I know this may sound odd, but if you’ve spent enough time with me, you know I’m passionate about morning routines and have likely asked you what yours is. I’m passionate about it because implementing a morning routine for me has significantly improved each of my days but more importantly has improved my mindset.
Until about 2 years ago, my morning routine was get ready and get to work. There wasn’t much else to it. Over the last two years, there’s been a few books and other resources that have impacted the way I do mornings and I’d like to share them with you. They’re all linked below at the bottom of this post. The first book was The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. This book specifically talks about a morning routine and uses the acronym SAVERS to illustrate some actions to incorporate into your morning routine.
Those actions are included below:
Silence – Meditation, breathing, prayer
Affirmations – encouraging words you tell yourself to help you achieve your goals, overcome your fears, and achieve your purpose
Visualization – imagine yourself doing each task or step needed to get things done
Exercise – doesn’t have to be long session at the gym, but should get the blood flowing
Reading – learning new positive thoughts, ideas, and knowledge to get yourself motivated
Scribe – writing is a great way to process thoughts, reflect, and inspire yourself
Another book I got a lot out of was the 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. Her book isn’t specifically about morning routines at all, but she does talk about decision making and we all know that the decision to get out of bed in the morning can be a hard one. She said in the book:
“Hesitation is the kiss of death. You might hesitate for a just nanosecond, but that’s all it takes. That one small hesitation triggers a mental system that’s designed to stop you. And it happens in less than—you guessed it—five seconds.”
If you think about this quote in the context of getting out of bed, if you hesitate to get up, you will be back to sleep in no time. But if you count down and get out of bed, you’ve made a move that will positively impact the rest of your day. Mel says,
“The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must 5-4-3-2-1 and physically move or your brain will stop you.”
With that in mind from Mel, I’ve learned to hit snooze a lot less often. I count down and 5-4-3-2-1 make a move. This means physically getting out of bed so I don’t lay there contemplating if I should or shouldn’t, and then likely falling back asleep.
To build upon Mel’s strategy of 5-4-3-2-1, I now make my bed after getting out of it. The quote below is from William McRaven’s speech about how to change the world.
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed… If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. And by the end of the day, that one task completed, will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made, that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”
I believe in this practice so much. By making my bed after getting up, the chances of be getting back into a made bed are highly unlikely. I also have accomplished one task which gives me the momentum to do another task, and another. I have learned how much I appreciate coming home to a made bed, and that inspires me to do it again tomorrow. The last resources that’s has really changed my mornings was also a book – surprise, surprise. It’s Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. In their book you will find the quote below.
“Discipline starts every day when the first alarm clock goes off in the morning. I say ‘first alarm clock’ because I have three… That way, there is no excuse for not getting out of bed, especially with all that rests on that decisive moment… The moment the alarm goes off is the first test; it sets the tone for the rest of the day. The test is not a complex one: when the alarm goes off, do you get up out of bed, or do you lie there in comfort and fall back to sleep? If you have the discipline to get out of bed, you win — you pass the test. If you are mentally weak for that moment and you let that weakness keep you in bed, you fail. Though it seems small, that weakness translates to more significant decisions. But if you exercise discipline, that too translates to more substantial elements of your life.”
When my first alarm goes off in the morning, I used to fail the test. I would snooze or set other alarms to give myself more time to sleep. But did you know, that if you snooze the first time, your brain actually goes back into a new sleep cycle? Sleep cycles are about 90 minutes long. So if you hit snooze for 15 minutes, you will still be tired after waking up because even though you’ve woken up, your body is still finishing out that sleep cycle. Read that again. Even if you get up only 15 minutes later, because you’ve fallen back asleep your body thinks its still asleep and will act as such. Which is why you’re so dang groggy in the morning after hitting snooze.
So that information in itself motivates me to get out of bed. Would I rather sleep more but be even more tired? Heck to the no. I’d rather get out of bed and get things done. In my next post, I’ll share my personal morning routine and few additional products I’ve incorporated into my mornings. But until then, I’d like you to consider your own morning routine. Check out some of the videos or books I’ve linked below.
What are you thinking you may want to adjust about your morning routine?
Maybe you just want to start one. Maybe for you, you’d like to add exercise or reading to your routine. Or maybe for you, you’re ready to really take your routine to the next level and add bigger sections of time blocked out for more of these areas.