Win The Morning?
I wanted to start by sharing something I have noticed thus far during this lockdown about my “good days” vs. “not so good days.”
It’s so simple and something I always did pre-quarantine but stopped for whatever reason since the lockdown. This misstep, I believe, led to a bumpier roller-coaster ride the first couple of weeks or so as I had to adapt to my new lifestyle.
In a world where you can’t control a lot of things, you can usually control how you start your day.
Based on your living situation (particularly if you have young kids), you may not have complete control over the beginning of your day.
But for those who can, well, it can be a game-changer. There’s a reason people seem so interested in the “mornings of high achievers” (me included!)
I don’t have any specific prescriptions for you, but more so a formula for you to create your routine that fits your lifestyle.
My morning routine that sets the tone for a “good day” consists of 2 Ideas:
Identify my TWO highest value or priority activities the night BEFORE. Yup, you heard that right. The best way to have a good day today is by starting the night before.
You start your day with integrity (and momentum) by doing the thing you said you were going to do.
I think the last one is the real kicker. I know this sounds overly simplistic, but if you start your day by veering away from your plans, it’s not the best feeling. Small victories, early and often, are the cornerstone of creating any habit and turning it into a routine.
Different people can and should create various morning rituals. This varies from person to person, and I am not a huge fan of explicit prescriptions when it comes to something as individual as this.
Still, some simple ideas include meditating, going for a morning walk, journaling, exercising, or reading. These are just some ideas but find what works for you and your circumstances best.
Prior to this whole situation, I was pretty good about waking up every morning, hopping in the shower right away, and then doing a quick 5-minute stretch to get my blood pumping and to help wake me up. I’d finish this up with anywhere from 5-15 minutes of meditation.
If it were a day where I didn’t have to head into the gym early then, I would go for a quick stroll around the neighborhood and have my coffee after while reading for 30-60 minutes.
If it was an early gym morning, then I would simply hop in the car and get to the gym early to review my schedule/programs for the day and catch up on emails and other administrative work before my first session of the day. This has more or less been my routine for the last 3-4 years, up until a few weeks ago.
However, after we all fell into this wormhole and found ourselves in a dystopic novel, my consistency was a bit lacking as I recalibrated. I found myself waking up and hopping on my phone right away (which I never did before!), refreshing my newsfeed, not doing my morning stretches or meditation. Overall, I was just throwing all my good habits out the window.
So what did I do? Nothing. I just went with the flow and like many things when we are going through tremendous stress in our external lives (like we all are now). I realized that this was just a temporary period. Two weeks of being off your routine don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things.
- 52 Weeks in a Year.
- 4,108 Weeks in 79 Years (the average lifespan for a human)
- 2 Weeks of not following your routine, exercising, or staying disciplined is 0.04% of your time.
So, here’s the plan: Brush off the last few weeks and start fresh.
By getting my head wrapped around this one simple habit (starting my day off on the right foot), I’m in a much better mindset all day long.
To be clear, though, this is NOT about over-functioning productivity chasing. It’s more about:
Being the kind of person that does what they say they’re going to do when they say they’re going to do it.
You’re personal confidence, and attitude is influenced by your self-esteem. And your self-esteem is impacted by your reputation with yourself.
If you’ve been struggling to start your day off in a way you truly enjoy, my hope is tomorrow you’ll get to enjoy the magic of a fresh start!