A Morning Routine Really Does Set You Up For Success — Here’s A 6 Step Process To Create One


By Danny Forest

It’s 6am on a Tuesday morning. It’s been two weeks since I’ve lost my hard-earned momentum.

I’ve written about momentum before. When you have gained true momentum, you are unstoppable. “Not doing” is harder than “doing”.

Yet I’ve lost it since I’ve been back to Canada, jumping from one group of people to the next almost on a daily basis.

I mean, it’s pretty normal to lose momentum when you can’t follow your schedule/routine.

But now I’m back to Toronto and have a more “stable environment”.

Yet yesterday I still had the hardest time waking up. I knew my list of things to do had grown over the last few days, but that was not good enough motivation for me to get out of bed at normal times for me.

I had to go apply in person for a visa for India in the morning, and that completely destroyed my morning routine. In the afternoon, I had no motivation to tackle my list of things to do. Thankfully my wife was motivated and pushed me to do it.

It’s then that I realized the power of a successful morning routine.

How To Get Started

In a previous story I wrote, I shared 3 valuable tips I followed every morning. Even I didn’t realize how great they were until last night. I’ll re-share here:

  1. Prepare your next day the night before.
  2. Start the day with one or two easy tasks.
  3. Work on your hardest tasks when you work best.

When you write down the things you have to do for the next day slightly before going to bed, it puts your mind at ease, and it lets your subconscious work on it overnight so you can execute early in the morning.

When you start the day with one or two easy tasks, you get your much needed “wins” right away. The release of dopamine you get boosts your will to execute for a good portion of the day.

And for me, that sets me up for working on my hardest tasks shortly after.

But I haven’t been able to follow that as of late, until this morning.

How To Build A Successful Morning Routine

Warning: this is based on my own personal experience. It may or may not work for everyone, and it’s definitely not backed by any science.

Here’s an example from this month:

My February Schedule

Step 1: List Down All The Things You Want To Do On A Daily Basis

This month, I wanted to write every day, just like the previous month. I also wanted to record myself reading my stories.

I wanted to start doing a simple workout routine every day. I knew I would have a static home, so I needed a routine I could do with no material. I settled for 100 push-ups, 100 squats, and I quickly added 100 dips.

I wanted to learn how to successfully journal.

I wanted to learn some Norwegian for my store.

I wanted to learn how to do social media marketing.

I wanted to continue meditating (since last month).

Step 2: Order The Tasks By Ascending Order of Importance To You

It’s important to realize what you think is more important for you. I likely had too many things on my list that I had to cut. By knowing what’s more important, it’s easier later to decide where to put each task on your calendar.

Step 3: Write Down How Long It Takes You To Complete The Task

This is important.

You need to be aware of how a long a task is going to take you. Be realistic. Be precise.

The least realistic thing on my list is writing a story every in 40–60 minutes. But I force myself to follow it. Sometimes my stories end up not being as good, but that’s how you learn.

Step 4: Place Tasks On A Calendar

Now that you know what’s most important and how long tasks take you, place it in your daily calendar, similar to the image I pasted above.

I tend to just use Google Keep (previous Apple Notes), but Google Calendar should work well too.

I don’t have the mental capacity to remember everything on my calendar, so I refer to it very often, especially at the beginning of the month.

Step 5: Apply The Tips Above On How To Get Started

  1. Prepare your next day the night before.
  2. Start the day with one or two easy tasks.
  3. Work on your hardest tasks when you work best.

These are powerful. Apply them. I’ve built so much momentum before just by doing those.

My one or two easy tasks to get started is usually reviewing comments I’ve received the night before and reading a story from someone I follow. That usually gives me the boost to start writing myself.

And I actually apply this principle to different segments of my day. If you check my schedule, I start work at 9am. I do one or two easy work tasks to start with.

Step 6: Be Consistent In The Execution Of Your Morning Routine

That is crucial!

Try not to miss a day. I tend to execute it every day, including weekends. I’m a little less strict on Sunday though.

Every missed day “doubles” the effort needed to get started.

Have you noticed how after vacation, going back to executing your routine is so much harder? That’s why.


Do not underestimate the power of your morning routine. It sets you up for a successful day. Consecutive successful days brings momentum. Momentum makes you unstoppable.

It starts with careful planning, and continues with consistent execution.

Take 2 hours every month to plan your next month’s routine.

Follow the principles of planning the night before, doing easy tasks in the morning and executing your hardest tasks when you work best.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing ! 🙂

source: medium.com