Everybody has their own definition of success, but only a few people are willing to actually put the effort into achieving their goals.
I already wrote about what long term progress and actual life change means, and what it takes to get there. I will assume you have already acknowledged that. Here I want to focus on a specific part of your journey towards success: the very beginning of each day you get closer to your goal.
A good morning is not just about waking up on the right side of the bed. How you wake up influences your mood, your health, and your life. Why? Because the beginning of the day defines a big part of how the rest of it is going to unfold. And if every single day doesn’t unfold as good as it should, long term progress will at worst not happen, at best be a lot slower than it could be.
It is important to note that mornings are one of the hardest things to change in your life, even more than habits. You probably have been waking up the way you do for a very long time, and your body is so used to it that the transition is going to take time.
What makes it even harder to change your mornings is the mindset you are in when you wake up. Your brain is most likely foggy, groggy, and you don’t feel like focusing on anything that requires more attention than making coffee.
Changing your life
Yet if you start tomorrow and keep going for 6 months, you will start experimenting positive side effects after a month, and your life can seriously change in the next 5. You can have break, but not for more than 2 days in a row.
How is your life going to change? Good things will start happening to you as a result of your mindset. You will feel a lot better in your body, a lot more in touch with yourself, and your vision will be a lot clearer. You will experience clarity.
As long as you trust the process and commit, change will happen.
The first step in changing your mornings is to stop making them feel like a race, and to start waking up 2 to 3 hours before you leave to work. People wake up 1 hour before work, skip breakfast, jump in the bus with their shirt half buttoned and their mind still on their pillow. This strategy has never been the way to personal success and never will. Mornings are an opportunity to start your day slowly and build focus before getting to work.
6:00 — Wake up
Your alarm clock goes off. You don’t have to jump straight out of bed, especially on your first days trying the routine. Wake up slowly and take your time, but try not to hit snooze too much.
6:15 — Stretch
There are tons of evidence stretching in the morning is one of the best ways to wake up, but you don’t need to know about this. You just need to try and see for yourself how amazing it feels. It also wakes you up more softly than a 20-minute run.
Your morning stretch shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. Once you are done, close your eyes and focus for 1 minute on the day ahead and all the good things it holds. Practice your happiness, your gratitude, and your self-awareness. Be happy with what you have.
6:30 — Breakfast
Have a nice and healthy breakfast. Take your time to prepare and enjoy it, as it is the most important meal of the day.
Skipping breakfast in the morning is like going on vacation in your car without filling up the gas tank. You won’t get really far before everything starts going wrong.
7:00 — Shower, dress
Once you’re done with breakfast, it is time to get ready to tackle the day. Have a nice shower and dress with the clothes you prepared the evening before (gain time by automating your chores). Notice how nice it is to be able to take your time. You don’t have to run late and forget to zip your pants. You have a lot of time ahead of you, and you can enjoy it.
7:15 — Small chores
Most of your chores should be done the evening before, but you might have to prepare a lunch or clean the breakfast table. Take 15 minutes to complete those little tasks.
7:30 — Read 7 pages of a book
If you are like me and find it hard to make reading a priority, try this approach. This can be life changing by itself.
If you read 7 pages a day for a year, you will read 2555 pages per year, or almost 13 books of 200 pages.
Why read in the morning? After your shower, you are up, fresh and out of bed. Your mind is sharp and focused. You are not lying in bed, about to fall asleep, trying to focus on the same sentence for the third time.
Reading 7 pages a day for a year is a great self-improvement goal, and like all habits, it has to be fully implemented into your routine to be efficient.
7:45 — Your time to shine
From 7:45 until the time you leave to work, focus on yourself. It is time to work on your side projects, things that get you even more excited and pumped up about the day. This book you are writing, this painting you are making, this scale model you are building…
Ready? Set. Go.
You can try to commit for a month, and see the first positive side effects happen to you. The first month will be the progress boost, which will account for only a small part of the total journey. As explained in this article, most people will give up shortly after that boost, because progress will become slower and people are impatient.
Change starts the day you decide to commit. Generating momentum right in the morning will enable you to achieve a lot more on many levels of your life.