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The 5-habit morning routine to win your day

Today at a Glance

All successful entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and leaders have the perfect morning routine.

Win your morning – win your day. They say.

I tried them all.

I got up at 5 a.m. and meditated for an hour. Journaled. Set my intentions for the day. Did a bunch of affirmations. Did a morning run. Exercised. And read for another hour.

Then it was noon.

Finding the perfect morning routine can be time-consuming, exhausting even, and in the end…

It gets you nowhere.

I found that you only need a morning routine consisting of 5 simple habits to kick-start your day. And I’ll walk you through them.

But first…

Why your Morning Routine is Crucial

As an entrepreneur, solopreneur, or leader you want to be effective and efficient.

BUT

Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development.

You attract your definition of success by the person you become.

We all want to live an extraordinary life — super fit and healthy, happy, financially free, a great relationship, a growing business, feeling balanced and grounded, you name it.

If your level of personal development (knowledge, experience, mindset, beliefs, behavior, etc.) is not extraordinary, work and life will always be a struggle.

The 5-Habit Morning Routine to Win your Day

Chances are, you’re not a morning person — yet.

Recent research on health, sleep, and performance states that according to your circadian rhythm, your morning routine has a significant impact on how you perform throughout the day.

Let’s dive in…

1/ Be Present

95 % of people nowadays grab their phones after waking up.

Most likely simply because it’s their alarm clock.

Maybe you see some messages received late at night or you just want to check Instagram quickly. And you get caught up.

Don’t fall into this trap.

Be better than that 99%. Become part of the 1% elite.

I meditate for 13 min. first thing in the morning.

Immediately after waking up. Mainly because meditation is easiest when your mind is still in a transition state and not fully awake.

Then you sit in a comfortable position and count your breath. In the beginning, your mind might wander and you find it hard to concentrate. But don’t worry just keep doing it.

This is a “becoming-focused-practice”.

If you get distracted, simply start over again. 13 min. is doable. You could also start with only 1, 2, or 5 min.

Then progress over time.

Bonus Tip:
Before I go to sleep, I prepare my yoga mat with a cushion to minimize mental friction.

Now we’re 15 min. in our 5-habit morning routine.

2/ Brain Dump (aka. Journaling)

Journaling is one of the best methods to get to the core of yourself.

Your true authentic self.

Becoming the person you truly want to be. Not the one you present to the world because of others’ expectations. Or what society tells us would be appropriate.

Most people never reflect on where they’re headed in life.

Often life became a string of decisions we made because they were the easiest ones available. Very rarely do people truly “choose” the life they want to live.

Back to journaling.

It does not matter if you’ve journaled before. You’ve probably done it differently.

Start with a simple piece of paper, or a small booklet, or open your laptop if you’re more the digital type. Then simply write down your thoughts – that’s why I call it “brain dump”.

10 min. is enough. If you’re starting.

The effect simply put:
What’s no longer on our minds doesn’t bother us anymore. Because we know we can go back to this amazing idea and act on it—later.

But Markus, where should I start?

Well, you could start by writing down how you feel today. Then, what do you want to accomplish today?

Try it for a couple of weeks. See how it goes. If it doesn’t have an effect. Drop it.

Now we’re 25 min. in our 5-habit morning routine.

"A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force."

3/ Get into Motion

Most people tend to only get up when they have to.

I get it: It’s hard to get up earlier to do stuff you could also do later that day. See, the problem is, what happens that day is often unpredictable.

So you planned to go to the gym, that yoga class, or get in that WOD after work?

Then a friend messages if you wanna join for that after-work happening. And that’s it for today with your self-care practice.

There’s an easy way to avoid such a dilemma:

Do the important stuff first thing in the morning.

And what is more important than moving and training your body to stay strong, functional, and flexible? For us, this is the most important habit we have developed in the past couple of years.

Here’s what we do:

  • Simple bodyweight training
  • 30 min. is enough for your daily practice
  • We do split training to stay consistent every day
  • Using only a yoga mat, gymnastic rings, and elastic bands
  • We add some yoga and mobility to stay flexible and functional

It looks like this:

  1.  Upper Body Push/Pull • Lower Body Push/Pull • Deep Core & Stretching 🔁
  2. Warm up the parts of the body you gonna train
  3. Do the work — meaning progressive overload (full engagement)
  4. Cool down with some stretching & yoga
  5. Shake it out or deep-breathe for 1 min.

Bonus Tip:
Train outdoors whenever possible.

When you get up you want to get natural sunlight into your eyes within the first hour after waking up. This sets your circadian clock and raises your cortisol level.

Now we’re 55 min. in our 5-habit morning routine.

4/ Build Your Soul Project — The Flow Hour

Now it’s time to use the momentum you’ve just created to build.

Build your soul project.

That could be

  • a new skill
  • a new habit
  • a side hustle
  • a new lifestyle
  • a new mindset

All of those mentioned above are time-consuming. In case I haven’t mentioned it before: first things first.

There is another reason you want to work on your soul project in the morning:

You’ll feel that boost of emotional energy right away. Your soul project might be something you have a deep emotional connection to. It’s something you simply love doing. It creates flow.

Flow is a mental state in which you’re performing an activity with full immersion.

You are fully engaged in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of creating.

In essence, flow is characterized by the complete absorption of what you do and a resulting transformation in your sense of time.

Doesn’t that sound like something you would like to experience every day?

But Markus, why do you call it a “project”?

Stated simply:
As a former project manager, I know about the power of projects.

Goal. Objectives. Scope.

A project is a unique, transient endeavor, undertaken to achieve planned objectives, which could be defined in terms of outputs, outcomes, or benefits.

Projects provide a structured framework to reach your greater goal or vision. A project plan is the road map to your desired goal. And we also want to keep it flexible and agile to “go with the flow”.

Now we’re 1 hour 55 min. in our 5-habit morning routine.

Side note: Of course, you can start with less than an hour for your soul project.

Now it’s time for your…

5] High-Energy Breakfast

Breakfast, what?
You don’t have a proper breakfast?

See, many people have a complicated relationship with breakfast.

They skip breakfast, eat only sugary stuff, or have every day the same boring food.

The common denominator is:
They’re not getting the proper nutrition or the right energy they need to jump-start their day.

The three main reasons are:

  1. Lacking time for preparation
  2. Not knowing what to eat to get the best nutrients
  3. How to make it quick & easy
 

Here is what we do to have everything we need to master the morning. We include the macro- and micronutrients that set us up for success:

Carbs

Mainly wholegrain oats, fruits, and vegetal milk.

Why:
Carbs are the main energy providers for our brain and nervous system, as well as for our muscles. They protect us from protein cannibalization, while in need of energy.

Proteins

Nuts & seeds, oats, and for an extra boost of proteins we add a full spoon (per pax.) of peas protein powder (100% natural and organic quality).

Why:
Proteins have many crucial roles in our body and brain functioning. So you’d better start getting a good portion right in the morning!

They are the building blocks of our body.

They sustain growth, maintain and repair muscles, support immune activity, and produce hormones and enzymes. All are fundamental for running your entire system.

Fat

Mostly from nuts & seeds, sometimes olive oil (depending on what we are eating).

Why:
The right amount of good fat is fundamental to

  • absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • maintain cellular membrane
  • run hormone synthesis
  • support brain function
  • having healthy skin

On top of the three mentioned macros, our daily breakfast contains enough vitamins and minerals from fresh fruits and/or vegetables.

Here are 3 rules for your best choice:

  • seasonal
  • as local as possible
  • every day is a bit different (add variety)
 

You may ask how to combine them. Here are a couple of ideas. You can combine them in a smoothy, overnight oats, cooked oats, or oats pancakes.

Get creative.

5-habit morning routine, morning routine, healthy breakfast

The great news:

This combination of nutritious foods doesn’t create an insulin spike. So you won’t get hungry until lunchtime. Breakfast is the time to nourish your body with the good stuff.

It’s the baseline for your daily physical energy.

Let’s wrap it up:

The 5-habit morning routine to win your day are 5 simple habits to kick-start your day. They charge your energy, and you build momentum for the rest of the day.

1/ Be Present
2/ Brain Dump aka. Journaling
3/ Get Into Motion
4/ Build Your Soul Project – The Flow Hour
5/ Energy Breakfast

This whole routine takes about 2 1/2 hours.

Experiment with the order, and the time frames, and add your winning habit(s).

Most importantly — make it yours.

That’s it for today.

Hope you enjoyed it (and learned something new).

As always, stay fit, stay active, and enjoy your life.

Ketty & Markus

About the Authors

Ketty & Markus are health & fitness accelerators for Entrepreneurs merging optimal performance with well-being. They dive deep into holistic fitness, building a functional fit body & mind, and optimizing energy to provide actionable steps for building, living & enjoying a high-impact life.

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