Success starts before the sun comes up

Ever hear about those crazy people who go on a 3-mile run every morning? Ever wonder how they have time to do that? We usually ask these types of questions because mornings seem impossible. Squeezing in a quick shower, a poorly matching outfit and a breakfast bar is about all we have time for.

Not only do we wonder when people have time to do these morning activities, but we also wonder why they would even want to get up early in the morning for these types of activities.

The truth is, getting the day started off on the right foot is often much easier than it seems, but most people struggle with it. To make ourselves feel better about the struggle, we write it off saying, “I’m just not a morning person.”

I used to be that way, that is, until I had kids, and then I started becoming a morning person by default. I’m sure many of you can relate; babies don’t usually hold their wailing tears until the alarm goes off. However, I still wasn’t productive in getting my day started because I was getting up out of parental obligation, not a desire to get my motor running.

And then I noticed something very interesting and a little depressing, I must admit: most successful people get up early in the morning and get stuff done, and they accomplish much more in one day than most people accomplish in one week. Whether I liked it or not, I realized that I needed a morning routine to accomplish more in life, so that is what I have worked on each day this year. Here are three key elements to a great morning routine, four that will help you accomplish more each day.

  1. Exercise. Getting in a good workout, whether it be walking, running, lifting weights or doing aerobics, is crucial to release endorphins in your body. These endorphins will give you more energy and help you focus throughout your day. I enjoy doing a few sets of push-ups and pull-ups, and maybe some sit-ups.
  2. Healthy breakfast. This is the most important meal of the day, and it needs to be rich in protein and carbohydrates, and low in sugars and fats. I love cooking up a delicious egg-white omelet with spinach & peppers.
  3. Focused thought. This time could include reading, writing, goal-setting or something else that will help you get focused on the day. For me, this is the time when I read my Bible and a leadership book, I think about how I will apply what I’m learning to my day, and write this blog.

One more thing: Go to bed early. The only way you will be able to maintain a healthy morning routine is to go to bed in time to give yourself 7-8 hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep. If this seems impossible to do, take a look at your schedule and see what you can shuffle around or cut out completely to make this happen. I have a feeling you’ll be surprised how much you won’t miss American Idol.

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