One thing that almost all successful people have in common: Barrack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Tim Ferris, Tony Robbins, Lady Gaga, is that they all have a morning routine that helps to set them up in a positive, proactive, energised state of mind.
A lot of people start their day in state of anxiety and stress. Feeling tried, rushed, under pressure, feeling behind. If you’re depressed, it’s common to feel it most strongly first thing in the morning.
This is going to make it less likely that you feel happy or perform at your best for the rest of the day.
The deeper thing that happens when you sets up a proactive morning routine is that you take responsibility for you life — how you feel and what you’re getting out of it.
Here are eight things things successful people do every day:
1. Getting enough sleep
Your morning routine should start the night before. Researcher Cheri Mah of the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory says that sleep “is a significant factor in achieving peak athletic performance” and that not having enough can result in negative effects on cognitive functioning, mood and reaction time. Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington and Apple Ceo Tim Cook all make sure they get seven hours/day. (I prefer eight!)
2. Avoiding email & social media
I have read that some successful people check their email at 5am, but many say that it distracts them from what’s most important and puts them in a state of reactivity rather than proactivity. This is certainly my experience. I don’t check my email until the after lunch and my email signature asks you to call me if it’s anything urgent. It’s never that urgent.
When he was President, Obama would set his day up with 45 minutes of intensive exercise. Exercise is proven to improve your state of mind and energise your body. We all know we feel better when we exercise, so why not do some every day?
In Tim Ferris’ recent book Tools of Titans, he interviews top performers in science, sport, business, acting and music. 80% of them practice some form of meditation every day. Not just when they’re feeling stressed or anxious. Meditation is mind training. If you want to be successful at anything you need a well trained mind.
In a recent interview, Tony Robbins, the grand daddy of life-coaching, who’s weekend workshops sell out 10,000 seats and whose net worth is $480 million dollars, said that more than half of what he sees as success, comes from being thankful for you already have. As someone who’s obsessed with goal setting and achievement as he is, I found this quite amazing.
6. Visualising success
Many people focus most of their attention on what they’re afraid of happening that day. By visualising things going well for you, it’s much more likely that they will. They say that what you focus on, expands.
7. Cold showers
This is something I’ve experimented with over the last few weeks after reading that, when practiced regularly, it provides long-lasting changes to your body’s immune, lymphatic, circulatory and digestive systems.
A 2007 research study found that taking cold showers routinely can help treat symptoms of depression often more effectively than prescription medications. I’ve certainly found they wake me up and focus me on the present moment!
8. Connecting to your ‘why’
One of the most crucial things for us to feel motivated it to know why we do what we do. Is it to provide for our family, pursue our dream career, stop climate change, entertain people or create more prosperity in the world? My purpose is to enjoy my life, and I state every day how I plan to do that.
Call to action
My suggestion would be to try adding one of these things to your morning and making it small — say 5 minutes of exercise or writing three things your grateful for, and after two weeks see if it’s made a difference.
Creating new habits is hard though. If you’d like to be supported in creating a routine that will make you feel happier and perform better every day, get in touch.