For 40 years I have studied successful people from all different walks of life. I have found some similarities in their stories. One constant I have seen in almost every high achieving, ‘big life’ person is a thought out morning routine.
I think the brilliance of the morning routine is two fold. One, it makes the morning less about making decisions. The rest of the day will be filled with scores of choices to be made. It is nice to know when you first awake there is an hour or so of disciplined behavior that you do automatically. Second, a good morning routine guarantees you are starting every day optimally, with all systems active and ready to go.
Here are a few practices I have found very beneficial in setting the stage for successful and productive days. I wish I could say I do these things 365 days a year. That would not be accurate. What I can say is when I do these things my day is always better.
I begin the day with gratitude and an acknowledgment of God’s presence in my life. Some do this at a table while they are drinking their first cup of coffee. I prefer to do it before my feet ever hit the floor. I roll up on my elbow in the bed and I begin my day being thankful. I spend about 5 minutes trying to genuinely think about all the ways I have been blessed in this life. This exercise sets the tone for the whole day. After I have acknowledged my gratitude I pray and align myself with God’s Spirit. I am capable of walking through a whole day very in-tune with the Spirit. I am also capable of missing the Spirit’s quiet leading. Seeking communion with the Spirit helps me feel connected to a Higher Power. These two actions are staples for me to have a great day.
I make the bed. I have not always done this. I was one who would argue that beds needed to breathe and making them every day did not give them the chance. I am changing my tune now. Several high achievers have argued that this is a critical part of their day. It gives them a sense of accomplishment right away. They do something right moments after getting out of bed. I think there is something to that.
I drink an twelve ounce glass of water mixed with a shot of lime juice and ⅛ teaspoon of himalayan salt. I read about this practice from world renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin. He makes this a mandatory assignment for all the athletes around the world he trains. This is supposed to optimize your cortisol levels and balance your body’s pH, resulting in better sleep, improved digestion, and less body fat. On top of that, it tastes good and it gets your first 12 ounces of water into your body early in the day.
I go outside for a brisk walk/run. This morning Jane and I walked two and a half miles before 7:00 AM. Our hearts were pumping hard when we made it back to the house. All the studies I have read say this type of early morning activity gets your heart rate up and your metabolism working. This activity is important to us if we are wanting to live a high energy life.
There are other habits I try to follow but this is a good start for this article. I want to wake up every day with gratitude in my heart and enough energy to live the day fully. It is certainly important for big living. I hope you will think through your morning routine. Let me know what you are doing that works well for you. Maybe Jane and I will add that to our daily routine.