I’ve found that a rock solid morning routine can be the first and most important ingredient for daily success. Looking back to my teenage years, my mother (and my 16-year-old self) would be shocked to know that the 40-year-old me is such a morning person (actually, I like to refer to myself as an “all day person”)!
The more structured my morning is, the better I feel throughout the day, and that means I get more work done and close more sales.
My clients ask me a lot of questions about my personal habits, so here’s a little snapshot of my morning routine:
Dew’s Morning Routine:
- Wake Up Early
- Practice Good Self-Talk
- Create Content
- Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Let’s break each of these down a little:
Wake Up Early
“Early” means different things to different people. The key is to not let your workday dictate when you get up. Instead, decide to get up early enough to do some personal development before your workday starts. Currently, I get up at 5 a.m. – and I love it. This is just something that’s progressed to being earlier and earlier over the years. One of my affirmations (it’s become a bit of a personal mantra, actually) goes like this:
I leap out of bed each morning and attack my day with gusto while the lazy man hits snooze!
Stephen Covey always stressed that winning the “mind over mattress” battle is the best way to start your day with an easy win. If you take nothing else away from this entire post, just start with this: stop hitting snooze!
Of course, the how of waking up early is to get a good night’s sleep (7-8 hours each night). My personal keys to good sleep include: no television on “school nights”, no cell phones or TV in the bedroom, go to bed early and read something light (I like fiction). Also, the more physical activity you get throughout the day (even walking counts!), the easier and better your sleep will be. Check out the excellent book The Sleep Revolution for more tips.
I once saw an interview with Richard Simmons where he said, “I only exercise on the days that I plan on eating.” Now, Richard can oftentimes be a little out there... but I found this quote to be pure genius! It really helped me eliminate any remaining excuses and vow to do some kind of exercise every day. I start my day by running 3 miles, doing some yoga or a P90X video. The key is consistency: I exercise every morning – even when I’m traveling. I’m also a Fitbit junkie (10,000+ steps a day)!
I noted above that I read fiction at night before I fall asleep. In the mornings, I like to read non-fiction for 30 minutes while I drink my morning tea. I’ve found the morning to be the best time for personal development reading. Not only does it allow me to take my time and highlight or take notes, I often find that the ideas I read in the morning tend to stick with me and return to my thoughts throughout the day.
I’ve been able to “read” a lot more since I replaced my running song playlist with audio books. This pushed my average from around a book a month to about a book a week. I use the Overdrive App to listen to free books (yes, FREE) from my library, and I use audible to listen to books my library doesn’t have (or when all the copies are checked out and I don’t want to wait my turn!).
Practice Good Self-Talk
I have several affirmations that I read every day. They’re on note cards on my nightstand, laminated sheets hanging in my shower, and on my wall in my office. I read some of them as part of my morning routine; others I read throughout the day. Practicing good self-talk is an awesome way to keep yourself positive and motivated, and a great way to keep your core values at the front of mind.
This is the time of day I write blog posts and coaching content for my clients, and find things to post on social media. When I decide to write my first business book, this is when I’ll write it! Even if you don’t want to write a book or blog, setting aside some time each morning (even 15 minutes) to write in a journal can be a great way to organize your thoughts.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated. I’ve been eating a smoothie every day for the last 10 years. I love them. I’ll change up the smoothie a bit from time to time, but in general, I’ve learned to save time and energy by taking the decision making out of it and just having the same breakfast every day. Currently, my favorite smoothie recipe is: 1 banana, 1 cup strawberries and blueberries, 2 cups spinach, 1 scoop Vega vanilla protein powder, and 2 cups water.
Eat what makes the most sense to you and your diet. The point is to build it into your morning routine so you don’t have the “not enough time” excuse to hit the fast food drive through or just grab something on the way out the door.
Final Morning Routine Power Tip: Just Start!
Quit telling yourself that you’ll start Monday, next week or next month. Just start tomorrow. Decide what time will work best for you and then get up at the same time every day, sharpen the saw, exercise, read, write (or whatever your goals are), and be the best you that you can be. For more motivation, check out the book Miracle Morning (it really helped Shane build and kick start his morning routine).
Until next time – go sell some stuff!