Your Morning Practice in 10 Strategic Steps. Get a Grip on (the Best of) Yourself!

morning practice to think outside the boxI love this image because it says so much about the process of innovation. In my last post, you saw this box from the outside… the black box between “Do what you love” and “the money will follow.” This week we go inside to understand how to create a morning practice to train your mind, body, spirit and heart every day to think and act outside that box.

In my early-morning Facebook Live video at the start of this week, I promised to put my strategy for a successful start to my day into this blog. So my next four posts will focus on the strategic elements of a morning practice, which you can apply to get a grip on the best of yourself each and every day.

Why bother?

From Stephen Covey to Julia Cameron to Hal Elrod, some of the most respected people in professional and personal development have been preaching the power of the morning practice for decades. Now we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and fuels us to take life on with energy and force. And a morning practice is breakfast for the rest of you.

Think about your car for a minute. The major systems of any car are the engine, the fuel, exhaust, cooling, lubrication and electrical systems, the transmission and the chassis, which includes the wheels and tires, brakes, suspension and body. These systems are integrated: every part affects the whole car.

Of course you are not a machine; you are a human being. But, like the cars we drive, human beings are also comprised of systems, which are integrated and affect each other. Your systems too need regular maintenance to function at peak efficiency.

The four major systems of the human being are:

  • Your Mind
  • Your Spirit
  • Your Heart
  • Your Body

How you think is the most creative power you possess.

Your thoughts steer you through your life. How you think is your most important skill. But your imagination, emotions and actions must be aligned and tuned to get where you want to go.

By studying thought leaders in creative thinking for many years, I have synthesized a practice that will …

  • Quiet and free your mind to receive and record innovative new ideas
  • Ignite your imagination with possibilities already present in the world
  • Contain and channel your emotions toward your passionate purpose
  • Focus and ground your actions toward the goals you most want to achieve

This post will be the first of four, a series during the month of May. Over these four weeks, you’ll learn how to tune up your four systems every day before you go out into the world. And you’ll build your personal morning practice with…

10 Simple Steps to an Effective Morning Practice:

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Affirmations
  3. Wake-up/Warm-up
  4. Download/Pivot
  5. Inspiration
  6. Aha!
  7. Vision
  8. Action
  9. Gratitude
  10. Inquiry

Each week you’ll receive new details about these steps, along with guidelines on how to use them to align your four systems with your personal or professional goals. At the end of the month, you’ll get access to a free downloadable template you can use at home.

This week we’ll start where it all begins…


Your thoughts are the most creative power you possess. If yours aren’t working for you they’re working against you. But the good news is you can change them! All you need to do to take the wheel is practice:

  • Decide every day to choose better quality thoughts.
  • Detach from thoughts that do not serve you.
  • Direct your thoughts toward a positive place and desirable goal.

Doing this, like all of life’s most valuable skills, may be simple but it’s not necessarily easy. So just begin.

Actions to take this week…

  • Buy a journal.
  • Explore mindfulness and meditation apps and choose one you like. Most of them have free trials (usually 7 days) so you can test drive them before you buy.
  • Find a quiet, comfortable place in your home for your practice.
  • Each day set your alarm 30 minutes early.
  • Begin with 15 minutes of mindfulness or meditation.
  • Take another 15 minutes to record any thoughts or ideas, without censoring them please, in your journal.

Each of these 10 elements will influence more than one of your four systems, and they’re designed to integrate the systems so they work efficiently together. Just doing these simple steps will start your engines, and each week in May you’ll learn more elements to have you humming along through your day.

Don’t miss a post! Check back here every Monday in May to get all 10 steps.

Oh, and don’t let time be your excuse! Even if you don’t have 30 minutes, use whatever you have. Remember, it’s the THOUGHT that counts!