You might have heard this before, but those considered the most successful wake up quite early, and they all have a different morning routine. Most of them claim that those first couple of hours of the day are the most productive ones and that we could use that time to build habits, practice a hobby, think creatively, and more. There is a science behind the satisfaction of achieving things before even starting your workday, and it creates a snowball effect. Having a workout, breakfast, reading, and shower down before 9 am will give you a sense of accomplishment and set your productive attitude for the day.
However, like any other habit, building a routine takes time and effort. You won’t be able to get up at 5 in the morning all of a sudden if your body is not used to it. So, here are our (realistic) tips to start building your most successful morning routine.
1. Track your time
In order to start spending your time better, you need to know exactly how you’re spending it now. Keep track and write down what you are doing as much as you can and how long it is taking you to do things. The more detail the better. While you may be inclined to track only your mornings, try journaling your time for a whole week. The reason is that often we struggle to wake up earlier due to things we do other times, such as staying up too late. By tracking your time all day in as much detail as possible, you’ll be reflecting on how you spend your nights, if whether you’re doing something enjoyable or not, and more. Being mindful about how you’re spending your time will help you to identify activities that you might want to change.
2. Picture your perfect morning
Now you know how you spend your time, but the real question is, how would you like to spend your time? Ask yourself, “what would a great and fulfilling morning look like?”. You might see yourself exercising, then having a nice nourishing breakfast, and focusing on a long-term personal goal. That could be reading a book, working on a side project, writing, or even meditating. The time is yours to use, so you decide.
3. Think about the logistics
The good thing about using your morning hours for important things is that you can decide how long and how much you want to spend on activities that could take longer/shorter. For example, if you set yourself to take a shower in 15 minutes, you’ll have it done in 15 minutes. Map your morning schedule. How can you make this happen? Well, you have tracked your activities for a week, so calculate how much it takes you to do the things you want to do and plan out your going-to-bed and wake-up time to have enough sleep but also enough time in the morning. Come up with a plan and assemble it.
4. Believe you can do it
It’s crazy how powerful our minds can be and how they can influence how good our habits are for us or not. Don’t label your visioned morning as impossible. It’s easy to go into a spiral of excuses. For example, you might tell yourself you can’t exercise in the morning because you have young children you need to take care of. But, for a moment, try to focus on yourself. It might be hard, but there are solutions to every problem. Maybe you could go to a gym with childcare, or hire a nanny, or ask a friend/neighbor to come over in the morning you scheduled a workout. You could exercise at home before your children wake up. There is nothing that can stop you from making your mornings more fulfilling than ever.
5. Put your discipline to the test
This is the hardest and also the most important part of building your routine: discipline. It is okay to fall off the track at the beginning, but it’s essential that you identify that you missed a scheduled workout, or reading time, or that you slept a bit longer than you had expected, and know that the next morning you are going to get it right. It takes a lot of willpower to begin with your morning routine. The best tip here is to take it slowly. As mentioned earlier, you won’t be able to wake up at 5 am, exercise, read, eat breakfast, shower, and do anything you’d like to do overnight.
Start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier and setting your alarm 15 minutes before for a few days and gradually increase these to 30, 40, up to 60 minutes before. Make sure you keep an eye out for your energy levels. Building a new habit takes effort and you are building this routine to improve, so take care of yourself. Go step by step, and trust the process. Soon enough you’ll notice you feel like going to bed earlier without having to think about it. Or the need to exercise in the morning without having to schedule it the night before. It will become natural.
6. Make adjustments as needed
The best part of building your own routine and morning schedule is that it essentially yours and only yours. You will most likely not get it right the first few times, and you might have to make some adjustments. It’s a matter of trying what works best for you and what doesn’t.
Building habits that give you a strong sense of accomplishment will lead to a snowball effect for success. Your brain will receive that stimulation of a victory, and you’ll be more likely to take the next steps to continue adding up victories throughout the day. Having a well-built and functioning morning routine will give you a headstart and allow you to set the mindset for the day ahead. Ready to roll your snowball of success?
We hope you have found this guide helpful. We think you might also be interested in reading these blogs about Career Advice: