Change Your Life with The Most Important 20 Minutes of Your Day

Les Brown once said, “If you don’t program yourself life will program you.”

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Hit snooze, grab the phone, read the news, Instagram, Linkedin, FB? Science shows that the first 20 minutes of your day is when your subconscious is most impressionable.

Change Your Life

A few years ago I was heading up a very successful company but like most CEOs my workload was insane! On the good days, I felt indestructible and carried the world but on the bad days when I got home, I was quite weakened by some sort of kryptonite.

I knew that I had to change as the networking culture, isolation, positivity pressure, fear of failure & lack of discussion took its toll. My head was clouded and every morning was a fight with self-doubt and I knew that was the root cause so I decided to take action.

The Most Important 20 Minutes of Your Day

4 years later I now work with clients to create the life they want through the power of their first 20 minutes.

“Science tells us that when each of us wakes up, our brain operates at 10.5 wave cycles per second. The first 20 minutes after we wake up is called the alpha stage. It’s been called the gateway to the subconscious mind.

That time window is when your subconscious mind is most impressionable and soaks up information like a sponge. Whatever you hear, see or are exposed to in that first 20 minutes will affect you and set the tone for the rest of your day.

Have you ever gone into a semi-daydreaming state while commuting?

A few minutes pass, but you don’t remember what happened. It’s likely your brain entered the alpha state”~ Entrepreneur magazine

Working with any new client we immediately get into their first 20 minutes.

Knowing that those are the most impressionable, I introduce them to a technique called M3. The idea is to implement a new routine that will positively influence your thoughts and feelings for the day.

M3 broken down is Movement, Mindset and Motivation. 

Think about it like a menu that you can pick and mix within each area there are a number of things that you can choose from that you’re either super interested in doing but never done or that you do but not usually with the first 20 minutes. This is then introduced to disrupt your old habits, your old rituals which are driving old results.

Here’s an idea of how the M3 menu looks. 

  • Movement: This is any movement that gets your heart rate up. Some do a full-blown workout, whilst others 20 pushups, star jumps, running on the spot for 1 minute, etc.
  • Mindset: Yoga, visioning, praying, meditation are just a few that fall into a mindset. (note that some belief in God or the universe whilst others in nothing at all)
  • Motivation: Audible books, reading, podcasts, music, motivational speakers to name a few. 

I love listening to audible as it helps me to practice my Levels Of Listening but I’ll save that for another article.

The golden rule is to never go on any socials, read any messages or news feeds within 20.

Everyone is different as some wake very early whilst others after lunch due to their work. A lot of time is spent on building their M3, understanding what drives them and why. 

Finally, the new routine being visual is absolutely key, and we get their M3 up in a place where they will see it daily. Whether it’s pictures, words or both it must be in a spot where it’s prominent. 

It makes up part of what I call a Life Board.  A Life Board is more than just a vision board that is predominantly used as a source of inspiration and motivation where some use the law of attraction to attain goals. A Life Board has your goals for the year and your routine amongst other things!

When we have that down then it’s ready to implement with repetition and accountability.

What do your first 20 minutes look like?

Remember motivation gets you going and habit keeps you going.


Kevin Martin

Kevin is an Executive and Life Coach who is professionally certified through the world-famous CTI and the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He works with some insanely talented people like Toto Cullen and Oritse Williams (JLS) who hire him because they want to make significant changes in their lives or organizations through the power of routine. To know more about Kevin and his work check his website

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