“This routine is quite portable. When traveling I’ll throw the entire notebook in my travel bag and use whatever space is available for the exercises and meditation.” – Garrick van Buren Share this quote on Twitter

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Garrick van Buren

What is your morning routine?

My morning routine is currently eighteen tasks. It didn’t start this way.

As I mention in my article on habit forming it started with flossing my teeth after showering and marking on the wall calendar that I did. One thing. If I forgot, I’d run up to the bathroom and floss as soon as I remembered.

Once the flossing habit was established I added an additional task: clean my glasses. Same process; cross it off on the calendar once completed, do it immediately if I realized I hadn’t yet.

Over the course of two years I’ve reached eighteen items:

  1. Wake between 5:00-5:30am.
  2. Say “It’s going to be a great day” aloud in front of the mirror after brushing teeth.
  3. 25 situps.
  4. 25 pushups.
  5. 25 squats.
  6. 25 lunges each leg.
  7. Who and what am I grateful for?
  8. Daily affirmations.
  9. Review daily goals, 90-day goals, 5-year goals and vision.
  10. 20 minute mindful meditation.
  11. Review daily goals, 90-day goals, 5-year goals and vision.
  12. Weight self.
  13. Shower.
  14. Floss.
  15. Clean glasses.
  16. Get dressed.
  17. Eat a high protein breakfast, usually two eggs fried or an omelet.
  18. Post three things on social media.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

This has been my morning routine for the past six months, and it takes about 75 minutes.

If I get up closer to 5:00am than 5:30, I’ll squeeze in a 3-5 mile run which can extend it to two hours. Either way, the goal is to complete everything by 7:00am when I need to help the kids with their morning.

I still mark on my wall calendar when I’ve completed everything in the routine. My longest stretch is twenty-six consecutive days. Days when I complete everything in the morning routine before 7:00am are significantly better than days I don’t. Having more significantly better days is a strong incentive to complete the entirety of the morning routine.

What time do you go to sleep?

My morning routine actually starts in the evening, with me going to sleep by 10:00pm.

For a long time I fought 10:00pm. Then I started to see how much happier, more refreshed, and productive early mornings are compare to late nights. Mornings are such an amazing reward for going to sleep at a reasonable hour.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

I’ll make a pot of coffee to enjoy with my breakfast while helping out the kids.

Do you see to email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?

Once the kids are ready for the day, usually about 8:00am, I’ll go through email and check a couple of social media accounts. At the same time, my mobile phone’s ringer turns back on (it’s on silent from 8:00pm-8:00am).

Between 8:30-9:00am I’m in my office reviewing whatever I’ve scheduled for 9:00am.

On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?

This routine is quite portable.

When traveling I’ll throw the entire notebook in my travel bag and use whatever space is available for the exercises and meditation. Often the biggest accommodation that needs to be made when traveling is finding a good high-protein breakfast and good coffee.

What do you do if you fail to follow your routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

This morning routine is the first page of a larger notebook I have containing my affirmations, goals, evening routine, and other supporting documents.

It’s rare that I’ll forget something, but if I do, I’ll either do it immediately or try again tomorrow.


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