There’s a lot of writing about morning routines. Heck, even I’ve written about it on this blog before. They’re everywhere!
As someone pointed out to me the other day, being swamped with a load of “Here are the 27 things you MUST do before 5am!” articles and ideas aren’t helpful, mostly because the fact is you don’t have to get up before the sun rises to have a good day.
Plenty of successful people get up late and manage to live happy, successful and tranquil lives and plenty of people get up early and are miserable bastards who hate the world and everyone in it.
If you pride yourself on getting up before Jocko Willink and having your MIT’s nailed before Nightscreen has finished, good for you. (Does anyone else remember Nightscreen? No? Just me. Shit, I AM old)
If you don’t, don’t feel bad because, no matter what time you get up, you always get the chance to do the most important thing that the 5am club members do – to start your day in the best way possible.
Whether you wake at 5am or 11am, there are good and terrible ways to start your day. I’m not going to give you a morning routine to do list from hell that includes meditating while “enjoying” a cold shower of green smoothies whilst doing pushups (one-handed, obviously!).
For me, getting from my usual just wakened state of “underdeveloped Neanderthal man stirs from 27-year coma” into “ready for a productive day” can be quite the shift for me to make. In car terms, it’s like doing a hill start…on Everest…in 3rd gear.
So, whilst I’m not going to suggest a massive list of tasks, I am going to suggest one thing – and only one – read something from your favourite book.
Reading can give you a leg-up into a productive state in a morning.
And it’s an easy first task to complete.
Even first thing in the morning.
It doesn’t require much effort to move your eyes along someone else’s carefully crafted words – you just have to pick up a book and read.
Doing it guarantees that you’re putting something positive and uplifting into your brain before the rest of the world has a chance to throw its shit at you.
And, because it’s positive and uplifting (you did choose a positive and uplifting book, didn’t you?), you actually FEEL more positive and uplifted by osmosis. It may not be a MASSIVE change, but it’s enough to get us into a more productive mood and that’s all we’re after – a great start to our day.
Picking up one of your favourite books is one of the best things you can do in the morning. To stick with the driving analogy, it’s like having a bump start – someone giving you a quick shove to help you on your way.
It doesn’t matter how long you read for or what book you choose…or even if it’s a book at all! You might choose:
- some affirmations you’ve written down,
- visualising something that inspires you and puts a smile on your face,
- rereading your mission, goals and your “why”, or
- typing “parkour fails”on YouTube (I take no responsibility at all if you get sucked into this particular blackhole – enter at your own risk!).
Whatever works best for you.
We’re not looking to get “100% fired up” or into “beast mode” (though “beastly” would be a pretty good description of how I look when I wake up).
We’re not aiming for ‘perfection’, ‘optimal’ or ‘maximum’ – we’re just looking to start the day the right way – to set off in a good direction.
So, pick out something inspiring/motivational/uplifting/[insert our own preferred state here] and put it somewhere you can easily grab it first thing tomorrow. Don’t bother with what anyone else is reading, this is about YOU.
How do you want to feel at the start of your day?
What do you have that makes you feel that way?
Grab that and put it on your bedside table.
Morning routines help you start your day off in the best way possible. And whether you agree with me about the power of reading or not, what all morning routines have in common, regardless of how many steps they have or even what time they begin, is that they all have ONE thing that comes first – ONE thing that gets them started on the path to a productive day.
Whether you get up at 5am or 11am, you always get to choose the ONE thing you’ll do first to help set you up for a great day, so make it a good one!
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