10 Principles Of A Successful Morning
“I am not a morning person” — Too many people
I’ll be direct here: I don’t care if you’re a morning person or not.
Doing your morning right is not about what time you wake up, it’s about how you start your day.
I wake up early, very early. It works for me. Your optimal time will be different than mine.
There’s only one criterion for a good time to wake up: when you can get a “block” of distraction-free time.
If I look back at any day I wasn’t productive throughout the day, I can usually trace it to a “failed” morning. Like yesterday and today for me.
In his book, When, Daniel Pink says: “During the peak, which for most of us is the morning, we’re better at analytic tasks. That’s when we’re most vigilant, when we’re able to bat away distractions and concentrate deeply”.
Why does this matter?
Here’s my simple answer to you: It’s about getting an “easy” dopamine rush.
What do making a good decision, discovering something new, accomplishing a hard task, reaching a goal, helping someone else, etc. have in common?
It brings you satisfaction. In your body, that comes in the form of dopamine.
Now, can we all agree that it’s easier to accomplish any of the above when we’re more vigilant, less distracted and fully concentrated?
But again, why does it matter?
It’s a similar concept that Admiral William McRaven talks about when he says:
“If you want to change the world, start by making your bed.” — Admiral William McRaven
In: In Need Of Motivation? Try These Simple Tried And True Productivity Tips, I mention how, even if I’m a highly motivated person, I still need an easy win in the morning:
“Even though I consider myself to be highly motivated, I still need a “win” or two to start my day. After completing easy tasks, I have the motivation and energy to tackle the real hard problems.”
We’re more emotional than we think we are. If we “fail” at something, we beat ourselves down and let that affect us for the rest of the day.
But the opposite is true too!
If we “win” at something, we want to keep winning. It’s no wonder that a good portion of the population gets addicted to video games. The mechanics in video games make it so you get rewarded constantly — and sometimes plentifully — with “minimal” effort.
With that thought in mind, doesn’t it make sense for us to want to win early in the day?
But let’s step back a bit and define what makes a morning successful.
10 Principles Of A Successful Morning
Warning: This is by no means exhaustive or scientific, but more of a result of my own personal experiences and books I’ve read and analyzed. Also, you don’t need to apply all these principles to have a successful morning.
In this article, a successful morning means that it set you up for a positive and productive day, making you one step closer to achieving any goal you have in life or business.
1. Do not snooze
Very rarely have I had a successful morning when I snoozed in the morning.
Do: Set your alarm so you do not have room for snoozing.
2. Jump out of bed
Don’t look at your phone as soon as the alarm goes off. Don’t be reactive, be proactive.
Do: Put your alarm further from the bed so you are forced to leave the bed to turn it off.
3. Do Some Physical Activity
Spending physical energy early in the morning makes you feel good in your body.
Do: If you don’t have access to a gym, do simple bodyweight exercises, walk, jog, run or bike. Even if for just 10 minutes.
Feeling clean brings up the confidence in you and, like above, makes you feel good in your body.
Do: Try cold showers.
5. Stimulate Your Brain
Lightly stimulate your brain by doing something easy to “wake it up” for harder tasks for after.
Do: Read a few paragraphs of a book, write a few sentences, complete a puzzle, finish a quick video game level.
Being aware of oneself gives a sense of direction for the day.
Do: Write in a journal or sit down and take the time to be self-aware.
7. Be Grateful
Having a positive mindset to start the day is key to a successful morning. Recognizing things you’re grateful for puts you in a positive mindset.
Do: Write in a journal, send a thank you message, or pray.
8. Learn Something New
Daniel Pink proved the majority of people are more vigilant in the morning, so take that opportunity to make new connections in your brain.
9. Be Consistent
We’re creatures of habit. The more we do something consistently, the easier it gets. Positive habits are likely the most powerful “tool” we have to set ourselves up for success.
Do: Wake up at the same time and perform your routine on a schedule
Feeling victorious is a powerful feeling that makes you want to succeed even more. Winning early sets you up for more wins throughout the day.
Do: Make your bed, or complete an easy task almost as soon as you wake up.
In this article, I’ve shown you that doing your morning right is not about the time you wake up, but rather how successful you make it.
We agreed that by being more vigilant and less distracted, we can focus our attention on 10 time-tested principles of a successful morning, like making you feel good in your body, being grateful, positive, getting early wins, and more.
For each of the principles, I’ve given you actionable items you can apply starting tomorrow.
If any of the above feel difficult for you, remember that, as we agreed:
The way you start your day does affect the rest of your day, positively or negatively. So do yourself a favour and start the day right.
You can do this!
Thanks for reading and sharing! :)
First published here: https://medium.com/@danny_forest/do-your-morning-right-your-day-will-be-right-ec5c9e1c9bfd