Leverage The Power of Routines
Most of the top performers in any category know the power of routines. People today are obsessed with morning and evening routines. There’s probably a great reason for this. In fact, most of the people obsessed with these routines are those that are the highest performing people on the planet. They know setting up a great morning and evening routine can be the difference between failure and success.
Morning and evening routines are a great way to start and end your day. They can give you a feeling of accomplishment even if the rest of your day doesn’t feel as productive.
I absolutely love my routine. It gives me the time to take care of my mind, body and soul when my willpower is at its highest. It’s amazing how when you start and end your day in the right way, all the other things seem to just fall into place.
The goal of this article is to look at some different aspects of morning and evening routines and give you ideas on things that you can incorporate in to your own routine.
The various parts of these routines are in no particular order. Take the items that you feel would be beneficial to you and put them in the order that works best for you.
Get Up Early
This may be easier said than done for some people. It’s never been that easy for me.
The biggest reason I like to get up early is so that I have time to focus on myself before the hustle and bustle of normal daily activities begin. I use this as “me” time.
I’m not the type of person that can jump right out of bed and start working out.
Most mornings I just do some basic exercises or stretches to get my blood flowing. I save the harder workouts for later in the day. Here are a few things that I may do depending on how I feel.
- Simple yoga poses and stretches like the Sun Salutation
- 5 Tibetan rites of rejuvenation
This is a very important part of my morning routine. I usually save this for the end of my morning routine right before I transition into my work day. That way the sun is a little higher in the sky and I can soak up some good ol’ Vitamin D.
Plan Your Day
Some people, myself included, do this as part of an evening routine. I do however take a few minutes in the morning to go over the plan and make any changes or additions that I have thought of or to allow for anything that may have come up.
I also like to ask myself “What good shall I do today”, which is how Ben Franklin started every morning and it really helps me to be very clear on my purpose in whatever I am doing.
Meditation or Breathing Exercise
My meditation usually consists of some box breathing, a more spiritual type meditation, some mindfulness and visualization techniques or heart coherence training with Heartmath’s Inner Balance sensor. What I do on any particular day really depends on how I am feeling and what will benefit me the most at that time.
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
If you’ve ready many of our articles you might have guessed that morning coffee is our most important meal of the day here at ErisFit. It helps to keep us in a fasted state which burns fat and is said to have great cognitive and anti-aging benefits, and also helps to keep our bodies in ketosis. This coffee also gives us good fats that will fight food cravings and keep us full until lunch.
The point here is to do something that works for you. Just try to steer clear of sugar and limit or avoid carbs. Berries or a bowl of soaked oatmeal could be used for those that need the carbs for an intense morning workout. Carbs high in sugar or lower sugar carbs without a subsequent workout tend to give people a crash later in the day and lead to cravings and hunger sooner. Using healthy fats in the morning, and for some people, added protein helps to avoid the crashes and cravings. To read more about healthy things to eat, check out this article.
Your evening routine is just as important as your morning routine. This includes not only your sleep hygiene or what you do right before bed, but also what you do in the hour or two leading up to bed time.
Avoid Bright Lights and Devices
Bright light exposure after dark, especially light from the blue spectrum can disrupt out circadian rhythm, and lead to a suppression of melatonin production. That ultimately makes it harder to fall asleep and get a goods night’s rest.
To learn more about how to improve your sleep, check out these two articles:
Plan The Next Day
Do you ever lay in bed at night trying to fall asleep, only to have your mind keep racing about things you need to remember or get done the next day?
If so, you may benefit from an evening brain dump.
You can use this time to write down any of those things that you have to remember. It may be helpful to also use this time to plan out your day.
For more information about planning your day, check out this article.
This one is super important. Everyone needs a hour or two to unwind before bed. If you make this part of your evening routine, you will relax and ultimately sleep much easier.
Just remember that if you are going to watch TV or spend time on the computer or other devices you need to filter out the blue light emitted by their screens or wear glasses that will block the blue spectrum light.
I like to read every night for at least 30 minutes before I go to sleep. I typically use this as the only time of the day to read fiction. I have found that if I read non-fiction, which uses more of my brain and thinking, it is harder to actually fall asleep after I am done.
Having a daily gratitude practice can really help us to appreciate all that we have. It can also help us reflect on all of the positive people and things in our lives. I have even found that it can contribute to a much more positive outlook on life and be very uplifting
My gratitude practice is done at the same time as my brain dump and planning the next day.
All it consists of is writing down three things that I am grateful for. They can be anything from people in your life, situations or even just a morning cup of coffee.
Go to Bed at the Same Time Every Night
This is a very important part of sleep hygiene. Doing this consistently every night will act as an internal clock for you body to start winding down and getting ready for sleep.
Its also important to try to get to sleep before 11:00pm. Around 10:45-11pm, if we aren’t asleep, our bodies start to create cortisol which gives us that second wind. That can keep you amped up until around 2am and make it much harder to fall asleep or get high quality sleep.
I hope you got some useful information out of this article. If you have any questions, comments or part of your routine that you would like to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.
Stay tuned for a post from Thaddeus and I detailing our exact daily routines. Till then, stay ErisFit!
Chris’ Morning Routine