Why did the early bird get the worm? Because he had already exercised, meditated, visualised and had set his intention for the day! Seriously though, some of the most successful people in the world including Steve Jobs, Anna Wintour and Tony Roberts attribute their accomplishments to productive morning rituals.
So what are their secrets and how can incorporating some of these practises be beneficial to our own lives?
Getting up at the crack of dawn to hit the pavement or the gym takes practise. But not only has it been widely reported that you burn more calories first thing in the morning, research demonstrates that a morning workout can regulate your appetite and increase mental awareness for the day.
According to Forbes, Vogue editor Anna Wintour is on the tennis court by 6am, while Starbucks president Michelle Gass wakes up every morning at 4.30am to go running. “When I’m at my best, it’s because I’m taking care of myself… Morning runs clear my mind,” she said.
Imagine kick-starting your day in a state of zen! You’d certainly tackle problems more efficiently and would be less inclined to let the smaller things frustrate you throughout the day. Research shows that meditation clears the mind, combats stress and can even boost immune function and increase levels of serotonin in the brain.
Talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres practises transcendental meditation on a daily basis and has said it is the only time she has stillness. “It gives me this peaceful, peaceful feeling,” she said at an LA gala.
Reflect on your goals
For most of us, our morning routine goes a little something like this: wake-up, eat breakfast, read or watch the news, get dressed, run out the door. But for Steve Jobs he used this time to reflect on his goals. During a speech at Stanford University in 2005, he said: “For the past 33 years 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.”
When you’re on autopilot it can be difficult to navigate the areas in your life that you’re not happy with. By taking time out each morning, whether that be putting pen to paper or looking in the mirror, it helps you to refocus and re-establish what’s most important to you.
Just like Jobs said: “Almost everything: all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure… these things just fall away in the face of death… leaving only what is truly important.”
While visualisation may not be for everyone, recent studies have revealed that thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions do. This means that every time we visualise doing something, we trigger a subconscious process that actually trains our brain.
Part of motivational speaker, Tony Robbins’ morning routine involves encouraging incantations, or affirmations, so to speak. He visualises everything he wants in his life as if he had it today. This method reportedly helps him to condition his mind, body and emotions to bring out his best self every day.