This morning was one of those days where I really didn’t want to get out of bed. If you’re not a morning person, the sound of the alarm feels like satin’s bells ringing in your ears.
Like most non-morning people, i.e. you need about an hour and two cups of coffee to get going; I’ve always struggled to get my day off to the best start.
Regularly I would wake up, turn off my alarm (after hitting snooze three times 6:45, 6:50, 6:55 and finally up at 7am) only to find myself scrolling through my social media news feed before my feet had touched the floor.
Fifteen minutes later, I would grab my breakfast and rush out the door for work. I would always feel so anxious and stressed for the rest of day, and never really connected the dots. After speaking with my friend Pat Divilly and watching a video by Robin Sharma, I decided to trial what they both called ‘a morning routine’.
How We Do Anything Is How We Do Everything
How we do anything is how we do everything.” – T Harv Eker
Scrolling through our Facebook or Instagram feed first thing in the morning sends us straight into ‘reactive’ mode – we’re reacting by liking and commenting before we’ve even got out of bed. What happens when you start the day in ‘reactive’ mode – you stay in ‘reactive’ mode. I know, I did it for nearly a year!
I would spending my whole day reacting to everything, what people said, emails that were sent and all the other things that kill our creativity. It’s probably not a coincidence that I’ve put out more content in the last six months than the previous three years combined. The one change I made to my daily habits was adding in my morning routine.
“We are what we repeatedly do, success is not an action but a habit” – Aristotle
How To Build Your Morning Routine
I started by setting my alarm thirty minutes before I was due to leave for work, or sit at my laptop to check my emails. Then, I thought about the areas of my life that I needed to work on.
Building my business and scaling it up to help and serve more people has been my main priority over the last twelve months so I decided that I need to do something that supported that. First thing every morning, I would listen to a business audiobook or podcast (EoFire, Tim Ferris or a best seller business book from the Audible library); but in typical ADHD fashion, I couldn’t sit still and listen for more than five minutes; so I added in a thirty-minute walk every morning. I found the fresh air great but it wasn’t benefiting me as much as I would have liked. A problem I’ve had over the past two years is extreme muscle tightness; I’ve been lifting weights for over sixteen years (I got my first set of dumbbells at thirteen) and years of resistance training had left me really tight and rigid. After reading the section on habits in Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect, I decided to experiment with adding my recovery strategy from Lean Body Program into my morning routine– its mixture between dynamic and static stretches alongside some myofasical release, hip flexor mobility work and tension trigger point release for hamstrings. It worked great!
I was now killing two birds with one stone, I was able to loosen up every morning (which has massively helped my transition from competitive bodybuilding back to GAA) and listen to a business book that fuels my head with ideas for the rest of the day. Not only that, but taking control of my first thirty minutes of the day has allowed me to control of the rest of it too!
What Is Your Priority Right Now and Build That In!
For me, my focus has been to loosen out my entire body and find ways to build and scale my business; so I combined my two priorities and created my morning routine. Your focus might be to lose weight, body fat or build more muscle. I would offer that you tray and build your routine around that. Try listening to fitness podcast (The Brian Keane Fitness Podcast, shameless plug for the win) or YouTube videos whilst you do a fasted morning walk or a quick HIIT cardio session. It took me three attempts to build mine so if at first it doesn’t feel like its working, play around with it until you find what works best for you.
Start With Just 10 Minutes!
“I don’t fear a man who practises a thousand kicks in one day, I fear the man who practises one kick for a thousand days” – Bruce Lee
The key to is start small and build up. It’s similar to the person trying to get in shape who does four hours a day for a week, burns out and gives ups. You would actually be better do ten minutes every day for a year. Your morning routine is the same. I don’t advise jumping straight into an hour morning routine, start small and build it up. Get up ten minutes earlier and go for a walk around your block or up and down your street whilst listening to an audio book or podcast that is supporting your current journey (fitness, business, mind-set etc). Start with ten minutes every working day for a week, if you want to go to fifteen minutes next week, then do that but start small and set yourself up to win.
Of course life can get in the way and its not always possible to do your routine, but if I get it done three or four days a week, I chalk that down as a massive success. I hope this helped 😀