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KGB Vol 28: High performing morning routine

“To get up each morning with the resolve to be happy is to set your own conditions for the events of each day”

R.W. Emerson

It has become very popular for individuals to boast about their morning routine. I see people who start their day with incredibly healthy routines that can take up to 2 hours each day.  Personally, I dream of the day when I have 2 hours to myself in the morning. The lack of time does not reduce the value of a good morning routine. If you have plenty of time, please don’t be offended by my envy. If you are like me and have limited time in the morning what are a few key things that you might try to incorporate.

#1 PROTEIN: This nutrient is too valuable to skip. Even with the enormous trend to time restrict nutrition I would argue that a protein dominated first meal has more value than skipping this meal. If you are getting older this advice is more important as your body naturally starts to diminish muscle mass as we age. Holding on to muscle mass for as long as possible is a key ingredient to living your best life for as long as possible.

#2 NATURAL LIGHT: Starting your day with natural light can be a valuable way to regulate your natural sleep and wake cycles. Your eyes and brain are specifically designed to appreciate the start of the new day with sunlight. Even a cloudy day has natural light sources. I do appreciate that there are some very dark and grey corners of the world where there may be some hurdles to this approach. The main reason to fight for this in your morning routine is to do your best to stay on a natural sleep cycle. This natural sleep cycle requires the timely release of certain hormones through the day and night. This can be easily disrupted by artificial/indoor lighting.

#3 POSITIVITY: This is a broad statement by design. We are all unique in what drives our happiness. We all have seasons of our life where we may need more or less intentional positivity. For me personally, I like the practice of “gratitude”. I simply mention out loud 3-5 things that I am thankful for. Sometimes I will reframe a task that I don’t really like but be thankful for the opportunity to perform such a task. I borrowed this concept from Marcus Aurelius and it just works for me. For you this could be a time to quickly journal some thoughts, read a few passages from a book, or take time to meditate or practice some form of mindfulness. Being intentional with a positive mindset is not faking it. Being intentional is just that, setting out to start your day on the right foot and take what comes at you on your own terms.

Morning routines have certainly become somewhat of a brag point on social media. Maybe you find yourself somewhere in the middle between a very robust morning routine and nothing at all. Look at the time you have, explore what things help you start your day right, notice and name they way these habits make you feel, and add or subtract things as you see fit. When you spend your day helping others achieve greatness it is important to protect your own mental and physical health. Prioritizing this first thing in the morning will go a long way to longevity in a high-performance environment.

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