Your Morning Routine Can Create More Change Than You Realize5 min read

morning routine guy lacing his shoes
morning routine guy lacing his shoes

What is the Point of a Morning Routine Anyway?

It’s good to have a logical reason for each decision I make. I had trouble getting enough work done throughout the day so I set out to learn how to improve this. I discovered that I could get more work done by being more intentional about my day. My first solution was to create a morning routine.

A morning routine is like a “boot up” process for the brain. The proper morning boot up can give a person’s day better performance and consistency. When starting to research this, I noticed plenty of successful people are very regimented about their morning routines.

Stop Thinking in Your Morning

If you aren’t the type of person to wake up at 6am and have a giant smile on your face or start singing to the birds on the windowsill, then advice to “stop thinking in your morning” is a bit of a relief. Frankly, I don’t want to be friends with the person who wakes up and sings to birds in the morning anyway.

In the book The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg helps us understand how habits are the single biggest influence on the decisions we make and they require little brainpower when learned. According to Duhigg, habits can impact the actions we take without us even thinking, because the human brain has a tendency to find the path of least resistance.

An example of a bad habit would be drinking a coca-cola 3 times a day. (I actually knew a guy who did this and he was unhealthy mentally and physically). This simple habit could influence other choices you make, such as the types of food you consume. Now you are more likely to go out to eat, which requires time and could take away time spent doing other things like focusing on your family or work.

If we aren’t very self-aware, habits that form without us knowing could have a snowball-like effect.

Just as there could be a negative buildup of habits that could impact your life, there can also be a positive build-up, or what Charles Duhigg calls “small wins”. Why not be more intentional about the habits you create?

I set out to do just this by creating a series of habits that coupled together, is a bunch of “small wins” that starts off the day right and prepares you to make better decisions and therefore have more wins throughout your day.

My Updated Morning Routine

6:00 – Wake up and make the bed

6:05 – Make breakfast and listen to an audiobook

6:30 – Shower and get ready

6:45 – Meditate

7:00 – Read and take notes

8:00 – Start work

If you like this routine, take it as your own to start. As you do it, notice the results you get. On different days when you veer away from this routine, notice changes that happen. Figure out more of what you can do differently that gives you the results you desire. 

Everyone’s Routine is Different

The important thing to note is that everyone has a different routine that works for them. It took me probably 3 months of trying different things in the morning before I came up with something that made me accomplish more and feel better as the day went on. When I don’t do these things, I don’t get as much done, and the decisions I make throughout the day suffer as a result.

Plan your day the night before. Having a productive morning starts with the night before. The amount of quality sleep one gets important.

  1. Remove electronics from the last hour of your day. Replace them with reading instead.
  2. Test going to bed at different times to determine which time works best for you. Then, stick to that time. By going to bed at the same time, your body expects it and can produce more melatonin, giving you better quality sleep. 
  3. Don’t eat, drink, or workout at least two hours before bed.

When it comes to forming new habits, this could be challenging. To be more effective about your day, start with a series of small wins that give you an initial success, even if it’s small. There is a book called Make Your Bed, that talks about how changing the little things can lead to big results. I haven’t read it, but I’d imagine it talks about making your bed.

What habits should you start today?

Maybe that morning routine is a bit much to start doing all at once. We know habits could have the power to ignite a chain effect in our lives that could help us reach our goals. You can’t just change everything overnight, because it would never stick. Instead, pick one thing to start a habit around and allow that to positively influence other areas in your life.

A few habits we can start to form today:

  • Go for a walk around the neighborhood.
  • Read for 15min
  • Eat a healthy snack
  • Make your bed
  • Create a daily to-do list of 5 items or less

The idea is not to read this article and do nothing. Start one of these and try them in place of bad habits. For example, if you feel a midnight craving for something sweet, buy or make a healthy alternative that gives a similar “reward” of having something sweet. Although, maybe you realize you are eating because you are bored. In that case, figure out something like a brain game on your phone to play when feeling a craving.

By changing just one habit in your day, you can start working towards a better morning routine. Soon enough, you will have a series of small wins that lead to bigger wins in life that will create a lasting positive impact.

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