Do you ever look at those amazing go-getters in your life and wonder how they do it?
What’s their secret?
What if I told you a big part of their success is simply getting off on the right foot each day?
In other words, having a killer morning routine.
So, if you want to follow in their footsteps, check out these six morning habits of highly successful people.
1) The early bird catches the worm
If you want to nail your daily tasks and get sh*t done, you should get started early.
Think about it.
There are only so many hours in the day, why waste any of them hitting that snooze button?
Now, I get it.
We’re not all morning people (I know I’m not).
But early rise and shine has several advantages.
Right off the bat, catching sun rays helps our circadian rhythm. This is our body’s internal 24-hour clock that responds to light change. In other words, opening those curtains and letting some light in tells your body that you’re ready for action.
This gives you the chance to wake up naturally (without coffee) and should boost your energy levels, concentration, and mental focus.
That’s not all.
Getting up early also improves your sleep. Which in turn, helps you get up early, creating an unstoppable cycle of productivity!
Did I mention that joining the 5 am club can also reduce stress?
So give it a go (it gets easier, I promise).
2) Build up a sweat
I’m talking about exercise.
And it doesn’t matter what your cardio of choice is (be it running, cycling, or anything else that gets your heart rate into zone 5) the important thing here is consistency.
You don’t need me to tell you the benefits of regular exercise.
Instead, consider this.
Former president Barack Obama reportedly exercises for 45 minutes per day, six days a week.
Billionaire investor (and star of Shark Tank) Mark Cuban gets about an hour of cardio every single day.
And Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg works out at least three times a week (sometimes more, when he’s preparing to fight Elon Musk in a cage!)
In fact, a whopping 76% of highly accomplished prosperous people perform aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes each day.
As with all habits, start slowly and build momentum.
Trust me, after just a few weeks you’ll be struggling NOT to exercise (it’s kind of addictive).
3) Enjoy a healthy breakfast (and hydrate)
Ever heard of the expression “You are what you eat.”?
Well, it’s true (especially in the morning).
Your most important meal of the day should include whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fruit.
Not to mention a big gulp (or five) of water.
Here’s the thing.
You’ve literally been starving your body for several hours (while asleep). To kick-start your day properly, you’ll need the right type of macros and hydration.
Sugary cereals, muffins, or even some types of sweetened yogurts are a big no-no.
They might taste great and make you feel good, but these high-glucose foods spike your energy levels and cause you to crash before lunch.
Instead, go for slow-release carbs as they keep you energised for longer.
For example, Reese Witherspoon indulges in a spinach and fruit smoothie every morning (which contains a ton of other fresh fruit and vegetables), which apparently keeps her feeling full until 1 pm.
4) Meditation and gratitude
While it’s important to get your body in gear first thing, it’s also essential that you start the day in the right frame of mind.
Highly successful people get this.
They practice mindfulness and usually perform at least 30 minutes of meditation each morning.
Oprah Winfrey is a firm believer. In a recent article, she explained:
“Meditation is about getting still enough to know the difference between the voice and you. It’s a heightened state of being that lets whatever you’re doing be your best life, from moment to astonishing moment.”
Gratitude comes hand-in-hand with meditation and has several benefits.
Being grateful for everything you have is strongly associated with happiness. It can make you feel more positive, help you appreciate great experiences, and build resilience (a foundation for success).
There’s research that even shows how gratitude can result in improved health and well-being.
So, join those trailblazers and make meditation one of your morning habits.
5) Plan the work, work the plan
A goal without a plan is just a wish.
This one is so true, and something I’ve struggled with in the past.
It’s all well and good to have ambitious goals and aspirations, but if you have no idea how you’re going to hit those targets, you end up just aimlessly drifting. Like a sailboat with no rudder.
This is especially true on a day-to-day basis.
How are you going to get from A to B?
Highly successful people understand that they not only need to lay out their short, medium, and long-term goals but have a plan in place (or several) to reach them.
Take Elon Musk and his company SpaceX for example.
They have an incredibly ambitious goal of populating Mars.
But they also have an extraordinarily detailed plan on how they’re going to achieve their goal (involving reusable tanker vehicles, on-orbit refueling, heat shields, and life support systems).
It’s enough to make your head spin!
6) Commit to a routine
Something I’ve alluded to throughout this article is consistency.
After all, the definition of the word habit is: “A regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”
“Regular” being the key here.
So if you’re serious about copying what highly successful people do, you need to commit to the long game here.
In other words, get into a routine.
Now I know what you’re thinking.
It’s hard to stay on track. Life gets in the way.
But there are a couple of tricks you can use to maintain consistency.
Track your progress. This is a great motivator to keep going. Whether it’s your 5 km time or hours per day spent procrastinating, write it down. You’ll be amazed how looking at your progress can help you stay on track.
Also, reward yourself now and then. Because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Aim for a good work-life balance.
Now, go get ‘em!