4 Ways to Create a Powerful Morning Routine

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One of the most important things that you can do to ensure that you have a positive and successful day is to become obsessed with how you spend your pre-work morning hours.

Unfortunately, many people never take the time to analyze their morning routine. A typical morning for most consists of picking up the phone right after they wake up to check email and social media, hitting the snooze button multiple times and never being intentional about positively fueling their mind and body before the workday.

The problem is, it’s challenging to perform at a high level and make an extraordinary contribution in the world if the above describes how you start your days. Instead, being intentional about how I start each and every day myself, and creating a powerful morning routine to do that, have been two of the most beneficial things I’ve done toward achieving my goals, increasing my energy throughout the workday and becoming a more positive person.

Here are four things you can do each day to create a powerful morning routine.

1. Wake up two hours before you have to be anywhere.

I’m not going to be one of those people who tell you that in order to achieve those audacious goals of yours, you need to wake up ridiculously early, but I am suggesting that you start waking up at least two hours before you have to be anywhere.

This early start gives you enough time to work on yourself and feed your mind, body and spirit before your hectic workday is off to the races. The reason why I assign this “number one” on my list is because it’s nearly impossible to create a powerful morning routine if you’re rushed and in a hurry.

2. Read something uplifting and inspiring. 

One of the best habits I have incorporated into my own orning routine has been to make sure I read something uplifting and inspiring for a half hour every single morning.

If 30 minutes seems too long, then start with just 10 or 15 minutes. It doesn’t matter if you are reading an actual book or a blog that you find inspiring, or listening to an audiobook. Just make sure you find the time in the morning to read something uplifting and inspiring instead of perusing negative news or checking your email right away. Fueling your mind with positive messages first thing in the morning helps you to build the self-confidence and motivational boost to go out in the world and make that specific day a masterpiece.

3. Practice daily gratitude.

There is so much written about gratitude and its importance, but a huge percentage of people still don’t practice it. Knowing that something is important and great for you and actually practicing it in your own life are two different things. Scientific research from multiple leading psychologists shows us that those who practice daily gratitude are more likely to be happy and successful.

I have found that the best time of the day to practice gratitude is first thing in the morning. I have used a gratitude journal for years, and it has been a complete game-changer for me. I currently use The Five-Minute Journal, which helps guide the process for you. Practicing daily gratitude will always be part of the discussion about a powerful morning routine and the best way to start the day.

4. Get moving.

I learned the power of doing some type of physical exercise first thing in the morning when I was an athlete. In college, as well as in the NFL, my friends and fellow teammates and I always had morning workouts; and I started to notice a pattern after a while.

When I worked out early in the morning, as opposed to the days that I didn’t, I noticed that my day was markedly better. I was not only more productive but more positive, and happier, as well. Even if your workout is just 20 minutes, you should get some sort of physical exercise in the morning.

Exercise increases endorphins and helps start your day in a positive way. A New York Times article I read described how exercise not only helps to build a better brain, but also increases brainpower. So, no matter where I am in the world or how crazy my travel schedule is, I make sure to do some sort of physical exercise — a staple for creating for myself a powerful morning routine.

The key to creating a powerful morning routine, then, is to find out what works best for you and then execute that plan each and every morning. These four practices are simple and practical, but have impacted my life in a profound way. Whether you use one of them or all four, they’re sure to help you in your own pursuit of a powerful morning routine.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

7 Secrets to a Killer Morning Routine

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Time is a precious commodity, particularly in those pre-work morning hours. How you spend those moments can either make or break the rest of your day.

Unfortunately, an average morning for many people involves hitting snooze until the very last minute, skipping breakfast, throwing on clothes, sitting in traffic and sidling into the office a few minutes late.What we don’t often realize is that rushed, uninspired behavior can contribute to a negative, unproductive attitude for the rest of the day.

It’s challenging to perform at a high level and make a significant contribution in the marketplace if the above perfectly describes how you generally start your day. Creating a powerful morning routine can very well be one of the most important things that you do to ensure success, happiness, and high energy throughout the workday.

Here are seven things that you must do in order to create a killer morning routine.

1. Stop telling yourself you aren’t a morning person.

Just because you’re not a morning person now doesn’t mean you can’t become one. You can change your mindset and make your killer morning routine a daily habit. Instead of telling yourself you aren’t a morning person, try saying this instead, “With proper lifestyle changes and some persistence, I can absolutely become a morning person and become more productive throughout the day.” Changing your mindset is the first step to creating a killer morning routine. Believe it and you can achieve it.

2. Wake up two hours early.

I’m not going to tell you that you need to wake up at 4 a.m. everyday, but I am going to propose that you get up at least two hours before you have to be anywhere. If you need to be at work at 8 a.m., get up at 6 a.m. This gives you enough time to feed your mind, body, and spirit before you head out the door. You have daily obligations and adequately preparing for them first thing will help set the tone and mood of the day. It’s nearly impossible to have a great killer morning routine and productive day if you are rushed and in a hurry.

3. Drink water as soon as you get up.

Drinking water first thing needs to be a staple when designing your own morning routine. We tend to be dehydrated when we wake up, so it’s critical that we reach for water before we reach for coffee. I start every morning with a glass of warm lemon water to jumpstart the detoxification process. Heat some water in your teapot, and then squeeze the juice of one lemon into the water. This helps me to feel more alert right away. After that, I drink four glasses of water. It’s a win-win because it rehydrates your body and kick-starts your metabolism.

4. Read something inspiring.

I make sure to read something positive and uplifting for a half hour every morning. If that seems like too much time, start with just 10 minutes. You can read from a book or a blog that you find inspiring, or listen to an audiobook or podcast while you’re commuting. While it’s important to read the news and know what’s going on in the world, it’s equally important to feed your mind with positive messages that fuel your thoughts and mindset for the day ahead.

5. Feed your soul with solitude.

Once your day is underway, you’ll be moving in a million different directions with a million different distractions. Finding time in the morning for solitude to meditate or journal, even if it is for just five minutes, has been a complete game-changer for me. You can start by simply taking five minutes each morning to say thank you for your life. Tuning in to this solitude will calm your mind and help focus your energies for the rest of the day.

6. Do some type of physical activity.

When you get up, get moving! If you aren’t a gym goer, walk around the block. Do a workout in front of your TV. Exercise increases endorphins and helps start your day in a positive way.

7. Eat a healthy breakfast.

Your mom was right: breakfast is important. I generally drink a green smoothie, but if I’m still hungry after that, I’ll have a few almonds or an omega-3 rich omelet.

After this killer morning routine, you’re ready to tackle just about anything.

Originally Posted on Fortune.com

3 Ways to Win the Morning and Save the Day

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I am a firm believer in how we start our day determines how the rest of our day goes. If you go to bed late, hit the snooze button multiple times, roll out of bed later than you were supposed to, get stuck in traffic, and then end up being late to work, that’s a good indication to how the rest of your day will go.

Most people are the furthest thing from being intentional about how their mornings go and what they do first thing when they wake up. Jim Rohn famously said, “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

Unfortunately, there aren’t enough people who run their days. Instead, they let their work, other people and technology rule their every move in the morning. They neglect themselves and forget about the self-love that is needed in the morning to set yourself up for a majorly successful day.

I am fortunate that in being a former athlete, I am ridiculously obsessed with structure and having a plan for my mornings before I do anything else.

Here are three simple ways to dominate your morning.

1. Don’t check email for the first hour upon waking.

For some of you, this may seem like an impossible task to follow through with, but I promise that it will completely shock you at how it makes you feel over time. What do you do when you check your email? You respond to what everyone else wants from you or is asking you to do.

Instead of being proactive and setting the tone to how your day is going to go, you are spending precious and valuable time being reactive to everyone else’s wants and needs. I put this practice into my own life two years ago, and I was blown away by the results.

It’s amazing what can happen when you leave your phone alone in the morning and don’t check your email while you go to work on yourself doing things such as meditating, working out or reading before doing anything else.

2. Give your body the fuel that it needs.

The second thing that most people do in the morning after waking once they have checked their email is consume a ton of sugar and drugs to get their day started. Scarfing down sugar and caffeine first thing in the morning believe it or not is not the most beneficial way to start your day. You may feel energized and ready to go, but that same feeling is the main culprit as to why so many crash and feel sluggish after lunch and later in the day.

Give your body the fuel that it needs. I start each morning with a glass of warm lemon water to jumpstart the detoxification process, a green juice from Suja Juice and hydrate myself with water before I do anything else.

I’m not telling you to not drink coffee or indulge in your favorite drink, but I am encouraging you to give it a try in giving your body the fuel and energy it needs to sustain peak-performance all day long.

3. Work on yourself before you start your workday.

Working on yourself could refer to exercising, journaling some sort of spiritual practice or reading, among many other things. Find a routine that works best for you and execute on that routine every morning. The only requirement is that it involves working on yourself somehow, someway before you begin your workday. To me, this is the ultimate game changer that can be included to anyone’s morning routine.

When you set aside the time to work on yourself before you start your workday, you not only will begin to grow as a human being, but you will increase happiness levels, drastically decrease stress, anxiety and other negative emotions that rob so many of us from keeping a peaceful and healthy mind.

Find something that fits well with your schedule and goals, and then formulate a plan to follow through with that every morning. Over time, the results will be astonishing. Working on ourselves is something that so many of us forget to do in this fast paced and strenuous world that we live in. Self-care, self-love and self-growth are three wonderful gifts that you can give yourself each morning — and you do just that when you work on yourself.

Instead of talking about specific morning routines which has been written about so much, I wanted to share three practices that have added great value to my mornings and life since I have incorporated them. They are extremely simple things to do, but pack an incredible punch of excellence when you religiously follow through on them. Remember, when you win the morning, you win the day.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com