What happens in the mornings before you step in the office? For a typical student the answer would be “as little as possible.” Sadly, a large number of us haven’t stepped too far from this in its essence. Frankly, just too many of us simply go into reaction (autopilot) mode. Listening to how we feel, to a need for sheer survival, we do whatever is necessary to prepare for the day. This all too often means we get out of bed and jump straight onto the running track for the day. Boom!

Unfortunately, we are missing out on a huge opportunity for our own development and success. In my experience, it is professional athletes and other expert performers, who are doing things differently and have two key things in common when it comes to performance (this would include the morning).

A) They are doing everything with INTENTION. Not in autopilot and reaction mode – it is all about being PRO-ACTIVE

B) They are constantly self-aware of their 5 DOMAINS (of peak performance):

1) Mental (Thoughts and mental clarity)
2) Emotional (Moods and feelings)
3) Physical (Endurance and Energy)
4) Spiritual (Purpose and bigger picture)
5) Technical (Skills and competencies)

These domains lay the foundation for all performance. You see, they are all connected. If you are really low in one domain it will affect all the other domains and directly affect your performance. The key is then to constantly be intentional about lifting all five domains.

Morning Routines:

With that being said, expert performers know that their morning routines are setting the stage for their performance that day. This is the moment to be INTENTIONAL and to lift their DOMAINS (excluding the technical domain).

I hope you got that. The morning is the time to lift your DOMAINS. In my mind a successful morning routine ALWAYS touches on the 1) Physical 2) Emotional 3) Mental and 4) Spiritual.

My Current Morning Routine: 

As an example of how this could look like, here’s what my morning routine looks like right now.

5:30 AM: Arise (I use the Sleep Time app). Put on gym clothes and stumble to kitchen Drink a glass of apple cider vinegar & honey.

5:40 AM: Start home workout – I recommend Foundation Training and the Runtastic Apps series for push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, squats (PHYSICAL)

6:10 AM: Take shower, get dressed for day

6:30 AM:  20 – 30 minutes of meditation, prayer, and scripture study (SPIRITUAL, EMOTIONAL, MENTAL)

7-ish AM:  Read my chief purpose statement and plan for the day (SPIRITUAL, EMOTIONAL, MENTAL)

7:15 AM:  Breakfast (PHYSICAL)

7:30 AM:  Check emails and start my day

This is just an example and I don’t always follow this routine to the T. But the key is to develop a routine that touches these domains. Here are some of the most important things to keep most in mind when you build your own routine:

  • Never check email when you first get up! This is basically the trigger for going into REACTION mode.
  • Exercise every day, even if it is only for 10 min.
  • Have at least 10 min of quiet time to get yourself grounded.
  • Always eat breakfast.

Are you ready to take your performance to the next level? I will appreciate any comments. I am especially interested to hear about your own morning routine….

Other Resources:

Tapping the Power of Your Morning Routine
Bookend Your Day: The Power of Morning and Evening Routines 
Morning Routine Makeovers: Hacks to Make Your AM Smoother  
Famous and Successful People With Morning Routines 

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