A 4 Step Morning Routine That Can Change Your Life Completely.
“There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing. It’s not a matter of time; it’s a matter of desire. — Nina Yau
And a matter of choice. If you are someone who is struggling with some aspect of your life, remember: “if you want things to change, you have to change”(Jim Rhon). So choose to make plenty of time for yourself, as you are your life’s most important project. Make the habit of working on yourself, your life’s greatest desire.
Change has to start somewhere. Here is something I learned in the process of working to improve the quality of my life: How you live your mornings can either make you or break you. You either choose to wake up feeling upbeat, positive, and ready to own your day, or you can dread your mornings, fill them with negativity, and let the day go past you. One way or another we all strive for the former; so make it a habit to choose to feel good.
How can you start the process of improving the quality of your life? By starting your morning’s right! The morning is the time of the day in which your brain is the sharpest. For this reason, mornings should be devoted to your most important work: bettering yourself and the quality of your life.
The Benefits- Morning routines set you up for success. Following a strong morning routine develops the power of self-discipline, good habits, and a stronger and positive mindset. It also brings you closer to finding and accomplishing your goals.
“The uncommitted life is not worth living” — Socrates
In this article, I want to share with you 4 steps to a morning routine that can potentially transform your life the way it has transformed mine. You must set aside at least 30 minutes of your morning for this routine. Also, find a space in your home in which you like to get work done.
As you read the article, keep in mind that developing and implementing an effective morning routine takes time and effort. There are things that may not work for you as well as they do for me. With time, and by trial and error, you can find practices more fitting to your style, goals, and schedule.
In the long run, routines are intended to be flexible to yourself and your growth. There are steps in your routine that may change over time as your mindset shifts and grows. There are others that will forever be part of the person you are and become.
Here’s the catch. The most important part of any morning routine is actually sticking to it. Zero discipline equals zero change. So be disciplined and committed if you want to see positive changes transpire in your life.
Step One: Express GRATITUDE.
“Gratitude is contagious.” — Benjamin Hardy.
After a good night of sleep, the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is head to my work space. I sit comfortably in my chair and I begin to express gratitude to God and the universe. I do this in the form of prayer. I don’t just think it, I converse it. I use a tone of voice that soothes and energizes me. You can develop a form of expressing gratitude that is comfortable for you and your beliefs.
Spend 3–5 minutes being thankful for everything that you have and are physically and spiritually. Be thankful for the lessons you’ve learned, the experiences you’ve lived, and the blessings that are yet to come into your life. Being thankful for your life is one of the quickest ways to shift your mindset from negative to positive.
Gratitude is the most powerful practice, feeling, and form of expression that exists. Because living life in gratitude means living life in abundance. And when you live life in abundance, you attract everything in abundance (Benjamin Hardy). Additionally, gratitude is known for being a method that multiplies your blessings (Louie Schwartzberg). You can’t feel unhappy and unfortunate when you feel grateful. Gratitude guarantees happiness.
Lastly, gratitude keeps you grounded and brings your mind to the present moment. It reminds you that despite moments of hardship and distress, you are still full of blessings. It guides you to understand that “it is not what happens that determines the quality of your life, but what you do about it that changes everything.” -Jim Rhon
Step 2: Personal Development
To improve our lives we must: 1) invest time in learning, 2) maximize our learning experiences, and 3) not waste time on things that will set us back from accomplishing our goals.
After my daily prayer, I dive into personal development. I spend 10 minutes either listening to or reading about personal development. It is during this step that you learn about how to work on yourself, improve your life experiences, and become successful in everything that you do. Personal development teaches you about the power of morning routines, goal setting, character development, and self-discipline.
The key in this step is that you choose quality material to learn from. Listen to people that are known for their success in personal development and in their career. While you can learn something meaningful from anybody, you should only take advice from and follow the footsteps of those who are good at what they give advice for. So take your time to research about books and motivational icons you can listen to or read about every morning. The good news is this is not a complicated task. Once you find a good source, you will be prompted to other reliable sources. (Find a list of suggestions at the end of this article)
Step 3: Writing and Goal Setting
Next, comes writing and goal setting. Writing is a great habit to develop in your daily routine. It helps you explore your ideas, ground your thoughts, and develop a profound understanding of your learning. Also, writing down your ideas and goals keeps a record of your progress! It is awesome to look back and see the improvement you make over time.
Spend around 7–9 minutes on this step. You can complete this step immediately after personal development or simultaneously with it. I do it both ways and I recommend it that way. Here is why: writing and setting goals consist of those two parts, respectively.
This part consists of taking notes on what you learned you from your lessons that specific morning. I do this part simultaneously with personal development because I take notes as I go. I normally jot down meaningful quotes, techniques that I plan to put into practice, and topics or ideas that I will later explore and write about during my free time.
“Direction determines destination” –Jim Rhon.
Goal Setting. This is the most important part of this step and a habit that you must create in order to get somewhere in life. You can’t expect to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are headed. Goal setting, in particular, is the most dynamic step in my morning routines.
If you’re just starting the process of self-improvement and haven’t yet thought about your life goals (both short- and long-term), spend your first week or two thinking of them and writing them down. Once you’ve thought about your goals, use this time revisit them.
Check-mark the ones you have achieved. Study the progress you have made with those that require more work. Determine new short-term goals that will bring you closer to your main achievement. Always write them down. Remember, big achievements come with small successes. It is the completion of these smaller goals what will develop within you the confidence you need to keep moving forward. Don’t skip steps. Don’t cheat yourself. The only way to see your dreams materialize is by constantly working on them.
At the end of this step always take the time to envision your goals as completed. See and feel them unfold. Generating those vibrations will help you attract what you want and expect to achieve.
Step 4: Nourish Your Body with an Awesome Breakfast and Be Mindful Of it!
“Take care of your body, it is the only place you have to live in” — Jim Rhon.
Everything in life is about balance. Every aspect of your well-being is connected to one another. Therefore, part of working on yourself is taking care of your body. Feeding your body the right foods will give you the energy you need to begin and endure your day. It can help you stay focused on your goals because illness and discomfort are not present to derail you form them. Take care of your body, so it can take care of you.
Also, be mindful.
In this step it is important that you practice mindfulness. When you are making your breakfast, make that moment the present occasion. Take pleasure in going through the process of making it and eating it. Your goal is to experience the present. Don’t think about what you are going to do once you get to work, or what you are going to tell your friend or boyfriend that morning. Focus on the present moment and appreciate every aspect of it.
The process of appreciating your present life experience is a meditating practice that helps you unleash your inner confidence. So start this practice with your breakfast, but try to apply it throughout the day in all of your experiences. It is through mindfulness and appreciation that we turn the ordinary into something extraordinary. Adopt this practice and see your inner confidence “shine forth like a light in a dark cave” (The Buddha Walks into a Bar, 2012 pg.45).
Before I go, want to leave you with these words to ponder on:
As Jim Rhon says- “A winner is the person who wakes up every morning and fights the fight.” The person who wakes up to defeat their doubts, push themselves to their limits, and do their best at everything they do.
I say: BE THAT PERSON.
What do you say?
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you put my ideas into practice! Believe in yourself and know that you can pursue your dreams as long as you work for them!
This picture is worth sharing.
Below, see my favorite breakfast recipe- try it out!
Add in a bowl:
1. 1/3 of a cup of quick oats
2. 1/3 of a cup of unsweetened almond milk
3. Half a cup of plain Greek yogurt (you can use ¼ of a cup vanilla flavored Greek yogurt and ¼ of a cup of the plain one if you’re not used to eating the plain one alone)
4. One banana
5. Add berries to your discretion
6. Chia seeds
7. Optional: 2 teaspoons of peanut or almond butter
Voila! This is hands down the best breakfast in the world! It fuels your body for your busy mornings. The best part is that you can play with it by adding different fruits, types of seeds, and kinds of nut butter! Also, if you want to consume higher protein content during breakfast, add a hard boiled egg on the side. Believe it or not, they go great together!
Here is the list of people and books I suggest you use to begin your journey in personal development. It is not very long, but it will definitely get you started.
Listen to and read about:
1. Eric Thomas
2. Les Brown
3. Tony Robbins
4. Nick Vujicic
5. Jim Rohn
Search for bestseller books on personal development. I strongly encourage you to start with reading “Money and The Law of Attraction.” This book and the idea behind it will get you started on shifting your mind completely.
Lastly, follow amazing writers such as Benjamin Hardy (which I’m sure you already do if you are part of the Medium community!) and publications in Medium that publish content focused of health and personal growth and development!
Check out my new story on Goal Setting!
Rinzler, Lodro. The Buddha Walks into a Bar — : a Guide to Life for a New Generation. Shambhala, 2012.