The concept of “winning the morning” means having a solid routine that you go through every morning that sets you up for success throughout the whole day.
Following the right routine will ensure you have good energy throughout the day, are taking care of your health and fitness, and are operating at your optimal level.
Rolling out of bed and immediately checking your phone or email is a terrible way to start the day. At that point, you have already lost the morning.
The most important thing for you to do first thing in the morning is to do things for yourself. You likely spend the entire rest of the day doing things for other people:
- Working for your boss
- Looking after your kids
- Doing things around the house
- Answering messages and emails from colleagues or clients
Everything you are doing is for someone else.
Most people have very little time to give to themselves. First thing in the morning is the absolute best time to take some time for yourself. Before anyone else is bringing stress to your plate, you have a completely clean slate and can choose how you use it.
Here are 7 recommendations to set you up for a winning day:
- Wake up early – Waking up early has many benefits.A good sleep cycle, where you are getting to bed early and making the most of the day, is very good for your health. Humans aren’t supposed to be up all night. Our hormones react to light and dark cycles. While it is dark, you should be sleeping.
The biggest practical benefit of waking early is that you have time to do the things you want to do for yourself, before your other commitments take over.
Get up early and you will have some quiet time to go through your morning routine, before you have to be in the office, answering the phone. You can also have some time at home before the rest of the family wakes up.
This is a habit that makes everything else that follows easier to handle.
- Make the bed – When you get up, the first task of the day should be making your bed.A tidy space makes for a tidy mind and ensures you are not creating unnecessary stress caused by clutter and mess.Further, it’s a very simple task that you use to build momentum for the day. It requires no effort, thought or skill. You get a little bit of energy by ticking off a simple task.Momentum is important, especially if you face resistance to doing other tasks.
- Meditate – Meditation is so good for your mental health.Give it a try. It can be difficult at first, and you might be hesitatnt to try it, but it works.You don’t have to sit cross-legged and chant for an hour. Just sit comfortably in a chair with your eyes closed and be silent for 10 minutes. You can even use an app on your phone for a guided meditation. Headspace is a great one, but there are plenty of others out there.
- Cold shower – Taking a cold shower sounds horrible, and honestly, it kind of is.It does have a lot of benefits though. It will certainly wake you up, energizing you for the forthcoming day.It raises testosterone levels and it has lots of benefits for the skin too.The biggest thing, though, is the mental benefits. The act of getting underneath the cold shower, controlling your emotions as you force yourself not to jump out. It builds mental strength and it gets you set up in a solid position for the day.
Whatever happens later on is much less likely to faze you.
- Walk, stretch or workout – Doing some form of exercise first thing gets blood flowing to the brain and body so you’re ready to hit the day hard.It also ensures that you are getting your exercise for the day done.How often do you intend to go to the gym in the evening, but not make it because you’re too tired, or something happens at home/work that stops you from getting there?Do it in the morning and you don’t have to worry about distractions or feeling too tired. You will actually have more energy for the rest of the day after going to the gym in the morning.
To achieve your fitness goals, the most important thing you need is consistency.
By going first thing, you are much more likely to maintain consistency, and thus much more likely to achieve the results you hope for.
- Sit peacefully and have coffee – Even if it is only for 2 minutes.Resist the urge to jump straight in to answering email or commuting to the office. Take just a couple of moments—or longer if you have it—to sit and do nothing. Just relax.It allows you to clear your head and get ready for the day so you can prioritize doing the right things, instead of reacting to the first fire someone throws your way.
- Work on the most important thing for you – In every job or business there are things that are critical to your success that require your unique skills and experience.Then there is everything else that needs to be done, but aren’t as critical.How often do you spend time doing all of these urgent but not important tasks?If you focus on doing only the most important tasks at the start of the day, you have the rest of the day to sort out everything else like answering email, doing admin, interacting with co-workers and whatever else you have to do to make your company or business tick.
Remember how the very first tip—making your bed—builds momentum?
This whole process is about momentum. As you go through each of these things, you carry so much momentum into your day, and you get so many of the important things out of the way early on.
With this momentum you will achieve more, be less stressed and more successful. You will find it easier to do things like keep up your fitness regime and manage stress, because you’ve done it first thing, when your energy and focus are good.
These things serve to increase your energy and focus allowing you do get so much more out of your day.