“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”
High performing humans often mention having a well-polished morning routine. This routine looks different for everyone, but the theme here is that high performing humans start their day with some sort of productive routine.
The problem isn't not knowing this, the real issue is knowing where to start and how to make one that works for you! There is no, 'one perfect' routine and it should be suited to you and what works for your lifestyle.
It doesn't matter if your 'morning' begins at 3 am or 4 pm it is about making sure what you do right after waking, is going to set you up for a great day. So let's talk strategies that you can use right now to start building out your own bulletproof morning routine.
WHY CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE?
The first thing to address is why even have a morning routine? A morning routine allows you to start the day with a win. That feeling you get knowing that you have already set your mind to and accomplished something. It sets the tone for your entire day and even if the rest of the day doesn’t go as planned you know you still won the morning.
It is also a great low stakes way, to practice developing the skill of creating new healthy habits.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
The best way to build an unbreakable foundation for your morning routine is to start small, focus on important things, and start implementing them one at a time. It is fairly common to hear people spouting off their long elaborate morning routine but don't let this intimidate you.
You don't need a tonne of tasks to have an effective morning routine all you need is at least one thing. Don't worry about what other people are doing.
To help you start I recommend following the “1-5-1 rule”.
THE 1-5-1 RULE
This 1-5-1 rule is a super-effective way to help you build out your morning routine. The rule goes like this;
Choose 1 super small task you want to do every day right after you wake-up and do it consistently. If you manage to keep it going for 5 consecutive days, then you have proven you’re ready to add 1 more small task to the routine. The process then repeats itself with the next task.
So...1 small task, 5 consecutive days,1 more small task...repeat.
Why 5 days?
Well, when folks are creating a new habit they can usually “fake it” for a few days. Actually, three days seems to be the magic number before people suddenly fall off the wagon. So, if you can rock your task for 5 straight days that’s not a fluke. That’s you putting in the hard work to build a highly productive morning routine.
What happens if I don’t get 5 consecutive days?
Do try your best to do so, if you don't it is not a problem but you will need to restart back on day one. Keep working at it until you can do that task for 5 days in a row. Don't get discouraged if you do need to reset instead look at it as more practice.
Building a morning routine definitely takes time. It’s something of an acquired skill. I don't recommend cheating on this, if you try and implement a new task before you are ready you might just throw the whole routine off. So stick it out and follow the rule!
HOW SMALL OF A TASK SHOULD I CHOOSE AT FIRST?
As small as possible. The point of the 1-5-1 rule is to help you develop the skill of creating new habits. It’s also a lesson in self-discipline.
It's very easy to come out of the gate too fast and try and begin adding tasks that are too big and unrealistic to accomplish. We want to build on your momentum not smash It.
To set yourself up for success, choose a task you can realistically see yourself accomplishing for 5 straight days.
- Make your bed as soon as you get out of it
- Spend 1 minute to practice breathing slow and deep
- Do 5 pushups or air squats before you brush your teeth
As you can see, nothing too crazy or time-consuming here, these are things you can increase later when they have become habits. These tasks can be whatever you want them to be but just remember, we're only looking to start the day on a win.
HOW LONG SHOULD MY MORNING ROUTINE BE?
This is totally up to you! You could leave your morning at just one task, say making your bed, or expand it to last 20 minutes or longer. The goal is to use the 1-5-1 rule to build momentum and start to stack up small victories for the day. The final endpoint will look different for everyone!
Now there is no excuse to not get started on creating your very own routine. With the 1-5-1 rule, it doesn't matter if you have 5 or 60 minutes in the morning you can still get it done. It's powerful to start the day with a few tiny victories already in the bank!
For more tips like this or other help with mindset and motivation then make sure you check out our free 'Become Hard To Kill' guide.