Morning routines are primers to start off with a BANG that lasts throughout the day. Good days get capped with a night routine to bring you back down.
Many high-performers create morning routines to enhance performance. They follow these routines for decades, occasionally adapting components for periodic improvement.
Your mentors and models may already have morning routines. Copy them and tweak their morning routines so they work for your specific needs.
After interviewing 100+ high-performers for Tools of Titans, Tim found a morning routine that works for him based on the patterns he observed in those he interviewed. His morning routine contains five parts and he considers it a win if he hits 3/5 of the components each morning. We believe the morning routine should be simple enough so that all parts can be hit daily in most circumstances.
“These will probably seem like small things, but just remember: the small things are the big things.”
Tim Ferris’s Morning Routine:
- Make your bed.
- Do 5-10 reps of some kind of exercise.
- Make tea.
- Morning pages or five minute journal.
Tim recommends 10-20 minutes of meditation each morning. Of the high-performers he interviewed, 80% of them have some form of meditation practice. Do not ignore this.
Complex morning routines are difficult to maintain because you do not understand the value of a morning routine until it manifests worthwhile results. This can take weeks or months. So it is difficult to stick with a complex routine that you do not see the benefit of for a long time.
For a wanderer who has never considered a morning routine, it’s better to be successful with a one-component morning routine before adding additional layers. The beginner sees faster results than the professional. Starting at the utmost beginning of something–even to the point it begins to be absurd, like doing one squat every morning–can be useful. One set of breathwork. A pushup. A walk to the mailbox. Five crunches.
Starting a momentum once is like making the first spark for the fire. Meaning if you do it right you may only need one to keep going. In this case we mean one rep to keep the morning routine going. With any habit, do what you need in the beginning to keep it going.
Something that exists can grow but something that does not exist does nothing.
Starting with a simple morning routine is preferable for stickiness. You can add layers of complexity later.
Consistency is more important than complexity.
The beginner’s morning routine
The video above teaches you how to do the Wim Hof breathing method. You can learn in five minutes.
The guided video starts by doing 30 reps. You may need to adjust this number down if you are new to breathwork. If you really want to, for the sake of momentum, you can start by just doing one rep. Advanced users can do higher reps for more challenge & impact.
The complexity is low while the benefits are high. This is one of the most accessible ways to control your body, mind, and spirit. And no one can take it away from you. Breath doesn’t break until you’re dead. Your breath can never be separated from you.
You can do the Wim Hof breathing method without moving. This is the easiest, impactful morning routine you can do; you don’t have to open your eyes, get out of bed, or move your body. You’re going to breathe anyway; just do it this way instead.
If you breathe the Wim Hof method you will have a morning routine like 80% of the high-performers in Tools of Titans.
Wim Hof breathing is useful for transitioning from automatic breathing to manual, and from automatic thinking to manual.
Do as many cycles as needed to switch to manual thought control & manual breathing. These are the two signals to determine if you are grounded. You will know if you are grounded because your intrusive thoughts have left you. Intrusive thoughts are a mind without engagement, a child with nothing to do except bug her parents out of boredom.
When grounded, your breathing will become conscious and the space between your breaths will increase. Your breathing rate slows. Your heartbeat slows.
Scientific benefits of the Wim Hof Method
- Reduced stress level
- Faster recovery
- Enhanced creativity
- Stronger immune system
- Increased energy
- Heightened focus & determination
- Improved sports performance
- Increased willpower
You can find more information and resources from the WHM website. Wim also recently wrote a book about his life story and how he came up with the Wim Hof Method. His story is tragic. He found freedom in breathing and the cold.
The Wim Hoff breathing method is a good beginner morning routine because it requires action that you have to do always–breath. You can do it without moving your body at all.
Add more components when you are ready for an even better morning routine.