The Ultimate Morning Ritual Issue

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Can a Morning Ritual Save Your Marriage?

Oct 2018


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A Message From Michael... A.M. = Another Miracle! A.M. stands for ante meridiem (Latin for before noon), but for me, a.m. means another miracle. Each day is a miracle in its own right, is it not? You already have a morning ritual. You get up and do things in a similar way each morning. Are you open to adding one small thing that may change your life significantly? We aren’t suggesting you change your whole routine. Just read through the articles and choose one. In our Ultimate Morning Ritual Issue, we build off the work Hal Elrod and I outlined in The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents. We organized this issue using that same S.A.A.V.E.R.S. acronym. Dawn Rae, a #30Mornings graduate (a 30-day challenge course) and CATALYST* member who mastered Silence during her #30Mornings journey shares her powerful story. For Affirmations and Appreciations, I disclose how simple words can quickly change your life. In V for Visualization, Lucinda Cross describes how she went from the federal penitentiary to bestselling author, speaker, and CEO all by activating a Vision. For Exercise fitness coach Krystal Nielson, a Bachelor contestant shares the power of morning exercise. For Reading, we asked our readers what they have been perusing. For S for Scribing or Scribbling, you will learn from Benjamin Hardy, author of the bestselling book Willpower Doesn’t Work how journaling daily can change your life. I remember hearing the story of how John Grisham wrote his first book in the morning before he headed to his “day job” and in doing so he created an entire new genre of book, the legal thriller. What if Grisham hadn’t tweaked his morning? What if I didn’t? What if you don’t? In this issue, we have gone to the experts and brought you the best tactics, tips and tricks on how to master your mornings. If it leaves you wanting more, the good news is that a #30Mornings course is starting soon taught by Certified Mornings Coaches Tony and Jenn Scarpero, who are featured in our cover story. Learn more at REFERRALS 1



FOUNDER AND CEO Michael Maher VP Sheri Maher EDITOR IN CHIEF Mandy Thacker DIRECTOR OF DESIGN Karla Johnson GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Dallas Colton Ben Duff Joshua Nelson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ashley Alt O’Beria Seats THIS ISSUE Lucinda Cross Hal Elrod Benjamin Hardy Michael Maher Krystal Nielson Dawn Rae Tony & Jenn Scarpero ADVERTISING 7L: The Seven Levels of Communication © 2018 Referrals Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, without written permission is prohibited.

To purchase a subscription to the magazine, visit To advertise or contribute to the magazine, contact



WHAT’S INSIDE A Message From Michael


Referrals Round Table


The Power of Silence


Change Your Morning — Change Your LIfe!

Books for Breakthroughs

featuring Dawn Rae

30–Day Challenge: Two Simple Ways to Improve Everything & Achieve Anything!


The Power of Affirmations & Appreciations by Michael Maher

Can a Morning Ritual Change Your Marriage?


Be Referable


featuring Tony and Jenn Scarpero

The Power of Journaling by Benjamin Hardy

The Power of Visualization


Changing the World, One Person and One Morning at a Time


The Power of Exercise


Referable Reads


FREE Download: #30 Mornings Journal


featuring Lucinda Cross

by Hal Elrod, author of Miracle Morning

featuring Krystal Nielson, star of Bachelor in Paradise


Referrals Round Table... BOOKS FOR BREAKTHROUGHS What is your favorite book to read in the morning? How have you found it adds value to your morning ritual? Ouahiba PoumDàpi I am currently reading Joe Dispenza’s book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. I am only at the beginning of it. Interesting so far. Isa Belle Awareness by Anthony de Mello. A nice book about life and its meaning. Eric Beheler You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Linda Riese Divine Therapy: Pearls of Wisdom From the Baha’i Writings and Tao Te Ching are current devotional sources. That’s all I read for morning routine. RESTERS current reading is Rising Strong by Brené Brown. Lisa Hardten Corder The 5 Second Rule, The Happiness Project Jaye Palmer Brodsky Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach.

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body and prayer is to the soul. We become the books we read. — Matthew Kelly

Sherryl Kopp Hartman Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis John Roberts The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*%k by Mark Manson Jess Perry Get a PhD in You Shelly Doris Milburn Acres of Diamonds Kathleen Gage Blessed in Darkness by Joel Osteen Fred Baker The Go-Giver is a must read. Michael Hawthorne The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard Susan Iessi Esker Make Your Bed by Admiral William McRaven Quincy Morris Think and Grow Rich, is my favorite. The ingredient to this success thing is shifting your thinking. It’s simple yet hard. Because of decades of thinking one way, it’s a real effort to retrain yourself R to think differently. ■



It’s not about getting up early; it’s about getting up BETTER! Interactive instruction led by Michael J. Maher’s Certified Morning Coaches Daily interactive webinars Monday - Friday morning Membership to private Facebook group. This is a POWERFUL COMMUNITY where other members share their wins and struggles and support each other through the 30 day challenge. You will also post your various “homework” assignments throughout the course and hold each other accountable to success. Custom 30Mornings Journal (designed by Michael J. Maher) The journal will guide you step-by-step towards your goals.


CATALYST* Connection


by O'Beria Seats

Early Morning Silence Is Golden Imagine knowing how to master your day and win at accomplishing your personal and professional goals. The winning formula is not ironing your clothes the night before work; getting the kids up earlier for school; nor eating a healthy breakfast for champions. Believe it or not, the key to winning at your day is having a morning ritual. The 30 Miracle Mornings Challenge, created by Michael J. Maher, is a 30-day webinar course that teaches you six habits successful people include in their morning routine. Implementing these practices will help you win your day by first winning your morning. The six principles are referred to as SAVERS. The acronym is short for (S) Silence, (A) Affirmation, (V) Visualization, (E) Exercise, (R) Reading and (S) Scribing. These principles are based off the popular book by Hal Elrod, The Miracle Mornings. Real estate broker Dawn Rae, a certified referral trainer in Bend, Oregon, can testify that these principles work. Rae took Maher’s #30Mornings webinar last October. “They’re all very important collectively and individually. They go hand-in-hand,” Rae says about the SAVERS. 6 REFERRALS

Rae was a CPA for 15 years before going into real estate. She heard about Maher from a senior broker at her brokerage firm. She took the Catalyst program, then took the #30Mornings webinar course.

Practicing Being Silent

Rae practices all the SAVERS on a daily basis. However, she elaborates specifically on the importance of practicing the first principle, Silence, during her morning ritual. “Silence is basically meditation and training your brain to quiet down and stop the chatter we all normally have,” she says. “It is recommended to practice Silence when you first wake up.” If you think about it, our brain is like the Energizer bunny: it keeps going and going. Experts estimate that the average mind has about 50,000 thoughts per day. That’s about 2,100 per hour! “Meditation is that time to let your body and your mind just be,” Rae says. “We are human beings, and we stopped being because we’re always on the go. [When you meditate] you’re more centered, you’re more calm, and you can think more rationally as you go through your day.”

Meditation, Prayer and Yoga

According to Rae, another benefit of practicing Silence is “being able to hear and listen to that true inner guidance.” A lot of people incorporate deep breathing, prayer and yoga to enhance their silent meditation. Rae explains, “Yoga definitely goes hand-in-hand with meditation because it’s more of a physical meditation, so you are moving your body. But you’re still thinking. Whereas in Silence, you’re trying to get your mind to stop thinking.” Rae goes on to distinguish the difference between prayer and meditation: “Prayer is when you talk to your higher power or

CATALYST* Connection

One of the benefits of silence is being able to hear and listen to your true inner guidance. REFERRALS 7

CATALYST* Connection

God. Silence or meditation is when it’s time to stop talking to God and start listening. You have to listen to that very stillness because it’s like a whisper, a feather on the wind.” “The idea is to quiet your mind. But if you’re in prayer and you’re talking to God, then your mind is not quiet, because you’re thinking thoughts. The whole point is to literally stop thinking," Rae adds.

Prior to #3OMornings

Prior to making the six principles a part of her morning routine, Rae did what many of us do in the morning: shower, grab a cup of joe and go about our day. (However, Rae has always included exercise in her morning regimen.) Rae actually struggled with the Silence principle in the beginning. "I had a hard time getting it put into practice," she says. "It took about a month and a half to get into it." After experimenting with different meditation apps, she found one she liked: Insight Timer, featuring meditation for beginners. “It’s a 20-day practice that starts off small,” she says. “It trains you to quiet your thoughts, starting at one minute on the first day, then gradually increasing the minutes consecutively with each day." Two minutes on the second day, three on the third, etc. After getting the hang of it, she doesn't go a day without her morning meditation. “Your body feels calm and relaxed,” she says. “It’s like how you feel when you first fall asleep, right before you slip into subconsciousness. You start to enjoy it, crave it, and you look forward to your daily practice.” Today Rae meditates for a 24-minute session every morning.

Embracing the Moment

Anxiety and stress are very real in our busy culture today. It seems like there’s more to do but less time to do it. With endless responsibilities, priorities and roles, it’s easy to focus on our to-do lists instead of embracing the moment. “Your mind and your brain will do everything to stop you from quieting yourself. You really have to train your brain,” Rae says. Rae says practicing morning Silence taught her to not anticipate future stress. "If we can remember" learning how to live in the moment, she says, "I believe we can live happier and fulfilling lives. “Take going to the park for instance. Make sure to observe the trees, the green space, flowers or dogs playing. Be present in every single moment.”

Be a Gift to the World

Rae is glad she went through the #30Mornings webinar course. She has told family, friends and coworkers about the benefits of Silence. Her advice to those who may have a hard time quieting their mind during meditation is “Don’t be hard on yourself if you didn’t quite get it one day. You just come back the next day and recommit. Keep trying until you find a style that works for you.” Beginners should get an instructor, she suggests, either through a smartphone app or at a yoga studio. “The Miracle Morning teaches you how to get up earlier so you’ve got an hour of your day focused on just you,” Rae says. “This is how you become a healthier you, so when you go out into the world, you can be a better gift to the world because you’ve R given yourself some really good, quality time.” ■


To get more information on #30Mornings or sign up for the webinar course, go to DAWN RAE is professional, enthusiastic and brings creative vision for her clients. It was after the purchase of her own home and following 15+ years of consulting as a licensed CPA that she became a real estate broker. Attention to detail and thoughtful planning are some of her many strengths. The passion that drives her is the desire to see her clients' happiness throughout the process. Find out more at

O’BERIA SEATS is a freelance writer, copywriter and content creator who develops written content for entrepreneurs and businesses. For more info:


CATALYST* Connection

Silence trains your brain to quiet down and stop the internal chatter.

Silence trains your brain to quiet down and stop the internal chatter. REFERRALS 9

referral strategies

by Michael Maher

30–Day Challenge:

Two Simple Ways to Improve



Have you ever… … wanted to harness the power of your mind? … wanted to get more from life, more out of life? … attracted exactly what you wanted just by stating it aloud? On January 1, 2010, I wrote in my journal, “I am a bestselling author.” Looking at it now, it may seem trite or humorous, but on that date, I didn’t have a book. I wasn’t even really an author. I had written about 30,000 words, but it was a jumbled mess and not ready for publication. So, perhaps inspired by New Years’ resolutions popping up all around me, I decided to take the power of what I knew about positive self-talk (affirmations) and put it to work for me. Over the course of the next 10 months, I repeated and re-wrote that affirmation daily. On October 13, (7L) The Seven Levels of Communication: Go From Relationships to Referrals went from pages of text to a real book and a few days later became a bestseller. Interestingly enough, I remember being introduced by my associate broker to another real estate agent as “a bestselling author” … in June of that year! How weird is that? Well, I’m a believer, so nothing weird about affirmations at all. I believe. And perhaps that is the power of affirmations for me. I believe, placebo effect kicks in, and therefore I manifest what I affirm. 10 REFERRALS

referral strategies

Maybe. I’d like to ask you to try this for 30 days and please share with me your experience with affirmations.

3O-Day Challenge: Write five AFFIRMATIONS daily using these basic guidelines:

Use “I am” to start your sentence. Perhaps when put together, these are the two most powerful words in the world. Start with “I am committed to…” A slight tweak on the traditional affirmations but starting your affirmations with a commitment overcomes the brain’s “BS radar” that starts the internal argument of “No you’re not.” You are … committed to being “the new you” and “better.” Finish with “or something better.” Too often we set the bar too low for ourselves and what we are capable of achieving. Allow room for something better. Example: “I am committed to my goal weight by the end of this 30 days ­— or something better.” Affirmations get all the press and seem to be the new trend in morning rituals and “law of attraction” books. As powerful as positive self-talk can be, this lesson would be incomplete without talking about appreciating the people, places and things that come into our lives. Affirmations tend to be future-oriented, our lives tend to be present-oriented, so we need a device, or strategy, to maximize our reflection and celebration of past experiences. These are Appreciations. Finish this sentence: “I want more…" What did you answer? Money, love, business, leads, great relationships, happiness, freedom, choices?

Whatever you want more of, appreciate what you have of that item. Want more money? Appreciate the money you have! How do you show that appreciation? Track it. Budget. Show your appreciation for what you earn. Want more great relationships? Appreciate the ones you have!

What you appreciate, APPRECIATES! –Michael Maher Let’s assume you have a 9-year-old son, like I do. Let’s assume your 9-year-old son wants a mobile phone. After practices and school, it would be nice to be able to text and meet each other to save time and searching. So you get him a phone. The first week he has it, he returns to the car and you say, “I’ve been texting you for 30 minutes. Where’s your phone?” “Oh, we were in the halls and Billy and I dropped it. It’s broken. Can I get a new one?” Do you get him a new one? Sure you do. With the second one, he keeps it for two weeks before he loses it. Do you buy a third one? No, you don’t. Why not? You might say he isn’t “responsible,” but responsible is a word meaning response-able. He is response-able. He is able to respond to your getting him a phone. He responded by allowing it to be broken and losing it. Responsibility is a subset of Appreciation. He didn’t appreciate the phone.


referral strategies

Whatever you want more of, APPRECIATE what you have of that item.

Why would God give you more of something when you haven’t shown you appreciate what you already have of that?! Also, economically, appreciation leads to appreciation (second meaning is “rising in value or number”) because rather than spending money on re-buying things that are broken, damaged or lost, that money can be invested in something else (more). How is that laptop conversation going to go with your 9-yearold son? How would it go differently if he had shown he appreciated the mobile phone? To stay in appreciation and get more out of life, do the following 30-Day Challenge.

3O-Day Challenge: Write five daily APPRECIATIONS using the following guidelines: Start each sentence with “I appreciate…”

Finish each sentence with something you want more of in life. Example: “I appreciate my son’s laughter and happiness. Greatest laugh ever!” By simply writing, and perhaps even reading aloud to yourself, your affirmations and your appreciations, you will ignite a fire within you that propels you to achieve the life you’ve always imagined. Affirmations tend to conjure up more of what we want by allowing us to focus on what we don’t have. Appreciations tend to manifest more of what we want by forcing us to focus on what we do have and building from that foundation. If you would like a Blessings Book to keep track of these, I encourage you to stop by our shop at I won’t tell you that you need a Blessings Book as you know you can use anything you can write on to do this 30-Day Challenge. Sometimes it helps to organize your thoughts during a R 30-Day Challenge. ■

MICHAEL J. MAHER is a top-rated speaker, author and coach who has worked with hundreds of businesses and helped train thousands of sales executives. His book (7L) The Seven Levels of Communication: Go from Relationships to Referrals has been a number one best seller for 8 straight years on Amazon and was named one of the 20 Top-Rated Business Books of All Time by Hubspot. Michael travels throughout the nation discussing the new type of sales environment called The Generosity Generation. His widely popular GenGen events are attended by tens of thousands of salespeople each year. For additional information visit Contact Michael at 12 REFERRALS


For Information, Please Visit


the influential zone

Can a Morning Ritual Save Your Marriage? They say husbands and wives make the best business partners. And it makes sense. Being in a business partnership mirrors many aspects that a healthy marriage upholds, including respect, trust and passion.

Newly married couple Tony and Jennifer Scarpero, who are also business partners, are living proof that building a business platform is as challenging and rewarding as sustaining a strong, loving relationship. The couple, who reside in Atlanta, host a live webinar for real estate and mortgage professionals looking to regain control of their days by simply waking up earlier to set themselves up for a level of success they didn’t know was possible. The pair says the class, the #30Mornings Challenge, is all about personal integrity and accountability ­— owning your morning ritual through gratitude or affirmations so you are able to take your personal and professional achievements to the next level and ultimately gain clarity on life’s bigger picture.

How #3OMornings Began

The #30Mornings Challenge was created by bestselling author Michael Maher. After writing The Seven Levels of Communication (7L) and The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents, 14 REFERRALS

Michael found professionals wanting more out of their businesses, and life in general. Witnessing the struggles that real estate agents, brokers and lenders face firsthand, like adhering to near-impossible client demands and keeping up with hectic schedules, Michael knew business owners and people in sales would benefit from a class like #30Mornings. Implementing the strategies and best practices of high achievers, Michael taught the class himself. He noticed two standout students, Tony and Jenn, who distinguished themselves from the pack. Michael could tell these two understood the encircling concept and wanted to make a difference in their lives, after training to become certified in teaching the course, the couple began their new journey as #30Mornings role models.

Leading by Example

What inspired this proactive couple to take (and teach) the #30Mornings course? They were dealing with a huge life change — a new baby

the influential zone

“#30Mornings has kept us in a positive, grounded space,” says newly married duo, Jenn & Tony Scarpero. — and felt like hamsters on a spinning wheel as their days were dictated by a crying newborn’s needs with no real schedule or set routine to keep things in order. On top of that, Tony was in a job he hated, so the pressure from both a professional and personal standpoint had been building.

their marriage, their careers and their now positive outlook on life.

“We were living from a place of survival, a ‘This is what I have to do’ standpoint, and it was hard,” Jenn says of the couple’s life as new parents.

“Coming from a place of fear [about my job], I have much more vision of family and lifestyle, more clarity,” Tony says. “The visualization and affirmations in particular have made a tremendous difference in my mind-set and how things unravel.”

With a lack of focus on how to get a grasp on what seemed uncontrollable, the couple asked themselves, “How can we make this better?” When they realized their desperate feelings of frustration and disorder had stemmed from not getting out of bed until they heard their crying baby, Jenn urged Tony to try this #30Mornings Challenge class to see if it could help. It did. Since consistently taking part in the #30Mornings Challenge for Real Estate Professionals, both Tony and Jenn have seen their lives improve in almost every area including

“It’s a new energy level,” Jenn says of taking and teaching the course. “Filling your days with what you want and what you choose forces you to think about exactly what you want your life to look like.”

What the 3OMornings Challenge Does for Its Participants

People taking the morning class, 75% of whom are tied to the real estate industry in one way or another, can interpret the course however they see fit — whether that’s taking the mornings to meditate, journal or set micro goals the class is REFERRALS 15

the influential zone

meant to provide structure that many people don’t know how to build on their own. The 30-day course is a live webinar taught Monday through Friday, at least once a business quarter. The first week begins at 7:30 a.m. and each week thereafter begins 15 minutes earlier, with the final week’s class starting at 6:15 am. The class is a breakdown from the original book The Miracle Morning, written by Michael Maher and Hal Elrod, building off of the SAVERS acronym (Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribe). The goal is for participants to gain an extra hour each morning to themselves to practice these building blocks of turning your new morning habits into a better, healthier lifestyle. Jenn views the #30Mornings Challenge as “a concrete path to not run around in circles.” She says a lot of participants get emotional as they begin to see their health, their jobs and their relationships all improve.

Many participants see their health, their jobs and their relationships improve. “The different things people are experiencing, the selfdoubt and the self-limiting beliefs … they now feel comfortable with who they are,” Jenn says. “They become comfortable with the fear that brought them here in the first place.” Instead of looking at life as a burden, students learn how to handle their anxieties, how to pump themselves up and fill their minds with positive affirmations so they can begin (or begin again) to believe in themselves and that their businesses will not only do well, they will do extraordinarily well. Jenn, who has taught the class for two years now, says there are plans to create retreats based on the #30Mornings ritual. In addition, the couple is currently undergoing Master Series training with Michael so they can be equipped to go around the country and speak on the importance of beginning every day early — sharp and focused in order to lead the incredible lives we were all meant to live.


the influential zone

Working Together as Husband and Wife

Asked what it's like to work with your spouse, Jenn and Tony gently laughed and hesitated a bit before answering. “Of course there are little arguments behind the scenes,” Tony confessed. “A few ‘You shouldn’t have said thats,’ or ‘I was the one who wanted to bring that up’ sort of thing. But on the flip side, it has been such a cool experience to take on this subject as a couple.” Jenn agrees, on both accounts. “Working together has made me respect him more," she says. "It reassures me that I am in a healthy relationship, as he obviously sees the value in life. It’s been awesome to actually live this material together. We, like every married couple, have gone through difficult times. Tony has gone through custody battles, I was sued by a client last year — this morning class kept us in a positive, grounded space throughout it all.” The couple shares a 3-year-old daughter, and Tony also has a 10-yearold daughter from his previous marriage. He says the 10-year-old has taken the course as well — which goes to show you there really is no age limit (or job title limit for that matter) to begin evaluating your life choices and rethinking the way you go about your days. “The course gets her talking about her vision — which is the coolest thing to watch,” Tony says. “To know that’s the influence you’re having is a really great feeling.”

Waking Up to Success

The #30Mornings Challenge isn’t just another personal or professional development class aimed at productivity hacks — this course has the capacity to reframe your mind-set and will drastically transform the way you live your life, leading you to feel real purpose and direction so you can stop looking at life as stressful and begin viewing it as the gift that it is. This course is a real estate professionals’ guide to becoming more centered, confident and adept at negotiating. Final thoughts provided by Jenn on the #30Mornings ritual: “Live by your word. Your thoughts and feelings have nothing to do with whether you follow through with a commitment. If you don’t live by your word, R what’s the point?” ■ EDITOR’S NOTE:

Check out the latest REFERRALS Podcast Episode for more from Tony and Jenn on Morning Rituals at

This course has the capacity to drastically transform the way you live your life.

TONY AND JENNIFER SCARPERO are both Certified Morning Coaches and recently married. Tony has almost 20 years of experience as a mortgage lender, and Jenn runs a successful six-figure design/renovation business. Find out more at ASHLEY ALT is a writer specializing in topics of career, style, health and wellness. For more info: REFERRALS 17

FOUR MONTHS OF COACHING IN ONE MONTH! “I did Accelerate for the month of December and was super busy as a result. Referrals flooded in...was like a spring market in the winter!” -Jan Brito “Just received my weekly goal for incoming referrals today!!! I have also helped 3 others find the people they need. Love referrals!” -Sarah Ramsey


Be Referable by Benjamin Hardy

The Power of Journaling Why Keeping a Daily Journal Could Change Your Life

“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” ― J.M. Barrie (author of Peter Pan) You know exactly what you want in life. But you just can’t seem to get there. You have all these resolves. You’re going to get healthy. You’re going to write that book. You’re going to be more present with your loved ones. You’re going to start that home-based business. You’re going to learn another language. You’re going to be more patient and happy. You’re going to get out of debt. You’re going to be more organized. You’re going to be a better friend. You’re going to overcome bad habits. But the problem is: Doing those is really hard. And it gets harder every day. Some days, it seems more realistic to just give up entirely. The whole taking one step forward and one or two steps backward pattern is getting old. You’ve been telling yourself for a long time “Today is the day!” only to fall into old ways before the day, or if you’re lucky, the week, is spent. When there’s a gap between who you are and who you intend to be, you are incongruent and unhappy. You’re torn, mentally exhausted and regretful. You always slightly feel like a fraud to yourself, and probably to the people around you. Conversely, Gandhi said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”

The Need for a Powerfully Transformative Keystone Habit

Keeping a daily journal can change your life.

If you try to tackle everything wrong in your life, you’ll quickly burn out and quit. It’s happened many times before. Life is super busy. You don’t have time to focus on a thousand different areas of your life to change. That’s exhausting and, frankly, not helpful. REFERRALS 19

If you want more creative flow in your life, check your social media only once or twice per day.

More effective than microscopically analyzing your sabotaging behaviors is nailing down a “keystone” habit — which tightly locks all your other habits in place. Without the keystone, everything falls apart. In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg describes keystone habits as “small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.” A person might start exercising once per week and unknowingly begins eating better and being more productive at work. She begins smoking less and showing more patience with her colleagues and loved ones. She uses her credit card less, feels less stressed and has increased motivation toward her goals. The ingrained patterns in her brain reform and she becomes an entirely different person. All because she started exercising once per week. You acquire one of these habits and everything in your life can change. Keystone habits spark a chain reaction of other good habits and can rapidly alter every aspect of your life.

Journal Every Day

Journaling daily is the most potent and powerful keystone habit you can acquire. If done correct20 REFERRALS

ly, you will show up better in every area of your life—every area! Without question, journaling has by far been the No. 1 factor in everything I’ve done well in my life. The problem is, most people have tried and failed at journaling several times. It’s something you know you should do, but can never seem to pin down. After you read this post, you’ll never want to miss another day of journaling again. Here’s why:

Journaling Optimizes Your Creative Potential

Most people live their lives on other people’s terms. Their days are spent achieving other people’s goals and submitting to other people’s agendas. Their lives have not been consciously organized in such a way that they command every waking, and sleeping, moment of their life. Instead, they relentlessly react at every chance they get. For example, most people wake up and immediately check their phone or email. In spare seconds, we hop on Facebook and check the news feed. We’ve become addicted to input. In other words, we’ve become addicted to reactively being guided by other people’s agendas.

On the other hand, Josh Waitzkin, author of The Art of Learning, wakes up and immediately writes in his journal for 30 minutes. He does that because while he’s been sleeping, his subconscious mind has been brewing, scheming, problem-solving, and learning. So when Josh wakes up, he rushes to a quiet place and engages in a burst of intellectual and creative flow.

If you journal correctly, you will show up better in every area of your life! I recently wrote about the importance of morning routines. If I were to rewrite that post now, I’d include my journal. I've been writing in my journal daily for the past few weeks, and it's reframed my entire approach to life. Additionally, I’ve never before had so many creative ideas crystalize. Creators focus on outputs, while the general populace focuses on inputs. In their free moments, creators utilize their subconscious breakthroughs. Their days are filled with creative bursts, making them incredible at their craft.

If you want to have more creative flow in your life, stop checking your social media and email so much. Check them once or twice per day. Detach from the addiction to numb your mind and escape reality. Instead, get lost in the creative projects you’ve always wanted to do.

Journaling Accelerates the Ability to Manifest Your Goals As part of your morning creative burst, use your journal to review and hone your daily to-do list. Review and hone your life vision and big-picture goals.

As you read and re-write your goals daily, they’ll become forged into your subconscious mind. Eventually, your dreams and vision will consume your inner world and quickly become your physical reality.

Journaling Creates a Springboard for Daily Recovery

People struggle drastically to detach from work. More now than ever, we fail to live presently. Our loved ones are lucky to experience a small percentage of our attention while they’re with us. However, utilizing your journal can curb your mismanagement. At the end of your workday, REFERRALS 21

Journaling will provide you clarity about your path in life.

re-open your journal and review your to-do list from that day. If your morning journal session was excellent, you likely will have completed everything done you intended to do. Private victories always precede public victories. Journal sessions are your postwork reflection time. Identify what you got done that day and what needs to be moved to tomorrow. Write the things you learned and experienced. Lastly, direct your subconscious by writing about things you want to focus on tomorrow. As you put work behind you for the evening, your subconscious will be preparing a feast for you to consume during your next morning’s creative and planning session. This end of the workday journal session need not be as long as the morning session. Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism, recommends writing far less than you want to — only a few sentences or paragraphs at most. This will help you avoid burnout. A primary objective of this session is to mentally turn off work mode. Just as in physical training, you need to rest and recover between workdays in order to get stronger.


Use this session to completely unplug and detach from work. This is your time to recover and be present with your loved ones. There is more to life than work. The higher quality your recovery, the more potent and powerful your creative sessions will be.

Journaling Generates Clarity and Congruence This keystone habit has so much power! By journaling in the morning and evening, you’ll quickly see the incongruities in your life.

You’ll clearly see what needs to be removed and what should be included in your life. Journaling is a beautiful and powerful facilitator of self-discovery. My own journaling is how I’ve come to form my sense of identity and path in life. Not only will you have more clarity about your path in life, but journaling improves your ability to make small and large decisions along the way. On the pages of your journal will be the future world you are creating for yourself. You are the author of your life’s story. You deserve to be happy. You have the power to create whatever life you want. As the designer of your world, get as detailed as you desire.

Journaling Clears Your Emotions

Several research studies have found that writing in your journal reduces stress. These benefits include:

• Reducing scatter in your life • Increased focus • Greater stability • Deeper level of learning, order, action and release • Holding thoughts still so they can be changed and integrated • Releasing pent-up thoughts and emotions • Empowerment • Bridging inner thinking with outer events • Detaching and letting go of the past • Allowing you to re-experience the past with today’s adult mind

Journaling Ingrains Your Learning

Humans are bad at retaining information. We forget most of what we read and hear. However, when you write down the things you’ve learned, you retain them far better. Even if you never read what you’ve written, the simple act of writing something down increases brain development and memory. Neurologically, when you listen to something, a different part of your brain is engaged than when you write it down. Memory recorded by listening does not discriminate important from nonimportant information. However, writing creates spatial regions between important and nonimportant pieces of information—allowing your memory to target and ingrain the important stuff you want to remember. Furthermore, the act of writing allows your subconscious mind to work out problems in unique ways, intensifying the learning process. You’ll be able to work out problems and get insights while you ponder and write about the things you’re learning.

Journaling Increases Your Gratitude

Even if you start a journal session in a bad mood, the insight writing brings has a subtle way of shifting your mind towards gratitude.

When you are in an intensely emotional mood, journaling can help you more fully experience and understand those emotions. After you’ve vented on the pages of your journal, you’ll quickly find a release. Objectivity will return, and you’ll be able to move forward. Without a journal, intense emotional experiences can be crippling for hours, days and even years. However, an honest and inspired journal session can be the best form of therapy — quickly returning you better and smarter than you were before.

When you start writing what you’re grateful for, new chambers of thought open in the palace of your mind. You’ll often need to put your pen down and take a moment. You’ll be captivated not only by the amazing things in your life but by the awe and brilliance of life. As part of your morning and after-work journaling sessions, be sure to include some gratitude in your writing. It will change your entire life orientation from scarcity to abundance. The world will increasingly become your oyster.


Gratitude journaling is a scientifically proven way to overcome several psychological challenges. The benefits are seemingly endless. Here are just a few:

ude... r Gratit happie s you e k e you a • m ple lik o e p her es ot • mak althier o u he y s e • mak r caree your s t ns s o motio • bo o ur e y s n ngthe ty • stre sonali r per u o y elops imistic • dev e o pt r o m u es yo • mak lism ateria m s e uc y • red itualit s spir e ed s a e enter • incr self-c s s le u m es yo -estee • mak r self u o y eases • incr sleep r your s e docto v o r m th e o • imp r f y u awa ps yo • kee r longe ou live y levels s t • le nergy e r u yo eases • incr

rcise o exe t ly e lik more s you e from k a • m back e c n bou s you • help enges chall l good u fee r o y s e happie • mak ories ut) m e m e O ur es yo ’s Insid • mak of Pixar y (think f env li ngs o e e f uces • red relax s you lp e h • dlier frien u o y es • mak riage r m ar u o y s d • help k goo ou loo y s e hips • mak riends f ager r u e man s yo n iv t e c p e e ff • de ore e u a m o y s e • mak work nt u net o y veme s l achie • help a o g your aking eases • incr ision-m c e d your roves tivity • imp roduc p r u yo eases • incr

Journaling Unfolds the Writer in You


• Develop strong writing habits • Help you discover your voice

I became a writer through journaling. While I was on a mission trip, I wrote in my journal for one to two hours per day. I got lost in flow and fell in love with the writing process.

• Clear your mind and crystalize your ideas

If you want to become a writer one day, start by journaling. Journaling can help you:

• Produce gems you could use in your other writing

• Get closer to the 10,000 hours Malcolm Gladwell says are required to become world-class at what you do

BENJAMIN HARDY has been the most-read writer on since late 2015. His work has been read by more than 50 million people and has been featured on Forbes, Fortune, Psychology Today, and many others. He is an entrepreneur, public speaker, the author of the internationally bestselling book Willpower Doesn’t Work and the founder of the Accelerated Momentum program. Find out more at

Journaling Records Your Life History

I started journaling in 2008 after reading an article about the importance of journal writing. In the article, the author described how much journaling had changed her life. She said that after all these years, she now has 38 recorded volumes of personal and family history. After finishing that article, I have never stopped writing in my journal. In my family room on a bookshelf are 20-plus journals filled with my thoughts and experiences. I’m certain they will be cherished by my descendants as I’ve cherished the writing of my loved ones who have passed on.

Strategies to Enhance the Experience • Pray for inspiration before you begin

• If prayer is not your thing, meditate for 5 to 10 minutes to heighten your mental state • Listen to music (I listen to either classical or dubstep, depending on the output I’m trying to get) • Write about the people in your life — you’ll get breakthroughs about how to improve those relationships • Write with confidence and power — use this to strengthen your resolve • Write “Today is going to be the best day of my life.” and read that over and over until you begin to believe it • If you can’t think of what to write, try writing about minute details of your day or recent history • Start with gratitude • There are no rules • Figure out the system that works for you — it takes time


I dare say that journaling is one of the most important things to do in your life. If done effectively, it will change everything in your life for the better. You’ll become the person you want to be. You’ll design the life you want to live. Your relationships will be healthier and happier. You’ll be more productive and powerful. R Enjoy. ■


19 Other Ben efits Of Journal ing 1. Heals relationshi ps 2. Heals the past

3. Dignifies all events

4. Is honest, trusting, nonjudgm ental

5. Strengthens your sense of yourself

6. Balan ces and harm onizes

7. Reca lls and reco nstructs past events 8. Acts as your own counselor

9. Integrates peaks & valleys in life

10. Sooth es troubled memo ries

11. Lets you see yourself as a larger, important, whole and conn ected being 12. Revea ls and tracks patterns and cycles 13. Improves self-trust

14. Directs intention and discernment 15. Im proves sensitivity

16. Lets you Interpret your symbols and dream s

17. Offers new perspectives 18. Brings things together

19. Shows relationshi ps and wholeness instea d of separation

Need a journal? We have you covered! This month’s free download is the entire #30Mornings Journal! Flip to pg 44 to download yours! WARNING — This journal is best used in conjunction with the #30Mornings Class at REFERRALS 25

It’s not about getting up early; it’s about getting up BETTER! EXPERT INSTRUCTION! With Michael J. Maher’s Certified Morning Coaches LIVE DAILY COACHING! Coached for 30 Straight Days! Membership to private Facebook group. This is a POWERFUL COMMUNITY where other members share their wins and struggles and support each other through the 30 day challenge. Custom 30Mornings Journal The journal will guide you step-by-step towards your goals.

feed your soul


Power of Visualization

Visualize Your Future! Seeing Is Believing If anyone can use the power of visualization to drastically transform their life, this woman sure can. Coined as a Visionary Queen, Lucinda Cross created tangible pictures of her goals through the use of visual aids in hopes of reshaping her future. She then made those goals a reality by activating a plan. Life was not always a bed of roses for Cross. Her success came with a lot of pain. Making bad choices as a young adult could have cost her everything. However, Cross had her “come to Jesus moment” after she was thrown into prison for 4½ years on drug-trafficking charges. But life did not stop for her there. Fast-forward years later, and she is now a CEO, a bestselling author, international motivational speaker and sought-after business coach. Cross has made guest appearances on NBC’s Today, Dr. Oz, CNN, and reality TV series Queen Boss, among others. In addition, she has been featured in Essence magazine and The New York Times. She also received a President Barack Obama Lifetime Achievement Award. Her corporate empire, Activate Worldwide and Activate Your Vision™, offers business coaching, training, vision kits and other inspirational services.

by O’Beria Seats

brand. I help them package their message, products and services so they can market it out to the masses,” Cross says.

Start With a Vision Board

Why bother with taking the time to create a vision board? Who wants to go hunt for magazine clippings and pictures and deal with messy tape and glue? According to Cross, it’s well worth it. “The purpose of a vision board is to have your goals in living color," she says. "It’s one thing to think about what your possibilities are, but it’s another when you’re able to actually see yourself in it.” A vision board also helps keep you focused and gives you the confidence to go after your goals. Include five goals, plus a bonus one, on your main vision board, Cross says: Faith, family, friends, finances, fitness and the bonus would be fun. “Incorporating those five elements on your board will give you balance, and the fun piece will help you have some activities to keep the brain motivated,” she says. A vision board can consist of motivational words, stickers, scriptures, affirmations or whatever speaks to you. Visionary Queen, Lucinda Cross

And she makes it her business to help other entrepreneurs reach their fullest potential possible. “I help women become a marketable REFERRALS 27

feed your soul

Include faith, family, friends, finances, fitness and fun on your vision board.

Once you create your vision board, don’t just sit it in the corner or put it away to collect dust. Refer to it consistently. “You should look at it at least several times per week, especially during the low moments. And to give yourself a reminder of what you’re working toward,” Cross says. A common time to start a vision board is before the beginning of a new year, usually in December. However, Cross doesn’t always do a new vision board every year. “I add to the ones I already have," she says. "Once they get full and complete, I’ll go to the next one. Then they go from being a vision board to now a memory board, and it allows me to track my process.” It’s easy to get really lofty when it comes to your goals, and we tend to set unrealistic goals to complete in a year’s time. “I don’t recommend having long-term goals on a vision board. You should be focused on what you can accomplish within the year that will springboard you into your long-term goals,” she says. 28 REFERRALS

But what if the end of the year comes and you haven’t accomplished all your goals? "Revisit it," Cross says, "and ask yourself if you really wanted that dream. Maybe it was what you thought you wanted but now life has changed and now you want something else. We may desire one thing, but it may not be the thing that we need.” Cross is a strong advocate of vision board parties and describes them as a sacred space where people come together to create, share and make declarations: “It’s a gathering of like-minded individuals who get together and celebrate the process of putting goals down on paper." Cross and her team offer an Activate Your Vision Board Kit. It gives step-by-step instructions on how to create a vision board. “The kit allows you to have all the elements you need to create the vision board, from templates to inspirational cards," she says.

feed your soul There is also a book, Activate Your Vision, which is a 40-day guide that “shows you how to take the vision off the board and into your life,” Cross says. The kit can be purchased at Wal-Mart Stores.

Visualization as a Morning Ritual

Another way to look at vision boards is to see them as God’s divine plan for your life as He leads you to construct it. “They force you to tap into a source that’s much higher than you are,” Cross says, “and for me that’s God. “I am a Christian woman, so I can ask God if this is something He wants me to have. And I ask Him to help me manifest my desires and dreams if it’s His will.”

Be grateful in advance for things on your vision board. Vizualize how grateful you will feel when they come to pass. REFERRALS 29

feed your soul Cross shares how she uses her vision board board in the mornings: “It ties into my morning ritual of being grateful for all things that I have, and things to come. Some of those things are on my board. I’m grateful for them even though they’re not tangible yet. So they put me in a place of being grateful in advance.”

Putting It Into Action

For most people, the hard part is taking the goals off the vision board and actually doing them. Cross believes that in order for you to take action on your goals, you must surround yourself with other action-takers and not merely talkers. Cross gives a doable strategy for taking action: “Sometimes even going after one of your goals will help you accomplish 10 others. It’s about taking action on one goal and watching how the rest unfold.”

To overcome procrastination, link up with a mentor or coach who can guide and push you past your limits. Sometimes procrastination is the reason people don’t take action on their goals. Cross struggled with procrastination at one time. “Activate was birthed out of procrastination. I was the president of the procrastination committee. I had stock in procrastination,” she says. “When I didn’t achieve certain things, I would be myself," she says. "There was no change from year to year because I didn’t do anything different.”


feed your soul

The Consequences of Procrastination

Cross recounts a time when her struggle with procrastination caused her to miss out on a big opportunity: “When I first started my business, my mentor took me to meet other successful business owners. And just being in the room with them was a game-changer for me. “I was able to create a joint venture with one of the business owners there because she loved the work I was doing as a small entrepreneur. She told me to submit my proposal to her so we could announce the full joint venture. I started to get fearful, struggled with perfectionism and procrastinated based out of fear of success and failure. I missed the deal, and she ended up having to contract with someone else at the last minute. The contract offer helped that brandnew entrepreneur become a six-figure business owner in less than eight months.” But there is hope for the procrastinator. And that hope often comes in the form of encouragement. “They need to link up with a mentor, who can give them guidance and push them,” Cross says. “They should also get an accountability partner to hold them accountable step by step with their goals. You need someone in your ear constantly pushing you over the ledge, so that you can keep flying.”

Leaders must have vision. A leader without vision is not a leader. Leaders and Vision

When asked how important is it for a leader to have vision, Cross responds, “It’s extremely important. A leader without vision is not a leader, in my opinion. Leaders have to have vision because they’re the ones who are the guiding light. They’re holding the torch for those who have limited light.” She adds that vision goes hand-in-hand with destiny: “I truly believe when it comes to vision, dreams and goals, they choose us; we don’t get to choose them. That’s the beauty when it comes to destiny. So with vision and destiny, our lives are charted out.” Cross is excited about her latest book, The Big Ask. It gives 21 keys to get everything you deserve and desire. It’s an actionable guide that helps individuals figure out what their 'ask' should be, and what has prevented them from asking in the past. It teaches them to go after what they want by asking for it. It not only covers business but life in general.” So if you haven’t already, make Visualization a part of your morning routine and start creating your very own vision board. It will transform your life. And if you need more structure to see you through, be sure to check out Cross’ R info below. ■ EDITOR’S NOTE:

Looking for more inspiration for your vision board? See what our #30Mornings Challenge Community has shared at LUCINDA CROSS is a bestselling author, internationally known speaker, TV personality and energetic teacher of personal and professional development. Lucinda creates and delivers products and services such as seminars, workshops and training designed for entrepreneurial women, millennials and at-risk youth. Find out more at

O’BERIA SEATS is a freelance writer, copywriter and content creator who develops written content for entrepreneurs and businesses. For more info:


feed your soul

Changing the World

One Person & One Morning at a Time Message From Hal Elrod

The Miracle Morning started as an idea. Not an idea for a book but simply an idea, rooted in hope, that one person might be able to turn his (my) life around by waking up a little earlier than normal, and dedicating that extra time to becoming the person I needed to be to create everything I had ever wanted for my life.

quickly, and the transformation experienced was so profound, that it felt like a miracle, so I started referring to this timeless morning ritual as my “Miracle Morning.”

By waking up an hour earlier, and combining six of the most proven, most powerful personal development practices known to man, the hope was that this morning ritual could be the one thing that would change everything.

One week later, Katie informed me, “Oh my gosh, Hal - it worked! I became a morning person! The Miracle Morning has already changed my life.”

Quite surprisingly, it worked. In fact, it worked so


Then, it was shared with one person, Katie Heaney, who proclaimed, “I’ll give it a try. But I’m warning you, I am not a morning person.”

You could say, “the rest is history.” But that would be leaving out that said history is still being written, right now, by all of us.

feed your soul More recently, I went to the MM community again for some inspiration. Here’s just some of what I found. I am so grateful I made the decision to read your book. I can’t imagine my life without MM, and although I’m not perfect at it, I notice my life changing one day at a time. Thank you & much love to you xx — Sonia Ricci-Baldassarre MM has literally been a game-changer for me! I was that ‘I am really not a morning person’ for sooo long. Following the miracle morning has allowed me to be far more present with my kids, find time to develop myself and discover what I really want to work toward xx — Rachel Bonnar I’m so grateful for having stumbled across TMM in just the right minute. It has changed me, my life and the life of my loved ones. I love you. — Mirja Borau Through the MM routine I am inspired to work harder to make my life the way I want it to be, being helpful, loving and having a purpose. — Marge Ferry I’m on Day 37 (not consecutive but I try!) and this practice has changed my life for the better. Every day, even if I accomplish nothing else, at least I have this. Although, more often than not, this improves my productivity in every other area of my life, and has increased my level of happiness immensely. Again, thank you! — Jason Masuoka The Miracle Morning truly is changing the world... one person, and one morning at a time, and we are the catalyst for it. It is up to all of us, how many lives are transformed with TMM. Because that’s what the Miracle Morning “Movement” is all about, and how it is changing the world: Become your best, and help every person in your life become their best.

Become your best, and help every person in your life become their best.

So, the question is: What will each of us do now, today, for the rest of 2018, and beyond, to each become our best “level 10” self while paying it forward and helping others to do the same? The answer (I believe) is simple, but threefold:


st, keep doing your Miracle Morning, every day, so that becoming the best version of yourself is not only possible but inevitable.

And when you miss a day, don’t be hard on yourself. Just make a commitment to never let one missed day turn into two.


nd, focus on actively finding ways, big and small, to add value for others. The more value we add for other people, the more valuable we become to the world, and the bigger our impact is.


rd, love unconditionally, beginning with yourself, and your life. Not because you, or your life, are necessarily perfect, but rather because you are exactly as you are in this moment, and deserving of love. Love your imperfect self, and trust that you are exactly where and who you are supposed to be at this moment, otherwise you’d be somewhere and someone else. And love all people, unconditionally, despite their faults and shortcomings. Love them, not because they are perfect or because they always know what you want or how you want to be treated. Love others because they are imperfect, just like you. Love them because they want to do their best, just like you. Love them because they want the same thing that you want—simply, to be happy and to do what they believe is right. Love them unconditionally, because that is how each of us deserves to be loved. Starting now, love deeply, fully, without R hesitation or judgment. Love all. ■

HAL ELROD is one of the highest-rated keynote speakers in America, creator of one of the fastest-growing and most engaged online communities in existence and author of one of the highest-rated, bestselling books in the world, The Miracle Morning — which has been translated into 27 languages, has more than 2,000 five-star Amazon reviews and is practiced daily by over 500,000 people in 70+ countries. Find out more at and REFERRALS 33



the influential zone


Power of

EXERCISE Krystal Nielson is a California-based fitness coach who dedicates not one — but two — hours of self-love every single morning through mindfulness, personal development podcasts and walks along the beach. Perhaps you have seen her on TV, as she made her public debut on ABC’s The Bachelor, Season 22 with Arie Luyendyk, and again on the spinoff show, Bachelor in Paradise, where she fell in love with her fiancé, Chris Randone. We spoke with the excitable fitness coach and lover of life on mastering your fitness in the morning, so you have all the time in the world to crush your career goals and conquer your life’s purpose. Although getting her footing in the fitness industry was not easy — and not even part of her career plan — Krystal is an amazing example of finding success through personal struggles. Krystal moved to L.A. in 2012 to pursue a career in broadcasting. She says the culture, industry and people living there destroyed her fun, carefree spirit. “I lost myself in the L.A. grind,” she says. “My girlfriend told me I needed some namaste in my life, because I was neglecting self-care and self-love — which was completely affecting my confidence.” From there, Krystal made a plan to start taking care of herself, beginning to work with mentors and coaches in the fitness industry, whom she credits as inspiring her to become an online health and fitness influencer.

by Ashley Alt

Why Is It Better to Work Out in the Morning?

As mentioned earlier, Krystal has a two-hour morning routine that she sticks to religiously, even while traveling and when her schedule is jam-packed. What does her morning routine look like? Here is what she had to say about the routine, which she created for herself half a year ago: “I wake up and I do not look at my cellphone. I drink my apple-cider drink. I put 40 ounces of water into my body in that first hour. I stretch and I move my body. I take a one-hour walk on the ocean [she lives in San Diego] and listen to a personal development podcast — something that feeds my mind and gets my day focused.”


Coach Krystal

the influential zone

After that, she walks to her favorite coffee shop (usually accompanied by her fiancé) to enjoy a cup of coffee before she gets started with her day, usually consisting of meeting with clients. “This keeps me grounded and centered,” Krystal says. “I use my essential oils, too, and really focus on myself. I don’t acknowledge texts or emails until those two hours are up, and then I respond — not react — to the day. There’s a difference.” Having adopted and mastered her morning routine for six months now, Krystal says it has made her feel happy, calm and in charge of herself and her days. “I got really into it when I was at Paradise,” she says of her two-hour regime. “You gotta give yourself that selfish self. It’s important!” Krystal’s focus for a workout is to have so much fun that you don’t feel like you’re working out. As someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy early morning sweat sessions, I had to know her secret.

The everyday little steps add up to the big milestones in life you are reaching for.

“My style of working out is a combination of things,” she told me. “I studied yoga, Spin, aerobics and HITT training while I was getting certified, so I’ve just taken everything I’ve learned and turned it into short, effective movements, always working toward that breathless state.”

A huge advocate for self-appreciation and selflove, Krystal opened up about her personal struggles after The Bachelor, where, she says, she felt misunderstood by by the other women in the house, and by everyone in general.

Krystal says she is able to truly “be in the moment” during a morning workout because she works with interval timers, stating they allow her to connect with her body. That way, you aren’t worrying about how many reps you’ve done or haven’t done, because the timer is doing that part for you.

“For some reason, and this goes for women especially, we have become so competitive,” she says. “I for sure am a believer in the concept that ‘looking good makes you feel good,’ but if you’re upset and angry with people you’re looking at on Instagram, it doesn’t have anything at all to do with that person. It’s a projection of your feelings about yourself onto someone else.”

“Working out is a privilege,” Krystal emphasizes on the notion of leading a fitness-forward life. “There are people who wish they could walk or run.”

Working out is a privilege. There are people who wish they could walk or run. REFERRALS 37

the influential zone

Pushing Past Emotional Blocks

Krystal focuses a lot on getting rid of (and preventing) negative mind-sets from happening in her coaching sessions.

Krystal’s fiancé doubles as her accountability partner. They spend a lot of their time working out and meal prepping together, further enhancing the whole staying healthy regimen in a way that’s fun and not isolating.

Her whole philosophy on fitness is that working out is a tool and opportunity to learn about an action plan, goal setting and patience with steps, declaring it’s the little steps we take in life that amount to that big milestone we’re reaching for.

Speaking on behalf of her book, Total Body Guide, a 30-day fitness program designed to burn fat, build lean muscle and “crank out an efficient workout” in less than 20 minutes a day, Krystal says she wrote it coming off of The Bachelor — time when she felt lost, defeated and confused.

The happy-go-lucky yet career-driven Californian didn’t give me a chance to forget her overarching point of why she believes in fitness and why she knows positive mind-set is everything. She repeatedly stated throughout our conversation: “You need to have a plan.”

“I felt so misunderstood on that show,” she says. “I gained 10 pounds, my hair was falling out and I wasn’t sleeping. My cortisol levels were through the roof.” She acknowledged feelings of selfdoubt. She was telling herself, “I don’t know how I’m going to get out of this.”

According to Krystal, three things are necessary for you to succeed in fitness and every other area of your life:

She circled back to how she got through that rough time after moving to LA, put herself through a 30-day program she created, wrote it down, and made it into a book, which she now sells to her clients.

“You need a plan, you need a coach and you need accountability,” she drilled in me, but in a way that was so inspiring it felt natural and motivating, and not at all like a demand. Well, she has a plan mapped out, she is a coach herself, so who is her accountability person?

“Now, it’s a whole TBG movement,” she says enthusiastically. “Especially for women. I began sharing it with groups of women to support women. It’s a matter of being open.” Krystal says that if you can push yourself through fitness, you can apply that mind-set to any area of your life, and succeed at it. She credits opening yourself up to the world to allowing you to break past those mental blocks and know that you are not the only one hurting.


If you can push yourself and keep acheiving your goals in fitness, you can apply that mindset to any area of your life and succed at it.

the influential zone Back in 2016, she found out her little brother was homeless. While meeting up with a new friend at a juice bar, pretending to be happy, Krystal broke down (to someone she had just met) and said her brother had been battling drug addiction. The friend she was with then opened up to Krystal about a similar story that was also affecting her personally. “Everyone who I shared that with had a story,” she says. “Inside I was destroyed, and sharing that didn’t just help me; it helped everyone I told. “There is a such a taboo on struggle and mental illness, and it isn't OK."

Life Inspiration Gained From The Miracle Morning

I asked Krystal if she had read The Miracle Morning. She exclaimed, “Yes!” and noted that she talks about things she’s learned from The Miracle Morning in her own book.

A good workout focus is to have so much fun that you don’t feel like you’re working out.

“I read it. I loved it. I share it with all of my clients. I push it all the time,” she says. We talked a bit about the SAVERS acronym. Krystal says visualization is really powerful for her, explaining that once she started focusing on the outcome of what she wanted her life to look like, she got in touch with believing in herself on a cellular level. Another favorite quote of Krystal’s is, “Know that it’s never too late to be the person you were meant to be.” Asked how she incorporates that concept into fitness, she let me know that it comes with a dream to want to be better and to believe in your potential. Striving for goals and growing from feedback go hand in hand, in her opinion, which seems to have worked out pretty great for her. “Sometimes we go further than what we had originally planned, and that’s so exciting,” she says. “Knowing and believing in yourself is the starting point for anything. Working on the impact you want to leave on this life comes down to self-love and self-care, which fitness is a big part of. That is the foundation where you need to begin, which begins with the self. Your relationships with other people and your career come after that.”

Combining Exercise with Mind-set

Krystal created the Hour of Power program for her clients. You put on an upbeat song and slowly stretch after you wake up. The song must be upbeat, as that is how you start building energy for your day. After you’re all stretched out, you put on a different song and dance. She tells her clients, "Go in a closet or the bathroom, blast the song, put your headphones on if you can’t be loud, and just move and connect with your body. Do something that makes you feel good.” By now, she is in full Coach Krystal mode, and shares one of her mantras, “Movement creates energy.” She says that when we’re tired in the mornings, not feeling like going to work or hitting the gym, getting ‘un-tired’ is easy: “If you want more energy, you just have to move your body.”


the influential zone

She plays around with a lot of “explosive power” movements during her Hour of Power, doing as many crunches as possible and feeding the mind positive thoughts in the process. “We got this,” she repeats. “I always recommend moving the body in the morning,” she shares. “I have found the combination of exercise and positive mind-set is so powerful. I get my best ideas when I work out in the mornings, which provides me with the energy I need to have a successful day.”

Life-Hack Advice From Krystal

Krystal is a huge proponent of speaking up and sharing yourself and your stories with the world. She says it has been therapeutic for her and many other people she knows. Her advice for sticking with a morning ritual, be it exercise or another form of self-care? Krystal says asking for help is the hardest step when you’re feeling unmotivated and not knowing where to start. But, asking for that help creates momentum to create change, which is the point. “Have a plan,” was the main takeaway I received from our conversation. Have a plan for everything: your fitness goals, your career, what you want to accomplish in a day’s time, everything. Krystal says her best piece of advice is to write out your schedule the night before. It's a ritual she and her fiancé do together, time-blocking their day which always includes which coffee shop they are going to walk to together. “Clarity is powerful,” she says. “Writing down my goals is huge. I have never been the 9-to-5 girl, but now I am all about routine, routine, routine. Now,my morning routine is critical to everything, and backup plans are also big.” She says she is working on a male program pairing with her Total Body Guide, which will be coming out late October or early November of 2018. The fitness coach/mindfulness advocate is also moving into a membership website, where she will be taking her TBG community to have an intimate experience of coaching, support and opening up. “I never want money or time to be the reason someone can’t get started to achieving their dream body or the life that they want,” she told me. “This is R why I offer affordable, at-home coaching.” ■

COACH KRYSTAL Krystal Nielson is a fitness coach and model who was on ABC's The Bachelor, Season 22 and the latest season of Bachelor in Paradise where she got engaged. To learn more about her 30-Day Total Body Guide, visit ASHLEY ALT is a professional writer specializing in topics of career, style, health and wellness. For more info:


Write out your schedule (including your workouts) the night before.

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