Not everyone feels like a natural-born early riser. I get this. Some people say they are night owls who feel energized and productive late into the evening. I believe that staying up late is a habit they've just grown accustomed to and therefore, they've learned to leverage a "second wind" in order to make the most of the day.
I also believe that those who have a morning routine and become early risers actually give themselves a super boost when it comes to starting their day off on the right foot.
Imagine how you'll feel after completing a daily morning routine you've designed to improve your mental and physical well-being? Boo-yah!
Much has been written on the value of daily habits, the power of self care rituals, and the importance of regular routines.
Those who practice a daily morning routine experience greater confidence through increased self efficacy -- the knowledge that you can accomplish what you set out to do, each and every day.
Improve Your Wake Up Motivation Level
When you practice your morning routine before 8am you consciously commit to dedicating time to your personal development and make it a priority before you tackle the rest of your day. According to Hal, this morning habit becomes your "wake up motivation level".
Hal's book quotes studies that reveal that if you follow 100 Americans from the beginning of their working life until 40 years later:
1 will have become wealthy;
4 will be financially stable;
5 will need to keep working past normal retirement age;
36 will have died and
54 will need to rely on financial help from friends and family.
These statistics remind us that 95% of people don't live up to their potential.
Your Life is a Sum of Your Habits
It's a scary statistic and one that I am challenging myself to avoid. Hal writes that there are 2 reasons why people don't live up to their potential -- they are living a life of regret with rear view mirror syndrome. They get tripped up by their past mistakes.
Then there is the concept of isolating incidences. It means you give yourself permission to skip a workout or eat those tempting fries and then you tell yourself, "It's just this once", but is it?
As T.Harv Eker states,
"How you do anything is how you do everything."
Commit to Your Life 100 Per Cent
Take ownership and responsibility for everything in your life. This is key to being able to fully commit to your life. When you know how you're going to start each day, you can move up your excitement level and get up early.
Find that a hard ask? Feel like you need more sleep? Give these tips a try:
Set your alarm or your phone alarm and put it away from you so you physically need to get up and out of bed to turn it off.
Then immediately brush your teeth. This will keep you up, moving and feeling fresh.
How to Win The Day
Here are the 6 key steps Hal shares from his book. I've included a graphic by James Altucher to frame up the key messages.
Practice capturing affirmations. No Stuart Smalley mockery here, just some good old fashioned scribbling down of the vision of the life you want to lead. Capture what you really want in every area and why you want these changes and what you are committed to doing in order to close the gap.
Visualize how you want your day to play out. Remember that you are the hero of your own story and it's no time to sit back as a supporting actor in your own story.Be present for everything you do. Take accountability for your life. When you combine capturing affirmations and visualizing with intentionality, you really put yourself in the driver's seat.
Take a break here...breathe, you can get through this post!
Exercise. Yes, this is where fitness comes in and it is likely one of the activities that seems easiest to push off because you might say that it takes the most time.
Try walking with your dog, jogging on a treadmill or climbing a few flights of stairs.
Follow along to a recorded or live cardio fitness or Yoga class. It doesn't need to take longer than 20 to 30 minutes of your day. Why not do it first thing and know that no matter what happens to you, you've got your workout done!
Combine movement and mindfulness. My friend Val has an amazing fitness program called Drōm which brings these two powerful activities together. I'm thrilled to share that I've just started teaching a special monthly Yoga and meditation class for Drōm.
Read. Try to read at least 10 pages of a book every morning. Hal shares that if you do this for 1 year, you will have read 3650 pages or approximately 18 books. Reading can foster not only greater self awareness, but enhanced personal and professional development too.
Scribble. Take a few minutes to jot down what you're grateful for and why. Hal mentions that his daily journal has 2 columns; one for lessons learned and another for new commitments.
What's My Morning Routine?
I've been practicing a morning routine for years.
Yes, I'm one of these crazy types who loves to get up early.
I relish the quiet time when it feels like the rest of the world is still asleep.
4:30am: wake time and brush teeth
4:32am: feed Bella (cat) and Olive (dog)
5:00am: drink a mug of warm water with a slice of lemon and ginger
5:05am: walk on the treadmill for 40 minutes while listening to an audiobook
5:45am: journal, set affirmations and intention for the day