It’s not just breakfast that’s the most important meal of the day, your entire morning routine is the most important part of the day.
The actions you take immediately when you wake up will determine your mood and your productivity for the rest of the day so you must start out on the right foot otherwise it’s game over and you’ve wasted a day.
I spent months and months trying to develop a morning routine habit. I’d write it down beside my bed and psyche myself up before I went to sleep, but every morning I’d immediately recede into the same old routine of hitting that snooze button, then going on my phone for 30 minutes to an hour before even rising.
I knew something had to change, so I created my own personal routine that not only gets me out of bed, but gets me psyched up and energized to crush my day. Here it is.
- 5AM alarm. I purposely make sure my phone is placed on the other side of my room. Reason for this is that it forces me to get out of bed so I’m less likely to fall back to sleep. I’ve found that the sound of my alarm is vital in actually getting me up and out, not just waking me up. To be honest, any sound that wakes me up is going to be annoying to some degree, but I like to set my alarm as either a motivational song or speech because as my brain wakes up and starts to render what’s going on, the motivational sounds start to influence me heavily to get up and crush my day.
I always drink a pint of water as soon as I wake up. It instantly gets rid of any tiredness in the eyes and rehydrates me. Most people just drink coffee but water is s vital in waking your whole body up naturally.
- Cold shower. This is something I’ve been challenging myself to do these past weeks. It’s brutal, especially as it’s winter and the only thing I care about when I first wake up is warmth, however I know that facing my fears is the only way to grow so I’ve braved it for around two weeks now. The results are pretty amazing. The cold water causes me to almost hyperventilate – the deep breaths and the cold feeling on my skin energize me unlike anything else. I’ll do a blog post on the benefits of cold showers next week.
- This consists of two parts: reading my goals and reading my favorite book. Reading my goals is hugely important. I used to list them above my daily to-do list as a way of reminding me, but I never looked at them so it became useless. Now I ensure I read them and visualize them to psyche myself up, remind myself of my daily priorities, and reflect on my overall progress.
Once I’ve read my goals I’ll read a scroll from The Greatest Salesman in the World. If you don’t know what this book is, read my blog post on it. This is a hugely important part of the day – it puts me in the mindset I need to be happy and successful every single day. I’m currently on scroll VII, here’s a short quote from it:
‘Why should I permit the petty happenings of today to disturb me? What can take place before this sun sets which will not seem insignificant in the river of centuries?… If all things shall pass why should I be of concern for today? I will laugh at the world.’
The scroll is all about not taking yourself too seriously to maintain a positive mindset. At this time I may also read, however at the moment I usually read at lunch or before bed.
- I then head to the gym for opening time @ 6.30am. I work out for 45 minutes, I’m currently on a 6-day per week push pull legs routine to put on mass. It may seem counterintuitive to exhaust your body first thing in the morning, but it will actually energize you. Firstly you’ll get a high from working out, secondly your body will be fully awake from the movement, and thirdly your willpower will be boosted from putting in the effort first thing – the momentum to crush your day will be there form the get go.
Once I’ve worked out I’ll use the steam room for 10-20 minutes. I use the time in the steam room to reflect on where I’m at, meditate and go through any ideas I may explore during my day. It helps with recovery, clears me up if I’m feeling ill and clears my skin massively, too.
I always leave the gym with a huge smile on my face. And that positivity rarely fades throughout the day. Every single morning, I condition myself to appreciate the value of discomfort and reward. I can’t help that sometimes every fiber in my body is telling me to go back to sleep, but I can remind myself of how I will feel if I put in the effort before getting the reward. That’s what gets me out of bed in the mornings and keeps me motivated throughout the day.
My morning routine is an accumulation of motivating myself (alarm), facing my fears (cold shower), conditioning my mind (reading), and enduring discomfort for growth (gym). When I complete this routine successfully I’m guaranteed to have a super productive day.
Start your day right, and go to bed satisfied. Start it wrong, and go to bed stressed. It may be easier to stay in bed now, but trust me, it’s never going to be easy sleeping at night knowing you are not doing your absolute best to improve yourself and create the life you want.