How I Keep Failing on My Own “Best Practise” - The Morning Ritual. And How I Will Fix It.

There are so many lists out there, “7 point to do this”, “11 ways to improve that”, I’m guilty of at least one. Now I’m finding myself failing on the very thing that set me up for success, my morning ritual.


Optimize your morning ritual.

To understand that there is no such thing as “waking on the wrong side”, it’s all about your own willpower. You’ll learn that the way you spend your first waken hour sets the tone for the rest of the day. By taking the first 15 minutes to get your body and mind into the right state will help you reach optimal performance levels. This can be done through meditation, visualization, physical activity, reading, practicing gratitude, yoga, journaling, or even taking a walk around the block, find your own best practice.

Morning routine is paramount — Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

3 Simple steps to get started with a successful morning ritual

  1. Prepare the next day, the night before.
  2. Start everyday with easy wins, example: Make your bed.
  3. Plan your hardest task to when you have your prime time.

I wrote this back in 2013… thats 5 years ago. One would think, that surely I would be wiser at this point? Less prune to failure? I’m finding out that I’m actually not. All this time I thought I built a high-performance machine.

The list of achieved projects and progress since 2013 is not empty, on the contrary I’ve had a blast, moved countries, traveled, grown professionally, helped re-design Typeform.com and with that experience a global hyper-growth startup up close.

The cost however has been that I’ve partially lost myself. Losing that very thing that made me, me. This affects my own very wellbeing, my ability to move as fast as I want to, my personal motivation, my relationships with other people. And ultimately my health.

All of the above gets hammered by my failing on the very things that set my up for success in the first place. Namely — optimizing my morning ritual.

OK, Let’s try to fix this.

One common misstake made by people that find themselves falling back in to bad old habits, or missing out on scheduled activities such as workouts. Is that they try to overcompensate. I’ve been there myself. This will be a great retrospective.

Lost in the abyss — get back up there. Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

They are trying to fix all the things they are failing at, at the same time. This is a perfect recipe for failure in-itself. So let’s start from the beginning. Acknowledging that you need to refresh yourself and your routines is where you should start. The faster you get settled with this feeling the better. There is no shame in ending here, you just need to get back up.

  1. Start small, instead of correcting everything, pick one thing at the time and slowly build up. This will pay off.
  2. Prepare the night before, limit your options. Place your outfit nice and tidy next to your bed.
  3. Pick the easy-wins first, examples, slowly move the wake-up time backwards to regain prime morning time. Build on that, by adding simple feelings of achievements. Like making your bed. There are countless of studies supporting this well boost your daily performance. 1.
  4. Slowly start adding things back to your routine. When waking up is taking place at the admired time, add a morning workout to the schedule. Again don’t start with a 1 hour session at the gym. Grow it slowly. 10 situps, 10 pushups, 10 squats. The next day you’ll add to the routine, until you feel comfortable getting out for a 10k run or go to the gym.
  5. Repeat. Go through with the above steps until you are where you want to be with your own morning routine. Be careful about “missing” a day, this well greatly increase the effort needed to stay on track.
“When I was researching my book on happiness, this was the number one most impactful change that people brought up over and over.” — Gretchen Rubin

Stay on track to success

“Missing” a day will greater improve your rate of failure, to be more accurate it will double the effort needed per missed day. This is one of the reasons why it’s so hard to get back into good habits after a downwards spiral of losing control.

Make sure you surround yourself with people that can help — Photo by Dani Vivanco on Unsplash

Pro tip here is to find someone that in the beginning can help you stay accountable for executing on your routine. Remember first you need to want to be the change yourself, thats something that you can’t outsource. But finding someone you feel accountable against, can definitely help in this situation.

This person could be a significant other, a friend or colleague. Make sure they understand what it is that you are trying to achieve. That will better set them up to be supportive and not authoritarian. Remember they are there in the beginning the help you from slipping, they will not do the hard work, thats up to you.

Failure is part of learning.

After recognising what has led to me slowly degrading mentally, the next steps are to make sure you don’t slip too deep. Self awareness is not something we teach or at least not to the extent it should be thought.

Writing this post is also part of me setting up accountability. I know by sharing my own struggles I can help others, but I’ll also have a commitment against the community to improve. This is powerful.

Failing is not defining you, it is not ugly to fail, it’s the way we learn. You are not defined by failures, you are defined by you own actions. So now get out there, get control over your mind, and let’s get back up on that lovely ride.

👍🏻Please feel free to tweet encouraging tweets at me anytime.

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