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Morning routines are totally important and worth it


(Michael Hrenka) #1

There has been a shift in my core motivation that enabled me to do a rather challenging morning routine (at least for my personal standards). I have written about that shift in my motivation in another thread, so let me briefly state how important a good morning routine is: It is extremely important, because how you spend your morning will usually determine how you spend your whole day, because the morning sets the tone for the whole day.

In the personal development scene a lot has been written about morning routines and how important they are. It sounded somewhat convincing, but from my previous point of view also quite excessive. Why would you spend more than one whole hour on a hard and monolithic morning routine instead of jumping into the day in a “regular” way?

my recent reflections on willpower enhancement provides a plausible answer: The value of morning routines is exactly that they are hard. They are there to build up your willpower! The harder and more “excessive” they are, the better.

So, what kind of morning routine have I established since last week?

  1. Do some exercises: Push-ups, sit-ups, stretching exercises. Not all of those at once, but at least some of them.
  2. Maximally cold shower. This is only slightly hardcore. A true hardcore shower would alternate between extremely cold and extremely hot. I’m not willing to subject myself to that level of morning torture just yet.
  3. Drink a glass of water with vitamin C powder. Seriously, vitamin C has so many benefits that it’s best to start the day with it.
  4. Meditate for 20 minutes. Boring old-school breathing meditation. It’s very hard to do that right, though, which is exactly the point of doing it!
  5. Drink a cup of decaf coffee with cocoa powder. It’s a true antioxidant bomb. And I really like the ritual of drinking coffee.

This routine takes me slightly less than an hour to complete. It’s hard for me to bring myself to do it all, especially the first step. But it’s empirically doable for me, which is really great.

What were the effects of this morning routine? I waste less time. I get more stuff done. I am quite tired late at night, which actually helps me fall asleep. I feel more virtuous and productive. I feel hardened and resilient!

Note that points 2, 3, and 5 were already more or less part of my usual mornings. I just added 1 and 4 and packaged all of that as definite morning routine. That worked surprisingly well. Now I’ve did that morning routine consistently for a whole week and it looks like it’s becoming a habit that will actually stick, because it’s proving to be totally worth it!

Do you have a clear morning routine? Would you be willing to try one? It doesn’t have to be mine, of course. Everyone is a bit different, and those differences are important. What would be your ideal morning routine?


Seeking wisdom and strength
(Michael Hrenka) #2

I just wanted to quickly follow up on my success with this morning routine. It is quite amazing that I’m still sticking to it without fail 3 months after I have started it, since I usually drop most ambitious plans and projects quickly after I start then. And it was absolutely worth it! The morning routine has a impressive positive impact on my general energy level. The most apparent effect is that I rarely get phases of very low energy and thus get more things done. I’ve mostly stopped playing browser games. Instead, I put the time and energy that I now have into learning how to code and into interacting with the futurist / transhumanist community.

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