Is having a morning routine really…
the key to success, the deal-breaker, a non-negotiable?
When it comes to success, some say it’s found in your morning routine.
The saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. Meaning those who are first to rise (get up early) have the best opportunity to achieve success. Well…if we followed every successful saying or piece of advice from every-who-knows-what, when would we have a chance to create our own success?
Often I get asked about morning routines, more specifically, what is my morning routine. I’m not considering myself as having a set “morning” routine per se; they’re more of a general guideline. Also, I don’t beat myself up if I’m “off” and don’t adhere to it 100% of the time. However, I do have what I prefer to call a “daily” routine. After all, I create my schedule and choose to live a lifestyle of freedom and flexibility.
I’m a firm believer in the One-Size-Does-NOT-Fit-All. And with that, my whole approach is: do what works best for you–as long as whatever you’re doing is successfully moving your needle closer to where you want to be (at your pace). So why this approach? For entirely way too long, I did all the things–read books, articles, quips, watched interviews, motivational videos, you name it! And although they all had a different spin on this concept, the one thing they all had in common was drive. If you are driven to succeed, you WILL find a way, period.
No two morning routines are alike, and if you follow someone else’s, believe me, you will get different results; it’s a given. In short, what works for me may or may not work for you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t and shouldn’t do your research. By this, I mean take others’ morning routines with a grain of salt. Take an overview look at what they are doing, not how they are doing it. The “how” is what’s unique to them, to you. The “what” is where the key lies.
The key to any routine is found in one’s daily habits. What you do consistently throughout the day will determine whether or not you achieve your (personal) success. To answer the initial question, is having a morning routine a non-negotiable? My answer is, having A routine is non-negotiable. Whether morning, afternoon, or night, take inventory of what you do throughout the day; that is your routine.
My Morning/Daily Routine
7 am: Wake up! Give Thanks to the Lord for another day, and say a little prayer. Open the bible app, read the verse of the day, and check in with my family via the messenger app (my family lives far away). Get out of bed and get dressed for the day: gym/fitness clothes.
7: 15 am: I head downstairs to the kitchen and turn on the coffee pot. While coffee is brewing, I feed the cats their breakfast, take my vitamins, and chug 8oz of warm water mixed with powdered greens.
7: 20 am: Head into the living room, coffee in hand (sugar + collagen powder), and settle into my “me” time to read a daily devotional plan from the bible app, pray about what I read, and ask God who He needs me to be today. In this prayer time, I meditate (visualize) how I see myself living/acting with/on purpose. I then turn to my Fit From Within journal and write what’s on my heart and mind (thoughts/worries/concerns/tasks), including three things I am grateful for, my daily goals (priorities), and how I choose to feel that day. This is the time I like to use to “brain dump,” let in what I want and let go of what I don’t. Writing everything down in my Fit From Within journal helps me set the tone for the day – what I want, what I want to achieve, and how I want to feel doing it. As I write, I’m visualizing each thing in my mind as if I’ve already accomplished everything I set out to do. This may seem like a lot, but to me, it’s not. I’ve made this my daily habit, and like brushing my teeth, I don’t think about it.
8 am-10:15 am: I am ready to take on the day! I head into my home office and tend to the morning tasks of my online business: emails, finances, delegate duties to my team, and oversee the company’s daily operations.
10:15 am: Break time! I make my way to the kitchen to grab a snack before heading to the gym.
10:45 am-12:15 pm: Arrive at the gym! I head into the locker room to drop off my coat and gym bag, unpack my gear and make my way to the cardio machine for a quick 5min warm-up before lifting. Here is where I take my time – lifting is my therapy!
12:15-12:30 pm: I arrive back home and prep my first meal- breakfast. I typically eat the same thing but mix up the flavor combos – some variation of egg whites, cheese, and oats with berries to baking chips – sweet & spicy meal.
1 pm-2 pm: I’m most inspired after the gym. I head back into my home office and create – write, blog, create, craft ideas – anything expressive!
2 pm-6 pm: I switch gears and tend to my afternoon tasks: emails, interviews, meetings, and calls. I wrap up what I’m working on and prepare for the next day.
4 pm: I head into the kitchen for a quick lunch break and prepare to switch gears again – creator to operator.
6 pm-8 pm: Every evening, I make it a priority to learn something new – watch videos, take an online course, read a book, listen to podcasts or audiobooks. I also use this time to play and enjoy things I am passionate about – soccer, painting, drawing, or playing with our kitties.
8:30 pm: I head into the kitchen to cook dinner with my husband, unwinding, and catching up with each other.
9 pm: Enjoy our homecooked meal and each other’s company.
9:30-11:30 pm: Watch our favorite TV shows.
11:30-11:45 pm: Bed. Set the alarm. Sleep.
Again, this is a loose layout of what my daily routine looks like. Hopefully, you’ll be able to spot some trends and likenesses between my morning routine, someone else’s, including yours. However, if you are just getting started, don’t overwhelm by the details or beat yourself up if you aren’t doing “all the things,” rather, pick 1 or 2 things you currently aren’t doing, give them a go, and see how they fit. If you find you cannot sustain this new habit, it’s not for you-no shame, let it go.
Now, go find your “sweet spot.” What time works best for you? When are you most productive? Which projects/goals/dreams/deadlines do you want to achieve first? Which are you willing to (re)prioritize or sacrifice to achieve it? What is the trade-off for the pay-off? Is the risk worth the reward? Your answers to these questions will help you structure your daily routine. My last piece of advice is don’t be such a stickler when following a routine; allow yourself grace, and be flexible. Prioritize long-term, what is most important.
To hear more about daily routines and habits, listen to The Confident Woman Podcast.