Want to know the simple, most powerful way to achieve your goals and New Year’s resolutions?
Tweak your morning routine. It will transform everything.
I’m not talking about just getting things done.
I’m saying you can have a morning routine that gives you energy, motivation, and momentum to achieve your goals, and have the positive impact you want to have.
As Kevan Lee of BufferApp points out, many of the successful people we admire do more than just get things done; they cultivate an attitude and mindset that is positively infectious and that ripples through a team and organization and unleashes not only their own potential, but influences countless others.
Everyone has a morning routine. For many of us, our morning routine is what we do by default, not by intention, and it’s not generally inspiring, or energizing — unless you want it to be.
Have you ever asked yourself how you could make your routine work better for you?
First, imagine what it could be.
Do you want to feel energized or stressed?
Do you want to have clarity on what to tackle first, or fly by the seat of your pants?
Do you want to be like Benjamin Franklin and ask “what good am I going to do today?”
Whatever your circumstances – whether you are already a high performer and achiever, or if you have big, new audacious goals for this year, your choices and actions first thing each morning can make or break you.
Try these tomorrow morning and this week:
- Wake up a bit earlier –when it’s quiet and before any worthwhile distractions derail you (probably before spouses, kids or roommates are up). Postpone checking your emails, social media feeds or the morning news until after you have done several of these steps.
- Meditate, pray, be grateful, reflect, journal.
For me, meditation is about filling my mind, not emptying it. For example, call to mind 5 things you are thankful for, or recall a challenge you have overcome.
When you give thanks, you are not only acknowledging what’s true, you are giving yourself an essential storehouse of goodness that you will need to encourage yourself and others. Reflect on something you are learning, a new insight you’ve gained, a new friendship.
A wise person once said that gratitude leads you to the truth and I’ve found that to be true.
This step should inspire and encourage you.
When I remind myself of just a few things I’m thankful for, it brings clarity (and encouragement) especially when life is hectic and challenging, or I’m disappointed in someone or something.
Being thankful ensures I don’t miss out or fail to recognize the good that is all around me.
You can write about this in your journal; (Michael Hyatt has an excellent template to guide you in journaling.)
- Fill your cup with content that inspires, educates, motivates – I love this mobile app and daily email from by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel, and I recently showed my boys some of Will Smith’s wisdom from YouTube.
Discover what works for you! What inspires you to dream bigger and take action? You can find inspiring podcasts (one of the best ever with author Hal Elrod about his bestseller The Miracle Morning on Pat Flynn’s podcast) and TED Talks to listen to (especially while you exercise.)
- Speaking of which — Exercise. Whether it’s stretching, running, or following a trainer on Instagram, get yourself moving in the morning! Even 10 minutes will transform.
I combine exercise and thankfulness with a 10 min gratitude walk, which I learned from Jon Gordon’s blog. Science shows it’s impossible to be both thankful and stressed at the same time!
- Prepare your Top 3 List. You’re ready to think through your day and determine the top 3 things that you must get done – often this starts with a quick review of your goals, which you can do easily if you keep them in Notes on your smartphone (or an app).
- Plan to tackle the hardest thing first, you’ll get a boost and momentum.
- Review Pocket Mentor on your smartphone. One of the reasons we developed this app is to make it simple to spend a few moments each day reminding yourself of what you know – and it is specifically focused on your work and career.
Pocket Mentor also gives you practical ideas to stand out at work, overcome challenges and office politics. With it you will not only successfully navigate your workplace, but thrive and achieve more than you have dared to imagine.
Whatever your routine is now, try these out for the next two weeks, fine tune, mix it up – and see what works for you. You will see an immediate difference in your energy, optimism, results, and impact on others.
Don’t worry if you get off track; as a working Mom, I often do! I just decide to get back on track.
The main thing is to have a plan and be proactive, so you have the motivation, energy, inspiration, and action plan ready to meet each day, rather than be reactive and let circumstances take over.
You will find each day adds up to greater satisfaction and productivity, and you are achieving more than you thought possible.
How about you? What are some of the best elements in your morning routine? Share a comment.