Does practice make perfect? If you reflect back to the wisdom of any coach, teacher, mentor, or counselor: yes, perfect is the goal created through practice.
Likewise, research affirms that the practice of healthy habits results in happier, higher-quality living. In infancy, routines help us navigate the newness of caring for another human being, but routines are essential for our health across ages.
Daily structure allows us to think and process through life’s details that require more of our attention. Having a routine is not as boring as it sounds. Routines do not imply no spontaneity. Spontaneity cultivates flexibility and a sense of adventure. Routines allow less energy expended toward required daily actions which provides more brain space to think about how life can be elevated to where you want it to be.
Morning routines are very important as they dictate how our day begins. For some of us, we find it difficult to function without our morning coffee, workout, or green smoothie. Others feel tea and nature are the most effective way to kick-start the day.
Effective routines are not one size fits all. Rather, customize your routine to support your goals and help you function to the best of your ability. The most beneficial routines are created through trial and error, and take time to develop.
According to Inc., industry leaders plan, prepare, and execute on a daily basis. They do not roll out of bed, scrounge for something to eat, then stroll into work. They arrive, charged and ready to accomplish their planned tasks.
Set goals for your day and week. “I set my goals for the week on Monday morning and set the two-to-three major to-dos everyday at 7 a.m. When my day gets hectic (as it always does), I can circle back to my two-to-three to-dos and refocus.” – Dan Murphy, VP Business Development at Import.io
Avoid checking email right away. “I try to avoid reading email until I’ve been awake for at least one hour. I do this because it helps me prioritize my thoughts for the day based on what’s actually important, not what my inbox makes me think is important.” – Chad Halvorson, founder and CEO at When I Work
- “I meditate every morning, whether through doing yoga, reading chakra affirmations, or listening to Tibetan singing bowls. Meditation helps me keep my mind clear so that I can focus.” – Nicole Elizabeth DeMer, community growth at Inbound.org
Focus in on your priorities. “Every morning, before doing anything, I open the Notes app on my phone, where I’ve written down the mission for my business and life. I read it aloud to myself. I then take a few minutes to quietly think about why this matters to me, the progress I’ve made, and the things I’m grateful for. I then move on to reviewing the top one to three things I aim to accomplish that day.” – Danny Halarewich, founder and CEO at LemonStand
Eat a healthy breakfast. “For the longest time, my first instinct every morning was to roll over, reach for my iPhone, and check to see what may have made it’s way into my inbox or social media streams overnight. I realized that that practice immediately propelled me into work mode, and it wasn’t conducive to starting the day off right. Today, I take the time to make a healthy breakfast each morning – usually consisting of vegetables and protein (eggs, salmon, or chicken) along with a green juice or coffee. That killer combo sets my mindset of healthy eating throughout the day – and if lunch can’t happen until later in the afternoon, I can count on the vegetables to keep my fuller, longer.” – Heather Anne Carson, president and co-founder at Onboardly
Plan your day in the shower. “While I’m showering, I mentally plan out everything I need to get done for the day, and then I do the same for everything I want to get done. I try hard to keep the rest of my day plan-free, and just take each day as it comes.” – Colin Mathews, co-founder at Content Marketer
Make time to brainstorm. “The first thing I do every morning is drink a cup of Yerba mate, which is immediately followed-up with a 10-minute undisturbed, creative brainstorming session. The goal is to come up with an original idea, relative to my job or not. I want something to get me thinking, keep me inspired and motivated before I get bogged down responding to team emails. If you can keep those thoughts going while you’re preparing breakfast or commuting to work, you’ve accomplished something.” – Paul Shapiro, director of search at Catalyst/GroupM
Make a perfect cup of coffee. “I’d like to say I meditate each morning, but I don’t. Instead, my morning meditation is making a perfect cup of pour-over coffee. Not only does the coffee wake my body up, but the process of getting the grind right, heating the water to exactly 204 degrees, and brewing by hand wakes up the creative side of my brain. It’s nice to “make” something from scratch to start your day.” – Chuck Longanecker, founder at Digital Telepathy
Take time to be grateful. “I write my five-item gratitude list in my journal, which helps to set me up with a positive, healthy mindset for the day. I find it’s an opportunity to check in with my thoughts and bring focus to the things that are most important in my life at that time.” – Becky Wright, personal trainer and nutritional therapist
Be habitual and consistent. “Workout, green juice, meditate. That’s the first hour of my day no matter what. It helps me realign by body and mind and get the nutrients I need to perform at my highest capacity.” – Dan Martell, entrepreneur
Visualize future achievements. “I close my eyes and spend 10 minutes visualizing myself achieving my goals, in vivid detail. I picture that feeling of success to a level where my mind fully experiences it as real. In this state, there is no sense of worry, need, or lack. I am limitless.” – AJ Kumar, founder at Limitless Publishing
Clear your mind and prepare for the day. “Mornings, for me, are all about clearing my head so that I can crush my day’s challenges. I start with some exercise, a light healthy breakfast and some coffee to kick things into high gear. I find that the combo has me energized and ready to face the day.” – Brad Crisp, CEO at Maptive
Think about your routine. Does it need tweaking? We hope this list of entrepreneurial habits inspire you to try something new. If you do, please let us know what works?