My Morning Routine
If you look at most successful people, one major thing they have in common is that they think about their time differently. This is seen most often when looking at successful people's morning routines. One thing that seems to be almost a rule across the board, is that successful people wake up early. I believe it is not just about getting up early that allows you to be successful, it's about using that extra time that you create for yourself, to be productive for yourself. This, is why I think it's important that you optimize your mornings and figure out a routine that works best for you. There is a great quote by Jim Rohn, which says,
“Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job”.
I believe that waking up early with the intent to work hard on yourself first, before you get started on your job is what will start to set you apart from others. There is a lot of value in finding routines in general, especially because most of our days are made up of routines whether we choose them or not. If you think about the variety of food that you eat over a month, you tend to see that there is not much variety at all. You often get in a routine which is the result of default decision making that is based on what you did yesterday or the week prior. This default “decision” takes place of an actual decision rather than taking a step back and looking at all of the available options and reasons why you may choose one thing over another. Now, looking at your whole life this way can be daunting at first. This is why I think it's important that you take one aspect at a time to try and optimize. Practice that for a while until you become really good and consistent at that modification, then add the next step in. For me, the first thing I have been trying to optimize has been my morning routine. This has been my current morning routine for the past 10 months. The more days that I am consistent with my routine, the happier I become and the easier it gets. Most of these things that I'm about to talk about, I started about 10 months ago. There has been a few additions lately though, that I think are very valuable and will talk about those as well.
My morning starts at 5 a.m. when I am gently awaken by a progressive sun simulating light, The Philips Wake Up Light. This light does a great job to wake me up, which has surprisingly been a nice change to the blaring radio alarm. This even feels like an upgrade from having a vibrating wristband like the Fitbit or Microsoft Band, which was my prior method of awakening. The light has a nice subtle way of letting you know that it's time to get up, without a physical or audible jolt first thing in the morning. For me, this removes the feeling of being stressed out as soon as I wake up. Once I am up out of bed, my body tells me that I need to use the restroom. I believe this is partly because our physiology becomes influenced by our routines, therefore our body knows the signaling of when to do things like the restroom. Also, I tend to eat dinner that includes high dietary fat content. This has an added benefit of keeping me regular, (ie consistent bathroom usage) and the morning time tends to be when that all gets resolved. While I’m using the restroom, I start our Infrared Sauna, to allow it to warm up to our current temperature of 140 degrees fahrenheit.
I sit in the sauna with my girlfriend for 30 minutes every morning. During this morning sauna, it is a great opportunity to practice breathing techniques. Specifically, diaphragmatic breathing and Wim Hof breathing, which are two breathing techniques that I've been utilizing more and more to try and minimize stress responses during activities. This has also helped me to have better control over my agitation and bouts of anxiety. This is also an opportunity for my girlfriend and I to write in our morning 5 Minute Journal. This has been a great part to the start of our day with purposeful thinking and a clear direction to focus on after leaving the sauna. We then have a traditional morning beverage that consists of, half of a lemon squeezed in a glass with about 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and filled about halfway up with cold water.
I have nicknamed this my morning “Gut Drink” and there are many reasons why I choose this to start my day. Most of all, it just helps me to feel energized and feel better throughout my day. After my morning Gut Drink, we have either tea or coffee. Lately, we have been drinking tea during the week and coffee on the weekends. This has been a nice schedule and makes me look forward to the mornings for this delicious drink. Our coffee is Bulletproof Coffee and yes we use the Bulletproof brand coffee beans. With this being said, it is important to mention that being a bit of a coffee snob and living in Seattle, I have ample choices of tasty coffee. I have also worked at a coffee shop and done many coffee tastings in the past. With all of this coffee experience I can honestly say that this is one of the best, if not the best tasting coffee I have ever had. There are also the added benefits of being third-party tested for toxins and molds. I believe this is worth the investment, especially if you rotate it with tea or other beverages throughout your week. Also, if you are only are drinking one cup of this per day, I believe it is worth the cost.
Other important components of our morning tea or coffee include, 1 tablespoon of Kerrygold grass-fed butter and lately we've been adding about a half a tablespoon of coconut oil and a half a tablespoon of Brain Octane C8 MCT oil. This is a full-fat beverage that allows both myself and my girlfriend to stay satiated and energized well through the morning until lunch time. After the coffee/tea is consumed depending on the day I make my way to the gym for a workout the specifics of the workout change Daily but they do always consist of positions and movements that take my body through ranges of motion that I don't get at my job or throughout the rest of my day my workouts last anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes then I have some time to read right and think. I finish up whatever else I need to before heading to the shower to get ready for work. While I'm showering, I begin with nice warm water and slowly bring the temperature down as I’m working my way through my shower. I finish with cold water where I also focus on breathing which helps me to tolerate the cold. While brushing my teeth, I keep a Phillips Go Light on my counter which gives me the a bright blue light. I have found this to be helpful to fully awaken in the mornings, especially in the fall and winter in Seattle, where it can be dark most of the day.
After all of this, I am now ready to face the day!
10/19/2016 01:50:09 am
Great article but what do you do when you don't have a set schedule? I'm just not a morning person and I so want to kick the habit. I'm reading this at 1:45am so that tells you the 5am thing is not happening.
Jordan (The Almost Athlete)
4/25/2017 08:24:43 am
When I don't have a set schedule, for example on some weekends, I will try and complete a similar morning routine. The big difference would be that this may start an hour or 2 later in the morning. On days like this, I try not to set an alarm to give my body a chance to catch up on any sleep deficits I may have. Since I am not naturally a morning person, this has been something I have had to train to be "good" at and I still find the desire for more sleep some days. It does get easier the longer you do it though. A good place to start could be getting up just 1 hour earlier than your current get up time and then force yourself to go to sleep 1 hour earlier as well ( this won't be too hard since you'll likely be tired earlier.) Once you get used to this than work it back another hour until you reach your target wake up time. I hope this helps!
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Author : Jordan Proudfoot
Here are my thoughts and insights into fitness and wellness to be the best you possible.