Momentum Podcast: 25
Morning Routine Momentum
by Alex Charfen
Obsession around routine is a trait that is shared by the vast majority of successful entrepreneurs in history. Sooner or later somewhere on our journey, we realize that success is important to us and we should make it a habit. One of the keystone habits of success is a morning routine, done correctly it will allow you to get more accomplished in the first hour of the day than many people accomplish all week. In this episode, I share the strategies behind morning routines for people like us and a detailed review of my scientifically supported routine that is taken me several decades to develop.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen. Welcome to the Entrepreneurial Personality Type Podcast, created for empire-builders, game-changers, world-makers, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and obsess on creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution.
Sure, we pay attention their rules, but only so that we can bend, break, and rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the few, those willing to envision a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could, we endure the vulnerability and the exposure it takes to make it real. We've all heard, "Sit down. Stop talking. Quit going so fast and making everyone else uncomfortable," but we are hardwired differently. We are the evolutionary hunters, the most important people in the world. Entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution, and we always will be.
This is episode 25 of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type Podcast, morning routines and success. My goal for you listening to this podcast, every entrepreneur who downloads this, subscribes, maybe even leaves a review, hint, hint, is to help you create as much momentum as possible. I want to share with you the details of the research that I've done. I've read countless books on entrepreneurs and thousands of biographies and autobiographies and third-party accounts and articles about how great entrepreneurs throughout history have created this success that you know you should create.
One of the things that you see over and over again in the lives of successful entrepreneur is an obsession with efficiency and obsession around routine. When we look at entrepreneurs like Einstein, Jobs, Zuckerberg, Branson, we see that they are clearly routine-obsessed because they wear the same thing, they do the same things, they show in the same way, and morning routines have been one of the cornerstones, one of the keystone habits of success for entrepreneurs throughout history. Hemingway would get up early and write what he said he had to say that day and wouldn't do anything until he was done. Benjamin Franklin was up at 4:00 a.m. planning his day and making sure that he was efficient and effective. Steve Jobs asked every morning, "If today were the last day of my life, would I do what I'm about to do day," and if the answer was no for too long, he would go and change it.
See, entrepreneurs who create great success realize that if success is important to you, you must make success a habit, and one of the ways to do that is to create a morning routine that works for you. I'm going to share mine with you in just a moment, but here's why morning routines are so important. This is scientifically backed. See, in the morning, our willpower is at its highest level, our decision-making capital is at its highest level, and all of our currencies are available. We have time, effort, energy, and focus to contribute to what we want to get done that day right after we get up. The concept of making the first hour of your day the absolute most productive hour of your day will put you into momentum from this point forward, and I want to help you do this.
See, I'm obsessed with morning routines for most my life because I was the entrepreneur as a kid who was always late, didn't understand schedules, had a hard time getting places, had a hard time showing up like everyone else did, so I started my morning routine right around 10:00 or 11:00 when I went to junior high. I learned that if I got up and I did the same thing each day, they got faster and easier, and I got better at them, and that obsession with getting up and not being left behind turned into an obsession that has created a morning routine for me that gives me momentum every single day. I want to share it with you.
I get up in the morning right at around 4:30, depending on the day. I rinse my mouth because I don't want the bacteria from the night before accumulating so scrape my tongue, rinse my mouth, and make sure it's clean. Then I hyper-hydrate. That means taking more than 16 ounces of water. Typically, for me, it's between 25 and 35 ounces. I do my hyper-hydration, which increases my metabolism, activates the body, resets the circulation, really wakes everything up.
Then I do a hyper-oxygenation session, which is either a breathing exercise or a meditation. I then use my hyper-nutrition shake, which packs more calories into, sorry, more nutrients into every calorie than just about anything you can get out there. If I'm taking supplements that day, then I'll take my supplements, and this is all on my morning-routine checklist so that I never have to think about it. I actually follow a written checklist every single day. I don't want any decision-making capital spent because every decision you make cost you. There's an actual scientific body of work around decision-making fatigue, that the more decisions we make, the less our willpower is there. The more decisions we make, the more exhausted we get. There's a reason I do the exact same thing in every morning.
When I'm done with my supplements, I sit down to what I call planning and solitude, a discipline I use and I teach every one of my clients. I record a start time. I make sure I'm away from electronics. I change my location so I'm not planning in the same place that I work. I'm too tempted to look at the computer if I do. I have minimal exposure to electronics at all in the morning. I pull out my sheets so that I can look at my vision, my daily waterfall, which is the goals and accomplishments I intend to have moving forward. I review my company tenets. I review my weekly commitments. I review my calendar, and then I go through my planning process. I ask two critical questions every day. I don't go straight to a to-do list. My first question that I write down, answers to is, what is my intention for the day? What do I want out of every meeting, every interaction I have planned? What is the highest outcome I can get from the day?
I answer the second question, where was I uncomfortable yesterday? You've heard me say this before. Then I review the day before, I do a to-do list, and then I select the top three items from anywhere, from where my intention, from where I was uncomfortable, from my to-do list, and I make sure that those three get accomplished every single day. Then I ask myself, what should I do on my list and what should someone else do, what can I delegate, what can I pass off to someone else, and I record the finish time. My planning and solitude usually takes 12 to 17 minutes.
I immediately ask for help with clear outcomes from the people on my team, the people around me of anything that came up during my morning planning and solitude. My next step is my daily alignment with my wife that usually occurs right around 6:00 a.m. We sit down. I share with her what I'm doing. She shares with me what she's doing, and we remain aligned on a daily basis. Processing your marriage changes everything. My wife once said, and I've repeated thousands of times, "Process in a marriage isn't sexy, but you end up having a lot of more sex," and part of our process is daily alignment every day.
I then hyper-hydrate again, my second time of the day if I haven't already. Again, that's another 20 to 30 ounces of water, and it revitalizes and wakes me up again. I then go and wake up my girls with a very routine way of waking them up. We call it bumps and scratches. I scratch their back to stimulate their physiology, then they flip over, and I give them soft taps right in between the chest plate where the thymus gland is to help them wake up and activate their bodies.
We get up, and we do our primal foot sequence, which means we go on our primal walk. I do my primal squat outside. That's the entire family. It's a great place where we talk, we connect, we understand what's going on with each other. Then I come back, and now that I'm physiologically activated from going on that walk and I've been outside in the natural light, nice and early in the morning, I finish my planning and solitude. I often find that when I return and sit down, there's even more that comes out. I remember more of what I was uncomfortable the day before. I have even better intentions for the day. I might look at my top three and just make sure that that's the commitment I have for the day and that's what I truly want to accomplish.
When I'm done, I hyper-hydrate again. Then I might do my additional workout or exercise for any given day, which might be weight training, additional cardio, getting on our Power Plate, or any of the bio hacking methodology that I have in one of our two gyms. Then I'll get into the sauna for anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. That hot sauna, infrared sauna, we have a Sunlighten that is life-changing. Every morning that I do that, it feels like incredible momentum. When I'm done with the sauna, I jump into our steam shower where I spent about five minutes, and then I turn the shower as cold as I possibly can so I get that contrast in my body. Then I spend at least two minutes in a cold-as-possible shower.
When I'm done with the shower, I do what I call primal foot care, which is moisturizing the feet, checking for any calluses and making sure that the nails are trimmed. The feet are where we come in contact with the entire world around us. They're responsible for proprioception or the part of the brain that tells us where we are. I want my feet in top condition because I'm physiologically connected and I'm physiologically sensitive, momentum-based being, and I'm highly reactive to constraint, even in my feet. When I'm done with primal foot care, I get dressed, then I record my finish time, come down, and have breakfast with the kids and my wife.
This morning routine has kept me going forward and creating momentum on a daily basis for years. It's scientifically developed so that it creates all of the physiological and cognitive and chemical support that we need to create as much momentum as possible. Let me give you some examples.
By getting up and hyper-oxygenating and getting hyper-hydration, we support the body and we prepare for momentum. By sitting down to planning in solitude, I offload everything for the day, and I create my reality, what will happen that day. By aligning with my wife, I chemically become activated because we are tribal human beings. We are part of humanity that works together. Entrepreneurs learn very little standing still, and we learn almost nothing alone, so by sitting down cognitively, I align with Cadey and create even more momentum. By waking up my girls and going for a walk with them, my little tribe, my family gets aligned, connected and into momentum together. It's truly life-changing. By getting in the sauna and taking the cold shower, I provide my body with the extremes and contrast that create physiological momentum and will protect my physiology for many years to come.
Every one of you can do this. Creating the morning routine is easy, and following a checklist, while it may seem mundane, here's what happens: My morning routine checklist frees up my decision-making capital so that as I go through the morning, my mind doesn't think about what's next. It thinks about where are we going, how will I create momentum, how will I change the world today?
I also simplify my life as much as possible. Just like Albert Einstein who bought several versions of the same gray suit because he didn't want to waste brain power on choosing an outfit each morning, I have a closet full of shirts and pants that all match each other so I can literally walk in in the dark and get dressed without worrying about what I'm wearing because for me, my mornings are all about one thing: setting up as much momentum, productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness as I can for the day, and I invite you to look at your mornings the same way. By creating a simple routine, your life will change and you will feel an entirely new level of momentum. If you want to have mine as an example, it may provide you with massive shortcuts that you can make slight adjustments to. Simply go to morning.charfen.com and download it. Everything I shared with you is available there, along with my evening routine checklist.
See, I want you to make the first hour of your day the best hour of your day, because if you do this day after day, year after year, the level of success you experience, the level of momentum you feel possible, the level of engagement you have with the world around you will only go up, and you will create even more success. Morning routines are a keystone habit of momentum for people like us. I invite you to download mine and create yours. Go to morning.charfen.com to get mine.
I appreciate you being here for episode 23 of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type, and I am truly excited about episode 24 and 25 where I will be sharing the 10 habits of self-made billionaires. It's not just self-made billionaires. It's also every successful entrepreneur in history follow these 10 distinct habits to create the massive success that they did. I think some of them will surprise you. When we publish this content on success.com, the website of Success Magazine, it was downloaded over 170,000 times, sorry, shared, not liked, but shared over 170,000 times. There's a reason. These 10 habits of self-made billionaires are habits you can adopt, apply immediately, and start to see success in your life and create even more momentum. I look forward to seeing you on episode 24, and if you haven't yet, take a moment now, subscribe to this podcast, and leave us a review. I appreciate your contribution.
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