If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know I’ve talked about how much I love having a morning routine. I suggest it all the time when people email me as the first thing they can do to change their life.
The past eight years I’ve gone through phases where I have a morning routine and then times when I get lazy and fall back into old ways.
I love having a morning routine and know that when I do my day is always better.
For the month of January, I didn’t have a morning routine. I would have good intentions to focus on my routine, but instead of check my iPhone or iPad instead.
It started when I got sick with a stomach virus. I’ve had one before that I can remember and it left me tired and weak. After I got better, I had a hard time waking up earlier like I was used to.
Normally I get up at 7:30am without an alarm clock. I’m a bit tired but I get up. After the stomach virus, it became 8:30-9am when I would get up. Anytime before that I would feel so tired that I immediately went back to sleep.
So the amount of time I had in the morning to do my routine was drastically cut. Since I had less time, I couldn’t do everything I wanted. So then I just didn’t do much since my excuse was that I didn’t have enough time.
I knew those excuses had to stop. I went back to the basics and instead of doing everything I wanted to do in my morning routine, I chose one top priority that I would focus on. If I only did that, my morning routine was a success. If I did more then it was a bonus.
My current morning routine
When I get up in the morning, I grab my iPhone first cause it’s face down on my nightstand. I have it on do not disturb all night so the notifications do not make a noise. I have it there mainly to check time in the middle of the night. My wife keeps her iPhone outside of the bedroom since she uses an analog clock for the time. I should get an old school clock and do that as well. I don’t want a digital clock because I like the room to be as dark as possible for better sleep.
I glance at any notifications from overnight. Normally it’s nothing urgent. Just sales notifications from my Shopify store and family group texts. I have limited what notifications I get from apps. I turn a lot of non-essential ones off.
Then I get a glass of water in the kitchen. For as long as I can remember I always drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. I know our bodies are dehydrated after sleeping and water is what it needs.
After that, I go to my office and start reading a book. The book I’m reading is already in front of me and all I do is open to my bookmark.
Reading is something I want to do more of in 2019. I did not read as many books as I’d like last year because reading was something I did if I had enough time. I did not make it a high enough priority and it showed.
Last year I would start my morning with writing a few things I’m thankful for, then doing a 20 minute self hypnosis session (a bit different than meditation), then read.
What usually happened was I would always do gratitude and self hypnosis but not read. If I ran out of time or got distracted, which happened too often, then reading wouldn’t get done.
Right now I’m making it my top priority and am seeing great results from it so far. I feel better cause I’m doing what’s important to me. I’m also learning new ideas.
Currently I’m reading a book called Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport.
It’s a great book because I do want to reduce the amount of time I spend on my iPhone. I’ll do a book summary here and also as a podcast episode as soon as I’m finished with it.
When I sit down in my office chair I don’t wonder what I should be doing. The book is right in front of me.
The worst thing to do is have no idea what I want to do and spend time and energy thinking what to do. That will usually lead to doing what’s easy (social media/internet) or what’s not important.
Since my main focus of my morning routine is reading, I feel great knowing that I took the time out to read. Right now I read for about 20-30 minutes. If I have more time, I’ll do other things like journaling.
I want to keep it simple and focus on one priority I want to do. That way I don’t overwhelm myself and also spread myself thin on trying to do too many things.
In the past I’ve done different things first like writing down what I’m thankful for, meditation, or listening to a self hypnosis audio. I did them first because they were my top priority at the time. Even if I didn’t have time to do everything in my morning routine, or got distracted, at least I was able to do my top priority.
So my top priority in my morning changes depending on what I want to focus on.
You can do this starting tomorrow. A piece of advice is to tie whatever you do to a current habit you have now. For example, mine is when I sit at my desk I know what I do next. Yours might be after your brush your teeth or after you make your cup of coffee.
This way your habit is tied to a current habit and that makes it easier for you to do it.
What’s a top priority that you would like to achieve in the morning before you start your day? Share in the comments below.