@JasonFerruggia what are some crucial habits a morning routine should contain in order to get your body & mind ready for the day?
— Rob Sanders (@Huskergrappler) January 8, 2014
Great question. I am a huge proponent of having morning rituals and believe it sets the tone for a productive, happy, successful day.
The first thing I do when my eyes open is meditate. In the past I tried doing this at other times throughout the day but this has proven to be the best for me because I’m guaranteed to get it in. I simply grab my Beats by Dre headphones and listen to the Holosync program for thirty minutes while tying to keep my mind completely blank.
As I’m meditating the only thing I try to focus on is deep belly breathing.
After flossing and brushing my choppers I pop a high quality probiotic, drink twenty ounces of water, then go for a twenty-minute walk, while listening to a podcast on a topic of interest. Since I’m starting my workday it’s usually something about productivity or business to get me motivated.
However…. Before the podcast starts I listen to the theme song from Superman. Seriously. It sets the tone for the day.
Yes, I’m obsessed with superheroes. Laugh and make fun. It’s all good.
Getting fresh air and sunlight first thing in the morning is great for the mind and can also help you sleep better at night.
When I get back from the walk I will do some mobility work for about 15-20 minutes, then once I’m all warmed up I work in some shadow boxing just to get cranked for the day.
I do this while continually yelling “the champ is here,” in my best Muhammad Ali impression. The neighbors love this.
Next up, I throw on a pot of ultra high quality, mycotoxin free coffee.
After that I shower then read for read for thirty minutes.
The main reason for reading at this time is not so much knowledge acquisition, like it is later in the day, but rather to help me become a better writer.
Writing is a big part of my business and I want to get better at it. So I read a chapter or two from a book written by someone far more talented than I am.
My hope is that it rubs off on me when I attack the keyboard for the first time shortly afterwards. It’s kind of like my swinging the weighted bat in the on deck circle then taking it off when I approach the plate.
While reading I drink my first small cup of coffee. Caffeine is best tolerated/utilized in smaller divided doses so I have a half a cup every hour or so for a total of a cup and and a half. Two at most on days when I really need it.
Before I start anything work related I write in my gratitude journal and just list the things and people I am grateful for. This reminds me that no matter what goes wrong today there is a ton to be grateful for so I shouldn’t let it get me down. This does a great job of setting the tone for the day.
When I finally open the laptop to start writing I play the theme to Superman again and keep it on repeat in the background as I tackle the most important task for the day.
In the past I used to dive straight into work but I found that was no longer cutting for me anymore. I was hitting mental roadblocks and getting frustrated. So I modified it over time and will probably continue to do so.
Right now this schedule is working and gets my mind and body warmed up for the serious, highly focused work ahead.
To recap, it’s:
1) Meditate (30 min)
2) Walk & listen to podcast, focusing on deep breathing the entire time (20 min)
3) Mobility work & shadow boxing (10-15 min)
4) Shower & flexing in the mirror…I mean… what?! (7 min)
6) Read for inspiration (30 min)
7) Gratitude journal (5 min)
All told it’s anywhere from ninety minutes to two hours. So if I wake up at 6:30 I’m working by 8:30 at the latest. Some days I have to shorten it based on whatever curve balls life may throw my way.
I realize this might be long for a lot of people and might not fit your lifestyle. But at the very least, hopefully it gives you some ideas to work with.
Even if you do something completely different than I do, I encourage you to have some kind of daily ritual. It eliminates some decision making, which thus eliminates stress.