The Morning Routine is very popular among the people I follow online. Most successful people seem to have some kind of morning routine outside of snoozing multiple times, rolling out of bed, and downing a pot of coffee just in time to get to work.
Hal Elrod has written an Amazon Best Seller called, “The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)” (not an affiliate link) that he has turned into a series of books about morning routines. It has a 4.6 rating on Amazon with over 3,000 reviews. Obviously morning routines are working for someone; actually A LOT of someone’s!
A lot of the things I teach and write about you might consider in the realm of “woo-woo”, but they all have science behind them and the morning routine is no different. The science behind the Morning Routine is called “priming”.
In a fascinating article about priming Tony Robbins says, “One way to define priming is the act of taking time to adjust your thoughts and emotions so you can live your life in your peak state. Priming is most powerful when completed in the morning to set a productive and powerful tone for your day.” So when we go through a morning routine, we are priming ourselves for a good, successful and productive day! In essence we are Winning In our Mind Before We Step Onto the Battlefield of the Day!
It’s not my intention in this article to go deep on morning routines or priming. I’ll let Hal or Tony catch you up on that if you are interested in a deeper dive. My intention here is to share what I do and hopefully you can take what I’m doing and make it your own!
The first thing I do is drink a glass of water. I usually prepare this the night before and add in a pinch of salt. Sometimes I’ll add some lemon in the morning but not always. Your body is processing while you sleep and a glass of water first thing gives you some much needed hydration.
Next, I’ll read some scriptures on the Bible App or from the Bible and usually spend a moment in prayer.
Journaling has become on of my favorite things over the years. When I journal in the morning I start out by writing three things I am grateful for. You can write more or less but three seems to work for me. When you do this process try to actually feel the gratitude in your heart and body. There is science that confirms having a gratitude practice rewires the brain.
Then I go through a series of questions that sets the tone for my day:
- What is your purpose and do your plans for today connect you to it?
- What are you looking forward to doing today?
- What is your Most Important Task (MIT) and Most Important Training (MITR)?
- Do your goals for the day align with your purpose?
You can add or remove questions from this list. Again, I want you to take things from this and add or adjust it so it’s fits you and sets you up for a successful day.
Next I spend up to 20 minutes box breathing. I break the breathing up into 5 minute intervals as follows:
- 5 minutes of arousal control/relaxation
- 5 minutes of concentration
- 5 minutes of mindfulness
- 5 minutes of visualization
If I am pressed for time for whatever reason I’ll scale back on the time but I do recommend at least 5 minutes of box breathing. If you are just starting a breathing practice start with 5 minutes and build up. I’ll talk more about breathing in other posts.
I already mentioned this as part of my box breathing routine, but some days I’ll do visualization separately. What I’m doing in my visualization is a Future Me. I am visualizing myself in a future state 10, 20, 30 years down the road; then I’ll pull it back to a year from now; and finally I’ll visualize myself going through the current day. I am visualizing myself at each stage accomplishing my goals and being the person I see myself being having reached my maximum potential.
Finally I’ll do some light yoga, qi gong, foam rolling, or some type of light movement. This gets my blood and body moving and ready to take on the day.
Sound like a lot? It doesn’t have to be! If you are just starting a morning routine start small. You can do all of this in 20 minutes or less! And again, do what works for you. If you want to leave something I’ve listed out, do it! If you want to add something you think would set you up for success, add it! At a minimum I would encourage you to:
- Journal (at a minimum list something you are grateful for)
- Breathing Practice
I can tell a huge difference in my day if I do my morning routine! It does help me Win In My Mind before I step onto the battlefield of the day and I’m sure it will help you as well.
If you have questions feel free to contact me or if you’d like help designing a morning routine for yourself click the link below and setup a time to talk with me!