As mentioned in one of my previous posts, every great morning starts with a great night time routine. However, every great day starts with a great morning routine.
Why a morning routine?
Because why not?
Basically every single successful person to have ever lived has had some form of morning routine that they swear by. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Spongebob…the list goes on.
Seriously though, there are too many benefits to list when it comes to just how effective a morning routine can be.
I have tried my very best though and racked my brains in order to deliver ones of the finest morning routine guides out there.
Below, I have compiled a list of what you should be including in your morning routine and why if you want to start your day right and set yourself up for success – enjoy.
Wake up at 5am
Waking up at 5am gives you a head start on the rest of the world. Whilst everyone else is still asleep, you are preparing for the day, getting ahead of the pack every morning. This two or three hour window that you open up between your rising time and everyone else’s adds up over the course of the year.
Just think how much more ahead of the game you’ll be with those extra 1,095 hours each year to get ready and start work on building yourself into the most optimal you possible.
Do this stretching routine whilst still in bed
I found this routine on The Art of Manliness a while back and have felt so much more awake in the morning, which has had a knock-on effect for the rest of the day – do this.
During my morning routine I like to do a bit of fasted cardio. Nothing too strenuous as higher intensity or long bouts of steady state cardio can stimulate hunger which isn’t what you want if you are beginning a fast for that day.
I recommend doing some skipping with a weighted jump rope. Do 10 reps on both feet, 10 on the right foot and 10 on the left foot. Work your way down through, 9,8,7…until you get to 1 and you should feel your heart pumping a bit faster as a result. I find this is a great way to get the blood pumping and wake me up in the morning.
As stated in my night time routine post, doing shoulder dislocations with a resistance band can really help increase your shoulder flexibility and decrease your risk of pain and injury, definitely do this every morning and night.
Inversion has been shown to increase blood flow to the head and stimulate hair follicle growth whilst having a myriad of health benefits for the brain, heart and vital organs. I know the chances are you don’t have any sort of suspension systems lying about in your house (unless you’re into that sort of thing).
So, a simple way of getting blood flowing to your head via inversion is to simply lie on the end of the bed and let as much of your torso hang upside down as possible. After 5 minutes, you should feel a bit weird – but refreshed. You’ll come to enjoy this sensation and once you realise the health benefits you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
Writing your thoughts down as soon as you rise helps to empty your mind of stresses and helps you to focus on the day at hand. Write for 5 minutes on your worries and goals and refer back to them in the night when you journal again to see if any of these issues have been resolved. Click here for a more in depth discussion on keeping a journal.
Exfoliate & Wash face
Fellas, there’s no shame in doing a little bit of exfoliating in the morning. We don’t live in the 50’s anymore so men are allowed to take care of their skin. I have a scrub that I picked up for like £3 which is great.
You don’t need the fanciest products – just go for something that’s got natural ingredients that are proven to uplift skin like cucumber, charcoal, vitamin e, raw honey, sea salt, aloe vera or any essential oils. As long as it has any of these and contains no chemicals then you’re set.
Getting showered and clean after all of this feels like you’re really gearing up for the day ahead and washing all the sweat and worries of the night before away ready to start anew. Plus, nobody wants to start the day with stinky balls, make sure to start your day feeling good – get a shower. One thing I like to do is turn the temperature of my showers right down to wake me up. See the top benefits of cold showers here.
Get clothed and get out
Always make an effort before you head out the door. Even if you’re just going out in joggers and a t-shirt, make sure you’re rocking it like it’s a catwalk. If you don’t leave your house feeling as dapper as you possibly can then something’s gone wrong.
Also, get out into the fresh air as soon as possible – once you’re dressed and ready, don’t sit around watching TV or playing with your phone. Go and suck some real air into your lungs and embrace the day. Those who spend longest outdoors are happiest – join them.
DO NOT check your phone whilst doing all of this, avoid your phone for as long as you can during your morning. How many times do you switch your alarm off of a morning and then sit on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc for 20 minutes then end up rushing round trying to get ready, feeling awful and unsuccessful when you stumble out the door.
Phones and social media sap energy and motivation. Be optimal and ditch them for as long as possible in the morning and you’ll see you will become happier, more motivated and more engaged with the real world.