How many times have you hit snooze? It’s hard to get up in the morning and go right into work. The day gets busy and when five or six o’clock rolls around, working out or reading can easily seem too difficult a task. Finding time to write your book seems nearly impossible.
What if we told you there was a keystone habit that would fix this issue? You’d never want to hit snooze again and when the beginning of the day dawns, you’d actually already have your daily workout in. You’d already have a good bit of reading in. And to top it off, you’d be much better prepared to write the book you’ve always dreamed of writing.
A thought-out morning routine is the keystone habit guaranteeing a successful day.
Our CEO, and the founder of Self-Publishing School, Chandler Bolt, shared how he started his first morning routine in 2014 when he dropped out of school.
He quickly found it made him happier, more fulfilled, and more successful in his business. Since that morning in 2014, everything has changed for him.
Below are the details of his morning routine, how he sustains it, and what the details of getting up early actually look like.
We will cover:
1. How To Create A Successful Morning Routine
2. The Two Factors Contributing To Successful People
3. Getting Practical: The Do’s and Don’ts Of Your Morning
4. Consistency: The Key To A Life-Changing Morning Routine
5. Chandler’s Make Or Break, Daily Decision
6. How To Make Your Morning Routine Fluid And Sustainable
Keep reading to discover how to use a morning routine to write your book.
Number 1: How To Create A Morning Routine
When diving into his morning routine in this video, Chandler shares how the book The Miracle Morning, (which shares the story of his friend Hal Elrod) influenced his daily routine. The book shares details on how Hal was hit head-on by a drunk driver and told he would never walk again. Not only did Hal prove he could walk again, but a few short months later he came back strong, running two marathons back to back. As if that’s not enough, he battled and beat cancer as well.
Hal shares his life “savers.” The acronym can be broken down and implemented for a successful morning routine:
· Scribing (journaling)
Chandler uses most of these every single day, and we’ll show you how you can use them too.
Number 2: The Two Factors Contributing To Successful People
Most successful people have two things in common. The first is a morning routine. The second is reading. Why not combine the two?
The goal of a morning routine is to be able to already have a successful day before the day starts.
Especially when it comes to writing, it’s important to read on a regular basis. Writing demands creativity, and habitually giving yourself a specific amount of time devoted to reading will help you become that much better of a writer.
Number 3: Getting Practical, The Do’s and Don’ts Of Your Morning
When recommending how to create and sustain a successful morning routine, Chandler points out two practical tips.
First, he says you want to have discipline and structure. Even if you need to start with a twenty-minute routine, slowly lengthening it from there, be sure to start small so you can keep the habit every single morning for a month.
Second, your routine can change with the seasons of your life. It can be flexible, fluid, and should always be evolving. One aspect of Chandler’s morning routine is that it changes based on his personal needs. During one season of his life, he cut out one aspect of his routine in order to allow more time for stretching due to a back injury.
Remember, a morning routine is for your benefit, not for the sake of tying yourself to a stringent morning. It should be fluid because a healthy individual is always growing and changing.
The important point is to implement it in your life and try at least some sort of routine for about a month. This will help establish a habit and allow you the time and space to hone in on what routine best helps you.
Number 3: Consistency, The Key To A Life-Changing Morning Routine
Going to bed at a certain time can be difficult, but when you know you have to get up at a certain time, it gives you that much more incentive to get a head start on sleep. When it comes to your morning routine, consistency is important. Your start and end time should be consistent as well.
When you’re first starting out, you can be a little easier with your flex time, while making sure you hit your REM cycles. Know how much sleep you need, and if you go to bed a half-hour late one night, start your morning routine a half-hour late the next morning.
Especially when you’re writing a book, you need to be well-rested and alert. Getting the appropriate amount of sleep before starting your routine will greatly influence the quality of your writing.
However, once you get into the habit of getting up at a specific time, try to maintain a certain level of consistency.
Chandler recommends setting a consistent wake-up time and bumping it back 15 minutes at a time until you have plenty of space to complete your entire morning routine.
An abbreviated morning routine is a good place to begin. Start with a wake-up time that’s not too much earlier than your usual time (15-20 minutes) and then stair-step up to a longer routine.
As you become more accustomed to your routine and begin to see the benefits, you’ll see your morning routine is actually one of the most important parts of your day. You’ll be willing to get up on time even if you go to bed late. Having a hard stop, or cut off time, for your routine will encourage you to get up on time as well.
Chandler’s hard stop is his first, 8 am meeting. For you, it might be leaving for work at a certain time or taking your kids to school.
Number 4: Chandler’s Make Or Break, Daily Decision
Once you establish your alarm time, it’s important to decide to actually get out of bed when it goes off. It’s helpful to wake up to something positive. Your subconscious is most open to new ideas in the morning and late at night, so at these times try to focus on affirmations rather than negative things like news or email.
Chandler’s brother recorded himself speaking affirmations to Chandler, and listening to affirmations is one of the first parts of Chandler’s routine. Below is a bullet-point list of his routine:
· Wake-Up Time: 6 am
- Brush teeth and listen to affirmations
· Mini workout
- 65 pushups
- 65 sit-ups
· 5 Minute Journal
- 3 questions
- What are the 3 things that would make today great?
- 3 things I’m grateful for
- 3 written affirmations
· Bullet-proof coffee
· Read 30-40 minutes
· Guided meditation
- Head Space app
- Calm app
· Put on work clothes
- mental flip into work day
· Make eggs for breakfast
· First meeting (hard cut) at 8 am
Wake Up Time
You can easily take this layout and personalize it to your individual goals. For instance, maybe you’re wake up time needs to start a little later. Simply bump your time a few minutes back and work with your specific time for a month to establish the habit.
Chandler is the first to say he didn’t start cranking out 65 pushups. He worked up to it. And you can do the same. He enjoys working out in the morning because when the end of his workday rolls around he doesn’t still have a tough workout to face. Personalize your workout in a way that is something you can accomplish and feel good about. You want your routine to be a definition of success and accomplishment!
5 Minute Journal
This type of journaling was started by a company run by some of Chandler’s friends, and you can use this method or create your own. One year Chandler decided to write a thank-you note every single day for the entire year. This reminded him of everything he had to be thankful for and also enabled him to show his gratitude to those important to him.
There are countless articles online about the benefits of this specific type of coffee. Because it has so many fats in it, it curbs the appetite and allows you to get more done before breakfast. As you can see from Chandler’s morning routine, he has a good amount of reading in and his workout complete before making his first meal of the day.
As mentioned above, books are one of the two important aspects contributing to a successful person’s lifestyle. Chandler recommends the book Miracle Morning. This can not only educate you but show you how to use a morning routine to write your book. Miracle Morning is a great book for writers who want to create a specified morning routine.
Maybe you’ve never meditated before, but realize the need for a little calm before the day gets busy. Chandler uses guided meditation apps to help bring focus and clarity to his morning. Even a few minutes of stillness and mindfulness can help establish a positive morning and an even more successful day.
Although Chandler works from home, he recognizes the importance of dressing for success. Dressing for work helps him create a mental flip from his morning routine into his workday. When his first meeting time calls at 8 am, he’s dressed and ready to go in business clothes. This physical act helps him mentally get into the headspace he needs in order to have a positive, productive day.
This type of thought process can even be related to where you end up working or choosing to write your book.
By this time in the day that bullet-proof coffee is probably starting to wear off. Don’t forget to fuel your body with healthy food to kick-start your workday and finish your morning routine. Chandler’s personal choice is eggs, rich in protein, and great fuel for his day.
Remember Morning Routines Are Fluid
Chandler mentioned how he switched up his morning routine when he suffered a back injury. Hopefully, it’s not a back injury for you, but there may be another reason to switch up your routine and swap a new aspect in.
Try a different meditation app, see if you can write a thank-you card each day for a whole year, or Chandler’s personal recommendation: a cold shower. There’s nothing like a cold shower to wake you up in the morning and get your senses on full alert.
You may also want to try listening to motivational videos or an audiobook throughout parts of your routine that allow for it, such as your morning exercise or even something as simple as brushing your teeth.
Remember, the goal of a morning routine is to already have a successful day before the day starts. Why? A productive morning routine helps lay a strong foundation for the rest of the day.
Even if you only complete your morning routine by the end of the day, you’ll know you’ve had a productive day. Perhaps you’ve even been more productive in the first few hours of your day than many people have their entire day!
Wondering where to start? Pick one or two aspects from Chandler’s list and implement it into your daily morning schedule. After a month or so, check in with your writing goals.
You’ll be surprised how much a morning routine benefits your writing. Not only does it help you meet your daily goals before the day starts, but allows you time to read and prep for the book you’re writing.
After you’ve established your routine let us know how it’s going for you. We’d love to hear!