I’m a creature of habit – and the vast majority of my habits are part of my early morning routine.
My 6am-9am rituals cannot be interfered with – if they are, my day gets off to a lousy start e.g. some people can go to the gym at noon or after work, I HAVE to go in the morning.
That said, two of my most important daily rituals revolve around my to-do list. It always sets the tone for the day.
Ritual #1: Preparing Each Day’s To-Do List
I hand-write every day’s to-do List, generally the night before. It’s an extensive list that covers the full range of my day’s activities from work/blogging to health, social activities, appearance, and errands.
I’ve used this system for many years and can’t imagine keeping track of everything I have to do without it. The idea of something falling through the cracks horrifies me.
Ritual #2: Reviewing my To-Do List, Daily and with Gratitude!
I can’t tell you how much satisfaction I get from checking items off this list – and it can be small stuff e.g. took items to Goodwill
Most importantly, I reflect on – and write down – what I am grateful for each day.
- Occasionally it’s something major e.g. biopsy is NOT cancerous and sometimes it’s having achieved a personal goal e.g. kept it at 1500 calories (at least for that day!)
- There are so many things to appreciate about life, I am always grateful for something: wonderful friends, a blog post people were inspired by, having a splendid place to work (Ludlow House)
Read on below for more of my daily rituals starting from when I wake up (at 6 am) through to midnight when I put away the book I’m reading, scroll through instagram and snapchat one last time and take a final look at the next day’s to-do list.
Ritual #3: Coffee and Bloomberg News
Nothing gets the day going until I have my coffee (Lavazza in a french press) while I am watching the morning business news.
- For years it was CNBC SquawkBox but finally Joe Kernen got the best of me and I switched to Bloomberg. So much better.
Ritual #4: Check the day’s blog post at 6am
Every day’s post goes live at 6 am which gives me a few minutes to make any last minute revisions before it goes out to subscribers at 7am
Ritual #5: Scan my Customized Google News
I have a personalized newsfeed. Takes me 60 minutes to review each morning.
- It’s customized for my interests and frequently inspires topics I write about on the blog.
- Without a doubt, my most valuable research resource.
- I especially appreciate getting news and info from multiple, expert sources.
- And thanks to AI, the more I interact with google, the better a resource it becomes.
Ritual #6: Check blog analytics and post to social
By 7:30, I can see whether that day’s blog post is resonating – and if so, I do my happy dance before posting to FB, LinkedIn and Twitter.
And then I head to the gym.
Ritual #7: Gym
CRUCIAL. Generally at the Y by 8am. Half an hour on the elliptical followed by 30 minutes of range of motion exercises for arthritis. Once a week, my trainer, David works with me on building muscle strength and flexibility. Great improvement over the last six months.
Ritual #8: Social Media
I’ll be the first to admit it, I am addicted.
- First thing in the morning and last thing at nite I check Swarm to see where all my besties are at
- Then I check Snapchat (that’s often a key source of news for me – e.g. Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria), Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
Ritual #9: Must Drink More Water
I cannot fall asleep until I have finished drinking a 50 oz bottle of water.
- And if I have been out cocktailing, I make myself drink an extra 3 or 4 glasses of water (major for hangover relief).
Ritual #10: Read Books – at least an hour a day
All the smartest people I know are big readers. And I must say now that I’m back on track with books, I love it.
- Reading a book provides a much richer, more well-rounded experience.
- Just started Ray Dalio’s book – it’s going to be major for me. His insights about work and his approach to life are extraordinarily inspiring.
Bottom Line: For this creature of habit, it’s interesting to see just how much of my day is set in motion by what happens between 6 and 9 am.