After reading a book called The 5 am Club by Robin Sharma. I thought to myself if I read this book and do absolutely nothing about it then reading that book was a waste of my time! During lockdown, I adapted it to the 6 am Club. As the weeks went on, I found so many things began to change — all seemingly kickstarted by the way I the start my day.
There are 3 categories that I find very beneficial:
Or if you prefer the short concise wording in Sharma’s book:
Starting with these practices set the intention to make the most out of each day. In the book, The 5 am Club these 3 sections are recommended for 20 minutes each. This means setting aside an hour of your morning. I realise that may not be realistic for everyone but perhaps incorporating even 10 minutes from each category can propel you to a meaningful morning routine.
Step One: Move Your Body
Drinking water as soon as humanly possible when you first wake up is so beneficial to many parts of the body, so drink up! And get moving!
Cortisol is the highest when we first wake up. This hormone is best used up by movement. Dopamine begins to rise and an increase in serotonin if you start your day this way!
I recommend getting your exercise gear ready the night before and leave it next to your bed. I know someone who sleeps in their workout clothes. To me, this is hardcore, but gives the intention of ‘I am not messing around’ or allowing excuses. I like to keep my bedtime wear loose and not lycra but if this helps you get in the habit, I’m all for it.
As well as ensuring adequate hydration, deep breaths into the belly here are especially valuable. Studies also show this helps to boost the metabolism by fuelling the mitochondria of your cells which is the powerhouse that produces ATP, which gives us energy!
Most of our life is unconscious habits so why not instil movement as your first part of the day. Ideally, 20 mins would be great if you can allow it but even 5 minutes of movement and work up to increasing that time – it’s much better than none at all!
The category of Movement can be so adaptable depending on the person, mood or what the body needs. Whether it’s yoga, running, walking, weights or any other type of movement it can set the stage for the rest of the day.
Step Two: Self-Reflection/Stillness
The second part of a successful morning routine involves self-reflection. This can include meditating, journaling or some other type of stillness or mindful practice. The point is after the movement to quiet down and allow for a slower pace to transition you into starting the day.
If you find this difficult a mindful morning herbal tea ritual perhaps as a starting point if sitting with your eyes closed meditating for 20 minutes feels daunting.
Another suggestion: prayer. It doesn’t have to mean always how an organised religion prays. Consider setting an intention for your day that you hold in your mind and aim to bring with you during the day. Or contemplate something in a soft, mindful way looking at different perspectives.
Perhaps a gratitude journal or practice may feel aligned to you. Stillness of the mind allows lots of wonderful things to come through. Connects you more to your inner wisdom, allows for even more gratitude and allow creativity to spark with this heightened awareness.
Step Three: Self-Improvement/Grow
The final category called Grow, or self-improvement. This step can include reading books, studying a course, listen to an audiobook or podcast. This daily practice for your own knowledge expansion. Allowing for inspiration to increase and overall a richer life.
You could review your goals and adapt them during this step as well. Any direct time towards personal growth is going to enhance your life. Even learning to play an instrument or something that you enjoy that activates the brain is great to implement in the third step!
The 5 am Club book also recommends a 66-day minimum commitment to the 20/20/20 morning routine. Also, highly recommend not looking at devices if possible until 10 am and especially not until after the 3 steps of your morning routine are completed. This allows for focus and not bombarding your mind so early with the news of the world!
In conclusion, after time has passed do not forget to – review, review review! What’s any good plan without tweaking and revision! Perhaps you want to do a weekly, monthly or quarterly review to see what does and doesn’t work for you? It’s all about making it realistic and manageable for your life.
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