For some reason people are really obsessed with morning routines lately because all these “successful” people all have their morning routines that help them conquer the world. I get the same question a lot lately so why not share it here.
First, my morning routine follows a pretty fixed structure but the components for each part changes according to my circumstances. I have to adapt to the situation because I have to travel from time to time to look at new investment opportunities and also managing my businesses in other parts of the world. Depending on the amount of time I have before some pre-scheduled activities, I choose among different options to complete my morning routine.
Wash My Face Cold
Where ever I have access to ice or ice cold water, I wash my face with that. And it’s the first thing I do after waking up.
There are many parts of the world where you cannot do that though and washing with normal tape water or even bottle water is all you can do.
But I never wash with warm or hot water.
I rotate through different sets of stretching depending on the amount of time I have. So it can go as short as a few minutes or as long as 10 minutes. I may even skip the next step of doing my wake up exercises if I my body is sore from heavy duty training sessions from the day before.
There is one set of stretches I do that came from classic Chinese martial art training. It is a combination of stability, strength and stretch. If I am doing that, I can definitely skip the exercises. I will post a link if I find a video on that.
Wake Up Exercises
A simple combination of doing push ups, leg raises and squats one set each would take less than 5 minutes. I would do that when I have an area to lie down on the ground.
When I have the proper equipment I would do pull ups and other exercises.
This is not full session training. Just a way to wake up the body with the goals of pushing for reasonably higher heart rate and better blood circulation. So using each major muscle group once is enough.
This can go from 5 to 10 minutes depending on the pace and the amount of time I have.
The kind of breathing exercise I do varies depending on what I want to achieve for the day.
If I skip the wake up exercise, I would do more types of breathing like rapid abdominal breathing to at least activate the abs.
This takes only a few minutes.
As oppose to jump into the day to think of what to do and what has to be done, I round up the routine with relax breathing while thinking about things in my life that I am grateful for. It is a very powerful tool that anchor oneself to reality with a positive attitude.
It only takes a few minutes to complete this part too.
This is the last part of my morning routine.
When I am not on a tight schedule, I would allow my mind to wander around with new ideas. It may come from reading a book. It can come from reading an article online. It may even happen when I am looking out of my window.
The reason for doing this is that after the morning routine, my mind is at the peak of its clarity from the conditioning. It is the best time for me to figure new things out. Many of my creative ideas from new trading strategies to business planning are coming from this deliberate practice of mind wandering.
I complete all these tasks before I sit down for my first sip of coffee.
I do not eat breakfast. My first meal is often my lunch. And my lunch is often done over meetings with my business associates to save time.
If you want to duplicate what I do, remember the following rule:
It is very important to do all of the above except mind wandering to focus on the task you are doing and feel it through your body. Do not think of anything else. You should not be able to think of anything else if you really pay full attention to how your body feels.
The whole purpose of having a morning routine is to condition your body and mind to certain level of higher alertness and calmness so that you can carry out the rest of the day with better decision making which leads to more consistent performance in essentially everything.
Seriously, the routine is essentially the same as practicing traditional Tai Chi correctly for one round. It has all the ingredients choregraphed into its sequence but people rarely realize what they are supposed to accomplish with that. The drawback with doing one complete round of Tai Chi is that it takes more time (30 to 45 minutes) and a lot of space, so one cannot afford to practice that in small place or on a tight schedule.
Ancient people are really smart …