It’s no secret that highly successful people live by their routines and the mornings are no exception. With the right routine in place to start your day, you can set yourself up to be the best version of you and take on whatever the rest of the day brings your way.
Let’s start with the Why.
Wisdom is measured in routine. - Benjamin Franklin
Ever hear the adage, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The message this quote carries is that a task, no matter how large or small, can be accomplished if you take it on one step at a time.
Getting through the day feeling accomplished is a task. And its not a very easy one at that! However, with the right morning routine in place you can set yourself up for success and start your day already feeling, refreshed and organized for the day ahead.
Many well-known, successful people have revealed their morning routine over the years. For starters, there’s Benjamin Franklin; have a look at his full day routine:
Granted, life has become more complicated since the days of our Founding Fathers but plenty of our contemporary CEOs and founders swear by their morning rituals to this day.
Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine wakes religiously at 5:45 a.m. to play tennis.
Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey, wakes at 5 a.m., meditates for 30 minutes, does a short workout routine followed by coffee, then finally sets off to work for the day.
Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post fame also starts her day with meditation. She also prioritizes her sleep, and makes sure to get 8 hours of sleep every night. (That’s an achievement in its own right!)
The list goes on and on, from Oprah to the late Steve Jobs, Richard Branson to Tory Burch. Each of these highly successful individuals have developed their own personal routines to set themselves up for daily success from the moment they wake up in the morning.
So, what should my routine look like?
Well, rituals are very personal and morning routines are just that. The way that you structure your own personal daily ritual is totally up to you and completely dependent on your own needs, interests and responsibilities.
The perfect morning routine doesn’t exist because there is no one perfect way to do it, and perfecting your morning ritual certainly won’t happen over night. It could take weeks, or even years — Arianna Huffington says she made small changes over time and expects more changes to come over the years. It’s only natural, we’re all constantly growing and that means our morning routines are going to grow and change with us too!
Finally, let’s look at the How (and Where and When).
Here’s the biggest take away from our research.
Stop hitting the snooze button because it’s working against developing a good morning routine and it doesn’t set a positive tone for the day.
Setting your alarm and honouring it and your day can be extremely mentally rewarding. Allowing your alarm to go off every 5 minutes can start the day in a jarring way and cause you to be in a rush from the moment you pop out of bed. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?
What activities will be most beneficial to you so you start your day off on the right foot? For some, it’s physical. For other’s it’s emotional or spiritual. And others, it may be purely organizational.
Knowing yourself, reflecting on what you need most out of your morning and building your activities around it is the only way you’ll discover the morning routine that works best for you. Fitness buffs, you might get yourself to the gym, or carve out a simple at-home workout that will get you energized to start the day.
Or perhaps you’re more reflective or internal than our fitness friends? Your best days may start by brewing a fresh cup of coffee and writing in a dream journal, or scheduling your day in the quiet of the early morning hours.
Some choose to walk their dogs, some read for the first 30 minutes, others stretch. How you decide to structure your morning depends on your own needs and developing a simple morning routine can be a very beneficial part of your self care regimen!
Stay the course.
Changing up your morning routine takes discipline, especially if you’re a night-owl or a chronic snoozer. Habits take time and adherence to take hold but stick to the plan and those plans will become habits!
Where and When?
All day, every day! Just kidding — it’s ok to give yourself a break from your routine. Again, your morning rituals are your own.
The point of a morning routine is help you have your best day, every day. It is pleasant and something you look forward to when you wake up. It is calming, or energizing, or soothing, and it puts you in a good mental state to tackle the day.
But on those days that don’t need tackling, it’s ok to ease up and seek a change of pace, too. Maybe, though, when you’ve perfected your rituals you’ll never want to wake up without your morning routine to look forward to again.