How we start the day can set the tone for the rest of the day. It is similar to running a 100-M sprint -- a good start is vital to a good race.
However, we all live on different schedules. Some people like Mark Wahlberg is starting his day at 4 AM. Other people, like Floyd Mayweather, might start his day at 2:30 PM.
We also have different routines. Most of us wake up and reach for our phone to check for text messages and notifications. Others might be exercising or packing lunch for their kids. There are many ways to how a morning gets spent.
The crux of the issue is: what is the best morning routine?
While the best morning routine is most likely dependent on who you are, we can learn a lot from research and examples to finding our best morning routine.
Tips For a Good Morning Routines
Make your bed right away
Making your bed is the first task you complete in the morning. It's an easy and achievable win. It gives you a sense of success right off the bat. It gives you the momentum to tackle the next challenge that your day holds.
Don't snooze your alarm clock
It's so easy to snooze your alarm when you wake up to get a couple more minutes of sleep. However, those few minutes doesn't give you a complete sleep cycle. Snoozing your alarm leaves you feeling more groggy.
Start moving your body
According to a study by Harvard, regular exercise has fantastic benefits for your body and mind, such as increasing mental acuity and reducing brain fog. Committing 20 minutes to an hour in the morning to exercise will reduce stress hormones and wake you up.
Set up your daily goals
You should have a list of goals you want to tackle when you start the day. Research found people who write down their goals regularly perform 1.2-1.4x better than people who do not. It helps gives you direction, clarity, and focus on your intentions for the day.
When we wake up in the morning, we are usually dehydrated because we are not drinking water in our sleep. Dehydration impairs focus and brain functions. By hydrating in the morning, you can attain a mental focus for the big tasks ahead.
Tackle the "sucky" thing first
There is usually that one big thing that we know we need to do every day. If you can get it done first, everything else will feel much more comfortable in comparison.
For example, if you need to visit the DMV (*gasp), do it first thing in the morning. Everything else will feel much more manageable in comparison.
Examples of Morning Routines from Successful People
Here are some morning routines of wildly successful entrepreneurs and luminaries:
Mark Zuckerberg's morning routine
Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO of the massive social media company Facebook.
Mark starts his day at 8 AM when he checks his phone for Facebook, Whatsapp, and Facebook Messenger. He hits the gym to workout and goes for a run after.
Mark eats whatever he wants for breakfast, and then famously wears the same grey T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers for work.
Sarah Blakely's morning routine
Sarah Blakely is the billionaire Spanx founder who invested $5,000 of her savings to develop her hosiery idea.
Sarah begins her day at 6:30 AM. She starts her day by doing yoga and eats the same breakfast every day. Her adherence to her routine helps her slash down the number of decisions to make in the morning, keeping her mental resources to run her billion-dollar business.
Arianna Huffington's morning routine
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder of Huffington Post and the founder of Thrive Global. Her morning routine goes hand-in-hand with her nighttime routine. She removes all electronic devices from her room and takes a bath before going to bed.
She sleeps for 8 hours and wakes up without an alarm. She meditates for half an hour and works out on her stationary bike, followed by a 5-10 minute yoga stretches.
Mark Wahlberg's morning routine
Actor Mark Wahlberg infamously went viral when he shared his morning routine on Instagram.
Mark starts his day at 2:30 AM and ends at 7:30 PM. As a devout Catholic, he spends the first 45 minutes of his day praying. The actor eats breakfast at 3:15 AM, then works out from 3:40 AM to 5:15 AM. He then eats a post-workout meal, showers, and hits the golf range.
Jack Dorsey's morning routine
Jack Dorsey is the billionaire CEO of Twitter and Square. He credits his success to consistent daily habits every day.
Jack starts his day at 6:15 AM. He spends an hour doing meditation. Then Jack walks 5-miles to work at Twitter at 7:30, arriving around 9 AM. He doesn't eat anything until 6:30 PM (he only eats one big meal per day).
Forming a Better Morning Routine
Every person's morning routines will be different. But here are some insights you can gain from these successful people's morning routines:
Don't make too many decisions when you wake up. Keep it simple and consistent. Know your body—schedule blocks to tackle creative tasks and monotonous tasks. Remove electronics from your room. Preferably don't start your day checking notifications. Set the alarm to go to bed. Getting your sleep is essential. Write down your habits over time to see what works best for you. My morning routine has gotten better over time. Below is the morning routine that has worked best for me:
- Wake up at 7:30 AM
- Walk the dog for 30 minutes
- Eat a protein bar
- Run 3 miles
- Take a cold shower
- Start the workday at 9 AM
A morning routine is a powerful thing. It becomes an unconscious habit that happens day after day without much thought. You want to make sure you are starting your day on the best foot. Setting your mental and physical mind to be in a peak performance state will help you overcome challenging obstacles throughout the day. Find the cadence that works best for you. Settle into it and embrace it, as long as you are setting yourself to be in a positive emotional and mental state for the day ahead. These habits will help you win the day, and eventually lead to immense success in your life.