“I get up with my kids and spend time with my family first.”
“I wake up early and hit the gym. I’m already in high gear by the time most people are starting their day.”
How do you start your morning? A few months ago, I started thinking differently about how I start my day — my morning routine.
My good friend Seth Mattison influenced me with his dedication to morning meditation and preparation. I heard Tony Robbins talk about his very specific routine of a plunge into an ice-cold bath every morning (no kidding!). My friend Scot, always a 5 AM riser, recently returned from a transcendental meditation retreat and described his new morning TM routine as life-changing.
During my research, I found the great website My Morning Routine, with examples of daily rituals from successful people. I started surveying more friends to find out what the people I admire the most do every morning (and some of their answers are at the beginning of this post). I also discovered this excellent series about how C-suite leaders start their day.
Here’s what I learned: While the rituals may vary, a common thread for a successful start to the day is having a consistent routine. Rituals are a catalyst for a powerful and positive start to each day.
My own version: I spend 15 minutes getting myself centered, focused and prepared to tackle the day.
- I spend 5 minutes meditating and breathing.
- Then, I spend 5 minutes in deep gratitude for everything I have. I flood my body with love, and push away any anxiety or fear I’m feeling.
- Finally, I spend 5 minutes visualizing what I want to accomplish and deliver that day. I think about my goals and priorities, and make decisions about my time.
What happens next can change based on my schedule, location and commitments. It also typically includes a healthy breakfast. However, I can make those first 15 minutes happen no matter what. That sets the tone for the day.
I’m more energized, focused and productive. I’m committed to my schedule and disciplined about how I’m going to spend my time, which keeps random chaos from intruding and interrupting my day. And when I’m following a consistent routine, I just feel better.
If you’re interested in experimenting with your own morning routine, consider these patterns I’ve seen in my morning-routine research. Successful people:
- Wake up early. Make the bed.
- Develop a consistent routine.
- Take time for themselves (that usually means exercise, meditation or focused family time).
- Move into their work day feeling organized, confident and prepared. They feel good mentally and emotionally and they’re ahead of the curve — not racing to catch up.
I’d love to hear your morning routine. What do you do to start the day?
Ryan Estis helps companies and individual contributors embrace change and achieve breakthrough performance. Each live event blends original research with compelling stories that move participants to take action. Ryan has 20 years of business experience working with the world’s best brands to initiate change, inspire innovation and deliver growth. Learn more about Ryan Estis.