How to win the morning

Blog #56

I’ve written about the subject of morning routines before, but as it is such an essential part of who I am as a person, I thought that it would be worth talking about again. You can read the original post here.

How to win the morning by Ben Steele

I’ve noticed that I spend a lot of time learning from people that I want to emulate. Some names that come to mind are Joe Rogan, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jocko Willink, Casey Neistat, and Dwayne Johnson. A lot of entrepreneurs, podcasters and creatives. There’s also, Steve Prefontaine, Bill Bowerman, and Steve Jobs. I spend a lot of time learning from people I admire because I want to better myself. I figure that one of the best ways to achieve my own goals, is to learn from those who are already doing it.

One thing that I resoundingly find in-common between many of the names I mentioned above is their ability to win the morning. I believe the first few hours of a day are the most crucial. Because of this I’ve determined to start every day with a win by planning and following a successful morning routine.

For me, every morning goes about the same.

  • Wake up at 5:00 am.

  • Make my bed.

  • Go for a 3-5 mile run.

  • Spend 10-15 minutes on the pull-up bar or working abs.

  • Shower (usually ending a shower with cold water).

  • Get dressed.

  • Cook breakfast, which for me is four pieces of turkey bacon, 3-4 eggs, and a protein shake. Sometimes also with oatmeal and frozen blueberries.

  • Meditate 5-10 minutes.

  • Stretch 5-10 minutes.

  • Read, listen to a podcast, or go over the day’s plans for the remainder of the time until work or another commitment, which usually happens at around 8:00 am.

  • If I could add in an hour of surfing every morning around 8:00 am I think I would, but that might just have to wait until later in my professional life.

Effective mornings with Benjamin Steele

So what does an effective morning do for the day and more importantly for the soul?

When I have an effective morning, it’s like nothing can go wrong. An effective morning makes the entire day a success. It leaves me feeling satisfied with myself and prepared for whatever the day has to throw at me. Sometimes we can’t control what happens during a day and everything seems to go wrong. When I have a good morning though, even if the day is rough, I still feel that it was overall a success.

Travis Bradberry, an authority on emotional intelligence, talks about the impact that exercising in the morning can have on your day.

“Researchers at the University of Bristol found that people who exercise have more energy and a more positive outlook, which are both critical to getting things done,” he says. “Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that makes your brain feel soothed and keeps you in control of your impulses.”

I believe it’s so important to be a physically, mentally, and spiritually strong person. The balance is important. An effective morning routine will help in all three categories. It will allow you take a hold of your life and accomplish things that you dream of. It will positively impact careers, families and relationships.

Running in the morning by Ben Steele

There are many benefits of an effective morning routine.

Having an effective morning has its advantages, says Shanon Makekau, medical director of the Kaiser Permanente Sleep Lab in Hawaii.

“Morning people have been shown to be more proactive, which is linked to better job performance, career success, and higher wages, as well as more goal-oriented,” she says. “These people tend to be more in sync with the typical workday schedule, versus night owls who may be still be waking up at around lunchtime.”

Successful entrepreneur, marketer, and best-selling author, Gary Vaynerchuk, talks about how his morning routine helps him to get a head start on the day.

“By the time I step into that first meeting, so much is going through my head already. The day started the minute I opened my eyes,” he says.

Gary goes on to talk about how it maximizes the amount of time he has in a day. “For me, every minute counts, so my schedule is planned down to the second,” he says. “You have to use every second you get in a day.”

A healthy morning breakfast with Ben Steele

So, how to make it happen?

Retired Navy Seal Jocko Willink talks about his morning routine in an interview with Business Insider and gives some unique advice.

"Don't think in the morning," Jocko said. "That's a big mistake that people make. They wake up in the morning, and they start thinking."

Instead, as soon as his alarm clock goes off at 4:30 a.m. Jocko jumps out of bed and puts on the workout clothes he prepared the night before. He then starts to go through his to-do list, so he doesn't have to sip a coffee and wonder what he'll do that day.

Jocko heads straight to his garage gym for a workout that wakes up his mind and body far more intensely than checking emails and doing some light stretching ever could. By the time he's done with his morning routine, most people are just waking up.

Jocko said: "Don't think. Just execute the plan. The plan is the alarm clock goes off, you get up, you go work out. Get some."

Morning Routines with Benjamin Steele

So, what’s your morning routine? I would love to hear about it. Maybe you don’t enjoy working out in the morning or maybe you prefer reading in the evenings and that’s totally ok. Whatever works for you! What’s important is that you establish a routine that will help you win every day.

I am confident that developing and following an effective morning routine will help you in every capacity of your life.

Best of luck,

Ben

Here are the morning routines of some of the people I mentioned above: