Lesson From The Morning Routines Of Successful People

March 15, 2015

by Ravi Raman

I’ll admit it, I slept in today!

I wrote earlier about Why Even Night Owls Should Wake Up Early.

Unfortunately, today I slept in super late (until 9am, I normally get up around 6:40am). No excuses for that, I just wanted to sleep more so I did. Guess what? It felt great! Now as I get along with my morning I’m thinking about other aspects of the ideal morning routine.

Was my morning routine ideal today?

Let me think for for second…

This morning I got up, made a big smoothie for breakfast (frozen banana, almond milk, peanut butter and ground flax seeds), stood outside in the bright hot morning Arizona sun (I’m hanging out in Gold Canyon, AZ at the moment), read the newspaper and now I’m sitting next to a French Press of coffee (dark roast of course) and starting to type.

So far so good!

Also, I spent a minute or two thinking about my goal(s) for the day. I tend to always think about what I want to accomplish for the day as I’m getting ready each morning.

Today, my primary INTENTION is simple: be happy.

I feel AWESOME right now, so maybe what I’ve done this morning really was the perfect routine for me today – sleeping in and all!

It’s clear to me that no matter what else I do or don’t do in the morning, setting an INTENTION to the day is critical. You may prefer to call this a goal or purpose but I prefer the word: INTENTION.

Intention Setting

One thing I have noticed from reading about the godfather of daily routines, Ben Franklin, was his focus on asking himself a powerful question to start and end the day.

In the morning Ben asked “What good shall I do today?” and in the evening he asked “What good have I done today?”.

Questions are powerful, and when framed properly can be a strong catalyst and precursor to an intent that will motivate you all day long.

I’m not alone in thinking this. Tony Robbins agrees.

Dr. Wayne Dyer – medical doctor turned self-empowerment speaker, author and teacher – is also a big believer in living an intention filled life. “Intention is not something you do,” says Dyer, “but rather a force that exists in the universe as an invisible field of energy—a power that can carry us.”

Deepak Chopra is another big believer in intention setting. One of my favorite all-time books is Chopra’s Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire. In it, Chopra encourages us to set powerful intentions and watch closely for synchronicities and other signs of their fulfillment.

He recommends keeping a log of these synchronicities in a journal and provides the following three steps to harness the LAW OF INTENTION AND DESIRE:

“I will put the Law of Intention and Desire into effect by making a commitment to take the following steps:

1. I will make a list of all my desires. I will carry this list with me wherever I go. I will look at this list before I go into my silence and meditation. I will look at it before I go to sleep at night. I will look at it when I wake up in the morning.

2. I will release this list of my desires and surrender it to the womb of creation, trusting that when things don’t seem to go my way, there is a reason, and that the cosmic plan has designs for me much grander than even those I have conceived.

3. I will remind myself to practice present-moment awareness in all my actions. I will refuse to allow obstacles to consume and dissipate the quality of my attention in the present moment. I will accept the present as it is, and manifest the future through my deepest, most cherished intentions and desires.”

So it appears that my habit of setting daily goals – or intentions – is a shared habit exhibited by other successful folks. Let’s keep going along on this topic to see what else Tony has to say about this…

Tony Robbins Hour of Power

I’ll write more about Tony’s daily routines later, but his HOUR OF POWER is something he has talked about at length in interviews, and something he teaches at his workshops. You can listen to his original HOUR OF POWER lesson in its entirety here.

Don’t have an hour? Tony offers a few alternatives. Just spend 30 MINUTES TO THRIVE or 15 MINUTES FOR FULFILLMENT.

Don’t have 15 MINUTES?

Just create a PRIMING RITUAL, whatever the length.

Tony has a priming ritual that he personally does every day. The format itself changes over time as he discovers new techniques (e.g. he now uses Cryotherapy as part of his morning routine now, instead of cold showers) but the building blocks are similar. This priming ritual is a focused routine that gets him ready for the day ahead.

You can listen to Tony give a brief overview of his latest PRIMING RITUAL to Tim Ferriss here (go to minute 26:00 of the first podcast). In Tony’s words:

“The first thing every day, is PRIMING….if you want a prime life, you need a prime state.” – Tony Robbins

Part of Tony’s ritual is physical (e.g. jumping into a cold plunge pool, or a Cryotherapy pod and a special pattern of breathing) and part is mental (using incantations and powerful questions to jumpstart and PRIME HIS MIND FOR THE DAY).

Much of the mental part of Tony’s PRIMING routine is about being GRATEFUL (“When you are grateful, there is no fear”) and setting a directed mindset or INTENTION for the day to come.

Tony calls his intention setting process his THREE TO THRIVE. These are the three actions he is going to take to make the day great. You can think of actions, goals and intentions as similar things. The point is to FOCUS your mind on an outcome you care about for the day.

Power of Your Intention

Whether or not you believe in THE SECRET or THE LAW OF ATTRACTION or recognize the claims of the self-improvement teachers I’ve referenced in this post, it is clear that setting an INTENTION for the day is a key habit that many successful people embrace.

There must be something to it!

If you don’t like the word INTENTION – you can just think of your goal or desired outcome for the day.

What is comes down to is this: take a few minutes out of your day to envision WHAT you want and HOW you want your day to go. Do this in the morning for maximum impact throughout the day, and review your progress every evening to keep yourself accountable.

Take the time to set an intention EVERY morning.

If you are struggling to pick an intention; just ask yourself, in the words of Uncle Ben, “What good shall I do today?” and see what answer comes back to you.


  1. Reemi Beatrix

    Thank you very much Ravi for this reminding me. Now got into action!!

  2. Ravi Raman

    Thanks for visiting Gabe! I’m following your blog as well. I recently got an Aeropress and it blows the French Press away! Highly recommend it (they cost $40). Coffee is smoother and stronger with it vs press.

    • Gabe Johansson

      I’ve heard great things about Aeropress coffee, and I’ll definitely need to check it out, thanks!

  3. Gabe Johansson

    Epic post, Ravi!

    I agree that a morning routine and proper intention will lead to a great day. I need to work onthe routine part, as my schedule has been all over the place lately. The intent is still there, along with taking daily action.

    Also, gotta love French press coffee! Bought one a couple years ago and haven’t looked back!

    Thanks for the insights and ideas I can implement!
    -Gabe Johansson

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