Have you ever put thought into your morning routine? Because you actually have one. Everyone has a morning routine, whether they realize it or not. Some have specifically designed, personal and empowering morning rituals. Others, however, may have gotten into the habit of snoozing their alarms repeatedly before dragging themselves out of bed, throwing on some clothes, and barely grabbing a granola bar on their way out the door. Sounds familiar? I’ve definitely been guilty of this myself in the past…

While it can certainly be tempting to catch that extra 5, 10, or 50 minutes of sleep, many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs have come to the conclusion that the golden hour is between 5:00 and 6:00 am. If you were to talk to them and try to understand their day to day activities and what helps them to be so successful, you would see that the number one thing they all have in common is a well-rounded morning ritual.

The following are tried and true rituals used by today’s most successful entrepreneurs. I highly recommend following suit, as it can empower you and make a world of difference in ALL aspects of your life.

The Best Routines Typically Begin The Night Before

1. Pre-Morning Ritual – Preparing everything you need for the following day ahead of time, and ending the day on a positive note by pondering over the things for which you are thankful, will help you sleep better and leave you in a positive and stress-free state of mind the following morning. I highly suggest writing out your 3 most important tasks for the next day, and make sure you accomplish them before noon. I call this my “SH!T LIST” (more than 3 will most likely not get done, and you want that positive momentum on your side).

Pro tip: If you struggle with exercising as a habit, and want to get it out of the way early so it get’s done, place your workout clothes and shoes next to your bed, so you’re ready first thing in the morning to go for a quick jog or whatever floats your boat without having to think twice about it!

Now On To The Good Stuff!

1. Smile – Waking up with a smile on your face and greeting the day with a positive attitude will actually help you to remain in that positive mood, because you’re not starting out the day with negativity and complaints that bog down your mind and cause stress.

2. Hydrate – It’s important to start the day by drinking plenty of water so that you are hydrated, healthy, and ready to tackle the day ahead. I recommend at least half a liter upon rising.

3. Make Your Bed – This might not seem like a big deal, but including this step in your morning ritual is a MUST. It puts you in a positive state of mind, having already accomplished something before you even head out the door.

4. Exercise – Exercise in any form is also essential. Get out there and move. It can be something as complex as a full-on, intense HIIT workout, or it can be something as simple as a morning jog. The important thing is to move around, work your muscles, and wake yourself up from head to toe. A morning routine which includes some form of exercise can do wonders for you and your overall health.

5. Shower – Taking a cold shower is highly recommended, as it has tremendous health benefits and also helps you to step out of your comfort zone. Trust me the benefits far outweigh the few minutes of uncomfortable bathing. Cold showers are also shown to alleviate stress and reduce depression. If you are not ready to plunge into an icy waterfall just yet, start slow and end your shower with cold water (for 10-30 seconds).

6. Breakfast – A key part of a well-rounded morning ritual is a healthy breakfast. After all, it’s the most important meal of the day right? Whether you like to juice, are a smoothie person, or simply can’t do without your bacon and eggs, I’ll leave that one up to you, just make sure you have a healthy and balanced breakfast.

7. Meditate – Taking time for yourself and meditating can work wonders and leave you much more relaxed and ready for the day ahead. I personally use the headspace app to keep me on track. Make sure to check out my post on meditation for more info.

8. Journaling – Purging your thoughts in a journal has so many benefits. You are confronting your problems, writing down notes so that you do not forget something, and clearing your mind so that you are better able to focus. It’s also great to look back several months prior and see where your mind was at during that particular time period, as well as experience how much you have grown during that time as well.

9. Affirmations – Positive affirmations are also highly recommended. This is a good way to boost your self-confidence and start the day off with an upbeat attitude as well as reprogramming your subconscious mind.

10. Visualization – Visualizing the day ahead, tasks that need to be accomplished, and your short-term and long-term goals can help to keep you on the right track so that you do not get distracted.

11. Read and Learn – Find something that piques your interest and learn about it. Read something fascinating. Take it upon yourself to learn something new every day. You never know when your newfound knowledge will come in handy.

Even if you do not incorporate every single thing listed here into your morning ritual, at least it can give you some ideas on how to construct your own. You will not believe the impact it can have on your life. For now, focus on what is important to you and what inspires you the most on this list.

The main thing you should take away from this article is that your morning routine has a tremendous impact on your attitude, your day-to-day life, and your overall health. It is far too important to shrug off and ignore. Starting the day out right, in whatever way works best for you and your needs, can make all the difference.

You will be able to focus better, you will have more confidence, you will feel and thus be more successful, and others will see you in a whole new light. If your morning ritual is not already where you want and need it to be, then I strongly suggest you make the change starting tomorrow morning. You will be glad you did.

If you already have a morning ritual that works for you, please share it with us in the comments below!

Chris Reichert
Chris Reichert is a Serial Entrepreneur, Startup founder, Author, Spoken Word & Martial Artist. Chris is a Columnist at Influencive.