Own Your Day, Own Your Life
"Today is victory over yourself of yesterday, tomorrow is victory over a lesser foe." - Miyamoto Musashi
Learn to master one 24 hour period and you'll soon learn to master a week, a month, a year..
That's Aubrey Marcus, founder of Onnit's ideology and in the book 'Own The Day, Own Your Life' he walks us through how to optimize every step of the day, from what to do the moment you wake up until you retire late in the evening.
After reading a number of similar books on human optimization I was skeptical, as although many contain a ton of great information and research they're quite frankly unrealistic.
The majority of us don't have the money or time to perform an hour and a half of stretches each morning before swallowing the equivelant of a week's pay worth of nootropic supplements (there are refreshingly very few supplement recommendations in this book).
Aubrey Marcus gets it, and as such this book is 100% realistic and 100% actionable for you.
8 Actionable Ways To Improve Your Day
To live one day well is the same as to live ten thousand days well. To master twenty-four hours is to master your life.
1 - Start Each Day With A Cocktail (Filtered Water + Lemon + Himalayan Salt)
When we wake up we're dehydrated.
99% of us choose a coffee as our first beverage upon waking - this makes matters worse (although it comes to us as a surprise when we have headaches and brain fog later in the day).
This morning cocktail is the solution... prepare it the night before and have it next to your bed.
12oz filtered water (room temperature)
3 grams of sea salt
1/4 lemon, squeezed
Opt for pink Himalayan sea salt, as it comes from ancient oceanic deposits it has the benefit of additional iron content (this also gives it that pink hue).
2 - Shower With Your Tap As Cold As Possible!
Hormesis is a biological phenomenon in which low-dose exposure to an environmental agent (called a "hormetic stressor") produces a beneficial effect, while a higher-dose exposure produces a toxic effect.
Exposure to cold water helps to shape our character and harden our willpower.
By willingly starting the day with a cold shower, every obstacle you encounter from this moment onward is going to be that much easier to conquer - regardless of whether that's a meeting with your boss or a set of heavy squats later in the day.
Beginners should start with their normal hot shower until they're done cleaning themselves - then change the temperature to cold and focus on your breathing until calm.
Seasoned (or disciplined!) individuals can begin with an instant cold shower (aiming for 3 minutes) or jump in an ice bath.
Regardless of which method you choose here the key is to focus on your breathing.
3 - Eat A Good Breakfast Or Don't Eat Breakfast At All
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" says Kelloggs...
It's simply not true.
Breakfast is not mandatory, and hell - if you're eating a breakfast full of simple carbohydrates (think sugary cereals, breakfast bars etc.) you're undoubtly better skipping breakfast all-together.
Your breakfast should contain slow metabolizing foods (fats!) not fast metabolizing foods (simple sugars!).
Either fast through the morning or eat a breakfast containing good fats such as:
4 - Turn Dead Time Into Alive Time With Your Travelling University
Time spent travelling, be it on the bus, in the car or on the subway is dead time. It's unavoidable - unless you work at home you're likely going to be spending a portion of your day sitting in traffic of one form or another.
If you've got a smart phone you've essentially got a travelling unversity, utilize it!
Download and listen to a podcast aligned to your goals.
A few recommendations of mine include:
The Tim Ferriss Show
The Joe Rogan Experience
Muscle For Life Podcast
Listen To A Audiobook
Sign up to Audible and listen an audiobook each month. Today 99% of the great new releases and old classics you’ll find have an audio version available via Audible.
I recommend either YouTube or the Headspace App for a quick and effective way to clear your head while you’re on the go – this is my favourite habit to implement when on the subway.
Why perform a guided meditation? You’ll find yourself thinker clearer and will reduce your levels of anxiety and stress.
5 - Add Healthy Fats (Emulsified MCT Oil) To Your Coffee
Sick of the spiking and crashing sensation that comes shortly after a strong cup of coffee?
There's a simple fix for that - adding fats to your beverage.
As fats are slow metabolizing this slows down the rate at which your body is able to break down the caffeine.
The result? A slow release of focused energy instead of the using caffeinated rollercoaster ride.
Coconut oil, grass fed butter... pick your poison.
The most convenient (and effective) fat to add to your coffee is a tablespoon of MCT oil (medium-chain triglyceride, a form of saturated fatty acid).
6 - Diffuse Essentials Oils To Get Into A State Of Flow In The Workplace
Essential oils, you’ve probably heard of them and like me initially, probably dismissed them as an ineffective new age fad.
Over the past year I’ve been testing and using a variety of different individual oils and essential oil blends to figure out what actually does work and what’s rubbish.
Funnily enough it’s a lot like the bodybuilding supplementation world, with ‘blends’ of oils comprising of an excessive price tag and very little indication of what’s actually in there, topped off with a fancy label, an advertising campaign, endorsements and a catchy name.
Once again, just like bodybuilding supplements (think whey protein concentrate and creatine monohydrate) the basics that’ve been used and studied for years, that’ve stood the test of time and that’re very rarely promoted as they’re inexpensive and hardly worth pushing by the supplement, or in this case essential oil giants.
We can't all have zen fountations and candles but we don't have to.
A simple little essential oils diffuser with your choice of oils (peppermint oil is great for focus) is an easy way to improve your overall mood and productivity in the workplace.
7 - Instead Of Drinking More Coffee Or Sleeping Longer Opt For An Afternoon Nap With Binaural Beats
Feeling tired in the afternoon or struggling to focus on your work?
Instead of getting additional sleep at night or making another coffee opt to have a 30 minute nap.
There's still the stigma about that naps are for lazy people - but naps have been scientifically proven to be one of the best ways to stay alert and perform at a high level.
Find a chair or similar, put on a track of binaural beats and set your alarm for 30 minutes time.
8 - Knock Yourself Out With A Sleep Cocktail (Cream Of Tartar + Sea Salt + Turmeric + Black Pepper)
Having trouble winding down at the end of the day? If limiting your use of electronics before bed isn't doing the trick give this sleep cocktail a try...
12oz filtered water
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar (relaxes muscles)
1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt (supports your adrenal system)
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric (assists with absorption and reduction of inflammation)
Dash of black pepper (assists with absorption and reduction of inflammation)