Hacking My Personal Development Plan, Or What Waking Up at 3:55AM Taught MeBy George Leith
Mindset is crucial when it comes to building a personal development plan. People perform better when they are in a winning mindset.
In November of 2016, I had the privilege of attending Tony Robbins' "Unleash the Power Within." To say the four day event was a motivational seminar is like saying the Super Bowl is just another game of football. Tony winds his crowd into a frenzy—his whole premise is that the emotional state we reside in must be positive for any lasting change to take place. Ok, I can buy that. It's not rocket science to say that if you are living in a negative state all the time you will just keep feeling shitty and unfulfilled. I get it! But after four days of pulling apart every aspect of my life—emotions, finances, relationships, performance, eating habits, gratitude, I mean every aspect—I found myself looking at life through a whole new lens. I didn't drink the Kool Aid, but I did have an awakening.
I have made a lot of positive changes in my life in the past seven years. I moved back to my home province to be closer to my kids and re-engineer myself. I became way more active and lost 80 lbs. Then I was fortunate enough to find a partner that not only believes in me, but also understands that I hate having things sugar coated. She gave it to me straight, and bam, another 25 lbs gone. I made the decision late last year to investigate a fix for my severe arthritis in my hips. Oh, and to top it off, I found a career that I am pretty damn good at. Sounds great, right? Living the proverbial dream.
Yet, I was still unfulfilled. I had to look deep to figure things out. What could I do to fill the void? First, I had to figure out what the void was. So I made a drastic decision: I would wake up every morning at 3:55am and begin a ritual of personal development.
My 5 Step Personal Development Plan
Step one: wake up
Beat the sun up every workday! Wake up at 3:55 am. Stop using the snooze button, just jump out of bed and get at it. tweet
Step two: exercise
Work out! Low impact cardio every day, higher impact after my pending hip surgery and lift heavy weights five days a week.
Step three: consume motivational material
Sit in my infrared sauna and read or listen to 45 mins of personal development material. I download books like Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, or Be Obsessed or be Average by Grant Cardone and other motivational strategic titles. I also have found some amazing Podcasts that I listen to. One I highly recommend is The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes.
Step four: get to work
After digesting the personal development plan material, I shower and ensure I am dressed for success. I drive to work and am in the office by 6:30 am daily! I strive to be the first one to work.
Step five: track everything!
Plan and measure every ounce of food I consume. Using my Apple Watch to measure my heart rate and coach my breathing, coupled with My Fitness Pal for tracking macros, I would know where every bit of sustenance comes from. I would be a fine tuned machine in no time.
Rituals are half the battle
Well, I knew that putting the rituals in place was only half the battle. The discipline to maintain this strict regimen required me to determine how to best leverage myself. I had made some significant changes in the years past, but implementing these five steps was taking it to the next level. I would need to be vigilant of laziness and old limiting beliefs creeping in.
My hope was that my daily personal development plan and strategies would keep my brain on track, and keep me focused on the end goal.
Specify your goals
Wait! That was my problem—it finally dawned on me one morning. I had to change one small thing in my approach: my goals needed to be specific. Something I could touch, feel, breathe and taste! tweet I needed to stop being so vague in my goal setting. Pick the goal, set a date and crush it!
I was not focused enough. I was not taking ownership of the goal. Fear of failure was lurking under the guise of being cautious of overreaching. That's what my brain told me.
Discipline feeds motivation
What was happening was that waking up very early was clicking me into gear. No one gets up at 3:55 am everyday. At least, not many people. That one win started a landslide of victories. I had been working out for seven years, but I seemed to be more focused on the goal since the Robbins weekend.
But the game changer was filling my brain with "you can do it!" Stories of victory, people overcoming defeat, a cadence of success pounded into my physiology every morning was working magic.
Now, I am dialed in. Working twelve and fourteen hours a day, more productive than ever and more eager to tackle problems head on. Very little procrastination remains, and I am seeing massive results, and I don’t just mean physically. Yes, my body has seen results from the clean eating and gym time, but more importantly, I see results in my whole being. My confidence is up, my victories are sweeter and I can do no wrong.
I am in an ultra positive state and everything I'm touching is turning to gold. Now, was all this a result of waking up at 3:55 am five days a week? Not exactly. That was just the catalyst for change. Regardless of the outcome of my workdays, I can always say that I wake up before 99% of my competitors have even thought about getting out of bed. I can honestly say life has never been better. I have never had a greater sense of accomplishment.
What about you? What tricks do you implement in your personal development plan? Let me know in the comments below.