Do you start your day with a win every day? Are you on offense or do you start your day playing defense?
A morning routine is hugely important because it protects your energy and confidence. When you start the day with a routine where you know exactly what you’re going to do, it’s kind of like starting an engine. You get that thing rolling because you just go through the same process every day. There is no decision to make. There is no problem to solve. You just do the same thing on a regular basis to get the day going.
Remember the biggest drains of energy and confidence are problem solving and decision-making. Morning rituals and routines take all of that out of the equation.
Mark Twain said, ‘Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.’
You want to use the morning, when you have the most energy and the most confidence, to get the big things done in your day.
Are you operating each day in your purpose, the reason God created you? Are you doing things every day to move closer to making your vision for your life and business reality?
Put a positive spin on your day. Start by instead of saying “I have to do this,” say “I get to do this.” This is one of the best times in the history of the world. In terms of technology, peace, abundance, the ability to succeed and opportunities to thrive. We get to do amazing things, things that move us toward our vision, toward our purpose. And if you’re starting your day with those sorts of things and thinking about them, it is going to help you move forward.
Every successful person has some sort of morning routine or ritual. Margaret Thatcher, one of the greatest leaders in the history of the western world, used to get up every day at 5 AM so she could listen to Farming Today on the BBC.
David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, never looks at any of his emails until he arrives at work. So he starts the day on offense.
If you get up and the first thing you do is grab your device and start looking at your texts and emails and responding to what the world has thrown at you, you’re immediately on defense. You need to get your mind right, you need to get your body right, you need to get your spirit right before you start your day.
Jim Kwik just did a great podcast all about his morning rituals. His morning routine is very involved. Check out Kwik Brain, Episode 16 http://jimkwik.com/kwik-brain-016/ He goes into his nutrition. He even talks about the type of shower he takes. He gets very detailed about how he starts his day.
Ben Franklin—one of the smartest people in the history of our country, a true entrepreneur, a true thinker and philosopher—has a very famous outline of what his typical day looked like. He had a 3-hour morning ritual he did every day. He always started his day with the question, “What good shall I do this day?” So if you read from what he has on his morning routine, it says, “Rinse, wash, and address powerful goodness.” He was a pretty successful guy who accomplished many great things.
What are you doing every morning?
Do you have a ritual you follow?
Do you have a routine you follow?
Do you have a certain time you get up every day?
What do you do to give yourself a win first thing in the morning?
What do you do to set up your day where you will have a great success?
Joe’s Morning Routine
Joe has different morning routines for different days of the week. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, he will get up and go to the gym in the morning.
Last week (StudentOfLifePodcast.com/7) we talked about flipping the switch, making blanket decisions you make once, forever. So on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights, Joe has already made that blanket decision he will be getting up to go to the gym next morning. The alarm clock goes off at 4:21, which is precise and intentional because it plants a seed in the brain about beginning the day intentionally and with purpose.
As he gets up, he is saying a little prayer, “God let me be awesome today.” He gets ready easily because the night before he already prepared a gym bag, clothes for the day at work, a pre-work out shake and a protein shake. He gets a big drink of water, gathers his things and gets in the car. Joe has his phone with him but hasn’t looked at it yet. Six months ago he made the decision not to look at his phone anymore until after he’s done some things to get on offense for the day. In the car, the seat heater goes on to loosen Joe’s back before he gets to the gym. He turns on the app on the phone that does a daily reading from the bible and listens to that on the way into town. That gives his brain a chance to start easing into the day. Also, Joe knows spending time with God to start his day means he will have a better day.
At the gym, Joe walks on the treadmill for 30 minutes to loosen up his body, drink his pre-workout shake and give him time to work through his mind. It’s important to give your brain free space to breath and a chance to work on problems without lots of clutter. So whatever the brain has been mulling over at night, Joe will think about during that 30 minutes on the treadmill. Otherwise he will turn on a podcast and pour some wisdom into his head.
Then he meets up with a group and does a boot camp style work out. This is great for accountability, but also because having a trainer who is leading the boot camp means Joe doesn’t have to think or make decisions. All he has to do is show up and do what the trainer says. After the workout, Joe has his protein shake, takes a shower and get dressed.
By this time it’s 7.30am, and having been up since 4.21am, Joe is fully awake and full of energy. It’s a big win to start the day and he feels good about himself. It recharges his battery and protects his energy and confidence for the day. Next it’s off to the coffee shop to do morning planning. Typically this involves spending 10 minutes reading scripture or a devotional, and then journaling thoughts. After that, he tackles any problems that need to be solved, such as presentations to prepare. And finally, the last thing is writing out a task list for the day. The task list always includes Joe’s Big 3: At least one item each working ON his business, working IN his business, and personal development. These are the key things that help move him forward in all three areas.
Starting the day on offense like this means Joe knows whatever happens the rest of the day, he is following the agenda he set for the day, rather than just responding to other people and other stimulus. It gets things off on the right foot.
The morning ritual starter kit
- Feed your spirit.
Schedule quiet time. Pray. Be somewhere inspiring.
- Feed your mind.
Spend some time studying, getting education, or gaining knowledge.
- Feed your body.
It’s not just food, it’s taking care of your body by working out and getting moving. It doesn’t have to be a hard workout; start the day getting the blood flowing.
- Protect your energy.
Make sure you’ve gotten sleep, don’t look at emails or texts. Be on offense not defense.
- Protect your will power.
Do this by making blanket decisions, and when you do your planning, make sure you figure out the most energy draining thing, and tackle it first.
- Protect your confidence.
Plan, focus your day and have a block of time where you’re working in your purpose.
This is the Big Three
- Work ON your business.
- Work IN your business.
- Work on yourself.
Feed Three, Protect Three, and Work Three. That’s a great framework on which to build a Morning Ritual. If you don’t already have one, make it your starting point. Study yourself and figure out what works for you. Try things and get on a schedule where every day you go through a routine that gives you energy and gets you fired up for the day. You continue to do it and it becomes muscle memory.
Remember, the first step to success is learning how to win the morning. If you win the morning that gives you a chance of winning the day. When you win enough days in a row them you have success and fulfillment.
If you haven’t already, hit the subscribe button on iTunes or Stitcher. And if you’ve enjoyed it, tell your friends about the podcast!