8 Essential Tasks Before 8am For a Successful Day

There are a lot of articles written about What You Should Do in the Morning to Set Yourself Up for a Successful Day. Why listen to my advice in particular then?

You shouldn’t.

Ultimately - you should do what works for you. The problem is, in order to figure out what works for you, you first have to know what routines are available. And before that you should define the goals of your morning practice. And before that you should figure out why you have those goals in the first place.

Why is this necessary to think through?

The purpose of your morning routine is to fix things in your life that need to be fixed. Nobody wants to get up earlier than they have to... unless they have to. If life is going perfectly for you - then you should sleep in, roll out of bed and head to work. If you have found success and happiness in lieu of a morning routine then I’m envious and you’re the one I should learn from.

For the rest of us — let’s figure out what could be going better. Your concentration at work? Your motivation? Your energy? Your positivity? Your relationships? Find a problem. Once you start thinking about it, it should come easy.

Next, think about what sorts of thoughts and behaviors cause that problem. And then think of a desired outcome or solution. This could take minutes, hours, or weeks. Frankly it could take years. Truly understanding your imperfections, some of which are so deeply imbedded within your thoughts and behaviors that they are nearly indistinguishable from who YOU are, can be tricky to pin down and harder to resolve.

The objective of a morning routine is to prime yourself to be mindful of your goals throughout the day, and to actively pursue those goals. Typically these are “micro” goals that build into a system which (you believe) is conducive for success. In other words: no morning routine is going to directly get you that promotion or girlfriend or job offer that you’ve been looking for. However, if done correctly and consistenty — a morning routine can help you achieve micro-goals and develop a “system of success,” like the one Scott Adams describes to Tim Ferriss (google it,) that eventually help you achieve your bigger goals.

So, before listing my routine, I’ll list a couple of my micro-goals, which should always precede behavior and routine:

My micro-goals: mindfulness, positive energy.

My morning routine:

1. Meditate

I’m terrible at meditating. I hope this changes soon.

The more I research meditation, the more amazed I am by the sheer volume of prominent, successful people that swear by it.

There are many ways to meditate.

The goal of meditation isn’t just to relax — it’s to teach yourself how to relax and how to focus on the simplicity of the present moment so that you can find this same serenity during your chaotic day. Use an app if you haven’t done it before.

Time required: 5 minutes

2. Make Bed

You’re busy. You have lots of uncertainty and unpredictability. Here’s one thing you can kick ass at, everyday. Even if you have the worse day ever — you feel some level of contentment from having made your bed. You owned it.

This took me a while to buy into. I don’t think I did this once until I turned 26.

If you need convincing, consider that the military does it, and monks do it. It’s a simple way to get a win first-thing in the morning. It helps to set a domino-effect of wins throughout your day. It’s a good reminder that the little things in life do matter.

Plus, at the end of the day, you return home to see something you accomplished.

Time required: 3 minutes

3. Do 10 pushups

It’s not about getting in a workout. Doing a few repetitions of an exercise right when you get out of bed gets your blood moving and sets the tone for the day.

Time required: 30 seconds

4. Cold shower

This does more than just wake you up. This gets your oxygen and blood moving. It awakens your skin.

I do hot water, then 60 seconds cold, then back to hot.

Time required: 5 minutes

5. Journal

Huge, huge benefits of this. If there was one of the 8 tasks I think is essential each day, it is this one.

You can buy one at a convenience store for under $2. There are three sections I document every morning:

- What I’m grateful for

-The most important things I need to accomplish today

- Positive affirmations

This sets a positive, mindful mood and directs your attention to the right areas of focus throughout your day.

Time required: 5 minutes

6. Make & Drink Tea

Another quick-win for the day. There are few, if any, healthier things you can consume.

Time required: 3 minutes

7. Observe Nature for 2 minutes

You can kill two birds with one stone if you meditate outside. If you can’t meditate outside, find time to observe nature at some point during your commute. This helps to create mindfulness.

Time required: 2 minutes

8. Vocalize what you are looking forward to today

Don’t just think about it - say it. It’s most effective if done while looking in a mirror.

Time required: 1 minute

“If you win the morning, you win the day.” You can choose to wake up on the right side of the bed, everyday, simply by following a routine.

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