While Mark Wahlberg, Barak Obama, Jennifer Aniston, and Oprah Winfrey are gliding through their choreographed morning routine, I am probably still sleeping.
For years I have tried to adopt the morning habits of successful people. I read that the key to their success was starting each day with a routine. So I trial-and-errored my way through dozens of morning habits and routines that didn't stick.
Eventually, I learned that the morning routine is more a state of mind than a series of well-planned actions. I also learned that the morning routine is not a one-size-fits-all.
Most importantly, I discovered that the obsession with other people's habits and routines was creating an unfair expectation for others to follow suit.
And I think it's time to uncover the truth about the habits of highly effective people and their morning routines.
Myth #1 - Your Morning Routine Must Start Early
Have you seen those videos of The Rock where he wakes up at 4 am to go to the gym? Does it make you feel really bad about yourself for waking up at 8:15 and eating breakfast instead?
This is myth number one about effective habits and healthy morning routines. They don't need to start at a particular time. You can be efficient, productive, and successful if you start your day at 5 am or 2 pm.
Many people are more productive first thing in the morning, but that doesn't apply to everyone. And it doesn't mean that a slow start to your morning means you can't still accomplish everything you want.
So if you want to build healthy habits and stack them together, don't worry so much about the time on the clock - worry more about the habits themselves.
Myth #2 - Every Morning Should be Exactly the Same
Repeating behaviors helps us build healthy habits. However, there are bound to be certain days, weeks, or months when we are thrown out of a normal routine.
Current morning routine culture tells us that in order to be successful we must do the exact same thing every day. We should wake up at the same time, eat the same breakfast, and follow the same workout routine.
The problem is that it just isn't realistic. And if we can't execute the morning routine perfectly, we tend to give up on it entirely. Instead of an all-or-nothing mentality, what if we could be more flexible?
For example, you wake up to find that there are no more eggs to make your egg white omelette before pilates. What do you do? Go back to bed because your routine is off? Stay grumpy for the rest of the day because something didn't go perfectly as planned?
Or do you make some oatmeal instead?
Flexibility and acceptance are more important than every single day being exactly the same.
Myth #3 - If I Follow His/Her/Their Routine I Will Have the Same Results
Nope. You could adopt all the habits of the healthiest people in the world and the outcome may not be the same. Partly because it's doubtful you'll be able to follow through with that, but also because you are unique.
Each person's health is different. And what makes one person feel good may make another person feel bad.
The key to a healthier life is finding the habits that make you feel good - physically, emotionally, and mentally. You can't trust other people's habits because they are not you - it's as simple as that.
So if you are interested in developing healthier habits - that's great! But instead of relying solely on mimicking other people, find what works for you!
Myth #4 - If I Have a Healthy Morning Routine, the Rest of the Day Doesn't Matter as Much
Sometimes people like to use morning habits as a reset from the day before. And I like this idea - in theory.
A happy, productive morning can set a great tone for the day and help you destress from the day before. However, your morning habits don't necessarily offset the habits you have for the rest of the day.
Consistent healthy habits (at any time of day) are going to help you reach your goals. So if you find yourself using up all of your healthy decision-making skills in the morning, you may want to rethink your approach to healthy habits.