The “12 Minutes to Triumph” Morning Routine

My usual morning routine takes about 3 hours. I realize that most people don’t have the flexibility for such a lengthy morning routine. That’s why I created the “Hour of Power Cheatsheet” infographic.

But let’s face it. Sometimes things go awry and even I don’t have 3 hours for a morning routine.

Usually, I'm awake before everyone else in my household by a 3-4 hour margin. (I awake every day at 4am.) But sometimes, my wife gets up early too (even, from time to time, at 4am). When that happens, my routine goes out the window. I am not unhappy about that. When Lynn is up, I want to be present with her, rather than obsessively clinging to a ritual.

But sometimes it's difficult to adhere to my usual routine. This is true when I am traveling, crossing time zones, giving an early morning speech, or visiting family and friends.

Those with full-time jobs and a house full of young children face similar challenges. They frequently ask me, “Ray, what do I do if I only have a few minutes for any kind of morning ritual or routine?

Sometimes we just don't have time for a longer morning ritual. (For some that may be every morning.) For this reason, I have devised a short, effective and powerful morning ritual.

One more thing before I get into the specific routine. This could be a 6-minute routine, or a 20-minute routine. With more time, you could do deeper and in more sustained ways with each part of the routine. Here's what matters: “sanctify” or set apart this routine and hold it in high esteem. And be intentional (purpose-oriented) about your routine. It’s about the quality of time, not the quantity.

The “12 Minutes to Triumph” 

01:00 Drink water (I drink 36 ounces.) You’re dehydrated when you awake!
02:00 Do push ups, burpees, or run in place. Do some kind of calisthenics to get your blood flowing a little faster.
03:00 Brush your teeth, shave, and wash your face in cold water.
07:00 Pray using the Lord’s Prayer, the Prayer of Jabez, and thank God for the day.
08:00 Meditate. Just sit quietly, eyes closed, take deep breaths, and listen. (What is God saying to you?)
09:00 Read the Bible, such as one Psalm or a chapter from Proverbs.
10:00 Read one page in a good, mind-improving book.
11:00 Write in your journal: your 3 biggest “wins” from yesterday, and the 3 you want to achieve today.
12:00 Review your schedule. When will you achieve those wins today? Cut anything that is unnecessary.

That’s it! Go, take on the day!

That’s a powerful 12 minutes, and a great way to start your day. So the next time you’re in a rush, don’t skip your morning routine – just use this one, or create your own!

And if you’ve never been a “morning routine” person, this is a great way to start. Try these “12 Minutes to Triumph” each day for 30 days and see what a difference 12 minutes can make.

I’d love to hear about your morning routine. Are you a “long routine,” “short routine,” or “no routine” person? Please feel free to share your own “recipe” for a morning routine!

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at

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  • Liz

    Ray, thanks for this! My spiritual life was forming during the time an hour of prayer at 6AM was the “standard of spirituality” (which I rarely hit). And crazy, but I still feel like I’ve failed deep down for never mastering an intense morning “ritual.” Finally in mid life these old “burdens on my back” are slowly being overshadowed by freedom to “be.” I could go on and on about all the obligations that have tied me down from the inside out … But suffice it to say this flexible approach rings the freedom bell that I’m learning to listen to. Thanks again. I feel better about facing the day tomorrow 🙂

  • Ray,

    I know I need a morning routine as I am retired computer programmer. I am moving into a freelance writer career. I know I need a established morning routine as I have read so many talk about their morning routine. Thanks so much.

  • Sam

    I love having a routine, mine has got to start the night before though, by making my coffee and having it ready. Then I can wake up, make the boys breakfast, eat and drink with them and get ready for my day. This is an almost every day routine and it throws me off not doing it. Thanks Ray

  • I love this! Thank you for inspiring me to amp up my morning rather than begrudging the alarm.

  • Morning routine consists of 30-40 minutes in guided meditation, the listing of my 3 wins from yesterday, my 3 wins for today, and my 3 gratitude(s) followed by the ubiquitous coffee.

  • Sheri

    I’ve had a short morning ritual focus more on physically preparing for the day (stretching the kinks out, cleaning up – shower, etc., dressing and breakfast). A short good morning God…glad you are still there. But the universe seems to be telling me in multiple ways, including this note, I need to step up the spiritual part! Thanks Ray for the added boost.

  • Peder


    That was a much needed blog post .

  • Traci Lynn

    Perfect! Thank you, Ray. Easy Peasy is a beautiful thing. Any more than that and I turn it into a production. ACK, stop the ride!

  • Neil Friedman

    Up at 3am
    Wash and put the kettle on low heat
    meditate 40min
    “yoga” 30 min
    prepare breakfast for my wife and I
    go back to snuggle in bed til 5:30
    Wake up & have breakfast together
    Lay in bed til my wife is ready to leave for work (6:45)
    Walk her to the subway. . .

  • I get up, wash my face, follow my skincare routine, and then put my make up on. Might sound superficial but I find it’s surprisingly relaxing and it’s a gentle, but creative, way to ease into the day. I make a mental To Do list while I’m painting away, and then by the time I’m done, I’m ready for breakfast and leaving the house! Meditating through make up…I should patent that!

  • Pingback: Round One Editing, Book Cover, Map Design, Focus, Morning Routine | RJ BATLA()

  • Paul Sabaj

    Thanks for the tips. Would love to see the extended version of your morning. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years brother. Hope our paths cross again.