Harvard researchers say the first hour after you wake up in the morning is the most impactful of your day.
So how can you spend the first 60 minutes of your morning in a way that sets you up for success throughout the day?
Here are five strategies I use in my morning routine, based on my forty-year career of learning from and working with the world’s leading entrepreneurs, executives, and creative geniuses…
First off, successful people start their day with some kind of meditation or mindfulness practice.
Oprah, Kobe Bryant, John Gray, Jeff Bridges, and Jerry Seinfeld are just a few of the successful people I know who start their day with meditation or mindset work.
They know their mindset has a huge impact on all their thoughts and actions, and so they devote 15 to 30 minutes every morning to ensuring they start their day with a positive, calm, centered, success-focused mindset.
Another thing successful people do to set themselves up for a great day is exercising in the morning.
It doesn’t have to be strenuous – even yoga, Qigong or a gentle walk will do.
Moving your body gets your blood flowing, wakes up your brain, and naturally improves your mood and your ability to concentrate.
It also releases dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone, and offers protection against aging and cognitive decline.
If you can squeeze in even 20 minutes of exercise into your morning routine, you’ll prime yourself to be more positive and productive for the rest of the day.
The next thing that many successful people do first thing in the morning is they read something uplifting or inspiring.
Read a biography about someone you greatly admire, the latest personal development book from one of your heroes, or read a book that teaches you how to be more successful in life.
When you start your day in a state of inspiration, you will be more motivated to show up as your best self and achieve your goals for the day.
4. Wake Up Early
The next thing that most highly successful people have in common is that they are early risers.
They don’t get up at the last minute and start their day in a rush.
They get up early so they can take the time needed to adequately prepare themselves mentally and physically for the day.
How early do successful people get up in the morning?
Well, Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45 a.m. to get a headstart on emails.
Richard Branson wakes up at 5 a.m. and Michelle Obama starts exercising at 4:30 a.m.
Former AOL CEO Tim Armstrong wakes up at 5 a.m to workout and read.
Because they get up so early, they are able to accomplish so much more in their day than the average person.
5. Create Your Own “Hour of Power”
I usually get up at 6 o’clock in the morning myself and start off every day with a ritual that I like to call my Hour of Power.
Here’s what it looks like:
Every morning, I wake up and spend the first 60 minutes of my day doing three things…
20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of meditation, and 20 minutes of reading positive, uplifting material.
My meditation practice increases my focus, gives me more energy, improves my overall mental health, and empowers me to make better decisions.
It also is a source of inspirational ideas like creating the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, or the Transpersonal Leadership Council.
This practice puts me in a more positive mindset for the day.
The exercise wakes me up and makes me feel sharper, more alert, and generally more confident about myself.
My inspirational reading keeps me motivated, inspired, and wiser, and reminds me that anything is possible.
So I encourage you to create your own Hour of Power and make it part of your daily routine.
Have fun with it!
I guarantee that if you commit to starting every day off with an hour of exercise, meditation, and inspirational reading, and stick to it for 30 days you will experience significant positive results in your life.
You may also want to get up 30 minutes or an hour earlier in the morning and see what kind of impact that has on your productivity.
Remember, small changes to your daily routine can have a huge impact on your results!
So those are some of the morning habits that highly successful people use to jump-start their brains and their bodies and maximize their results every day.
Now, I’d like to hear from you. What is the first thing that you do when you wake up in the morning?