Your morning routine is an indicator of how you will approach your entire day. Successful people start their day with a morning routine that is intentional. Your morning routine can create the start to a great day and a great life.
In his 2005 Commencement address to Stanford, Steve Jobs told the story of a morning routine that he had for more than 30 years.
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
That is a thought-provoking question and a profound way to start the day. By being aware and mindful of how he was spending his time, he was able to keep his life on track and stay focused on what was most important. Are you aware of how you start your day?
For many years, I have drifted mindlessly through the start of my days and through the days themselves. Only recently have I developed an intentional morning routine. We can learn from the habits of successful people like Steve Jobs and others. Successful people claim the first hours of the day as ‘me’ time. This is time to plan and prepare themselves for the day ahead.
Creating a Morning Routine That Will Jumpstart Your Day
For years I have a habit of getting up at least two hours before I had to leave the house. I had a morning routine, but it wasn’t intentional or productive. It was just what I did. You may be in the same situation. The good news is that we can be intentional about creating morning habits that lead to health, happiness and success.
As you sleep your body spends around 8 hours without any fluids. To wake up your body and jumpstart your metabolism, drink a glass of lemon water. You may have a habit of drinking coffee or some other caffeinated beverage first thing. Try changing this habit and see if you feel better.
As you drink the lemon water, notice how the lemon smells. Studies have shown the the scent of lemon is a mood-booster, making it a refreshing way to start the day.
Find a quiet place and spend a few minutes meditating. Ideally, you will be up before everyone else in your house and can have the luxury of spending some time alone. This can be your ‘me’ time.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Today, meditation is used to relax the body, reduce stress and clear the mind.
After spending some time meditating and clearing your mind, spend the next few minutes in prayer. You can spend as much time in this area as you have. Even as little as 5 minutes will be beneficial, though you may want to tack on more time as this becomes a habit.
Scientists believe that we experience real-world activities and imaginary ones in similar ways. Have you ever visualized what you were going to do before you did it? Jack Nicklaus, a legendary golfer, practiced each shot in his head before ever taking it.
You can spend just a few minutes visualizing what you want to accomplish during the day or visualize yourself focused on the one most important task of the day. As you do this, take note of your accomplishments. Are you getting more done? Are you more focused?
Doesn’t it feel great to exercise first thing in the morning? You may have to talk yourself into exercising for 20-30 minutes each morning, but you will feel energized and ready for the day once you do.
You may run, walk, lift weights, do yoga or any other fitness routine you like. Just find something that you like, then do it. Be consistent and make it a priority.
Your body has been fasting and needs some energy to get your day started. Eating a healthy breakfast not only energizes your body, but your mind as well.
Be mindful of how you are starting your day. It’s not what we eat once in a while that matters…it’s what we eat day after day that counts.
Journaling is a great way to start the day. There are many different formats for journaling. I like the one that Hal Elrod promotes in his book The Miracle Morning. This journal includes a section for gratitude, important tasks for the day, a daily quote and a look back at yesterday.
Journaling can be done many different ways. Choose a method that works best for you. You can use pen and paper or you may prefer to type your journal entry. Experiment to see what you like best.
The amount of time that you have allotted for your morning routine will determine how much time you have to read.
You can choose your reading material. It may be something inspirational, classical, related to your business or self-improvement material. Spend just a few minutes reading each morning.
Lately, I have been reading a chapter out of Proverbs each day. This was suggested to me years ago. I find myself looking forward to reading each morning.
If this sounds overwhelming, just start with one or two of the ideas above. As you master one habit, add another one. Before you know it, you will have created a brand new morning routine.
Over time notice if you start to see positive changes in your life. I think you will.
“The early morning has gold in its mouth.”
Question: Do you have a morning routine that works for you? Have you tried any of these ideas with success? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.