Dr. James R. Fedich, DC Chiropractor, Coach, Speaker, & Podcast Host

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EPISODE 7 - How Changing your Morning Routine can Change your Life

Do you feel like you are stuck in a rut? Every day it's the same old routine but you're not getting ahead? In this episode, Dr J discusses how a committed change in your morning routine can help improve your life physically, mentally, and professionally.


Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to Dr. J's Path To Success Podcast. Dr. James Fedich is a successful practice owner, best selling author and speaker. Listen in as he shares his secrets to a successful business and a successful life. So now, here's Dr. J.

James Fedich:

Hello and welcome to this podcast. This podcast, we're going to talk about morning routine, morning rituals. I'm sorry I'm not going to be the first person to talk about morning routine, morning ritual. One of the best examples of a good book about this stuff is Hal Elrod's book, The Morning Miracle or Miracle Morning, something like that. He's really good.

The reason I'm bringing this conversation up, is actually my wife is reading this book or listening to it. We're big Audible listening fans, which if you're listening to this podcast you're probably an auditory person as well. Audible is great for listening to books.

But anyway, so she's reading Hal Elrod's book, The Miracle Morning, and was just really impressed with it and I think I read it a while back ago and it got me re-reading it. So we're both adjusting our morning routines, which is something you always constantly do, but I just wanted to kind of talk to you about morning routines and being a morning person.

First things first, if you'd talked to me when I was 27, 28, will you ever be a morning person? I would have said, "Surely never that will happen. You're crazy." So even 27, 28, out of school and running the practice, I was a nighttime person who used to stay up late and watch Conan O'Brien until 1:30 in the morning and come to work groggy and tired and be barely awake for my first patients at nine in the morning.

Obviously, this isn't really a good successful way to go about life. I know some coders and that kind of stuff that are all-time night people, but I'm going to tell you that 98% of successful people are morning people. If you listen to the Shark Tank or any of these real billionaires, they're almost all morning people. They're all going to have routine morning rituals and not only do you need to be a morning person, you need to have a morning routine. That's kind of what we're talking about in this podcast here.

In Hal's book, he goes really in detail exactly what he thinks should be your routine. I think there's some variables there. I think you have a little more flexibility but I do think he's correct in most of his points, the things you need to get done in the morning.

So first thing, I think you need to be a morning person. Most people listening to podcasts are small business owners, physical therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors and patients in the morning. I do know some people start at 10 or 11 in the morning. I do want you to consider maybe that's something that should stop. People do want to come in early. For example, our clinic's open at nine, but I'll be in the office by 8:00 every day. We'll get into that in just a little bit.

But I definitely challenge you to become a morning person. The older I get, the more a morning person I am, the more productive I become and just a better life it's been. So being a morning person is good. Go to bed earlier. Wake up earlier first of all and that's just going to really change everything. I know it's tough. I used to say, "Hey, we're working until 7, 7:30. You get home. You eat dinner, you clean up and it's time to go to bed if you're going to bed at 10:00," which is kind of what I do now.

I work until about six most nights. Home at 6:30, eat, clean up, get to bed, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, you don't have much time and you go to bed, but that is okay, because you're getting this productivity in the morning. So I want you to think about changing your routine, becoming a morning person if you're not. Most of you probably are, but I want to go through some stuff of morning routines for you.

A lot of us are just waking up in the day, we react to the day as it comes at us. So you wake up, you react to your phone. You're probably checking your email first thing in the morning. Reacting to the day as it goes through instead of purposely planning your day. We're going to kind of through that. I don't like, like I said, Hal is very strict, "This is the way exactly you should do it." I think there is some flexibility here, but there are some key things that we want to talk about.

First thing in the morning, we want to get up earlier for sure. Whatever time you need to be at work; three, four hours before that. For example, we start at nine, I'm up by 5:30, so that's three and a half hour before your first patients. That's probably pretty good. Somewhere in there, three to four hours is a good range to be up early, so you got to be up a lot earlier.

So what are we going to do with all this time? Everyone's routine should be a little different, suited on you, but there's a couple things I want you to do before the day starts. I've actually as I said, just recently switched my routine, but really there's two things you want to get done. Some reading and learning in the morning. You want to plan your day and you want to get some physical activity. Some of the books and speakers on this, they want you to get your workout done early in the morning, which never really works for me because I'm not super ... It's not my best time to be active and just not enough time to get a full workout in. I like to work out for an hour plus and it's just not quite enough time with small children and breakfast and all that kind of jazz.

My wife's kind of in the same boat, raising small kids. So what both of us are doing now, she's doing a quickie. She's a yoga instructor as well as a former teacher. She's doing a quick yoga routine in the morning. Not her full workout. She'll still work out usually when the kids are napping later in the afternoon, but it just gets some activity in the morning.

What I've begun to do, is basically take my dog for a two mile walk every morning. It'll take about 25 minutes to walk him up around the neighborhood. Good exercise for the dog, burns off some steam before I leave for work and he drives my wife crazy. It's just enough physical activity. It's not going to be the workout for the day. My level, I don't think it's quite enough workout. There's some days, if you're busy, at least you've got your 25 minutes in and you did some workout. Nine out of 10 days, I'm still going to go to the gym at lunch for an hour or an hour and a half, but you're getting some physical activity in the morning.

First thing is some physical activity in the morning. A lot of these people are saying you got to get your whole workout in for the morning. I'm not necessarily agreeing with that. If you can, great. When my wife was teaching, she would do that. That's kind of how I started to become a morning person. She would be up at 5:30, going for a workout. Sometimes at the gym or at home for an hour before she went to go teach. She would get her full workout in then because she would teach until 3:30 or 4, tutor and all that stuff and just exhausted. Dinner and went to bed early.

It was a good influence on me, getting me to be a morning person. So if you can't get your full workout in the morning, great, but I don't want you to put the pressure that you have to do that. Like I said, for me that's just never worked. I've never been able to really get it in and I want to be there to get my daughter out of bed at seven, when she gets up. I want to be there for that and breakfast, so I don't want to be at the gym at 5:30 in the morning and missing out on the morning stuff and my wife appreciates a little help in the morning, getting ready as well.

If you can't get your full workout in, that's great. I totally understand. I've never been able to. I've never got my full workout in, but we want to get some sort of physical activity in the morning, so walking the dog is great thing. If you have a pet, most of them need just a little walk, something like that. My wife just does a little 15 minute yoga thing. She does these 90 minute yoga classes. She's not going to have time for that in the morning with both kids, but she'll do a little 15 minute flow, she calls it, and does a little workout.

So just plan some sort of workout in the morning, and next thing I want you to do some sort of learning in the morning. Kind of my routine now, just sort of change it up here, but right now I'll get up about 5:30 and I will go downstairs. The coffeepot's already brewing and I will grab ... I have a book out in my office. I have an office at home, and I will read for about 30 minutes in a book that I'm working on, on my desk in my office. That's kind of my routine. Drink my cup of coffee or two, read the book until about six.

At six, I will take the dog for a 25, 30 minute walk, 6:30 come back in. I take the garbage out, recycling; I'll do that kind of stuff right then and then I'll eat breakfast. Get some stuff going already. Will get my daughter up at seven. Get that going, changed, etc, feed her and then I'll go up in the shower 7:15, 7:20. When that's done and be out of the house at 7:40. Then I'll be at the work at eight.

I'll get two of my important things done in the morning. Well you know, breakfast obviously important too, so if you're not eating breakfast, skipping breakfast, you've got to eat breakfast for sure. You eat breakfast at home. I've got staff picking it up on the way and all that kind of stuff. There's almost nothing healthy out there for breakfast. Make breakfast at home. I'm not going to tell you what to eat. Eat healthy. These people stopping for buttered rolls and bagels on their way and then wonder why you're sluggish in the morning. Eat a good healthy breakfast and eat it at home too. So that would be another thing to add into our morning.

The other really important part of your morning is planning your day. Now a lot of people are going to tell you to do that at home before you leave the door and again, that's great if you can. I found I'm much better leaving that at the office. Everybody's got a different work situation. I have a nice large private office at the house and the office, but I save that daily planning for the office. I can't even really tell you why I've done that. I just leave my daily to do list there and it just worked out better for me to do that. That being said, you need to get into your office a little bit earlier. So if you are a healthcare provider, which a lot of people are ... But it doesn't really matter what you do, get to work earlier.

If you work for somebody else and you work in an office, you're going to impress the boss. It's a good way to get raises, work up the ladder is by being the first one in to work. So if chance you're really the owner or even if you're not, just get to work earlier. If the place isn't open, maybe ask for a key. Say you want to get in earlier, but you should be the first one there. That's going to help you with your career in a lot of ways. For as long as I've been ... I'm never the last one there anymore. The office opens at seven. My late days I open at six. I leave at six. The other three days I leave at two or three, but I'm always the first one there every day pretty much. One of my staff will get there early as well.

Being the first one there is good. Get stuff ready, check the office out. Get your clear head and I like to do my daily planning then at the work. So we're going to work on your goals so we're not going to get into this now, but you should have 90 day goals, so we're going to talk what are your goals for the next 90 days. I want to break this many visits, collections, I want to weigh this much, save this much. Short 90 day goals, we'll work on those and then you're going to work on your daily to do list and that's really kind of what I'll do then, first thing. Work on your daily to do list and work on your 90 day goals, what we're working on there. So get your actions in for the goals.

Then I've found, if you get all that done and you're there at eight, my first patient is at nine, if I'm seeing any patients that morning, but you get all your goals done, you get your to do list straightened out and then we do some emails. Email the accountant and all that kind of stuff that needs to get done before the day starts, instead of interrupting your day. I get a lot of those things done. Look at the ad, look at the TV commercial, email back, set up the direct mail. All of those kind of non-patient oriented stuff that you need to get done for your business.

I want to challenge you, it's really going to be a jump for your business. That was one of the big leaps we had years ago when we started really growing the place faster, is getting in early and getting all that stuff done before. You get in at eight, patients are at nine. They show up at 8:45. Most of the staff's getting in at 8:30. You're getting your goals, your daily to do list done. Then you can start working on the business. For most of us, that 15, 20 minutes, you probably get a half hour of it done in the morning before I get interrupted and it's a half hour on your business, not in the business. You're getting in early, you're working on the business, not in the business.

What's the advertising campaign, what's the marketing campaign, your day one, day two. That's really where some of my best stuff comes up. It's also a good time you can meet with the staff, before patients come in. If you have other healthcare providers working for you, you talk, "Hey, what's up with this patient? What's going on here?" Kind of clear that all out.

I want to challenge you to become a morning person for one, if you're not already and then set up a morning routine. Even some of us that are morning people, they're just waking up at 5:30, drinking coffee, watching TV. You cannot watch TV in the morning. I was an offender of this too. We used to watch Sports Center early in the morning, years ago. I'd be up early and just watching ESPN for 40 minutes. That's really not going to set off your day in a good way.

So our challenge one, I want you to become a morning person if you're not already. Set your alarm clock, start getting up earlier. In Hal's book he says you can just get up earlier and earlier. Your body doesn't need as much sleep as you think. You can train it to be awake earlier and earlier. So start setting your alarm clock. If you get up at 6:30, do 6:15, 6, 5:15 or 5:30. Something like that. Get up earlier and earlier and you can get more and more done in the morning. Get productive. So start that alarm clock, no matter what, pretty much. Just start setting an alarm clock to get up a little bit earlier every morning and then I want you to set up a morning routine.

So don't just get up, flip on the boob tube, drink coffee, whatever you do. Set up a routine. You have a specific routine. You're going to get up. Mine's the same. Get up, turn the alarm system off. Go downstairs. The coffee's ready. Grab the coffee. Go to the bathroom. Go to the office. Start reading for a half hour. Second cup of coffee, take the dog for a walk. Came back in, eat breakfast. Take your vitamins. Take my green drink. Get my daughter up, hang out with her for a little while in the morning. Take a shower. Go to work. Either listen to audios on the way to work or record audios for you guys.

Then get to work, work on your to do list. Daily to do list. Go through your calendar for the week, all that kind of planning stuff before, as well as time working on the business. Handling those emails that need to get done before you start getting busy with patients. A lot of you guys, your day gets interrupted no matter what you're doing, whether you're a healthcare provider or not. You want to start getting the important stuff done in the business. It's just hard as you're getting interrupted, so it's always really important to get it done.

If you work for somebody else, your hours are at nine, ask to get the key or come in early. Be the first one in there. It's only going to help your career no matter what.

So challenge one, become a morning person. Start setting your alarm clock. Go to bed earlier. You'd be surprised how early you can go to bed if you try. Go to bed a lot earlier. You say, "I can't fall asleep." You can. Go to bed earlier. Set your alarm clock and have a morning routine. Do something intentional to start your day. The way you set up your day is how the whole day is going to unfold. So set a routine in the morning. You don't have to do exactly what I'm telling you. You want to learn, read something. You want to get some nutrition in. You want to plan your day, and you want to get your exercise. Those are the real three things you want to do to get things done.

The one thing I did forget about too, when I walk the dog, I'm always listening to a podcast when I walk the dog as well, so it's a good time to get some reading for 30 minutes most mornings; 20, 30 minutes. Then I'm going to do 20, 30 minutes of podcast. So before a lot of people have even gotten up, I've been learning for an hour. I've got a half hour of audio in me, and a half hour of book in me every morning before even a lot of people have even gotten up. Think about how that adds up 360 days a year that we're doing that. Maybe not Christmas I'm doing that, but about 360 hours a year of learning on top of other people.

That's on top of me listening to audio books in my car and all that other kind of jazz. I challenge you to become a morning person. Get up early and set a morning routine. A morning routine you got to learn something, you got to get your nutrition in you and you got to set your day up, and you got to get some exercise, so it's really kind of important things that you've got to do every morning. This will change your life. Stick with this for 90 days. It'll be a new habit. I like 90 goals for you, but stick with 90 days of morning routine and watch it completely change your life.

For more information, Hal Elrod's book is really good. The Morning Miracle or something like that. Miracle Morning, that's what it's called. Miracle Morning. So it's a good book. It's more detailed. Like I say, he's real specific about the exact order. I think you can set it up yourself but anyway ... Become a morning person. Set your morning routine, get your fitness in, get your mental nutrition in, get your regular nutrition, and your daily to do list done before you get to work or start work.

Have a great day. Start your mornings right.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to Dr. J's Path To Success Podcast. Make sure to subscribe on iTunes and leave us a review. For information, please visit Drjamesfedich.com. Dr. James R. Fedich, Clinic Director at Village Family Clinic. His book Secrets Of a Million Dollar Clinic is available on Amazon and online at Hackettstownfamilyclinic.com or Drjamesfedich.com, www.drjamesfedich.com.