I absolutely love reading about the morning routines of successful entrepreneurs, authors, and athletes. But I often find many of the routines to be unrealistic– the morning routines take hours, the list of things to do is too long, they involve waking up at 3:30 AM. So, when I came across Jay Shetty’s framework for the perfect morning in ‘Think Like a Monk’, I was blown away at the simplicity. All you need is TIME.
The TIME Morning Routine
So, what is the TIME morning routine?
Thankfulness: Thankfulness, gratitude, whatever you want to call it, I’m starting to believe this is one of the most important components of a successful morning. From ‘Think Like a Monk’ to ‘Happier’, it seems like all of the experts have studied how important it is to be thankful for what you have.
In terms of how to incorporate this into your morning, the simplest way is writing down a short list of things you are grateful for. You could easily do this while you wait for your coffee to brew. (If you want to practice gratitude through the day, I shared a few ideas HERE.)
Insight: What are you going to learn this morning? That’s what the insight component of the TIME morning routine boils down to.
Are you going to start your day with a quick study of stoicism by reading a page in The Daily Stoic? Are you going to listen to a self-help/inspiring podcast on your drive into work or while you exercise? Could you learn just one new sentence in a new language?
I love adding insight to my morning as it can be as simple or complicated as I want. Plus, it forces you to start your day off with a positive, expansive mindset.
Meditation: If your mornings are usually spent hitting snooze 7 times and then frantically rushing out the door (#nojudgement), having a moment to meditate likely seems unrealistic. But this doesn’t have to be a big 30-minute ordeal in perfect silence with candles lit.
I highly recommend checking out the free Healthy Minds meditation app! Each practice can be customized depending on how much time you have. You also have the choice of doing a seated meditation or an active meditation (perfect if you’re on the go!).
I’m also really into this simple 10-minute breathwork meditation. I find taking the 10-minutes changes my entire mindset and gives me more patience in the day ahead. (If you’re really feeling it– you could follow up the meditation with a cold shower. But I’ll be honest, that’s not for me.)
Exercise: Again, this is one of those things that doesn’t have to be a big time commitment if you don’t have the time. If you can get outside in nature for a 30-minute walk, great. If you can only do a 10-minute YouTube video workout, great. It’s just important to get moving. I share some of my favorite fitness videos HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Final Thoughts on the TIME Morning Routine
Have you tried adding TIME to your mornings? I would say I incorporate about half of the components each morning (insight and exercise), but I’m working to build new habits. I think my next focus will be consistently practicing thankfulness/gratitude.
What’s your favorite component? For me, it’s insight.