Got your morning routine locked down? If not, you’re missing out. The importance of a morning routine cannot be understated. Success-hounds such as Steve Jobs, Tim Ferriss, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and many others have all dialed in an effective morning routine.
How you awake into the world determines the mental state in which you will face your challenges that day. That mental state, determines how effectively you can come up with creative solutions and progress. Progressing on a daily level, leads to progression on a monthly and yearly basis. It all starts in the morning.
The suggestions below are meant to be used as a guide for you. Feel free to pick and choose, creating your most potent success potion.
Take a Cold Shower: Cold stimulates the nervous system in a multitude of ways. Turning temperatures down at the end of your shower for 90-120 seconds has been shown to increase awareness, refine hair and skin, improve immunity and circulation, stimulate weight loss, speed up muscle recovery, ease stress, and even extinguish depression. Don’t believe me? Just try it out for one week. Here’s a great video.
Sip Green Tea: Instead of coffee, opt for a much more cleansing and healthy option. Green Tea contains bioactive compounds that improve health, antioxidants that defend against certain types of cancer, and contains molecules called catechins that fight Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Make Your Bed: This simple step is so vital for breeding success. You can find an amazing video about making your bed here. Making your bed reinforces that fact that the little things in life matter, and if you cannot do the little things in life, there is no way you can do the big things.
Meditate: I need not delve into the positive effects of meditation, as there are articles galore on the internet. I recommend anywhere from 6 to 15 minutes. Breathe and relax your mind.
Yoga: Doing a simple yoga flow (specific series of movements) in the morning has been shown to boost your metabolism, prevent injury, and prime the mind for a productive day. Keep it short and simple. I recommend no more than 15 minutes.
Journal: Journaling can be as deep or surface level you as like. I’ve found focusing on two specific areas in my journal has led to observable change. The first, gratitude. I always begin my entry by writing what I am grateful for. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness, improved health, better relationships, and ability to deal with adversity. I finish my entry by writing down the one task, that if I were to accomplish that day, would mean I crushed the day. It is tempting to write two or three, however I always restrain and keep it to one. Boiling down your massive to-do list to one task allows for laser focus on that task.
Read Your Favorite Book: Reading stimulates the brain in many ways. I recommend a few minutes of your favorite self-help/achievement book in the morning. Don’t have time for this? Audiobooks are a great alternative for those on the go.
Exercise: Get your body moving! Air squats, jumping jacks, spin bike, push-ups; you are typically alone in your early morning hours so no need for discretion! My recommendation is to keep it brief. Your time in the morning is precious, if you are able to go for a regular workout, then by all means proceed. If not, choose whatever exercise will simply get your blood pumping and limit it to no more than 15 minutes. Note that this brief morning exercise is not in place of your regular workout.
Stretch: Stretching helps loosen tight muscles and shake off the stiffness accumulated while sleeping. I recommend dynamic stretching such as a vinyasa flow, leg swings, fire hydrant circles, spider-man walks, scorpion stretch, etc. Simply pick and choose your favorites.
Integrate each item one at a time, until it becomes a habit. “You change our life by changing your habits.” –Tony Robbins Be mad enough to know when a routine is working and when one isn’t. This is about establishing a starting point and then tweaking from there. Consider keeping a daily log of your energy levels and what morning routine you completed. You may be shocked.
Here’s an example routine that I’ve adapted, refined, and successfully implemented: -
Immediately make my bed within 2 minutes of waking
Take a cold shower
Meditate for 10 minutes
Journal on gratefulness and the one thing I could accomplish that would mean I crushed the day
Eat breakfast while sipping green tea and start the day
The entire routine, not including breakfast takes roughly 24 minutes. This commitment in the morning will pay massive dividends in the rest of your day.
So what’s your morning routine? And is it helping you accomplish your goals? If your routine consists of hitting the snooze button three times, skipping breakfast, and rushing out the door, following these fundamental guidelines will launch you towards your goals and achieving everything you have truly wanted in life.