Why is a good morning routine so important?
The morning routine: performing a daily ritual of half an hour to an hour to become hyper-productive in life, day in and day out. It might seem too good to be true. But it’s no coincidence that there is one thing that the most successful members of the Earth have in common. Just think of Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, Bill & Melinda Gates, Jeff Bezos, … All of them have their own morning ritual that gives them a head start over their competitors and helps them to be the successful businessmen we know today.
Don’t have a morning routine built into your daily life yet? Then you leave a lot of potential out in the field. Putting your alarm clock a little bit earlier and creating a clear structure in your morning has so many advantages that you can no longer ignore the implementation of a decent morning routine in your life.
The benefits of a morning routine on your daily life
The morning is often rather chaotic for many people. You snooze too much, get out of bed too late and then the real rush begins: taking a shower, brush your teeth, get the kids ready for school, have a quick breakfast or maybe go through your mails and finally getting into the car to encounter yet again, the daily blissful traffic. The morning raids you as it were. You’re already stressed when you read this. With a morning routine you take more control of your morning, bringing a clear structure to your life.
Now that you’re back in control of your morning, you won’t have so many surprises. You decide what your morning looks like and set the pace. You are no longer unnecessarily rushed by unforeseen circumstances, which means that you no longer arrive at work stressed before you even started your day. You will see that you experience less stress as you start the days with more energy and a more positive mindset in general.
More structure + less stress = increased productivity. You can almost pour it into a mathematical formula. Besides the fact that you get up earlier and thus have more time at your disposal, you will be amazed at how much more productive you become now that you go through life stress-free and with more daily structure.
If you win the morning, you win the day!
Advantage over your “competitors”
There’s a reason many successful/happy people swear by a fixed morning routine. Not everyone has the courage or willpower to get up early and go through a whole routine before most people even wake up. If you do, you have an immense advantage over others. Which brings us to the next point…
Reach your goals
Do you want to achieve your goals in life? Then a consistent morning routine is the fastest shortcut to success! All those days you start controlled, start compounding and the difference gets so big over time that you simply get more done and achieved than most people. The extra time and productivity you gain through your new lifestyle helps you achieve goals you never thought possible.
More free time in the evening
Imagine how much extra time you have in the evening when you’ve been owning the day. Exactly!
All the time that has been freed up here, you can now invest in your hobbies or personal interests while spending more time with friends and family. This in turn contributes to your productivity and personal development which just makes you a happier person.
The effect of a morning routine on your well-being
Better sleep quality
Consistently going to sleep and getting up at the same time has a positive impact on the quality of your sleep. With a better sleeping pattern you will get through the day being sharper and more alert while experiencing more peace of mind.
Being healthier is the result of just a little bit of extra planning. Set your alarm clock a little earlier and suddenly you have time to exercise in the morning and having a good breakfast. A habit that will quickly and permanently benefit you.
With your morning routine, you set an example for others and motivate them to copy your lifestyle and take advantage of it. This undoubtedly gives your own motivation and self-confidence a boost, which is also good for your self-image!
Better stress levels
Thanks to your morning routine, you’ll experience less stress, have more time to relax and your mental and physical well-being will get a strong boost. After all, increased stress levels have a major impact on your physical health and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
How do you start a morning routine?
What is your objective?
Define your objective in advance. That’s important.
What do you want or what do you hope to achieve? Some examples:
- Become more athletic
- Experience less stress
- Write a book
- Work on yourself in general
- Starting a business or start working on that ‘passion project’
Depending on your objective, you can adjust your morning routine accordingly. There is not one-size-fits-all ‘morning routine’. You need to feel for yourself what works and what doesn’t. Always keep your goals in mind and use this as motivation to start every day.
You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems– James Clear
How do you create habits?
An effective morning routine of course depends on you learning this habit and keeping it up.
Learning habits is easier than you think. An extremely effective method to do this is the ‘Habit Loop’, popularized by Charles Duhigg in his book ‘The Power of Habit’, which you can see illustrated here. This is how you learn new habits: by combining a cue, a routine and a reward, and on this basis develop a desire that drives the loop. What is a cue, a routine and a reward do you ask …?
What is a cue?
A cue can be a certain sound, a certain smell or a certain place or action that evokes a certain action or thought and triggers your body to perform a certain routine.
What is a routine?
A routine is a certain behavior, action or ritual that becomes a habit by performing it repeatedly and consistently.
What is a reward?
A reward is a satisfying feeling that your body gets every time you perform a certain action. This sends a signal to your brain: “This feels good. You should do this more often!”
How do you utilise the Habit Loop?
Going for a run is a nice practical example of the Habit Loop. You want to go jogging so you put on your running shoes: this is your cue. The act of putting on your running shoes triggers your body to perform a routine (running). The endorphin rush (the so called runner’s high) you get after your run is the reward you get. And a healthy ‘addiction’ is born.
The next time you might not feel like running, think back to the feeling this runner’s high gives you and use this as the motivation that drives the run. When you put on your running shoes, your body triggers this feeling and you really want to run. After a while you will continue to crave your reward and this almost becomes an addiction as it were. And there you have it: you have taught yourself a new habit! Go you!
7 steps to the perfect morning
The most successful people start their day early and finish important things while the rest of the world is still snoring. Try to get up at 7am (or earlier) every day and be consistent. Remember: you snooze, you loose! At your first alarm clock, try to get your body moving and force yourself to get up.
Providing your body with sufficient water is something you don’t always think about. Water is essential for your body to function properly. When you wake up in the morning, you have often haven’t hydrated for more than 8 hours. This is not an ideal situation for your body to perform optimally. Tip: put a large glass of water ready on your bedside table. Drink it as soon as possible after you get up to get your body back on track and hydrate it.
It’s important that you take some time in your morning routine to become sharp. Focus on your thoughts and on your body while taking a break from all the other stimuli in your environment. You don’t have to meditate for half an hour. Taking 5 to 10 minutes to become more relaxed, to stretch and ground your body will already give your day a strong energy boost.
The written word is still the source of all knowledge. Reading is therefore the means par excellence to further develop yourself and broaden your view. Moreover, in the early hours your brain is more active and alert. An ideal moment to deepen yourself in things that really interest you, before you brave the stress of a hectic working day.
Writing down our thoughts is, and remains, a very powerful means to gain insights on the one hand and to impose some obligations on yourself on the other hand. Start your day by writing down a few things you are grateful for or believe in. By doing this systematically you can coach yourself towards a more positive thought pattern.
Why be moody when you can shake your booty? Raise your heart rate and move your body! Dance, go for a walk or run, go to the gym or do some yoga. Whatever floats your boat. It is important that you move sufficiently and consistently! This can be a 5 to 10 minute workout or a full blown workout of one hour!
Food is where our body and mind get the energy to survive and function. So a healthy breakfast is the key to a productive day and should definitely get a place in every morning routine. Go for a healthy breakfast that is rich in protein and nutrients.
The impact of your evening on your morning routine
In fact, a good morning routine starts the night before when you set your alarm clock. How you structure your evening has a big impact on how you feel in the morning. By going through a few simple steps before you go to sleep, you have a way bigger chance to feel refreshed and ready as soon as your alarm goes off.
Get your clothes ready for the next day
Save yourself the choice stress in the morning. Choose your outfit for the next day and get it ready.
Have a glass of water nearby
Immediate hydration in the morning is important. Just put a glass of water on your bedside table so that you can drink this first thing in the morning.
Prepare your breakfast
An extensive and healthy breakfast sometimes takes time. Choose what you want to eat the night before. Put all the necessary ingredients and bowls etc. out on the table and do the necessary preparation work. Saves a lot of time in the morning. If you still hate it, have a Goodmorning!
Get your tunes ready
You want to follow your favorite yoga instruction video on YouTube in the morning or listen to your favorite Spotify playlist while running. Put your phone ready and set the right video or playlist. It’s the little things that make your life easier in the morning.
No screens in bed
Laptop and mobile phone screens emit so-called blue light. Blue light sends a signal to your brain and creates the illusion that it is still daytime. This will make it difficult for you to fall asleep and the quality of your sleep will also deteriorate. Tip: a book is a great alternative and even helps you fall asleep at night!
Go to sleep on time
This goes without saying but if you want to get up early in the morning and perform well, make sure you get enough sleep at night. Some people need half an hour to an hour to fall asleep. Keep this in mind. Do you want 7-8h sleep? Then calculate around what time you should sleep and crawl into bed half an hour earlier.