Hey hey! I want to share with you one of my favorite things that I’m newly obsessed with! Two things, actually. They are helping me in a few really specific ways and I realized this morning that I hadn’t told you about them yet!

(I’m trying a new thing – if you’d rather listen to this blog instead of read it, click below to listen to the audio version. Do you like it? Should I do more audio blogs? Let me know what you think!)

I am really big into being productive in the morning. Crazy things always happen during the day. Unexpected commitments, delays, problems, obstacles – you name it. Murphy’s law shows up on the regular: whatever can go wrong will. It just happens.

I also believe that if I have the right attitude and focus, I’m much more capable of handling whatever life throws my way.

There are two ways I try to take advantage of the morning time:

  • Get my attitude right. Set the stage for how I’ll approach the day
  • Complete my most important things early in the day

Here’s the truth and I teach this in almost all of my courses: what you focus on you feel. If you focus on where you went wrong, what you missed out on, what stressors are ahead – you’re going to feel frustrated, disappointed and stressed.

If, on the other hand, you focus on what you’re grateful for, what you’re excited about and all the good things you’re accomplishing, you’ll feel happy, satisfied and proud.

I don’t know about you but I make far better food choices when I’m feeling good than when I’m feeling bad. If I’m feeling down, I can talk myself into eating all sorts of junk, I can talk myself out of a workout and I can talk myself into being lazy and unproductive.

So really, managing my mindset is a huge part of achieving my fat loss and fitness goals. Maybe the biggest part, honestly. It is absolutely one of my “big rocks” as I call them – the 20% of things that drive 80% of my results.

Now, onto the tools. There are two tools I’ve been using regularly lately that do so much for helping me keep my head in the right place so I can make good decisions. And I will tell you: my body is responding. My positive outlook is improving my choices and my body is changing. I’m happy.

The first is a little journal called The Five Minute Journal. I had heard Tim Ferriss talk about it years ago and more recently I’ve heard several other very successful folks say that they use it and love it so I decided to go for it. It is NOT your typical journal. It is not about sitting down to write for 20 minutes about what happened and your feelings about it. It’s really the 80/20 principle embodied in a journal (can you tell I’m loving it?).

The premise is this: you take a couple minutes in the morning and a couple minutes before bed to fill out some predefined fields that focus you on gratitude, affirmations, accomplishments and improvements. I am LOVING it. Honestly, it is making such a huge difference in my mindset and my focus (and like I said, my body is responding).

five minute journal how to

Of course the biggest challenge is actually doing it every day as opposed to having intentions but not making the time or forgetting it exists after a few days. The key for me is putting it in the place I go to every morning first thing and every night before bed. Yep. I’m not embarrassed to say that mine is in the bathroom. That’s the first stop I make in the morning and the last stop before bed! Don’t judge me!

The second tool that is making a big difference for me is a free app called Win Streak (search for it in the app store of your phone). Basically, you put it on your smartphone or tablet and all you do is note 3 wins you had today and 3 wins you’re anticipating for tomorrow. This does a few powerful things for me:

  1. It keeps me focused on the positive. Instead of beating myself up and searching for the things I’ve messed up or opportunities I haven’t taken advantage of, I’m focusing on all the positive accomplishments in my life (no matter how small they are!)
  2. It allows me to forecast victories for tomorrow. It’s easy to live with dread, right? Dreading what you have to do tomorrow or next week or the project hanging over your head at work. I am much happier (and happiness, for me, leads to better choices) when I’m approaching each day with positive expectation.
  3. It has changed my perspective and motivated me in a unique way to look for and then accomplish these wins. I like the feeling of adding a win to my app. I look for ways to win and then I follow through so I can record it. Silly, but true and extremely powerful.

Have you used either of these? What did you think? What is the most powerful thing you do to start your day? Are you going to grab a copy of The Five Minute Journal? I highly recommend it!