A bold claim! And I’m not even selling a book or an online course! I just feel really strongly about how powerful a good morning routine is and I know so many people who could do with a little help in keeping their heads above water. So ….. here’s my 20 minute morning routine to make you happier and (probably) more successful.
I am both happier and more successful since I have been doing this routine. For the past 2 years I have made some big life changes like quitting alcohol and shifting the way I work. At the heart of this has been my morning routine. Here’s how it works.
Step 1: Get your ass out of bed 20 minutes earlier
I start every day with a routine that is so easy I do it in my sleep – I mean literally I am pretty much still asleep for the first few minutes. It’s simple, achievable and incredibly powerful.
Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier. If you normally get up at 7.30 then change it to 7.10. I think you get the concept.
Get up. Use the bathroom. Brush your teeth. You only 5 minutes for all this. Don’t get dressed (I’m assuming you’re in pyjamas and if not then either stay naked or put something on real quick). And don’t make a coffee.
Step 2: Move your ass for 10 minutes
You now have 10 minutes of movement. It must be super easy to do and not involve any equipment which could stop you from getting on with moving. I do yoga because it gives me everything I need: breathing, stretching, mind-body connection.
Yoga is also great because you can do it in your bedroom while still in your pyjamas. Stretching, Tai-chi, HIIT, or a crazy combination of all of these will work just as well.
The point of this 10 minutes is to get your body into the day before your mind starts yakking. Awaken your energy. Breath deeply and focus on your body and how it feels. Twist, bend and stretch your way to the present moment.
Don’t overthink it. Just do it!
Step 3: Sit on your ass for 5 minutes
After 10 minutes, take a seated position. You can either be cross legged, kneeling or sit on the edge of your bed or on a chair. This is your final 5 minutes.
Now you meditate. Or if you prefer – breath deeply. It doesn’t matter what you call it, just give yourself 5 minutes of calm time without thought.
- Close your eyes and let your body settle after it’s exertion. It should feel lovely to rest now
- Keep your back straight
- Breath in and out through your nose
- Inhale slowly and expand your tummy and then your chest, making sure your shoulders stay relaxed
- Exhale evenly, pulling your tummy in towards your spine
- Keep this inhale and exhale pattern going while focusing your attention on your breathing
Thoughts will come. Just let them pass and return your attention to your breathing. It’s only 5 minutes. You can do it.
Step 4: get your word for the day
Once you feel in your zone, allow a word to come to you, a word which will be your word for the day. My word today is ‘know’. Yesterday it was ‘research’. The day before, ‘listen’. Each word means something unique to me and helps me through each day and keeps me focused.
Try not to ‘think’ of a word, rather allow one to come to you. Sometimes it won’t be clear why that word is relevant but after a moment it can make perfect sense.
You are worth 20 minutes of your time!
When you have completed your 20 minutes you will be ready to start your day at the normal time, having just gifted yourself stability, presence, calm and stamina. Trust me, it feels really good.
If I don’t get my 20 minutes in at the start of each day, I really notice it. Not on that day necessarily but after a week of not doing my routine, I start to feel misaligned and a little floaty. Like I’m here and I’m doing life but I’m coping rather than smashing it. Life has become a long list of things to get done and I’m constantly on the back foot.
It’s at these ‘coping’ times that other solutions can present themselves to us: alcohol, sugar, obsessive social media checking, over-thinking, drugs. In the end we reach overwhelm. Trust me, my way is much better!
When you treat yourself to this 20 minutes every day you will start to see other things improve. You will find that making better food and drink choices is easier. Your thinking becomes clearer and the way ahead is less murky. When life throws you a curve ball you will be better placed to knock it out of the park. And your creativity will be through the roof. The list of benefits is pretty limitless actually.
Try it for a week. I’d love to know how you get on.