You already have a morning routine. The question that needs to be asked is if that morning routine is moving you ahead, barely helping you keep up, or getting you further behind?
If ever asked what is the #1 thing I have seen or done that can change your life, my answer is to develop a reading habit. Even if just for a few minutes a day, reading something in your areas of interest can make an enormous difference. The Game Changer for life and success advancement however is your morning routine. It’s one thing to say I am going to read every day, it’s quite another to actually allocate the time to do the reading.
“But, I Don’t Have Time!”
Let’s call it like it is: WE ALL HAVE THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME. So, it would be more appropriate to say, “I didn’t take the time”. The question to be asking yourself every day is how am I going to “invest” my time today? How will you allocate your 1,440 seconds today?
The answer for almost everyone to “finding” more time is in how they start their day.
Quality or Quantity?
How you begin your day is mostly about being intentional. Many people that I speak with think that a meaningful morning routine has to be hours long if it is going to have positive impact. I disagree. The magic is in the consistency of doing it every day, not in how many minutes you invest each day. I will say, however, that once I started realizing the enormous benefit of an intentional morning routine, I quickly increased the time that I allocated for my morning routine.
A Simple Model
Much has been written on what you should do in your morning routine. My advice is to keep it simple, but meaningful for YOU. I can tell you what I do, but I cannot tell you what to do. Here is my simple model that you can apply to your areas of interest to determine your intentional investment strategy.
1. Pick a specific time that you will get out of bed for your morning routine – Do not just wing-it and say, “when I get up I will have my morning routine”. Decide the time and make it intentional.
a. Pro Tip: my morning routine starts the night before when I go to bed at a specific time knowing that my morning wake-up time is coming.
2. Try to avoid going straight to your phone to look at email or social media, instead, start with a few minutes of reading for personal enlightenment. If you are a person of faith, perhaps this is spiritual reading.
3. Next, spend a few minutes reading in an area of personal development. Maybe something to help you in your work or other area of interest. I have at least one leadership book going, but I also learned to develop my website (www.perryholley.com) during my morning time.
4. Next, spend a few minutes writing something. Either in a journal where you can record your thoughts, goals and aspirations, or for something bigger like a book or blog post. People often ask how I found time in my busy life to write a book. Now you know the answer – in my morning routine!
5. Finally, consider spending a few minutes doing some sort of physical exercise. It does not need to be much at first, but you could do some stretching or push-ups, etc.
a. Pro Tip: When I discovered audio-books I took to the streets for some walking while listening to a meaningful book. This is a two-for-one activity.
If I had to say one thing that makes this all work for me, it is the getting up at the same time every day. And yes, I mean every day; weekends, holidays and Christmas. I just didn’t want to start over each week building the habit after sleeping in on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings. Plus, once you see the immense benefit to building this habit in your life you won’t want to break the chain.
It’s a real Game Changer!!