I have a hate/hate relationship with mornings. It’s not that I love sleeping, I just hate waking up.
I would stay up all night if it meant I didn’t have to spend the next day walking around in a haze and pounding Runa like they sponsor me (speaking of which, anyone know how we can make that happen? It would really help with subsidizing my Runa intake).
That said, I’ve been making a marked effort over the last 2 weeks to implement a routine into my mornings and it’s made a HUGE difference.
In the book, “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg states 40% of your life is completed by habit. Your brain isn’t actively deciding, but is actually choosing actions from the same part of your brain that controls the functions like whether you breathe, pump blood or think.
In a very real way, the habits you form determine, to a large extent, the life you live.
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve started to incorporate a morning routine into my life. Here’s what it’s beginning to look like (I reserve all right to change this at any point in the future). 🙂
Routine Creation Still in Progress. Feel free to steal/copy/appropriate for your own use however you might like:
7:30am Wake up
7:30am Drink 20oz of water and walk around the block
8:00am Morning Mobility Routine (get this routine here)
8:15am Cold shower
8:30am Morning thoughts / Download
9am – 12am The Most Important Task of the Day
I’ve talked to some people that have 2–3 hour morning routines, and while that might be great for them, it’s not something I’m currently trying to build. However, even just giving myself a short starting routine has helped me out tremendously.
Here are a few ways it’s been helpful to me in real life situations:
Why You Should Have A Morning Routine (and what mine did for me).
Creates Transition Times
The best part about a morning routine is that it allows transition time between different parts of life.
My old routine was:
- Wake up to the alarm clock on my phone.
- Immediately start checking email on my phone (in bed).
- Start working.
That was it. Literally.
I had no time for deciding what I was going to do that day, setting priorities or even just enjoying the morning.
It was just, “Crap, it’s morning – gotta go.”
Not a great way to wake up and not a great way to live either.
Adding a morning routine also helped me focus more and have better clarity on the things that I wanted to do.
For a long time, I’ve started the week with “what I want to accomplish” and written down what I want to do the next day before I go to bed.
But adding the morning routine gives me a good 30–45 minutes after I wake up to process everything and get my mind focused both on the day and the projects coming up.
It creates a space for my mind to sort of defrag itself and get organized for the day along with me.
One of the side effects of getting more clarity is that it predisposes you to action.
It’s so much easier to actually do stuff when you’ve already decided and are clear on exactly what to do.
You set up the day to run more cleanly and efficiently.
I have a confession: I like stress.
I actually find that the more stressed I am, the better I perform and the more productive I am.
Also, you may or may not be like me in that you tend to be a bit extreme.
So instead of just using stress strategically, 1 productive, stressful session will turn into a series of stressful ones.
That, in as many words, is simply exhausting.
Starting off the morning with a routine allows me to break free from stressors and clears out some blank space.
More Great Stuff About Routines
- Charles Duhigg’s book “The Power of Habit” is a great read if you get the chance.
- The study of routines is interesting and you can find the interesting routines of famous people here.
- James Clear has some fantastic stuff on habits.
My morning routine is available in our MoveWell app. Check it out on iTunes here.
Do you have a morning routine? What is it & how does it affect your life?