The whole Self-Improvement world is going gaga about “Morning Routines”, why you should follow one and how they will change your life. The common suggestions across many of these routines include: start your day by reading a book, show up at the gym, always start by saying a prayer.
Over the years I have religiously followed many of the suggested morning routines. They all work in different ways for different people.
While practicing these routines I discovered that the first few minutes of the morning are extremely crucial and they impact the overall trajectory of the day.
Here are seven of my very own activities that I follow every morning with an exception of Saturday & Sunday.
I have timed this routine and tested it over two years and it works.
1. Get up from the bed the moment you open your eyes ( 15 seconds)
Most people wake up but stay laying down on the bed for a long time, checking their email, text messages etc. It’s impossible to stay still on the bed with an empty mind. The more you stay laying down on the bed the higher the chances you will be processing a lot of thoughts, often times these thoughts are negative.
2. Stop the Alarm (15 seconds)
How many times you have forgotten to turn off the alarm and woke up others to annoyance. I have and I can tell you starting your day with anger is not a good thing, giving or receiving. I have made this mistake so many times that I had to call it out explicitly here.
3. Stretch Your Body ( 180 seconds)
The idea is to wake-up the muscles, move blood to other body parts, increase the heart rate. Here are the three stretches I do in three minutes.
4. Attitude of Gratitude ( 30 seconds)
I close my eyes and and thank the higher power for giving me today and say sorry for yesterday. Thank you for today and sorry for yesterday .
I couldn’t make that one sacrifice that would have mattered for someone else. I couldn’t use my skills, talents, gifts in the greater benefit of others. I fell short.
5. Ask A Key Question (30 seconds)
People wake up with one key question that is often times negative and spend the rest of the day finding the answer only to be left disappointed at the end. This process continues day after day for a long time.
The solution to this problem is to seed the mind with a positive question before it makes up a negative one.
Here is my question.
“What can I do today.. that will make me incrementally better than what I was yesterday. “
6. Check text messages or voice mail messages ( 60 seconds)
This is a BIG NO by many experts. Some tell you to stay away from your phone as much as possible. My take on this is simple.. If my smart phone controls a major aspect of my life and my business why shouldn’t I give some importance to it. In 60 seconds I’m just checking to see who texted me or called me. I’m not listening to the voicemail message or reading the text messages, just taking a stock of what I received. The nature of an incoming messages will impact the overall priorities of the day.
7. Drink a glass of water (60 seconds)
Lot of research has been done on the benefits of drinking water on empty stomach. It helps in increasing metabolism, weight loss, skin care etc.
Japanese are known for drinking two glasses of water upon waking up.
If you add the time for all the activities, they are less than 7 minutes ( 420 seconds). But I thought “7 things in 7 minutes” will draw more attention then “7 things in 5 minutes” :)-
When you start, at first you’ll find this whole routine hard to achieve but with time this is easy.