Updated July 23, 2018 (formerly featured at blog.partner4leads.com).
A few years ago I was introduced to a book called The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod. That book got me to shake up my own morning routines. Over time, I kept hearing more and more about morning routines and rituals, including the routines our planet’s most successful and productive. Turns out that the highly successful and über productive all have morning rituals and routines, some more consistent than others, but they all have them.
Adopting and trying new morning rituals has really helped me start my days off with a much better mindset than when I payed no attention whatsoever to the first 30 to 60 minutes of my day. For me, the introduction of specific routines has made a noticeable difference in my life. Here are my current morning routine and rituals.
Drink a glass of water with lime or lemon
This is obviously to hydrate, which we’re all in serious need of first thing in the morning. Lemon inside the body has an alkalizing affect, which raises the pH of our body tissue. I won’t geek out on the science of this, but I will say that it makes my morning water more enjoyable.
Meditate for 10 minutes
I’ve done meditation for years, but stopped for a period of time. There’s so much to explore here, such as different modalities, what makes for a successful meditation session, health benefits, and on and on. Suffice it to say, science has long confirmed that it’s worth doing with regularity. Personally, I find that it’s good practice for staying focused, and it helps me with anything and everything that needs focusing on.
Yoga and exercise
Who doesn’t agree that flexibility is one of the most important things we can maintain as we age? Like meditation, there’s much to explore within yoga, but I currently do it for the health benefits. Secondarily, I do my best to practice and improve upon what’s outside of yoga’s physical realm, such as compassion and mindfulness.
Prepare coffee in a “French” press
I recently learned that what I’ve known all my life as a “French” press isn’t French at all. In fact, a French friend told me that the French call it an “Italian” press. An Italian friend told me Italians call it simply a “coffee” press. In any case, coffee prep has been a regular part of my mornings for as long as I can remember, but lately, I’ve been totally geeking out on it. My wife and I recently went on a coffee farm investment tour, where we not only learned about agricultural and business models, we also learned the finer points of appreciating coffee. My coffee preparation has reached a whole new level, and consequently, I have to be “in the moment” to get it right.
Read for 20 to 30 minutes
This is something I’ve added within the past two years. I read before, but sporadically. It’s also something I do regularly in the evenings. My reading varies between business, self-improvement, biographies and fiction.
Practice Duolingo (Spanish)
Living in a Spanish speaking country is giving me immersion opportunities, but Duolingo is helping me improve my vocabulary and grammar.
I’ve played around with this one quite a bit. I recently got into a five minute routine as prescribed by Tim Ferriss in his new book Tools of Titans. I also tried jotting down ten to twenty ideas a day. Michael Hyatt has a journaling technique that I also tried. I’ve definitely found that letting the evening’s monkey mind spill onto paper to be therapeutic. I’m still tweaking the routine, but I have come to terms with the fact that I don’t like handwriting on paper (much). I’m now using my Macbook and Evernote. There is one more type of journaling I’d like to try. It’s called object writing, something I learned about in a conversation with musicians Crystal and Pete Damore. You can read more about object writing here.
This one’s fallen off of my morning routine radar as of late, but I really enjoy the process of creating, saying and updating affirmations. They can be a big confidence builder for the day ahead. I’ll have to squeeze affirmations back into my mornings.
What I’ve learned
For starters, I’ve learned not to freak out if I can’t squeeze them all in everyday. Two or three on any given day is great. If I hit them all–grand! Morning routine definitely keeps me grounded, gets me out of bed early, motivates me, and helps me start the day with a clear mind.
The reason I originally wrote about morning routines, is because the topic of getting in the right mindset for sales meetings came up on P4L Mastermind Call. Preparation is obviously part of getting in the right head-space for sales meetings, but I truly believe that solid morning routines can also have a big impact on ones ability to quickly get in the right frame of mind for any kind of meeting.
So are morning routines valuable?
I think so. Apparently lots of people who are smarter them me agree.