I was recently reading an article about Tony Robbins’ morning routine, and it inspired me to write my own article on the topic.
Not about Tony Robbins’ routine, but about the importance of having a morning routine, and some things you should be doing in yours.
The reality is, morning routines are important. They set you up for success. Or, like a lot of you reading this, a lack of a morning routine sets you up for days of disorganization, feeling flustered, and getting stressed.
Your morning routine is the tone setter.
If you want to learn more about why morning routines are important, and the do’s and don’ts of a great morning routine, keep reading.
Why are morning routines so important?
A friend of mine once described himself and his wife according to their morning routines.
She’s the “rocket” bursting out of bed and into the day the moment her alarm went off.
He, on the other hand, is the “locomotive.” Struuuuuugling along early, and taking a while to build up some steam. Anyone resonate with that?
Funny thing is, that analogy accurately describes my wife and me also. Except the roles are reversed.
But, whether you’re a “rocket” or “locomotive” by nature is really irrelevant. If you want to maximize your potential, you need to capitalize on your mornings to set yourself up for success.
A rock solid morning routine can have physical and mental health benefits, increase your productivity and confidence, and many other positive impacts.
Chances are, if you’re not getting the results you want in your life, I’m willing to bet your morning routine, or lack thereof, is a component of that problem.
First, let’s talk about the don’ts of a morning routine.
Alright, listen up! I’m about to piss off my wife and some other people very close to me in this section. Well, maybe not piss off, but definitely get some strong eye rolls. Either way, I need you to pay attention so it’s worth it.
And before we jump in, please don’t take this as me being all high and mighty, and casting stones. Believe me, I have my own issues. I’m just enlightening and informing you.
With that said, these are a few of the things you should NEVER do as part of your morning routine:
> Snooze over and over
You may be reading this thinking, “but I just can’t get out of bed when my alarm goes off, Justin!” If that’s you, I’ll give you the same response I annoy my wife with, you can, you just choose not to!
That’s the straight up truth.
More straight up truth is that if we took better care of our bodies, went to bed on time, and stopped doing things like eating large meals and staring at our electronic devices late at night, we’d sleep better and wouldn’t need the snooze!
BOOM! Mic drop! Kidding… kinda. We have such horrible evening and pre-bedtime routines and rituals that we wake up groggy and lethargic, so we feel like we need to snooze.
But, whether you want to face it or not, snoozing jacks up your sleep rhythm even more and actually makes you more tired. For more details on this, check out this awesome article.
> Grab your phone
Now the eye rolls are going to get stronger, but the facts are the facts. Grabbing your phone is probably the WORST thing you can possibly do when you wake up in the morning.
There are a bunch of reasons why it’s, well…. dumb, but I want to talk about the one I think is most important. When you wake up in the morning, your mind is fresh and at its creative peak.
Most people, when they grab their phones right after waking up, it’s to check emails or mindlessly scroll social media. So, rather than using your most creative time of the day for something productive, you’re squandering it.
As Brendon Burchard says, your inbox is nothing more than a filing system of other people’s agendas, and that can wait. And don’t get me wrong, I indulge in social at times as well. But, I try to never waste my creative juices in order to do so.
And, think about it this way, those people you admire and look up to that you’re dying to check in on on social media, I can promise you they don’t feel the same way about you. There’s a reason they are where they are, and a big part of it is because they’re maximizing their time.
> Wake up at the last possible moment
I remember my sister-in-law saying that in high school, she would set her alarm at the exact last minute she knew she could sleep til, and still get to school on time. While I get the struggles of the worn out teenager wanting to sleep their lives away, this is a horrible way to start your day.
Luckily, she has since outgrown that habit. But, the funny thing is, there are so many adults still living their lives like this. Those are the same ones reading this and thinking, “well what’s so bad about that?” What’s so bad is that it takes one thing to go wrong, and your perfectly crafted plan is ruined.
And how often do things go as planned? That’s called reactive living. Inevitably, something is going to go wrong, and you’re going to feel like you’re playing catch up all day.
Now let’s talk about some elements of a good morning routine.
If you read those three things above and thought, “Me, me, and me” trust me, you’re not alone! Luckily for you, I’m not going to tell you how badly your current routine sucks without helping you out.
And remember, I make no bones about the fact that my mission is to help people live UNCOMMON lives. Meaning that, I’m helping people learn to stop doing the same crap as everyone else, so that they can live more successful and abundant lives than everyone else.
If that doesn’t jive with you, no harm no foul. But, this probably isn’t the place for you. My teachings aren’t meant for everyone, and I take pride in that. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, below are a few core elements of an UNCOMMON morning routine.
> Wake up with intention
This one really starts the night before with planning out your day, and is executed when you wake up. In order to have a rock solid morning routine, you have to first actually have a routine. I know, shocker, right?
Going back to what I said above, about not sleeping til the last minute, most people go through their day reactively. That’s a miserable and unproductive existence.
If you want to alleviate that stress in your life, start taking the time to create a plan for what you want to get done throughout your day including in your morning routine. When you do, you’re operating proactively instead of reactively.
> Nourish your mind, body, and spirit
I cannot overstate the importance of this! The interconnectedness of these three elements of your existence is so important to your success.
The body affects the mind, the mind affects the body, and the spirit affects both. If you’re not constantly developing yourself in all three areas, you’re not living up to your potential. Plain and simple.
And I get it, life is busy and things happen. But that truth is, we make time for the things that are most important to us. And as counterintuitive as it sounds, you need to be very high on the list of important things to yourself.
Ever heard the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup?” Well, it’s true. If you’re not taking care of you, not only are you not going to achieve the level of success you desire, but you’re also not showing up as the best version of you for everyone else.
Figure out what works for you, but mind, body, and spirit work all need to be part of your morning routine.
> Express gratitude
In a previous article, I talked about the importance of gratitude, and how it can transform your life. It’s actually a gift.
Because most people wake up to lives they hate, or at the very least dislike, they focus on all the things they’re unhappy with or don’t have. A little fun fact about the brain, it can’t process two thoughts or emotions at the same time. Well, it can, but most “normal” people don’t know how to.
So, if you focus on negative crap all the time, you can’t process anything positive. On the flip side, if you focus on gratitude, all the negative thoughts and emotions can’t make their way in.
If you do this long enough, you start to train your brain to focus on being grateful, rather than focusing on all the lack.
When it comes to your morning routine, you gotta make it your own. While I think these three things are absolutely essential, you may have other things that get you off to a great start.
What it looks like is up to you. What matters most is that you have a rockstar caliber routine in place, so that you can be primed to go out and create/live your best, UNCOMMON life every day!
Comment below with your current morning routine, and what changes you need/ are going to make.
To get clarity on what other areas of your life need some cleaning up, download my Ultimate Clarity Guide.