Photo by Joseph

Change your life in 97 seconds

Niels Philbert
Jul 1, 2016 · 4 min read

This 97 second morning routine will change your life. If you do it.

Habits are a powerful force in your life. Used mindfully, they will shape you into the absolute best version of yourself by building you up in a steady trickle of growth.

Habits without awareness will make you victim for everybody else’s agendas and your own biases will chip away at your happiness and feeling of influence over your own direction.

Decide to spend 97 seconds each morning on a good morning routine, that will have a profound impact on your life.

These are my suggestions - feel free to mix it up:

1. Wake up your spine

As soon as your feet hit the floor, do the ragdoll exercise for 35 seconds.

Notice how it feels in your back, spine and the rest of your body. Focus on your breath and try to get a little bit more relaxed everytime you exhale.

2. Stretch yourself like a crazy person

When you come back up from the ragdoll, keep going upwards. Stretch your arms above your head as high as possible. Go higher by standing on your toes. Count to three and give me half an inch more. Ok, relax your arms.

You have now spent 43 seconds.

3. Don’t push me; pushup

Resist gravity a bit by dropping to the floor in slowmotion. Once arrived, assume pushup-position and do five pushups with good technique.

Do it on your knees if you are just starting out. Do diamond pushups, if ordinary ones are too easy. And remember to spend the same amount of time going down as pushing up. Five pushups, three seconds each + “slowmo floor dropping”. 19 seconds total.

We have now spent 62 seconds of your new day, and you have already stretched your body and completed a workout. High five!

4. Make your bed

When you get up from the floor turn to your bed and make it. This should take less than 10 seconds.

If it takes you longer consider whether you can do some “lean improvements” to make the task simpler (who needs all those pillows?).

We have now spent 72 seconds. Two more things.

5. Write a compliment to “future you”

Grab the pen and pad of paper that you already have by your bed (for when inspiration strikes, right?!). Spend seven seconds thinking about something you are proud of – something you do or a great trait of yours.

It really can be anything; your freckles, your charming laugh, your tidyness or that one time you bravely jumped off a cliff into the ocean shouting “Geronimoooo!”.

Write it down like a compliment coming from someone else: “Niels, you have a great sense of humor” or “Niels, I am proud of you, when you are brave” (“Geronimoooo, remember?”).

Tear the paper off the pad and slip it underneath your blanket/duvet near your pillow. All this takes 11 seconds. Really. Try it.

83 seconds have passed since your feet hit the floor. Last thing.

6. Decide on your MIT

MIT stands for Most Important Task, which should pretty much explain what it means. So pick the one task, that is most important for you to get one step closer to whatever your goal is. Remember; this is the most important task for yourself. Not what anyone else think are important.

Also remember we are not writing a todo list here; just one thing.

You can and should of course do more than one thing in a day, but the task you are writing down now, is the most important thing you should spend time on today (remember; I promised a life change in the headline).

Tear off the piece of paper with your MIT and place it on top of your newly made bed. This should take 12 seconds.

When you get into the habit of thinking in MITs (and doing them), it will take even less time. Maybe you’ll even start doing them in the evening.

The last two seconds

95 seconds have passed and we have two seconds left. Spend them looking at your bed and acknowledging what you have just accomplished:

  • your body is stretched and awake
  • you have done a workout
  • the bed is tidy and ready for when you need it later
  • you have set your focus for the day
  • tonight you will have an easy way to check, if you did what you set out to do by looking at the MIT on the bed
  • a nice compliment is waiting for you just before you turn off the light.

Well done. I’m proud of you.

You should be too.

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