Nearly every successful and happy person will tell you about the importance of having a morning routine. Whether it’s exercise, meditation and gratitude, or just a time to enjoy a bit of silence – morning routines can set the tone, not only for your day, but how you live your entire life.
So, why is the morning so important instead of any other time of day?
What you do in the morning will shape how productive you are throughout the rest of your day and set you on the right path to feeling accomplished and grounded by the time you go to bed. For example, if you begin your day by eating a fresh, healthy breakfast or going for a jog, you’re much more likely to continue making healthy choices that day, week, month, and so on.
Another reason why rituals and routines are best to practice in the morning is because of our body’s natural circadian rhythm also known as our “body clock.” Nearly every organism on the planet runs on a 24-hour daily cycle that is responsible for balancing our eating, sleeping, and other physiological processes.
When it comes to a human’s willpower in relation to circadian rhythm, it tends to be strongest/highest after a good night’s rest. People have a tendency to lose willpower or motivation as the day goes on, so getting important things done first thing in the morning will always leave you feeling accomplished, productive, and successful come the evening. In turn, motivating you to continue the cycle the next morning. This is also why it’s a good idea to wake up at the same time every day. Our bodies absolutely love routine.
Think of the morning as “you” time
As soon as the day is in full swing, you never know what is going to be thrown at you. You might have to make difficult or emotional decisions, juggle five or six deadlines at work, or have some other high-stress factors come into play. Knowing you already took the time to meditate or do some weightlifting that morning will help in a couple of different ways.
For one, taking time for self-care right when you wake up will wire your brain so that it will be able to handle any stressful scenarios it has to put up with throughout the day. It provides motivation and the ability to handle any situation. Also, doing your workout or morning ritual takes those couple of things off of your ‘to-do list’ for the day, so it’s not yet another chore you’ll have to tackle later.
The capacity in our brains for decision-making starts to dwindle as the evening approaches, all day we’ve been having to make decisions ranging from what to eat for breakfast to stressful work emergencies. That’s why having the same routine every single morning is so crucial to happiness and well-being. When it’s the same – we don’t have to think about it. It’s like second nature, and it feels positive and productive (because, well – it is). If you have chaotic and different mornings every day, you’re already starting to exhaust your brain and its decision-making capabilities.
Successful CEOs share their morning rituals
There is no “right” or “wrong” morning routine or a one-size-fits-all answer for everyone. Of course, every person’s morning routine will vary but the important thing is that the actions performed during these crucial first hours are productive and positive. Get on the Internet and do a quick search of the most successful CEOs and you’ll find that they all have a daily routine that they follow religiously. Let’s take a look at a few.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple – Checks emails. Exercises.
Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group – Starts morning early for exercise right away then spends time with the family.
Jack Dorsey, Founder of Twitter – Begins every day with meditation followed by a 6-mile jog.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook – Part of his routine is to wear the same thing every day. It’s one less decision for him to make every day.
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks – Walks his three dogs, exercises, makes coffee for himself and his wife.
The bottom line
No matter how busy your schedule is, it’s vital to your well-being to set yourself up for success every single day. If you don’t do it already, figure out a way to incorporate small changes into your routine to start creating better habits. Get up 15 minutes earlier than you usually would and use that time for meditation, stretching, or reading. Make a to-do list the night before written in order of importance – after your coffee, start knocking things off the list. Have breakfast and chat with the family. The point is to find a routine that is conducive to your lifestyle then, making it a priority for the start of every day.
You might be surprised by the motivation, happiness, and well-being a morning routine can bring.