Monday, December 23, 2013

The Hour of Power: Reach all of your goals in just 1 hour a day?

Today I want to introduce an idea that I will be practicing consistently to achieve goals and intentions.  I first learned of this concept from an Anthony Robbins CD I received many years ago.  He called it a fundamental practice that changed his life.  And I believe that, if practiced every day, it will shift my life as well.

What I'm talking about is "The Hour of Power."  Essentially, this is a ritual that will have you taking more action in the morning than most people do all day.  Most of us, already have rituals (or things we do consistently) each morning.  But how many of those actions help bring about an outcome that you wish to achieve?  In my day job, one of my job responsibilities is to help others reach their goals.  I might ask that person to share their current  goals with me.  After they've shared I'll inquire about how much of their time, in the past week, was dedicated to that goal vs. doing routine actions.  Most often, I find that most can express their desired outcomes but rarely does anyone carve out dedicated time to impact those goals.  If we don't invest the time to create it, our goals will not happen.


One of the fundamental practices that helps bring about achievement is a solid morning ritual.  This is what Tony Robbins suggests in his "Hour of Power" program.  Essentially, this is a dedicated amount of time in which you focus on the things you must do in order to achieve what you want.  It's highly recommended that you conduct your Hour of Power first thing in the morning.  If needed, you may have to wake up earlier than normal so you have time alone to focus.  It's an investment.  Waiting until later in the day to "fit it in" is a mistake.  Our days are just too busy to have a spare hour available to focus on developing yourself.  Plus, if you do this first thing in the morning, you are literally setting the course for your thoughts, your energy and your focus for the day ahead.

So what do you do during this Hour of Power?  I'm glad you asked.  Honestly, the possibilities are endless, but I have some suggestions to get those ideas flowing.  Let's discuss.

+ {Gratitude} When life gets stressful for me, I can say with certainty that I've been focusing on all the negative things that are happening.  I'm spending my thought energy on the challenging aspects of my life and my stress levels go up.  Chances are, I'm not taking the time to express gratitude in every situation.  It's nearly impossible to be filled with gratitude and be stressed out at the time. So it's important that we dedicate some time each day to be thankful for everything. 

+ {Exercise}  Without a doubt, there is no comparison in my energy level when I exercise in the morning versus the days when I don't.  Morning workouts give me a new outlook on the day.  I walk with my head held high knowing that I challenged my body while most people slept.  Suddenly, the challenges of the day don't seem as powerful.  I carry myself like I can do anything.  It's a great feeling.

+ {Planning}  Steven Covey in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, talked about planning as an activity that is "non-urgent and important."  Meaning, that planning has no (immediate) consequences if we don't do it.  But it's highly important if we wish to be effective.  This is a huge factor in helping your achieve your goal.  THE BIGGEST MISTAKE SOME OF US MAKE IS TO SET A GOAL THAN ASSUME THAT IT'S JUST GOING TO HAPPEN WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONAL EFFORT.  It will not happen unless you plan the actions and strategies to make it happen.  If it was going to just happen on it's own, you wouldn't need to make it a goal.  Whenever I set a goal, the first thing I do is realize that my life, the way it is now, doesn't allow for that goal to happen.  So I must do something, move something around in my life, in order to make it happen.  Planning helps me to carve out time in my day to allow for actions that make my goals a reality. So when you review your goals, one question to ask yourself is  "how do I plan on making that happen?"

+ {Reading} This is a great opportunity to feed your mind with wonderful thoughts, ideas, inspirations.  Reading or listening to something inspirational/motivational on a daily basis will change your life.

+ {Visualizing} They say our minds will help us achieve what it truly believes.  One of the best ways to help our minds believe something is to picture it clearly.  This practice is really powerful.  If you read  or listen to stories of great people who have achieved wonderful things in their life, you'll hear words of conviction as they tell their story.  They talk about believing in what would happen in their life even though they came from humble beginnings.  Seeing it clearly in your mind helps to eliminate hidden fears that will ultimately reflect in your action or lack thereof.  It's good to have a vision board on the wall but it's also great to have an "internal vision board" where you see yourself having achieved what you want.

+ {Meditation} We've discussed mediation on this blog before so I won't go into detail about what mediation is.  I will say that quite time will allow you the ability to do everything else on your list.  To me, a quite, focused mind is like a blank canvas.  It allows for anything to be created.  I'm a decent public speaker but six months ago I gave one of the best presentations of my career.  People were coming up to me saying how engaging and passionate I was during the talk (which was pretty much unsctipted).  When they asked me what was different, I shared that I was diligently meditating consistently. Did meditating make me a better speaker?  Not directly.  Meditating took away the voices that normally holds me back from operating at 100%.  When I stood in front of the group of 80+ people, it felt like I was sitting in front of a table talking to my closest friend because there weren't a bunch of limiting thoughts flying around in my mind.

+{Journaling/Writing} There's something really special about getting your thoughts down on paper.  It gives us the perfect opportunity to do some reflection.  Consistent reflection is the perfect compliment to planning.  We reflect back on the year, on last week, on yesterday and, from there, we can plan for today.  Journaling also gives you us a chance to ask really important questions that can create breakthroughs.  For instance, let's say you didn't exercise at all last week, even though your goal is to lose 20lbs.  Reflect on things like, what stopped you from exercising, what was going on in your life last week?  What can you do to fulfill your commitment even when things are hectic?

+{Learning}  When I first started working online, I wanted to learn  bunch of new skills like editing video, building websites, etc.  Some of it was easy to pick up, some needed much more time.  So I set aside an hour or so in the early morning to watch videos online and learn something even if it was tiny. Each time I picked up something new, I would write down what I learned (as a way of staying motivated).  As you would imagine, my skill set continued to grow allowing me to cross multiple goals off my list.  I love how you can pretty much learn anything online nowadays.  Do you have any financial goals for 2014?  If so, then you should contemplate which things you can learn that can help move you closer to your desires.

This is a list of examples for things you can do in an hour (or less).  You can even try doing 2 or more of them in an hour (30 minutes each).  I've even tried incoporate four of them in an hour.  For example, meditating for 15 mins, planning for 15 mins, gratitude/journaling for 15 mins and visualizing.    It doesn't seem like a lot of time but the effects are cumulative.  It's one of those things that is easy to do and also easy not to do.  If you don't have an Hour of Power, nothing changes, if I do it daily, things don't change overnight.   If you miss a couple of days here and there, don't fret. Just pick back up where you left off.

Ultimately, it requires commitment. Commitment to what you want over your current experience.  If you truly want to experience new results, an hour a day is nothing compared to what you will get in  return.

(You can listen to the Hour of Power disc for free here).

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