For most people, a typical morning routine involves chugging down a big mug of coffee and rushing off to work. But for many CEOs and A-listers, the start of the day looks a little different. These successful people rely on a set of morning habits to maximise productivity and reap boundless rewards.
Looking to follow in their footsteps? It’s high time you shifted your early morning tasks towards more success. Here are nine lessons you can learn from these role models that will make you think twice about sleeping in.
1. Rise Early
In a series of interviews with CEOs and entrepreneurs, The Guardian found that these high achievers have one thing in common. They’re all early risers. While some may still be out partying or doomscrolling during the wee hours, these successful individuals are already hustling. For instance, Hollywood actor and producer Mark Wahlberg gets up as early as 2:30, while Apple’s CEO Tim Cook reportedly wakes at 3:45.
However, adopting this habit is no excuse to shorten your slumber time. You should still clock in seven to eight hours of undisturbed rest each night. Just hit the sack earlier and count sheep faster.
2. Get Your Body Moving
Besides waking while it’s still dark out, Whalberg considers his twice-a-day workout routine a nonnegotiable. After a quick round of golf, he spends an hour in a cryo-recovery chamber. Similarly, Victoria Beckham exercises an hour before breakfast and again for another hour after taking her children to school.
Are you up for the challenge? Even short daily workouts can significantly boost your mood, energy, and performance. Discipline yourself to stick to a fitness routine in the morning to get your reps in for success.
3. Meditate or Self-reflect
Every morning, the late Steve Jobs asked himself this question: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” You can do the same to stay on track with your goals and shed light on changes derailing you.
Meanwhile, actor Orlando Bloom meditates for 20 minutes, followed by some chanting and reading of Buddhist text. According to the Cambridge University Press, such mindful activity can alter depression, anxiety, and stress. Want to get up on the right side of the bed? Find your centre.
4. Write a Journal Entry
Did you know that US Founding Father Benjamin Franklin started journaling when he was 20? He took on the habit to develop moral virtues. And look at where that brought him!
A study from Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience discovered that writing about an emotional topic can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. So, instead of a harried morning routine involving scrambling for your keys and rushing out with your shirt haphazardly buttoned, slow down. Take a moment to reflect on what brings you joy or what you’re thankful for. Journal about what good you’ll do today and how you can inspire change in the days to come.
5. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Remember when Oprah Winfrey lost 42.5 pounds? In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the TV host revealed that her secret to success was her healthy diet. After working out for an hour in her home gym, she would enjoy a breakfast of medium-boiled eggs and a piece of multigrain toast. Similarly, model and entrepreneur Khloé Kardashian consumes green tea, a banana, and peanut butter to fuel her for the day.
No time for meal prep? Why not enjoy a smoothie of greens and protein powder the likes of supermodel Cindy Crawford and actress Gwyneth Paltrow drink daily? Or go for Friends star Jennifer Anniston’s fruit smoothie with bananas, blueberries, and frozen cherries. Whichever concoction you choose, make sure you get your dose of glow foods first thing in the morning!
6. Read to Stimulate the Mind
Former US President Barack Obama uses the first hours of the day to catch up on what’s going on by reading the news. Other morning readers include Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, who adopted the habit to exercise the brain and make better business decisions. Don’t fancy the gloom and doom of current events first thing in the morning? Consider reading something inspirational, like a devotional or another motivational book.
7. Don’t Stress About Your To-Do List
Sometimes, the best way to get more out of your day is to get a head start the night before. Shark Tank host Barbara Corcoran writes her to-do list before sleeping to spare her from stress in the morning. Plotting out your day ahead will keep you from the anxiety that often comes with decision-making. Not only will you get more done, but you’ll also experience improved flow in your daily routine.
8. Spend Time With Family
Imagine: the house is bustling with clamour from mum yelling for everyone to hurry up while the youngest sibling throws a meltdown. For most households, this is reality. And if you’re a parent, it’s easy to lose it with so little sleep and so much to do. But before you transform into “parentzilla,” take a breath so you can handle morning stress like the stars do. Kim Kardashian tells Harper’s BAZAAR that she gets up at 6 a.m. every day and speaks to her children before anyone else.
To do this, have the kids in bed earlier than usual so they can get up without frantically rushing to school. Beginning the day with a few moments with the ones you love most will remind you why you hustle hard every day.
9. Practise Self-care
To start your day fresh and beaming with confidence, heed Hollywood star Kate Hudson’s beauty advice. The actress uses an ice bath on her face to revitalise dull, tired-looking skin. Meanwhile, former American Idol judge Simon Cowell turns temperatures up with a relaxing steam bath. Cindy Crawford says she looks long and hard at the ocean from her beach house hot tub.
While not everyone can wake up to a stunning Malibu beach view like Cindy, you can start your day with a luxurious morning routine of self-care. Spoil yourself a little by indulging in a new outfit for a big presentation. Take time to slather on body cream to feel (and smell) amazing.
Don’t forget to brush and floss with more intent. You might even be able to squeeze in an appointment with your dentist to have your teeth checked. Yes, a smile makeover is a form of self-care, too. So, if your doctor suggests a teeth-straightening treatment with ClearCorrect dental aligners, go for it. They’re so discreet and comfortable anyway!
No morning routine is perfect, and sticking to one takes practice. But remember that your a.m. habits don’t have to be overly complicated. Come up with a basic framework for your days so you can fulfil tasks that add more value to your life. Breathe deeply, be grateful, and set your intention for the rest of the day – like how those successful entrepreneurs and celebrities do.
Carlson, O. W. a. T. T. J. (2017, January 13). Oprah’s Wellness Diary: 24 Hours of Healthy Living (and Lots of Gratitude Journals). The Hollywood Reporter.
Cowles, C. (2015, April 14). Exclusive: 24 Hours with Kim Kardashian. Harper’s BAZAAR.
DiMenichi, B. C., Lempert, K. M., Bejjani, C., & Tricomi, E. (2018). Writing about past failures attenuates cortisol responses and sustained attention deficits following psychosocial stress. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 12.
Dowling, T., Kingsley, P., & Barnett, L. (2017, November 25). What time do top CEOs wake up? The Guardian.