Without a doubt, the most powerful productivity habit I’ve formed over the years is my morning routine. I have been fine-tuning it for decades. On days that I have neglected it, I’ve done so to my own hurt. I feel like I’m swimming through mud.
Don’t neglect or underestimate the power in this time. If you’ve labeled yourself “not a morning person”, do yourself a favor and override that scripting for a few moments. Dare to imagine the experience I’m about to promise you.
A Peaceful, Purposeful Start
There is nothing like enjoying moments of peaceful margin first thing in the morning. Choosing to start your day relaxed and undistracted sets the tone for the rest of the day. The day ahead has enough trouble and unpredictability. But you own the first part of the day.
Beginning your day on purpose with a meaningful routine can’t guarantee a perfect day, but it will make every day better.
The way you start your day determines its success. How you start determines how you finish! To finish strong, you need to start strong.
We’ve all made the mistake of starting our day in a rush—sleeping to the last moment possible, quickly dressing, grabbing a coffee, then rushing out the door to squeeze into the morning rush hour traffic. You deserve better than that.
You owe it to yourself to get to bed earlier if need be so you can get up early enough to properly prepare for your day. The best time to tune the instrument is before the concert.
You need a morning routine to make sure you get some of your priorities in before your day goes sideways. Important things that you always intend to prioritize too often get squeezed out by too much to do and not enough day. We’ve all ended too many days regretting what didn’t get done.
Things don’t happen just because you want them to happen. Creating a morning routine that purposely makes place for recharging activities—then making it a habit—gives you the satisfaction and edge that few others experience long-term.
Elements Of An Energizing Morning Routine
I recommend your morning routine include several things:
- Solitude. Begin your day in peace instead of rushing. I spend at least ten minutes after brushing my teeth and splashing my face by sitting calmly with my eyes closed. I don’t look at my phone or think of what my project list and calendar have in store for me that day. I simply soak up the quiet and enjoy the peace and the margin.
Setting your mental attitude for the day. Envision yourself meeting every opportunity and challenge with a sense of confidence and optimism. This is a good place for some positive, empowering self-talk to help you become the better version of you.
Spiritual inspiration. Include some time to read the Bible or other inspirational literature; to pray and meditate.
Exercise. Get your body moving and energized. You may not have time for a full workout but even a 10-minute walk, a few push-ups, a bit of Yoga, whatever is beneficial. Just get moving!
Time for reflection. To stay growing and becoming better requires learning from yesterday’s lessons. If you reacted in a situation yesterday that you wish you’d handled differently, edit that video in your mind with how you will react if in a similar situation today. There’s tremendous value in keeping a journal to record what you’re feeling and learning.
Getting ready for the day. You can’t ignore the basic necessities like showering, dressing, and a eating good breakfast. Give yourself the fuel you need. Coffee/soft drink and donut/breakfast bar doesn’t qualify as a good breakfast.
Start Small But Get Started!
You will never be at your best for those you love or your vocation if you start the day rushed.
You can’t always control everything in your day. But you can control the first part of your day. Getting up a few minutes earlier and getting a good start gives you the energy, focus, and mental edge for the rest of the day.
If this is a relatively new activity for you, ease into it. Start with 15-30 minutes. Better to have a good experience with a little time rather than taking too big of a step. Once you start enjoying the immediate benefits, you will probably find yourself wanting to get up even earlier.
The best resource I’ve found in creating an energizing morning routine is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. You won’t be able to put it down. It is both tremendously motivating and practical. Although I’ve been doing this for decades, his insight and practical instruction took my mornings to a whole new level. I can’t recommend it enough.
I truly believe that forming the habit of an energizing morning routine will revolutionize your life more than you’ve imagined possible. A morning routine is good for your kids as well. I’d love to hear your experience.
Question: What have you found to be essential in starting your day with energy, focus, and purpose? Share your answer in the comments below.