How often do you start your day feeling tired, and you find that you’re stressed out, burnt out and maxed out even before your work day has commenced? We all want to feel more alive, full of joy and energized, but some of us don’t know how to make this happen. If you’re lacking the mental focus and the energy you need to deliver the best of yourself, you can begin by customising and carving out a morning routine that will help you set the tone for your whole day. In today’s show, I am going to share some ideas on how you can win back your life, upgrade your happiness, and be more present, more productive and have the energy you need, just by making some changes to your mornings. Don’t waste the opportunity to live your best life. It’s time now to realign with your passion and purpose. Make that choice, to create change and I promise you that by setting up a three step morning routine that works for you, it is possible to live the life you dare to dream of.

In this episode
01:10 – Making changes to your morning routine

03:57 – Align yourself with Purpose and Passion

05:22 – The 5AM Club

09:26 – Step 1: The First 20 Minutes is to exercise or just move

10:58 – Gentle reminder for singers

12:27 – Step 2: Meditation

14:53 – Mental Fatigue and Lack of Mental Focus

15:46 – Step 3: Journaling or Personal Development

17:30 – Find things that will bring you joy

18:32 – Personal Development

19:29 – Conclusion

20:57 – Learn the simple discipline of mourning routine


Dr Marisa Lee Naismith is excited to announce the release of her new book “Singing Contemporary Commercial Music Styles: A Pedagogical Framework” published by Compton Publications UK. Marisa offers this book as a starting point and as CCM markets continue to evolve, she encourages that we, as a voice community, continue to evolve, debate and communally add to this framework.



Visit the A Voice and Beyond Youtube channel to watch back the video replay of this guest interview or to see my welcome video.

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  00:00

Hi. It’s Marisa Lee here. And I’m so excited to be sharing today solo round episode with you. Whether you’re a member of the voice community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. And my mission, which has been inspired by my own personal and professional journey is to empower you to share your gift with others. Now is the time for you to discover your voice in life, develop a positive mindset, and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, and you can become the director of your own life. It’s time for you to live your best live. It’s time now, for A Voice and Beyond. So, without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  01:10

How often do you find that you start your day feeling tired, stressed, and just dreading having to turn up at work? Or even in life? Because you don’t feel that you’re ready to face the day? Do you find that you’re feeling burnt out and maxed out even before your day has even started? Are you lacking the mental focus and the energy you need to deliver your best every day? Well, I’m here to tell you that how you start your morning will 100% set the tone for your whole day. In this episode, I’m going to share with you some ideas that I have on how you can win back your life, upgrade your happiness and be more present more productive and have the energy you need just by making some simple changes. Well, what I think is simple changes to your morning routine. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  02:24

In life, you do have a choice. So you can choose to make changes to your morning that will set you up for a brilliant day or not. Let’s think about this brilliant and purposeful days turn into brilliant and purposeful weeks, those weeks turned into months. Those months turn into years. And before you know it, you’ve led a brilliant and purposeful life. I love this. Or the other option you have is to choose to begin your days, weeks and months with a morning routine that will only set you up with a terrible negative mindset for the whole day. And the sad thing is that before you know it, life passes us by so quickly. My cousin Leticia said, and she told me this after my mom passed away, the shortest day of the year comes around very quickly for all of us. Oh my goodness, this is so very profound and so very true. And I don’t ever want to waste a minute in any of my days. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  03:47

And don’t you do that either. Don’t spend your life with having wasted the opportunity to live your best life. It’s time to align yourself with your purpose and your passion. make that choice and don’t be one of those people who wastes precious time from the moment you wake. Don’t start your day feeling reactive. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:14

The me as a singing teacher, I wanted to learn how to set up my day where I could feel more energized. And my student at the end of the day was receiving the same standard of teaching as my very first student at the start of the day. I figured that that last student doesn’t get a discount just because I’m having an energy slump or I’m having that afternoon brain fog. I owe every student my best work irrespective of what time of day they had their lesson. I also wanted to go to work with a positive mindset where I can be a role model for my students. lead my voice community and create the best possible content for this podcast. I wanted to take care of myself and be in the best possible shape. So I could have a healthy body and a healthy mind so that my attitude was finely tuned at all times. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:22

There’s a concept called the 5am Club, which was started by Robin Sharma, a legendary leadership and Elite Performance expert. A study of 300 The most successful people revealed that the one thing they all had in common was that they were early risers. The most influential, successful and prominent men and women of the world all have an early morning routine that sets them up to be successful in any area of life they need to be. Sharma endorses a step by step method where you wake up during the quietest hours of the morning. So you have time for 20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of meditation, and 20 minutes of study or personal growth. The research shows that this has helped people maximize their productivity, it activates their best health and bullet proofs, their serenity in a time of overwhelm and anxiety for many of us. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  06:35

Okay, yeah, I can hear the gasp from many of you, as 5am may be a little too much for most of us, and especially for performers. During my performance career, it wasn’t unusual for me to go to bed at 5am. I didn’t see the light of day for months at a time. This may not be you. But I do understand that for many of us, we come home after a long day of work to tend to the needs of our family. We cook dinner, we throw on the washing and after doing the cleaning up, we eventually find some time to read the gazillion emails waiting for us in our inbox. And then only then do we have time to relax. This usually ends up being late at night when everyone else has gone to bed. And I know this is the case. So yes, waking up at 5am may be a massive ask. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  07:47

As I stated earlier, the most successful, influential and prominent business persons, bleeders and elite athletes rise before dawn, this is the time of day before the sun rises, and no one else in the household is usually up so we can focus on ourselves. But in all fairness, we all have to do what works for us. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  08:15

And I did just that. I took that 2020 20 strategy, that 5am concept, and I modified it to suit me. And I can tell you it’s been absolutely life changing. So no matter whatever challenges life throws at me, I’m ready for it. There’s no denying that making change is hard. And continuing on as you are is easy. That is the easy option. But I say short term pain for long term gain, because with patience and perseverance, we can replace those old morning routines that don’t serve us and replace them with new positive ones that help us set up our day to create more purposeful outcomes. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  09:15

So let’s break this down.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  09:26

The first 20 minutes is time to exercise. And if you’re allergic to that word, you can simply move. Motion is lotion. Well, as it turns out, I’m not the only one who believes this. Just go read the science. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  09:48

Sometimes I may wake up with a little niggle from sleeping in a weird or an uncomfortable position. And as a result my neck might be hurting or I may You just have like a dull headache, I find that just after 10 minutes of movement, or easy stretching, my aches and pains magically disappear, always without exception. I promise you it’s true. Some people think I’m a weirdo, because I plank every morning for six minutes without fail. This is a core strength exercise. And what I love about it is that you can do it anywhere, and you don’t need any kind of gym equipment to do it. You only need your body. I do admit it is challenging. So this is my little disclaimer here. And I’ve had to slowly build up to holding six minutes over a period of time. And this is what works for me, and you need to find what works for your body. Don’t do what I’m doing. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  10:58

For my singing voice friends, here’s a gentle reminder for you that singing is a whole body experience and your whole body is your instrument, right? Therefore, as voice teachers and singers, our physical condition needs to be considered. If we have kinks in our bodies, those kinks will not magically disappear. And you will be singing with a kink in your system or modeling to your students with a kink in your system. You can work on straightening those out first thing in the morning, people. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  11:40

My message here is we don’t have to break world records, though. It is about gentle movement. So try getting up and move and stretch, or bounce, walk or swim, ride a bike, or do some yoga, anything that will activate your body first thing in the morning. All these things are important to increasing your frequency. So find something that works for you. And no matter what this is, stick with it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  12:27

Tranquility is the new modern day luxury. And it comes at no cost in the serenity of the early hours of the morning. So in the second 20 minutes of our mornings, we should spend that time recalibrating our mindset for the new day ahead with some kind of meditation practice. I know meditation can mean different things to different people. And to be honest, I used to think that meditation was blue, and it was weird. And it was the hippies who ran around hugging trees. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But the fact is that meditation helps us improve our overall mental and physical health. The science proves this. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  13:22

I think of meditation as my way of catching a breath in life. It gives me the mental energy, I need to deliver my best work for me to stay focused and to feel vibrant and energized from the start of my day till the very end. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  13:42

So it’s become really important for me to meditate every morning. And I can’t say I’m very good at it. I still find it really hard to slow my mind down. I usually meditate for around 15 to 20 minutes, and allow thoughts to come and go. But at the end of it no matter what I still feel amazing. It’s important for all of us to calm our minds, because according to research, we have between 50 to 60,000 thoughts per day. And these don’t leave us we carry these over to the new day and they can get in the way. Meditation can help you recalibrate each morning and remove any residual emotional baggage or stress from the previous day. My days are far more productive, and I can now experience the bliss that comes from starting the day refreshed and invigorated. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  14:53

It’s fair to say we all struggle for mental fatigue and lack of mental focus and we all get tired at times, as well as feeling overwhelmed. Meditation is about deep breathing and using the breath to calm the mind, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. How you achieve this is so individual. Once again, it’s about what works for you, you can try going for a walk along the beach, or sitting in the park to meditate. No matter how you choose to meditate, this step in your morning routine cannot be skipped.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  15:46

The third and final step of your morning routine is a time for you to do some personal development or planning or a time to invest in your personal growth. It can be a time for you to be grateful or do some journaling. You can listen to podcasts by some amazing thought leaders or go and read one of their books for 20 minutes. But whatever you do, make this time and investment for you to discover your best life. I choose to write in a gratitude journal each morning before I leave the house. I break my journal down into three sections. I start off by writing things that I need to let go of for that day. Things such as anxiety, stress, self-doubt, or any negativity. Basically, anything that is going to hold me back from achieving my goals for that day, or fulfilling my potential for the day. It’s about acknowledging these feelings or behaviors and letting them go. I don’t want them taking over. Next, I jot down 10 things that I’m grateful for. And I tell you at times, this isn’t easy, especially if my day sucked. And especially while it feels as though the whole world has gone mad. But there is so much we truly have to be grateful for even if you can’t see it. My piece of advice is, if you think your world is full of doom and gloom, just look outside your window and you can find things that will bring you joy. It can be the smell of the rain, the warmth of the sun, the beautiful blue sky, and look into your relationships. What about those relationships, the sense of community you have around you, your family, your friends, all those people who care about you. When you think of all these things, you do realize that life is not so bad. Lastly, I set my intentions for the day, I think about what I have on for the day, and how I want my day to go. In other words, what do I need to do to focus on that day, the me to have a productive, joyous and abundant day. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  18:32

In terms of personal development, I usually do that on the move either in the car, or on a long walk. This really works for me, it’s a time that I feel I can consume valuable life changing information. So imagine what your life would be like if you spent at least 10 hours every week on personal growth and development. Do you think that would be life changing? I can tell you it’s definitely changed mine. It’s changed my perspective. I know that I want to keep growing and evolving in this life. It keeps me inspired and I’m totally addicted to it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  19:29

For the sake of your quality of life, the way you show up and the outcomes you want for your life. I urge you to find a morning ritual of movement, meditation and personal development that works for you and your lifestyle. High No, this may all sound way too much and having to wake up earlier to do all this stuff may feel really overwhelming. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  20:01

I’ll share a secret with you. When I first made the commitment to set up a morning routine, and I woke up a half an hour earlier, the first morning, I was really tired, my eyes were red, and my body felt like I hadn’t slept at all the night before. I felt awful. It was painful having to get up early, but I managed to get through my work day. Even now there are times my alarm goes off, and I crawl out of bed. But I made a deal with myself and I was committed. So I have persevered. I now go to bed a little bit earlier, so I can get up that little bit earlier. And that’s made a huge difference. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  20:57

Learn the simple discipline, have a morning routine. And this practice will help you in all areas of your life. And it will help all those around you because they will also benefit from this change. You are unique, you are different. So find something that works for you. It doesn’t need to be a 5am start and your routine doesn’t need to take you an hour, customize and carve out something that you can manage and you will stick to one that makes you feel good each and every day. Make a promise to yourself that you will take the time for self-care and don’t break your promise. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  21:51

It’s time for you to experience your best life. Don’t waste time, go and try this as soon as possible. You have nothing to lose except however many number of years not feeling at your best, not living your best life. Remember, you are worth the effort. Always have been and always will be. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  22:26

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of A Voice and Beyond. I hope you enjoyed it as now is an important time for you to invest in your own self-care, personal growth and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow so you can show up feeling empowered and ready to live your best life. If you know someone who will also be inspired by this episode, please be sure to copy and paste the link and share it with them. Or share it on social media and use the hashtag #AVoiceAndBeyond. I promise you I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you would like to help me please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple Podcast right now. I would also love to know what it is that you most enjoyed about this episode and what was your biggest takeaway. Please take care and I look forward to your company next time on the next episode of A Voice and Beyond.

Are you ready to discover your voice in life, develop a positive mindset and become the best and most authentic version of yourself?

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