There is a definite correlation between achieving our Goals and our morning routine, and it should support our pursuit of our Goals. A morning routing is what you do in the morning from when you get up to when you leave for or start work. The end point is up to you. A typical morning routine for an under-achiever might be something like this:
- Alarm goes off. Fumble for the snooze button. Repeat 3 or 4 times. Or just turn it off entirely and doze off.
- Eyes fly open. Reach for the alarm/phone in panic mode to see what time it is. “I overslept!”
- Rush to the shower, get dressed in a hurry and hurry to the kitchen for coffee and maybe a quick bite.
- Rush around looking for work bag, making sure it’s got everything. Can’t find shoes or car keys.
- Pour the coffee into travel mug, grab bag and keys, say good-bye to family and rush to work. Get stuck in traffic.
- Get to office late and be grumpy all day.
Any of that sound familiar? I know some of it does for me.
A good morning routine begins the night before. It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to pack your work bag, put your shoes and keys where you can find them and lay out the clothes you’ll wear in the morning. When you’re rushing, these things take at least twice as long because you’re focused on the fact that you’re running late. Next move your alarm to your dresser or somewhere you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Leave your phone with your work bag if you’re not in a job that requires you to be on-call at night. Go to bed early. Give yourself 7 to 8 hours of time to sleep before the alarm goes off. Choose the amount that works for you and stick with it.
When the alarm goes off, you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Make sure it’s a loud, annoying alarm, not some soft chime you’ll sleep through. Do NOT go back to bed. Ideally, you exercise now. You can do 5 hard minutes to start. Get your heart rate up and hopefully work up a little sweat. Even if it’s stretching and jumping jacks, you can do something. Increase the exercise time until you’re doing 30 minutes or more. Yes, you do have the time. Start getting up a little earlier every day. Shower and dress for the day. Have breakfast at a leisurely pace, even if it’s just toast. When done, grab your work bag, keys and anything else you need and head to work 15 minutes earlier. If you work from home, you can get started 15 minutes earlier.
This sets you up for a fantastic day. Exercise in the morning can make all the difference in the world for your day. You’re energized and you’ve already accomplished something. Your morning goes from a rushed mess to an orderly time of successful actions and habit building. There’s a lot more you can do with your morning routine. Walk the neighborhood for instance. Spend 5 or 10 minutes in prayer or contemplation. Write in your journal. Spend 15 minutes or more on your side hustle. Any and all of these things sets the tone for the day. You’ve accomplished something or several somethings before you start your work day. You’re not grumpy and fixated on how badly the day started.
You’ve set yourself up to hit the ground running and work on your Goals.