“You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.” — Tony Robbins
It’s 5:00 in the morning and my alarm is buzzing on the kitchen counter. I hop out of bed and am thrown into my typical work day routine. Stretch, make a glass of lemon water, and then open the computer. The day has begun.
My morning routine has lasted over a year, and I’ve seen huge benefits from sticking to it. But first, let’s see who I stole it from.
Tony Robbins’ Morning Routine
Tony calls his routine “priming,” and does it whether he has an hour, thirty minutes, or even five minutes. It doesn’t matter what time it is or where he is, he makes sure to do it every morning.
While his routine varies slightly, the gist of it is as follows:
- Wakes up, jumps in the hot tub, and then jumps into a cold plunge
- Takes time for gratitude for three things
- Mediation practice where he focuses on spirituality, or for him, “Feeling the presence of God”
- Thinks about his “Three to Thrive”
So what do these four core things actually do?
The first is a neurology state change, and the second is emptying the mental cache. You can’t feel angry or worried about anything if you’re feeling grateful for everything. The third is about imagining perfection and abundance in your life. And the fourth is thinking about the daily steps that you’re preparing to take right now to accomplish the three things with the highest leverage in your life
So let’s be clear.. I don’t have a mansion with a hot tub, cold plunge, or cryotherapy yet, but, I found a way to perfectly adopt this morning routine to suit just where I’m at.
My adopted routine:
- Wake up early and walk out to the kitchen to shut off my phone alarm and grab lemon water. Okay, so lemon water might not be a cold plunge, but it at least balances out your body’s pH levels ;)
- Immediately start yoga/stretching/ or a workout. Yoga is impossible unless you make sure you’re feeling grateful and present in the moment. The second you let in worry, doubt, or anger, the practice deteriorates. It’s an exercise practice that provides the stakes and incentives to be present, aware, and grateful.
- Make sure to complete at least a few minutes of shavasana after the workout. Now if you’re like me, you probably are doing the yoga routine and then it gets to shavasana and you hop right up and determine that the practice is officially complete. “Thanks for the yoga video, now I’ll just sit here and watch you lay on the yoga mat and tell me how important it is to do the same.” For a long time I would just skip shavasana, and think I had saved an extra 2 minutes. But, I started to realize that sitting or laying quietly with my thoughts is super beneficial. Especially after I have just won a victory for the day (doing yoga!). Why not internalize how great it is that you are sticking to your routine, how wonderful life is, how amazing of a family you have, etc..
- Then, I do my three most important tasks for the day. The beauty of this step is that if I get these tasks done, they will have the highest impact on my year.
Motivating Myself Each Morning
Now don’t get me wrong.. There are a lot of mornings where I wake up and really don’t want to do this. I give myself every excuse in the world for why I can’t hop into this routine some days. I started to examine the methods I use that allow me to jump right up and into this routine, and the answer was pretty easy– I set up systems the prior night to make sure I do what I’m supposed to. Tony Robbins constantly stresses that setting up systems (for either finances or habits) throughout your life will help make sure you succeed. The key to succeeding is not making yourself choose when your brain isn’t at 100%.
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” — Tony Robbins
A few ways I limit my choices by setting up systems include:
- Placing my phone in the kitchen so I have to physically get up and walk to turn it off. If I’m already up, it is almost impossible for me to want to go back to bed. Also, I don’t want radio waves entering my brain every night, so I like to keep my phone outside the bedroom.
- I make sure to have the YouTube workout picked out the night before and up on my computer screen. Then, it’s easy to wake up, open my computer, and not have to make any choices about which workout I would like to do. I just tap Play and instantly start what I’m supposed to.
- Staying at home to work out. If I had to get dressed and drive to the gym and be around other people in the wee hours of the morning, I’m sure I would convince myself out of that routine 9 times out of 10. By being able to wake up and jump right into a workout in my living room, it doesn’t require much thought or preparation (other than the night before when I pick out my workout). But, everyone is different. Some people love going to the gym and being around others for motivation. If you can make it a routine that is easy to jump into and hard to get out of, then I say go for it!
I also make sure to keep up my routine on the weekends. No reason to make my Monday mornings difficult to jump back into because I disrupted my routine over the weekend. Setting up healthy habits so they are are less spur-of-the-moment decisions = better outcomes & more success!
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Stephanie Postles is the editor of the Life Learning Medium collection.