Earlier this year I was asked to speak at a conference on the subject of Personal Vitality. It didn't take me long to pick a topic: The Importance of Establishing a Morning Routine in Your Life. In the talk I discussed why you need it and how to go about making it a permanent fixture of your day. It was a lot of fun. I also gave the attendees a handout of my actual routine; that is what you see below. It's mainly a brief sketch. If you have more questions, please feel free to leave a comment!
5AM-5:30AM | Morning Prayer (30 min)
Morning Prayer includes both liturgical and freeform prayers, as well as scripture reading. I try to read through the Psalter every month, so I typically read three chapters from the Psalms every morning. I will also read one chapter from the New Testament.
6AM | Journal (5 min)
Journaling for me is a 5-minute exercise. I keep it brief as to not overwhelm myself. What’s important is to keep a running history so that I can glean from it in later years. Before I write a new journal entry, I always read an old one. This helps me stay aware and track my personal growth.
6:05AM | Read (25 min)
I love to get lost in a book. I either go with something spiritual or something that pertains to personal or business growth.
6:30AM | Write (1 hr 30 min)
Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) once said, “You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”
Writing is where I get alone in my study and learn. It’s where all of those foggy ideas swirling around in my head get worked out. For an hour and a half, I focus on writing material for a book project, blog post, or a manuscript for future talks. FYI: Those who write on an ongoing basis understand that the act itself is its own reward.
A Few Thoughts
• Your routine will most-likely look different than mine, and that's great. For example, you may want to include physical exercise in your routine. Awesome! Go for it. Simply use mine as a guide.
• I don’t always nail the time windows above. Sometimes I read for an extra 15 minutes. Other times I skip the reading and give myself more time to write. But the one thing I don’t skip is morning prayer and journaling. These, for me, are non-negotiables.
• While this is the routine I strive for every weekday, I by no means boast a perfect record. During any given week, I may wake up late once or twice. I don’t, however, let this get me down or deter me. I’ve learned that progress is always two steps forward and one step backward.
• Lastly, perfection in anything is unnecessary. The truth is you can get the same long-term results perfection affords by practicing consistency. Consistency defined is steadfastness; it’s perseverance through the ups and downs of life. The good news is you can slip up and still get where you’re going. You can drop the ball and still score. Consistency does not mean never failing; it means never giving up.
About Joshua Bailey
Serial Entrepreneur, Writer, Husband, Father of Three.
Encouraging others to grow each and every day.