Getting your morning routine locked in is something high performers across disciplines take seriously. While there is no one formula for the perfect morning routine, there are some similarities you can find and copy for yourself.
The key is to find what works for you and really commit to it, making changes along the way.
It's better to start with an imperfect routine and adapt as you go, than to be on an endless search for the perfect routine. It's also better to have a good plan that you will stick to, rather than a perfect one you won't.
With that in mind, here are a few things for which we advocate. See what resonates with you and get started on crafting a morning routine that will prime your body and mind for peak performance throughout the day.
If you've been sleeping properly, that means you've gone at least 7 hours without water. Add the respiratory process and the possibility that you sweat overnight, and by definition you are dehydrated upon waking up.
This is the first area to address.
Before you go to sleep, fill a (reusable) water bottle with 24 ounces of water, the juice of one lemon, and a pinch or two of good quality sea salt.
Leave it by the bed overnight so it's room temp when you wake up. When that alarm starts buzzing, you start chugging.
2. Get Your Mind Right
I like to start from the inside out. Before moving my body (which we will get to in a second) I want to take care of my mind.
This can take several forms, but meditation and journaling seem to be the most prevalent.
Personally I like both. I will start with a 20 minute Vipassana session, then break out the journal for another 20 minutes.
Any form of meditation will work. Ditto for the journaling. Just take some time to address what's going on in your inner world before you step out of the door to take on the outer world.
Staying with the inner world for a bit longer, I like to move to some breathwork.
Again, the form doesn't really matter a great deal, though something that gets you charged up rather than relaxed is the approach I like to take in the morning.
This could be they Wim Hof method, breath of fire, or some freediving breath tables.
Find what speaks to you, but spend some time focusing on breathwork each morning and you will really see a benefit in your training and your ability to handle and modulate stress.
Now it's time to get the body moving.
It's not so much that it's time to train, but it is time to get moving, shake the cobwebs loose, and get the body ready for activity later in the day.
I want to mobilize, stabilize and activate, and then elevate the core temp just a bit.
Here's the run down of my morning movement practice:
- Mobility: Actual movements will change from time to time, but I like to address the joints from the top down. I start with spinal waves, but then move from the neck, to the shoulders, to the hips, to the knees, and finally ankles and wrists.
- Stabilize and activate: I use the big three from Dr. Stuart McGill.
- Elevate core temperature: Now I want to get moving a little. I will use calisthenics primarily. A circuit of push ups, air squats, pull ups, and sit throughs are just what the doctor ordered for me.
Just to reiterate, this isn't really "training." It's just enough to get my body ready for the day. If I'm training in the morning, I will move to that training now.
If I'm training later in the day, then I'm all good and ready to move on.
Bonus: Get Cold
If you really want to supercharge your day and wake the hell up quick, don't reach for the coffee, reach for some ice or a cold shower.
The benefits of cold exposure are numerous, and we won't break all of that down right now, but have a 3 minute cold shower every day for a week and see just how much better you feel.
What To Avoid
The five components above form the basis of my morning routine, but equally important are what I avoid.
So many of us reach for our phones right away. We check social media and email, read some news.
This is to be avoided at all costs. Don't start scrolling and being inundated with crap that you can't control or is irrelevant to you for at least an hour after waking. Don't start the day in reactionary mode.
Also, don't reach for that coffee until after you've hydrated properly. Caffeine is a diuretic and will only further dehydrate you.
There are so many ways to get your day started right and to craft a proper morning routine. These 5 are my pillars.
Use them to guide you in finding yours. Take what is useful and if it doesn't resonate with you, discard it.
Having a solid and intentional morning routine though will have a profound impact on the way you live your life and the results you are able to produce. Get stared today.