I wake up every morning at 3:14 a.m.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this to everyone, but I’ve found that getting up this early gives me the opportunity to clear my head, read the Bible, focus on my legacy statement, spend time with my children, and identify where I want to take my day. I concentrate on my process and daily choices, rather than things that are out of my control.
Through focus and practice, I’ve found there is a power in my morning routine.
How It Began
Eight years ago, I was like most of the general population. I’d roll out of bed one hour before I was supposed to be at the office, rush through my (lack of a) morning routine, and start my day without any plan or mental preparation.
Naturally, I’d buckle at the first sign of any difficulty, and I wasn’t prepared to handle any level of stress.
So I decided to make a change and start my days with structure and intentionality. By taking back my morning and establishing a routine, I gained the power to set the tone for the rest of my day.
Start Your Day With Intention
A 2012 American Psychological Association study found that a majority of self-described morning people reported feeling happier and healthier than night owls.
For me, the emotional benefits have been clear. My mornings are much more relaxed and possess a great combination of personal and family time, which puts me in a great mental space to conquer my day.
The key here is starting your day with a routine that helps you build a sense of order. Whether that means exercising, eating a healthy breakfast, or spending focused time with loved ones, do something that energizes you and makes you happy.
Here are three steps you can take today to regain control of your mornings.
Power of a Morning Routine
1. Start small, and build gradually.
Waking up just 30 minutes earlier every day will give you an additional 2.5 hours every week that you can devote toward personal happiness. That’s an extra 10 hours every month! Once you form this early-rising habit, incrementally build even more time into your mornings, and watch your productivity skyrocket.
2. Honor your commitment.
When you set your early rising goal, be sure to consistently honor it. Get in the habit of going to bed earlier, and stop hitting that snooze button. It might be difficult at first, but if you’re consistent, it will eventually become second nature. The sense of clarity and order that results from your commitment will be your big payoff.
3. Identify what makes you happy.
Life is so much better when you have an exciting reason to get out of bed, so find things in your life that are worth waking up early for. If meditating or meeting up with a friend for breakfast would brighten your day and help you focus, make those activities an integral part of your routine.
The most positive aspect of establishing a morning routine is that it allows you to reconnect with the things that are most important to you. You’ll be amazed by how much more tranquil you’ll feel when you take the time to focus on yourself and your loved ones before shifting to the daily grind ahead of you.
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About the Author
Ben Newman is the owner and president of The Ben Newman Companies, a motivation and training provider. Ben is a bestselling author, an international speaker, and a highly regarded performance coach whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, business executives, high-performing salespeople, and athletes in the NFL, PGA, and NCAA.