If you’re like me, you want to get up in the morning feeling energized, motivated, and ready for whatever life brings you that day. You want to set yourself up for success, productivity, and unshakable confidence that will last throughout your entire day. You want to make sure you crush it.
Still, most of us wake up feeling exhausted – almost miserable knowing that we have to get out of bed. By having a shitty morning, we basically set ourselves up for a shitty day. I know this from experience: I would lay in bed checking Facebook for the first 20-30 minutes of my day, then spend the next few hours to fully wake up and get there physically as well as mentally.
When I first heard about creating morning routines – small quick habits you do right after waking up – I thought it was all bullshit. I thought mornings were supposed to suck, and that I just had to accept that. Besides, I did have quite a few amazing and productive days without having a morning routine…
It took me a while to realize that the thoughts and mindsets I have in the morning will last throughout my entire day; that the way I start my day will affect the way everything else plays out. Creating a good morning routine wasn’t easy, but I want to save you the trouble: here are the small habits I do every single morning to boost my confidence and productivity for the rest of the day.
1. Get up right away!
Procrastinating in bed is a waste of time. You set your alarm and woke up for a reason – and it sure as hell wasn’t to spend another 20 minutes in bed doing nothing. Or, if you wake up 20 minutes earlier for this very reason, remember that those 20 minutes would be better spent sleeping instead.
But it’s not only that. If you wake up, and the first thing you do is suffer in bed while procrastinating, you’re just setting yourself up for procrastination for the rest of the day. Instead, as soon as you wake up, get out of bed instantly! This isn’t an easy or a fun thing to do, but there are a few things you could do that will make it a little less difficult:
- Wake up around the same time every day
- Have your alarm somewhere you can’t reach it from bed (so you have to get up)
- Don’t have any electronics near your bed – starting your day by browsing through social media will hurt your confidence and productivity
- Don’t ever hit the Snooze button!
2. Water – lots of it
Every morning I force myself to drink about 0.75 liters of water. Besides waking me up a little more (and mentally preparing me for the next step of my morning routine…), studies have shown, that drinking a large amount of water in the morning will rehydrate you after a long night of dehydration, speed up your metabolism, and help flush out toxins from your body.
3. Cold shower
The one thing I dread the most every morning…
Right after finishing my last glass of water, I take a deep breath before stepping into the shower and flooding my entire body with ice-cold water for 3-5 minutes. I’m not going to lie here: it feels like absolute shit, and I hate doing it with all my heart. The cold water hitting my skin is almost painful – in a very real and physical way. While standing under the stream of ice-cold water, I regret stepping into the shower at all: What kind of idiot tortures himself like this? – I think to myself as my entire body is shaking.
But afterwards, I feel amazing! Not only does a cold shower wake me up completely, but studies have shown that taking cold showers in the morning will actually:
- Boost your immune-system and blood circulation
- Improve muscle-recovery
- Ease stress
- And even boost your metabolism, stimulating weight-loss
While these are all undeniably amazing benefits, they wouldn’t be enough for me to torture myself like this every morning. I do it for one reason only: by stepping out of my comfort-zone and defeating the little voice in my head (who’s telling me to stay in my warm bed and relax) first thing in the morning, I boost my confidence, and set myself up for success. Whatever happens that day, I will have already had a mental victory once – so I am pumped and ready to defeat myself again if I have to.
After stepping and of the cold shower, and drying myself – still shivering – I do a quick stretching routine to improve my posture, increase blood-circulation to my muscles, and relieve night-time stiffness in my body. While there are many decent stretching routines you can do, I do this one by Jeff Cavaliere (one of the top personal trainers and physical therapists in the world).
I’ve found that stretching in the morning helps me maintain better posture throughout the day, and it might even help with muscle-recovery (or at least ease muscle-soreness from my workouts)!
5. Getting started with my day
Finally, I have a cup of either black coffee or green tea – both without sugar or any added shit. The caffeine in either of these drinks fully energizes me, increases my dopamine levels, and also helps speed up my metabolism (ideal for cutting).
Since I’m doing a version of intermittent fasting, I tend to skip breakfast completely. Sure, intermittent fasting makes cutting and fat-loss a lot easier than traditional weight-loss diets, but it also skyrockets my productivity and mental power in the hours before having lunch. For this reason, I get shit done on a crazy level in the first few hours of my day: I create content for Vikingfinity, I get a good workout in, and I come up with new ideas for my thesis. For a few hours there, I become an unstoppable machine.
While having my morning beverage – black coffee or green tea – I review my to-do list for the day. I always write my to-do list the night before, so all I really have to do is go over it and schedule my day while enjoying my hot drink and peaceful moment. Reviewing my to-do list helps me get started with my day by acknowledging the most important things I have to get done. The exact methods I use to create an effective to-do list will be revealed in a post coming very soon, but to give you an example, I’ll share my to-do list for today:
Goals: Write and share a post about morning routines for Vikingfinity
Self-improvement: Add 2.5 kgs to my 12 rep max on deadlifts
Social life: Organize bowling for the weekend with friends
Work: Gather 2 additional articles as references for my thesis
Operations: Do my laundry
Notice how I’m not going back to bed, I’m not browsing through social media, and I’m not sitting on the couch having a conversation with the little voice in my head. Instead, I’m mentally preparing myself for my day, while gradually building energy and motivation to make sure I keep on crushing it!
A good morning routine takes literally 10 minutes to do, but it can mean a huge difference for the rest of your day. To give yourself an extra jolt of energy, hit the play button on the Vikingfinity playlist on Spotify right before starting your routine!
Did you like this article? Do you want to know more about my night-time routine, or the methods I use to create my to-do list? Let me know in the comments!