The Morning Routine That Changed My Life: No Alarms Needed

September 2, 2023

In my first medium post, I wrote about the big transformation of becoming a morning person. At that time, I had made the switch to becoming a morning person but didn’t have a morning routine. In this post, I’ll delve into my morning routine.

I’ve also realized nothing impacts my overall happiness like ‘my morning routine.’ Both my productivity and wellbeing skyrocket when I stick with it. Today is the perfect day to share my ideal morning routine, as that’s exactly how my day started.

Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.

— Richard Whately

And I want to bring this disclaimer upfront: the routine is not set in stone. I’m not an Olympian or a Military General; I could just sleep in sometimes if I feel like it (that’s rare, though).

Sometimes I might exercise for just 30 minutes and read a bit more. If the weather’s good, I might go for a long walk or run in the ravine and cut back on reading. But no matter the tweaks, I make sure my routine covers my body, mind, and intellect.

Most importantly, I don’t use alarms to wake up early. In this post, I’m sharing both my ideal and regular routine. I do aim for the ideal, but it doesn’t happen all the time.

The only thing non-negotiable is my 1-hour morning meditation sit after I wake up. I can’t remember missing that in the last three years.

My Ideal Morning Routine

3:33 AM: Wake up (I’ve got no clue how it happens exactly at 3:33, but it does)
3:50 AM to 5:00 AM: Morning meditation
5:00 AM to 6:00 AM: Freewriting, note-making, and some quality reading
6:00 AM to 7:00 AM: Physical exercise (be it at the gym, running, hiking, light yoga at home, whatever)
7:15 AM to 8:30–9:00 AM: Planning out the day and tackling stuff that needs my full focus

morning routine
A mix of ideal and normal morning routines

As mentioned, I love it when I do the ‘ideal,’ but mostly it’s my regular morning routine:

My Regular Morning Routine

4:30 AM: Wake up
5:00 AM to 6:00 AM: Meditation
6:00 AM to 7:00 AM: Gym, running, hiking, exercise at home
7:15 AM to 8:30–9:00 AM: Planning the day, tackling tasks that require focus

This one feels a bit too light compared to my ideal routine. But compared to where I was a few years ago, waking up at 8 or 9 AM — this is life-changing.

What about the 5 AM Club?

Well, I started from there, but I’ve graduated. The days I wake up at 5 AM or later, I’m just struggling to catch up. Don’t think I can sleep beyond 6 AM anyway these days.

“It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.”

— Aristotle

I’ll admit making the change from being a ‘night-owl’ for so many years and now being a morning person wasn’t easy, but it has been hugely transformational. I also want to acknowledge the role of Vipassana meditation in this habit building.

So there it is, my morning routine, the linchpin of my entire day. It’s been a game-changer, turning me from a night owl into someone who actually wants to seize the day, every day. Your routine doesn’t have to look like mine, but find what elevates your own life. Trust me, getting your morning right is that 1% that shifts the rest of your day in unimaginable ways. Nail it, and the rest will follow.

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