my morning routine (2019 version) - part 1

I have conditioned myself to become an early riser over the last years, but the past few months have been a rollercoaster ride. Due to certain allergies, seasonal and environmental, unfortunately, my sleep hygiene and discipline got incredibly compromised, which led to insomnia and recurrent cough on many nights. However, it looks like I’m getting back on track and so far this month, I have been regularly waking up before 6 am. So, I’m hoping that I’ll get back to being a regular member of the ‘5 AM Club’ soon.   

As I wake up, I do a quick boot-up sequence, which I call waking up with STYLE — Smile, Thank You, Love, Exit. I smile and say the words ‘Thank you’. I express gratitude for the fact that I’ve been gifted another day to live and express myself, and for the wonderful things that I get to experience on a day-to-day basis. Then, I say the words ‘Sending love…’, and visualize that I am giving away love and it’s gradually enveloping the entire world. This is a variation of the ‘mental love letter’ exercise that Steve Jobs practiced every morning. Once it is done, I begin a countdown from 10 to 1 (yup, just like a rocket ship), and at 1, I throw away my bed sheet and get out of my bed. The countdown method helps deal with any laziness or procrastination I have and gets me going. This is very similar to the The 5 Second Rule introduced by Mel Robbins.

I walk across the room to switch off the alarm on my sunrise simulator. After I switch it off, I do a few boxer shuffles to get myself in a pumped up state. Then, I go to the bathroom to brush my teeth and freshen up. I sprinkle cold water in my eyes and wash my face. This helps me in waking up from any residual sleepiness.

After using the bathroom, I go to the kitchen and get 600 ml (20 ounces) of warm water either plain or infused with turmeric (my current favorite), freshly squeezed lemon juice, cinnamon or apple cider vinegar. I like to keep it random.

Next, I do my 10/15/20 routine. This is inspired by The 20/20/20 Formula (or victory hour) by Robin Sharma, that he explains in detail in his book The 5 AM Club, as well as Darren Hardy’s morning routine. 

First, I start playing some inspirational music on Spotify (the Rocky playlist is my personal favorite and always works) and begin my morning fitness session, which lasts somewhere around 10-12 minutes. It comprises of three parts: cardio + workout session wherein I mainly do pushups, squats, sit-ups, plank, jumping jacks and a bit of ‘amateur’ cardioboxing (in the same sequence), yoga asanas (body postures), and pranayama (breathing exercises). Each part takes 3-4 minutes to complete. Next, I drink the previously prepared warm water. 

Then, I proceed with around 15 minutes of meditation practice. I mostly use YouTube videos and Spotify these days, and occasionally use other meditation apps like Headspace.

Once I’m done with that, I either read a book (Kindle or physical), or some relevant blog posts on the core skill that I’m trying to develop with respect to one of my big goals for the year. Then, I start brewing my morning coffee. As it brews, I step outside on the balcony to soak in the morning sun, meditate on the green — the plants and trees around me. This quick exercise helps me reconnect with nature and my inner calm. Next, I water the plants, get back inside and read the daily meditation from Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie. By the time I finish reading the meditation, my cup of joe is ready for me, and I take the first heavenly sip that I had been looking forward to with gratitude.