The Leadership Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question, “What’s your morning routine before going to work?” is written by Billy Polson, CEO and co-owner of DIAKADI and the Business Movement.
Mornings can be rough, and there are few among us who are truly not “morning people.” However, utilizing a couple hours earlier in your day while most of the world is still sleeping can create a domino effect of energy, positivity, and mindfulness throughout your day. In that sense, you can become a morning person, even if you don’t think of yourself as one.
It’s important to make my own personal happiness and fitness my number one priority each morning. Even though I’m a performance coach and owner of a gym, I know that if I don’t schedule in my own workouts and meditation to be first thing I do every morning, then something will come up and be sure to interrupt my fitness practice later that day.
For me, my morning routine is a combination of strength, yoga, or surf sessions. Each of these workouts includes a state of mindfulness. By taking an hour to focus on my sport and physical body—not on the work that lies ahead for the day—I am able to warm up my muscles and increase blood flow throughout my body while quieting my mind and increasing my mental clarity.
My mentor once taught me that if you are not taking excellent care of yourself, then there is absolutely no way you can do your best job in taking care of your clients, your staff, or your business. Since learning this, I can honestly say that both the happiness and success in my work and life have grown exponentially. I’ve been able to create a happier workplace for my staff and a warmer, friendlier environment for our customers. A recent study found that movement and happiness go hand in hand, with active people tending to be happier both in the short and long term. So I cannot think of a better way to kick-start every day than with movement and positive thinking.
In addition to my mindful exercise, I also practice an active daily commute. My preferred mode of transportation is a bicycle; however, you can now choose from a variety of commuting options. Scooters, skateboards, and roller skates all make it extremely easy to actively travel into work. Plus, with most of the current active commuter tools being quite portable, even a longer commute doesn’t have to be your excuse to “sit” it out.
If you are taking a train, bus, car, or subway for a long distance, bring your bicycle, scooter, skateboard, or roller skates with you, and park or get off the train several blocks away. This will allow you to actively walk, bike, or skate your final 15 minutes to the office. You will also find that actively traveling back to your car at the end of the day is a great way to decompress after a long and oftentimes stressful day.
By setting aside a committed time to yourself each morning, you will see and feel the positive difference in yourself and the people around you.