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A (Realistic) Morning Routine Nobody Tells You About That Creates Sustained Success

by | Sep 12, 2022 | Life Hacks

Morning routines are taboo.

Some of them sound like they belong to a higher power. Others sound made up. And some are so complex and scientific that no human could ever maintain them.

The morning routine I prefer to follow is way more realistic.

It’s important I tell you first that this routine is temporarily on pause because of my daughter that’s about to arrive, so no point hating in the comments.

But until recently, the morning routine I’ve followed and will continue to follow once the “oh sh*t I’m having a baby” phase of my life passes, looks something like the below.

There’s no need to be Superman or Wonder Woman to follow some or all of it. I don’t know why we overcomplicate simple stuff.

A life emergency simplifies your morning routine forever

My friend Justin Welsh has a simple morning routine too.

In an interview he shares why that is. In 2018 he worked so hard he had a massive panic attack. His poor wife called 911 and got an ambulance. They didn’t know what the heck was wrong with him.

Justin says it was the scariest day of his life.

He thought he was going to die.

After the horrible event he went through a phase of self-discovery. He realized his go-go-go lifestyle was bad for his health.

Work became such a grind that he abused his health. The weight piled on. He drank like a fish. He did zero exercise. He worked long hours to dominate the tech startup world. All for nothing.

All the bad health habits nearly killed him.

So Justin added three things to his morning routine:

  1. Quit alcohol for 90 days
  2. Did intermittent fasting for 16 hours a day
  3. Started walking 10 miles per day

The key shift in mindset was “this new morning routine is a non-negotiable.” Now Justin has quit the startup life.

He works less than 8 hours a day. And his number one priority is his wealth which produces his extraordinary wealth.

If he hadn’t changed his morning routine, he would have never built an online lifestyle business that makes him $2m USD a year.

Wealth starts with a killer morning routine.


A similar life emergency happened to me.

It made me question everything. I had to rebuild my life from scratch. Just like Justin, it involved constructing a proper morning routine.

Here’s what it looks like. Copy whatever parts you want to customize a morning routine that works for you.

Eat a healthy dinner well before you go to bed

When you get home from work have an early dinner.

Don’t load up on fried food and loads of sugar you know is bad for you. Eat what nature intended, whatever that means for you. For me, it’s a plate of mostly vegetables without any processed food.

A healthy dinner helps your body digest the food easily.

Empty your head into a notepad app

The day is full of stress.

It’s natural and anyone who wants to truly succeed will no doubt have to work hard. The trouble is the conversations from the day occupy your head at night.

Writing down what’s in your head allows you to dump all the rubbish into the garbage truck of a notepad.

Once everything you’re thinking about gets written down, there’s nothing else to remember or discuss with yourself.

Write to empty the mind.

Turn off blue light at 9 pm

Now you’ve activated no-mind.

It’s time to switch off all those screens and escape the metaverse back to earthly reality. Get away from the blue light of your devices because it screws with your sleep (you already knew that).

Turn the lights down

If we were still cavemen then as the sun goes down the amount of light in our homes would decrease too. But because we’re fancy as hell humans we’ve got lights that can burn bright all night.

To get ready for sleep it’s best to dim the lights and tell the body “time to sleep soon Chief.”

Sleep better than Captain Snooze

Most people don’t sleep enough. Sleep for at least 8 hours so your body can recover from a hard day. Less than 8 hours of sleep will do damage and make you a Karen at work. This one isn’t rocket science.

Wake up great, on top of the world

The pre-morning routine is crucial. If you follow these steps you should wake up the next day alive and full of energy.

Your morning routine starts the night before.


***Actual morning routine***

Let’s get to the best part.

Kiss your significant other

If you have a partner then wake up and kiss them good morning. Human connection sets us up to have many great encounters during the day. It reminds you why you wake up, too.

Drink this life-giving formula

Many people drink all sorts of concoctions in the morning. Most of them are glorified sugar water made in a factory full of sweet, sweet poison.

All I do is drink plenty of water in the morning. The body needs lots of it after getting no fluids for 8 hours and entering dehydration mode.

Read a newsletter

Waking up to email and social media first thing in the morning is like waking up to smoke a pack of cigarettes.

Don’t do it.

I start my day by reading. Newsletters are best because I choose them and I have trust with the creator. I hope to learn one new idea as I read. That idea often shapes my day in a positive way.

Move the body and get light exposure

Being outside is what humans are born to do.

Yet we spend large amounts of time inside. I’m going to take a hint from blogger Nat Eliason and set up an outside desk.

Image credit: Nat Eliason via Twitter

But if that’s not your style or your employer doesn’t allow park offices just yet (they’re still figuring out work from home) then try going for a walk.

Three days a week I hit the gym in the morning too. It switches on my brain and gets the blood pumping. I find I do my best work right after a workout.

The greatest exercise is the one you enjoy. If gym is too much then walk or ride a bicycle. Just don’t stay stationary all day, the new epidemic.

A human who moves is a human that will progress in life.

Take a few ideas to a warm shower

The cold shower bros can keep their practice.

When I’ve tried cold showers my wiener shrivels up and I can hardly breathe. Cold exposure has its benefits. But unless you’re training for iron man, it’s not part of a realistic morning routine.

There’s nothing more relaxing than a warm shower. Grab a few ideas you want to take action on for the day and take them to a shower. Why? The relaxation benefits of a shower bring you back to the present.

In the present, your mind can do some of the best thinking of your life. So if you take a few ideas to the shower, you can think about them as the water falls on your body and puts you in a trance.

There’s no problem in life a warm shower can’t help you think through.

The aha moments afterward are mind-blowing.

Start your day

Now it’s time to start your day.

The difference is you’ll have the energy and frame of mind to tackle the biggest problems that create the most progress in your life.

Final Thought

Self-help gurus have overcomplicated morning routines.

Dumb them down to dial up the benefits. A day built on top of healthy habits from the night before, combined with smart habits in the morning, is a day that’ll produce unstoppable results.

Set your morning routine up the night before and crush today.

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