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Top Ten Morning Routines of Highly Successful People

by Steve Etherwood
fact checked by Rachel Jones

Highly successful people have unique morning routines beyond conventional breakfast and exercise. From industry leaders to renowned artists, these individuals use the early hours for creativity, focus, and personal growth. Their uncommon practices may inspire you to reevaluate your morning routine for increased productivity and clarity. Come with us as we explore ten morning routines of highly successful people.

Related: Top 10 Ways Binge-Watching Is Ruining Your Health

10 Prep the Night Before

Organisation Night Routine – Prepare For Tomorrow

Preparing the night before can set the stage for a better morning with reduced stress and smoother decision-making. The former American Express CEO, Kenneth Chenault, spends his evenings preparing for the following day to free up his mornings for meaningful work.

Here are some helpful things you can do to prepare the night before:

  • Plan your outfit: Decide what you’ll wear the next day and lay out your clothes, including accessories and shoes. This simple step can save time and reduce decision fatigue in the morning.
  • Pack your bag or work essentials: If you have a specific bag for work, school, or the gym, ensure it’s packed with all the necessary items you’ll need for the next day. This may include your laptop, notebooks, chargers, gym clothes, and other essentials.
  • Prepare your meals: Prepping meals or snacks in advance can save time and ensure you have nutritious options.
  • Set up your coffee or tea: If you enjoy a hot beverage in the morning, prepare your coffee maker or tea kettle the night before, so all you need to do is press a button or turn on the stove in the morning.

9 Naturally Wake-Up

1 Easy Method to Wake Up Without an Alarm

There’s something truly special about waking up to the natural world around you. Instead of being jolted out of sleep by an alarm clock or a loud noise, you can ease into the day with the soft sounds of birds chirping, the gentle rustling of leaves in the wind, and the warm glow of the sun’s first rays. It’s an experience that instantly connects you to the natural world and sets a peaceful tone for the rest of your day.

When you wake up naturally, you also allow your body to adjust to its natural rhythms. Your body knows when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to sleep, and by following those natural patterns, you can improve your overall health and well-being. Natural wake-up times can help regulate your circadian rhythm, the internal clock that regulates your sleep-wake cycles, and give you the energy and focus you need to tackle the day ahead.

Some successful people, such as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Arianna Huffington, swear by getting at least eight hours of sleep each night and waking up naturally without an alarm. Try opening your curtains before bed to let the morning light in or setting a gentle alarm clock that gradually increases in volume to mimic the sound of a natural wake-up call. You may find that waking up to the natural world around you is just what you need to start your day off on the right foot.

8 Beat the Sun

How to Feel Energized & Sleep Better With One Morning Activity | Dr. Andrew Huberman

Some successful people, like Apple CEO Tim Cook and former First Lady Michelle Obama, wake up well before dawn to have a quiet and productive time before the day begins.

Waking up before dawn can have several health benefits, including:

  • Improved focus and productivity: Waking up early can help you feel more focused and productive throughout the day.
  • Better sleep: Getting up at or before sunrise can reset your circadian clock and help lower and stabilize blood sugar, leading to better sleep.
  • Healthier diet: Waking up earlier provides more time to prepare a healthy breakfast, which has been shown to improve energy levels throughout the day.
  • Regulated hormones: Waking up early helps regulate your circadian rhythm, which can lead to better hormone regulation and metabolism.
  • Lower levels of depression: Studies have shown that people who wake up early tend to have lower levels of depression.

It’s important to note that waking up early may not benefit everyone. People who are extreme night owls and don’t get enough sleep may end up exhausted if they force themselves to wake up early.

7 Meditate, Reflect, and Be Grateful

Guided Morning Meditation | 10 Minutes To Start Every Day Perfectly ☮

Starting the day with a few moments of meditation, reflection, or gratitude can set the tone for a positive and productive day. Some successful individuals, like Richard Branson and Tony Robbins, start their mornings by writing in a journal, setting intentions, or expressing gratitude.

By incorporating these three practices into our morning routine, we can cultivate a sense of peace and purpose that can carry us through the rest of the day.

  • Meditation can help clear the mind and bring a sense of calm and focus.
  • Reflection allows us to think about our goals and priorities and consider any adjustments we may need to make.
  • Expressing gratitude for the good things in our lives can help shift our mindset toward positivity and abundance.

6 Stay Away from Your Phone

Why We Still Scroll When It Doesn’t Feel Good – Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman

Like many of us, you may find yourself reaching for your phone and scrolling through social media as soon as you wake up. However, it’s advisable to avoid checking your phone, email, or social media to minimize stress and increase productivity. This is a routine followed by Arianna Huffington, founder of Thrive Global.

Staying off social media can have several health benefits, including:

  • Improved mental health: Taking a break from social media can reduce anxiety, depression, and stress levels.
  • Better sleep: Social media use can interfere with sleep quality.
  • More meaningful relationships: Spending less time on social media can free up time for more meaningful face-to-face interactions.
  • Improved self-esteem: Social media can contribute to feelings of low self-esteem and negative body image, so staying off it can improve self-esteem and body image.
  • Reduced exposure to negativity: Social media can be a breeding ground for negativity and conflict, so staying off it can reduce exposure to these negative influences.

5 Pick Up a Book

Five Benefits to Reading (Backed By Research) || Read Everyday

Incorporating reading a book into your morning routine can be a transformative habit; just ask former U.S. president, Barack Obama. Starting your day with a few moments of reading allows you to nourish your mind, expand your knowledge, and ignite your creativity before the bustle of the day begins.

Whether fiction, non-fiction, or inspirational literature, immersing yourself in a book sets a positive tone, providing mental clarity and focus for the challenges ahead. Moreover, reading stimulates the brain, promoting better daily concentration and memory.

4 Embrace the Cold

Chilly But True – The Benefits of a Cold Shower

Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy or cold water therapy, involves exposing the body to cold temperatures for therapeutic purposes. For example, entrepreneur and podcast host Tim Ferriss is known for taking ice-cold showers in the morning to boost alertness and mental focus.

Cold therapy can be beneficial for various reasons, such as:

  • Improved metabolism and weight loss: Exposure to cold temperatures has been found to speed up metabolism, potentially aiding in weight loss. Cold exposure activates brown fat, a type of fat that burns calories to generate heat.
  • Better sleep: Cold therapy can help improve sleep quality. The cooling effect can help lower body temperature, which is associated with better sleep.
  • Increased energy and alertness: The shock of cold water therapy can boost energy levels and increase alertness.
  • Faster recovery and reduced muscle soreness: Cold therapy has been shown to help alleviate muscle soreness and promote faster recovery after intense physical activity.

It’s important to note that cold therapy may not be suitable for everyone, and it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new therapy or treatment.

3 Walk with Your Pets

Discover the Mental Health Benefits of Spending Time with Animals

Several successful individuals, such as Oprah and Jillian Michaels, include their pets in their morning routine. Incorporating a morning walk with your pet can have significant health benefits for both you and your furry companion. Not only does it promote physical activity, but it also boosts mental well-being. Walking helps to kickstart your metabolism, leading to increased energy levels throughout the day and improved cardiovascular health.

The bonding experience with your pet during the morning stroll can reduce stress and anxiety, as spending time with animals is known to release oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone. Additionally, being outdoors in the fresh air and natural surroundings provides a mental refresh, setting a positive tone for the day ahead.

Regular morning walks can also aid in weight management, joint flexibility, and overall fitness. For your pet, it’s a chance to explore, socialize, and expend energy, promoting a healthier and happier life for them, too.

2 Skip the Coffee

When to DRINK Coffee – Scientist explains (time of day)

Contrary to popular belief, consuming caffeine first thing in the morning can negatively affect your health and go-get-em attitude. There are two roads you can go: Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, forgoes coffee until his morning routines are completed, or you can grab water as your first drink of the day like Cameron Diaz.

Here are some reasons to wait to grab your morning Starbucks:

  • Reduced energy levels: While caffeine can provide an initial energy boost, it can also lead to a crash later.
  • Increased anxiety and nervousness: Consuming caffeine can increase anxiety and nervousness, leading to jitteriness and headaches.
  • Reduced absorption of micronutrients: Caffeine can inhibit the absorption of micronutrients.
  • Interference with collagen formation: Caffeine can interfere with collagen formation, leading to wrinkles and other skin problems.

Drinking water in the morning can have several benefits for your health, such as:

  • Rehydration: Drinking water in the morning helps replenish the fluids lost during the night.
  • Improved metabolism: Drinking water in the morning can boost your metabolism, helping you burn calories more efficiently. It can also aid in weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness and reducing calorie intake.
  • Increased energy levels: Water is essential for maintaining energy levels. Drinking water in the morning can help increase alertness and combat fatigue.
  • Better digestion: Drinking water on an empty stomach can stimulate the digestive system, promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. Warm water, in particular, can help break down food and aid in digestion.
  • Improved skin health: Staying hydrated helps maintain skin elasticity, reduces dryness, and promotes a radiant complexion.
  • Boosted immune system: Proper hydration enhances the body’s ability to fight infections and illnesses.
  • Joint and muscle health: Adequate water intake is essential for lubricating joints and cushioning muscles. Drinking water in the morning can help alleviate joint pain, back pain, and headaches caused by dehydration.

It’s important to note that individual hydration needs may vary, and it’s essential to listen to your body’s signals for thirst and adjust your water intake accordingly.

1 Fuel Your Body

Why should I eat breakfast?

Eating a nutritious breakfast can fuel your body and mind for the rest of the day. Not only does it provide you with energy, but it also improves your metabolism and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Eating good food in the morning can also improve your mood and concentration, making you more productive throughout the day.

Take a play from professional tennis player Naomi Osaka’s playbook and grab a smoothie to start your morning. Plenty of other delicious options include oatmeal with fresh fruits or whole-grain toast with avocado and eggs. These meals are tasty and packed with essential nutrients that your body needs to function at its best.

It’s important to note that a healthy breakfast should include a balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats) and be based on whole, unprocessed foods.

fact checked by Rachel Jones