Tuesday, October 10, 2023


I learned many years ago that an effective life is built upon an effective Daily Routine. I've been off of my Daily Routine for over 2 years (for reasons explained in my post last week). I'm on an OctoberQUEST to TAKEback my life in Jesus name, and my first TAKEback ATTACK was to TAKEback the morning part of my Daily Routine. I'm on my 2nd week of God restoring parts of my Daily Routine ("And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten..." - Joel 2:25). In 2017 I developed a very effective 10 point Morning Routine that I called A.R.I.S.E.&.G.R.O.W. and I wrote many posts about it at that time on social media. It was awesome! But after doing it for 4 years I had a few things I wanted to tweak. So I'm tweaking it this month as I'm taking it back from the enemy. My updated 10 point Morning Routine (MR 2.0, if you will) is now called R.I.S.E.&.F.I.G.H.T. . I'm phasing it in so I'm just focusing on the first 5 points (R.I.S.E.&.). The whole idea is that my Morning Routine is designed to get me up out of bed FAST and jumping into my day so that I give myself the best fighting chance to make the day as effective, efficient, and healthy as possible. A few things to note: (1) This is my Daily Routine for 5 days per week M-F when I'm not out-of-town running events. (2) The routine is designed so that if I do it correctly and thoroughly then I earn the WEEKEND OFF as my reward. (3) It's based on knowledge & wisdom I've acquired through research & life experience, and all of it is based directly on Scripture or Biblical principles of wisdom. (4) It's custom built for me, but may be a perfect fit for others or can be tweaked and customized for others. (5) Just a reminder, today's post is just the first 5 points of my Morning Routine (R.I.S.E.&.)... There are 5 more points (F.I.G.H.T.) to the Morning Routine plus a Daytime Work Schedule & a 4-point Nightly Routine I will share another day. (6) Much of the Routine is time-based on something called the Pomodoro Technique where you work or go hard for 25 focused minutes uninterrupted and then take a quick 5 minute break. (7) My Morning Routine is built upon the foundation of a good night's sleep. I personally hate going to bed before midnight, but for 5 nights per week I make myself go to bed at 11.59p so that I set myself up for success when the wake-up alarm goes off. It's called self control or self discipline, and it's the only path forward to living an intentional fruitful life that glorifies God and fills your life with meaningful important victories. (8) Without further ado, here's the first 5-points to my Morning Routine:

R. = ROUSE (like "rouse you from your sleep") The idea here is to "wake the dead" through a healthy overload of simulation to my 5 senses so that within 15 minutes I'm fully alive and ready to thrive! Here's what I do to ROUSE me from my sleep and hit the ground running: (1) 6.59a Loud Annoying or Super Inspiring Wake-Up Alarm. (2) Turn on a Bright Light. (3) Turn on a Fast Paced "Rocky type" Wake-Up Song. (4) A Sniff of Potent Smelling Salt or Citrus / Peppermint Aroma [I'm currently using something called "Rhino" smelling salt that would wake the dead!] (5) Lightly Slap My Face & Head to get the blood flow going towards my brain. (6) 1-Minute Cold Shower [this is my hated favorite thing that brings me fully alive]. (7) A Shot of Espresso [made the night before] &/or A Shot of Orange Juice. (8) 10 Push-Up's. (9) 10 Sit-Up's. (10) 10 Squats. /// All 10 of these things takes me 15 minutes to do and I'm fully alive and ready to thrive!

I. = INSTANT WINS (The idea here is to do 5 or 6 things that take about 2 minutes or less to get a successful momentum started as you build upon the fully alive condition you just established). Here are my 6 Instant Wins: (1) Avoid Derailment [Don't look at your phone, turn on the news, check your emails or do anything that could derail your momentum or allow others to set the course & agenda of your morning or mood]. (2) Get Dressed [I actually do this one after my 1-minute cold shower and in my case I get dressed to workout]. (3) Make The Bed. (4) Drink a Glass of Water. (5) Drink a Pre-Made Protein Shake. (6) Declare a Promise of God For My Day or My Life. /// All 6 of these things takes me 10 minutes to do and I've started to launch myself into a productive day! The ROUSE took 15 minutes and the INSTANT WINS took 10 minutes for a total of 25 minutes. Now I take a 5 minute break or transition time to the next part of my Morning Routine [remember the Pomodoro Technique referenced above]

S. = SEEK YE FIRST (Matthew 6:33 says, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."). I set my countdown timer for 25 minutes and shove as much prayer, declarations, Word of God, praise, & worship into that time as possible. If I need more time then I use part of my free time later to finish up. After 25 minutes I take a 5 minute break to transition to the next part of my Morning Routine.

E. = EXERCISE (Most people need more time than this and I used to also, but I'm trying to restrict my workout time to a super effective 25-minute workout that's nearly impossible to say "I don't have time to workout today." Studies show that 25 minutes of intensity is all you need to have an effective healthy workout. So far it's working great for me!). I then take another 5 minute break to transition to the next part of my Morning Routine.

&. = "POP-UP" (This may be the wisest part of an effective Daily Routine, especially if you are a Caregiver. We need to factor in up to 25 minutes for any unexpected urgent interruptions that "Pop-Up" & require your immediate attention. I usually average a "Pop-Up" once a week or sometimes once every 2 weeks. Factoring in this time can save my day and maintain my daily consistency. If I don't have a "Pop-Up" then I can use this time however I want or go ahead and transition to the next part of my Morning Routine.)

That takes care of the first half of my Morning Routine... I'll share the 2nd half with you soon.

Last week was THE BEST week I've had outside of a GTD Trip in a few years. I'm fighting to TAKEback my life in Jesus name!! Taking back my Morning & Daily Routine is literally snatching victory from the enemy's jaws of defeat! Thanks for your prayers & support!