The Importance of A Morning Routine
I’ve recently challenged myself to write every day for the month of November. What helps me with this goal is sticking to a morning routine. It’s something that I’ve done on and off for years and more consistently for the past year, but it’s the one thing that I can say increases my success exponentially.
I started doing this more consistently when I read the Miracle Morning about 6 months ago. I’d been doing most of this and didn’t realize that there was a community of people doing the same thing. I probably read someone’s post years ago and didn’t realize it. The book gave me more structure and helped me understand the importance of it and why it works. I highly recommend it.
Now, I try to wake up around 5 or 6 am and then this is what my morning looks like:
Read: I keep my iPad or a book next to me so that it’s easy to grab as I try and wipe the tiredness of the night away from my face. Some mornings I have to talk myself out of looking at my cell phone. I’ve found that it’s a slippery slope if I reach for my cell phone before I complete all these steps. It’s normally what determines if the rest of this will flow smoothly or not. So instead I read a book. Normally it’s something business related - learning a new skill, a memoir, self help. I’ll read for about 20-30 minutes and this helps get me alert and in a motivated state.
Meditate: After I read, I throw on my workout clothes and then go to the yoga mat that I already have set up in the living room. Well, normally I go to the bathroom first and then the mat. Where the mat is set up means that I can’t go to the bathroom and go back into bed without passing the mat. I meditate by doing breathing exercises and yoga stretches for about 5 minutes.
Pray: I end my yoga stretches in child’s pose. This has me on my knees which I find is the perfect time to pray. I thank God for another day and then list the things that I am thankful for.
Workout: After I’m done praying, I turn on my motivational speeches playlist on Spotify. This is something that I’ve recently started adding before I workout and I’ve found that it’s been a huge part in keeping me going. The messages are helping retrain my brain. Before I workout is a great time play this list. I don’t work out for long. About 10-15 minutes. Just enough to get my body warmed up.
Make Tea: Once I’m done working out, I put on the kettle to boil water for my tea. If it hasn’t become clear yet, I balance a life of alcohol by drinking a lot of tea. It’s what I use to calm and center me (not CBD beverages). If I’m stressed, wired, sad or tired, there is a tea that helps solve things for me. At this time of day, I’ve found that green tea or peppermint is the best to help relax me while also energizing my spirit.
Personal Manifesto: As the water is working on the stove, I sit on my couch and read my personal manifesto aloud. It’s a collection of my goals written in the present tense. When I’m reading, if my brain has any resistance, I’ll stop and think if anything needs to be rewritten. I end this by writing my intention for the day. It’s the one thing that I must complete that will make me feel successful when I read it the following morning.
Write: By the time I’m done with my personal manifesto, the water is boiling. I add the loose leaf tea to a french press and add the water. I sit back down to start writing. I have a list of ideas that I’m starting to keep so I choose one of those and write. I don’t worry about the structure too much. I just try and get the words on the paper as fast as they come. Somewhere in here I make my tea. Somehow it doesn’t feel like a distraction. I normally have my page set up and a few thoughts going back through my head, so when I sit down with my mug, I’m really ready to go.
Post: (Or ship as Seth Godin would call it.) When I’m done writing for the day, I go back to what I wrote the previous day. This is when I edit and then post.
Any day that I do this, I feel successful. I’m working really hard on not breaking the chain right now because I know it’s the difference maker in me accomplishing my goals or not.
Your routine won’t look exactly like mine. What I’ve found though is that by starting your morning with an hour just for yourself, the day becomes infinitely easier. I’ve also found that my brain responds better to calling it a daily practice instead of a morning routine.