Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, has remarked that around 95% of people settle for less than what they want in their lives. This is a staggering number, and it is apparent that many people do not live up to their potential for a variety of reasons. However, Elrod has suggested that waking up early and establishing a morning routine is one way to avoid being part of the 95%.
Elrod’s story is one of inspiration, as he hit rock bottom after a tragic car accident before uncovering his path to success through a morning routine. By committing to a new routine that integrated exercise, education, and personal growth, he found that his life changed significantly. Elrod’s experience supports the idea that by waking up early, and putting in a set of focused, beneficial actions before starting the demands of the day, one can achieve greater success and contentment.
Research has proven that morning types are more likely to report higher levels of positive affect and are healthier than non-morning types. This is because a morning routine can set a positive tone for the day and allows us time to focus on ourselves before distractions set in. By designing a morning routine, we effectively put ourselves first, giving our bodies and minds the attention and care they need to function optimally throughout the day.
The benefits of a morning routine go beyond physically preparing the body for the day – establishing one will also enhance mental sharpness and increase mental agility. When we allow our minds to operate on autopilot, such as during morning meditation or a long run, ideas seemingly pop into our heads, offering what Elrod calls “aha” moments. These moments can occur when engaged in task-free moments on autopilot or in the Default Mode Network (DMN). Therefore, by maximizing DMN with a morning routine, one can increase creativity and generate new ideas.
A morning routine can also kick-start the brain and metabolism, bringing more benefits to your health. Exercise is one of the optimal vehicles for producing the magical substance known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a substance responsible for neurogenesis that correlates with more brain mass, improved cognition, and new brain cell production. Similarly, starting the day with exercise, having a cold shower, and drinking ice water can help fire up your metabolism and have your body burning calories earlier in the day than most people achieve in a day.
A useful hack to improve your sleep is the 4-7-8 breathing exercise, which involves inhaling and exhaling at specific intervals to regulate your breathing. Additionally, caffeine and sugar should be avoided after 5 pm, while shutting off your phone, TV, or computer 45 minutes before bed will help your nervous system relax and prepare for sleep. Waking up early can be made easier by taking a cold shower or splashing your face with cold water, drinking ice-cold water, and physically getting out of bed before shutting off your alarm.
Establishing a morning routine is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Still, Travis McAshan’s Bruce Lee Challenge can help you design a routine tailored to your goals. His challenge encourages individuals to ask one fundamental question: what one simple change can I make daily that would make the most significant positive change in my life? Once identified, specific metrics can be established to track progress towards your goal.
Overall, almost everyone can benefit from a morning routine. By committing to morning activities such as exercise, personal growth, and education, we can maximize our potential and achieve greater success and contentment in our lives. Elrod’s experience and research support this assertion – it is time now to take the initiative and wake up the Hercules within you.