One of the simplest, yet most powerful things I’ve done, is to follow a morning routine. I like to think of my morning as the time where I “rev the engine” of my day. Or in other words, where I “rev” the “A.M.” Or REV-AM.
Together, these letters prime me for high performance and set my day up for success. I feel as if I’m continually working on and developing myself, and I walk into the day with a greater sense of clarity, control, and vibrancy. It’s the difference between feeling like you’re driving the train versus hanging on to the back end of it.
Each of the letters stand for a part of the routine, which takes me about 60 minutes to complete:
- The R stands for Read. I love reading, but often struggle to find time to read during the day. When I add it to the front-end of my schedule it always gets done. Sometimes I use this segment to simply Review my day as well. (20 minutes)
- The E stands for Exercise. Whether some bodyweight training or cardio, nothing gets the blood flowing like some movement in the morning. It also releases a cocktail of positive hormones throughout the body and spikes your energy for the rest of the day. (20 minutes)
- The V stands for Visualize – I do two things in this regard. Firstly I visualize how I will show up with excellence in each activity throughout the day. For example how will the best version of me participate in that meeting or complete that report? Secondly I anticipate where the day may go wrong, the likely “enemies” (eg, procrastination, interruptions, negative thoughts) that will try to disrupt my plan, and how I’ll deal with each. (5 minutes)
- The A stands for Affirmations. I usually have a statement or two that I write out to myself. Statements that remind me of my strength, resilience, and brilliance. All of which each and every one of us have, if we choose to remind ourselves! (5 minutes)
- Lastly the M stands for Meditation. I use a simple breathing meditation. I sit in a relaxed, but still upright position, close my eyes, and begin taking some deep breaths. With every breath I count. 1, 2, 3… until I reach 10. And then I simply start again and count out the next 10 breaths, and then the next. I use a timer to signal when I’m done. (10 minutes)
So that’s how I “rev the engine” of my day, or “rev” the “A.M.”, with my simple REV-AM morning routine. You can do all of the segments or just some of them, in any order, or develop something that works for you.
Most importantly, you should have a concrete structure that you don’t need to think about. You’ll be amazed how a simple regular morning routine can set your day up for success.
What happens if you can’t follow your routine? Expect that to happen! That’s normal. We’re suddenly ill one morning, or one of the kids wakes up early, or perhaps we just feel off and don’t manage to get through our routine on-time. When things don’t go to plan one day you simply try again the next day. Remember it’s all about progress not perfection.
How do you make time for a morning routine? Like anything else that is important to you. You make the time. I found the time by going to bed an hour earlier so that I could wake up an hour earlier. And if you need help in that regard revisit the Digital Sunset technique at the bottom of the first “welcome email”. It will not only help you sleep better, but also fall asleep faster.
So, go ahead and try REV-AM for a week and bring a whole new level of clarity, control, and vibrancy to your day!