Setting your day up for success

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

There is something that the most successful CEO's of our time have in common... and that is a morning routine. Success leaves clues, so if we look at successful people and their lifestyle, we can take a page from their book, experiment with it and see whether modelling their behaviour works for us too.


The individuals I refer to (Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos etc.) have a morning filled with a variety of positive habits that set them up for the rest of the day. These habits are said to increase their focus, motivation and energy. Sounds good to me!


To share with you what seem to be the most frequent habits in said routines, I have picked the 12 which come up most frequently in my research.


  1. Surround yourself with natural light when rising. Most people spend 90% of their time indoors which limits sun exposure. we need sunlight for it's great effects such as: energy, serotonin and endorphins.

  2. Get hydrated. Try to drink at least 1/2 litre of still water within the first hour of waking, it boosts energy and can help lose weight.

  3. Get moving. It will improve learning and visual attention span while also boosting adrenalin. Aim for 5-10 mins first thing, it doesn't matter what kind of movement you do, just make sure its something you enjoy enough to stick to long-term.

  4. Practice breathing or meditation. This habit calms the mind and helps to think clearly about whats important in life as well as for the day ahead.

  5. Express gratitude. Showing appreciation for what + who you have in your life in the present moment is the single most powerful method of increasing happiness, research shows.

  6. Journal your thoughts. This helps to clarify problems and come up with unique solutions.

  7. Practice self-education with intention. 5-10 mins per morning on a subject that you wish to know more about. Self teaching is incredibly fulfilling and there are endless materials on the web to help do this. (Masterclass and Coursera are my favourite platforms for this).

  8. Review goals for the day. According to Harvard research institute, only 14% of people have goals... those people are x10 times more successful than those who don't have the goals in the first place. These goals do not have to be work related, have them for all areas of life and make them visible on a post-it note or screensaver so that they become engrained.

  9. Review your day and make a top 3 for the most important tasks you have to get done. Completing these 3 goals each day will increase overall productivity long-term even if it's the only 3 you achieve. Do them before anything else (again they do not have to all be work related).

  10. Start with a 'one thing' that will make the rest of the day easier. Whether it be yoga to help a sore back at your desk, a workout so that you don't stress all day about fitting it in after work or getting an errand done which will then enable other things in your day to flow more easily.

Having listed these 10 daily habits for a successful start to the day, it is important to add that the number one mistake people make when incorporating a new morning routine is cramming an hour before work with everything on the list they can possibly fit in. You will give up if this is the case. Pick a few and build a simple 10-15 min routine that focuses on these actions. From then on, you can build them up bit by bit.


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