Are you a morning person? Some are and some aren’t. Regardless of the time you start your day, you most likely have some sort of morning routine. Most people have consistent habits that begin when they first get out of bed. These may be things like drinking coffee, eating something, maybe checking your phone for social media posts. Or other random interruptions that may pop up.
But what if your morning routine was planned out in such a way to make your day more productive? Could a morning routine actually make you more successful? What kind of activities and intentions might help you to start your day on a more positive note?
Let’s take a look at some reasons why a morning routine could make you more successful.
Who Does That?
When you think about people’s morning habits you might be surprised to learn that the majority of successful people have morning routines. These are specifically planned activities and behaviors that are done each day with the intention of promoting better health and positive outcomes.
NBA star Stephen Curry is said to start his day with a fresh smoothie or avocado toast followed by a healthy breakfast of vegetables, protein and a starch. Exercise is the next step in his morning routine.
Novelist Jane Austen started her day around 8am, playing piano. Others, including Oprah Winfrey, practice meditation in their morning routine. One thing successful people have in common is that they create their own morning routine. They don’t let it create itself.
Author Elle Luna said,
“Whether the day is for writing, designing, or painting, the consistent practice of a morning routine is the doorway into it all.”
Set the Tone for the Day
So how do you create a morning routine? Well, to start with, think about what type of activities might be meaningful to you. What could you do to clear your head, move your body, and set up your day for success?
Hal Elrod, Author of The Miracle Morning, developed a morning routine method called S.A.V.E.R.S. It gives suggestions on what you might want to include in your own schedule when creating your morning routine.
- S= Silence.
This could be things like breathing exercises or meditation. Also a quiet, mindful walk in nature might be a good silent activity.
- A= Affirmations.
Repeating specific statements that are positive can be uplifting. Things like practicing gratitude, releasing negative thoughts, or statements that promote success and happiness are some examples.
- V= Visualizations.
Visualize your perfect day. Imagine how things would go and what you would do.
- E= Exercise.
Decide what type of exercise feels best for you. It could be low impact aerobics, yoga, gentle stretching, or even a long hard run. Whatever you like to do to get your body moving.
- R= Reading.
Wake up your mind with some type of reading, whether it be a book, article, or other material. Just make sure it’s not social media or news. You can catch up on those later. Each morning, I begin my day by reading a PDF summary of one of my videos. It’s like a quick and powerful lesson on how to improve myself. It leaves me feeling inspired and ready to grow every single day!
- S= Scribing.
Writing out your thoughts is another great activity to do first thing in the morning. Journaling, making a list of all the things you are thankful for, or jotting down creative ideas are some of the ways to clear your head.
You might try using some of these ideas, or add in some of your own, such as drinking water, cuddling with your beloved pet, and eating breakfast. It doesn’t matter what order you do them in. Structure them in a way that fits your time schedule. Just five to ten minutes of each activity could be enough.
The main point is to have a set routine that you do everyday, that promotes health, wellness, and supports your goals for success. Philosopher Marcus Aurelius said it like this,
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive- to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Having a well thought-out and personalized morning routine may help you to be more successful, because you will have prepared yourself mentally and physically to be ready for the day. And you have put forth positive expectations for the best possible outcomes.
To make the most of your morning routine, planning and preparation can help things run smoothly. One tool to use is to avoid mental fatigue by minimizing decisions. Research estimates that humans make roughly 35,000 decisions each day. What to wear, what to eat, when to eat, where to go, what to say, and on and on throughout the average day. Every decision you make uses mental energy which reduces brain power. As your brain becomes weary, it’s harder to make quick and rational decisions.
While some decisions have to be made on the spot, many can be predetermined or eliminated altogether. For example, if you don’t have to decide what to wear each day, you can get dressed without question. Entrepreneur Steve Jobs was notorious for wearing a black turtleneck, blue jeans and new balance sneakers. One less decision to make allowed him to focus on something else more important. Not everyone wants to wear the same look every day, but the point is that if you can eliminate some smaller choices, then you might be able to focus your thinking on other tasks that are important to you.
Decluttering can also play a role in having a morning routine with less decisions to make. If you have a smaller number of options to choose from, the decision can be much easier and less time consuming. Do you have a favorite coffee cup? Fine. Use that one. Wash it and put it away when you’re done with it. Don’t look in the cupboard to choose another cup each time. That may seem like a small choice. But eliminating the little decisions add up.
Having less items in general can help with decluttering. If you’re not taking time looking for things amongst all your belongings, you can put more effort into doing the things that matter. You may be more successful spending time on reaching your goals, rather than being distracted by other things that catch your eye.
Pre-planning your meals can also help with decision fatigue. And you’ll likely make healthier choices. What would be your best option instead of just choosing what sounds good in the moment or is available? Oftentimes we have our favorites and tend to eat the same things over and over again. If your breakfast consists of coffee and a donut, because it’s quick and easy, what would be a better option? What if, by planning ahead, you were able to make the healthier option part of your morning routine?
Maintaining the Routine
Staying on track with your routine is key to your success. If you make it excessively hard, it may not last. Choose activities that are meaningful to you. Start out slow and add more as you progress. Make the transitions flow easily from one activity to another.
Pre-plan and prep the day before. Lay out the clothes that you plan to wear. Have equipment or reading materials in place. Make up any food prep that can be done the night before so it’s ready to go.
Eliminate distractions and give yourself rewards and encouragement, so that you look forward to your morning routine.
When planning your Morning Routine, there may be times when it’s necessary to change or add new things to your agenda. This is normal and to be expected as you grow, and new situations develop. For example, If your job, seasons, home situation, or interests change, you may feel the need to rearrange your routine. Be flexible as you add new steps, or eliminate old ones. The point is that you continue with a routine that you do every day. And that the routine remains empowering and moving toward supporting your success.
When you develop a Morning Routine with intention, you set the tone for the day. The activities you select should help you to be more effective, and have a healthier body and mindset. Author Daniel Handler reminds us,
“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
So why not set yourself up for success when you start your day?