Is there such a thing as habits that lead to success? There is no one single answer.

It is, however, possible to identify similar behavioural routines and patterns that prove decisive in how some of the most powerful managers in the world organise their day.

How do they manage their morning routine? What habits do they share?

Here we suggest a few approaches for getting your morning off to a good start. As Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast states:

“Mornings don’t have to be a death march out the door!”

Life is too exciting to stay in bed

This is what some CEOs interviewed by The Guardian stated in 2013. Here are some of the habits they share:

  • They all start by waking up very early in the morning, between 5 and 6 am.
  • Some of them do not need an alarm clock: being an early-riser is a routine, even at the weekend (for the most part, they are “lark” chronotypes)
  • For all of them, work starts again on Sunday afternoon
  • They don’t necessarily dedicate their mornings to work: often they do exercise, meditate and spend time with their families before leaving home.

A study carried out by Christoph Randler, biology professor at Heidelberg University in Germany, entitled Proactive people are morning people, does in fact confirm that those who wake earlier are more effective.

A question of habit

Human beings are creatures of habit by nature. Our life itself is made up of habits, of small details that make the difference. Our mind responds to training and repetition, and as a result new, healthy habits can be adopted with a little bit of training.

In this respect, Yogi Bhajan gives some precise tips in Kundalini Yoga for morning routines that guarantee good physical, emotive and mental health. They should be performed in the morning before breakfast.

  • Do a few simple exercises before you open your eyes.
    • This only takes a couple of minutes. In sequence, stretch your fingers completely, move your shoulders in a circular movement, stretch then relax the lower part of the back and stretch out your toes. Then, with your hands by your sides, stretch your whole body. Bring the palms of your hands up to your face then open your eyes. Slowly move your hands closer then further away from your face, gently massing face and mouth with the palms of your hands. Lift your hands then bring your knees up to your chest, and do breath of fire exercises for a few seconds.
  • Do exercise and meditation
    • In yoga, the everyday discipline is called Sadhana. You can choose whichever one you prefer, asking an expert teacher for advice. It can last anything from 15 minutes to two and a half hours! It is best to complete physical exercise (whether yoga or otherwise) with some meditation (read a few tips to get started). The best moment of all is actually during ambrosia, just before dawn.
  • Take a good cold shower
    • This is called hydrotherapy and reactivates blood flow at surface level as well as to skin and internal organs. The result is an on-the-spot energy boost and, in the mid-term period, an immune system in tiptop shape. All it takes is a cold shower, massaging every part of the body thoroughly with a slightly rough sponge.
  • Eyes, face and teeth
    • When you wash your face, make sure you splash plenty of water on your eyes while they are open: it keeps eyes healthy. When you brush your teeth, wash the base of the tongue as well until your eyes water. This helps eliminate toxins.

Now you can spend time having a good breakfast and reading the newspapers, or doing whatever you enjoy most.

Does it all sound a bit too demanding?

When you realise that it literally makes the rest of the day less demanding, you won’t even think twice about doing it!

Alessia Tanzi – Giacomo Ciampoli