We all want to be more successful–in our relationships, in our finances and career, in our fitness. But success don’t happen by accident: it’s the product of good decisions compounded by time and consistence. 

A lot of people think they’ll stumble into their first taste of success once they get the right connection, or the right clients. But that’s fantasy.

Making consistently good decisions is the only way to get to (and stay at) the top. And it’s hard. But you can make it loads easier on yourself by making the right decisions first thing in the morning. This will train your brain to execute at your peak even when the decisions get hard.

Tony Robbins swears by his morning routine. So does Tim Ferriss. So does Josh Waitzkin. So does everyone who lives, works, and plays at the top. And so will you after you read this article.

Here are 5 morning routines that will automatically make you a more successful person:

1-Wake up early

It’s no coincidence that 99% of the richest and most successful people on earth wake up before 6. The rest of the world slams the alarm clark, guzzles a pint of coffee, gargles Listerine, and scrambles to work without really ever checking in mentally. But not successful people. They wake up early enough to live with purpose, to take care of their needs, to get focused, to plan out their day, to exercise, and to make shit happen. Waking up early gives you time to focus on quality decision making.


Reflection is the #1 decision that separates peak performers from wannabes. Successful people look back at their decisions from the day before; they deconstruct what created success, and what got in the way. Then they focus on doing more of the positive and less of the negative.

Contrast that to the average entrepreneur, who jets out of bed, and flies into his hustle routine. Sure, he gets stuff done, but without reflection, it’s not the quality stuff that will make more money.

You can separate yourself from the dime-a-dozen hustlers by spending your first 15-30 minutes reflecting over yesterday. Assess your thoughts, feelings, inspirations, accomplishments, shortcomings, and trajectory. You can do it with meditation—it works for many; but I’ve found the best results with a journal. Something about seeing my thoughts and actions on the page gives me more confidence to change what I must and to do more of what’s working.

Cultivating a reflective mind in the morning will help you make powerful and informed decisions all throughout the day.


So many of us are so intent on succeeding that we neglect our physical bodies. Big mistake. The better you take care of your body, the sharper your mind will become, and the more energy you’ll have to execute flawless decisions throughout the day.

Exercising boosts your endorphins—the natural feel good chemicals that give you clarity, confidence, and focus. So do your favorite exercises before you start your day. Run. Bike. Swim. Lift weights. Do whatever it takes to get your blood circulating and your muscles pumping.

Aside from the cognitive benefits, sweating through a morning workout gives you a sense of accomplishment and momentum that helps you make good decision after good decision throughout the entire day.


Do you know what successful people think about when they wake up? It’s not about how bad they feel. It’s not about what they can’t do. It’s not about their failures. It’s about the good they’ve done; the good they see in themselves; and the good they want to do for other people.

Successful people need to think like successfully, so they use affirmations.

“I am rich. I am vibrant. I am energetic. I am decisive. I am intelligent. I am useful. I am creative. I am joyful and fun loving. I am patient. I am assertive. I am confident. I am valuable. I am generous. I am uplifting and inspiring. I am productive. I am bold enough, smart enough, and creative enough to put my energy and talents into the most productive and profitable outlets for my time. I am growing richer every day, and I’m sharing my richness with more people, in more creative ways.”

This is just a sample of affirmations. Use them to start your own affirmation routine in the morning. Make them useful to you; customize them. Whatever your biggest weaknesses are, turn them into positives and affirm them. Do it in front of a mirror. Put your heart and feeling into the affirmations. Pump yourself up to be the best person you can be, and to make your best decisions.

Once you’re mentally primed for excellent decisions, then you’re ready to work at your peak.

5-Real work

After you’ve primed yourself with the first four rituals, you’ll have enough energy and intensity to win a staring contest with a silver-back gorilla. But, since you lack the gorilla, you’ve got to channel that juju into something or you’ll explode. Make that something work.

For at least one hour, focus on the creative task that is most important to you. Plan out the work that will take you to the next level. Then dive in.

Don’t worry about email or social media; that can wait for your down time. For now, just continue the gravy train of good decision making. I’ve gotten my best results by spending 2-4 hours writing and editing before I even think about email. And since I’ve committed to quality work as the last part of my morning ritual, I don’t feel the need to distract myself. I’m not tempted to waste my time because once I finish that first task, my confidence is peaking.


As important as it is to wake up with good decisions, most people won’t take the initiative to dramatically overhaul their morning routines. They’ll do what everyone else does and check email or social media within fifteen minutes of waking. But if you’re at a point where you need to change and you need to change fast, you might be one of the few who commits to an effective morning routine.

And if you know you absolutely need the change but are positive you need outside help to make your inspired morning routine stick, then you’re a perfect fit for my coaching program. Learn more about how it’ll help you here.

Originally published at millennialsuccess.io


  • Daniel Dowling

    Performance Coach, Writer for Greatist, Fitbit.com, Mindbodygreen, and FastCompany.

    Dan Dowling, here. I was the poster child for lost millennials - couldn’t keep a job…addicted to relationships…constantly checking social media and email. But when I got hungry enough for success as a writer, I gave up my distracted lifestyle and adopted one daily goal that changed my life forever: Do. Your. Best. Today, five years later, I’m a productivity coach who’s published on the world’s biggest sites (including Entrepreneur, Fast Company and Mindbodygreen), and I’m transforming lives through the best-effort, zero-distraction lifestyle that worked so well for me. Come and and learn how to always give your best at Millennial Success!