If you prefer video, scroll down to the bottom of this post. I recorded a video version of this article.
I want to talk about my morning routine. If you’re an entrepreneur like me I’m sure you can back me up when I say a single work day can be a wild ride. It’s like a roller coaster: going from high to low to back again . . . all within one day. Then try doing this for years. It can take a large toll on your mental and emotional state. I’ve been on that ride and now I’m working on making that mental and emotional roller coaster smoother. I’m trying to upgrade from a beat down car to a BMW. I’ll still be driving on that same bumpy road, but it will just feel a hell of a lot smoother.
Enter in my morning routine.
I’ve found by putting myself in a great state at the start of my day I can curb these shifts and have a steadier day. Over time I’ve experimented with different morning routines. The past six months I’ve constantly tweaked my routine because I haven’t been happy with the results. On December 26th I decided to start over.
A lot of the new things I’ve decided to try come from Tony Robbins, someone I’ve always been skeptical of. This self-help guy never seemed to resonate with me. I didn’t understand what he was about. Granted, I never actually gave him a true chance. But when I started looking into him more I then watched video, after video, after video about Tony. I realized he knows his shit; he’s not the snake oil salesman I thought he was.
Tony has been doing the same morning routine for years. I’ve decided to combine my old favorites with some of Tony’s.
Before I lay out my morning routine there’s something you should know about me. Because each day is so different and there is no “ordinary” (what happens when you run a business), I like other parts of my life to be very regimented. I like to lay out my tasks – one, two, three – so I can I execute without having to think. Especially for my mornings. I don’t want to think about it – I’ve mapped it out and all that’s left is to actually do it.
I’m trying the following routine for a month to allow myself enough time to see and measure results. Here’s the breakdown of what I’ll be doing each morning:
6 a.m. I wake up. Immediately I drink a glass of water. I get very dehydrated at night and by having a glass first thing I feel better and then remember I need to continue to drink water throughout the day.
6:15 a.m. I then put on swim trunks. Why? Because the next step is to jump into a Jacuzzi and then a cold plunge. This one is from Tony, who has been doing it for over a decade. Jumping in the warm then cold water wakes you up because it shocks your senses and makes you alert and ready for the day. It also trains your body to do what your mind tells it to do. At least that’s what Tony says – I’ll report back to you in 30 days if this works for me. Being both mentally strong and having grit have played a huge roll in where I am today. If I can train myself to be even stronger, I’m all for it.
6:20 a.m. Time for Tony Robbins’s “priming”. Tony breaks it up into three different sections. Here’s how it goes. Part one is all about gratitude. I think about three things I’m grateful for, doesn’t matter if it’s small or large. After three minutes I move on to part two. The next three minutes are about prayer, and if you’re not religious think about it more so spiritually. I think about the people around me – loved ones, friends, partners, clients – and wish them well. The final three minutes are about visualization. This is something I’ve been doing for years actually. I just haven’t focused on doing it at any one specific point in the day like Tony does. The key here is to imagine yourself accomplishing your goals. I personally like to visualize goals I’d like to achieve in a few years or less. I vividly see myself as already having achieved these things and what it’s like when I have. I’ve found this to be super powerful, so I’m glad Tony throws this into priming.
For example, I remember doing this when I first started my business. I didn’t really have any money, but I knew one thing I wanted. I wanted a corner unit apartment in New York City that had all glass windows and a balcony. This apartment would be in a building with a gym, sauna, and all that good stuff at my fingertips. Earlier this year I moved into this apartment. It took me a little over three years, but I did it. There are a lot of reasons why this happened (e.g., a ton of hard work), but I do think visualizing it helped me get there.
6:45 a.m. I work out. I’ve been working out in the morning for the past couple years and it really works for me. For the past year or so I feel like I’ve been half-assing my workouts. No more. I used to lay out every single day and what I would be doing. Monday was chest day; Tuesday was back day, and so on. I’d even plan the exercises ahead of time so I wouldn’t have to think about it, and track and measure my progress each day (e.g., am I getting stronger, what areas do I need to improve, etc.). I’ve never understood psychologically why being regimented and tracking everything matters so much. I know that when I did it, it worked and when I didn’t I wouldn’t see the results. I’ve finally learned that this is called deliberate practice.
So, I’m going back to mapping out my workouts. It’s worked for me in the past and it’s actually when I performed best in business as well.
7:30 a.m. I’m back in my apartment getting ready (shower, getting my hair done all pretty, etc.).
8:20 a.m. I’m out the door.
So it comes out to a little over two hours all in. If I can do this each and every day (especially the cold plunge) I can reset myself (no matter what happened the previous day) and embrace the rest of this day. Additionally, how can you be mad after taking care of yourself for over two hours?
I’m really excited to try this out. I’m giving it 30 days then I’ll tweak it as needed. I’ll probably make subtle tweaks along the way, but nothing major. This is the overarching framework I will use. But why 30 days? I chose 30 days because:
- It allows for it to become a habit and part of my morning routine
- It’s enough time to see if it actually works
We’ll see how it goes. I’ll report back in 30 days.