5 Morning Rituals of Highly Successful People

Author: Casey Gale       

Always on-the-go event planners know that it’s important to get the day off to a good start. So does Benjamin Spall, the founding editor of mymorningroutine.com, who interviewed more than 300 successful individuals about their morning routines as co-author of My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired. 

Spall recently shared five tips with readers of The New York Times’ Smarter Living section:

Experiment with the alarm. “While the majority of the people I’ve interviewed tend to get up early — the average wake-up time for everyone I’ve talked to is 6:27 a.m. — successful people like to experiment to find the sweet spot that works for them,” Spall said. Though many of us just wake up when we “need” to in order to get to work on time, Spall suggested testing out different wake-up times to provide a little wiggle-room in our morning routines.

Make time for whatever makes you feel energized. “Most successful people carve out time in their morning to commit to things that make them feel relaxed, energized and motivated,” Spall said. Whether that means journaling, yoga, or reading the newspaper, Spall said those who make time for themselves in the morning feel better prepared to practice mindfulness throughout the day.

Sleep well. “Your morning routine means nothing without a good night’s sleep behind it,” Spall said, citing diabetes and heart disease as health problems related to poor sleep. “Don’t become complacent about how much sleep you need,” he said, as most people require between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.

Adapt your routine as needed. Instead of feeling as though your morning ritual is completely disrupted by a new situation, such as traveling for work, think of ways to adapt your morning routine to your environment. “While it might not always be possible to keep your full morning routine in place when you’re away from home,” Spall said, it is possible to have a separate travel-ready routine. This could mean taking a jog near your hotel instead of exercising at your local gym, or picking up some groceries to store in your hotel room to ensure you’re able to make a healthy breakfast.

Don’t sweat it. “Nearly everyone I’ve talked to said they don’t consider one, two or even three missed days of their morning routine a failure,” Spall said — as long as they get back to their schedule as soon as they’re able. Not every morning can begin peacefully and mindfully, and that’s just part of life.