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I’m a morning person.
Everyone who knows me well knows that.
And some people that know me well, hate it… (sorry Rach, and thank you for putting up with me when we share hotel rooms on work trips, you’re a babe).
I didn’t always used to be a morning person.
Don’t get me wrong, I was never the type of teenager to lay in bed until 1pm…
But alarms between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m.? I did’t even know they existed.
Not until I was 18, and I started waking up at 5 a.m. so I could park my car near the train station at 6:30 to get into London for University when it was a bit quieter and not a tsunami of business suits rushing around.
And at first it was HARD.
Real hard. No amounts of the lightest shade, and thickest concealer could hide my dark under eye circles.
But I did it, and it’s a habit that has stuck ever since.
Of course some mornings I want to sleep just a bit longer. And it’s nice when I do…
…but if I did that everyday, I reckon my life would be a lot different.
Now, I know the topic of ‘morning routines’ is a topic by which the Internet at large is totally obsessed – but this isn’t just ‘another 5 Tips To Have A Better Morning Routine’ article…
Nope. Instead of that, I wanted to share with you a slightly different spin on it – because I think if you look at your morning routine this way, it might just possibly, maybe, (almost definitely), stick.
So what’s this different spin on ‘morning routines’?…
I like to look at the habits I’ve created (and create) to start off my day like this:
1. Habits that can improve quality of your life in the present
2. Habits that can improve the quality of your life in the future
And ideally, you should focus on habits that give you both.
Why? Because if you’ve got big things in life you want to achieve (even little things) – then you are responsible for taking the steps to make them happen.
Now, we live in a world where we want gratification now. Whether you like to admit it or not, we all do.
If you’ve ever heard of the Marshmallow Experiment – (The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a series of studies on delayed gratification in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, led by psychologist Walter Mischel, and then a professor at Stanford University)…
…That demonstrates it perfectly.
But we all know that the bigger things we want to achieve in life, like making a big impact on a group of people, making a difference in the world, being able to buy your Mum a holiday home in Italy, the ability to work from wherever you want, to own that dream car you’ve always wanted… Whatever the goal(s) may be, you know you’ve gotta wait a bit, and do some work before you can achieve them.
I mean, I’d love a Lake House in America as a second home, but if I went and did that now… I’d probably end up like the female version of Tarzan living in the forest trying to make fire out of twigs to keep warm, instead of living in the Lake House with a nice log fire.
So, my morning habits set me up for PRESENT and FUTURE success.
Ok, onto the Morning Routine stuff…
So far I’ve learnt that there’s 5 things you want to focus on achieving in the morning:
1. Being Alert 😀
2. Taking care of your emotional state ☺️
3. Taking care of your physical health 💚
4. Taking care of your intellectual state 😎
5. And working on an activity that supports your long-term goals 🏋
With that said, here’s a list of the 8 things I do each morning, that you can choose to do too, to achieve this:
1. Bedtime Schedules Aren’t Just For Children 😴
One of the BIG things I’ve discovered so far, is that the way you end your day – has a valuable impact on how you start it.
People laugh at me for sleeping early (between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m.) but how can you rise early and #GSD if you don’t sleep early?
I think bedtime is one of the most neglected parts of our day.
Lets face it, most of us end it by scrolling through our phones (yeah, I’m guilty), or with a bright TV screen blaring in our eyes… Which, by the way, confuses the hell out of your brain thinking it’s daytime still. So if you find it hard to drift off, and you toss and turn over and over, that could be why!
Have a go at ending your day differently. In that last half hour before you sleep, step away from all the screens. Have your phone alarm set, put on some comfy pjs, make sure the kitchen is clean, that your towels are hung up after your shower, and that you’ve done yourself a favour and set your environment up to set you off on a GREAT note when you wake.
You’ll thank yourself for it, get a better nights sleep, and you won’t be faffing about on a morning.
2. Wake Up Earlier 💤
No but really. I believe that everyone could benefit from waking up earlier. Even if you’re not a morning person, right now.
I’m not saying wake up at 5am – that would be foolish. I mean, it’s a great idea, but it’s also dependant on your lifestyle.
It’s all about optimising your sleeping and waking up cycle so you feel well rested, not groggy, healthy and able to reach your goals.
You don’t have to make drastic changes. If you want to wake up at 6:30, but you’re used to getting up at 8:30, begin with 8am instead.
Slow and steady will help you create a gradual transition, until it becomes a habit 🙂
3. Make Your Bed 🙌
A guy that inspires me, Tim Ferris says: “No matter how sh**ty your day is, no matter how catastrophic it might become, you can make your bed.”
And it’s true. If you don’t usually make your bed before you leave, do it, it’s a simple, yet powerful change.
And it’s always a nice feeling to walk into a tidy, uncluttered environment at the end of the day.
Make it easier, and less stressful for your future self 😉
4. Stretch 🙆
One of my FAVOURITES! I looove a good stretch.
Your body has been in twisted, awkward positions all night (if you sleep like me that is). Stretching opens the body up and enhances your performance in physical activities.
AND it only takes 2 mins. No excuse.
5. Coffee and Workout ☕️
Actually, maybe this is my ultimate fave. I love the endorphin rush my morning workout gives me. And lifting heavy stuff, is life.
Make exercise fun, it’s meant to be! If you don’t enjoy it, you’re hardly going to want to get out of bed in the morning.
Yoga, walking, jogging, jumping on a trampoline, dancing, deadlifting – whatever it is, just get that body of yours MOVING!
6. Write 📝
I love to write. Whether that be a blog post for my site, a 100 words to myself, or something called ‘morning journalling’ – where you literally spill all thoughts that are in your mind out onto a piece of paper (no matter what they are!
Even if you’re thinking about putting blueberries or banana on your oatmeal, write it!)…
It’s simple, but it helps clear your mind. And for me, it helps get me in my morning flow-zone.
7. Play Good Music 👯
Oh yes. Play good music. Not anything tear-jerking. No, there’s a time and place for a depression session and mornings aren’t one of those.
Play some music that makes you feel great, and you just can’t help but dance to.
(I totally often get caught throwing shapes in my kitchen though my windows).
8. List 3 Things You MUST Do Today 💯
This one’s important. Because if you know what you want to achieve, you’re better able to direct your attention to it.
Goals work like a camera lens. If you set the lens and focus correctly, you will be able to take a clear picture. If it is out of focus, your picture will be blurry.
I like to think of 3 things, that if they didn’t get done I ask myself – who would they impact, and what would the consequence be…
And if you get those 3 things done that are a huge MUST, then the rest of the day, you might just have time left over to focus on other things (little things or big things) that you need to get done or take you towards your goals.
To sum it up:
There is something special about waking up early. The world is still, and knowing you’re waking up with purpose to improve the quality of your life – as a result you’ll improve the lives of people around you.
Whatever becomes a part of your morning routine, consistency is KING. You will notice how fast you will grow and how everything around you start’s to align in a magical way.
And, what a great way to show yourself a whole lotta love.
What does your morning look like? 🙂
Tell me in the comments below! And hit the ‘follow’ button so I know you’re reading, and I can read your words you want to share with the world too.
Love ya zillions,
I’m the Brand Strategist and Head of Marketing for Paul Gough Media — what we do?
We use Digital Marketing Strategies to help great Healthcare Professionals, become even more successful business owners, and live extraordinary lives (while serving more people — who need their help).
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Cobi – Don’t You Cry For Me
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