Morning routines can be life-changing if made part of your life. They can be as complex or as a simple as you want them to be, but having at least one will make you a more thoughtful, relax and focused person, it will set you up with a quick win early on the day and will make you feel in control, at least they do it for me.
A few days ago I wrote about Journaling and the impact it has had on me; taking the moment to reflect on my life, day and actions have allowed me the clarity as well as the mindfulness to try to do my best with the battles I fight and the opportunities that open up every day.
My Journaling habit is divided into two: on a perfect day I would start my day by writing the first half of it, which is focused on gratitude and forward-thinking (starting with the end in mind); on a perfect day, I will close with the 2nd half of my journal, which focuses on the retrospective part, right before I hit the bed.
Morning routines also set the day for me, and if I get to go through my full morning routine I know I have everything under control; when I don’t, it means I have to get it under control. Just like with journaling, I can tell of the state of my mental health based on whether or not I get to go through my morning routines or if I’ve been skipping them lately.
Many successful people I have read-of have strict morning routines, some of them will even have evening routines as well. I guess routines are telling of a disciplined life.
I started my morning routine with the view to sooth my internal demons and as a way to break through the resistance. It’s also a barometer of how I am doing and how I feel.
Morning routines are about starting the day with a little bit of time on your terms. It’s about having your first wins early on, as well as looking forward to what you want to accomplish on the day ahead. Morning routines are about taking a moment and being grateful and remembering that no matter how shit you think it is, there is always a silver lining you can cling to, something, not matter how small, that you can and should be grateful of.
Morning routines are nonscripted and everyone should have their own version of it, or at least you should, because they are and should be about you and what works best to set you up for success on the day forward.
My morning routine is a simple one:
- Wake up between 6 and 6:30am.
- Hit the loo.
- Read the Daily Stoic.
- Head downstairs for a 10 to 15-minute meditation – I use Headspace to facilitate and guide it, sat on a cushion on the living room floor facing the window towards the sunrise.
- Put the kettle and prepare some green tea.
- Go over my email and review my To-Do list, add anything that I think should be handled on that day or days to come, delegate what needs, and make sure I have the One thing I need to focus on getting done first thing in the morning.
- I then head upstairs for a shower, get ready and head to the office by bus.
I also try to prepare Helga her breakfast after journaling, I do this as an act of appreciation to her and everything she does for me, it’s a way to start the day serving someone, the person that I love the most. It also provides her with her own alone time in the kitchen as I got get ready, so she can go through her own morning routine.
Making time for your morning routine is hard, it means you have to allocate 1 or 2 hours first thing in the day to you, think about it!? Many of us don’t give ourselves that luxury, it also has a ripple effect on other things around your day to day routine, like getting to bed early enough that you can wake up at the correct time; but it’s worth it every single minute.
Allow yourself this luxury. It will pay you back with interests in double digit increments!
PS. If you want to learn more about how others manage their morning routines, Tim Ferris is probably a great source of knowledge on them, he has talked about his, interview most of the guests of his podcast about theirs and even went the length of writing two books about it, aggregating the routines of hundreds of successful people; another great source on morning routines is a book by Ben Spall and Michael Xander, called My Morning Routine; where, similar to Tim’s, they collect the routines of my successful people ✌️ .