There is only one way to set your day up for success. There is only one way to ensure you get the start you need to feel good, be present and enjoy your day.
That is to create and practice your ultimate morning routine.
We have learned this the hard way here at DAMY. As two type A personalities with a passionate drive for success and obsessive tendencies we have occasionally reverted to morning routines that aren’t supportive of our wellbeing…
You know what I’m talking about. Morning rituals like the following:
- Checking your phone first thing when you wake up
- Going straight for the coffee when you first open your eyes (Amy has avoided this one for over 3 years now – read about our 10 Day Coffee Detox here and how Amy healed from Adrenal Fatigue here).
- Heading over to the computer and getting to work within 5 minutes of waking
- Not eating until our blood sugars have hit the ground
If any of these sound like your current situation you may be familiar with the following: increased anxiety, lack of self-care, afternoon crashes and loss of motivation.
Without a consistent, positive, supportive morning routine there is a strong potential to have a day that doesn’t feel purposeful, focused and successful.
I have found this out the hard way while in military college and medical school.
During both of those periods in my life I would wake up at 6 AM, get to work within minutes and sacrifice setting up the tone of my day in a way that was supportive to my goals.
In pushing myself like this and not nurturing by body or mind I have at times experienced higher levels of anxiety, worry and fear.
Practices like the ones listed above can lead to negativity which can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health. By setting up a simple morning routine (like the one outlined below) you will set the tone for your day. Not only will you accomplish this but each aspect of your morning routine will impact your life in multiple positive ways.
Here is your chance to take a hold of your day.
Take a hold of your psyche, mood, health, spirit and accomplishments. In the following guide below I will outline what Amy and I do first thing in the morning. There are differences in our routine depending on the day of the week, time of year, etc and there are differences between what we do individually. This is simply an outline that you can build on or try step by step.
We have decided on this routine after trying a few different things. We have picked up a few of our tips from Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, Michael Beckwith, Louise Hay – all the greats. Our routine is always evolving and yours should too. Find what works for you and stick with it.
After starting your routine make a commitment to it for 3 weeks. At that point you can call it a habit. You will feel the benefits of it, jump right into it first thing in the morning and crave it what you miss out on it.
Use your routine to set your day up for health, focus and success. The freedom you will feel from being in charge of your emotions, schedule and daily vibration will allow you to be in tune with how you want to live your life.
It is that simple. Take control of your morning and you will be prepared for your day in a way that sets you up for success.
The Secret Morning Rituals for a Happy, Healthy and Successful Life
Here I want to outline what we do. Use this template to create your morning routine. If there is anything that you do that you find beneficial that isn’t included on the list please share it in the comments below!
We would love to hear about all the difference morning routines out there.
Before we start I want to make a note about what the morning means for me.
I believe the morning is a time to choose the energy we want the day to have. This may mean that sitting or lying in meditation, contemplation or silence may be needed to center ourselves before even getting out of bed but the point is to set the tone for the day instead of letting the world choose the tone for us (which is usually negative depending on who you surround yourself with, what you environment is like, what media you participate in, etc).
Waking up and checking Facebook, turning on the morning news or answering emails is one of the worst things you can do for yourself.
This is giving power to an outside source for setting the tone of your day. Make your choice for how you want your day to go before joining the party for the day.
Step 1) Set the Mental/Emotional Tone
This is arguably the most important step of the routine in my opinion. This is something that Amy and I have been doing for years and wouldn’t want to go without it.
This step is about personal growth, making positive change daily and contributing to your self-care first thing in the morning.
This step is very simple – Find a book that is in tune with your spiritual beliefs, is focused on personal growth and is divided into daily steps. Read one step each day. It usually only takes 5 minutes or less and can have a huge impact on your day.
There are many different books to choose from. Over the last 3 years Amy and I have done the following books:
- The Science of Mind by Earnest Holmes
- A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman
- A Year of Miracles – Daily Devotions and Reflections by Marianne Williamson
Each of these books is divided into daily lessons (the Science of Mind has a daily readings schedule in the first few pages) and helped us grow and make positive changes throughout the last few years. Each are helpful for connecting spiritually and setting the feeling-tone for your day. The books listed help you to think about life in a different way, expand your mind, become more in tune with yourself and contemplate some of life’s biggest questions.
Without personal growth and development change in other areas of life happens slower. These books helped to align us with positivity, faith, purpose and contributed to our daily motivation.
We keep these books by our bed so that we can do a reading before getting up for the day. Try one today!
Choosing your speed for the day – This is when you have your opportunity to choose your speed for the day. Not every day is the same. If you wake without a morning routine you will be subject to a random speed depending on your coffee intake and blood sugar level.
During the week I am a go-go-go person. I wake with energy and want to maintain that feeling tone/positive vibration for the rest of the day.
My weekends are for relaxation, self-care and spending time with my family. During those days it is helpful to choose a slower more nurturing speed that supports the tone of the day.
Step 2) Drink Water First Thing in the Morning
This is when hydration comes into the routine! First thing when you get up make sure to get your water in. Start with a 1/2 liter right away and then refill your bottle or glass. Sip the refill throughout the rest of your morning. This way you are guaranteed to start your day with 1 L of water. Do this again in the afternoon and you are reaching adequate daily hydration levels.
Eventually you will be able to do 1 L first thing in the morning.
This is also a great time to take any supplements you are supposed to be taking and/or to add greens powder to your day.
Make water a priority every morning. – Without starting your day with adequate water intake we are likely to remain dehydrated for the rest of the day.
Hydrating your cells with 1/2 – 1 litre of water first thing in the morning is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Drinking water first thing in the morning helps with mental clarity, energy and mood.
This is without saying that when we hydrate first thing in the morning we are replenishing fluids lost from sweating, urinating throughout the evening and the significant need for water from our cells to function properly.
Step 3) Meditation and Exercise
This step will depend on the type of meditation you do. If you enjoy contemplative or reflective meditation this would be the time to insert it into your routine for however long suits you.
Meditating while moving isn’t for everyone. Meditation can be done in many ways including while relaxing, sitting in an upright position, lying down or on the move. If you like to do your meditation separate from your exercise now is the time to do it.
The meditation I do is added to my daily cardio routine or weights warm up. This next step is when we like to do our exercise. Depending on the day we will do long cardio, short cardio and weights or functional training. During our cardio we will do the following routine that anyone can use to set the tone of their day.
Tony Robbins calls this type of routine priming because you are priming yourself for success, freedom and focus. It is a simple routine that can also be done in a meditative position, lying in bed, on your walk/drive to work or, like we do, on the treadmill, bike, elliptical or walking outside in the woods.
First 3 Minutes – This is the time I like to focus on gratitude. Start your exercise by choosing three simple things to be grateful for. They could be things that happened in your past, current situational things, positive relationships in your life, things you have acquired or upcoming events and experiences. Concentrate on how good these three things make you feel. Hold on to that feeling.
Second 3 Minutes – See the things in your life that you would like to accomplish as being done. Creatively visualize your dreams and goals as being achieved. Cultivate the faith in yourself, your business, your relationships that will be required to accomplish your goals in life. Concentrate on that faith. Hold on to that feeling. Begin to see a higher power in everything. Think about how the world is supporting you and how everything is happening for your growth and positive change.
Final 3 Minutes – Spend the last three minutes of your routine thinking about three things you wish to accomplish that day. This is when you set your intention for the day. Your goals do not need to be physical things you do. They could also be choosing a state of being for the day for example. Choose your daily goals and organize in your mind how they will be accomplished. Do not tie stress to this step. Remain calm, focused and present. Use this time to organize your thoughts. Concentrate on your path to accomplishment. Hold on to that feeling.
Without setting clear, simple goals for the day that you can accomplish your day may feel scattered and unsuccessful.
Personally, if I consider goals for the next day the night before I will experience a racing mind before sleeping and I don’t recommend it for anyone.
Choosing goals for the day when I wake supports my energy and motivation level I have in the morning. The important thing is to make the daily goals simple and attainable. If you choose unattainable goals or things that are out of your reach for the day you may feel unnecessary anxiety.
If these 9 minutes on the treadmill or in meditation aren’t enough you may need to extend this portion of the morning. Amy and I often will depending on what our focus is.
If you are at the gym now is the time to get to the weights or functional training. Whichever you choose make it as intense as your fitness level permits. When you are done this portion of the morning you will feel like your day is already an success!
A Note on Exercise – If you aren’t able to exercise in the morning it will be pushed to the evening (or not get done at all). Evening workouts impact some people’s sleep quality and I don’t recommend them.
Amy and I do 30-60 minutes every morning (6 days per week). Our exercises range from cardio (indoor and outdoor) to weights to functional training.
Like many of us have heard before exercising releases endorphins. It makes you feel good. It sets up your day on a positive, accomplished note. 30 minutes after you wake you could have already taken care of one of your day’s goals.
That is the way to set the feeling-tone for your day.
Step 4) Eat a Healthy Breakfast
I don’t think I could ever stress this point enough. Starting your day with proper nutrition is a key component to creating a healthy life. Nurture your body with fruits and vegetables, lean protein, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Do it all!
Steel cut oatmeal and fresh fruit are my go-to breakfast. I will often add in a few boiled eggs and green juice (that we make in our juicer) if time permits that day. This is also a great time to have a vegan protein shake like hemp or rice protein as well.
If you are a green tea drinker this would be a great time to also have your tea! Sit while you eat. Sit while you drink your tea. Do not rush this portion of the morning or your digestion will be less efficient and you won’t benefit from the nutrients you have just consumed.
Breakfast is the time to set yourself for a day of nutrition success! If you choose to rush your morning and eat an unhealthy breakfast (or not eat at all) be ready for a blood sugar crash, a lack of energy, focus and motivation in a few short hours.
If you eat a healthy well balanced breakfast you will experience stable energy until your next meal and thrive on the nutrients you consumed. You will also have less sugar cravings in the afternoon and will tend to make healthier choices throughout the rest of the day.
What’s often neglected is the emotion we’re feeling while eating our foods. If you are watching the news or reading negative headlines while eating you could be stressed without even realizing it. This interrupts proper digestion and absorption and prevents us from recognizing when we are full and robs us from the pleasure that is eating healthy food. It should be a time of gratitude.
Step 5) Wild Card Step
I am calling this step the Wild Card Step because this is where you have unlimited flexibility to add to this routine other steps that support your personal health and mental well-being.
You can use this step as chance to achieve positive state for your day that is clear, energized and motivated (if you already haven’t achieved it). For me this means using the cold water in the shower to lift my energy, shock my body and vitalize my cells for the day. This is called hydrotherapy and can be a key component to healing. Water therapy has been used in medicine for thousands of years and the best part is you can use it in your own home!
After a hot shower I switch to cold for 30-60 seconds. It doesn’t have to be extreme cold it just has to be a significant contrast from the hot. This is one of the most uplifting, energizing practices I have found. It can be intimidating at first but once you feel the effects you may become hooked!
For Amy it is really important to connect to nature. She sets a goal of getting to the woods or ocean three times per week. This is her time for grounding. It almost serves as a meditative practice. For more details on that you will have to talk to her lol.
Other ideas include daily skin brushing rituals, setting a goal of relaxing candle lit baths or a massage once per week. Something that feels good but also serves a purpose of supporting your wellbeing, healing or goals.
Another option would be a monthly vitamin and mineral IV during this time.
Setting Your Morning Routine
If you haven’t already been able to tell I am extremely passionate about our morning routine we have set up. I like it so much I felt I had to share!
To create a successful morning routine it is essential to carve out a time for it. This may require waking 30 minutes earlier, shifting your schedule or stopping some of the habits you currently do (like checking emails!). The benefits you receive from this will be substantial. If waking 30 minutes earlier is the only thing you can do I urge you to give it a try. You will find yourself more tired quicker that night and you may experience better sleeps because of your new schedule especially if you are now exercising in the morning.
Remember these type of changes can be tough at first. It takes 21 to build a habit. Your motivation has to be significant enough to reach the 21 day mark so that your routine can be solidified.
It is helpful to think about some of the reasons a solid morning routine is important to you to build that motivation. Do you wish to be healthier, more successful, happier, more energized or more calm? How bad to you wish those things? If it is bad enough you will create your new habit. If you miss a day simply review your reasons for creating your new routine. If they are significant enough you will be right back at it the next day.
Take your time, be easy on yourself, make consistent strides towards personal growth and let your morning routine be the way you set the tone of your day!