This question originally appeared on Quora: How do I get motivated every single day? Answer by Michael Kilcoyne, Writer, Podcaster, Entrepreneur.
It was 3:45 a.m., and I had woken up for the third time that night because the sheer fear and anxiety that was pressing my head into a small cube kept rattling me awake like the subtle boom of a Howitzer going off in my brain.
I had stuffed my shell of a body into a hotel room inside the airport in Frankfurt, Germany because the thought of talking to anyone through the hole in my face was absolutely paralyzing. I had just survived Oktoberfest, and my body wasn’t ready to face the world yet. So I sat in my room, hid myself under my covers, ordered room-service and contemplated life.
Once I got back to The States in a few days, over the next few weeks I’d be moving out to Denver and practically starting all over again. I was scared shitless. And I knew I needed to conjure up some energy in order to make it through the airport and onto my flight in two days, so I could make that leap. The problem? There was no reserve. I was tapped out.
But I had to figure something out, because I wanted to get back, even in my fragile emotional state. So I relied on something that had worked for me so many times before: a solid morning routine. I meditated for 10 minutes, crawled over to the gym for a 15-minute run, took a cold shower when I got back and then wrote for 30-minutes or so.
That day, my brain was still total mush, but I felt much better. I left the room. I was okay with talking to people with my face. I was fine with eating the sad excuse for food that the airport serves at some of their bathroom-turned-restaurant establishments. I think I got Chinese noodles and a stick of beef. It tasted like Crayons.
Then the following day, I hopped onto my flight to JFK and went home. I made it.
How to get motivated every morning
If you look at some of the most successful people in the history of anything, you’ll find that they typically have some sort of morning routine or quirk that gets them fired up for the day—most exercise, some dip themselves into an ice bath and others rub lotion all over their skin or else they get the hose again.
And part of the reason why some of these folks are routinely so successful is because they understand the importance of using the morning to get important shit done. That’s when we actually have some restraint, and aren’t fiendishly absorbing every bit of news that’s been rampaging through our useless Facebook news feeds.
Getting stuff done in the morning is important because it makes our brains sing. When we accomplish something big in the morning—a good workout, writing, decent progress on a project—we set ourselves up for success throughout the rest of the day.
That’s why having a morning routine is so crucial. In most cases, that much-needed boost of endorphins can help us accomplish a ton of crazy stuff. And then that helps you accomplish more, and so-on and so-forth.
You need one.
Here are a few easy things you can try to get started:
1. Meditate for 5-minutes. With relaxation music. If you need help, here’s a great guided meditation app.
2. Workout. Here are some quick exercises, or try the Fitstar app.
3. Write a list of things you’re grateful for. Friends, family, work, having a home. Anything. You’re alive, that’s pretty awesome too. Better yet, write a heartfelt letter to someone important in your life.
4. Take a cold shower. The medical benefits are freakin’ insane, so suck it up.
5. Eat a Dope Breakfast. Burritos. You’re welcome.
Doing just one of these things will get you pretty pumped up for the day. Do yourself a favor and stop sleeping in until 12. Just have an awesome morning and the rest is gravy (sometimes).
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