WHY DOES A MORNING ROUTINE MATTER?
I love mornings! I get that not everyone shares my affinity for the early hours, but if you can train yourself to love them, you can set yourself up for so much success daily, which will add up to better, more sustainable success in the long run. Your mornings are incredibly valuable, and they hold so much potential! What you do daily can either set up positive habits that yield great rewards or bad habits that will trap you in a negative cycle.
Think about it: how many days have you hit the snooze button over and over, ended up rushing through your morning half-asleep, headed to work late, and then slowly started getting your day started without any real intention or plan for the day? Then had a small inconvenience and dwelled on it all day? Letting your whole day sour? Probably more often than you realize, which can hurt your overall success more than you think.
The solution is to create an effective morning routine that works for YOU. Personalize it as needed because everyone has different struggles, so find your unique solution and implement that. Here are the three aspects I want you to take into consideration when doing so:
- Physical improvement
- Spiritual enlightenment
- Mental development
When I say physical improvement, I don’t necessarily mean you need to get a full workout in if you’re not an AM workout person, although that’s an awesome way to start your day. But what I do mean is do something simple to prepare your body for the day.
If you find during your workouts or even just daily tasks that you struggle with mobility or pain, take anywhere from 5-30 minutes to really focus on what your body needs. Or it could be a fifteen-minute walk or run right after you wake up. Or, if you’re one who doesn’t want to add a lot of extra time in your mornings, try a quick five-minute flow, a concept created by Max Shank.
The point of this element is to get you moving and ready for a great day. So much of your mood is connected to your physical state, so if you’re moving, you are going to be HYPED and start a great day.
However, two things you HAVE TO DO: eat a good breakfast and drink water! Two very simple things whose importance are often overlooked or even forgotten entirely.
Eat something nutritious and start your day off well. No sugary cereal, no pathetic breakfast bars, no drive-throughs. I’m talking protein, leafy greens, fruits, hearty carbs, some healthy fats- something GOOD for you. Meal prep your breakfast ahead of time if you’re not an early riser. But there is no reason to skip breakfast!
Your daily goal for water should be your weight divided by two, and in ounces. Example, I’m 144 pounds, so I get 72 ounces of water in every day. Find your daily requirement and get a head start on it early in the morning. Down a water bottle before you leave the house. The point is to rehydrate after those eight hours of sleep.
This one is unique- everyone has a different take on this and different things make people feel spiritual. The good news about it is you can’t do it wrong. There’s not one box you need to fit into or a pattern you need to copy from someone else- although finding inspiration from others can help.
If you’re religious, it could be praying every morning. It could be as simple as enjoying your morning coffee or tea while taking 10 minutes to relax and reflect while you do some breathing exercises. It could be you thanking the universe for five things you’re grateful for. It could be 5-15 minutes of meditation- it’s really just anything you feel enlightened or better after doing. Another great resource for help with spirituality is Master Co.
The key here is to do some form of “mental feeding” for at least 30 minutes. It’s a term from the great Tony Robbins that refers to anything that stimulates your thinking. No, not Netflix or TV. Reading is great, but if you don’t have the time to read for 30 minutes in the morning, then play an audio book, podcast, YouTube videos of seminars- whatever will get you learning or at least thinking on another level.
In addition to this mental feeding, it’s important to visualize and review your goals. List them out, put a date for each of them, and post them on your wall. Spend a single minute just reading them aloud, then another five visualizing yourself having already achieved them. Your subconscious will force you to take steps toward your goals for the rest of the day if you start your day with reviewing them.
Lastly, set your intention for the day. It could be as simple as “get better than I was yesterday”, or “do something that scares me”, or “be a force for good and spread happiness and joy all around me”. It may change day to day, but decide what it is and say it out loud to declare it to your subconscious.
So, now we know what we need to do, but how do we bring this all together?
- Let’s first establish what is most important to you and center your morning routine around that. Do you want to get better at something specific every day? Do you want to be happier? Do you want to feel better? Reduce pain, anxiety, illness? A little bit of everything? Find what that is and prioritize that every morning. Your morning routine or rituals can also change as you accomplish your goals along the way.
- Decide what to change and how to implement those changes. Pick a few small, attainable changes first. Don’t overload yourself with 362 new habits. Focus on five to start, then expand upon those as you get consistent with them. Write down your routine and put it on your wall, if necessary. Simple as that. It could start with ten minutes of mobility work, five minutes of visualization, followed by making breakfast, taking supplements and vitamins, then sitting for 10-15 minutes as you look at your goals, visualize them, and then meditate. Finish getting ready, set your intention for the day aloud, then attack the day in a great mood.
- MAINTAIN. This is so simple…right? You would think. The thing is, changing habits is hard work. It requires consistency and a true desire for improvement. It’s easy to sleep in. It’s easy to make it to a drive through rather than cook something healthy. It’s easy to Netflix and mellow out in the morning. But none of those are going to benefit you or help you become an even more kickass person! Have you ever heard of the 21-day rule? 21 days to create or break a habit? Stick with it for just three weeks. You will see a difference in your days and an even bigger change long-term.
So, wake up even a half hour earlier and do something that will prepare you for the day. Spend your mornings investing in yourself. Those around you will thank you for it. Contact your coach if you need some accountability, some ideas, or an outsider’s opinion on what weaknesses to target.
Do you have specific things you do every morning that work well? Let me know in the comments below and give me some inspiration.