Morning routines are primers to start the day 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. Find them. Test them. Tweak their morning routines so they work for your specific needs.
Some of the common themes in Tim Ferris’s book, Tools of Titans, where he interviews many successful individuals and many nerds is reading, walking, and having a morning routine.
Jocko Willink is featured too.
After interviewing 100+ high-performers for Tools of Titans, (good book) 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 start and maintain because you do not understand the value of a morning routine until it manifests worthwhile results. This can take weeks or months.
For a wanderer who has never considered a morning routine, this is more difficult and more rewarding. 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.
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.
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. Determine if the method is safe for you to do so on your own.
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.
No one can take it away 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.
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 signals to determine if you are grounded. You will know because your intrusive thoughts have left you. Your breathing will become conscious and the space between your breaths will increase.
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.