“If you don’t prioritize your life, you’re leaving it up to chance as opposed to doing what you’ve decided ahead of time is most important.”
If I were to ask you what your #1 priority in life is, how would you respond? Would the answer be clearly defined, and do your day-to-day actions align with what you say is most important to you?
It seems that far too many of us don’t really think about this, as we’re focused on just getting through another day. Or, there’s a massive disconnect between what we say and what we do.
And BTW, I’ve definitely fallen into that trap myself. I remember a time when I said family was one of my top priorities, yet my calendar said something completely different. Thankfully, I’ve been very intentional about realigning myself.
It’s also worth noting that the order of your priorities will shift depending on your circumstances. For instance, when I was battling cancer and had a 20% chance of surviving, my #1 priority became my health. If I had put my family as #1 at that time, I probably would have died. It wasn’t that family was less important, but staying alive required all of my focus.
Today, I’m going to help you identify your priorities and give you an action plan to live in alignment with them, so you can achieve new levels of success and fulfillment.
Even if you already know what your priorities are, you’ll still get a ton of value from this episode. I share actionable ideas for living in alignment with what matters most, a simple way to incorporate your priorities into your Miracle Morning, and my process for creating a foundational schedule that will set you up for success.
- 10 categories you can use to prioritize your life.
- How to determine where you’re struggling (or simply settling for mediocrity), shift your focus, and bring your life into alignment with new priorities.
- Why you need to clarify your mission–and how I used this strategy to experience my best year in sales, fight cancer, and achieve single-digit body fat at various stages of my life.
- Why it’s so easy to procrastinate on our most important goals–and how to use measurable activities, rather than goals, to achieve discipline and consistency.
- How to create a schedule focused on your priorities, check in with yourself, and regularly evaluate your success.
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Hal Elrod: Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast. This is your host Hal Elrod, and welcome to Episode 431, It’s Time to Prioritize Your Life. And you might be thinking, Hal, how do you know it’s time for me to prioritize my life? Maybe my life is already prioritized, right? I don’t know. But I do know that we can all use these reminders. I know for me, even recording this episode was a reminder for me that I can up-level my prioritization around my goals, my schedule, etc.
And today, we’re going to talk about, first and foremost, how important it is to prioritize your life because when you’re living in alignment with your priorities, you’re achieving your goals, you’re healthy, you’re happy, you’re financially secure if those are your priorities. And you’re, end of the day, feeling satisfied, accomplished, fulfilled by living in alignment with your priorities.
And so, today, we’re going to first talk about how to identify your priorities based on categories such as health and family and relationships and career and so on and so forth. We’re going to then talk about how to set goals for each priority, and then how to incorporate your priorities into your Miracle Morning. And finally, we’re going to talk about how do you get yourself to follow through with your goals and live in alignment with your priorities so that you can experience new levels of success and fulfillment?
I feel like this is one of the most important when it comes to achieving goals, when it comes to living life on our terms, creating life that we want. This is the foundation, getting clear on your priorities, identifying the goals that will enable you to live in alignment with those priorities, as well as the habits and actions, the rituals and routines, and then creating a foundational schedule that sets you up for success. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
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And last but not least, we’re going to dive into the episode. It is time to prioritize your life so that you can experience a new level of success and fulfillment. Here we go.
Hal Elrod: Hello, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning community. Let me start with a question. If I were to ask you to list your priorities in order, top to bottom, is that something that you’d be able to do? Health, fitness, family, finances, career, your significant other, your spirituality, personal development. Tell me your priorities in order. Is that something that you could do? In full transparency, I probably couldn’t, right? In fact, it’s hard enough just to remember what all the different categories are. We’ll cover those today.
But what if we kept it simple and I just asked you what your top priority is? Just number one. Would you be able to quickly answer that, as in you’re crystal clear on your top priority, and you wake up every day and live in alignment with that priority? You don’t question, what should I do today? You go into every day clear on what your highest priority is and you focus on that first. You make sure that you are moving in that direction, achieving that priority, living that priority, whatever it might be. Or would you have to think on that for a while? I asked your top priority, would that come to you immediately? You know it, you live it, or you’re not sure.
Yesterday, I got to be the keynote speaker for an event here in Austin, Texas. It was a mastermind for top-producing real estate agents. It’s called Real Estate Rockstars. It’s my good friend Aaron Amuchastegui, his group, and I asked the audience, how many of you have kids? And most of the hands went up. And then I asked, how many of you would say that your family is your top priority? And the same hands went up, no hesitation. But then I asked if I were to look at your schedule for the past month, how many of you would say that your schedule would clearly show that your family is your top priority? And I don’t think any of the hands went back up. There might have been one or two, but out of a room of 60, the majority said yes, family is my top priority. When I actually asked if it would show that when I looked at their schedule and how they spend their time, they didn’t raise their hand again. And then all you saw was the look on their face kind of, huh, interesting. It was a little bit of a gut check if you will.
So, here’s a question is why is there such a disconnect between what we tell ourselves is our highest priority and how we actually spend our time? Why is there a disconnect between what we say and how we live? And let’s first consider why it’s important to prioritize your life. Why is that important? Is it important? Maybe it’s not important, right? I think it is, that’s why we’re covering it today. But why is it important to prioritize your life?
And here’s the real simple answer. If you don’t prioritize your life, then you’re essentially leaving it up to chance, you’re leaving it up to do what you feel like on any given day, in any given moment, as opposed to doing what you’ve decided ahead of time is most important in your life. And that’s how a lot of people live. We wake up and we do whatever we have to do, which is usually what’s imposed on us by other people. I have to be to work today because I have a job and my boss is counting on me, or I have to run my business today because I have customers and clients that are depending on me.
So, we typically wake up and do what we have to do. And what happens is if you don’t prioritize your life and you’re not crystal clear on what are the most important areas of my life, and then from there, breaking it down to what are the most important activities that I need to do in order to live in alignment with my priorities? Then what you end up doing is the bare minimum to get by. And we see that with people’s health, doing the minimum to get by, eating based on what tastes good, what feels good, what gives us short-term pleasure despite the long-term consequences.
And that right there is really the problem is that when we aren’t clear on our priorities, we do the minimum that we have to do to get by, we give in to short-term pleasure at the expense of long-term health, long-term success, long-term fulfillment. So, I think if we look at it from that, in that context, we can all agree, yeah, it’s important to prioritize our life, get really clear on what are the most important areas of our life and then what are the most important goals that we need in each of those areas or the activities or the actions or the habits that will ensure that we thrive in those areas.
One of the things I brought up yesterday when I spoke, and you may have read this in the Miracle Morning book, but I talked about the concept of living life at a level 10. And it’s the idea that you look at each area of your life, the most important categories, your health, your family, your fitness, your finances, etc., and you ask yourself, what would level 10 be in these areas? And level 10, by the way, doesn’t mean it’s perfect. In fact, level 10 can evolve. Meaning like right now, a level 10 would be if I lost 5 pounds because I got a little extra weight, or lost 20 pounds, I got a little extra weight. But once you lose 20 pounds, your level 10 might change. You go, okay, now that I’ve lost 20 pounds, a level 10 for me, or I get really, it’s the next level, I guess toward a level 10 would be I want to put on some muscle or I want to get stronger, that kind of thing.
So, talking about a level 10 life, it’s that you go, what does level 10 look like in each area of my life? And then what do I need to do? Who do I need to be? How do I need to show up in order to move in the direction of my best life, the best version of me in each of the areas of my life that matter most? So, the first thing that I’m inviting you to do today in today’s episode, I’m going to give you just some tips and some strategies, obviously, what I’ve shared so far, some thoughts around this topic of prioritizing your life, and let’s get into how to do it.
And the first step is to decide on what your priorities are and to do that in writing. Don’t just do it in your head, but actually do it in writing. If you ever downloaded the Miracle Morning bonuses from the book, one of the bonuses is the Miracle Morning 30-Day Life Transformation Challenge, it’s a PDF. And in that is The Wheel of Life. I think I called it the Wheel of Self-Awareness because I wanted to be different, I guess. But it’s an exercise that’s been around for, I don’t know how long, the Wheel of Life. And the Wheel of Life is, if you’re not familiar, it’s basically a pie, it’s a circle that has, in this case, I did 10 different categories so 10 different pieces of the pie. And these are the categories that you would assess in terms of prioritizing your life. So, there’s physical health.
And actually, what I’m going to share with you now is a little bit different than the 10 categories that I did in the Miracle Morning because this for me, I’ve updated it and I feel like these are the 10 categories that I’d focus on now. Number one is physical health. Number two is mental health. And if you’re listening right now, I’d encourage you, if you’re not in the car, to write these down, actually jot these down on a piece of paper. I want you to take action on this. Don’t just listen and go, yeah, those are good ideas. Take action so that, by the end of this episode, either you already are prioritizing your life or at least you’ve got a plan, an actionable strategy to prioritize your life so that you can move in the direction of level 10 in all of the areas that matter most, so that you can be as healthy, as happy, as financially secure and abundant, you have your relationships be as strong as they can be, spiritually to be as connected as you’ve ever been. How do you move toward level 10 in every area? And it starts with prioritizing the areas of your life that matter most and then getting clear on what you’re going to do to move toward a level 10 in each area.
So, number one category, physical health. Number two, mental health. That’s what I added. When I did the Miracle Morning, that wasn’t even a thought of mine. But now, I realize that mental health is arguably as important, it’s right up there with physical health. Number three, finances. So, the categories that you want to prioritize. Number four, family and friends. You could also call that relationships. Number five, significant other. Now, you could lump that in with family and friends or relationships, but I think we’d all agree that our relationship with our significant other typically impacts our life more than our relationship with friends and extended family. Number six is work. So, that’s your career, that’s your business, etc.
The seventh category is fun and recreation, making sure that you’re doing things that bring you joy. I was just out in my backyard shooting hoops, playing basketball. I do that every day because it brings me joy. Sometimes, it’s for 5 minutes just to get a break from my work or if I’m having some creative blocks, 5 minutes is all I need, but usually, it’s like 30 minutes a day for some exercise. Number eight, spirituality. The eighth category is spirituality. And by the way, these can be in any order. These are just the order that I put them in. We’ll talk about that here in a minute. Number nine, personal development. I’ve lately been referring to that as self-optimization. So, whatever phrase resonates with you. And number 10 is contribution/giving. Again, it’s really whatever word resonates with you, giving back.
So, those are 10 categories. Those are not the end-all, be-all, but those are 10 categories that I’m suggesting for you to start with, and you can add or subtract as needed. Now, here’s one distinction that I think is important, and it’s that your priorities can change based on your circumstances and based on timing. So, I mentioned that when I gave my speech yesterday, I said, how many of you have kids? Okay, most of you do. How many of you would say your family is your top priority? All the hands went back up. But if you’re struggling, financially, earning income may become your top priority. And it doesn’t mean that money is more important than family, but based on your financial situation and the consequences of not addressing it, not improving it, focusing on generating income right now may be urgent, and it may be crucial in order for you to free up time and mental space to focus on your family.
So, again, I go back to saying your priorities can change based on your circumstances and based on timing. I’ll give you a couple of examples of this. In 2010, my wife and I were living in an apartment in Temecula, California, with our one-year-old daughter. And overall, life was great. I was a coach. I was doing one-on-one coaching with people and I was earning enough money to pay the bills, but not enough to get ahead. I was earning enough to pay the bills, but every other area of my life was great. My marriage was great, I was healthy, I was fit. I was working out five days a week. My relationships with my family and friends were thriving. And my daughter was a baby. So, I didn’t really need any advanced parenting skills. She was an infant.
But everything, life was great. And I realized one day that the one area of my life that I was struggling with was my finances. Again, we weren’t broke, but I was only earning enough money just to pay the bills to get by it, but not really to get ahead. Again, we were living in an apartment because I couldn’t afford to buy a house, which I would love to have bought a house at the time.
So, with that realization, based on circumstances, based on timing, realizing that my life was great in every area except finances, I felt really, we’re mediocre, they could really be better. So, I made a decision that I’m going to focus on my finances. Very simple. But I’m going to prioritize my finances to be my number one priority right now, doesn’t mean that my wife’s not more important than money or my– you follow? I think that we struggle sometimes because we go well, but family is most important and I need to focus on that. Well, depends on the time in your life and where your circumstances are.
So, I decided to temporarily stop reading any books, other than a book on generating income, on growing my business, earning income, that kind of thing. So, I stopped, I took all of my books on spirituality and relationships and personal development, all these other books, I took them all out of the rotation and I grabbed all the books that I had on growing my business and earning more income. And I came across a book titled Multiple Streams of Coaching Income. So, I can’t remember the name of the author, but again, the book is called Multiple Streams of Coaching Income.
And after reading that book and aligning my affirmations and my visualization and my silence, like my Miracle Morning practices, I focused everything on generating income, that became my number one priority. And within six months, I launched a group coaching program that tripled my income. Not right away, but I think, within six months, I launched that program. And then within six months after I launched it, I had tripled my income to over $30,000 a month. And then my wife and I bought a new home. And so, that’s an example where it didn’t mean money’s more important than family or health or any of those things, it just meant that in terms of my conscious priority, where I was spending my time, where I was investing my focus, where I was investing my personal development, my focus on personal development, finances became my number one priority. And because of that, then they improved.
Another example, again, so let me put it back on you. So, based on your life, your circumstances, your timing, that influences your priorities. And that’s why they can change. Again, family in your heart and soul may be your number one priority from now till the end of time in your heart, but in your schedule, there may be times when you need to be out of balance because again, if your finances are hurting, this is just one example. But if your finances are hurting, then that’s going to affect your family. What’s the number one cause of divorce, I believe I’ve read at least is financial challenges. That causes stress in a marriage and that can lead to a divorce.
Another example is, let’s say you have a health challenge. Well, what becomes the number one priority? It becomes your health. When I had cancer and I was told I was most likely going to die, I had a 20% chance of surviving, well, of course, my number one priority became my health and surviving. And it wasn’t that family was less important, it was based on my circumstances. I had to adjust my priorities and beating cancer became my mission in life. Every waking moment was focused on how can I survive? How can I rid my body of this cancer? How can I optimize my health? That became my top priority. Because if it wasn’t and I went, family’s number one, like health, I probably would have died. That demanded all of my focus.
And that really leads to the next lesson, which is to clarify your mission. Clarify your mission. So, the first is deciding on your priorities and writing. I gave you those 10 categories. You can really look at those, you can organize them in order but then clarify your mission. And your mission is what’s your number one goal, your top priority that everything else follows. I’ll give you an example of how this plays out or how this played out for me when I first discovered this concept. I don’t know where it came from, but in 2005, I decided it was my last year in sales. It was my last year with the company that I had worked for five or six years prior.
And so, I decided I wanted to go all in, I wanted to go big, I wanted to double my best year ever. You may have heard this story before. And I committed that my mission was to hit my sales goal that year. Now, I was single. I wasn’t in a relationship. I wasn’t married. It made it pretty easy to make that my top priority. However, I also had a handful, maybe more than a handful of other goals that were very important to me. I wanted to get in the best shape of my life, and I think that I defined that back then as putting on like 10 or 20 pounds of muscle, something crazy. Again, these are the priorities for a single guy, that’s trying to attract women. I was what? 20, 25 at the time, I think. So, I wanted to get in the best shape of my life.
So, this goes in alignment, I guess. I wanted to find my partner in life. I was ready to settle down, stop dating and find my wife. That was another one of my goals. I wanted to write my first book, which was called Taking Life Head On! These were my goals that were in writing. I wanted to launch my speaking career. That was another goal I was committed to. I wanted to get my first paid speaking engagement that year. So, I wasn’t trying to be a full-time speaker, I was a full-time sales rep, but I wanted to get my first paid speaking engagement because I was trying to transition into speaking after that year. So, I thought, okay, I need to crack, get my first paid speaking engagement. What else? I wanted to rock climb three days a week. That was part of getting in great shape, but it was also recreational. I loved indoor rock climbing at the time. There were probably a couple of others. I can’t remember what they were.
But the point is, I had all these major goals, like writing a book. That’s a major goal. Doubling my best year ever in sales. That’s a major goal. Here’s the point. By getting really clear on my mission, my number one goal for the year, which was to double my best year ever in sales so that I could go out with a bang. You leave my company on top. And really, it was about fulfilling my potential. It was about knowing that I had never given it my all in order to reach that level of success achievement in my company. And I wasn’t ready, I wouldn’t want to leave knowing I left so much on the table. I wanted to give it my all that final year before I left.
So, I decided that was my highest priority, that was my mission. Here’s how that played out and here’s how I want you to think about how that will play out for you. When you get really clear on your priorities and you get really clear on your mission, your number one goal for the year, then you align your schedule accordingly. So, for me, I wasn’t allowed to work on my other goals until I had worked on my mission. You follow? This is simple but profound in how it organizes your life. So, once I had made my calls for the day or sent emails to prospects, done the activities that would move me toward my mission, it was only once I completed those for the day that I was allowed. I wouldn’t allow myself to work on my other goals because what we often do is whatever goal we have that carries the most weight, that has the most significant consequences that maybe there’s fear around, fear of failure, fear of not achieving the goal, we tend to procrastinate on things that cause discomfort, that cause fear.
So, what happens is we end up procrastinating on our most important goals and we end up doing the lesser important goals that have less risk, that there’s less fear around, that have less weight. So, when you identify your mission and you commit that I must follow through with my mission, the actions that will move me in that direction of achieving my mission before I get to the rest of my goals, what ended up happening was not only did I make sure that every morning I made progress on my number one goal for the year on my mission, but what that did is it developed within me, focus. It helped me to develop discipline. It helped me to develop consistency. Three attributes – focus, discipline, consistency. Three of the most important attributes in achieving goals.
So, by focusing on my mission and committing to that one thing, and then once I accomplished that for the day, which I always knocked out first thing in the morning, first part of my workday, 8 a.m., that’s when I made my calls. It was the first thing I did. And then everything else fell in line. But it fell in line with me at the best version of myself, with me focused, disciplined, and consistent. So, because I committed to my mission, I developed qualities and I embodied those qualities of focus, discipline, and consistency every day, first thing in the morning. And then that’s who I was when I worked on my book and when I worked on securing my first speaking engagement and when I worked on my physical fitness and when I worked on online dating to try to meet women, to try to find my wife, which I did. I met my wife on what was then known as Yahoo! Personals, which was eventually bought by Match.com, but that is where I met my wife.
So, at the end of the year, I achieved my mission. I doubled my best year in sales. I wasn’t the top rep in our company, but I finished number six or whatever, that’s irrelevant. But I hit my goal for the year, but I hit every single goal for the year. I finished my book and published it. I gave my first paid speaking engagement and I think I secured a couple more for the following year before the year even started. I also had a bonus goal that emerged during the year to launch a coaching business. So, I signed on a handful of coaching clients before the year ended so that I would have income transitioning from my sales position into essentially nothing, I had nothing lined up. Well, I launched a coaching business that year, one-on-one coaching.
And so, what happened was because I was really clear on my top priority and all of my other priorities fell in line underneath and after that mission, I was a better version of myself than I had ever been before. And that version of me enabled me to achieve not just one, not just my mission, but every single goal that I set. I met my wife, I got in the best shape of my life, I put on, I don’t know, 10, 15, 20 pounds of muscle. I mean, literally, I weighed 25 pounds more than I do now and I was 5.7% body fat. I don’t even know if that’s healthy, it probably isn’t. But I hit that goal of just being in the best shape of my life, at least, anyway.
So, that’s my recommendation is to clarify your mission. Look at your priorities in life, organize those 10 categories in what you would see as your top priorities right now. Remember, they can adjust, but right now, where’s your pain points? Right now, is your marriage struggling? Your significant other, is that number one for you because improving that is going to improve other areas of your life, your mental health, your physical health? When we’re experiencing stress and our cortisol is spiked, that affects our mental health, of course, but it also causes weight gain. It lowers our testosterone. You realize that elevated cortisol levels that lowers your testosterone, which as a woman, it may not be as important, but your hormones, it basically elevated cortisol, throws the rest of your hormones out of whack, whether you’re male or female, it doesn’t matter.
So, getting clear on your priorities, that is first step. Second step is okay, once you’re clear on your priorities, what is your mission? What is your number one goal? And then I would clarify your other goals in each area. So, what’s a goal in the realm of your physical health? What’s a goal in the realm of your mental health? What’s a goal, a measurable goal, smart goals? I’m blanking on what smart goals are. The M is measurable, I know that. The A is actionable. The R is realistic. What’s the S? Smart. I’m drawing a blank.
But anyway, the point is setting goals for each of those areas, one goal. And the goal to be clear, it doesn’t have to be a measurable end goal. It can be a measurable activity. Follow me? You don’t have to have a goal that says I want to lose 20 pounds, or I want to put on 10 pounds of muscle. You can have a goal of the activity that will make you healthy. In fact, I would encourage that. It’s fine to have an end goal to work towards, but I think it’s more important to have habits that keep you healthy.
I’ll give you an example. When my goal was to put on 10, 20 pounds of muscle, I didn’t do it in a healthy way at all. Now, I was really naive. I didn’t realize what I was doing to myself, but I went to GNC and I loaded up on all these supplements. All these workout supplements to give me energy and muscle weight gainer to build muscle, put on size, all these things. And they were not healthy. In fact, when I’ve looked at what may have caused my cancer, literally, I attribute it that might have been the cause. It might have been all of those. There were supplements with red dye and blue dye and yellow dye and preservatives and all sorts of cancer-causing chemicals.
So, the end goal was actually detrimental to my health. So, consider that, that your goal for each area of your life, it doesn’t have to be an end goal. It can be an activity. It can be this is what I’m committed to do. I’m committed to do my Miracle Morning to improve my personal development. You don’t have to be measurable end goal for personal development. You just have a daily habit or daily activity that gets you there. For fun and recreation, you don’t have to say I’m going to visit all 12 countries or I’m going to– you can, but you can also just say, I’m going to play basketball for 10 minutes a day, or I’m going to go outside in nature. For spirituality, you don’t have to say I’m going to meditate. It’s a daily activity that can be your goal and that can often be more effective than an end goal.
And of course, you can have both. You can also have my end goal, like when I was reaching my sales goal, it was double my sales. And then I also identified the process that would get me there. It’s making 20 calls a day, five days a week. So, I had both, I had an end goal that I was working towards, but I also had a daily process that articulated my activities that I was committed to do each day that would move me in the direction of that end goal. To clarify your goals in each area and get really clear on your mission, your number one goal.
And I want to share a couple other ideas on what will help you to prioritize your life. If you do the Miracle Morning and I would imagine if you’re listening to the podcast, either you’re familiar with the Miracle Morning, that’s where most of our audiences come from, or you do the Miracle Morning or you’ve done the Miracle Morning, but you’re not doing it anymore. In fact, it was interesting, I asked the audience yesterday, I said, “How many of you have read the Miracle Morning?” And over half the hands went up and I was like, “Oh, that’s great.” I said, “How many of you do the Miracle Morning on a regular basis?” And only about half of those hands went back up, and I was like, “It’s okay. We got to recommit here.”
So, here’s the point. The Miracle Morning, if you commit to doing the Miracle Morning, that makes personal development your first priority. When I say first priority, I don’t mean your first priority in terms of your highest priority, I mean, in terms of your day. If you’re doing your Miracle Morning, you’re ensuring that personal development aka self-optimization is your first priority in the day. And the benefit of that is you are putting yourself in a peak physical, mental, emotional and spiritual state to start your day, which then impacts how you show up for the rest of the day.
I mentioned earlier that when I focused on my mission first thing every morning, that helped me to be more disciplined. It helped me to develop focus and consistency. Those attributes that benefited every other area of my life. And when you do the Miracle Morning, you are making personal development a priority and you’re starting your day in that peak state and with those attributes such as calm and clarity and focus and growth and optimization that then benefit the rest of your day and the rest of your life.
Here’s a really important tip on how to incorporate your priorities into your SAVERS. So, you can take your top priority or any priority, your mission, or just any priority on your list. It could be just what’s coming up for you today. What’s important right now? If you’re struggling in your marriage, then you want to focus on that and you want to integrate that priority into your Miracle Morning. Here’s an example of how you would do that. Use your silence to focus on your top priority.
So, for example, I’ve taught many times on the podcast emotional optimization meditation. Whatever your top priority is, you can use your period of silence and engage in emotional optimization meditation, EOM for short, there’s the acronym, EOM, and ask yourself what is the optimal emotional state that I need to be in to execute this priority? You follow? If you need to be confident to execute your priority, then use your silence to get yourself in a confident state. Ask yourself, when was the last time I felt confident? Or what makes me feel confident? Once you get that image in your head or that feeling inside of you, set your timer and meditate, or I like to use the word marinate on that state of confidence. You’re hardwiring it into your nervous system so that you can call on that state at will. If it’s a Saturday and you know that your kids are going to wake up and you want to be in a playful mood with your kids, use the state.
Great example, yesterday, I had a really stressful morning. I was trying to record videos, I struggle to record videos, and they were literally one-minute Instagram videos that my team has been asking me for. I spent over an hour recording videos and I deleted every single one of them. Talk about being a perfectionist. It’s ridiculous. I know better, but it hurt my confidence because I was frustrated and it hurt my confidence, I went, I can’t, what the hell’s wrong with me? How can I not record a one-minute video giving a tip? How do I keep messing this up? So, it hurt my emotional state. I was frustrated. I was angry. I was lacking confidence.
And then I got in the car and I drove to my speech and I was not in a good mental state when I drove there. Now, luckily, I had a one-hour drive in the car. And I know the power of emotional optimization meditation. And my priority at that time was I wanted to be in a peak state to give the audience, the people that were in that audience, the best possible experience that I could deliver through my speech.
So, I asked myself, when was the last time I gave a speech where I felt good and I felt confident and I felt inspired and I felt connected with the audience and really wanting to contribute. And so, I got in that state and I spent about 20 minutes just imagining that and feeling that and picturing people’s faces and imagining myself on stage and visualizing. So, emotional optimization meditation, I often incorporate affirmations into it, affirming that I am going to deliver the best message, I’m going to enhance these people's lives in any way that I can. I’ll use language to really amplify the effect of the emotional optimization meditation. I’ll also use visualization to do the same thing. I’ll visualize myself in a peak state delivering, executing on whatever my priority is. In that case, it was giving the speech. I’d see myself giving the speech energized, engaged. And I would create that optimal emotional experience within myself as I was driving to the appointment, and when I got there, I was fired up.
By the way, I also leveraged music, I played. The first song I played was Freedom by Pitbull. If you ever need to get fired up, play Freedom by Pitbull. There’s a bonus tip for you. And that actually is funny. Before I did the emotional optimization meditation, that’s actually the first thing I did to get my, just like– and I started dancing because I know that if you move your body, physiology affects your psychology. So, I actually played that song. I started dancing in the car and I got myself in a peak state and then I went into my emotional optimization meditation.
So, you see there are many different ways that you can enter into a meditation or that you can utilize a meditation incorporating affirmations, visualization, and even in this case, music. So, that’s one example of how you can take your priorities and you can incorporate them into your Miracle Morning, into your SAVERS. You can also affirm your top priorities. For example, if family is your highest priority, then that should be your first affirmation. It should remind you the first affirmation you read every morning should be whatever your top priority is, whatever your mission is.
And again, it could change. My highest priority is to get my finances in order or to improve my marriage or to improve my health. But then once you improve your health, then essentially, that priority, it might move down the list, not because it’s less important. Like the distinction it’s important to understand. There’s the most important thing in your life and there are your priorities. And they’re not necessarily the same. But that means that family will likely never not be one of those important parts of your life. But if your family life is going great and it’s essentially on autopilot, meaning you’ve got date night in place, you’ve got date night with your spouse, you’ve got date nights with your kids. You’ve got rituals and routines and habits, and your schedule is set up so that your family life is thriving. It doesn’t mean they’re not important. It just means that you’ve made them a priority to the point where now it’s on autopilot and now you free up mental energy and you free up time to take other areas of your life and to make them a priority.
Like in 2010, when I realized that the only area of my life that wasn’t crushing it was my finances, that became my priority because in the other areas, I already had a workout routine that was happening on autopilot. I had a great family life. I had a date night. All of those things were already in place. So, keep that in mind. That’s an important distinction around your priorities, is that it’s not necessarily what’s most important inherently in your life. it’s just where you’re deciding to spend your time and focus your energy right now based on your circumstances and based on timing.
And also, important to understand is that once we make something a priority, the goal is to get it on autopilot, to get your income on autopilot, whether that’s passive, recurring revenue or just having a job or a business that is on autopilot, that systems are in place. You don’t need to put a lot of energy. You show up, you do your thing, and it goes well. And you now can free up energy to put into other areas.
So, affirmations, also visualizing your top priorities. And I’ll give you guys a real example of this in action. So, I shared this yesterday because, again, I asked the audience to raise their hand and I said that their schedules don’t reflect that family was their top priority even though they said that it was, they thought that it was. One of my self-imposed rules is around my reading portion of my SAVERS. The R in SAVERS is for reading. I have a self-imposed rule that I am not allowed to read a business book until I read a book on family. That’s either marriage or parenting, marriage, parenting, or a combination of the two if there is such a thing.
But that for me reminds me, just like having my family as my top priority in my affirmations. Reminds me they’re my highest priority right now. Well, the fact that I read a family book first, number one, it just simply signals to my brain. It keeps it top of mind that family is my highest priority, but also, it ensures that I’m evolving as a husband and as a father, which ensures that I am actually making family my top priority. I’m focusing on becoming the husband that my wife deserves, the dad that my kids deserve, always focusing on evolving in that area. It’s that really simple, self-imposed rule.
And after my speech yesterday, I did a book signing and I had a lot of people come up and tell me that that landed for them, that that was really impactful because they realize that they don’t read any family books. They read business book after business book after business book, but they do not read any books on family. And they said that was absolutely going to change immediately. So, it’s an actionable strategy that you can incorporate your highest priorities into your SAVERS. And the opposite was true in 2010. I actually got rid all of the family books, not got rid of them, but I moved them off out of my rotation and I just focused on the business books. So, again, your priorities can change based on your circumstances and based on timing.
And the last tip I want to give you, actually, I guess I’ll give you like one and a half tips. The last one is to incorporate your priorities into your foundational schedule. This, for me, is one of the most important keys to success, is to create a foundational schedule. What’s a foundational schedule? It’s simply a recurring schedule that incorporates your priorities in a repeating, recurring fashion. So, for example, every day I wake up at either 4 a.m. or 4:30, not every day, almost every day unless I have a late-night for some reason, staying up with my kids, going on date night with my wife. Where do we go? We went to a comedy show recently with some friends, went to our friend Garrett Gunderson, performed standup. So, I got home late. So, I slept in a little bit. I want to get my at least seven hours of sleep.
But I typically go to bed at 9 or 9:30 and I wake up at 4 or 4:30. That’s an example of my foundational schedule, has a Miracle Morning in every single morning to ensure that I am developing myself as a person, to become the person that I need to be, to keep elevating every area of my life toward that level 10 vision that I have. From 6 to 7 a.m., that’s my writing time. Every morning from 6 to 7, I write, it’s part of my foundational schedule. It’s not something I have to ask, what should I do right now? It’s already predetermined from 7 to 8 a.m., actually 7 to 7:30, I wake up my kids and I get them ready for school, help my wife. We get them ready.
At 7:30, we have a little gym in our house, and I go work out from 7:30 to 8. From 8 to 9, it’s a window for me. I do this thing called the Bemer Mat. I make my smoothie and I just kind of relax and plan my day. I look over my schedule and I plan what I’m going to do that day. Now, I already have it pretty much figured out. I’ve got my time blocks for my foundational schedule, but I’m looking at my goals, looking at my to-dos, looking at interviews, looking at whatever I have to do, and then I plan my day from 8 to 9 a.m.
Nine a.m. to 12 p.m., that’s my first block of work, and I usually have determined what I’m going to do. Like from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., I’ll work on developing the Miracle Morning app. From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., which is right now, I record the Achieve Your Goals podcast on Mondays usually. This week, I had something come up. So, today is Thursday. So, some days, it gets pushed back. It’s not perfect. But in general, if you look at my schedule, my time is predetermined, including my free time.
I have lunch from 12 to 1. From 1 to 2, I have total time freedom, which is a different color in my schedule. And usually, I go play basketball and then I go swim and I get some sun. That’s usually it, but it’s a chance to let my food digest because I know that for the hour after I eat, I’ve got food in my stomach and that means the blood is not in my brain, it’s in my stomach. And my mental clarity and productivity and motivation take a dip. So, I plan for that by scheduling an hour of rest and relaxation. And I want to get some sun anyway. I go swim. I keep my body moving to help my metabolism stay in motion and digest the food.
And then my next block is from 2 to 3. Then I go pick up my kids. You don’t need the whole thing. And then I’ve got family time in the evening. So, that’s my Monday through Friday schedule generally. And then there are other things that come up like once a month, I meet with my Front Row Dads band. It’s a group of three other guys. We meet once a month for 2 hours in the morning. So, that ends up taking a block out of my schedule on that particular day, one day a month. And I have other activities, I’m in a mastermind that meets twice a month virtually for an hour. So, there are variables.
But the point is, all of my priorities – health, family, fitness, mental health, work, finances, spirituality, personal development, all of my priorities, they’re incorporated into my schedule. And that ensure it’s a recurring schedule. It ensures that I’m achieving most of my goals, if not all of my goals, that I’m incorporating the habits that I want into my life. And so, I believe that’s one of the most important things that you can do.
So, reviewing the steps today, identify the categories that you’re going to set priorities in. And I gave you 10 of them – physical health, mental health, finances, family and friends, significant other, work, fun and recreation, spirituality, personal development, and contribution. So, those are the 10 areas that I gave you. So, that’s number one. You’ve got those areas, and if there’s something you want to adjust or leave out, that’s fine.
And then you want to look at what are your goals in each of those areas. And as you’re setting your goals, get really clear, what is your mission? And remember, your goals can be habits or activities, not just the end result. And then the third and maybe the most important step, or at least it’s how you execute all of this, is once you’ve got your priorities in order, you’ve got goals in each of these areas, then it’s about creating a foundational schedule that incorporates your priorities into your life. Remember, when I asked the audience yesterday, how many of you, if I looked at your schedule, it would show me, it would be clear that family is a priority? Very few, if any of them raise their hand.
But if they were following this advice, the strategy, they would have a foundational schedule that incorporated family time, and maybe they do and they just didn’t realize it or whatever, or maybe they thought that I meant that they had to have more family time than anything else, which isn’t the case. It’s quality over quantity. You can still work eight hours a day and spend an hour a day of quality time with your family, a date night every week. You can spend quality time. It’s not about quantity of time in order for it to be a priority.
And then the last tip, kind of the bonus tip I would give you is just check in and reevaluate this regularly. Daily, weekly, monthly, look at how am I doing in terms of living in alignment with my priorities. In fact, write that question down. That’s the way to check in and evaluate, how you’re doing is ask, how am I doing in terms of living in alignment with my priorities? Look over this list that you’re making of the categories, of the goals, of the habits. Am I doing these things every day? Am I following through with my foundational schedule?
Now, before we wrap up, I just want to say this is activity. What I ran over today, you can’t just listen to this and have it work. You have to actually do the work. You have to identify the categories. You have to identify the goals or the daily activities in each of these categories that will move you in the direction of a level 10, and then you have to create a foundational schedule to ensure that your time is being spent in alignment with your priorities, that your actions, that your habits, that your behaviors are in alignment with the areas of your life that matter most and make sure it’s real easy to get off track. So, just make sure that you have checkpoints in your schedule once a month or once a week or at the end of the day or all of the above, look back and evaluate, how am I doing? How did I do today on living in alignment with my priorities? Look at your schedule, your foundational schedule, and assess how well you followed through with it.
I think that’s it for today. I hope that’s helpful. And again, this is an activity. It’s not just a listen and learn. You actually have to do the work, take the action for this to impact your life. But I’m telling you, if you do this, I mean, really stop and think about that if you’re not already doing this. If you were to do it, think about how fulfilling your life becomes. You’re crystal clear on your priorities. You’re crystal clear on your mission, the most important priority. You have a schedule that lays out everything that you need to do on any given day.
And by the way, it doesn’t have to be specific, that foundational schedule doesn’t be that I’m going to do this exact thing at this time. It can be that from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., I’m going to work on this area of my life. I’m going to work on this area of my business. Like I said, for me, it’s writing time. But some days I’m writing blog posts, some days I’m writing one book or another, some days I’m editing a book, on and on. So, getting these categories into your schedule is what’s important.
Alright, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, I appreciate you so much. I love you. Thank you. I hope this is valuable for you. I hope that this will enhance your life. Even if you already had some of this down, I hope that you got some new ideas that will enhance your life by helping you to live in alignment with your priorities. Prioritize your life in a way that you wake up every day, you’re excited to live your foundational schedule, to live in alignment with your priorities. And then at the end of the day, you look back and you go to bed, your head hits the pillow, and you just feel great about how you’re living your life because you’re living in alignment with your priorities, with what matters most to you. Again, I love you. Appreciate you. And I will talk to y’all next week.