Creating different habits throughout your day can provide huge benefits if brought to life constantly. Don't be fooled though. This is not an easy journey. In order for you to take the pros out of it you need to understand the reasons and learn the methods.
There are many things to keep in mind like how time consuming something is, what are the key benefits, how can you adjust something to your other duties and how does one or other thing rhyme and interact with your other actions.
I decided that I'm gonna try to form my ideas and guinea pigging so far on morning routine into a blogpost. Please note that it's an ongoing journey but I believe I have made it to a point where this info might be useful to someone other than me as well.
Morning routine is the first part of your daily practices to give you competitive advantages, benefits and self actualisation compared to people who don't invest their time, focus and energy on this subject. I have been a student of different methods for awhile searching for the ones that seem to make sense to me and actually provide positively altering results. There is an infinite number of possibilities on how to start your day. Here is the concept of my morning routine.
I believe that one part of being successful at starting the day in a right way is creating favourable surroundings.
Two things that I consider to be important are light and sound.
- I have installed Osram lightify system all over my home but also in the bedroom. On a regular day my alarm clock is set to 6AM (2 hours before I need to be at work) and I have programmed my bedroom wall lights to turn on at the same time and increase natural light slowly to mimic sunrise. This is specially important in the winter when you wake up while it's still dark outside. It helps for body to maintain normal circadian rhythm and to kick start your hormone production and metabolism.
- I have also installed Bose Soundtouch system all over the apartment. When I wake up I use one of three presets (nature sounds, peaceful or energetic) on the system to start morning playlist all over the place. Music is an universal language, can bring out the emotions you want to if used properly.
After waking up I spend around 15 more minutes in bed to gradually become aware of the surroundings, my feelings and a state of mind. While in bed there are some actions I'm taking.
- The first thing I do is considered to be a taboo and in a way is controversial. After I have said to my Whoop app on the Iphone that I'm now awake I spend 2-3 minutes on my phone. I usually check my notifications, make an Instagram tour and look at the NBA scores.
- After that I spend about 2 minutes rubbing my body to get the energy flowing all around the body. I find this to be really an invigorating process.
- Then I read 2-4 pages from a book. I read alot of books in general but this book stands outside my regular reading activities. This is usually a thick book that I am not in a hurry to consume. I'm not looking for actionable knowledge with the morning books, rather to acquire new context and to broaden my horizon. Usually it's a biography. At the moment I'm reading Walt Disney biography that is as thick as a brick. 700 pages or so.
- The final part of still in bed routine is Breathing exercises. Even though I am interested in meditation concept and I sometimes do a guided meditation at the moment I have felt to get the most benefits out of some well-known breathing exercises without adding the spirituality element of meditation. Fire breathing, deep nasal breathing, Wim Hof method, Box breathing are some to mention.
- After that I'm out of the bed. The first thing I do now is go to kitchen and drink a big glass of water with a squeezed lemon juice inside. Along that I take that part of my supplements that are better to take in on empty stomach for better bioavailability.
- 5 minute workout. There are two possibilities that I choose in between. I either use 3x30 sec intense whole body exercise, let's say something like burpees if I just want to wake up my whole body and get the heart drumming and energy flowing. If i choose so I will have approximately 1 minute resting period between the sets. The other option is that I work calmly with something that I'm looking to improve. Let's say mobility work, hand stand et cetera.
- After that I spend around 15 minutes in bathroom. Most of the regular morning activities occur. If there's anything to bring out then maybe oil pulling while I'm taking a morning dump. :D Just before being ready in the bathroom I like to say my affirmation sentence in front of a big mirror. I usually have one core sentence that sets my midterm mission for the next 3 months or so that I like to remind myself of every morning. For example at this time it is: "I will get to the best shape ever by summer and will understand the sacrifices made and necessary discipline to be had for it to happen." Oh, and the water of morning shower is definitely cold. Cold exposure benefits are another big subject but one to bring out now is that it rises cortisol and this also helps to keep your circadian rhythm stable.
- After that I come to visualisation. I have a big chalkboard in my kitchen and I write there my plan for the day. I use my calendar for it if it's a working day and simply what I want to get done if it's a weekend.
Here's one for today (it's a sunday for myself). I find this to be important for two reasons. It helps to arrange the information in your head and gives clarity and order to your day. It's specially rewarding if you are a knowledge worker. The other reason is that it gives me an opportunity to notice openings to squeeze in some deep work in a busy day.
- Food. This could be another big subject but then I eat. let's leave the unboxing of this topic for some other time. The one thing to mention could be that I try to have 16 hours in between my supper and breakfast atleast 3 times a week. Good app to track this is Zero. On weekends I make myself a french press gourmet coffee with mct oil and use l-theanine as a supplement to it. I drink regular mould free and high altitidue grown coffee for 3 weeks and decaf for 1 week after that. I don't usually drink coffee in working days.
- After that another round of supplements that are usually fat soluble, therefore better to take in with the food in your GI system
- I end my morning routine with a short 7-10 minute walk with my Jack Russell terrier.
Alot more could be said but I wanted to open this interesting subject of daily practices with a generic post. There are some other interesting tricks and methods to add to the list but this is kind of my verified version of having a powerful morning at the moment. I don't go through the list 100% of the days. Sometimes I skip something but 3-4 times a week I do it thoroughly.
As one of the three most important things in my life is helping others then I sincerely hope that there's something for you in this post that attracts some interest.
I'm extremely interested in having a chat on this topic with You so please message me or leave a comment if you have ways to improve this morning routine or if something that you consider crucial has been left out.