The Ultimate Morning Routine.
Everyone is obsessed with learning about the morning routines of top entrepreneurs, business owners, thought leaders, and athletes. Maybe if we change our alarm we can change our life, right?
The Productive Morning Schedule
|5:30||Wake up||-Set a soft alarm on Sleep Cycle||-Go to sleep early
-Keep curtains open
|5:35||Meditate||-10-20 minutes of silent meditation||-Get out of bed, sit in chair or floor|
|5:55||Drink Water & Be Grateful||-Drink 16-24oz of water||-Write down 5 things you’re grateful for|
|6:00||Workout||-At-home circuit, run or go to the gym|
|6:45||Hot & Cold Shower||-Start with a hot shower and end in a cold shower|
|7:00||Breakfast||-Make a green protein-rich smoothie|
|7:30||Start Your Hardest Task||-Get cracking on that thing you don’t want to do|
It’s true that the way we start the morning sets the tone for the day. It’s interesting, but maybe not all that surprising, that many of these influential figures engage in similar morning rituals (such as waking up at unthinkable hours). Based on experience, science, and expert-advice, adding these elements to your morning could actually change your life.
5:30 am: Become a Morning Person.
The overlap between successful people’s morning routine–from Oprah to Richard Branson–is the wakeup call. The earliest alarm was CEO of Apple Tim Cook at 3:45 am every morning. The majority of influential figures rose between 4am and 6:30am.
3:45am – Apple CEO Tim Cook
4am – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
4am – PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi
4:30am – Starbucks Exec Howard Schultz
5am – Jack Dorsey, co-founder, and CEO of Twitter and Square
5:30am – LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner
5:30am – Richar Branson
6am – Oprah Winfrey
7am – Elon Musk
5:35 am: But First, Meditate.
I try to kick off every morning with a 20-minute mindfulness meditation. If I’m running short on time, I can make time for at least 5 minutes by swapping out phone scrolling. Some mornings I notice that my mind is fairly calm. Other mornings, there are continuous thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.
- A study looked at the effects of an eight-week mindfulness meditation course and found it improved participants’ ability to reorient and maintain their attention
- A review of 12 studies found that multiple meditation styles increased attention, memory and mental quickness in older volunteers
- A review of 14 studies found mindfulness meditation helped participants reduce emotional and binge eating
- Participants in a sleep-related study, who meditated fell asleep sooner and stayed asleep longer, compared to those who didn’t meditate
5:55 am: Wake Up to a Tall Glass of Water.
I’m guilty of jumping straight to the coffee machine in the morning. It turns out, coffee can be dehydrating and make matters worse if you haven’t supplemented with some plain H2O. Want a fast and easy way to kick off your metabolism, burn fat throughout the day, and enhance energy levels? Drink at least 16oz of water first thing when you wake up.
- A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking just 17 ounces of water can increase your metabolic rate by up to 30%!!!
- Drinking a large glass of water after you wake up has been shown to fire up your metabolism by a whopping 24% for 90 minutes.
- Beat dehydration. After sleeping hours at a time (hopefully 7-9) your body is thirsty for hydration!
- Your brain is thirsty! Hydrating right away can prevent mental fatigue at the beginning of the day.
5:55 am: Open Your Gratitude Journal.
I tried the gratitude journal for a week but the habit didn’t stick because I was setting the expectations too high and feeling like a failure if I didn’t fill out a full page of things I was grateful for. Start with ONE thing. You can build this list over time but start the habit simple and feel your mood shift every time you think of a new daily item.
- According to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.
- A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sports Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem, an essential component to optimal performance.
6:00 am: Exercise, Even If You’d Rather Not.
Ok, so it turns out even FOUR minutes of high-intensity exercise can help our body start the day. Do 50 jumping jacks in your room, crank out 20 push-ups, or run around the block. I know working out in the AM feels daunting but you get blood flow pumping, oxygen circulating, and will feel sustainable energy throughout the day.
6:45 am: Turn the Hot Water Cold.
Cryotherapy is a pain treatment that uses a method of localized freezing temperatures to deaden an irritated nerve. It’s often used for pain relief but can also be used to wake up your body in the morning.
When you jump in the shower after you power workout, transition your hot show to cold. Make sure the water hits your upper back and your collar bones. These areas promote the growth of brown fat.
7:00 am: Eat a Sugar-Free Breakfast.
Waffles, berries, cereals, and pastries, have turned breakfast time into dessert time. Our bodies are especially vulnerable to sugar in the morning since they’ve been fasting all night long. Make sure your first meal doesn’t spike your insulin response. This could include:
- Tofu scramble with veggies
- Green smoothie with sugar-free non-dairy milk
- Black coffee with MCT oil, coconut oil, and collagen
7:30 am: Do the Hardest Task First.
Do that daunting task at the top of your to-do list first thing. Don’t check emails, don’t dive into a routine, and definitely don’t leave it until the end of the day. At the end of the day, write down the top priority you’ll do the following morning. In the morning, just do it.