The one billion routine — that has been doing the rounds on social media — is the morning routine of that triumphant one percent that includes the likes of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. I decided to put this coveted morning routine to the test to see whether it really makes a difference.
The routine reminds me of a quote that once made quite an impression on me: “Suffer the pain of self-discipline now or the pain of regret later.” While in theory, the routine looks quite easy at first glance, implementing it and living by it every day can prove to be trickier. It’s very easy, particularly during the holidays, to fall into a cycle of endless laziness. Going to sleep late and in turn waking up late, scrolling through your phone first thing in the morning (which just extends your time in bed), eating unhealthy, and moving your body as minimally as possible. Not only is this bad for your health, but it doesn’t do your mood any favors either. So I decided to test just how much of a difference this routine could make.
Wake Up Early
The purpose behind waking up early is to decrease stress because there’s no threat of a frantic rush during your morning. Waking up late not only means you have more hours in the day to do all the tasks on your to-do list, but it also gives you greater flexibility to do the things you actually enjoy as well. It means that you can get all your work, chores, and responsibilities completed earlier in the day and have more time to yourself without that nagging guilt. It essentially gives you a greater feeling of control and ownership over your day.
Recall Your Dreams
I didn’t necessarily comprehend why this was necessary but the reasoning behind this step is so that you’re able to process your subconscious thoughts and give yourself the chance to be mindful. Although I normally dream a lot and remember most or some portion of my dream, today, try as I might, I could not remember what I had dreamed about or whether I had dreamed at all. So in all honesty, I wasn’t able to completely reap the benefits of this particular step.
Make Your Bed
I have long known this to be an important step in one’s daily routine (although I don’t always do it straight away). It’s the first act of organizing yourself in the morning and sets a sort of precedent for the rest of the day, encouraging you to avoid slovenliness. Today I made my bed straight away and I have to say it certainly made a subtle yet significant change to my mood. Every time I walked into my room from the bathroom or after breakfast, I felt a rush of satisfaction and calm at seeing my neat room.
Drink a Glass of Water and Take Vitamins
The benefits of this are pretty straightforward, the body needs to be hydrated and well-nourished to function well. Although I do occasionally take vitamins or iron tablets when I feel the need — which is usually signaled by dizziness or aches — it’s not something that I routinely do. Having a set routine or time for taking vitamins means you’re much more likely to take them on a regular basis.
Meditation and Movement
I don’t normally meditate and so I wasn’t entirely sure how to proceed. My version of mediation involved sitting silently in the garden, closing my eyes, and reflecting on life. I’m not sure I was really able to deeply connect with my so-called inner self but it was nice to listen to the birds and feel the sunshine. For movement, I took a short walk and it certainly made me feel more relaxed.
Take a Cold Shower
The benefits of taking a cold shower are that it activates your neurons and promotes good circulation. Normally I’m quite put off by the idea of a cold shower, but since the UK is currently experiencing a heatwave, it was rather enjoyable and refreshing.
I’m a complete coffee person so I must admit, while I intended to carry out this step, my muscle memory meant that I reached for the coffee jar instead of the tea bags. Nonetheless coffee is always a yes.
Write in Your Journal and Create a To-Do, To-Feel, and To-Be Lists
Despite the growing popularity of journaling, it’s not something I normally do. However, I made an exception today and created a to-do, to-feel, and to-be lists that studies have shown make you more likely to act on your tasks. It was helpful to write down my tasks, but given that I’m already hyper-aware of all the tasks that are looming over me, it didn’t feel particularly helpful.
All in all, whilst the routine certainly put me in a good mood and made me feel more productive, it’s also very time-consuming. Certain aspects of it (like waking up early, taking your vitamins, and making your bed) are very important and bring about positive, substantial change and so I will continue to implement those in my daily life, whilst others were not so useful.
Photo: Artem Varnitsin/Shutterstock
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