Why do a morning routine?
Want to feel more energised and focused? Ready to feel happier and start the day right? In as little as 15 minutes you can begin to experience these benefits so you can perform better, stabilise your mood and change emotional state effectively at will.
A morning ritual can be a great way to start your day on the right foot. How you start your day has a powerful and long-lasting effect on the rest of your day. I have tried a few different morning rituals, including the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and the Tim Ferris Morning Routine and Tony Robbin's priming.
What is the best morning routine? Let's compare!
Hal Elrod's The Miracle Morning
Hal Elrod describes his routine in his book "The Miracle Morning". The first step is silence, which means spending time either meditating, saying a prayer, reflecting, breathing deeply or feeling grateful.
The Second step is to create your own affirmations by thinking about what you want, why you want it and what you are committed to do and be in order to create it.
Then comes visualisation, which means visualising what you want, who you need to be and what you need to do to make it happen. Exercise comes next, then reading something inspirational and finally writing. The latter should be either focused on journaling to gain clarity, capture ideas, reviewing lessons or acknowledging your progress.
This routine is quite complete. However, the problem with the miracle morning is that not only it is very lengthy, it is a bit vague.
Even if you buy the miracle morning journal that comes with it you may find it difficult to know exactly what to do when.
This is the only routine that includes reading, which I think is a plus, but unless you are already experienced with meditation, affirmations and visualisations, I would not suggest to go for this routine as a first choice .
However go for it if you are looking for something flexible and you are feeling confident about crafting your own routine.
Time: 60 min
Tim Ferriss's Morning Routine
Tim Ferriss advocates, like Tony Robbins, to get out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off. Then it is time to make the bed (always, no matter what) to create a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning. Then comes meditation, which, for Tim focuses mainly on mindfulness.
Exercise comes next. His favourite is push-ups. He recommends 10 reps of any exercise, so you could try situps, squats or lunges. This is of course is the minimum recommended. Better if you have time for a full workout!
Afterwards comes the cold shower, followed by his famous Titanium Tea. This comprises one teaspoon of aged black tea, one teaspoon of dragon well green tea, and one teaspoon of turmeric and ginger shavings. He also adds coconut oil or Quest MCT oil powder.
Journaling is next. This should focus on either problem solving (what should I do?) or prioritizing (what should I focus on?) or on gratitude. He doesn't do these steps every day, but he encourages doing at least three on any given day.
This morning routine is not for the faint hearted, but it certainly is quite complete. The meditation however only focusses on mindfulness and does not include any visualisation.
I personally am not a fan of the protein breakfast and found the cold shower very refreshing but also hard going, especially in the winter months.
The other problem is the length of this routine, but if that is not an issue it will strengthen your resolve.
Recommended for those who like a challenge or those who don't mind making some personal modifications.
Time: 1-2 hours
Tony Robbin's Priming
Tony Robbins 'priming' is supposed to prime you for a day of peak performance. First it is recommended you have hot lemon tea or celery juice to detoxify your system. Then exercise of any kind is preferable. In the video included below I will show you two of the exercises he recommends (as an absolute minimum) but any movement will do the trick. He personally has a cold 'plunge' in icy water every morning, but this is not what he necessarily recommends for everybody. For a complete description of the steps, watch the video below or read on to find the steps described in detail.
This is my favourite routine because not only it takes only 30 minutes, but it includes physical, mental and spiritual elements.
The incantations at the end are my personal touch. Incantations are a more powerful take on simple affirmations since they involve embodiment and speaking them out loud with conviction.
The downside is that neither writing nor reading are present in this routine, but you can easily add those elements if you so wish.
Because of how precise this method is in terms of what to do and for how long, I would recommend it especially for beginners, as it is easy to do and will set you up for success.
Time : 15 - 30 min
And the Winner is... Tony Robbins's "Priming" Routine!
Here is a walkthrough of his routine. In this version, I got rid of the hype and hyperboles so typical of Tony, so for those of you who are not fans you can get all the benefits without the annoying attitude 🙂 If you prefer following the steps on your own, scroll down for a written version of the same.
Tony Robbins's Priming in Detail
Your body needs to move so that you can start your day with energy and zest. Whether you love to put your favourite music on and dance to your heart's content or you love yoga or doing weights, get your metabolism going and lift your mood by changing your physiology first. In the video there are also three exercises that help you set up good posture and give you energy even if you cannot exercise as such.
Sit with your feet flat, shoulders back, neck long and head high. Place your hands on your knees face up. Breathe in fast through the nose four times in a row and breathe out fast through the mouth 4 times in a row. Do 3 sets of 10 for a total of 30 breaths. If you are familiar with Kundalini Yoga 'breath of fire' this is basically the same. Make sure you engage your abdominals.
Connecting to the Heart
Put your hands on your heart and feel its power and strength for 30 seconds.
Think of one thing you are grateful for from the past, present or the future. Focus on it for 1 minute. Repeat 2 more times with something else you are grateful for. Make it simple. This is important because it shifts your focus from the negative to the positive.
Imagine coloured light streaming down from the heavens, filling your body and clearing away obstacles, cleansing wounds and bringing healing to your thoughts, emotions, and body. Imagine problems being washed away. Ask to be healed and strengthened. Do this for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Share the Healing: Foster Compassion
Send that same healing energy to others now. Start from your loved ones and extend it to people in your town, country, and the world. Focus on understanding, forgiveness and compassion for all fellow human beings (even those you don't like!) and all sentient beings including plants and other animals. Do this for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Focus on Goals
Think about one goal you would like to achieve the most. Focus on it and imagine what it would be like if you already had achieved it. Visualize how it would impact you. Connect to the excitement of it being done. Do this for 1 minute then repeat with 2 more goals.
Now is time to practice your incantations. These are affirmations on steroids. Basically embody your affirmations. Try them out like you would a coat. Put your body in the position it would take if you believed them to be true. Then use the voice that you would use if you believed them to be true and say them out loud. Really go for it. Pretend you are the coach, motivating yourself with conviction. Repeat them again and again and stay with them until you are truly convinced!
Love variety? Make it your own!
If you are anything like me and do not like routine then I would suggest changing things up regularly and trying out elements that appeal to you. You may want to start by trying the Tony Robbins routine first. If you like longer meditations check out my version of the 6 phase meditation (30 min) which focuses on fostering compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, envisioning the future, and self-blessing. You can then decide to integrate some exercise and make your own mix!
If you want to focus on creating good posture, here are some really interesting physical exercises recommended by Tony (I showed you two of them in the above video). Have a look at the "Egoscue" Method . Unfortunately this is currently only available in the US.
Add a Healthy Breakfast and Super Charge your Day!
Adding a healthy breakfast to any routine, preferably with a cup of hot lemon first thing in the morning or a celery juice can really help you feel on top of the world. Try to avoid heavy or processed food and go organic as much as possible. You want to kickstart your metabolism and not overtax your digestive system (which would make you feel sluggish)! If you are not sure what a healthy breakfast looks like I would suggest to contact a good nutritionist who can tailor your diet to your specific needs.
Please leave a comment below outlining what worked for you and what you changed or add links to other routines. Above all, shine your light on the world and have a fabulous day!