Where the day starts is where it stays. My mornings used to be a WRECK. Seriously. I’d hit snooze over and over until I created a mad rush scenario. Three-minute shower, throw on whatever clothes I could grab first and rush out the door to work. Swing by Chick-fil-A on the way. Get chicken minis and a huge soda. Hash browns too, obv. I’d be barely awake at work, sucking down diet sodas all day long and wishing for bedtime. No wonder I was depressed and over 300 lbs.
I am an avid reader, especially of non-fiction. I read a lot about successful entrepreneurs, politicians, artists, inventors – you name it. One common thread among almost all of them is a structured morning routine. Sure, some of them are night owls so an early rise isn’t shared among all – but they all seem to value the principle that where the day starts is where it stays.
For most of us, we hit snooze until we are near crisis level – get out of bed or be late. One of the first things we do is check our phone. What drama is waiting in my inbox? What did I miss on Facebook while I was sleeping? We begin our day with potentially negative input – news stories that make us sad or worried, problems at work we can’t yet fix or an unnecessary rush around the house because we kept hitting snooze. We aren’t exactly setting ourselves up for success.
Over the past year I’ve been working to really refine my morning routine. I have to say that I’m AMAZED at what its done for my outlook, my productivity and my motivation. It’s no wonder that some of the most successful, creative, accomplished people in the world swear by their morning routine. In fact, I’ve kind of become a student of many of their routines – researching who does what and why. I’ve played around with the different elements of routines and finally have found what works best for me and my goals. So of course, I figured I’d share it with you!!! This is MY personal strategy for a morning routine that helps me maximize fat loss.
No matter how you choose to start your day, I do encourage you to giving some thought to implementing steps and strategies to always have your day begin on a positive note!
- Don’t hit snooze
Not only are you setting yourself up to be in a rush but you’re also sending a very clear message to your brain that you aren’t excited about this day. Think about how you used to wake up on Christmas morning or on your birthday as a kid. You met the day with enthusiasm. You knew great things were ahead. That creates a tremendously positive vibe that you carry through the day. And really, the extra 7, 10, or 20 minutes of broken sleep interrupted by your alarm isn’t really going to have a meaningful impact on your energy level. Just get up. Greet the day with enthusiasm. Sure, there are times my alarm goes off and I don’t feel like getting up but I quickly think, “Wow, that went by fast” and then swing my feet to the floor and get moving. It’s just that initial activation energy you need!
- Positive input first
I am super careful about the first thoughts or ideas I introduce to my mind in the morning. I used to click on the TV and watch the news while I got ready. I don’t do that anymore. I used to grab my phone and check email and facebook right away. No more. I want to be in control of the thoughts and ideas going into my head first thing. I want positive input first. I believe it sets the stage.
I begin first with meditation. Anywhere from 10-30 minutes of either guided or free-style meditation helps me to stay in control of my thoughts and emotions each day and reminds me of what’s important (and what’s not).
- Plan your day
I go into every day with a realistic plan. I emphasize the word realistic because I’m a big fan of the saying “He who chases 2 rabbits catches none”. I don’t set 45 goals or tasks for the day. I’ll identify one or 2 big things I want to accomplish for my business and one or two big things I want to do for my health. I get those things done FIRST. I don’t put them off and hem and haw and do other random stuff. I dive in and hit the things I know will move me towards my goals.
Once I know what I want to achieve for the day, I actually VISUALIZE those things happening. This only takes 2-5 minutes but it makes a big difference for me. If my goal is to write a particular piece of content, I visualize myself sitting at my desk and writing effortlessly, producing content I’m excited about. If my goal is a great lower body workout, I visualize the workout – I visualize working with intensity, crushing it, and leaving exhausted and satisfied.
- Fuel properly
This makes a huge difference. If I eat crap in the morning, I feel like crap all day. If I fuel intelligently, I feel amazing. Most of my mornings start with bulletproof coffee. Sometimes I’ll have bacon and eggs but either way I always start my day with healthy fats and often protein. I never begin my day with carbohydrates – that is a personally choice for health, fat loss and hormonal balance and it’s what works for me.
You don’t have to embrace a multi-step morning routine right off the bat but I do encourage you to look at some small changes you can make to improve your outlook and set yourself up for success throughout the day. Do you have a morning routine? What does it look like? I’m curious!