I don’t know about you, but for the last few years I’ve heard a lot about morning routines. I remember my first planned and installed morning routine. It has changed a lot during the past years. My morning routines tend to change from place to place where I am living and for the past 4 months I’ve been in 10 different countries. It always depends from my daily chores and where I am. I always adapt it to certain places, but some elements don’t change at all. I can’t imagine my life without them now. I’ve had some periods where I missed my daily tasks, but just for a few days. If that happens, I usually catch up with myself in a few days. When I sit down or go for a walk to put everything in places. I plan by setting up my life in a certain place at that certain moment and get back to my routine. Usually that happens when something is not right, so this is also a really great trigger to find out what’s wrong.
Most people are in survival mode and just try to get through the day. What does that mean? They are living their lives reactively. They wake up in in the morning and immediately check their smart phones. They look tired and busy right after waking up. Your whole day, and really your whole life reflects how you start your day. Moreover, your overall happiness and well-being are lacking, as you are not living accordingly to your highest values and goals.
Morning routine is meant for you to get out of the survival mode and keep you going forward, stay on track and reach your goals. You do that by making time and space in the morning oriented to yourself and the person you intend to be. You also aim yourself towards your highest goals and priorities. If you have a consistent morning routine, your life will be very different.
Create your morning routine
Your morning routine starts from the evening. Here are a few suggestions on how to start creating one:
- Go to bed 7-8 hours before you need to wake up. If you use an alarm clock to wake up, place it somewhere far away from your bed so in the morning you would need to get out of bed and walk across the room to snooze it.
- Don’t look or use any electronic devices 30-60 minutes before going to sleep. (Artificial light fucks up our internal clock and if you’re struggling to fall asleep, this may help you right away)
- Don’t check email/social media within an hour of going to bed. Unplug yourself from other worlds and be present with your close ones. Rest, recover from the day. This one is harder for me while I’m traveling and really easy, when I’m with my loved ones.
- Spend 10-15 minutes before bed thinking about your #1 goal or #1 problem you’re trying to solve. This is a new thing for me, but I already like it and as Thomas Edison said, “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.” So let’s prepare our mind for great things and use time effectively.
- Spend 5 minutes before sleep mapping your top 1-3 priorities for the next day.
- Spend a few (5-20) minutes meditating. If you don’t know how – google it. These days a lot of people are talking about it and you can have guided meditation from youtube. Or as I’ve been doing for the past year – breathe! I start my morning with breathing exercises and finish my day with meditation.
- Write to your journal. This one is my favourite and the most important part of the morning routine. If you don’t write daily yet, you should head out to a store to get a journal or notepad and start writing right now. Start writing anything that comes to your mind. Write about your #1 goal or #1 problem you’re trying to solve. This will wake up your subconscious breakthroughs you had while you were sleeping. Express your gratitude to the world. Write 3-5 things you are grateful for today. If you need more ideas what to write about, you can write what makes you happy, what you are going to do today to make your day better (this is actually a really good exercise to practise when trying to accomplish things). Or write about yesterday. Some memories are really nice to keep, even if you are never going to read what you’ve written. I don’t.
- Do a minimum of 5 minutes of physical activity. Go through your joints and wake up your body. Even better if you can turn those 5 minutes to 15-45 minutes intensive workout to kick start your day.
- Take a cold shower. This is the best thing that you can do after an intensive physical activity. If you’ve never done this, start with a warm shower and finish with 30-60 seconds freezing cold water. During the cold shower breathe deeply and calmly in and out through your mouth. If you want more info about scientific benefits regarding this, check out “Iceman” Wim Hof, who holds many world records related to cold.
- Don’t check your phone, email or social media for at least 60 minutes after waking up.
- After you spend a few moments prepping yourself for how you intend to be that day, interact with your loved ones or if you you live alone, send a few kind texts to the important people in your life.
- Before breakfast, drink a glass of lemon water (squeeze a half of lemon in to the water) and get yourself some tasty, nutrient-rich breakfast. What I also like to do while preparing breakfast or exercising is to listen to uplifting content such as Fearless Motivation. This will get you motivated and energized to tackle the day.
To wrap up
Some habits may stick to your daily life, some may not. Obviously you don’t need to do all of these things. Especially if you don’t have any morning routine. There are likely several things you may try that aren’t mentioned here. I’m sure that your morning routine will most likely change over time depending on various periods of your life. Try different combinations and find the one that fits you best at a current moment. Some of the habits go hand in hand together, so you are basically able to shoot two birds with one stone. Start slowly and enjoy time spent for yourself! A morning routine will benefit not only you, but also the ones surrounding you.
Become the best version of yourself and keep going forward, making even the smallest steps!