“Control your mornings and you’ll control your days, control your days and you’ll control of your life.”
We need to quote ourselves more often:) A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to watch Sean Stephenson speak. If you don’t know who he is do yourself a favor and look him up. He is a 3 foot giant. One of my biggest takeaways was creating a “when life works” list. The idea is to write down everything you were doing when things were really clicking in your life. Then look for reoccurring behaviors. For me, that behavior was doing a morning ritual.
I’ve found it’s the best thing I can do to ensure my day is enjoyable and productive. During this time I am able to ground my mind, choose my focus, and get more done in a short time than any other time through out the day.
The specifics of my ritual have changed over these 2 years. And what I’ve found is that there are several things that need to happen to avoid this turning into everything else we start, get serious about, then quit. And believe me, when that alarm goes off your bed will never feel more comfortable. Everyone knows the feeling. If your reason for getting up is not more powerful than the pull of your comfort and exhaustion it will never work.
The takeaway here is to create a strong “why” for getting out of bed and to create a routine that you could enjoy. The third powerful tool you could use to make sure this works is to enlist an accountability partner. Get your spouse on board, tell your friends, get someone else to do it with you, make it a challenge.
Here is my routine and the logic behind it. Like I’ve said I’ve tweaked it over the years and I currently love the one I’m doing now. Which is not to say I won’t get bored with this one and have to spice it up. The point is I’ve created something I want to do. I’ve also got my wife on board, which has been huge during a few of my weaker moments.
5AM alarm goes off- no snooze, rip that bandaid off and get out of bed. Once I’m up I make the bed. Psychologically it gives you an immediate sense of accomplishment and sets the table for an orderly day.
5:00-5:15 I hang upside down with gravity boots for 2-5 minutes. This is sometimes coupled with inverted sit-ups or pull-ups on the bar. The point of this is to get blood flowing to the brain. Thoughout the week I do a significant amount of weight training which compresses the spine. The gravity boots decompress the spine.
5:15-5:30 I pour myself a large glass of filtered water with fresh squeezed lemon, chug it, then sit down for meditation. This used to be one of my biggest struggles – thus the reason I’ve quit the practice of meditation multiple times. Now it’s something I actually look forward to thanks to an app called Headspace which is a simple, enjoyable, guided meditation.
5:30-5:35 I write in my journal. A common theme you will notice with me is that I am a big fan of making things systematic and easy. For my journal I use the “The Five Minute Journal” which is essentially a fill in the blank structured way of journaling.
5:35-6:00 I create something. Right now I’m writing this blog entry. Tomorrow I might work on my website. Two years from now I might be working on my first hip hop record:) It’s only 25 minutes but during this time you are crazy productive.
6:00-6:15 I read something. Since building a solid foundation for my day is important choosing the right material is important. The topics of the books and articles are all different but they have one underlying theme. They either give me knowledge to be better at my passions or they give me motivation to take action on that knowledge.
If you don’t have a morning ritual/routine it’s time to start one. Comment below and let me know how it goes. If you already have one let me know what works best for you.
1. A morning routine will lead to more productivity and better focus throughout the day
2. When creating a morning routine, make the reason for doing it big, make it enjoyable, and get an accountability partner
3. It won’t be perfect at the beginning. That’s not the point. Start. Find your groove.
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