March 20, 2022

E244: Power of Routine | Mental Health Coach

E244: Power of Routine | Mental Health Coach

In this episode, I talk about the power of routine. I think about my life before routine and about my life after a routine and the impact that it's had on my mental well-being, physical well-being, and emotional well-being.
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In this episode, I talk about the power of routine. I think about my life before routine and about my life after a routine and the impact that it's had on my mental well-being, physical well-being, and emotional well-being.

Routines help us to create positive daily habits that promote self-care. We can organize our time around things that we deem important to maintain happiness and feelings of fulfillment.

Today, I want to share my routines in life and how they will help me with my healing journey.

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I often get the question, what is my routine?

And I think that comes from people out of curiosity but I also think it comes from people who are ready to implement something in their life that resembles some type of control. And what I mean by that is the power of routine can be so incredible and I think about my life prior to routine and I think about my life after a routine and the impact that it's had not only on my mental well-being, but also my physical well-being, and my emotional well-being.

I am a proponent of routine, and I think about the idea, and the fact that I've actually had routine in my life always, just sometimes it wasn't pointed in a direction of value while other times, like now, especially everyday, the things that I do have intention behind them. And so, you may be asking yourself. Well, what is the point of having a routine? I think more importantly the question that you need to be asking yourself is, how does a routine help you become a better version of who you are.

There is no question in my mind that the moment I stepped into accepting and this was an acceptance for me because routine is kind of one of those things where you have to ask yourself, is this a burden or is it a thing that makes my life better? And accepting the fact that routine actually was going to make my life better and working through the uncomfortable face has of like being in it has dramatically made my life improved.

I think about my life when I had routine of nothing, right?

Within the nothingness of routine, I found no value in my life, I found no real purpose, I found no real drive, it is the same way that I believe that I ended up playing video games at 6 a.m. before work smoking, cigarettes, and getting high all day, right? Because I wasn't pointed in any specific direction since I've adopted a routine, everything without question in my life as better and better obviously is subjective. Right? But how do you measure what that looks like?

So I want to break down my routine with you here a little bit around, how I start my mornings and kind of give you a baseline of some things to consider.

The one thing I want to tell you about this and that I probably want you to take away more so than anything is that this is not a one-size-fits-all approach and I certainly do not think that everything I'm going to say is going to bring value to people's lives, but you may find that there is a bitter piece here that you want to add into your life and that's really important because it's about finding what works for you.

You know, I think when you look at people talk about things like I gotta do this for 100 days in a row and this and that, and hopping onto plans and diets and fads without having a real understanding of the purpose and the intention behind doing it is why you see so many people fell.

And so first, I got to tell you about why.

So I'm going to break this down into a few categories.

So if you want to take some notes, I'm going to give you an outline here.

We're going to talk about first and foremost, the why, right? Because this is so paramount, you have to know why you're doing this.

And we're going to talk about the HOW meaning, how I step into these things, the WIN when I do it and ultimately the part that I think is most important is the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT and why that's important. Right?


So the first thing is the why;

I know that without routine, I will flounder, I will be a fish in an ocean that never leads to anything and what I mean by that is without routine I often feel like I'm just floating nonchalantly, I'm ambivalent about life, you might resonate with this, right? When my routine was getting up and playing video games and smoking a joint, like nothing felt important, nothing mattered, right? My health didn't matter; my well-being didn't matter, my relationships, didn't matter, the people-my life didn't matter because I was not concerned, I was always about how do I just kind of turn off the world and I did that in a very effective manner. And so what happened is, I have this moment I've talked about it many many times where I have the mirror moment and I said, okay today, everything changes and I stepped into this pathway of creating a change in my life that was really, daunting and difficult and ultimately propelled me to where I am today. A big part of that, that I probably don't do a good enough job, discussing is the routine of that healing in its own right becomes a routine right. Going to therapy doing, yoga showing up for myself, going to bed at a reasonable hour, getting up, when I say, I'm going to get up, making my bed all of those things promote my general well-being. And now as I've been really deep into this healing journey and in this place where I feel sustainable, and life is good and my values are aligned and my mission statement is laid out, and my goals are in play and I'm thinking about, what's next, why do I have a routine? Because ultimately, I want to make sure I'm in a position of always moving forward.

And so, in other times, we've talked about developing a, WHY.

Why do you want to heal from trauma?

Why do you want to show up for yourself?

Why do you want to invest in your self-esteem?

And here, the reason that I'm bringing up the why is because routine is not something that is always immediately tangible, right? You can not always get the direct impact of what you're in until you're in it for a little bit.

And so that's why people will start these routines and fall off because they're expecting immediate reciprocity when in reality, I will say this, it probably took solid two years before I felt like my routine was really a part of my life. And what's so important about it is the why behind that, the reason that I have the same routine that I have had for years is because that routine allows me not only to get in tune with myself, it helps me navigate dissociation, that removal of my brain and my body and it helps me take control over my day because ultimately, this is my belief, I believe that as someone who was in a process of healing, the most important part of your day is as soon as you wake up because the mindset and the action is that you take into that day are going to transform everything that happens.

So if you show up with intention and belief and do the thing that you said, you're going to do the impact of that carry over into your day and your life, and your relationships is going to be so profound that waking up and going through that routine is not even going to be a question, regardless of circumstance, right?

And so, how do you identify the WHY? What is the purpose?

So, we know we have this overarching idea of the person that we want to be and when we break down little bits and pieces of that journey in that goal, when we get to this place called routine, you have to create an intention around understanding why you want to do this, right?

And so, for me, I need to be a high performer, right? This is mine, and I'm not saying that's for yours. Yours might be, I want to be a great mom today, I want to be a great employee today, I want to be a great friend today, whatever that is. You can have a daily intention and you can also have that overarching goal, intention. I want to help million people, get out of the vortex and become the hero of their own story.

So how do I do that? I have to show up every day.

So how do you become a healthier version of you?

How do you drop 50 pounds?

How do you change negative self-talk?

How do you X right?

You have to identify that big thing that you want to move to while understanding the why that purpose because ultimately that's going to be the driver of that's going to push you through the uncomfortable place of having to do it every single day. Now, I'm at this point where routine doesn't even feel like it is quite it's not even a negotiable, right? So I'll put it that way. I'm at the point in my life where there is no negotiating with the terrorists in my head that says you don't have to do your routine today.

It's every day no matter what, on vacation, on holiday.

If I'm a hundred thousand miles away.

If I'm on planet Pluto, if I'm under a Subway, I don't care what the scenario is, I'm getting up when wake up in the morning with these roles;

  1. Out of bed before my alarm.
  • I really try to be good about this on the rare occasion my alarm will go off and I won't get it but I try to be up before my alarm. One of the ways that I do that is now I have a sleep routine. So as I have a morning routine, I have a sleep routine, I know that I need to be in bed by 10:00 every night because that's going to a lot me, the space to get my six and a half hours to seven hours of sleep that I need.

One of the really beautiful things about the routine of waking up is eventually, you don't even need the alarm anymore. I will tell you this out of 30 days a month, I probably get woken up by my alarm once, right? And that's because I've trained my brain and my body to recognize the signs that I am rested. Now, let me be very, very, very clear because I think this is important.

If I feel like I need rest, I'm going to take it, no questions asked because you cannot perform if you're sick, tired, beat up, worn down, right? That's the way that I think about it. Let me make this, my alarm, which is my phone is not in my bedroom. So, like I would make this suggestion if you are one of those people who have a hard time getting up in the morning seriously, go and put your phone in the kitchen, turn the alarm all the way up, so you make sure that you hear it and I promise you, I promise you will get up because it's going to drive you insane and you're not going to snooze because what's going to happen, when you go back to bed, you've already gotten up, you walked into the kitchen, the alarms blaring in your ear, and now you're going to turn on the lights, right? So I just want you to think about that takes a little bit of time to step into as someone who used to hit snooze like seven times a day and I don't hit snooze every because one I'm up before the alarm and two I'm very excited about the opportunity to be alive right now, right? I have found my purpose in my reason and my why.

  1. I think about what I do in that morning routine about my body.
  • I don't know about you guys, but man, I wake up so tight in the morning sometimes from the gym and running and training and just kind of like life, right? You know, and as I get older like I feel that more and more and so immediately I have to stretch the first ten minutes of my day are just moving my body and breathing.

Now, you'll notice I did not say I checked my messages and respond to email in fact, I don't even have notifications on my phone so I'm not going to see him anyway, but my point being is I don't jump in and let other people dictate the flow of my day, you have to take control over your day. I'm say that again you have to take control over your day.And so my phone I hit that alarm, I put it down, I moved to stretching, I move my body, I shake my hips out and my shoulders out, and my chest, and I roll my neck, and I'll put my arms up about behind my head and I stretch and get a good one out and I put my fingers to the floor and I move and just wake up my body then after that or sometimes before because sometimes I need it before these are interchangeable, I make coffee.

Look, I'm a coffee guy, I gotta have it, I've tried to quit coffee so many times in my 20’s and in my 30s, and to be honest with you, I love it. And it's one of my few vices so I hold on to it. And I am such a Press guy, oh, a cup measure, the grounds of boil the water, I put it in the Press, I do the whole thing and it's also meditative, right? I think about just kind of the flow of the morning and the impact that has on my day kind of already setting me up for success by being in this place of rhythm and being in this place of flow.

And from their I grab my journal.

Now, I have multiple journals; many of you have heard me say this before I actually have four on my desk right now, I don't think you need for journals this is just the way that my brain operates because I have a lot of things going on, one's for business, once for personal blah, blah blah.

Here's what I think you need; you need a journal.

And I don't think you have to necessarily force out ideas and concepts in the morning. You just got to sit down and write and allow it to flow.

And so, one of the journals that I have, which I love, which I'm going to give a shout out to my boy, Tom Bilyeu over Impact Theory is the Impact Theory Journal because it is phenomenal. And the reason it's phenomenal for me is because it just allows me to do a couple things really easily that kind of also help set that tone.

The another Journal that I love is Brendon Burchard Journal.

I believe it's called the high-performance planner, I could be wrong, I don't have it in front of me right now, it's over my bookshelf.

I love it, but it wasn't like the one that I needed.

So think about this, you kind of have to find the one for you.

And so I think about goals and agenda and those go into that journal and then, as I'm sipping my coffee, I have my day-to-day journal and this is a journal I just take the things in my head and in my brain and I put them on paper and generally it's daily, but sometimes it's like once a week I step into that just whenever I need clarity and understanding on something because that one's really important to me and it helps me not only create memories, but formulate, ideas, that I need to flush out.

And I've kept a journal, really, since I was like, 10 years old. I have like, dozens and dozens of these things lying around. And they're great reference points, and sometimes I read in my journal, I go man, I was being such an asshole or I go that was a really beautiful moment or experience that I had and sometimes it's just like, oh, that problem I was trying to solve comes out.

The impact and power of journal is so potent in this journey, because we often have these things are just spinning around in our brain, with nowhere to go. So, take those things and put them somewhere make them work for you, right? Take control over your morning and as I'm in this routine, and I'm as I'm going through these things, that's all I have, that's my day until I step into meditation.

Now, meditation, let's be clear, and I've done a podcast on this, so, go back, I'll put it in the show notes, you can go and listen to the in-depth thoughts that I have on me Meditation. But high-level meditation is just about taking a few minutes to clear your head to sit down and be with you and I don't have an intention or agenda in meditation other than breathing and just feeling my body from head to toe because I've mentioned this before, I've had severe disassociation of my life, and I'm just trying to always do anything I can to mitigate the risk of (a) that happening again and (b) I want to make sure that I feel inside of myself as my day begins. I want to feel present with me and then, from there, my day starts, right? That time frame is really about 30 minutes, I give myself a little bit of space here to really get into the morning and then I go to the gym, or I do some kind of movement. Generally speaking, I try to hit the gym at minimum five times a week and that's for an hour, and then from there, I step into work and that's where my first email is sent, I want to say this, my first email is sent after I take care of myself.You can't take care of anything in the world till you take care of yourself first.

Now, I recognize that some of you have children and some of you have partners and some of you have a bazillion responsibilities. We all have responsibilities, but we spent so much time putting ourself secondary to everyone else in the world that it feels uncomfortable to put ourselves first even if this routine is 7 minutes and that's all you have. You find a way to make seven minutes in your day for you, that is seven minutes for you. And if you're giving yourself 0 minutes right now, maybe it's one.

How do you make space in your life for one minute?

Go and look at the most successful athletes.

The people that we love and admire in personal growth, and mental health, high performers across the board, all of them have routine in the morning, dedicated to them. I just read this yesterday popped up in my Facebook feed. Mark Wahlberg gets up at 2:30 in the morning to start his routine and his day, his first, four hours like about him, that's incredible.

I don't know about you, but I'm not getting up at 2:30 in the morning, that's not in my cards. But you know what? When I used to get up at 7:00, that wasn't enough time and then I did 6:30, and that wasn't enough time. And then I did six and that felt about right, so then I tried 5:30, but 5:30 didn't feel, right and so I came back to 6, right? And so, even if you have to get up slightly earlier in the morning, which because sleep is a priority, you need to go to bed earlier, how do you find the space and time to make your morning yours? Because I promise you my friend if you step into your morning with the intention, there is going to be so much power in your day, right?

And the biggest thing is when I finish this all up, I just acknowledge myself and I say, good job and I don't put it out on the world and it doesn't go on my Instagram and I don't share it anywhere, right? It's just this moment for me to acknowledge that I've started my day on my terms and then I step into work and business and conflict. And I can tell you just because I have that time in the morning where I'm able to sit with myself and my thoughts and my understanding of the day and whatever may come up and move my body and become present.

I am a more effective leader.

I'm a more effective coach.

I'm a more effective everything because I took care of me first.

I talk about this all the time it's the same thing in the event of turbulence if the oxygen masks, come down, put yours on first and then help the other people. It's not going to do you a lot of good to start helping other people, if you haven't helped yourself first, and I know, I know, I know you're saying, I've tried routine, I've done this, I've done that, I have the things I've stepped into all of it. You have got to put a wire around this, right?

So I'm going to recap this again.

You need to have a why?

First and foremost, that's the most important.

And with that, you need to create an intention and then you need to choose a couple of things within your wheelhouse things that you have experienced, be it yoga or meditation or journaling or running or the gym or whatever that thing is, pick two to three of them, that become your thing.

One of the big problems in the reasons, people always fall off in this is because they're like, I gotta do 97 things for me before I start my day. No, you do not, you do not. You need to do one to two things that are about you.

If you're like me and 45 really makes sense and it's what gets you over that threshold into performance and showing up for yourself then you will figure that through trial and error, but do not put a parameter on yourself that says you have to do 99 things. And then the thing, which is really important that you have to take away with this is that if you fall off, which you will, because you're human and I assure you, I have to now that I've had the same routine for like six years, like now it makes sense but in the beginning it didn't and routine was kind of like this thing I had to push myself into. The further you step into it and the more you do it, the more true that it will become as a part of your life and your lifestyle.

So my friend, I challenge you find a reason why one to two things that you need to do for you and create acknowledgement behind it and say, you know, I did this today. I'm proud of myself. I took care of me first, so I could take care of other people.

My friend, thank you again, for listening to the MichaelUnbroken Podcast, it truly means the world to me.

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And Until Next Time.

My Friends, Be Unbroken.

-I'll see you.

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Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.