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Building a High Performance Morning Routine

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Join guest blogger Rob Smith of 500 Calorie Fitness as he discusses some of his morning routine tips. Rob helps people find simple and sustainable ways to lose weight and keep it off. For more information: 500caloriefitness.com

People are defined by their routines, and a really powerful morning routine can set you up for success through the rest of the day.

Unfortunately many people never put any conscious thought into how they use their mornings. Instead a pattern has naturally evolved over time, usually consisting of multiple snoozes of the alarm, a rushed breakfast (if any breakfast at all) and a brief shower before running out the door.

Taking time to design a routine can fundamentally change how you spend your time, give you more energy and improved clarity over what you need to achieve.

Below are some steps you might want to consider:

  • Power poses – Amy Cuddy’s phenomenal TED talk “Your body language shapes who you are” introduces the idea of power posing; standing in a confident pose for just a couple of minutes at a time. This simple exercise has been proven to trigger hormones that increase your confidence and decrease stress. Find a pose that works for you, such as with your arms raised and chest out, and feel good about what the day is about to bring.
  • OJ – If you are in a hurry and absolutely can’t make time for breakfast, you can still find the time for a glass of orange juice. The benefits of OJ are wide ranging, including improved blood circulation and cholesterol level, boosted immune system and reduced inflammation. Having a glass first thing in the morning ensures that your day gets off to a healthy start.
  • Exercise – Sometimes it is difficult to find time in the day to exercise, life often gets in the way. A short exercise routine early in the morning helps to get you fired up and will give you more energy throughout the rest of the day. It needn’t be a full on workout, taking as little as seven minutes is often enough, and the you’ll start to see the benefits as you commit to this routine over time.
  • Meditate – If you live a particularly hectic life, it is important that you take some time to relax your mind. Meditation or visualization early in the morning is a really great way to reduce stress and keep in mind the things that are really important to you. There are several varying approaches you can take, such as trying to let go of all thought and focusing on your breathing, or keeping a specific image in mind, like a goal that you are working towards.
  • Focus on your ONE Thing – In his excellent book The ONE Thing, Gary Keller emphasises the importance of focus in order to be successful in life. He encourages the reader to ask the following question; “What’s the ONE Thing you can do, such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” Spend a few moments making sure that you are absolutely clear on the most important thing that you need to achieve today. This should be something that aligns with your longer term goals, and will move you a little bit closer to achieving them.

These things needn’t take a lot of time, and if you can fit them in first thing in the morning they will have a material impact productivity and mood.

There is something really great about waking up before the rest of the world, and enjoying a moment of calm before the madness begins.

If you can wake up a little earlier to accommodate this routine that is ideal, otherwise, look for a quiet space where you can get these things done without interruption.

The suggestions above are just a starting point. The onus should be on you to design a morning routine on purpose, specifically tailored to your requirements, which sets your day up for success.