Morning Routines Really Work — Here’s an easy to follow one.

Early to bed, and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise — Ben Franklin

There’s countless advocates for an early morning routine; Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins, Jocko Wilinik, Benjamin Hardy, and the list goes on. And it really isn’t that they are blowing smoke up our asses. Having a morning routine actually works. The benefits from it are exponential. From increased energy, clarity, better decision making and a greater chance of hitting your goals. A morning routine has changed my life; the way I think and my productivity. When I abandon it, even for a few days, I feel the effects. Here’s a simple breakdown of a morning routine:

Start the Night Before

A great morning routine starts the night before. If you plan it out and be disciplined, it sets you up for the benefits you wish to get from it. The most important thing is to get to bed with enough time to get 7–8 hours sleep. So if you wish to get up at 5:00am, you should be asleep at 10:00pm latest (9:00pm is ideal). Also, you should wind down before sleep to get the best sleep possible. This means:

  • Try to turn off electronics a 15–30 minutes before bed.
  • Avoid eating too late.
  • Avoid alcohol/caffeine before bed.

These may be impossible to maintain every day due to your lifestyle but you should try to maintain your routine at least 4 out of 7 nights per week. The night before should also consist of some additional prep. The additional prep can also tire you out to make sure you get a better night’s sleep:

  • If you go to the gym, get your gym clothes ready and nearby.
  • Prepare other things like meals, kids’ meals (if you have kids) and clothing so you aren’t in panic mode in the morning.

Finally, have a pen and notebook nearby your bed. Before you go to sleep, write anything that’s on your mind down. You can also summarise your day. Don’t make it into an essay and don’t worry about spelling. It’s just taking a mind dump before sleep. All these things done set’s you up for a great morning and day.

Make the Bed

In the morning, make your bed (or your side of the bed). It’s the first step to a great morning. It sets the tone of goals to accomplish for the day and gets your brain organised. And at the end of the day, if you haven’t got anything done, you will return to a made bed.

Meditate/Pray

Take your first fifteen minutes to half hour of your morning in deep prayer or meditation. Spending the first part of your morning with your thoughts, clearing out the confusion, stress, distractions that plague your life can do wonders. It gives you clarity. It trains you to be focused. It creates space for inspiration and ideas. There are great apps such as Headspace and Calm that can help with beginner meditators. The ROI on the subscription to one of these apps is exponential.

Write/Speak

Part of your morning routine is to write. Put pen to paper. IF writing is not your thing, you can do an audio recording on your phone.

  • Write/Speak a couple sentences on how grateful you are.
  • Write/Speak a couple lines on your goals for the day.
  • Write/Speak a couple lines to re-affirm your goals for the year.
  • Ask yourself a difficult question
  • Write/Speak 5 ideas.

Writing increases your creativity and focus. Writing brings out great ideas from your subconscious that you can act on. It makes you a better writer. It also puts you in special company as the number of people who actively write dwindle each year.

Get Moving

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Get your ass moving. Get some physical activity going. Walk, run, do some pushups or burpees. It need not be crazy or long. Just sweat. Get your heart-rate up. Over time you will realise a few things:

  • Your phyiscal energy goes up.
  • Your mental alertness goes up.
  • You invest in improving other things like your diet.
  • Your metabolism increases.
  • You may even reduce your caffeine intake.

ONE BIG GOAL

Focus on hitting at least one major goal for the day. What’s the ONE fire that you can’t afford to leave burning? Write that goal down and begin to put actionable steps into hitting that goal. You may have other goals that you need to accomplish in the day but getting that one goal can be the catalyst for others to be completed. Completing those urgent and important task each day, based on your morning goal, has compound benefits.

Conclusion

To summarise, here’s your morning routine:

  1. Prep the night before
  2. Make your bed
  3. Meditate/Pray
  4. Write
  5. Move
  6. Focus on one big goal

If you consistently get the morning routine down, this will spill over into other parts of your life. Watch your life change over time.

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