Another day dawns. Typically, it goes something like this…
The alarm sounds on your smartphone. Ugh. You grab it, hit snooze, and… You awake to look at the clock and it’s been well over an hour. “WTF just happened!?” The day is now well underway. The detour has left you scrambling for time and running late for your work, without achieving anything you intended.
A wonderfully unproductive start.
The day then continues on a sidewards course. You still feel half asleep, you’re angry that you didn’t get to eat and exercise like you wanted, and you just can’t seem to get on top of things. It’s like you’re always one step behind...
Does this sound familiar? Sadly, it’s an all too regular occurrence, especially as your workload increases, your commitments heighten, and you try to cram more into each and every day. You seem to have more to do, and less time to do it.
How do you break this destructive cycle? What if there was a way to put yourself on the right foot as soon as the alarm sounds? What if, when you wake up, you’re able to create your most productive day ever and really kickstart your life into gear instead?
Get more out of every day with your morning routine.
You’ve probably heard many others talk about a successful morning routine. Anthony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, Hal Elrod - there’s no shortage of uber successful names out there that are all reaping the reward of their mornings. Maybe you too have tried a formula of your own?
The fact is, these people recognized the benefit of waking up with purpose, using their morning routine to begin each day better than the last, and getting huge amounts accomplished along the way. They made their morning routine a winning habit, and you can too.
Determination, motivation, and gusty action is what it takes to unlock your best day. Say goodbye to hitting the snooze button, from this point forward, it’s all about taking action and sticking to a morning routine that has one focus - getting your day started the right way.
My mornings were once like this, and I was so disturbed at the lack of purpose and productivity behind every one of my days that I decided to do something about it. Since then, I’ve refined my morning routine down to the five most essential steps that make every one of my days more effective than the next, and I’m confident you can achieve the same results.
Can you really achieve a 10 times increase in your productivity? I believe it’s totally possible.
Take action, get up 30 minutes earlier, and follow the morning routine of the following five essential morning habits, and watch the minute hand slow as you become a master of your day, and kickstart your cause.
If there’s a more vital habit for your daily health and wellbeing, then I’m in the dark. Since the body consists of almost 80% water, it’s most important to rehydrate and flush toxins from your body first thing in the morning. I highly recommend at least a litre (33 ounces) of pure, filtered water within 30 minutes of rising.
HOT TIP: To really jump-start my body, I follow the water with a chaser glass of green drink which contains many superfoods, alkaline-rich plants, vitamins and minerals. There are many out there, but my current drink of choice is Greens Plus.
Weights, Yoga, running, walking - the body needs movement to assist in oxygen transportation. Ensure that hit of fresh air reaches your brain by moving your body every morning. I recommend something that takes no longer than 10 minutes, since mornings are the most productive times of the day for my creativity. I like to leave my workouts for either before lunch or later in the afternoon when I’m tired of sitting still.
My practice involves about five minutes of Yoga - a sequence known as Sun Salutation, combined with deep breathing throughout.
It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘should do’s’ and the string of positive (and negative) thought patterns of the past, present and future. Meditation is a way to practice recognising disruptive thoughts and controlling them so that they don’t control your day. It’s a real game-changer for creativity and productivity, and as such is an essential habit in my morning routine.
For a more structured approach to meditation, I recommend the ‘8-minute meditation’, a simple and effective meditation practice for the busy amongst us.
This is an essential part of the day that many of you will be familiar with already. ‘Breakfast’ is important to restore the energy used in biological repair and growth activities that occur in your body. As such, you need adequate fuel to replenish your stores.
Below are some fundamentals I follow each and every day:
A mostly plant-based breakfast with natural, unrefined fats and protein (e.g.avocado, eggs, spinach, beans, mixed vegetables, sweet potato, wholesome oils and seeds)
No sugars (including fruit) or refined grains
A cup of warm lemon and ginger water to aid in digestion, and boost my immune system.
BONUS: For the multi-taskers out there, I take time to read my latest book while I’m having breakfast. This habit helps me: a) slow my consumption of food (I’ve a tendency to swallow without chewing); and b) progress with my learning and personal development.
5. Do creative tasks first
The final step in starting your day the best way possible, is to do what matters first.
The night before, prior to turning out the light, take 5 minutes to write down your three most important outcomes you want to accomplish for the day ahead. Then, after you’ve finished steps 1 through 4 of your morning routine, block Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, G+, and email and any other distractions you face, so you can dive straight in and make real headway in your project. Success is not a game of chance, it is for those who are committed. Commit to a habit of dropping unproductive tasks with low value, and reap the rewards.
TIP: Turn your phone on airplane mode every night, and choose not to turn it on until after you complete your morning routine. If your project involves a computer, install Self Control (Mac) or Cold Turkey (PC) to block your access to disruptive websites while you complete your top three objectives. These small steps will help you create a distraction-free environment.
Master your life, master your mornings
It’s time to stop being a bystander and take action. If you’re finding you’re not achieving your highest potential, then I recommend you spend the next 30 days curating the essential habit of a morning routine.
The definition of madness is doing the same thing and expecting different results, so make a change, take full control of your destiny, and commit to your morning routine.
I believe you can be over 10 times more effective and more successful, and really kickstart your cause, and the magic happens before 8am.
Over to you: Why are you committed to a new start to your day? What will it enable you to achieve? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
Special gift for SSD readers
As a special thank you for all of the Stop Start Do readers, and because I love the community (and you!) so much, I put together a handy bunch of resources. Check out this Kickstart a Cause page, drop your email address, and I’ll send you over some awesome FREE stuff I’m preparing specially for you.
Here’s what you’ll get:
A set of workbooks with scientifically proven content that will have you DIG DEEP, discover your hidden talents, and what makes you tick. These are the BEST questions you’ll find to unveil the person you really are.
The 10 signs you’ve made it to your calling, developed over years of extensive research and testing, which will give you the means to benchmark your progress and set MASSIVE goals for your success.
The Morning Routine “Cheat Sheet”. Don’t leave your success to chance. This tick-and-flick reminder will help you put your morning routine on autopilot.
Thanks so much for reading, and don’t forget to check out Kickstart a Cause.
About the Author
Jason is an adventurous Aussie and the founder of Kickstart a Cause, helping mid 20’s corporate workers escape their unfulfilling 9-5 jobs to live and work on their own terms. He sees himself as a ‘Cause Crusader’ and gives away a Passport to Freedom to all those courageous enough to travel a road of passion and purpose. When he’s not inspiring greatness in others, he can be found travelling the world exploring the beauty of nature.