The 5 Morning Habits To Win Your Day
What do you think Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Mick Jagger, John Maxwell, Michael Hyatt and hundreds of other super successful people have in common?
They all have morning rituals and routines that helped them get to where they are today. Before most people have even taken a pop-tart out of the toaster, high-achievers have typically read a couple of chapters of a book, jogged for 2-3 miles, listened to an uplifting or educational audiobook or written a few chapters of a book.
One of my biggest mentors, Jim Rohn, once said “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
I’m very passionate about having invigorating habits to fall back on in our everyday lives.
Why am I so passionate about this topic? For two reasons, habits literally are the driving force behind almost everything we do. And on a more personal note, developing good habits, more specifically, a strong morning routine has changed my life.
I didn’t realize until about 2013 that each morning I lost the battle with my bed, I stepped just a bit further from success. Each morning I chose to sleep 30 extra minutes, compounding to an extra 10 hours each month that could change my life or keep me stuck.
The most successful people in the world have something in common: They practice mind over matter.
For years and years, I revolted against a six a.m. alarm. All of that changed after the birth of my second child. I’m now the first to wake, usually an hour before dawn. Yes, you’ve heard that correctly. My alarm goes off every day, except for Sundays, at 4:30 am. Now, before you let a not so lovely word escape your mouth, I want to tell you upfront that’s not something I tell everyone that they have to do. So you can relax back into your chair. Take a deep breath; it’s all going to be ok.
But in all seriousness, I do love my early mornings. The house is hushed and solemn, and the days when I happen to look out the window and catch a glimpse of the sunrise, I smile. It’s an incredible sight, to be sure.
Each morning, strong coffee is brewing in the kitchen. I have to mention that the coffee is strong because I’m a coffee snob like that. The sound of the hot water dripping through the freshly ground beans gives me a sense of comfort and peace.
Once the coffee is brewed, I pour my first cup, stroll to what I affectionately call my “thinking chair,” grab my favorite blanket, and light a candle.
Once there, I feel no urgency to leave. As a type-A personality who is also big on to-do lists, I can tell you this is the one part of my day where I try to be. As much as possible, I choose to be. While there is a routine to it all, there is also no set schedule. I sit, listen, ask, and wait. There is no script, no rush, and no rigid rules.
Why is the morning the greatest time to establish a successful routine?
To give a short and simple answer. One, in the morning hours, you have the most control over your day. You can be most productive because people and non-important priorities haven’t invaded your attention yet. Two, your willpower is at its strongest in the morning. Three, how you start your morning affects the rest of your day. The outlook you have during the rest of the day.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to start your day at 4:30 as I do. It just means that before you turn on the news or reach for social media, start answering emails and letting other people’s voices and opinions invade and set the tone for your day you should focus on developing YOUR life-giving routine that will help set you up for success.
The most practiced habits purpose-driven people do before 8 am.
Pray/meditate:People of all religions, backgrounds, and careers have discovered the ‘success habit’ as a form of helping relax, unwind, and improve their personal lives.
There are doctors now who prescribe meditation as a practice to lower stress levels and help with pain management. “Science has shown us it may even improve memory and brain function,” says Benjamin Neal. To me, this means talking to my heavenly Father. I only endorse praying and meditation with the One and Only God of the Universe and his word, The Holy Bible. Which is the greatest book on earth that acts as an all-encompassing manual for living a successful life.
In Joshua 1:8 we read, Keep this Book of the Law (Bible) always on your lis; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful
Read, a lot!Jim Rohn said, “Your life will be determined over the next 5 years by the people you hang around and the books you read.” So, one thing you will find successful people do more than anything else is read. Whether that’s a physical book or it’s listening to an audiobook while driving or doing other non-important activities.
There are so many different ways you can read a book nowadays. Again, many times our limited thinking keeps us back because we think unless we read for at least an hour a day we really shouldn’t even attempt to read. And that’s just not true. Books are a great way to continue educating yourself and you can do it in bite-sized pieces.
Write.First, write as a way of journaling. In all honesty, this was something I struggled with. Whenever I would start journaling, the words would dry up, and I wondered why. After some soul searching and digging, I figured it out. I was afraid to pour my current reality onto the pages because of fear of my journal getting into someone else’s hands. What if someone else read my most intimate struggles? What if one of my kids got a hold of it. So, I held back.
A few months ago, I was listening to a podcast where the interviewee talked about the power of really pouring our hearts out during our journaling time. He went on to say that being able to be completely honest and naked on the pages of your journal is healing and therapeutic. It gives you a sense of awareness of your current reality, which you wouldn’t necessarily gain otherwise, and in return, helps you to move forward with clarity.
He also advised people like me, who are afraid of their words getting into the “wrong” hands, to burn the pages. I thought that was great advice, and it definitely helped me be able to open up a lot more. I still struggle, but I’m intentionally working on overcoming it.
Secondly, write purely to improve writing skills. I heard John Maxwell once say in an interview, that someone asked him how he wrote so many books. His answer was so simple but profound. "I write a lot. At the beginning, I was not good at it but the more I wrote the better I got." I’ve seen this happen in my own writing journey as well. Being consistent in writing every day will improve your written communication like no other.
Review dreams and goals.This was another game-changer for me. It was about 6 years ago that I daily wrote down my top ten goals. I keep all of my journals and I can tell you, that while I wasn’t able to achieve every single goal of mine I achieved about 70-80% of them.
Why is it important to write the goals down? It makes what’s going on in your head more tangible. It also helps keep your goals in front of your mind.
Emmitt Smith famously said that “it is only a dream until you write it down, then it is a goal.” The world’s most successful people agree that what you get by achieving your goals isn’t nearly as important as who you become in the process of working towards achieving those goals. Writing down your goals daily will boost your chances of success in achieving them.
Exercise.There was a time in my life when I constantly told myself that I didn't have the energy to exercise. I find that funny now since I learned the exercise itself is an energizer. Now, every morning I get a reminder that it’s time for me to put on my running shoes, go on a run, or to start doing my workout.
According to research exercise not only boosts our energy level but is also a great mood stabilizer. In an article in Everyday Health, we read that "According to Robert Gotlin, DO, a specialist in sports medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital and Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, the benefits of exercise for your energy level are twofold: Exercise boosts your body’s fitness and also your mood, both of which contribute to your overall health and well-being." Read Full Article.
In another article found on Harvard Medical School's website, we read that "regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory and thinking skills." Read Article.
It is no surprise that physical fitness and success go hand in hand. In addition to its physical health benefits, exercise also has the potential to increase your confidence level too. If you don't see how the two are connected, there’s an article I recommend reading an article in Live Stong titled “How Does Exercise Affect Your Self Esteem.”
Inc.com reported that 70% of successful business individuals discover a way to exercise each day. Because they know they need the energy to get ahead, and the best way to have that is to eat healthier, exercise, and get proper rest.
For next steps, grab my “Think Bigger” guide. It’s an extremely helpful resource I put together for every woman that wants to upgrade her thinking and uplevel her actions. If that’s you, you’ll find this pdf guide extremely helpful. You can grab your copy here.
Don't forget to listen to the latest CAPTIVATE episode with amazing guests and passionate female thought leaders sharing their inspiring stories.
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