Do you have a morning routine? Or do you wake up rushed, flustered and try to catch up the rest of the day like so many people?
As Richard Whately says, “Lose an hour in the morning and you will spend all day looking for it.”
I’m convinced that creating a set of powerful morning rituals can impact your life more than anything else.
After studying successful people for years and creating my own morning routine I fully understand the power of them.
My Story About Morning Routines
Before I started waking up with a plan my life and business were a mess.
I had left my six-figure job to pursue entrepreneurship and professional golf six months prior. I had told myself I’d do whatever it took to make them both work.
While the intent was good, I had no balance in my life. Hourwise, I had never worked more, close to 60-80 hours each week. Money wise I had never earned less. This led to being angry, frustrated, and questioning the choices I had made.
I knew I needed a change and it started with my routine. I wanted to be more efficient, make more progress, and work on myself.
Initially, I first discovered the power of them when I attended a Tony Robbins seminar. From there, it seemed like they were in every personal development book I read since.
I can say unequivocally that waking up with a plan has helped me turn my life around in every way possible.
Here are the biggest benefits of starting a set of morning rituals:
- Made more money each month January – May from freelance writing
- Worked 20-40% fewer hours each week than I was without any structure to my mornings
- Lost 7 pounds easily (also with the help of intermittent fasting)
- Increased my happiness from daily meditation
- Averaged reading one book per week
Now, I am a firm believer that if you win the morning, you win the day.
I’m making it my goal to share the power of morning rituals with the world. From publishing this post, a whole video series on Youtube, creating a course and telling anyone I can.
Whether you are a stay at home mom, work 90 hours per week at a corporate job or are an entrepreneur… EVERYONE can greatly benefit from starting a routine.
You don’t need to spend 60-90 minutes, wake up at 4 am or take cold showers for them to work. Yes, I’ll outline how those morning rituals can help, but the important part is that you create a routine that works for you.
Here’s how you can get started with a habit that I hope you can use forever to better your life.
6 Reasons Why You Should Create a Morning Routine
1.) Start The Day on Your Terms
Most people start the day off reactive — hitting the snooze button, scrolling through social media while lying in bed, and waiting until the last minute to get ready.
This leads to being rushed, flustered, and reactive. Instead of starting the day on your terms you are simply reacting to your environment.
In reality, the mornings should be peaceful, positive, and set you up to win the day. I’ll show you the exact rituals the most successful people do each morning.
2.) Focus on Your Goals
How many times have you set a goal only to forget about them a day or a week later? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
I used to be the king of setting goals and losing them into the abyss of my Google drive. Needless to say, setting goals is one thing but you need to focus on them regularly to turn your goals into reality.
As the legendary motivational speaker, Les Brown said, “Review your goals twice each day. Morning and night.”
Even if you spend one minute reviewing your biggest goals you are constantly reminding yourself of what you are trying to achieve! This alone will help you get closer to achieving any goal you set.
3.) Make Your Health a Priority
How many times have you set a fitness goal only to give up on it a few days, week or even a month later? Life happens, I get it.
But, if you want to prioritize your health goals a well planned morning can help you tremendously.
Remember, health is wealth! What’s the point of working hard to make money if you sacrifice your health?
There’s no point in being the richest person in the cemetery because you slacked off on your exercise and nutrition.
Rich and successful people like Bill Gates, Tony Robbins, and Gary Vee all exercise early to make sure it doesn’t get missed later on in the day. The mornings give you time to exercise, take a walk and/or prepare your food for the day.
4.) Put Yourself First
The mornings might be the only quiet time you get each day, especially if you have children. When you wake up early you can enjoy the quiet, peaceful moments, and spend the time working on you.
People might think this sounds selfish but it couldn’t more selfless! By waking up earlier to focus on yourself you will be able to be a better spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, parent, coworker, and friend.
By putting yourself first you get to start each day with a clean slate and not let yesterday carry into today!
5.) Take a Digital Detox
Once the day gets started avoiding technology is almost impossible. But the fact is that the majority of people are addicted to technology. As Jay Shetty said, “We are meant to love people and use things but today we use people and love things.”
Use your morning as a time to take a “digital detox.” Quit wasting your morning scrolling through your news feeds. As best selling author Mel Robbins said, “Do you think Oprah Winfrey or Bill Gates is lying in bed looking at social media!?”
Of course not, but that’s how so many people start their day. I know because that’s exactly what I used to do. Wake up, lay in bed and mindlessly scroll through Instagram and Facebook.
This is the WORST way to start your day!
It puts you in a reactive state instead of proactive where you spend time creating not consuming. Plus, how much good stuff will come from social media in the morning? More pointless selfies, politics, and Instagram celebs won’t help change your life.
Instead, make it a habit to spend 30-60 minutes creating or consuming instead of scrolling away. This could mean reading a book or get into the habit of writing every morning in a journal.
6. Create The Habit of Discipline
One of the biggest benefits of creating a set of rituals each morning is that it creates discipline. This discipline can positively affect all other areas of your life. If you wake up with purpose and a plan with your morning you will show your mind that YOU are in charge.
Discipline in your life can be the difference between reaching your goals at work, making good decisions about your health, and focusing on your top priorities.
9 Amazing Morning Rituals Ideas
1. Wake Up Earlier
“If someone asks you why you get up so early, that is the quickest tell that they are not a winning player.” This is one of my favorite Gary Vee quotes ever!
The earlier you get up the more people will question why you get up so early. Don’t worry about them, they are probably not striving to achieve greatness like you. They don’t understand the power of getting up early to make time to work on yourself!
Don’t worry, I’m not saying that you need to wake up at 4 am. But let’s get real, you can’t master your morning if you wake up late, grab some coffee and rush off to work.
This will start your day reactive and not allow you to set your intentions for the day.
If you want to create an empowering morning routine you have to wake up earlier than you are now. What time you wake up is irrelevant. This will be different for every person depending on family life, work schedule, commute etc. The important thing is that you give yourself enough time each morning to practice the habits below.
The average CEO wakes up three hours before they have to be at work. How early do you wake up?
Why You Should Never Hit Snooze
Have you ever hit the snooze for a few more minutes of sleep only to wake up even more tired and groggy? There’s a scientific reason for that.
As Mel Robbins said in the 5 Second Rule, “We sleep in cycles that take about 90-110 minutes to complete. About two hours before you wake up, these sleep cycles end and your body start to slowly prepare to wake up. When your alarm rings, your body is in wake up mode. If you hit the snooze button and drift back to sleep, you force your brain to start a new sleep cycle that is 90-100 minutes long.”
When the alarm goes off get up — act as if the snooze button does not exist!
2. Create A Mindfulness Practice
Tim Ferriss published a book, Tools of Titans, that interviewed some of the most successful people on the planet to learn their habits. From Billionaire CEO’s too personal development guru Tony Robbins and professional athletes.
Start Practicing Meditating
Noticed how I said “practice meditation?” I’ve been working at meditation for about eight months and will say it is a process. But I knew I needed some sort of practice to deal with the stresses of being an entrepreneur.
Meditation didn’t come naturally to an aggressive type A personality but it has helped rewire my brain to adapt to situations differently. I’ve never felt calmer and in control in my life.
Have you ever tried meditating?
If you have before with no luck I encourage to try it again. I’ve tried all types of different meditations, some worked amazingly while others put me back to sleep.
But the benefits of meditation are astounding:
- Reduced stress
- Improved immune system
- Increased focus and attention
- Decreased depression
- Decreased anxiety
- Increased clarity
- Increased creativity
The best part about meditation is that it is time for you to be with your thoughts. Don’t be afraid of the silence, embrace it. Use it as a time to connect with your thoughts.
Plus, meditation and journaling each morning will help you start each day grounded and not let yesterday affect today. Check out the best mindfulness apps to get introduced with meditation and mindfulness.
Try a Breathing Exercise
I’m sure you’ve felt the mental fog when you wake up, sometimes worse than others. The reason is probably that your brain isn’t receiving enough oxygen. While the brain only takes up two percent of your body’s weight but it consumes 20 percent of the oxygen!
3. Write in a Journal
I’ll be honest I would have laughed if I told my younger self I’d write in a journal each morning. Journals get a bad name because most people associate them with diaries. In reality, a journal couldn’t be farther from a diary.
A journal is your vessel to create your future before it happens. Journalling lets you get what’s in your head out to gain clarity on your biggest goals, dreams, and problems in life. It’s not a place to vent but instead a place to create your ideal future.
Successful people write in journals, frequently. Journaling is an ancient tradition that even Thomas Edison and Einstein used. Historians have asked, “Were they successful because they journaled or did journaling creating their success?”
Quite a question…the truth is, it’s probably a combination of both. Both of these geniuses were also very aware of the power of the subconscious mind.
The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
90% or more of everything you do each day is subconscious.
But accessing your subconscious isn’t that simple. But, researchers have found that the subconscious mind is most active in the morning and right before bed.
As you sleep your conscious brain turns off but your subconscious brain keeps working 24/7. If it stopped working so would your production of blood going through your heart.
When you wake up you’re in the alpha brain state, meaning you’re not fully awake and fully conscious yet. This is a prime time to start writing as you will be thinking clearly and accessing your subconscious mind.
How to Write in a Journal
While you might feel groggy it’s actually a time to influence your subconscious mind. In the morning you can direct it toward your biggest goals that you want to achieve in life.
With so much information and stimulation in the world, it’s easy to have a lot going on in our brain. From family, friends, spouse, pets, kids, and work there are a 1,000 things to think about.
Journaling is a great way to get all of it out of your head and onto paper. Think of each morning as a brain dump so you can start each day fresh!
If not you can easily become overwhelmed, stressed, and feel like you will never “catch up” with life. Don’t feel like you need to journal for 30 minutes, make it legible or have any real purpose.
Write as if no one else will read so you can begin to solve problems, distress, and gather your thoughts in one place.
Write out your goals and dreams in detail. Think and write about what it will feel like when your biggest goals are completed. Done enough over time you will begin to program your mind to help you achieve your goals.
4. Use Affirmations to Rewire Your Brain
Journaling is one way to access your subconscious mind but repeated affirmations are another way to help you make positive changes.
What you say to yourself repeatedly has a profound effect on your body, attitude, and behavior.
Positive affirmations are a way to train your mind and reprogram limiting beliefs.
If you spend time saying negative things to yourself more of it will transpire in your life. When is the last time you said to yourself “I am fat” or “I am slow” and something changed? Most likely you kept eating or sat back down on the couch.
Instead of putting yourself down use affirmations to build yourself up. Use affirmations to help you become the person that you want to be. As James Allen said, “You become what you think about yourself.”
I learned the power of affirmations after reading “The Success Principles” and now use them every day. Affirmations work best when written or read in the first person. They usually start with the words “I am.”
Examples of Affirmations
- I AM (insert any of the words or phrases below)
- Living the life I deserve
- Attracting what I want into my life
- Highly skilled
Read your affirmations several times as part of your AM routine and before going to bed. Get them down in your soul so you train your mind for greatness!
5. Visualize Your Success
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” — Albert Einstein
Visualizations are a powerful addition to your morning routine.
Visualizations work for any area of your life to want to improve and have been practiced for ages and even used by Olympic athletes.
Think of visualizations as daydreaming with a purpose and conditioning your brain for success. As Srinivasan Pillay, a Harvard M.D. said, “We stimulate the same brain regions when we visualize an action as we do when we actually perform that same action.”
Visualizing after meditation is a great time as your brain is relaxed and your subconscious mind is in a deepened state.
Elite athletes like Michael Phelps use visualizations, super-rich actors like Jim Carrey, and best selling authors like Jack Canfield all use this technique. This is why some of the most successful people create vision boards to constantly remind themselves of the vision for their life.
6. Learn Something New
As Tony Robbins said, “Leaders are readers.”Successful people are voracious readers, they love to consume new information and find ways to apply to their lives.
When Warren Buffett and Bill Gates were once asked if they could have any superpower what would it be? They both replied, “SPEED READING.”
At the time, they were the two richest humans alive worth over 130 BILLION dollars! And yet, their superpower wouldn’t be anything else, that is how much they value reading!
Make reading a part of your daily routine, preferably in the morning before you go onto social media, watch the news (which tends to be negative….”negative sells” is their slogan) or start checking emails. Warren Buffett reads up to five hours per day while the average CEO reads one book per week.
Be sure to check out my reading list for all my recommendations but here are a few to get started:
- Awaken the Giant Within
- The Success Principles
- Think and Grow Rich
- Rich Habits
- The 4-Hour Workweek
- Crush It
- The 5 Second Rule
Listen to Podcasts or Motivational Videos
Successful people are consumers of great information, they understand the more they learn the more they earn. Nowadays podcast is motivational videos are endless and contain a ton of great content. Instead of wasting time on your social media scrolling away spend your commutes and downtime listening to new content.
I highly recommend these podcasts but there are tons of others as well:
- Impact Theory
- School of Greatness
- Jim Kwik
- Tim Ferriss
These are four of the best motivational speeches that will inspire you to achieve greatness:
7. Plan the Day
“Nobody ever wrote a plan to be lazy, fat or stupid. That’s what happens when you don’t have a plan.” — Larry Winget
If you don’t plan ahead, the day will run you, instead of your running the day. You must create a plan to ensure you accomplish all that you need at work, home, and for yourself.
8. Get the Hard Things Done First
As Robert Allen said, “The fundamental level of success is doing the hard things first. If you go for the feared thing first then rest of the day is easy.”
Make sure to always accomplish the hardest tasks first!
The Hard Stuff at Home
Creating new habits that stick are hard. If you want to implement a new habit, add it to your mornings!
Studies have shown that it takes 21-30 days for a new habit to be formed. Start your new habits first thing to make them unconscious and part of your day. This could be running, working out, reading, journaling, or meditating.
The Hard Stuff at Work
Make the first 1-2 hours of work your most efficient time. Focus on what Cal Newport calls “deep work.” While most coworkers will be discussing Netflix, traffic or sport you will be putting in the work.
The hard stuff could be a tough email you have been dreading to send or a call you have neglected. Have the conversation or send the email to start your day winning.
Benefits of Doing The Hard Stuff First
There are tons of benefits from doing the hard stuff first. First off it builds momentum. Once you complete the hardest task first you will be able to conquer more throughout the day. The other main benefit is that you won’t get into the habit of procrastinating. How many times have you saved the hardest task until the end of the day only to ignore it?
By accomplishing it first thing in the morning you will feel a sense of relief and accomplishment. Don’t neglect the hard stuff, tackle it first thing each morning.
9. Exercise Regularly
Exercising early can be hard if you are just starting out. But it’s the time where you are least likely to skip it. It’s much easier to skip an afternoon work out than a morning one.
Don’t procrastinate your physical fitness by putting it off until later. Often times you will get tied up at work or need to meet a client and not be able to make it.
Drink Lots of Water
As soon as you wake up start drinking water as your brain consists of roughly 80% water!
Your brain needs to be hydrated and it loses a ton of water while you sleep. Try to make it a habit to drink 16 ounces of water as soon as you wake up. This will flush your body of toxins and keep you satiated longer.
How to Create a Morning Routine
As you can see, there are tons of different ideas to make your routine powerful and impactful. And that’s the point — there is no one way to practice your morning rituals.
Every person will be different and that’s okay! Some of these ideas might not fit your schedule or align with your current goals. The point is that your routine should always be evolving. You want your mornings to always empower and rejuvenate you!
Morning Rituals of the Most Successful People
Jim Kwik’s Morning Habits To Jumpstart Your Brain & Body
Jim Kwik is the CEO of Kwik Learning and is an International speaker, memory and speed-reading expert, and entrepreneur. After a childhood injury, Jim became known as “the boy with the broken brain.” Instead of accepting that injury he defeated all odds. Since then he’s studied the brain and dedicated himself to helping others.
Here’s a typical morning for Jim Kwik is a world leading brain expert. He’s also one of the coolest, most down to earth “smart guy” you’ll ever learn from.
- Remember his dreams by writing in a journal
- Makes his bed
- Drinks 16-32 ounces of water
- Brushes his teeth with his opposite hand
- Deep breathing exercises
- Drinks brain tea to boost focus
- Writes in his journal while drinking tea to plan out the day, practice gratitude, and write what he’s been learning.
- 4-5 minutes of exercise
- Makes a brain smoothie with avocado, blueberries, vegetables, etc.
- Reads 20-30 minutes
Tony Robbins Morning Rituals
Tony Robbins is a busy man and has condensed his routine to make it as efficient as possible.
Here’s Tony Robbin’s average morning — the first 10 minutes are known as “Priming”:
- Breathing exercise (1 minute)
- Expresses Gratitude (3 minutes)
- Experiences connection (3 minutes)
- Visualizes success (3 minutes)
- 15 Full-body workout
- Sauna – cold plunge
The “Miracle Morning” was created by Hal Elrod and is a simple six-minute plan for your mornings.
- Silence (1 minute): This could be gratitude, prayer, meditation or complete silence.
- Affirmations (1 minute): Read out loud your affirmations and remind yourself of the unlimited potential within you.
- Visualization (1 minute): Close your eyes or look at your vision board and imagine your goals as complete.
- Scribing (1 minute): Write in a journal. Three things you are grateful for, proud of, and the results you want to complete today.
- Reading (1 minute): Learn one new idea from your favorite personal development book
- Exercise (1 minute): Do one exercise for 60 seconds straight.
Hour of Power (20 Minute Each)
- Write in a journal
- Total Time Needed: 60 minutes
Hour of Power (Azim Jamal)
Azim Jamal is a prominent speaker in Canada recommends the hour of power. 20 minutes of visualization and meditation, 20 minutes of exercise, and 20 minutes of reading inspirational or informational books.
My Typical Morning Routine
As I’ve mentioned, my routine is constantly evolving but here is my main routine that I use Monday-Saturday:
- Wake up between 430-5am
- Brush teeth
- Say out loud three things I am grateful for
- Read affirmations during meditation track
- Journal 5-10 minutes
- Read 5-10 minutes
- Exercise and begin the day
The important part of this post and all of these routines is that you find what works for you. Even a six-minute routine or a 10-minute primer by Tony Robbins can have a huge impact in your life. Don’t feel that every morning has to last for 30 or 60 minutes.
Do what works for you, make it your own!
Craft Your Perfect Morning Today
If you’ve read this far you’re committed. You understand the benefits and rituals of starting your day with intention.
The trick now is to get started. Take action tomorrow but don’t be disappointed if you don’t see instant results.
All of these habits have “lag time.” As you know with exercise one day in the gym won’t give you a six-pack. The same goes for these new morning rituals.
It can take 30-60 days sometimes to see results, trust the process! Have fun with creating your best life ever and know that it will take some time to see results.
Remember, nothing great ever came overnight.
Do you have a set of morning rituals? How has your routine changed over time?
Let me know in the comments!
How to Start a Morning Routine and Change Your Life
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