The secret of mornings

Recently I discovered a simple but powerful life power-up! Morning routines!

I mean it isn’t a new idea at all. But I never thought it would be so effective at changing my life trajectory to one I love!

Basically when we wake up our brain is like a blank slate. What we put into it is what we run with for the rest of the day.

Every day is a new beginning. Take a deep breath and start again.

Ain Eineziz

If we have a bad habit like I used to do with playing computer games this will be the first thought that pops into our heads. Many mornings I found myself in front of my favorite game for “just a quick hour of play before work” This more often than not led to thinking about games all day, grabbing another hour at lunch and doing a lot of game related browsing online instead of getting stuff done in my day.

If it works so well for bad habits it makes sense it will work just as well for good habits, after setting up a new routine and habit in the mornings this last month I will tell you it really really does and it has shifted my day from a total waste to doing something production 99% of the time!

Now every morning routine will need to be tailored to each of us as we are all unique with different life goals and priorities, different skill sets. But we can certainly tailor our mornings around a few key concepts.

Here is what I think are the most important key concepts and why.

Get present to your current energy levels and what you can do to improve them. This gets you present to the now and your body and gives you a grounding in reality. Some days you start with a bang, sometimes you have to work to get the magic to happen, sometimes you really are in a bad way and need to take care of yourself.

Set your mindset for the day – what is your big goal in life, something that you want to move forward with today, remind yourself why it is important, write down one small step you will take. This gives you forward momentum and a sense of achievement, by focusing on your big goals and dreams you get in touch with what motivates you, your passion for life. By choosing a small step you pretty much guarantee success and like with me playing computer games for an hour that one step will likely bleed into the rest of your day and before you know it you are running towards your goal effortlessly. Even better every success adds confidence even if it’s just a small step you will feel even more confident tomorrow and the day after!

Be grateful for things in your life. This helps build up your positive mindset, a positive mind is more creative and better at problem solving than a negative mind and it helps you feel great as well!

Get some movement. You’ve just been in bed for 7+ hours your body needs to remember it’s alive!

This is my morning routine take it as an example:

  1. First thing I do is try not to get distracted
  2. I take three deep breaths with my eyes closed to get into my body.
  3. I journal a set of questions related to the concepts above. How energized I am, why I feel that way, what I might adjust in my morning routine to improve the energy, what my big goal for the day is, what one task I can do to take a step towards it, what I’m grateful for, when I plan to stop working. What skill I want to improving today, what is my word for the month
  4. Exercise for at least 20 minutes while learning something from a video or podcast
  5. Mindfulness meditation and or visualization depending on the questions I answered about energy which will change the type of meditation and the things I’m visualizing. For example if I’m feeling stressed I’ll do a de-stressing mindfulness and try to get in touch with where that is coming from or if I’m feeling vulnerable I’ll do a visualization on self love and courage.

Once I got in the habit it became a priority so if I wake up late or get interrupted and can’t do my routine I just schedule it for the first moment I am free. It doesn’t feel like my day really started until it’s done!