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!