Do you have a personal morning routine? When talking with other people about personal and leadership development, I find that the topic isn’t addressed all that much. Still, there are people who are curious about whether a morning routine would be beneficial to them.
A good routine allows us to operate within our strength zones, all the while allowing us opportunities to push ourselves out of our comfort zone. It provides a familiar structure, gives us a sense of order and a sense of accomplishment. It allows us to start off our day on the right foot, and adopt a growth mindset. I like to compare my morning routine to pressing the priming bulb to start my lawnmower: it brings fuel to the spark!
Many celebrities attribute a large portion of their continued success to a solid morning routine. For example, Tony Robbins performs “priming” every morning. For Oprah Winfrey, it’s a meditation session. As for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, his routine begins at 4 am with a session of intense physical training in the gym. So what is the takeaway?They recognize the need and the importance of a morning routine for personal and professional growth. And considering their immense success, I would say it’s worth a shot if you don’t already have one.
So, what does a good, personalized morning routine look like? Well, that all depends on the person, their interests, strengths, passions, and goals.
My personal morning routine starts between 4:30 am and 5 am with a cardio and weight training session, followed by coffee and breakfast. While I’m eating, I find inspiration and learning in my Twitter and Instagram feeds, and will usually post a few messages and go through notifications on my coaching business Facebook page (check it out: Inspire Life & Leadership Coaching).
In order for me to stay motivated and on track, there are specific actions that I will do, and some that I will avoid.
I set both physical and intellectual growth objectives. These goals can be weekly or monthly. By setting goals and being intentional, I am able to push myself and go a little further every week. That’s how I grow.
There are two things that I make sure to avoid. I believe these are the most frequent reasons why people abandon good routines:
1. “I don’t have time”
Believe me, I fully understand that we all have busy schedules from the moment we get up to the moment we go to bed. However, I believe that the things that matter most to us become our priorities, and we almost always manage to make time for them. At work, in our personal life – if it’s really important to me, I’ll make the time. For example, if for some reason I am unable to do my training one morning, I avoid saying “I do not have time” because that statement is too much of a finality. And worse, I find that once you say it, it becomes even easier to say it again the day after. Instead, I like to use “I’ll give back this time” either at the end of the day, or a Saturday or Sunday. By doing this, I am committing to getting it done, and not eliminating that precious activity.
I’d like you to try something. For the next couple of weeks, instead of saying “I do not have the time”, say “it’s not a priority for me”. I promise you that it put things into perspective!
2. “Checking email”
We should avoid checking our email during our morning routine.
This is not an easy habit to develop, and I admit that I’m not yet at “checking email zero times” before 7:30.
I try to completely avoid it. The main reason is that my morning routine is MY time. I do things for me. You see, the content of our emails often contains things that other people want us to do for them or for someone else. And sometimes (often?), some of those emails can leave us stressed out or upset. Who wants to start their day off in such a state of mind?
My routine is a sacred time for my well-being and growth. I am the priority. It is important to me, therefore I make the time and want to put my energy in the right place.
Establishing YOUR morning routine
If you do not yet have a morning routine, there is no better time than today to start one!
Here are some tips to establishing your routine:
- Decide what time you will get out of bed. For example, it could be three hours before your first meeting
- We have to be active! I strongly suggest physical activity (and lots of water!)
- Eliminate tasks in which you must make decisions
- Choose activities that you are passionate about
- Set goals
- Have a plan B if ever you are not able to complete the routine (for example: give back that time in the evening or on weekends).
I promise you that if you commit to your morning routine, you will grow from it, and become a better version of yourself.