There is a common denominator among high achieving people.
A morning routine.
Mornings are rough for me. I’d say I am a morning person, but when that alarm goes off I am certainly not sunshine and butterflies.
Mornings are a literal battle for me. When I wake up my mind is already saying unhelpful things to me.
“Just go back to bed, what you do doesn’t matter and no one cares.”
I’m also an introvert.
Which means I NEED uninterrupted time.
Living in community, having a smart phone and a young child means I do not have a surplus of uninterrupted time. The only mostly guaranteed quiet and uninterrupted time…?
So here’s my ideal morning routine. I stress ideal because I rarely get to all of these things each morning.
Alarm goes off, start praying in tongues.
Call me crazy (or a closet charismatic) but this is something recent I’ve implemented. I’m not awake enough to pray something intelligent, and I know I need God’s help to battle the things that are trying to keep me in bed all day.
I’m underselling this battle guys, it’s real. Like real real.
Bathroom go to the bathroom, weigh myself, record my weight,
Water Kettle hit start on the water kettle.
Hydrate Chug at least 20oz of water from my water bottle
Kettlebells. Either squats or deadlifts.
A simple 2 sets of 7 reps with a kettlebell.
Just enough for me right now to get some blood flowing and not enough for me not to want to do it.
Well… honestly, most mornings I still don’t want to do it.
I’ve learned I have to set realistic goals. I know deep down inside when setting a goal if I’ll actually do it or not. My above goal is do-able.
Why are deadlifts easier than squats?
Worship. Spend some time in worship.
This looks like throwing on spotify and most mornings going to the Kim Walker album and listening to one of her songs and a spontaneous song from her first album, the blue one. Here is my song. This helps me transform and renew my mind, and get my affections on where they belong.
Coffee. Pour the coffee grounds I ground the night before from the grinder into the french press and pour the hot water over them and stir with a knife.
Rinse the knife and place it in the sink. I should probably clean the knife completely and put it back.
Morning pages. This is where I just open up text edit and write stream of consciousness.
Whatever is on my mind is what I write, I just let it flow from my thoughts through my fingers.
I then delete this entirely each morning. That way I’m not writing with an audience in mind, I’m just getting stuff out of my head. I haven’t decided if this is actually beneficial or not.
Scripture. Proverbs is my go to. Practical wisdom.
Whatever day of the month it is I’ll read that corresponding chapter. I’ll pick one verse that sticks out to me, write it down, and tweet it later.
Reading. I listen to a LOT of books throughout my week. Consuming audio content is the easiest way for me to learn. Sitting down and actually reading takes work. My mind wanders as I read and it’s hard to focus and retain what I’m reading.
Most of the books that I want to actually be reading that aren’t on audio aren’t light books.
Currently I’m reading a book on the 7 churches of Revelation and taking notes for when I will teach a week lecture on Revelation in June.
One day a week I’ll read a chapter in Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley for discussion with the Pastors from my church.
Here’s a list of books that I wish there were audio versions of. (I’ll write this soon)
Coffee’s ready by now. Pour myself a cup. 3/4 full in a 12oz mason jar. I used to have a blue mug that I used every morning, I intentionally went to the mason jars because they are glass, but where’d that mug go?
Create content. From there I will think of an idea I want to post on IG. Maybe it will stem from my morning pages. Maybe it will be something that I’ve been thinking about.
I’ll open up a stock photo website and pick a relevant photo. I’ll download it and drag it into canva and create the graphic. Then I’ll open text edit again and expound on the topic. I’ll post the photo with my writing, it will push to our facebook page. I’ll pull some hashtags from my notes on my iphone and like the post and then comment the hashtags.
Then I go look at it on our facebook page. I’ll reshare it to my personal facebook page. Then copy and paste that into our personal blog at www.jimjessbaker.com and also onto medium and share it from medium to twitter.
One piece of content is being repurposed and shared on 7 different platforms.
Church Devotional. I write a small devotional and send it to some people in my congregation. I try to include personal things about me so my church gets a glimpse into our personal lives as well.
After I send this I put it into my devotional folder in my church e-mail incase I ever want to repurpose this content some day too. Maybe one day I’ll put a 365 day devo journal ;)
Make Jess Breakfast. Usually by this time Jess is up with our son feeding him. So I will go in his room and say good morning to them both and pour Jess a cup of coffee and ask her if she wants breakfast. Some type of meat and eggs with cheese.
7:30am — Take The Dog For A Family Walk
Get some blood flowing, get some sunshine, let the dog do his thing, and connect with the family before the day starts.
Which of these are most often to get skipped?
Probably the three that would benefit me the most.
Kettlebells, Scripture and Reading.
Why do those most often get skipped?
Because they require the most work.
Why is getting up this early beneficial?
Because by the time the rest of my family is up I’ve done the most important personal things of my day. And I’m awake, caffeinated and functioning. I feel good because I already have some wins on my side and am creating momentum. I don’t feel like I’m starting my day behind. I feel like I’m starting my day ahead. As other people are starting their day I’ve already got a lot accomplished, it’s a jump start.
What are some hindrances? Not having a solid plan. Having to make decisions. Every decision is a potential fall off point. It gets you out of the routine and into thinking. And every time you think about what to do next, instead of moving to the next thing you’re looking for an exit. Which is usually endless scrolling on social media.
The number one key though for a successful morning routine? Having a solid evening routine. I’ll write on that soon.
Oh yeah, for me to get up at 4am consistently. I shoot for being in bed with the lights off at 8:30pm.
What are some of your essentials for your morning routine?