I have always believed that our day can be determined in the first few hours we are awake. That our first few decisions can determine the success and flow for what is to follow. In the military they call this battle rhythm. It all starts with our morning routine.
So…here are 6 ideas for a successful morning routine in 2019.
We've all heard the classic words from our friend Benjamin Franklin, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." I would agree with my fellow Benjamin's words and add in my own suggestions as well. Not only is it important to retire to bed at a reasonable time and wake up earlier than later, it is also important to take advantage of those first few hours we have to ourselves before we go into work, class, or start running errands for the family.
As to how best to create a successful morning routine? Here are a few of my suggestions...
(1) Set a good time to wake up.
7 or 8 hours of sleep should be sufficient. Early is better because it gets you a head start on others. My personal favorite time to wake up is 5:00 am. This puts me ahead of most people, giving me an edge on my competition, and still allows for me to go to bed at a reasonable time.
30-45 minutes of exercise at least is a must. Plan your workout and routine before falling asleep. If you know what you are going to do (run, bike, gym) before the morning arrives then you will be much more likely to actually get out of bed and do it. Don’t hit the snooze button, just force yourself awake. Sometimes a workout partner or a significant other can help in holding you accountable to this.
(3) Stay off social media.
Statistically, the thing people do first when they wake up is look at their phone and social media; this is usually not a good move. If possible, the morning should be for you and maybe save the media for when you’re eating breakfast.
(4) Eat a full meal.
Don't just call it with a piece of toast, eat a full rounded meal with protein and grains. I personally go all out on breakfast and it seems to really give me a positive mental and physical boost for the day. Every morning I make 3 to 4 strips of turkey bacon, eggs / egg whites, and oatmeal that I eat with frozen blueberries. I have heard some logic for avoiding carbs in the morning and I can see the argument for that approach.
(5) Plan & meditate.
I'm a firm believer in doing most of the planning the night before, but it's helpful to still take a few moments to go over what you need to accomplish during the day when you wake up. I do most of my planning on a calendar app on my phone and I've found that is very helpful to always have my schedule with me for reference.
On the second point, if you’ve ever listened to one of my podcasts, you’ve likely heard a guest talk about the benefits of daily meditation. I’m a firm believer that taking those 5-10 minutes in the morning to clear the mind and concentrate on breathing can make a massive difference in the flow of the day.
If you’re religious maybe throw a prayer in there as well.
(6) Take a few minutes to learn.
It is proven that our minds are most susceptible to learning in the morning and I am a firm believer of this point. I personally love to listen to a podcast or audio book, take a few minutes to read, or watch an interview during my morning routine to get some early inspiration and education in my day. By doing this I’m typically able to easily listen to at least one audio book a week.
There's never a "perfect" remedy to a morning routine, but these are a few of the things that are working in my own life. Starting the day in the correct way will make all the difference, believe me.
If you have other things you like to do in the morning, I would love to hear what they are. Leave a comment or shoot me an email with your thoughts. Also, please sign up to my email list to stay in the loop on this blog and my podcast.
Now go do something amazing,