The ninth principle in my willpower series states:
Routinize your morning activities!
More likely than not, you already have a specific morning routine. Most single people wake up, hit snooze, wake up again, get out of bed, have breakfast or coffee, shave, take a shower, brush their teeth, and go to work or college.
What if I told you that by the time you head off to work, you could’ve already strongly improved your life and taken a small yet firm step toward achieving your greatest dreams? All you need to do is get up earlier.
My morning is the same every day. I get up at 5 am, have a coffee with butter and coconut oil, work out in my home gym for 50 minutes (either strength- or mobility-focused), do some bioenergetic exercises, meditate for 20 minutes, write 40 minutes on my book, read one chapter of someone else’s book, cook myself a large meal and eat 100% of my calories for the day, shave, take a cold shower, and at 10 am I’m ready for work. This means that before I go to work, I’ve already:
- exercised my body, mind, and bodymind,
- worked toward my dream (to write a book),
- accomplished my daily dietary goal, and
- energized myself to passionately get out there and “get after it!“
Don’t think that by the time I start working my willpower is already pre-exhausted. To the contrary: I now have unimpeded focus to concentrate on my work because I don’t have any further planned self-improvement endeavors to worry about, no further willpower-depleting lifestyle decisions to make.
In fact, I have more energy because my morning ritual doesn’t only by itself boost my energy to a maximum; it additionally fills me with pride, which heightens my mood and elevates my willpower (as long as I don’t slack off out of feeling overly triumphant; but it’s become habitual anyway). The morning routine itself doesn’t cost any willpower: One ritual passes smoothly into the next. My behavior is fully automatized.
As a result, I never waste time to think about what to eat later. I never waste willpower having to push myself to go to the gym. And nothing interferes with my daily step toward the great goal I seek to achieve.
Whatever activity you want to turn into a daily habit: If you do it later in the day, somebody will interfere, the stress of everyday life will foil your agenda, and excuses will emerge. You’ll have to exert more and more willpower to stay strong—until you fail, filling you with shame. And then you fail again, and again—until your will has been broken so many times that you give up and decide: “It’s not that important anyway.”
Some people say they work best at night. Do you know why? It’s not due to the darkness outside. It’s because of the silence and the fact that there’s nothing else left to achieve that day. At night your mind can calm down and focus fully on the task at hand because there are no other, conflicting goals to be accomplished. Therefore, if you accomplish all your self-improvement goals first thing in the morning (and create a non-distractive working environment), your working spirit by day will be charged with a night owl’s nocturnal powers.
That’s how you can enhance your productivity and mood while designing your perfect lifestyle with success.
That’s how you gain freedom through ritualization.
How does your morning routine look like? Tell me in the comments below!