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In this episode:
01:25 – What results should you be expecting?
02:45 – How to measure your progress
04:02 – The benefits of brutality
05:00 – How often should you review your MPR?
09:14 – When and why you should stop reviewing it
12:31 – Six super tips to make your MPR work for you
25:29 – Can you fail?
26:26 – Series summary
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Part 1 of the series
Part 2 of the series
James: James Schramko here. Welcome to SuperFastBusiness.com. This is episode 3 of the Power Focus Series. I have again my special guest, Anita Chaperon.
James: So in this particular episode, we’re going to talking about how to review and optimize and evolve your MPR for the long term. If you’ve just arrived at this episode and you didn’t listen to episode number 1 or number 2, then please go back and look for the Power Focus series on SuperFastBusiness.com. You want to be looking for the episode called How To Create Your MPR. In that episode, we talked about what an MPR is, and it’ll make a lot of more sense if you listen to that first. We’ll give you a great acronym to learn to take you through your Morning Power Routine.
In the second episode, we talked about how to execute and why it might be different for you than it is Anita or it is for me. I talked about how I’m doing it wrong and whether I should change and had some interesting results there. There’s also a handy check sheet you can download that you can get started with, and we encourage comments below that episode.
But in this episode, we’re going to assume that you know what an MPR is, you’ve got your acronym sorted out, you’ve started executing, you’re getting some interesting results and feedback. I might just start, Anita, by saying what should we be expecting by now when we’ve got this happening? What sort of timeline and progression should we be experiencing?
What results to expect
Anita: That’s a brilliant question. So the most common thing you should be expecting is to fail quite a few times in the first week even the first month. You’ll find all sorts of excuses why you can’t meditate properly and you’re rubbish at journaling or your affirmations are just woo-woo or whatever. So just go along with those things. I would say I usually advise, go for the first week with what you decided with your original elements. Just commit to doing it as much as you can and then write down as you’re journaling, write down whatever works, whatever doesn’t work, without judging it. Just write it down. And then with the mind that you evaluated after the first week and make any necessary tweaks. So you will most definitely make tweaks at the end of week one. That’s for sure.
So once you’ve gone through week one and providing you’ve done it quite a few times, there’s actually a very useful service that I want to kind of put in as a recommendation. It’s called askmeevery.com. Basically, that’s a service where you go and very simplistically just set up a question, you setup when do you want that question to be emailed to you. And what they do is they email you the question that say, “Did you do your MPR today?” And then you just answer with a yes or a no, reply to that email, and then at the end of the week, they’ll give you a report of how well you’ve executed. So we find that that’s quite catchy for people that are just starting up because there’s a lot of competition of you know, oh well, I’ve got 80% of compliance rate or whatever. So if that works for you, it’s a good service to use.
James: That’s good. I like that you mentioned the harsh fact is that there’ll be some failure but we shouldn’t see that as failure and the term that we’re used to hearing it like that it’s a real negative. What we should be looking at is perhaps degrees of success. Maybe we’ve been 80% successful rather than we failed because it could be really hard on our impression of ourselves. So expect that there’ll be some takeup rate to get to 100% perfection.
Anita: Yes. And keep thinking in terms of, what is my end result that I want and why am I doing this, and be ruthless, be brutal. If something doesn’t serve you, you don’t have to keep doing it. The point is that this needs to serve you. That’s the whole point of doing an MPR.
So be very, very protective over what your goals are and then think everything through it. And then it’s not a failure. It’s just a point of optimizing things right. If you find an element doesn’t work like a meditation thing, you said you wanted to meditate for 15 minutes, but you can only sit still for 5, start with 5. That’s perfect. And then when you find it, and you will find it by the way with meditation, you’ll come to a point where 5 minutes is too little and you’ll want more, so then add more. There’s no prescription, there’s no right way of doing it. The only way to do it is that it enhances your day. That’s the only thing, only prerequisite.
James: So how often should we be reviewing our MPR?
How often should you review your MPR?
Anita: That’s a brilliant question. OK. So in change-based psychology, there is a stage that you reach in which you need to stop reviewing. Otherwise, you’re basically regressing. So I usually say start with the first week and do this thing, monitor, observe, see where the gaps are, then review it and tweak it. And then commit to doing the tweaked version for a month. Now I know a month sounds like a long time. But what works really, really well for people that are in business and have their own business, is just to basically say I’m going to do this for a month, no questions asked, I know what I’m` in for because I’ve already tested it. I filled the gaps, and just see what happens. Run it as an experiment. Still write down whatever you’re experiencing as you’re progressing through the entire month, but commit to not making any changes. What that’s going to do for you by the end of the one month, I mean it’s going to teach you so much about you.
And everything is a lesson, whether it’s a positive or a negative lesson, it’s a lesson. So just coming out of that journey to find out that actually you didn’t need the Morning Power Routine because you were quite fine the way you were before, in which case, great because you scored. Or you’ll find that this Morning Power Routine is changing your entire life, it’s not just changing your mornings.
James: Just one tiny related habit that I picked up at a workshop I went to overseas. This guy was talking about if you’re going to complain, then just say three things you’re grateful for before you complain. I wish I could credit him. I can’t remember his name. Oh, I actually I can. His name is Lee, and he was a trainer at Strategic Coach. Lee talked about this technique and I’ve tried it and it’s really quite amazing.
Anita: Yeah, because you can’t complain after that, can you?
James: Not really. And I always use reference points. For whatever’s bad in my day, there’s plenty of people with way worse days than me. I’ve got first-world challenges only. If I snap a surfboard or what have you, it’s really not the end of the world. I’m still grateful that I can surf, or that I live near a beach or whatever. By the time I get to snap a surfboard or whatever, it really doesn’t seem that bad in contrast. So I can see how doing affirmations every day, or journaling, scribing as you call it, where you’re writing down things and seeing progress, I can see how if you do that every day, your entire life perception can lift. And our model of the world is constantly changing.
Even if we don’t, people will change it around us don’t they? In a previous episode that I had with Seth Ellsworth, he was saying that everything we have is a result of the decisions that we made or that others made on our behalf. I liked that philosophy.
What we’re saying here is by journaling, by doing MPR, you’re making decisions every day and you’re choosing to do this exercise, the exercise is powering you up. If we go back right to episode 1, it’s making you more confident and it’s giving you more focus. There’s no question that I got both of those things just from the affirmation and visualization components of this. But it’s when I found surfing that my life completely transformed. So I’m a big advocate for exercise, and especially finding the right type of exercise, which we covered in module 2.
So we’ve covered the idea that you should review it until you shouldn’t review it anymore. It sounds funny, doesn’t it?
Anita: Well, review it for one week, for the first week. And then make the tweaks and then close it off.
James: Do it for a month, you said. And you said at some point in the future, it’s actually regression if we keep reviewing it. Why is that? That sounds interesting.
Don’t keep reviewing it
Anita: It’s actually proven, I can’t remember the name of the book now, oh Changeology. So basically, it’s actually a proven thing that once you’ve decided on a course of action and you’ve basically done your homework, which in our case is deciding everything and testing it for a week and then making the adjustments, after that point, you should just commit and let the habit take place or the change take place because if you keep reviewing it and analyzing it, we are intelligent human beings, we always find a way to intellectualize why we shouldn’t do something.
So you will find, if you let your mind, if you give yourself an option to change things, you will find a reason why, oh well, you should skip the meditation session, or why you shouldn’t go and exercise today. So you’ll find a way to escape it because changing habits is not an easy thing. So you’ll find a way to go the easy way, which is going back to the status quo.
James: So we talked about reviewing, optimizing and evolving. Is the optimizing and the evolving part different than the review?
Anita: So the review comes before optimizing, and then evolving it. The evolving part is after the one month because like I said, after the one month, when you’ve committed to doing it the same way, you’ll start learning things about yourself that you didn’t know you could do first of all.
James: So your status quo has changed.
Anita: Exactly. So you get a new normal basically. You get a new baseline. The reason why I say a month, it’s not because the usual thing of it takes 21 days to form a habit. It’s nothing to do with that. It’s just that a month is long enough for you to establish whether this thing is benefiting you or not.
James: The 21-days thing is bull**** right?
James: I remember when there was a Coke machine in the lunchroom at the work that I was at. It didn’t take someone 21 times to figure out if they put a coin in that the Coke would be coming out. When the thing was jammed up, it will take like about $2 and like one day at the most for that behavior to stop, to make someone go across the road instead and buy a Coke in the shop across the road. So yeah, I think we’re capable of modifying our behavior much faster with the right tools.
Anita: Exactly. That’s actually a very good segue into the tips that I wanted to give everybody to make things easier and more secure.
James: Oh, are these the super tips?
Anita: Super tips. I forgot what I called them.
James: You did allude to the super tips. Let’s finish out this 3-part series with the five, not four, not three, not two or one, but five.
Anita: I think there’s six actually. Sorry.
James: [laughs] Haha! You! Funny! In the first episode, you threw me with the seven and six. But all right. How many do you want? Do I hear a six?
Anita: Six yeah. I’ll give you six.
James: All right. Well six is my favorite number so that sounds great. Six super tips, lay them on us.
6 super tips
1 – Have a mini routine
Anita: To make your MPR sing for you. OK. So first of all, you should have a mini routine. After you’ve established your big S.A.V.E.R.S. routine, have a mini routine that you can default to if basically your life takes you by the bullocks and you can’t do the whole lot right? Because what happens if you can’t do your Morning Power Routine because of life circumstances? You get this feeling of, oh, I didn’t do my thing today, and then there’s this guilt feeling, and that’s not good for you.
So just to give you a brief example, for me, I do this 5 by 5, which is actually 3 by 5, but you know. So I’ll do my minimum journaling as my 3 things to be grateful for and then I’ll do 5 minutes meditation, 5 affirmation, 5 visualization and then 5 sun salutations.
James: So for me, that would be like when I travel inland, then I could just pull up the surf cam instead of going for surf, so I get my visualization, meditation and exercise all in one little app.
Anita: Exactly. But then you still feel like I did my power routine, I’m still in charge here, I’m still on calls, etc.
James: Exactly. I get to watch a few people riding my local wave and I feel like I was doing, I was doing it. It’s good. I’m reconnected.
2 – Prep your work day the night before
Anita: Cool. So the next tip is prep your work day the night before, which is something you said you already do, and that’s a really, really great habit. You do it through journaling. The way I do things, and it’s not better or worse, it’s actually not even the same thing…
James: It’s just like, they’re very distanced.
Anita: Yeah. It’s got nothing to do with what you just said, but prep your work day the night before. Usually, what I do is I will decide what my priorities are for my day, for the following day, I’d decided to close of the previous day. In that way, just like with your journaling, basically a removal anxiety about, oh what am I going to tackle tomorrow, and also the next day, you’re basically diverting any kind of events that can dislodge you from your course, or it’s less likely that they’ll dislodge you. You know what you’re going to do and then you can just focus on doing your Morning Power Routine with a clear head.
James: For me, it’s simply just look at my calendar the next day to see what my time blocks look like. So I’ll see when is my first appointment. It’s only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays do I have appointments. So Friday for example, I’m always very excited about. I don’t have anything there. So I know I could wake up whenever I want, I’m not worried about missing out on something, and it’s clear. But yeah, I find by just looking, what have I got on tomorrow, I only need to know what’s on tomorrow. I’ve even told my schedule, I’m not to let appointments be booked within 24 hours so it won’t change on me overnight, which would suck.
Anita: That’s brilliant. Yeah, that’s absolutely brilliant. Some people are so, and I’m not saying this is you obviously, but some people are so traumatized by change or something disturbing the preset schedule that if you, like something like scheduling a meeting within 24 hours can totally derail them and it literally stops them.
James: Yeah, so for me I’m totally cool with change and I could easily handle it, but it’s unnecessary. I’d probably be irritated by it but not unsettled just because I value my space. I was the person who resist having a scheduler. I was the one who held off the longest because I thought it’s like giving up freedom. But what I found, and there’s really a recurring theme here, you know the word routine is in MPR. Routine actually sets you free. By definition, every block on my calendar that’s not shaded out for someone else is mine. It’s all mine.
“Routine actually sets you free.”
I protect my calendar, but I do say, OK. I’m realistic and I expect it, I will need to record a podcast for example. We’re doing this right now. That was in my schedule. It was committed, it was accounted for, but 10 minutes before we’re recording, I came in on my last wave. That time was for me. That was my time. And after this podcast, I will go and have a private dinner and relax, and I don’t have any other commitments until 3 days from now.
So it works out by blocking that space. But that’s my evening prepping the work day is my work day is already pre-filled and other people put their stuff there with permission from me, without me having to get involved in it. So it’s kind of cool.
Anita: That’s absolutely a golden rule. OK.
James: So that’s what, two tips so far?
3 – Have good sleep habits
Anita: Third tip is something you do already as well, really well, and we alluded to it in episode 1, and that’s have good sleep habits. I know you’ve done a really good podcast with Andre Obradovic.
James: Yes, a sleep coach.
James: And we’ll link to that in the show notes. I’m mad about my sleep. I passionately like sleep.
Anita: Everybody should be. If you read in terms of medical terms, it all starts with good sleep. Your adrenal glands have to be reset, etc. Incidentally, one thing I would say, you mentioned that you like a good glass of water as soon as you wake up. If you add a quarter teaspoon of good Himalayan salt or sea salt not table salt to that and you make that cocktail, it’s the ultimate kind of adrenal support by the way because your body is exhausted coming up from sleep, it’s basically been repairing the whole night, and your adrenal glands need support also through electrolytes. So just adding that quarter of teaspoon and salt would be nice.
James: Either that or a Gatorade, right?
James: People don’t know we have these food discussions. Anita sends me food tables, and charts and things that are good to eat and bad to eat. I know she’s an expert on this MPR stuff but she knows so many other things. Yeah, that’s a great tip. A little bit of salt in the water. Thank you.
Anita: OK. So good sleep is quite an obvious. I’m not going to hop on about it. Go and listen to the podcast by Andre.
4 – Put a time
And then the next point I want to share, well we’ve already alluded to that so I’d be very brief, put a time next to each of the elements because that will help you psychologically to not stress out about how long is this going to carry on. You just know. You know it’s going to be, let’s say 45 minutes, and that’s it. You schedule it and just like any other appointment and you just show up and you execute.
James: It’s just like this philosophy I’ve had and I talk to contractors a lot is you’ve got to pay yourself first. There’s no more important person to put in the scheduler than you. Like I was saying before, when you have other people in your schedule, then all the rest of the time is for you. So block yourself in there.
I build my scheduling tool around my surfing preferences. I block that in first and then everything else around that. That makes me happy every day. It sounds such a simple thing. Everyone jokes about it. Ha-ha-ha. How’s your surfing? But really, it’s such a driver. It makes my life better. So block time for yourself. I think this 45 minutes or whatever it turns out to be after your review, and optimization and evolving, block it in first, pay yourself first then once you’re set up, you’re going to be providing better value to anyone else you come into contact with anyway.
Anita: Absolutely. You’re alluding to my fifth tip that I wanted to share.
James: People are going to think that this is all written down. But it’s not. This is good, logical stuff.
Anita: You just have the power of reading my mind. That’s all it is.
James: [laughs] Is that number five? Mind reading?
5 – Have a powerhouse why
Anita: [laughs] So number five is again going back to make sure you have a rock-solid powerhouse why. Why are you doing all of this? There’s no point of an MPR at all if it’s not going to make your life better and you happier, etc. It’s unnecessary. If it makes you miserable and makes you go to sleep with dread in your heart because you’ve got to go and do these six, seven elements or whatever, don’t do it. Make sure you have a really powerful powerhouse why and you know what your end result it. The whole thing is why are you doing this.
You said James you’ve got that other podcast that I still refer people to quite a lot is Are You Leaving Life On The Table? That’s kind of the only point to life.
James: I think too many people are leading other people’s lives. Especially in some cultures. But it’s quite prevalent in the entrepreneurial space. They’re going for those big deals. They want a billion-dollar company. They want this and that. Their FOMO, their fear of missing out is all monetary related, or ego, or prowess, etc. But really, they’re going to get to the end and go, “Well that was crap. What was the point of all that?” Be very careful what you wish you for because your chances are you’ll get it. That’s why I put a lot more focus on the wishing part, which is the why.
What would be your fairytale magic wand scenario because you can get it in the environment we’re in now, if you want. It is the driver. I think some people are still working on their parents’ whys, or some society why, or the people they’re hanging around with, peer group whys instead of their own.
Anita: And it’s proven that basically, after the age of 7, we start to be the people that other people are projecting onto us. So unless you do some self work to find out who you were before that age of 7, the real you, then you’re in for a really turbulent ride.
James: So we should stop seeking approval from others. And quite often strangers.
“Stop seeking approval from others.”
Anita: Which leads me into the sixth element.
James: No. Seriously?
6 – Own it
Anita: Believe it or not. And also you mentioned the person that I attribute this to primarily. I know it’s not his original concept but he’s the one that I heard it from originally and that’s Seth Ellsworth. His methodology for habit formation is to own it. The I Am Method. You have to identify with what you’re doing because otherwise, it’s always going to be a foreign body. It’s always going to be like a fake thing that’s stuck on the side of you. I’m tempted to say maybe bum enlargements but maybe people listening have bum enlargements so I’m not judging.
But you have to own this routine. So you have to make it something that feels natural but it also has to feel right and you have to identify with it. Sometimes, it’s as easy as just saying, “I am the type of person that does a Morning Power Routine.” That’s it. That might work for you. Or sometimes, it’s about the sun salutations that I do really make me feel physically supple, and powerful, and my brain is nice and clear because of the blood circulation, breathing, etc.
So find out what it is for you and be brave. Just dictate to yourself rather than, again like we were saying earlier, rather than let your environment dictate on you what you should feel and what you should be doing. Be brave. Being in this life for a while, you should know what you like and what you dislike. So own it. That’s my sixth tip.
James: Have you had a scenario where someone’s done Morning Power Routines and stepped backwards or not got something from it?
Anita: No. Actually the people that I’ve worked with, and I know the answer no sounds like, oh it’s impossible. But maybe the people I’ve worked with basically I’ve selected very well because I don’t like working with people that are not willing to do the work basically because without the work, they don’t get results. So the people I’ve worked with typically have a massive breakthrough with just one element of the routine. And then that just gets them by for the rest of it.
And then they’ll involve it. This is another point I wanted to make in this episode, your MPR is a living, moving thing. You don’t decide in this for life. It’s about what your powerhouse why and your end result is for the moment. And then in a year’s time it will change. It’s not much change, it will definitely change. So just allow it to serve you.
“Your MPR is a living, moving thing.”
And people usually have this massive breakthrough with one of the elements and then it’s just like they’re fired up because they can just see how it can work for them.
James: Wow. This is good stuff. So why don’t we just wrap our 3-part series with a summary of what we’ve been talking about. I guess it all starts with taking stock. Are you doing an MPR now by this stage in the series? What is it? What sort of benefit are you getting from it? Is there something missing or something else you wanted to do for you? I guess that’s the first step right?
Anita: Yup. The powerhouse why. Why are you doing it and what do you want out of it basically. What’s your end result.
James: And then you might just fill in the gaps and see, well how many of the S.A.V.E.R.S. you already have. Are there some elements missing? Do you want to change the sequence around or the duration perhaps?
Anita: Yup. And also worth noting over here, just very briefly, when we talk about meditation, meditation comes in all different shapes and sizes. Let’s say you’re surfing James, sitting on that board, waiting for the next wave, that’s meditation. Just act of meditation as opposed to sitting still. So find what works for you.
“Meditation comes in all different shapes and sizes.”
James: OK and the next step would be then to just test and observe. Like just play around. I think you used the word tweak. Do your MPR for a week, check out if there’s anything not quite right, makes you feel uncomfortable, especially paying attention to the time. You’ve stressed that several times, so I think it’s worth putting an extra highlight on. See if you got the in the right sequence.
Anita: Yes. Does it flow? Does it flow well?
James: And then finishing up, it’s time to just optimize it. See what changes come from the observation that you did in the previous step and then you commit to your MPR for a solid 30 days, without analysis, without compromising, without adapting or fiddling around with it. Then it just internalizes because that is your MPR, you’re owning it as you said. The power tip number six.
Anita: Yeah. And at the end of that one month, you’ll come out with lessons and then evaluate from that if you want to change anything after that month.
James: Well Anita, I just want to say thank you for sharing all this information over this 3 episodes. We’ve covered a lot of ground. Everything from how to create your MPRs, to how to execute, and then review and optimize and evolve them for the long term. We got the six, no less, super tips, and you shared some great information. I know you’ve been working with people over in 1percentclub.co. That’s the number 1percentclub.co, over there with Andre Chaperon as well. If you want to hang out with Anita, that’s where you could do it.
We’ll check out if there’s any comments or questions. It’ll be a thrill to know if you’re getting results from doing this. Come back to the post at SuperFastBusiness.com and let us know. Look for the Power Focus series. I’m sure you’ll find the episode. Just leave a comment there. Tell us how it’s going and if you got some value from this podcast.
And by the way, if you know someone who you think should be listening to this, if you think it could improve their life a little bit, or you’ve recognized their status quo is not quite where it could be, then please refer them to episode 1 of this series, How To Create Your MPR. We would be really appreciative of you sharing that podcast.
Anita, thank you so much for sharing.
Anita: Thanks for having me on and I hope I didn’t waffle on too long.
James: I think it was fantastic and I’m grateful for you doing all that research, putting together the information, taking your testers through this and proving it. I can relate to so many of the things you’ve talked about from my own experience. It just gives it a better structure. So it’s been really valuable for me and I’m sure for anyone listening.
Anita: Thanks, James!
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