7 Highly Effective Early Morning Routines to Prime Your Day

It’s amazing how energetic, motivated and driven some people are all the time. This is especially true in the case of successful entrepreneurs.

A few months after getting bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, I came across one of Tony Robbins’ many interviews on national television. In that interview, he pulled back the curtain on his morning priming routine that involved a bit of pranayama, cryotherapy, visualization, and gratitude.

I was shocked. Not because of Tony’s routine, but because I’d actually read about the effectiveness of each of these practices before. And many highly productive people I knew practiced these routines.

Turned out morning routines were one of the best ways to set the pace for the entire day.

So I set out on the task to cultivate some of these routines into habits. It wasn’t easy. As Hal Elrod explains in his book Miracle Morning, the first 10 ‘unbearable’ days are the most difficult.

And for someone like me who hates to get up early, it was a drastic change.

But within a few months, I had begun to notice some changes in my mental composure, physique, mindfulness levels, and above all, my productivity.

In this post, I’m going to list out the exact morning rituals that resulted in these changes.

The 6 AM Miracle

I know this one sounds like the first bullet point in a generic productivity article. But how many of you actually wake up at 6?

I run a business, and I can say for certain that most entrepreneurs can’t get the 8 hours of sleep that the body needs.

But is that an excuse to wake up late? Nope.

Getting up early is the most important step because it’s the only way you can get enough time to complete all the morning rituals before you set out to change your world.

I also found a way to beat my drowsiness using a simple android app: the Sleep cycle alarm clock. This app wakes you up when you’re out of the deep sleep phase so that you don’t feel that sleepy when you wake up. I also use the Toggl app to keep track of my sleep debt.

The Bath

You might be surprised to hear that Tony Robbins actually has a cryotherapy chamber at home, and he uses it every morning to give that extra boost to his neurons right after he wakes up.But here’s what:

But here’s what: Having a cold or warm bath early in the morning is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to activate your neurons and internal organs. In fact, Ayurveda has recommended cold early morning baths for thousands of years.

Having a cold or warm bath early in the morning is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to activate your neurons and internal organs. In fact, Ayurveda has recommended cold early morning baths for thousands of years.

Kapalabhati Pranayama

Kapalabhati Pranayama is a rigorous breathing pranayama practice that involves relaxed inhaling and forced exhaling.I spend 3 minutes right after my shower for this breathing practice. The complete Kapalabhati Pranayama can take a lot more time. Kapalabhati is also good for people with sinus-related issues.

I spend 3 minutes right after my shower for this breathing practice. The complete Kapalabhati Pranayama can take a lot more time. Kapalabhati is also good for people with sinus-related issues.Here’s a video detailing the entire exercise:

Here’s a video detailing the entire exercise:

Matcha Tea

During my quest to quench my wanderlust, I toured in Japan. I was amazed by the culture and developed a strong liking to matcha tea. Over the years, it’s turned into an addiction.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with matcha- it’s just specially grown and finely powdered green tea. Matcha is said to have been brought to Japan by Buddhist monks over 900 years ago, and they’ve consumed it ceremoniously since then.

While matcha is quite new to the Western world, a number of western studies have shown that matcha has real medicinal qualities- mostly due to the high concentrations of catechin compounds and antioxidants in it (several times more than ordinary green tea).

I have a full bowl of matcha straight after my Kapalabhati Pranayama ritual. And it helps a lot- it gives me a sense of calmness while energizing the body, which helps with the next three rituals.  Due to the energy factor, I also take matcha through a number of matcha recipes later in the day.

Gratitude

Yep- the exact morning ritual that every single productivity guru brags about. And they aren’t joking. It works.

Gratitude has very little to do with your productivity levels, but it immensely helps in getting that dose of positivity in the morning, which helps in setting the pace for the rest of my day.

And this is how to do it:

I just think of the simple things in life and how grateful I am for them.

These can be either a recent micro-goal that I achieved or even the simple feeling of fresh air on my face. I just take a few deep breaths and think of three such things,  and of how grateful I am for them.

Exercise

You probably knew this one was coming. Although most of us think that it’s just for the body for keeping the fat in check, studies show that our brain feeds on exercise.

Any exercise works, as long as it’s vigorous. Running is one of the best ones, as it’s for the whole body.

I just have a 15-minute run right after my gratitude routine.

Visualization

Years back, I came across a highly controversial book and movie: The Secret. While most of your would vehemently disagree with most of the claims in the movie, there is one teaching that I swear by.

Visualizing your dreams.

And again, this is one of those routines many successful entrepreneurs follow (including Tony Robbins).

While many people believe in visualizing their long term goals, I like to visualize my daily goals (I usually take a note of these in Evernote).

And it’s not enough to visualize yourself achieving them. Visualize yourself as already having achieved them.

While the science behind the visualization routine isn’t very sound, just know that visualizing yourself as already having achieved those goals helps in priming your mind to the level required to achieve those goals.

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