God, can we please stop with guilting people over the morning pages, the journaling, the meditation, the drinking 18 gallons of mint-infused water, and the yoga?
If you want to do those, GREAT! But you don’t have to.
My rules for the perfect morning:
There’s a new cottage industry of people telling you all the thing you “should” do every morning. But as it gets more absurdly specific, it gets even more performative. Drink a glass of water? No! Make sure you infuse it with turmeric and mint.
If you like mint, great. But just adding mint doesn’t do anything. The real win here is to be intentional about what you want to do — and how you want to do it.
This is a lot harder than making an esoteric recommendation like drinking 6oz of yak tea. People love those recommendations because all of us want a magic bullet, or “secrets” that will magically change everything for us. Deep down, we know it’s all bullshit.
I spoke to Tim Ferriss about this on his podcast a few years ago – you can watch the interview here:
Real happiness and productivity comes from making much deeper changes.
This is a lot harder than taking some magic pill. It means fundamentally restructuring your lifestyle, including how you work (maybe even where you work), how you relax, what time you go to sleep, and even what you think of yourself (“I’m not a morning person” is an identity you can rewrite).
I love the idea of crafting a meaningful morning for your personal Rich Life. I do not love the cargo-cult fanaticism about random tactics. The best morning routine is decided the day before, the week before, and the year before by mastering the fundamentals.
What I mean by this: When I wake up and have a leisurely morning, then wander over to start working, I open my calendar. What I see has been decided weeks and months before:
It’s far better to consciously decide what your morning looks like. If you want to roll over and check Instagram (as I do), that’s great. The first thing I get to read is some 17-year-old telling me I am wrong about investing. Good morning, @crypt0_4_lyfe7291. Thanks for your contributions to the investing literature.
Look at your calendar for tomorrow. Have you thought about how your energy fluctuates throughout the day? Does your calendar include the 3 most important things that need to get done? Is it realistic — does it include time to use the bathroom and eat and just zone out?
These are much more important than decisions than how many ounces of water you’re going to drink. They’re also harder, which is why we avoid them. I believe in tackling the Big Wins in life, not chasing tiny decisions that are ultimately meaningless.
If you want your morning routine to stick for good, learn how to master your psychology in my free Ultimate Guide to Habits.
As you tackle these questions, you may realize that your perfect morning is a lot closer than you thought.