How To Create An Elite Morning Routine

How to Create An Elite Morning Routine.

“Own your morning, elevate your life.” – Robin Sharma

One of the most impactful practices I’ve developed, is creating and instilling an elite morning routine. My days are so much more positive and productive when I rise early and spend the first couple of hours of my day investing in myself. It’s days like this where I truly feel like I am an unstoppable force.

Even though I am an advocate for waking up at 5am and have for some time now, it didn’t always start this way. I was never an early bird. If I had the option of choosing to wake up early or sleep in, I would have chosen to sleep in every time. It was actually very difficult (and took some time) for me to get to a point where I could get up at 5am, and to do it as a daily practice.

There are so may benefits to waking up early. In fact, in his brilliant book The 5am Club, Robin Sharma says starting your day at 5am is how great geniuses, business titans and the world’s wisest people start their mornings to produce astonishing achievements. To attest to this, Apple CEO Tim Cook starts his mornings at 3:45am. Ellevest CEO and co-founder Sallie Krawcheck wakes at 4am. Oprah WinfreyRichard Branson, Michelle Obama and Indra Nooyi have been known to rise early.

Here are a few strategies to start waking up early and to create an elite morning routine:

1. RISING EARLY

In a recent blog post, I shared some strategies which I have found helpful in rising early over the years:

BEDTIME FUNCTION

Use the ‘bedtime’ function on your iPhone to set a bedtime and wakeup time. I set my bedtime for 9pm and my wakeup time at 5am. By using this tool all calls, emails and notifications are silenced between these hours. I am therefore less tempted to use my phone and other devices past 9pm, and use this time to wind down and get into bed earlier.

MAKE A GRADUAL SHIFT

If you wake up at 8am every day, then waking up at 5am is likely to be a sudden and abrupt change. Try setting your alarm just 5 or 10 minutes earlier every day, until you can reach your ideal wake-up time.

THE 5 SECOND RULE

Mel Robbins has a methodology called ‘The 5 Second Rule.’ When you feel yourself hesitate before you do something that you know you should do (such as waking up when your alarm goes rather than jumping out of bed) count 5-4-3-2-1-GO and move towards action. This method is simple yet highly effective. 

CATCHING A FLIGHT

Marie Forleo has talked about a strategy she uses for rising early, where she tricks herself into thinking she has a flight to catch. Have you ever wondered why you can wake up at 4:00am to catch a flight, but you can’t bring yourself to do that on any other day? By using this strategy and treating your wake up time like you have a flight to catch, it will encourage you to jump into action.

ESTABLISH PARAMETERS 

Another strategy you can use is to sleep with your phone in a different room, or at a minimum, on the other side of your bedroom. If you have to get out of bed to turn your alarm off, you’re already up. And getting out of bed is half the battle.

2. ROBIN SHARMA’S 20/20/20 FORMULA

I recently read Robin Sharma’s book The 5am Club, it was a brilliant read. In this book, Robin shares his 20/20/20 formula as a core way of managing your morning. The framework comprises of three key aspects, and has been designed to optimise the first hour of your day.

POCKET 1: 5:00AM – 5:20AM – MOVE
  • Intense exercise
  • Sweat hard
  • Learn
  • Hydrate
  • Breathe Deeply
POCKET 2: 5:20AM – 5:40AM – REFLECT
  • Journal
  • Meditate
  • Plan
  • Pray
  • Contemplate
POCKET 3: 5:40AM – 6:00AM – GROW
  • Review goals
  • Read books
  • Consume audiobooks
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Study online

The 20/20/20 model comprises of three twenty minute pockets to install and then practice to mastery-level. The first twenty minute pocket requires you to move. According to Robin, doing some exercise first thing every morning will revolutionise the quality of your day.

The second pocket requires you to reflect for 20 minutes. This pocket will encourage you to reassess your natural power, boost self-awareness, dissolve your stress, fuel your happiness and restore your inner peace.

The final pocket grow, requires you to invest time time in practices such as reading a book, watching a video or listening to a podcast that will improve your understanding of how the best lives were made, elevate you professionally, improve your relationships and increase your financial success.

Whilst you can choose to spend more time on each of the three key areas, a minimum of 20 minutes should be spent on each pocket.

3. SET A STRUCTURE

Setting a structure of how I want to spend the first couple of hours of my day is incredibly important to me. I have tried and tested a number of methods, and have found one that really works for me. Here is what my current morning routine looks like:

5:00am – Wake up & make the bed

5:05am – Breathing exercise. This is something I have recently added to my morning routine, and have found to be incredibly powerful. I use Wim Hof (aka Ice Man) breathing technique, which you can access via YouTube.

5:15am – 10 minutes of meditation using the headspace app.

5:25am – Gratitude practice – write down at least 3 things I feel grateful for in my journal.

5:30am – Workout or walk.

6:30am – Shower & get ready.

7:00am – Read and / or listen to a podcast while having breakfast.

7:30am – Work on personal projects.

9:00am – Work day officially begins.

I am highly routine-oriented and having a set structure works well for me. My best advice would be to try and test a few things and see what works for you, whether it is Robin Sharma’s 20/20/20 formula or anything else. A good place to start may be to start with 3-4 things which you can commit to, such as:

  • Committing to wake up at the same time every day.
  • Making your bed.
  • Taking a shower & getting dressed out of your pyjamas.
  • Doing a workout or going for a walk.

CREATING AN ELITE MORNING ROUTINE

What are some of your practices for creating an elite morning routine? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, please leave your comments below!

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6 Comments

  1. May 17, 2020 / 12:48 pm

    I’m greatly for this! I wonder if you’ve thought of having a YouTube channel- you have a comfort song pleasant voice and I’d love to hear all of your writings as some of my self learning material – I respond a lot better to hearing being in recruitment 🙂 I can focus more listening and would really benefit .. just an idea 🙂
    You’re a very impressive woman- intelligent and feminine.

    • Lara
      Author
      May 18, 2020 / 7:01 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely feedback, Lisa! I’m so grateful that you’ve taken the time to write to me – and thank you so much for the suggestion! I have thought of starting a YouTube channel however in the meantime, you can listen to my podcast by searching for The Boss in Heels Podcast on Apple Podcasts, iTunes & Spotify, or by clicking on Podcasts on the menu of this site. I really appreciate your kind words, it really means a lot to me! Thank you so much for all the support.

  2. Jacquees Shaqueel
    October 27, 2020 / 5:05 pm

    Interesting ideas. You could also apply the 20/20/20 rule to the hour before bed as opposed to just the hour after you wake up.

    • Lara
      Author
      November 10, 2020 / 12:14 pm

      Absolutely, Jacquees! There is value in applying the same principles and creating an equally powerful evening routine. Thank you for taking the time to read!

  3. Om
    January 13, 2021 / 1:08 am

    20-20-20 routine Well explained in a practical and implementable manner. I drink lots of water soon after waking up at 0345, do Soulset (pray to God do meditation ) till 0445, then read Godly versions till 5 am. Then, freshen up and go for a run at 0530, come back, take shower at 0630 and then start Mindset and personal projects. Now I will start a journal too. Thank You Very Much!

    • Lara
      Author
      January 17, 2021 / 5:40 am

      Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback, it is very much appreciated! It sounds like you’ve established a really solid and effective morning routine for yourself – keep up the wonderful work! Lara

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