to keep your phone close by. By checking email and voicemail you are allowing the outside world to invade your serenity. When you allow invasions into your personal space, you blur the lines between work and career. Do yourself a favor and create boundaries for your personal life so that your work life does not invade your happiness.

I know you feel like you might be missing out on something if you don’t have your phone next to you, but I guarantee that voicemail and email will wait until you’re ready.

Have a defined separation between work and play. Leave your phone somewhere else and allow peace and serenity into the place where you sleep. You’ll sleep better knowing you’re undisturbed and after awhile you won’t even miss your phone.

Mentally Planning the Day

Most people get out of bed, make the coffee, and jump in the shower. Then they run off to work in a cloud of activity. The problem with this scenario is that when no thought is given to how the day will play out, one may end up in reactionary mode all day long rather than responding to your day in a calm, orderly manner. I find that by consciously arranging my day, it centers my mind, and helps to prepare me for the day ahead in a way that adds to my life.

With my morning routine, I get up out of bed and head down to the kitchen to make my morning cappuccino. Once I have that steaming cup in hand, I step outside on my beautiful patio and watch the sun glisten off the fountain in my pool. The birds are usually chirping, the sun is shining, and I feel great. It’s during this time that I set the tone for my day. (Of course I forgot to mention that I live in blazing hot Arizona, so 3 months out of the year I stare wishfully at my patio with cup in hand).

Using my Macbook Pro, I first check one of my favorite websites with a daily inspirational quote. If I feel so moved, I may share the quote somewhere on social media.

I then visualize my day. Who are my clients this day? What are my tasks for the day?

Mindful Meditation

On most days, my morning preparation includes meditation. Studies have shown that those who are mindful about their thoughts, actions, and ruminations are healthier and mentally stronger than those who don’t meditate.

Several years ago I took two courses about meditation that were very helpful in showing me how to meditate. Being a left-brained person, I originally had difficulty getting my mind around meditation. I kept asking myself “Why can’t I focus on nothing? Why does my mind wander? How can I meditate the right way?”

What I learned about meditation is that there are no right or wrongs ways to meditate. Every person is different. Concentrate on your breathing and when your mind wanders, just bring it back to the present moment.

Here’s an easy how to: Start by sitting in a comfortable position. Simply focus on your breathing. If you find it helpful you can inhale while thinking “Calm” and exhale while thinking “Serene.”

The great thing about meditation is that you only need 5-15 minutes for it to be beneficial.

 

So, are you beginning your day in a way that energizes and motivates you? If not, take a look at how you start your day and figure out if changes need to be made.

I have a morning routine that works for me. How about you?

 

Does Advertising Work?

billboardWe are going into the hottest days of summer here in the southwest U.S.A. It’s a time in Arizona when we hibernate indoors with the air conditioning on “high” or we head up north to the hills where cooler weather awaits.

How’s your summer going? Did you suddenly realize “Oh bleep, we are more than halfway through the year and I am NOT on track to achieve my goals”?

Are you making plans to hit a home run this year? And how are you going to do that? My hope for you is that you’re not considering dumping funds into advertising to make up any deficits. So this topic begs the big question:

Does advertising work?

Well the answer is, it depends. But most of the time I would have to say that advertising does NOT work.

The definition of advertising for the purposes of this blog post is the expenditure of funds for placement of an advertisement in a magazine, newspaper, billboard or the like.

From my own personal experience, both in high-end retail and professional business coaching, advertising is expensive, generally untargeted, and generates very little in the way of prospective clients. And the same goes for my coaching clients.

Here’s why:

  • Have you EVER bought a high-ticket service after reading an advertisement? I sincerely doubt it.
  • Have you ever made a decision to hire a firm based on reviewing one single advertisement?
  • Does an advertisement provide enough space to adequately explain your services and the benefits they provide your ideal client?

I would venture a guess that your answers to these questions would be a resounding “no.”

There are exceptions of course. For instance, if you placed an advertisement in a magazine or website that your defined niche market reads regularly, AND you provided an AMAZING OFFER, then it might be effective, after the 4th or 5th month. In other words, you have to be willing to tweak your campaign until it works.

Or, say your ad was focused on the deep pain your prospective client would feel if they neglected to hire you, that can sometimes be effective. Ads targeted to pain often outperform those targeted to pleasure. You just never know if your ad will work until you try it because every market is different.

Anyway, many marketing researchers and experts have recommendations and answers to these perplexing questions. Take a look at marketingsherpa.com if you’re interested in learning more.

 

What can you do to achieve your goals that doesn’t involve a heavy investment?

  • Investment career professionals can invest their time in effective business networking and reach out to friends, clients, and centers of influence.
  • It’s often “who you know” in your network that can provide introductions to well-connected individuals and professionals. It’s what you do after said introductions that really matters, however.
  • Developing your sales and prospecting skills is always a worthwhile investment since “everybody sells” whether they know it or not.
  • Get exposure! Partner with a complimentary business person to develop a lunch and learn or other workshop.
  • Use one of the 3 strategies to grow your financial business income. Sell more to your existing clients, penetrate a new market, or implement new marketing tactics.

 

No matter what you do, for goodness sake, DO SOMETHING. Have a plan. Get motivated. Get out of your comfort zone. Just don’t spend too much on advertising unless you’re willing to go the distance.

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