Picture this: It’s Sunday morning. Energised, you wake up and walk straight to the mirror. You stare in disbelief at your own reflection. You have never looked this good in your entire life. You take off your Slouchwear® and go back to looking like a loser until 5pm hits and you can put them back on again.
That’s the morning routine, thanks for reading, Catch ya!
Yours in comfort,
Kidding, I wish it were that simple. In reality, your morning routine can make or break your day and it is essential that you create one that works for you. So today I’m going to share with you a few of my own personal strategies and tips that start my day on the foot SO RIGHT it should be deemed a fetish. Let’s get in to it:
Tip 1: Ignore the Phone
Have you ever noticed how weird your brain is the second you wake up? Maybe you are still half dreaming and still believe certain fictions are real when they’re not? Or you freak out about something that is actually perfectly fine? I have personally fallen for email scams after reading them immediately upon waking...twice. Now whilst I’m not proud of that, it’s to entirely my fault.
Firstly, when you wake up, your brain isn’t ready to function at the level it will be in a couple of hours time as it’s still coming out of dream world. And secondly, how am I supposed to know that Facebook doesn’t send legitimate emails from a hotmail account?! Anyway, my point is: it’s truly amazing how weird your mind can be first thing in the morning. It’s as if you are ready to be in a completely reactive state and this is why you need to ignore the phone. If you don’t check your phone, you can wake up on your own terms and decide what kind of day you want to have. You can check in with your priorities and dictate how the day should go and how you want to feel. For instance I could wake up, not check my phone, write a plan for the day, reflect on what’s going well and get pumped for life. OR I could wake up, check my phone, scroll Instagram and realise
what my life lacks, check my emails and see something from work that reminds me what I have to do, wonder why I’m so incapable, worry about the work I have to do, doubt myself and get out of bed.
I am not making this up, I am speaking from experience! Ignore your phone for at least 20-30 minutes and you can go from feeling like a yawning zero to a morning hero.
Tip 2: Read
If you came from the previous article on the perfect evening routine you might recognise this tip. Unless you didn’t come from the previous article...Or you can’t quite remember it...Or you can’t even read and you’re just mindlessly scrolling hoping no one can see you staring at the unrecognisable squiggles on your screen. In any case, I am going to obsess once again over the importance of reading. Dedicating 15 minutes to morning reading gives your mind enough time to wake up to reality and also consume something beneficial and positive to re frame your tired mind. This is when I like to read books that motivate me to get up, do more, be more and give life a crack. A few of my recommendations are Motivation Manifesto, The Daily Stoic, Obstacle is the way, Can’t hurt me and Atomic habits (My top 10 can be found on my youtube channel Zac
Perna). Make this a daily habit and you will notice immediate changes in your mood and motivation!
Tip 3: Exercise
Now what kind of ‘fitness influencer’ would I be if I didn’t use my influence to promote fitness? Well I’d just be an inflated ego at that point begging you to swipe up for exclusive content but I digress. EXERCISE is the tip. Starting your day with any form of exercise will boost your endorphins, wake up your lymphatic system and get your blood flowing. If you want to feel energised in the mornings, start with exercise instead of waiting for the energy to start. Contrary to popular belief, action often precedes motivation before you can feel genuinely motivated. Don’t believe me? Force yourself to exercise for 10 days every morning. On the eleventh day you’ll want to feel as good as you did the day before so you won’t need motivation to get it done, the reward of dopamine will be enough for you. That is how motivation works! Action - Motivation - Action.
Tip 4: Do something you don’t want to do
This is my favourite tip. Start the day by doing something you don’t want to do. A few of my favourites include eating burnt toast, setting fire to my bed or screaming fire in a maternity ward. Kidding, I have never actually done those but I also wouldn’t want to either so they’d probably be good candidates for what I’m about to recommend nevertheless. Doing something you don’t want
to do is mainly about building mental resilience and getting in the habit of not shying away from challenges and confronting them head on. Achieving any small win will trigger dopamine and contribute to a sense of confidence.
My favourite: cold showers. Ever since reading the Wim Hof method, I’ve started my day with a cold shower (it’s been over a year now). Physical benefits aside, I like to use it as a challenge to do something I REALLY do not want to do. You’d think after 18 months the cold water would get easier but it doesn’t. It just takes me longer to shiver. Awesome. Some people make their bed as a small win to feel a sense of confidence and purpose, whilst others jump in a cold shower. Others probably eat burnt toast. I’m not one to judge, just pick one that you (don’t) enjoy.
Tip 5: Plan your work and know when you work best
As tempting as it may be (or not) to get stuck into your work first thing in the morning, there are times when your mind is actually prepared to work and focus the best. Physiologically it is approximately 2-3 hours after waking ( or 5 hours after your body’s temperature minimum which occurs two hours before waking - credit to Dr Huberman) for a solid 50-90 minutes of all out work.
Putting aside the most confusing time references since Interstellar, finding when to do the ‘hard work’ can mean the most for your productivity. For me, this means by 9AM I’m starting a complicated and challenging bout of work and leaving trivial things like emails or communications to a little later in the day. Some people do the hardest work first and others do the most ‘creative’. Everyone is different so you can decide what works for you but know that there is a time for hard work and the morning is the perfect time to smash it out.
So I hope you have a solid plan of attack now to start the day on your own terms with confidence and purpose. Run the day on your own terms instead of becoming a slave to your own emotions and letting the day control you. Wow I should put that on a T shirt... Corniest but most comfortable T Shirt on the f****ing Planet!
Yours in comfort,