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"A damn good reason to get up is the best alarm clock there is."

This is what it's all about – the damn early morning.

More than just getting up early though, this is about to winning at your own game and creating time to focus on what matters to you.

Having a routine you follow each morning will help make sure you're able to keep out any distractions and stay focused on the important stuff.

So, let's talk morning routines.

THe MORNING ROUTINE

Even amidst the grogginess, most people are more productive in the morning (fresh mind and no distractions) and setting a routine helps ensure you maintain that productivity for a longer period of time.

Following a good system when you wake up gives you the opportunity to start the day on the right foot, sets the tone for the rest of the day, and builds good habits that creep into every other aspect of your life.

We've put together some rules that will help you do just that:

1. The Golden Rule – Don't Snooze
Just don't do it. Not even once. Do not snooze. As soon as the alarm rings, get out of bed to start your morning – and we mean like actually up, feet on the ground, standing tall.

You will eventually wake up and feel better that you've persevered through morning drowsiness. Hitting snooze is the equivalent of stumbling out of the gate. It's never worth the extra few minutes.

2. Design Your Mornings
We’re not just getting up at 4:30AM for the hell of it. Making sure it’s worth the time, energy, and struggle starts with designing a routine and building out what you’re going to do with this extra time.

Have something in mind each morning that you know is worth getting out of bed for.

Maybe it's sipping hot coffee and finding some quiet time or maybe it's lifting weights with a friend. Whatever it is, make it something you actually care to do and make it something that’s going to get you out of bed at 4:30AM

Here’s a sample of what a designed morning looks like. Writing them down helps to make sure you follow them:

Some Dos:

  • Include the check-in, but make sure to shut your phone back off.
  • Make it something that matters to you.
  • Review your goals and remind yourself why you're doing this.
  • Include at least 5 minutes of silence/meditation.

Some Don'ts:

  • Don't include things that you know will become mindless, time-sucking distractions.

I ended up creating a morning schedule that looks like this:

4:28 – Alarm goes off. Get out of bed. Shut off alarm. Turn phone off airplane mode, and check-in. Load the content for the day and turn phone back on airplane mode.
4:35 – Brush my teeth, grab some water, and grab the quick snack I set up the night before.
4:40 – A quick stretch and some push ups to get my body going, read over my intentions, why I'm doing this, and what I want from it. This puts me in the right headspace.

4:55 – Once I'm awake, I'll sit silently and meditate for 5 minutes. This clears my mind and gives me a bit of time to reflect before I write.
5:00 – Sit down at my computer to write for an hour / at least 500 words
5:45 – Finish up writing and the fun starts. Switch over to yoga/movement in my apartment gym [most studios don't have 6AM classes around me.
6:30 – Finish up yoga.
6:30 – Shower, make a proper breakfast, and get on with my day having already done two of the things I really want to do.

This is your morning and you can do with it as you please.

Now is the time to tackle the goals you set out without the distractions of everyday life. Make the most of it.

One last note, keep your mornings pressure-free.

One thing we tend to lose as adults is the feeling of freedom we had as kids. When we had no sense of schedule, deadlines, goals, or pressure, we were always emotionally available and our imaginations made us feel like anything was possible. I’m not sure when this became “uncool,” but it’s definitely the best way to start your day.

What are the things you always want to do but never get to do? Build what you love to do into your morning routine and stop feeling guilty about it! Not only will you start your work day refreshed and motivated, you’re more likely to wake up early when you’re pumped to do so. When you start doing exactly what you want to do in the morning, your attitude toward everything changes and you become better equipped to handle future stress and challenges.

HOMEWORK
Spend a few minutes and figure out exactly how you'll spend your mornings. The more detail the better.