I want to share with you the morning routine that has been a complete game changer for me. I’m not going to say you should do this. I truly believe everyone should create their own daily routine based on their schedule, lifestyle, family, and a myriad of other factors. Today I just want to talk about how to live intentionally and create your own morning routine so you can have a perfect day everyday.
Let’s jump into it.
I’ve had the opportunity to spend a ton of time investing in real estate, but the only way I got enough money to be able to do that was in sales. I started as a door to door sales rep and then built that up to where I was leading a team. Now I’m the VP of Sales at Aptive Environmental. My people did over $27 million of sales in a three to four month summer. I also run a YouTube channel where we put out three videos a week that show you how to build a passive income by investing in real estate and other things like finance, cars, sales and all that fun stuff.
The reason I share that with is to say that with all these things going on, my life is all over the place. For years I heard lots of people that I look up to say that everything comes down to your morning routine and how you start off your day. I’ve had ebbs and flows between doing a morning routine, not doing a morning routine, doing the routine super early, or a little bit later, mixing it up. I’ve had days where I was knocking doors selling pest control all day every day from sunup to sundown. I’ve done extremes and also had times where I’m able to let off the gas a little bit. I share all this to say that when people claim they have the ultimate morning routine, I don’t necessarily think this is true because everyone is living a different life. Our businesses, exercise/health goals, and families are all different.
After this article, I hope you can see what has helped me with my situation and three different businesses plus a family. I want you to take out the principles that I lay out to apply to your unique situation. I think the most important things when it comes to a morning ritual are to be:
- Extremely consistent
- Living intentionally
It’s got to be something you know you can do everyday. Often people will lay out an extravagant morning routine that starts super early that you can do for two days and then never touch it again. I’ve known people who would wake up at 4:30am, do an awesome morning routine and then go back to bed at 8:30, sleep for a couple more hours and then their day was shot. That defeats the whole purpose of a good morning routine!
If you’re doing it for the Instagram post to show “Hey I’m at 4:30am, smashing that morning grind!” then go take a nap for five hours a day, that’s probably not going to yield the life improvement results that you want. Figure out what your goals are, what you can do and stay consistent. Structure it around your business, your family, and what’s important to you.
I will say it is good to get up at a reasonable hour on the early side of things. I don’t think everyone is going to wake up at 4:30am. That’s stupid for a lot of people. If you’re single, you’re grinding and working crazy hours grinding, and you can get to bed on time, then go for it. Maybe it works for you. For me that has never seemed enjoyable; that’s not my jam.
What is the bedtime that you are going to stick with religiously?
First off, I think an important starting point is to step back and figure out how much sleep you need every night. If you’re going to bed at 2am and trying to wake up at 4am, you’re not going to be productive the next day. For me, I’ve set a bedtime that I will get to bed before midnight no matter what. This has not always been the case, it’s a change I’ve made somewhat recently. I was staying up till 1 - 2am and losing a lot of productive hours in the morning because I was sleeping in.
I try to get to bed at 11:30 every night so that I can hold to my schedule. 12:00 is my absolute cutoff that I’ve got to be in bed. A lot of nights I’ll hit 11:30 and be good to go. Some nights that is not the case but I at least make sure that I get there by midnight. This has been a game changer. I’m not perfect, I still mess up on this sometimes, but this is something that I have been able to be very consistent with.
Plan out your next day
Pick sometime the day before to plan out your next day. Some people plan out their day during the morning routine. I found that didn’t work for me. I like to know that everything is laid out, ready to roll, the night before. So it could be the end of day or a couple hours before bed, find time to plan out your schedule. Hold to the scheduling and the consistent bedtime. These will make your morning routine so much more productive.
Find the right time to wake up
For me, the best wake time is 7:30am. I know people are going to give me heat about this for not getting up at 4:30 or 5:30am. That’s awesome for other people, it just doesn’t work for me. The reason it didn’t work is that evenings are super sacred when it comes to time with my wife. We put the kids to bed at 9, and that time is sacred, but I really like to have that one-on-one time with my wife every single night. For us, that 9pm to midnight is just enough time to where we’re comfortable with it.
A lot of times we were putting the kids to bed at 9 then staying up till 1 or 2 and I enjoyed the time with her but then the next day wasn’t productive. When you don’t have kids, maybe you’re getting the time with your wife, you can go to bed earlier and wake up earlier.
When I wake up in the morning, I get a drink, go to the bathroom and spend about 15 minutes getting ready to work out. I’ve worked out at the gym for years and found it hard to be consistent with that, especially with weather and other things so having an in-house workout room has helped me. I still like to work out with friends on occasion so I understand if you want to go to a gym because you like that experience. Working out every morning in my own gym is my ritual that I don’t miss.
My reading hack
Another ritual I wasn’t finding enough time for during the day was reading. I’m a slow reader so while I’m working out it’s easier for me to listen to an audiobook. This has drastically bumped the amount of audiobooks I can listen to, and I find that listening while working out helps me focus. I will sometimes drag out the workout and move slower when I have time to listen to more of an audiobook.
When I’m done working out, still sweaty, I sit down in an office next to my gym room and write down my Top 10. The Top 10 is something I got from a competitor who became a friend, Casey Baugh. Top 10 is something you do every morning where you write down your Top 10 goals. What you’ll come to find is at first they’ll change. Some filter out, some filter in, but then you’ll really dial in what your Top 10 are because every single day you’re writing them down so then it gets to the point where thinking about them every morning but you still have to refine them in your brain and rewrite them.
It really helps me get centered on what’s most important. Brandon Turner talks about figuring out what your goals are and then doing the next most important thing to help you reach your goals. Sometimes it’s only a 5 minute task. I love that because when I’m looking at my Top 10 every single day, it’s impossible to go into a day without thinking about that and keeping it in mind.
When I look at my schedule that I planned the night before, and I say crap that doesn’t help me get my Top 10, I can rearrange and change to advance my goals. Once I’ve got my Top 10, I sit down and visualize things for a minute. I don’t do it for long but a lot of times I’ll pick one or two goals and just space out and think about accomplishing those goals. What it looks like, what it smells like, what it tastes like, all the goodness that’s going to come from reaching those goals. This could be financial or ability to buy something or being able to build something. My top two goals every single day have to do with spending a certain amount of time with my wife and with my kids. I won’t go into details of those goals but I think about the time and spend a couple minutes meditating, letting my brain space out, go somewhere else for a quick meditation.
Next I go upstairs and eat breakfast with my wife and kids. After breakfast, the kids know it’s time to party hardy. We jump in the bounce house, I chase them around with the RC car, we roughhouse and wrestle for 30 minutes. They know it’s limited so they’re never upset when it ends. They have a blast and look forward to it. Finally I shower and get to work.
This is not a long morning routine: you workout with your audiobook, meditate, look at your goals, and hang out with your kids. When you’re thinking about the things that truly are the most important, it is impossible to start a day on the wrong foot. It is the perfect schedule and when I do it my day is awesome.
On the rare occasion where I miss something, especially playing with my kids, I find the day just drags on and sucks. It makes a huge difference when I get my routine vs. when I don’t. I think the reason that my morning routine has such an impact and other people’s routines have such an impact on them is it aligns your brain with everything that’s important to you. This helps you make good decisions throughout the day. When you’re not aligned it’s easy to get depressed, anxious, and feel like you’re not accomplishing what you should be.
Once I start my day then I’m going to crank through whatever I have planned for the day. I used to sometimes work till 8pm cranking. I’ve reached a point in my life where I have all the money I need and have realized that the time with my kids and my wife is way more important than more money. I do want to build, grow, and do more things of course.
I’ve realized that by living intentionally the time I spend working is from about 10am to 4pm. Ryan has talked about how giving yourself a shorter work time forces you to hustle and be more efficient. You may not have the freedom to do this with your current job or family situation but try to do everything you can to live that life. It might be now or in three or five years, but if you do this morning routine every day you can get there. You will be living intentionally and moving yourself toward working till 4 and getting to spend that time with your kids.
Once you get this mastered the next step is to turn off and stop when you’re done working. It’s hard for me to turn off the phone and not take those calls that might be new business. I had to decide that it was worth it for me to get that undivided time at night with my wife and kids.
I try to do my morning routine on Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes I will start a little later on weekends because I stayed up late with my wife the night before. The last rule I made is that weekends are off limits for work unless I’m doing an event, traveling, or something like that. There’s no perfect life, you’ve got to figure out what your perfect life is. I’ve worked hard so I can do that and live intentionally.
This is the life that I want, what I’ve chosen, and right now it is perfect for me. I challenge you to do the same thing. Take a step back, decide what’s realistic for you, what can you be consistent at, what’s going to get you going in the morning and balance your goal setting and family time.