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The Morning Routine Bible

The secret I’ve learned thanks to doing the routine for 4 years, never skipping a day.

I started my morning routine by a complete accident while working on my mental health.

I used to have suicidal thoughts and anxiety attacks.
To survive the day, I embraced a habit of finding 3 things I am grateful for immediately after waking up.

I did it religiously, every single morning.

Later I learned to soothe my anxiety immediately by taking 30 slow, deep breaths.
It worked reliably, so I practiced the technique almost daily.
Eventually, I started to do it as a prevention every morning after I brushed my teeth.

I was getting better!

So I added push-ups. Then some stretching a few months later. Some writing.
I experimented — I added something and took something away.

Over the next 4 years, this is how my life changed:

I am literally a different human being today and I believe the Morning Routine had the biggest impact on that.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

This is what my mornings look like today:

To make the upgrades you want in your life, it is important to understand, why Morning routine works.

Why morning routine works without exception

The human psyche can change in two ways:

Morning routine not only makes your body and mind healthier because of its elements (workout, meditation, etc.), it also changes your psyche because of consistent living up to a higher standard.

The change can be dramatic and this is why:

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The best universal morning routine does not exist.
There is only what’s the best for you & right now.
That depends on how you want to upgrade your life.

Do you have a pain in your lower back? Put 4 key exercises in the morning routine.
Do you have overwhelming anxiety? Adjust your morning routine to get better.
Do you want to be more creative? Same thing, different exercise.

Even though it sounds easy and obvious, very few people get it done.

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How to implement Morning Routine into life successfully

Despite strong initial motivation, most people fail to implement a sustainable morning routine in their lives.

These are the top 3 blockers of the long-term routine:

These 3 blockers are the reason why 99% of the people eventually stop.
Handle these 3 things and you’ll make it.
It’s that simple.

To do that, apply these principles:

When my routine was 180 minutes long and I was in a summer camp, living in a tent for a week, it was impossible to do a full routine. But I would still go to the woods and meditate for 2 minutes on my own, do 30 pushups and then come back.

That’s it.
It must happen.
Never skip.

Morning routine seems miraculous because once all the activities become autopilot it feels like an effortless exponential growth.

Yes, I made a big statement and I mean it exactly the way I wrote it.

But for that to happen, the 3 principles must be present.
Without them, it’s impossible.
Especially the 100% rule.

Once you’re ready to upgrade your life through the morning routine, you can select its building blocks to create the most synergies.

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The building blocks of the Morning Routine

Before anything in the morning routine — start by making your bed.

Making your bed after you get up is the single most important task after waking up. Psychologically, it becomes the first task done during the day and it increases morale, boosts self-discipline, and willpower to do whatever comes next. And even if your day sucked, when you come home, your bed is nice at least.

Workout

Benefits: Waking up the body for the day, increased blood flow and oxygenation, increasing basic body strength, healthier muscles, and bones, improved immune system, reducing back pain, spine blockages, fatigue, looking better, and feeling better. You can have an intense workout every morning without going to the gym— using just your own weight.

Beginner: 3-10 pushups (or squats, or sit-ups)

Solid: 10 or more repetitions of warm-up, push-ups, pull-ups, squats, handstand-against-the-wall & sit-ups.

Advanced: Target specific body parts, gymnastic training, strength training, endurance training (running, bike, swimming, etc.) In workout, the options are endless, you can experiment with various exercises to get your results.

Special: If you are solving a particular muscular or skeletal problem, use professional services to help you design the morning exercises.

Synergies: You can listen to inspiring content during the workout or make it a meditative experience (tune into yourself by having your eyes closed and making an inward focus).

Yoga/stretching

Benefits: Waking up the body for the day, increased blood flow and oxygenation, improves mental balance and patience, slows down the mind, improves hormonal balance, increases emotional stability, improves the musculoskeletal system, and reduces pain (if designed properly).

Beginner: Always warm-up, unless you have already worked out before that. To start, get inspired by some of the very basic stretches.

Advanced: Yogic sun salutations, or specific kinds of Yoga (Hatha, Vipassana, Tantra, Hormonal, etc.) Again, the options are endless, based on what feels good and what you want to achieve, mentally, and physically.

Special: If you are solving a particular muscular or skeletal problem, consult a professional to help you design the morning stretches.

Synergies: Can be a part of the meditative experience, flexing your muscles after the workout improves the workout quality

Meditation

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear, emotionally calm, and stable state. For thousands of years, the ancient practices of Taoism, Buddhism, and even Stoicism praised meditation as a tool for achieving a great balance between mind, body, and spirit.

In the last couple of decades, modern science is discovering evidence about its benefits too.

Benefits: mental calmness & stillness, improved focus, improved hormonal balance, improved emotional stability, better attention, mental clarity and reprogramming of the subconscious mind

Beginner: 10–30 slow breaths, focusing on the breath and the counting only.

Advanced: Raise the number of breaths to 30–50 or use the app Headspace

Special guided meditations: The aim of guided meditation is to make it easier for you to focus your mind if done consistently, the results can blow your mind. These are the meditations that changed my life:

Highly advanced: There are 3 additional meditations that can make you experience very deep meditative states that ground you for the day.

1. “Who am I?” meditation by Michael Singer

2. Emotional releasing meditation discovered by Lester Levenson

3. Zhan Zhuang is an ancient Taoist meditation (or a Qi Gong practice) that improves body posture, muscle balance, creates an emotional grounding, restores an energetic balance of the body.

4. Sexual transmutation program—if you understand how sexual transmutation works, you can schedule the exercises and meditations into your morning routine and learn it within weeks.

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Wim Hof Breathing Exercise/Pranayama Breathing Technique

The Wim Hof breathing method is a form of pranayama breathing technique that emerged in Ancient India and is practiced for thousands of years. Research (and experience of tens of thousands of people globally) has shown that these breathing methods create powerful metabolic reactions in the body that affect the overall health and well-being.

Benefits: Boost to the immune system, improved concentration, increased willpower and physical energy, alkalinization of the body, better sleep, more oxygenation for the brain and the body, decreased inflammation, improved metabolism.

Basic: Take 30 deep and swift diaphragmatic breaths without a pause, one after another. Then breathe all the air out and hold your breath for as long as you can. When you can’t hold your breath any longer, take a full breath in and hold it for 15 seconds. Then release the air, breathe freely and relax. You can check the instruction video by Wim.

Advanced: 3 repetitions grow the effect exponentially.

Pro tip: When you hold your breath, you will sometimes feel tingling in various parts of your body. Once you get better at it, you can move the tingling around your body with your intention.

Synergies: Doing breathing, meditation, and cold exposure create a synergy that boosts each others’ effects, listening to relaxing music can further deepen the experience.

Cold showers

This technique has been used for centuries to take advantage of our body’s tendency to adapt to harsher conditions and increase its functional efficiency in a natural and healthy way.

Benefits: Boost immune system, increased willpower, energized body, improved hormonal balance, increased the frustration tolerance, getting rid of the seasonal flu, powerful practice for the personal discipline, reduced inflammation, burning fat through thermogenesis.

Basic: Turn the water to the maximum cold. Start with legs and arms, and gradually move up to the chest and head. Breathe deeply and slowly — this is the most important thing. To make it comfortable, learn to relax under the cold water. Don’t push through the cold, become one with the cold and relax into it.

Advanced: Stay longer under the shower (up to 5 minutes) and see how much you can relax.

Hardcore: Do weekly outdoor cold plunges in the winter.

Journalling

Being one of the oldest self-help tools in the world, journaling is simply writing down what’s on your mind — ignoring the grammar and any rules that exist in formal writing. Regular and consistent journalling with a clear purpose is one of the key success factors of many leaders.

My preference is to journal before sleep on the positives about the day and go through my entries in the morning so that I can build on the success from the day before.

Benefits: Improves clarity, expands the positive life experiences and improves emotional balance, helps to cope with depression and anxiety, increases creativity, work efficiency, upgrades subconscious mind

Beginner: [complementary to the morning routine]

Before going to sleep write 1 sentence on each:

Basic: Once you’re comfortable with 1 sentence, upgrade to a list of the daily gains & love (3–10 items).

When you wake up, go through your Gains, Love & Gratitude from the previous day. This overrides any the mental patterns that focus on the negative on an autopilot.

Advanced techniques for the morning-writers:

Synergies: Journalling can be a powerful meditative and trauma-healing experience. I have multiple experiences of suddenly bursting into tears after having a breakthrough during the writing process.

Photo by Pedro Araújo on Unsplash

Hydration & Nutrition

I am a loyal fan of intermittent fasting for several years now.

I never eat breakfast and my levels of energy have been consistently higher compared to times when I ate breakfast.

Whether you eat breakfast or not, starting the morning with liquids is a must.

Therefore, my top 3 favorites are:

Other activities

There are other activities that can be done in the morning:

Important: Never look at your phone before you must.

The get the most out of the morning, you must stay in charge of your morning.

Noticing any social media notifications, messages, or e-mails makes you think and react to the external world already and makes it more difficult to focus on yourself.

Make the mornings sacred, give yourself the love.

Conclusion

A morning routine is a tool that can improve anyone’s life in a way that’s beyond imagination.

It works, because:

How to make it work:

Morning routine works.

It’s proven by science and defended by a ridiculous amount of successful people.

It also changed my life and now it can change yours.
Right now, you’re a tiny step from making it happen.

All that’s required is a decision.

What will you do?

Photo by Jake Melara on Unsplash

Download free e-books on How To Heal Your Inner Nice Guy and The Integrated Man: Authentic Masculinity checklist.

If you want to join a challenge to grow your Authentic Masculinity, join my Integrated Men’s Group on Facebook. To get even more exclusive content, join my e-mail list! For more articles, videos, and a podcast, check out my website or youtube channel.

Life Coach, Emotional Intelligence Lector, Life Enthusiast. Catch up with me @ www.bymaros.com

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