You might have heard this quote floating around social media recently –
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
It comes from William H McRaven who wrote 10 Life Lessons From Basic Seal Training.
While I can’t attest to reading the book, or confess to being militant with making my bed every morning (shock!), I wholly believe in starting your day with intentional habits.
And it seems that it’s the secret sauce of every successful entrepreneur these days.
It’s such a known component of success that the quirky Tim Ferris ask this question of every single guest – “what does your morning routine look like?”
While their answers are wide and varied, specific to the needs of the person, there is a pattern to their routine…
It’s not about the amount of time you spend, it’s how the time is spent.
There is intention behind their actions
They choose actions that nourish the body and free the mind in some capacity
By utilising these themes, I wanted to share with you three steps I’ve been using to refine a morning routine that sticks.
Part One: Remove the tech from the get-go
>> Attempt to go without your phone or media for the period of your ‘morning routine’ to eliminate any distractions creeping in. Have you ever noticed that when your pick up your phone and start scrolling, all of a sudden you find yourself running late for work, burning the toast or disengaged with your loved one?
>> Secondly, we remove the tech to minimise our brains going into reactive mode. We can be fully engaged with our routine without worry, fear or comparison creeping in. This is a beautiful, simple way to support yourself especially if you tend to wake up anxious.
>> Take it one step further and use an old school alarm clock. Instead of reaching for your phone and engaging that reactive brain, you’re free to go about your day, connect with your dog or a loved one. We don’t get this real physical and emotion connection with others from a phone.
Part Two: Pick two actions that nourish the body and free the mind in some capacity
>> Start by connecting with self – through meditation, journalling or some sort of self-inquiry.
>> Meditation – start where you are, whether it be 5 minutes of breathing or 20mins of mantras. This is about creating stillness and space.
>> Self-inquiry could be as simple as asking yourself “how are you Ruby? how can I love you more today?”
>> Journalling is a great way to ‘brain dump’ any ideas that have accumulated overnight, or even a simple 5 minute gratitude practice (https://www.intelligentchange.com/products/the-five-minute-journal). I have found this to be a great lead in to meditation because my mind is less anxious and busy.
>> Secondly wake up the body – your hips and spine are a great place to start. If you want something super quick and simple – pop on your favourite song and move for 3-5mins.
>> Another aspect of body love is prepare your digestive system – a little warm lemon water before you eat quick and easy.
>> If the final part of your routine looks like jumping in the shower you can also give your body some extra love by adding in one or two simple practices like oil pulling, dressing the body with essential oils and dry brushing to liven up your circulation.
Part Three: Move from knowledge to action to daily habit – tricks to make it stick.
>> Choose a time-frame that is reasonable for you – remember it’s not about the amount of time you spend, it’s how the time is spent. For example, you start with one or two actions with a 10-15min time-frame.
>> Be intentional – ask yourself “do these actions create a calmer mind and fluidity in the body?” Contradictory to what we you might think, this state of calm vs. amplified feeling will create more flow and better productivity throughout the day.
>> Be accountable – track your habit on a calendar or start out with a buddy
>> It starts with the night before – physically set your tools out (clothes, journal etc) the night before or prepare your to-do list so you’re not thinking about it first thing.
Tell me, have you created your own morning routine? What’s your favourite part of it? How does it set you up for the rest of the day?
I would love to see your thoughts in the comments below.