Muhammad Ali. Michael Jordan. Joe Montana. Derek Jeter.
What do all of these great athletes have in common? They all benefit from the power of a routine. By definition; a routine is a series of actions followed regularly by an individual. Were these athletes better equipped physically then their competition? Maybe, maybe not. Following a routine truly separated them from the rest.
Let’s take a look at Steph Curry for example.
Steph is not the biggest guy in the world. I think this adds to his “Everyman” appeal that everyone loves. What separates Steph from others is his work ethic and his dedication to his routines. Before every game, you will see Curry going through his pre-game routine, that includes various dribbling and shooting drills. Without fail, it’s the same sequence every single time.
Similar to the best of the best, you can benefit from having strong routines to begin and end your day.
Morning and evening routines prime you for success. They help you achieve more, think clearly, and do work that actually matters. They keep you from thoughtlessly stumbling through your day and make sure you get the most important things done.
By implementing routines in the morning and evening, you can prime yourself for maximum productivity each day.
Below are 10 Routines for Success:
1. Rise Early - with the rare exception, most successful people wake up earlier than most in order to prepare for the day.
2. Make Your Bed - According to Navy Seal Admiral William H. McCraven, “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day… Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter.”
3. Recite Affirmations - Affirmations are positive statements you can use to reframe how you think about yourself and the day to come.
4. Exercise - implementing a daily routine of exercise either in the morning or in the evening will prepare you for maximum success throughout the day.
5. Eat Proper Food - a diet rich in lean proteins, green veggies, and fruits will give you the energy to get through a long day. It will also help set the stage for making good choices in other aspects of your day.
6. Plan Out the Next Day - what do you need to accomplish for the next day to be a big win? Write out the three to five things that when accomplished will make the day a success. Most importantly attack those items first in your day, before you move on to anything else.
7. Reflect on the Day - It can be easy to lose sight of the victories after a long day. Taking a few moments to reflect on the success of your day will help put things into proper perspective and help give you encouragement to tackle the next day.
8. Clear Your Head - If you are like me, you typically have a million things going on in your head as you are trying to fall asleep. Unfortunately your brain doesn’t shut off, which will make it difficult to get some shut eye. Keep a journal by your bedside and perform a 3-5 minute brain dump before you go to bed. This will help clear your head and make it easier to fall asleep.
9. Prepare For The Next Day - Pick out the clothes you’ll wear, prepare the food you’ll eat, prep the coffeemaker, and organize any work related materials you need to bring. If you’ll be going to the gym, lay out your workout clothes and water. Reduce any friction that might keep you from exercising.
10. Practice Proper Sleep - Get to bed early. Shutdown all devices that will keep your brain engaged (i.e. TV, cell phone). Set the room temperature to 65 - 70* F. Make the room as dark as possible. These components will lead to an improved sleeping environment and improved sleep quality.
It can be really tough to build routines into your life. It takes intention and discipline. But the good thing about routines is that the more you do them, the easier they become. They become ingrained in your day to the point where you find it harder to not do them.
Until Next Time,
Andrew Hamel MS, CSCS