5 Morning Activities You’ll Find in Successful Peoples’ Routines

updated Jun 26, 2019
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If you want to optimize your daily routine to improve your life, start with your morning. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for boosting productivity or a single, ultimate hack for summoning creativity and inspiration, many successful people have something in common: a solid, consistent morning routine that sets the tone for the day, motivates them in their personal and professional lives, and even drives them to achieve.

To examine exactly which morning self-care practices are most common among earners across various income brackets, The Sleep Judge surveyed more than 1,000 people. The biggest finding: Those who claimed to have a consistent set of morning habits earned an average of $12,500 per year more than those who didn’t. There’s also recent research showing that rising earlier is linked to greater wealth, especially when those early mornings are productive.

Feeling inspired to earn more and feel better? Here are five of the morning activities linked to survey respondents with average wages of $50,000 or more annually:

Working out

It makes sense that fitness and success are linked, given the numerous ways exercise in general benefits the body and mind. But starting the day by moving your body is like a gift that keeps on giving: Experts believe that morning exercise can be a powerful way to stay focused and think clearly throughout the day. Plus, exercising first thing can serve up a generous boost of self control, setting the stage for more healthy decisions later on.

Taking a cold shower

Cold showers might feel somewhere between “not good” and “miserable,” but morning-routine connoisseurs like Tim Ferriss swear by their icy morning jolt (and perhaps inspire higher earners therein). For good reason, it seems: A cold shower first thing in the morning has a positive impact on metabolism, increases circulation, and can even reduce stress and anxiety.


It’s no secret that meditation has myriad benefits, both physical and mental. But did you know sustained, focused attention through meditation or prayer can also literally change the brain and prime you to be your best self? Most obviously, meditation prevents a wandering mind and enhances the ability to focus, but it also helps us learn, boosts memory, and increases emotional regulation. Who knew?


Along the same lines, mindful journaling, especially when it’s focused on gratitude, can reduce stress, improve mental health, and even lead to better sleep. And because the practice of journaling forces uninhibited thinking, it may also lead to more creativity and self-awareness, both of which are major assets in the workplace and in life.

Making lunch

What’s the hallmark of preparedness, if not making a lunch to tote to work? Not only does a little early-AM meal prep set the tone for productivity throughout the day; coming to work prepared with a well-thought-out meal will help prevent mindless eating habits that could have domino effects on your day. For instance, if you tend to grab sugary snacks on a busy work day, avoiding them in favor of your prepared lunch will shape you up for more balanced blood sugar levels and, as a result, more focus, a better memory, and improved ability to learn.