What is Your Morning Routine?
Start the day with a routine that sets the tone for the rest of the day. Don’t hope for a great day, prepare for it.
Did you know that how you wake up and what you're thinking of when you wake up pretty much sets the rest of your day? This is why you need to be very careful regarding your choice of morning routines.
I said your choice of morning routines. It is a choice.
Most people default into a routine because its “just what they’ve always done” but they never really put any thought into it and really decided on any plan at all. Even worse is they won’t change because they think its “who they are and what they do”, so it can’t be changed.
At the end of the day, you can change if you want to and if you see the potential then you will be motivated to make some changes.
Your morning routines are like buying the right groceries and the right equipment before cooking a large meal. It prepares you for success.
It may seem challenging at first because it seems like you're learning something that's completely different or weird to you, but it is a choice. And the more you stick to it, the more it becomes an integral part of who you are. Before you know it, it becomes a habit.
Here are some suggestions that can help you get more out of your day. These can all form a part of the optimal morning plan that will help you become a more effective and efficient person for the rest of your day.
Wake up early
I know this is kind of unpopular with a lot of people. If you're the type of person who automatically presses the snooze button on your alarm clock, believe me, I understand.
That's where I came from. I used to have a problem waking up early and I would often oversleep and then my day would begin in a panic to get out the door and to work on time.
But when you choose to wake up early, you free yourself from the stress and panic of rushing out the door and fighting traffic in order to not be late. When you wake up early you can relax and ease into the day at a casual pace. You go from out of control and stressed to in control and relaxed.
The benefits actually go back to the previous evening. If you go to bed late then the stress begins there because you know the following morning will be hectic and rushed.
When you go to bed early you already start to relax knowing that the next morning will start off peacefully and relaxed and you will get a chance to do some fun, interesting things before you start the work day.
This relaxed feeling permeates your sleep and you sleep more soundly which increases the benefits since you will wake up more refreshed and rejuvenated.
Make exercise a part of your morning routine
It doesn't matter if you define exercise as walking one lap around the block or doing a couple of push-ups or possibly even hitting the gym. As long as you get your blood pumping and there's enough oxygen flowing through your system, you are doing it right.
The key is to wake up early and engage in physical activities that wakes you up physically and mentally and gets all of your bodily systems flowing from your cardiovascular system to the lymphatics to your digestion.
Get some sunshine
Get outside and get some sun on your body especially before 8AM. This helps set your biological clock and gets you more in tune with your circadian rhythm. This will help you get to sleep and have deeper, more restful sleep later that night.
Sun is good for you as long as you don’t burn so use common sense and take in what you can handle.
Invest 5-15 minutes on quieting your mind
Once you have exercised and had breakfast, it's time to focus on your mind. A lot of people believe that meditation really is just a form of sleep. They're absolutely wrong. If anything, when you meditate, you become hyper-aware because you focus on what you're thinking and your consciousness.
It's like sharpening your tool. If you're going to be cutting down trees or cutting metal, you need a sharp tool. Your mind is your most precious piece of equipment. When you meditate and you learn how to think in focused, sharp, clear terms, you are investing in your ability to not only get things done but also to make sense of your life.
This is probably one of the most important and crucial things you can ever include in your daily morning routine.
There are many forms of meditation and I invite you to explore what works best for you but if you need a starting point the simplest thing you can do is sit somewhere comfortable other than your bed. Put on some headphones and relaxing music without lyrics. Then just focus on your breath and breathe at a slow relaxed pace feeling the air come in all the way down in your belly.
Typically, you will have all sorts of thoughts going through your mind so the simplest thing to do is give your mind a simple task. Slowly count from 1 to 100 as you breathe and then back from 100 to 1.
You will get distracted and get lost in some of those thoughts. That’s okay, its part of the process. Over time you will get better and better and quieting the mind and bringing in peace and calm.
Read something inspirational
When you read something inspirational every single day, it can be spiritual or purely secular or philosophical, you align your consciousness with something bigger than yourself. You focus on values. When you do this, you learn how to open yourself up to the broad tapestry of life and who you want to be and how you want to live your life.
Where are you now and where are you heading?
Work on Goals
Spend a few minutes and review your top goals for health, finances, relationships and anything else important to you. Visualize you achieving these goals and how that would feel.
Set your intention for this day. How do you want the day to proceed. “Today I am super efficient and productive and I will get everything done on my to do list” “Today I will call 20 clients and close 3 deals”. “Today I am going to have a lot of fun with my friends”
The final word on morning routines
If you don't start your day right then your day will be at the mercy of random events and you might have a good day or a bad day. Starting out with a powerful morning routine takes you from being reactionary to what comes at you to being more at cause and creating what you want in life.
Make it happen today!