How to Create a Morning Routine as a busy Entrepreneur
Time is one of those things that we all universally feel is lacking in our lives. But here’s the deal, there is no way to get MORE time-instead you need to be smart about the time you do have and maximize it. That brings me to your morning. I’ve talked to many successful entrepreneurs and they all advise carving out time every morning that is just for you.
Think about it, what do you normally do when you wake up? Do you reach for your phone? Do you check any Instagram notifications you may have gotten overnight? Do you open your email?
How does any of that really make you feel? You may read an email that needs your attention and feel a sense of dread or anxiety. You may look at your notifications and see 346 new likes and wonder why it wasn’t 400. The point is, this is all very unhealthy and a terrible way to start the day! This is functioning in a reactionary mode.
Instead you should be taking charge of your day, but controlling that first hour. The retort I hear from so many people is ‘I’m not a morning person.’ Well given the choice I think most of us would prefer to sleep in! And honestly, the reason you don’t like mornings is probably because you’ve designed them to be something to dread. Since I started implementing my morning routine (and believe me, I was NOT a ‘morning person’) I now am excited to wake up and start my day.
Here are eight steps I use to kickstart my morning:
Okay so this one seems like a big, fat DUH. But it’s important nonetheless! If you can’t make it past this step, then there’s no point in continuing. So when I say ‘get up’ I literally mean GET UP. Don’t push snooze on the alarm. Don’t sit in bed thinking about getting up. Take action. And get out of bed. The more we deliberate about something, the harder the decision is. What if instead you started your day in a very proactive and emboldened way. Isn’t that far more empowering than starting the day with fickleness??
One trick I’ve used in the past to help with this is to put my alarm across the room so I’m forced to immediately get out of bed. Another trick is to make the bed and open the curtains. Aside from this being a great habit to get into, it creates an obstacle to you crawling back in bed.
Your body is essentially fasting overnight. So you wake up thirsty! My favorite way to hydrate is taken from Ayurveda (or ‘the science of life’). Warm lemon water. The warm water should be at a temperature that is not too far off from your own body temp. The lemon acts as a flush. I warm my water and fill an 8oz glass and then squeeze ½ of an organic lemon in. Then sip slowly.
Because the warm lemon water takes 10 or minutes to drink, I maximize this time by reading. Having quiet in the morning blocks out the noise of the world and allows me to sit with just my thoughts. And reading feels like one of those indulgent activities that is just for me.
After my water is gone I put away the book to get my body into motion. This isn’t a full-blown workout, it’s just to get the blood flowing. Sometimes I’ll go for a walk outside. Other times this will be a short yoga session on my balcony.
AFFIRMATIONS + VISUALIZATIONS
I like to do this after I’ve had some quiet time and gotten my body warmed up. I find it much easier to focus on what I’m doing mentally. Affirmations, while they may seem hokey, are used by tons of successful coaches and entrepreneurs! It’s the idea of ‘self-fulfilling prophecy.’ And it’s true, generally what we expect, tends to happen. The universe and our brains are powerful that way.
To do my affirmations and visualizations. I sit down (or lay) in a quiet place-not bed! I say out loud to myself the things I want from my business. (If you have in the past created a vision board or really spent time considering your goals and you idea of success, you should have no problem here!) I also say aloud the things I want for my personal life; my relationships; etc. I then create a clear picture of what it would be like to have those things and I visually walk myself through my day.
Now guys! Here’s the thing, we used to do this as kids all the time! It’s called daydreaming. But now we are doing it with intention. Don't skip this step, it's powerful and can be all the difference in our success.
This is the perfect segue into meditation. You are already sitting in a quiet place. You have put yourself in the most positive mental state you can. Now is a great time to focus inward and on your breath.
Meditating doesn’t have to be as intimidating as you think. It’s not about totally silencing your brain and turning off all thoughts. It’s about learning to accept your thoughts and instead almost be an observer of those thoughts. It’s about building focus, or creating headspace!
Speaking of headspace, if you need guidance I highly suggest that app!
After my meditation I take out my journal and get writing! I express three gratitudes every morning. If you don’t know the power of gratitude I urge you to start practicing and reading up on this! If I’m not pressed for time, I will also spend 5 minutes free writing.
I’d like to say this is mandatory, but let’s be real… sometimes as an entrepreneur we skip this step...
Seriously though, there’s something magical about water and it’s an excellent purifier. I highly suggest making time to shower and ‘get ready’ for your day. I tend to avoid hot showers in the morning, as they lower the body temp, which signals that it is relax time. Take cold showers instead.
It’s only after all of this that I start to jump into my work day. I’ll make breakfast (often times that just means bulletproof coffee) and sit down with my calendar. I’ll review what’s on my agenda for the day. And then after I make the decision to check my email and get to work!
In all I spend about an hour on my morning routine most days. I’ve even created a guide to help you develop your own perfect morning!