Whatever I set myself to do in the morning, will FOR SURE GET DONE. This is why OUR MORNING ROUTINE is SO important for us adults who have a busy life. Especially when we’re in a phase of our life where we want to become SUCCESSFUL at whatever it is we are doing.
Ideally, we all would want to include TONS of healthy and stimulating things in our morning habit. But we all know that your TIME IS LIMITED.
This is why I don’t believe in ONE MORNING ROUTINE that all of us adults should follow. Instead, I believe that your morning routine should CHANGE according to your GOALS and PRIORITIES of the moment.
I’ve had phases where health and fitness were more important to me. I would get up at 6 a.m. every day and do up to a 16km run. But guess what? This was just a phase of my life, and TODAY MY ROUTINE LOOKS DIFFERENT because my focus is on building my business, successfully. And I’m sure it will change again in 2 or 3 months because another aspect of my life will take priority.
Being successful, of course, means you need to GET THINGS DONE. Which I, personally, would hence include in the MORNING ROUTINE.
But I ALSO strongly believe you need to get in the “FLOW” and stay there. You need to BELIEVE in yourself. Which is why targeted meditation and physical activities will help. When you neglect yourself for too long, the rest will be negatively impacted as well. We don’t want that!
1. Do The 6-Phase Meditation (~20 min)
First of all, STOP checking your messages or emails first thing in the morning. Let’s give your great adult brain a chance to DO BRILLIANT THINGS before it gets to smaller tasks.
MEDITATING FIRST thing in the morning is very effective. It will improve your FOCUS and lower your STRESS level for the rest of the day.
I absolutely LOVE this Meditation.
It goes through the following 6 phases:
Phase 1: Compassion
Self-compassion and compassion towards others. This Phase helps you start the day with a POSITIVE FEELING towards humanity. As you may know, going towards others with a positive attitude, and carrying self-love, will most often get you a similar response.
You visualize the LOVE you carry for a close friend or family. Then you spread it across the world.
Phase 2: Gratitude
You have to come up with:
- 5 RANDOM THINGS you are grateful for which happened in the last 24 hours. It could be anything. A moment you spent enjoying the sun. Dinner with friends. Some great music you listened to. A portion of special food you enjoyed.
- 5 things you are grateful for in your career
- 5 things you are grateful for about yourself
Studies showed that GRATITUDE HAS MANY POSITIVE EFFECTS on your health. It will also make you happier and help your brain FOCUS on the positive things in life. This is very important when you are trying to become successful. You need to SEE PROGRESS to stay motivated. Gratitude will help you see and feel that progress more often.
Phase 3: Forgiveness
Certain situations and actions can upset us. Maybe you are ANGRY AT YOURSELF because you did something stupid and missed an opportunity. Or you feel ASHAMED because you did something that you consider being WRONG. Or maybe someone else upset you.
FRUSTRATIONS and DISAPPOINTMENT are an inherent part of our adults’ life.
Taking the time to FORGIVE during the 6-phase meditation will help you feel lighter, less attached to the past and more prone to act now.
Phase 4: Your Vision For the Future
This one is my favourite. At this stage, you start imagining your DREAM LIFE 3 YEARS FROM NOW. The timeframe is sort of important because you do not want to put too high a pressure on yourself in the short term.
Apparently, people often OVERESTIMATE what they can do in 1 YEAR but they UNDERESTIMATE what they can achieve in 3 YEARS.
This means you can allow yourself to DREAM BIG.
What’s important here is to VIVIDLY visualize your life in 3 years, AS IF YOU WERE LIVING IT RIGHT NOW. Work with all your senses here. It’s a blissful experience. A great way to start your day.
Phase 5: Visualising Your Ideal Day
Taking the input from your DREAM LIFE IN 3 YEARS, you can now move on to visualizing your PERFECT DAY. Every single step of it. Here, you are setting your BRAIN for success.
I find that very often, visualizing what I want to successfully do in advance helps me ACTUALLY DO IT. For instance, if I want to go run first thing in the morning, then the best way for me to be sure I will actually do it is to VISUALIZE it the right before sleep the NIGHT BEFORE. I visualize how I am waking up, getting dressed and ready, and starting the run.
Use this powerful tool for YOUR DAY.
Phase 6: Feeling Supported
We are social creatures. In that sense, we NEED to feel some kind of SUPPORT for our ACTIONS.
Well, we can create this feeling of SUPPORT for ourselves via meditation. That’s especially important when you decided to go SOMEWHAT AGAINST THE MAINSTREAM and don’t necessarily feel like your family or friends understand or support you.
2. Have A Quick, Short Walk (~15 min)
Again, DO NOT check your messages or emails. You should WAIT until you are done with your MORNING ROUTINE. Otherwise, your mind may get caught up into things that are LESS IMPORTANT than what you want to achieve.
Moving your body is also very important for your BRAIN. And a quick walk outside will bring it fresh air. ANY AMOUNT OF TIME is great, but if you can do at least 15 minutes it would be great!
It’s also good to do your short and quick walk on an empty stomach. This will shake up and train your metabolism.
What to do when you are walking?
- Listen to motivating music
- Listen to a motivating book
- Meditate or practise mindfulness: try being in the NOW. Observe every detail. Feel the wind on your skin and your heart heating up.
3. Make Yourself A Hot Beverage (~5 min)
A lot of people go for COFFEE, and I indeed love to do this every now and then. But since I have the suspicion that drinking coffee every day is probably not a good thing, I tend to rely on herbal or ginger teas most days. Also, it is very important to hydrate and coffee is definitely not doing that…
There is something SPECIAL, almost magical, about hot beverages in the morning. When I was in China, people were almost shocked when they saw me drinking cold water in the morning.
They told me that drinking a hot beverage in the morning helps your body start the day. While drinking something cold right away will pull energy OUT of your body first thing in the morning.
In any case, make it a RITUAL to pour yourself a HOT beverage to accompany you for YOUR FIRST TASK OF THE DAY. There is something very comforting about it which will help you when you are ALONE facing your biggest task today.
4. Start With The FIRST ITEM On Your To-Do List (25 min+)
Now, spend at least 25 UNDISTURBED MINUTES working on your FIRST TO-DO LIST ITEM for today. If you can do more, great! But 25 minutes per day is a good start. Whatever works!
What’s this FIRST ITEM on your to-do list for today? Ideally, you have prepared a list the night before. And the FIRST ITEM on that list should be the MOST IMPORTANT AND IMPACTFUL task.
See, some things are urgent but do not require too much brainpower and can wait until 10 or 11 am to be done.
You have to THINK about THE TASK that will bring you 80% of the results with only 20% of the efforts, according to the Pareto principle. Or is there a task that would render most other tasks unnecessary?
Very often, this task is exactly the one task that you feel like PROCRASTINATING.
Currently, my first task in the morning is to WRITE. Although I do enjoy writing, it can be more difficult when you are starting your own blog. You have a lot of doubts and this may stop you from TAKING ACTION.
But WRITING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WHEN YOU ARE STARTING A BLOGGING BUSINESS! You have to produce great content, and this is most likely to happen in the morning!
It would help to visualize yourself doing this task the night before or during the 6-phase meditation above.
5. Do A Little Bit Of Yoga (5 min+)
You have spent as much time as your morning or brain has to offer for your first MOST IMPORTANT TASK. Now, it’s time to take a break and give yourself a SECOND FRESH START for the day.
There are many kinds of yoga and they all have a great effect on your body and general health.
Yoga will help you:
- STRETCH your body
This helps increase your FLEXIBILITY and stretch your fascias, which seem to play an important role when it comes to longevity.
- IMPROVE your posture
Yoga builds up the muscles that help you sit or stand straight and support your own weight optimally in any position. That’s particularly helpful when you have to sit long hours at your desk. Research also showed that merely standing or sitting straight will improve your level of happiness and look more attractive to others.
- DEEPEN YOUR BREATHING
We often forget to breathe. But it is actually essential to provide our BRAIN with enough OXYGEN for it to function to its best.
- TRAIN your cardio
Yoga can include some CARDIO elements that will make your heart beat faster and improve your general condition.
There are tons of good reasons for practising yoga, and even more free resources for you to start with only 5 minutes per day. Find an app or YouTube Channel and start today.
6. Use The Law Of Attraction (~10 min)
I don’t know about you. But I often get caught up in DOUBTS when I am starting a new project. When trying to be successful, I often feel overwhelmed by the mountain of tasks ahead of me. And when you are starting from ZERO WITH CRAZY DREAMS, most of the people around you will have even more doubts than you that you can make it work.
That’s why it’s SO IMPORTANT to KEEP CULTIVATING your BELIEF that you can be successful.
Write down one sentence that summarizes what you want to achieve in the coming months 15 times, every day. Then try to vividly imagine it as you work for it and as it finally happens. Then write that little story of yours down, too.
SELF-AUTHORING is a great tool for success.
It may take you a couple of days to find the OPTIMAL ONE SENTENCE that you want to write 15x to start with. But that’s okay, just go ahead and write what comes to your mind.
When I started doing this, after a few days, I chose a very ambitious sentence. I almost felt a little ashamed of this goal. But I went for it. In the beginning, it felt very weird to write it down as if it was going to happen for sure. But after a couple of days, SOMETHING IN MY BRAIN SWITCHED from denial to: “Yes, I can make it!”
And after a few more days, my BRAIN had changed from asking IF I COULD ACTUALLY MAKE IT to HOW I WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN.
7. Stop And Reflect On Your Progress And Strategy (~10 min)
Here comes the last step of your morning routine. After that, I will let you leave in peace and do whatever you want.
At this stage, you have:
- Worked on your most important task for today,
- Taken the time to refresh yourself with a little bit of yoga, and
- Reset your brain for success, no matter how hard or frustrating your first task of the day has been.
Now you should TAKE A FEW MINUTES to REFLECT and write down your thoughts:
- Do you feel good about the progress you made this morning? Why?
- Did you honestly choose the MOST IMPORTANT task to start with today?
- Think about your strategy and PURPOSE, and see whether the tasks you want to pick for the rest of the day or tomorrow are genuinely the BEST LEVERAGE for what you want to achieve.
- Re-design your to-do list accordingly.