High-performing individuals will tell you that they attribute part of their success and productivity to invigorating and healthy morning routines.
The average CEO will wake up at least 75 minutes before he/she has to start their work day. What they do with this time is focus on things that nourish their mind, body, and soul.
“Well, Del, I’m not a CEO.”
Actually smart-ass, you are. And the sooner you realize this, the better off you are going to be. Slowly are the days diminishing when someone tells you what to do when they hire you. Companies and clients are seeking people that solve their problems, innovate, and consistently deliver value—this is why you are got hired at your company. If you expect to clock in and out while doing the bare minimum then you will eventually be deemed replaceable.
It is up to you to take ownership of your skills in order make yourself irreplaceable. In order to be irreplaceable you must be remarkable. You have to solve problems no one has answers to. You have to use your creativity to consistently innovate. You have to be laser-focused, and sharp as a knife in order to consistently deliver value.
You are the CEO of your life and you must constantly improve yourself in order to level up to badass. Leveling up begins with the way you start your day. And healthy morning routines are the building blocks to get you there.
12 Morning Routines of a Badass
1. Declare the day your bitch
Because badasses take their day by the horns.
Your first few thoughts pave the way to how your day turns out.
Congratulations. You woke up and are still alive. Now get out there and own the day.
Hell, get angry if you have to. As Dr. Maxwell Maltz said, “Indignation and anger can sometimes act as liberators from false ideas.”
How often do you bitterly lie in bed before you muster up every ounce of energy to get things going?
Stop hitting snooze.
Jump out of bed, grab your balls, and declare the day your bitch.
Because badasses realize how good they already have it.
You open your eyes and have a whole new day to crush it at life. Be grateful that you have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, wake up next to a loved one, watch the sunrise, or eat a piece of delicious bacon.
We spend our days living as have-nots while never appreciating what we have.
It’s been proven that practicing gratitude will enhance your emotional connection with yourself, others, and will improve your outlook on life. After incorporating this practice into my morning routine, I realized it’s the small things in life that I’m thankful for: a great cup of coffee, a roof over my head, good food, my health, and my family.
This POET acronym is a good framework for a gratitude practice. Try it on for size.
3. Drink water
Because badasses know hydration is necessary.
After all, our bodies are more than 50% water. It makes sense to nourish our body with what it is predominantly made of.
Research says to drink one 16oz cup of water first thing in the morning. It’ll jumpstart your metabolism, hydrate your cells, awaken your brain, and flush out toxins.
Aim for two cups of water. Then have your coffee.
Because badasses yearn for knowledge.
If you are reading this blog, I’m going to assume you are intelligent! So I don’t need to tell you the benefits of reading.
It behooves you to pick up a book while your mind is open and uncluttered. While fiction sparks creativity, non-fiction can instill new ideas, and useful information which can be applied to the upcoming work day.
There is nothing more relaxing than a cup of coffee and a good book before the chaos of your day begins. You’ll feel much more calm when you move on to your next task.
And stay the fuck away from social media and the news. You’ll have the rest of the day to veg out on that shit.
Your level of creativity is most engaged in the morning. You are in a neutral, and hopefully positive mindset, leaving you with the potential to jot down your finest work without the hinderance of your day’s experience.
The subject matter is up to you. It can be your expectations for the day, a review of yesterday, your task list, the novel you are working on, or rhymes for your upcoming mixtape.
Just get whatever is in your head into written word. Data-dump your thoughts and ideas. If you’re lucky, you’ll gain clarity on things you’ve been thinking on.
I encourage you to incorporate your gratitude practice into journaling. UC Davis psychologist, Robert Emmons says keeping a gratitude journal can increase your life satisfaction and positive point of view on life.
6. Physical activity
Because badasses need to move.
President Barack Obama begins his day with a 6:45 workout.
Twitter CEO and co-Founder, Jack Dorsey wakes up at 5:30 for a six-mile run.
In my research of high-performing individuals, I found one common thread and it was exercise. Countless amounts of celebrities and business leaders wake up as early as 4am to exercise.
The idea of pumping out deadlifts at 5am might not sound appealing, but if you aren’t motivated in the evening to work out, and can’t push out a session at lunch, then there’s only one other time to get your exercise in.
A quick run, brisk walk, bodyweight exercises, or light stretching will be sufficient to get your blood flowing.
On a final note, if you knock out a strenuous exercise before work, chances are you’ll be ready to tackle just about anything else.
Get after it.
7. Spend time with loved ones
Because badasses realize how important family is to their well-being.
Make love to your significant other, play with your kids, walk your dog. Spending quality time with your loved ones first thing in the morning is a surefire way to start your day on a positive note.
8. Take a cold shower
Nothing says “I’m a fucking badass” more than jumping balls first into an ice cold shower.
9. Eat a hearty breakfast
Because badasses know breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Your pastry and coffee from Starbucks do not count.
In order to properly fuel your body for the day to come, you need a proper breakfast packed with protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Stay away from highly processed foods, refined carbohydrates (white bread), and foods high in sugar (doughnuts, pastries, etc.). I’m basically telling you to eat real food.
Hearty breakfast examples:
· Fried egg and sliced avocado on whole wheat toast. Side of fresh fruit.
· Egg scramble with salmon lox and a handful of spinach. Side of fresh fruit.
· 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt mixed with a ½ cup of granola and handful of berries.
· ½ cup cooked oatmeal mixed with chia seeds, peanut butter, flax, and a sliced banana. Add a scoop of protein powder for an extra protein boost.
These will take all but 15 minutes to prepare.
10. Check your mission statement
Because badasses know what they represent.
Organizations have mission statements. Militaries have credos. What do you have?
This is an unofficial copy of the Samurai creed. It was supposedly written in the 14th century and the authenticity of it is unknown. It’s still worth a share.
These sound a lot more empowering than “I don’t want to go to work. Fuck my life. I have a meeting with my boss. I’m going to get fired.”
Who are you? What are your values? What do you stand for? What is it you’re embarking on this day and more importantly, why are you doing it? Write it down, put it on your fridge, memorize it, recite it, live it. Check your self-talk.
I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. —Steve Jobs
11. Work on your side hustle
Because badasses know that they have to make time to create the life they want.
Sarah Peterson of Unsettle would wake up every morning at 5am to work on her blog for an hour before heading to her 9-5 gig. After grinding away at her blog, she was able to turn it into a business in six months and morph herself into a digital nomad.
While you have uninterrupted time in the morning, get going on that side hustle. Work on your book, blog, app, e-commerce store while you’re alone and clear of distractions. Slowly but surely will your product be completed.
Because badasses need to have a clear mind before entering battle.
What meditation does is add a level of calmness and awareness, while reducing stress and anxiety. You’ll also feel better about yourself, and life.
I like to use this meditation exercise to guide me. Then extend the practice another few minutes once the guide is over.
If you haven’t figured this out already, the goal is to fuel your mind, body, and soul. Healthy morning routines are meant to prepare you for your day.
Successful people make time to focus on themselves before work. While the kids are asleep. While the mediocre are asleep, they are physically, spiritually, and mentally getting ready to conquer the haymakers that will be thrown at them throughout the day.
While others continuously hit snooze until the very last moment, you will have your blood pumping, badassery soaring, and complete control to make the day your bitch.
I urge you to create and maintain a healthy morning routine. You may not reap the benefits in the short-term, but over the course of a few months, you’ll see how your mornings lay a positive foundation for the rest of your day. It took me a solid week to wake up at 6am but those 80-90 minutes to myself are some of the most peaceful, energizing, and inspiring moments of my day.
Back to You
Any morning routines that are not on this list that you live and die by? I’d love to hear them.