As long as I can remember I have had a horrible daily routine. Some days I would sleep 14 hours and wake up feeling exhausted with a severe headache. Other days I’d be running on 6 hours of sleep and accomplish more in that day than in some weeks.
Eat times and amounts were always a hit or miss with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I would skip meals because of my work schedule or I would gorge at 11:30pm at night after a group meditation with friends. I ate processed foods because they were fast, cheap, and tasty never-mind the addictive qualities.
Exercising was a complete joke to me. God blessed me with the good genetics that kept my muscle mass high and fat mass low consistent throughout my entire life. I would workout in spurts, on and off for years. I was never consistent because my body worked great whether I worked it or not.
The term job dissatisfaction I think was actually coined by a friend who was helping me restructure my mess-of-a-resume. She became overwhelmed by the sheer volume and types of jobs I had over the past 15 years. I’ll bet you right now, you haven’t had anywhere near the amount of jobs I’ve had in my life.
Even my meditation practice, my only source of intense bliss and inner peace, was just an every other day or every three-day affair.
I saw sleep, nutrition, exercise, work and meditation as events rather than a process. If this time was the deepest sleep, most nutritious smoothie, most intense workout, biggest sale or most blissful meditation….I could slack off for awhile, take it easy, have more free time to do what I really wanted to do.
I credit a lot of my inconsistency with the type of work I chose in my mid-teens. The food and beverage industry. I became accustomed to working days, nights, weekends, holidays, doubles, fill-ins, early cuts and having those hours change from week to week. These schedules made it challenging of when and what to eat. If I had plans of going to bed early and waking up early, it was usually derailed by having to work late that night then opening the next morning. Even the very income itself was inconsistent, requiring picking up shifts to pay bills, unforeseen expenses, or saving for a yoga retreat. This pattern persisted into my early 30’s.
Then the shift occurred through the help of a girlfriend, a few books, removing sugar, and a change in mindset.
I began dating this amazing girl who found me working at yet another restaurant job. In the process of getting to know me and the experiences I have had in the worlds of business, public speaking and real estate investing, she made a very strong point, “You need to get the fuck out of the restaurant business; its sucking your life away, paying you dog-shit while you have all these gifts to share.” I quickly heeded her suggestion and haven’t looked back.
The three books that have transformed my daily routine were Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, who assisted me in recognizing the small things I did do everyday could be used as anchors to attach more empowering habits. I used this very method to greatly reduce sugar in my diet and increase the amount of fruit and nuts I ate.
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr. by Ron Chernow which to be honest I cheated a bit by using the cliff notes by Dane Maxwell from ‘The Foundation.’ I have no problem reading an 832 page book but if I can save some time I’m all about it. The biggest take away I got from Titan was that John D Rockefeller Sr. had the same schedule for over 60 years and was vigilant about protecting it. No one was allowed to impose their schedule or agenda onto his. It helped me realize that a simple, boring daily routine practice over time through rain, sleet, or shine could make someone the richest person in the world.
The last book, The UltraMind Solution by Mark Hyman put my mind at ease about my inconsistencies, stating poor biology rather than psychology or neurology could be the cause of my laziness, depression, inconsistencies, and overall poor daily routine. By changing my diet and adding appropriate supplementation, I became more consistent in every area of my life.
Which brings me to removing sugar from my diet. Well, not actually removing it but greatly reducing it to my morning coffee and the occasional piece of specialty chocolate. The need to reduce my intake of sugar was one of the greatest realizations of my life within the past 20 years. I had absolutely no clue as to how much it affected my sleep, hunger, energy level, work ethic, ability to concentrate, and emotional state. The details are in an article on my website called, How My Addiction to Sugar Almost Killed Me. In a nutshell, only by removing sugar for 6 weeks then reintroducing it into by diet could I see how much it was affecting my physical, emotional, and mental health.
Now the mindset shift was primed and ready. I was out of the restaurant business, the three books gave me the know-how to create a supportive daily routine, and sugar was no longer gripping my life. I made the mindset shift to, “I’m committed to living a supportive daily routine to help me live out my purpose of coaching and healing many people.”
Fast forward to present day. I wake up at 5:30am feeling rested and rejuvenated. Meditation, breakfast, and exercise begin at 5:45am. I spend 9:00am to 6:00pm writing articles, filming videos and coaching clients. Eat lunch from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Power nap from 2:00pm to 2:30pm.
Eat dinner at 6:30pm. Begin my nightly ritual of drinking tea, journaling, and reading at 9:00pm. Finally I’m off to the inner world of sleep and dreams by 10:00pm.
This is the basis of my daily routine with some slight modifications on Saturday and Sunday. But the whole point is to follow this routine consistently. The compound benefits of this routine are immense. My energy levels have never been higher or more sustainable. I accomplish more in a day than I use to in a week. I feel calm yet alert throughout the day. I accomplish the most important things earliest in the day. With each passing day on this routine, it becomes stronger and easier to live by. The daily routine actually drives me.
I coach my clients on developing a similar routine. The principles and reasons behind why it works are rock solid. It does require an overhaul of certain lifestyle practices but the payoff is not only immediate but the long-term benefits of greater health, inner peace, and clarity of mind are immeasurable. I came to the conclusion that these practices work, I got my life back. I felt in order to live my life’s purpose required a consistent daily routine. The key is daily.
For those looking to create a perfect day, I offer free 30 mins. to assist you in creating your perfect day. During the free session to will gain clarity on how to create your perfect day, identify challenges in creating your perfect day, and feel a renewed sense of enthusiasm and vigor for your life. Contact me at ChristianRLong.com or 347-879-0764