What does Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Terri Savelle Foy and Mick Jagger have in common? We all love mascara, you say? Yes! But besides that, we all have morning rituals.
The most successful people in the world have specific habits and rituals that have led them to success. In my life, my morning routine and daily disciplines have led me to where I am today. When people ask me, “How did your life change so drastically?” I say, “I changed my routine and it changed my life.”
Several weeks ago, I asked our social media audience what they wanted to learn about most, and the overwhelming response was on the topic of “How to Plan Your Day.” The truth is, if you will plan your day wisely, you can change your whole life. As John Maxwell says, “If you want to see change in your life, change something you do daily.” I’ve studied a variety of successful corporate leaders such as Bill Gates (Microsoft), Howard Schultz (Starbucks), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), and many others who all have a common thread: they credit their positivity to their morning routine.
Can your morning routine really change your life? Are there certain habits that successful people have in common? The answers are yes and yes, and if you will apply these habits, your life could change as drastically as mine has! The most successful high achievers have something in common: they practice Mind Over Mattress! What does that mean? They cherish the morning hours to invest in themselves. From political leaders to ministers, to famous athletes, CEOs, and celebrities, they have morning routines that lead them to their dreams.
You’ve heard the phrase, “The early bird gets the word.” Personally, I don’t care for worms so I like to say, “Those awake take the cake!” Benjamin Franklin said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” More than 200 years later, early risers are still among the most successful people. They take control of their day first thing in the morning. Does your current morning routine support you? Does it help you get closer to your dreams and goals? Or do you wake up frantic, rushing, trying to cram in everything and fly out the door?
This is why your mornings are the greatest time to establish a success routine:It’s when you have the most control over your day.
- Your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day
- Willpower is at its highest in the morning.
- The longer the day goes on, generally, you become more fatigued.
- You start the day feeling productive and accomplished.
What separates the successful from the unsuccessful? Habits! Someone said, “Good habits are hard to form but easy to live with. Bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with.” The problem with being habitual is the habits you currently have are only good enough to get you what you’ve currently got! If you don’t change the habit, then you will go right back to where you were. Fad diets have proven this point over and over again.
In order to go higher, achieve greater, earn more, you will have to create new habits. You might be thinking, I don’t have time to add anything to my schedule! Let me ask you, do you think you could be wasting valuable time? Do you know that American’s spend an average of 3.2 hours per day on social media sites?! Not to mention the hours of television watched and time spent with our nose in our smart phones! What more could we accomplish by eliminating only one hour every day from social media, television and unnecessary phone time? Recently, I was tagged in an Instagram post by a woman who said she started riding her exercise bike for 20 minutes a day, and after creating that habit, she lost 30 pounds! Instead of looking at the time you don’t have, take a look at the time you do have.
Highly successful people are proactive about their day. They invest in themselves before they invest in everyone else. Warren Buffet said, “The best investment you’ll ever make is in yourself. It pays 1000 to 1.” Even flying in an airplane will teach you to always make sure your oxygen mask is on first. When you are taken care of first, then you can take care of others…and do it well. Zig Ziglar encouraged goal-oriented people to replace the term “alarm clock” (which is negative) with the word “opportunity clock” (which is positive). Immediately, when the “opportunity clock” goes off, your mind is headed in a positive direction about what the day will bring! I want you to begin looking at each day as an opportunity to “become more!” Making the commitment to incorporate life-building morning habits such as exercise, reading, learning, and working on your most important tasks first, will position you for promotion.
Would it surprise you to know that one of the top five morning habits of the most successful people of all different walks of life and types of beliefs is they meditate (or pray)? If Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah find it important, then how much more should we, as Christians, make it a priority to spend time in prayer? As a believer, starting your day in prayer is the most important thing you could ever do for yourself. It sets the tone and direction for your day. You can have devotionals, go to church, listen to messages, but nothing takes the place of quality time with God. This is where you listen for that still, small voice. This is where you envision your future. This is where you clear your mind, relax, and embrace this calm moment to be with the Lord.
The Bible says in Psalm 91:1 (AMPC), “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable.” Do you feel unstable, insecure, confused, unsure or lacking wisdom about a situation? Your answer is found in the presence of God. I love teaching on the top morning habits of successful people because I’ve seen what they continue to produce in my life. Each one is vitally important, but starting your day with God is the most important of them all.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that God “is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” To be diligent means to be persistent in doing something. That means it’s not up for debate. Seeking God every day is a part of my routine, just as much as brushing my teeth or washing my face. I don’t ask myself if I feel like it; I just do it! If I could challenge you to start with one discipline, it would be to wake up an extra 20 minutes early to be alone with God. This is how you gain stability, direction, vision, answers, security, and intimacy with God.
Jim Rohn was known for making the statement, “If you want more, you must become more. If you don’t like the size of your money, increase the size of you. Your money will only grow to the extent that YOU grow.” Well, you could replace that word money with the following:
- Your ministry will only grow to the extent that you grow.
- Your business will only grow to the extent that you grow.
- Your church will only grow to the extent that you grow.
- Your career will only grow to the extent that you grow.
- Your relationships will only grow to the extent that you grow.
Too many people think of growing as a period of life rather than a way of life. Successful people never put a cap on how much they can grow. I want to challenge you to incorporate some new morning growth habits in your life that will lead you to the success God has for you. No, it’s not easy. It’s not comfortable. It’s not convenient. But I can tell you from experience that it’s worth it.
The Bible says, “To whom much is given much is required.” You’ve asked the Lord for some big dreams and big opportunities. It will require some big commitments from you. The great news is: YOU can do it! Remember the most important thing you can do every day is spending time alone in prayer with your Heavenly Father. The vision, direction, and love you need is found there.
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