The other day I did a detailed podcast on the power of creating a morning routine and shared parts of my own. I also shared the morning routines of several high achievers. It was a super popular episode and today I wanted to help you put that into action. If you want to see my personal morning routine & the affirmations I say to myself multiple times each day, text the word MORNING to the number 44-222.
These 5 elements are the steps to a morning routine for fat loss & focus. I say regularly that you cannot hope for motivation, you have to create it. This is one of the most powerful ways to create your motivation daily. You don’t wake up with your hair done & makeup on, you have to make time for that. Same with motivation. You have to make time for creating motivation & focus. This morning routine will help you do just that.
First, a word about hitting the snooze button in the morning: Don’t. No, seriously. First tackle that. Think about it. When you set your alarm at night, you are deciding that that time is when you will get up. When you hit snooze, you are telling your subconscious that your decisions & goals don’t matter. You are telling your subconscious that what matters more is how you feel in the moment. Sound familiar? We do that with food & fitness, too, and it keeps us from our goals. We decide ahead of time to eat a fat loss breakfast but in the moment we cave to the muffins. That tells our subconscious that decisions are optional. Snooze does the same thing. Do not start the day instructing your body that the only thing that matters is how you feel in the moment. If you are a chronic snooze offender, consider taking one or more of these steps to help you break the habit:
- Get to bed earlier
- Set your alarm for the actual time you need to be up
- Don’t set backup alarms
- Implement smart sleep strategies to improve the quality of your sleep so you feel more rested
Alright, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about establishing the morning routine that begins when your feet gratefully hit the floor in the morning. And before you tell me that you don’t have time, understand that this can be done in 10 minutes or less. If making the time for this quick morning routine accelerates your fat loss, improves your mood and helps you stay focused, isn’t that time well spent?
- Intentional breathing/silence
This can take many forms. It can be prayer, meditation or anything in between. We underestimate the value of intentional breathing. Slowing down and focusing on the breath. See, we tend to be so reactive. We have an urge, we act. We have a craving, we eat. We act first and think later. This few minutes of intentional breathing allows us to be present, mindful and in control. The more you practice this, the more you’ll be able to carry this mindfulness with you through the day. I find that the more I stop and intentionally breathe, the less prone I am to emotional or mindless eating. Plus, it helps me be more calm and intentional in all situations.
- Affirmations & visualizations
We litter our minds with negativity. Constantly. In fact, it happens so constantly that we’re hardly aware of this constant internal chatter. “I’m so fat. I’m tired. I’m stressed. I have no time. I have no energy.” It’s not serving us. In fact, it’s reinforcing the very behavior we hope to change.
Create a list of 2-5 affirmations that reflect the kind of relationship you want to have with your body or food. Read them each morning. As you read them, visualize them in detail. Visualize yourself making great food choices. Visualize your body changing. Visualize your workout performance. See it clearly & in detail. To see my personal affirmations, text MORNING to the number 44-222.
We naturally have a negativity bias. We focus on the things that frustrate us, disappoint us, stress us out and let us down. When we focus on the negative, we feel negative. When we feel negative, it’s tough to make positive choices. You cannot simultaneously be grateful and negative. Actively practice gratitude. Think about, visualize & feel the things for which are grateful. I find it helpful to write them down and I use the 5-Minute Journal to remind me to be grateful at the start & end of each day.
Start each day establishing 3 goals you will achieve. They can be small goals you’ll tackle that day or longer term goals you’ll make progress towards. Either way, name them, claim them and see yourself achieving them. You might establish these the night before and review them in the morning as part of your routine. Get specific & visualize the achievement.
This does not mean a full blown workout, though that might be how you want to use the time. It might be stretching. I like to do body weight squats and pushups just to get my blood flowing. Maybe you use the time for a short walk. Maybe you do a little foam rolling. Whatever form it takes, just take a minute or two to move your mass.
Remember, this morning routine can be done in 10 minutes or less. But taking intentional time to set the tone for your day is incredibly powerful for both fat loss & focus. Where the day starts the day stays. To see my personal morning routine and my own affirmations, text MORNING to 44-222!