At times, I feel that the habits and routines have become a spin-off of the self-help industry. The core belief being getting the morning (or evening, or both) right is all you need to be successful in life.
I’ve been a “routines” person decades before it became a fad. And I can tell from experience that even the best routines can’t get you wealthy, slim, or wise. However, choosing the aspects that make up your routine can be a great place to start.
Speaking of which, have you identified the urgent and non-urgent things you have to get done? Knowing the difference between the two and understanding that not everything urgent or non-urgent is essential can help you establish a solid base.
For example, urgent stuff like emails, messages, and even phone calls aren’t crucial at 4:30 in the morning. But non-urgent activities like journaling, writing, planning, exercising, reading or studying are important. The challenge is that you’re never able to get to these critical activities if you just let them hang in the air or tell yourself that you will “get to it when you have time.”
The best routines focus on the non-urgent but essential things that matter but require a little extra motivation to get some momentum. Sure, these activities like writing or journaling might not seem to have an immediate payoff (or even feel like a chore at times), but the long-term benefits are immense. You will have to stick with it for a while to realise the life-changing advantages.
From my research all these years, I’ve realised that most successful people spend every single of their mornings nurturing one of three things: career, relationships, or themselves. Some who wake up super-early (like yours truly) have the time to focus on all three aspects. But that’s them, what about you?
What would you choose to focus on for your morning routine?
If you can’t make up your mind, start with journaling your thoughts (use the 5-minute journal app, it’s super simple to use) and exercising. The latter can be as straightforward or as complex, you like. If I have limited resources, I would consider running or a good-ole bodyweight exercise routine (push-ups, squats, pull-ups, or horizontal pulls).
Once you’ve made up your mind, commit to the plan for 30 days. Don’t miss a single day. If you’ve successfully achieved your goal, push it to the next level by going at it for another 60 days. By day 90, the new routine will be deeply embedded into your life, and you can always tweak and modify it from thereon. But until you get there, focus on keeping things simple and on the non-urgent and essential activities only.
P.S. If you’ve tried to build a morning routine and have failed to follow through, get some help. The life-changing benefits you will gain from your routines will be worth your time and investment.