Do you have a morning routine?
Of course you do. We all have a bunch of habits that move us from bed to first appointment with minimum fuss. I meant to ask – have you designed a morning routine that serves you?!
Sleep is critical, but it’s NOT part of the morning routine.
My morning routine used to consist of the smallest amount of tasks performed in a hurry which allowed me to “get more sleep” by waking only 20 minutes before I needed to leave for work. It was fast but did nothing to prime my mindset or body for my day.
The idea was I would be maximizing my sleep. But I didn’t apply this same efficient logic the night before. Happy to lose an hour or two to important tasks like unwinding watching tv or something else equally blasé.
I have not found a way to wake fresh and tackle the day without going to bed early enough to get a good nights rest! No morning routine will compensate for late nights and lack of sleep.
Start small and keep track.
After being inspired by Stefan James posting his very well structured morning routine videos (start with this one its old school and packed with good stuff here) I started a much simpler routine based on the concepts.
I start with a spreadsheet with a bunch of tick boxes for each day of the week, and 6 rows to fill in your routines. Writing it down makes it real and measuring allows you to manage yourself and see where you are letting yourself down.
Currently my morning 6 include:
- Get up and about within 10 minutes of my alarm. This is still my most frequent item I fail to achieve!
- Smile. It’s what I do literally the first thing while still laying down. It’s such a small thing but it physiologically leads my mind to start the day grateful and honestly makes a massive difference!
- Drink a glass of water and take supplements. (I currently just take a few vitamins and minerals)
- Three minute meditation. I know it’s sooo short and for most light not even count as meditation but for me for now it has to be. To me settkg a target for a 20 minute meditation session just won’t happen (yet). If I want it to o can make it happen but I’m building it as I go (more about this in the next section). I’ve been using Whim Hof breathing cycles to follow my breathing.
- Move/stretch/push/pull. 10 pushups. A walk. 5 minutes of upper leg lower back stretches. I like to just do something I decide in the moment.
- Read my life plan identity out loud with feeling. This is a few paragraphs of “I am” type statements that I have set as part of my self mastery and the type of man I want to be while achieving the larger goals in life.
If one gets easy it’s time to upgrade.
I used to have “30 second cold shower” on there. After a while I regularly completed it without much fuss so decided to push it to “one minute cold shower”. But after three months the habit was locked and so I dropped it off the list and replaced it with something else. I still take cold showers and they are at least one and a half to two minutes no enjoy them now.
This is the power of keeping this small, simple and agile. Your morning routine shouldn’t feel like an impossible task. But it should t be a list of stuff you do without thinking.
Use it to focus on and level up a few key areas in your life.
Build your credibility
Ed Mylett says building confidence comes from the trust developed in yourself when you keep the promises you make to yourself.
As much as the routine will improve the areas you choose to focus on, just making a commitment and then following through on it ( even when no one is watching) is next level. I have found this to change the way I show up and boost my ability to be productive and present with people moment by moment.
Go to bed! Yes I’m a Dad and I have this phrase on high repeat. Tomorrow’s morning routine actually starts tonight.
Keep it simple and keep track.
Level up regularly. Lock away new habits and keep it fresh and challenging with new ones.
Don’t stress too much what the items are if you’re starting out, just grab six and adjust on the fly. Just having a list and reflecting on how you are performing each day will provide its own benefits and you will build unshakable self confidence that “you got this”.
Lastly, I would recommend avoiding your devices. Try not to check email or social media or anything where information comes to you expecting response. Start the day in control with your intention setting the course. Don’t get sucked into reacting your way through the day. Use your intentional morning as a foundation to build an intentional day.