What is Your Morning Routine?
There are lot of articles and books out there written around morning routines… what people eat, how they mediate, what kind of cryo-therapy they use, yadda, yadda. It all sounds well and good but I have to say…I don’t really have a morning routine throughout the week. Granted, I do the basic things that everyone else does … shower, brush your teeth etc., but I don’t meditate or journal or really do anything “special” during the week.
No, I reserve all of that for the weekend.
My Weekend Morning Routine
I like to wait and do these types of special self-care actions either on Saturday or Sunday mornings because for me, doing this everyday can get a little overwhelming … even tedious, and I want the process that I talk about below to be fun … something I actually look forward to.
On either Saturday or Sunday morning (just depends on what I have going on), I get up early as if I was going to work (so around 6:30-7am). I either sit on the front porch (if it’s raining) or on the back porch and bring with me a journal, a cigar, a pen, a book to read and a cup of coffee.
I use this time to first reflect on the week before. I look at what I’ve accomplished, and what I’ve failed to do. I assess my work, my diet, and if I accomplish my to-do list. Now, I don’t beat myself up if didn’t knock off everything on my list, or if I had a really shitty week at work, ate poorly or missed a workout. I just use this time to self-correct, and to analyze why I got derailed. I write all of this out in my journal so I can see it plainly in black and white.
Granted, this may sound a little crazy or O.C.D., but I believe you have to hold yourself to high standards and always try to improve. I feel you always need to check yourself, and if you do this every week you can catch destructive habits and behaviors quickly. If I feel a murderous rage two weeks in a row because of bullshit at work, I know that I need to journal about this, and diagnose the real issue behind it. If I’ve gained 5 pounds in the past two weeks, I know I need to take my fat ass to the gym more the upcoming week. If I’m feeling lethargic, I can think about my diet, or maybe my sleep patterns the week before and correct it. The key is doing this each week so things don’t get away from you.
You will be surprised by some patterns that form, and how the same things may keep plaguing you (at least they do for me). We can all fall into bad habits and the longer they go, the harder they are to break … that’s why taking the time to analyze this each week, I feel, is very important.
The Week Ahead
After I look at the week before, I map out the week ahead. I write out my goals, what I want to do, where I’d like to go, or if there is anything upcoming that I would like to attend. I use this time to think about things I haven’t done before that I would like to try (that could be food, places, events etc). Doing all of this helps me from feeling stagnant.
People ask me all the time how Jillian and I are able to go do all these fun things we do and well … it’s because we plan it ahead of time … we talk about it … ya know … put some thought in to it.
Lounging at home is easy, and I’m the worst about coming home from work tired, and all I want to do is eat and then bend watch a Netflix show. Don’t get me wrong, this is absolutely amazing sometimes, as it’s nice to just relax, but there is more to this life than the couch and a TV show.
On Saturday or Sunday, while I’m journaling, if I have gone all week without doing anything when I get home other than watching TV, it’s certainly a concern, but if I’ve done nothing but this the past two weeks, I know that I REALLY need to plan something to break that cycle. When I say “plan something”, this doesn’t mean you have to plan a trip overseas or go out and blow tons of cash on something ridiculous. No, it can be as simple as going out to the movies, trying a new restaurant, reading instead of watching TV, start a new hobby (or pick back-up one you have been neglecting). For me, doing these little thing has helped me fight being lethargic and even depression (especially in the winter months).
As I told you above, I first use my journal to write out my goals, to write down things I want to do and try.
Then, while I drink my coffee and smoke a cigar, I take that time to reflect on the week and think about the type of person I want to be going forward. I do a self assessment and just think. I also ask myself questions like: Am I doing things that are bettering myself? Am I behaving the way I should be (i.e. … am I acting like a massive asshole-a lot of times the answer is yes!). For me, I have to manage myself … again, I know this may sound odd, but I know myself and I know that I have to be sure I’m doing the things I need to do in order to do well.
After I journal, smoke my cigar and drink my coffee I will then read a book by one of my Invisible Counselors. (Read my article around that if you want the full rundown) but basically I read about someone I admire, someone Id like to model myself after or someone that has attributes that I like or that inspires me. These include people like Richard Francis Burton, Marcus Aurelius, and Teddy Roosevelt. Reading about these people get my adventurous spirit revved up. It motivates me as I see what all these amazing people have accomplished (and here I’ve been watching Game of Thrones all week on the couch).
Again, I do all of this to check myself … to make sure I’m always striving to do more and to be better.
Sometimes this process will take an hour, sometimes two, sometimes longer. If I can, I try not to put a time limit on it. The key is to wake up early to give myself plenty of time to go through this process and still have the whole day ahead of me. I don’t sleep in til noon … hell I don’t even know what that is like anymore. If I can give any advice to younger people, it would be is to STOP waking up at 11, 12 or 1. It such a waste of a day.
Id love to hear about your morning routines and what you do, so leave a comment below! What I do may sound ridiculous, and may not work for anyone else, but it has sure helped me. Thanks for reading!
Dress Right & Act Like Somebody