Show me someone’s morning routine, and I can pretty much pinpoint how successful they’re going to be. Morning routines say a lot about who we are, where our priorities lie, and how serious we are about achieving our goals. In this practical guide, we’re going to explore: 3 research-backed components of an A+ productive morning routine A trio of smartphone apps you can use to tune up your brain upon waking. The power of TRIGGERS to stay disciplined and win the day. 2 ways to remove friction the night BEFORE to make mornings a breeze. And much, much, MUCH more… This post isn’t for everyone. I wrote it with growth-conscious advisors in mind. If you’re comfortable with where you are, save yourself six minutes and go scroll through Facebook. But if you’re a virtual advisor who is serious about developing the best morning routine for success…you’re in the right place. Read on to learn how to crush your DAY – and crush your LIFE – all before you sit down at your desk! Best Morning Routine for Success….According to Successful People Every person is different. We all operate on slightly different internal time clocks, schedules, and preferences. But if you study the averages, you’ll find that successful people are generally early-risers. And while I don’t have research that specifically addresses insurance and financial advisors, I’d guess that successful virtual advisors tend to be early-risers as well. What I do know is that 36% of successful people (across all industries) wake before 6 a.m. An impressive 86% get out of bed before 7 a.m. And…sorry to all you late-risers…but just 4% of successful people are waking up past 8 a.m. Ultimately, it’s not waking up early that makes you successful. It’s a person’s morning routine that puts them in a place to be successful over the course of the day. And successful people also tend to share some of the same morning routines. Want to learn more about how you can implement a healthy morning routine to catalyze success in your day? You need a plan. Eve Duke, our Chief People Officer here at Advisorist, always tells me: It’s Your Morning. And It’s Yours to Control in Any Way You Want . So my question to you is simple: Do you control the morning, or does your morning control you? Stop Stumbling Out of Bed and Create a Healthy Morning Routine for Success! As a virtual advisor who is looking to get more done in less time, you have to begin the day with a routine or ritual in mind. What your routine actually looks like is less important than the fact that you have one. Eve encourages advisors to: Show Up Set an Intention Create a Morning That Works for You We all have those days where things spin out of control. And typically, these days start with a lack of focus and control. I firmly believe that a Successful Start = Successful Finish And here are three different things you can do to ignite a successful start: #1 Workout I’m going to mention a few different options/categories here. For best results, you should include at least one from each: Physical Exercise: This includes any sort of physical activity that gets your muscles moving and blood pumping. It could be swimming, running, going to the gym, resistance band training, lifting weights, playing a sport, etc. Mental Exercise : If you can work in some sort of mental workout in your morning, you will win. You won’t just crush your day – you’ll crush your life! (Examples include: meditation, reading, journaling, and inspiration.) Try the “ Why? Exercise ,” where you start with a question – something that you’re pleased with or something that bothered you about your previous day – and ask Why? at least five times. By going five layers deep into your thinking, you’re going to unpack interesting insights that you’ve never considered. Try mindful meditation, where you focus on a specific outcome or need for several minutes until you become intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in that moment. Try using The Five Minute Journal to shift your state of mind and create an initial foundation of clarity for the day. Use specific apps to get your mind right first thing in the morning. (Good options include Elevate , Duolingo , or even kid’s math apps .) Whether it’s journaling or a cognitive exercise, the goal is to put your mind in a place that’s inspired, creative, and focused for the remainder of the day. #2 Planning This is your day to own – you don’t have to make it something you don’t want it to be. Be intentional! Here are some suggestions for morning planning (use some or all): Prioritize your tasks so that you have a basic framework for your day. Set primary tasks and secondary tasks. Schedule into increments and blocks so that you’re able to keep your mind wrapped around all of the tasks on your to-do list without feeling compelled to multitask. Outline your intentions to figure out what it is you want to accomplish over the course of the day. (You won’t always accomplish everything, but you have to aim at something.) Eat the Frog! As the famous saying insinuates, you should lead with the task that you dislike the most. Once you get it done, everything else will seem much more appealing. Pro Tip: If you’re looking for a good planner to kickstart your day, I would highly recommend trying the Productivity Planner #3: Habit Forming One of Eve’s favorite concepts is the use of sequential triggers to help form habits. With this approach, you create a logical flow or progression that helps one morning ritual lead into another. For example, Eve starts her day by exercising while brushing her teeth (doing squats). This serves as a trigger that propels her to her next task. Example : Brushing teeth > triggers > Exercise > triggers > Get jogging pants and running shoes on > triggers > Download a Ted Talk Podcast > triggers > etc. Create a routine that you can actually adhere to. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not running a half-marathon, taking an ice bath, or reading 100 pages. Just do something! Make your morning routine productive, but make it manageable. Other Tips and Tricks for a Productive Morning Routine Now that I’ve given you some ideas that you can include in a healthy morning routine for success, I want to provide a few clarifying tips and tricks that should help you iron out some of the wrinkles and develop a game plan that works for your personality/schedule. Remove Friction the Night Before A successful morning routine actually starts the night before. Try removing as much friction as you can before your head hits the pillow in the evening. It doesn’t have to be major tasks – small investments pay big dividends in the morning when you’re looking for any excuse to crawl back in bed. Here are a few easy suggestions: Clear off your desk at the end of the workday. Set the automatic timer on your coffee maker. Set your clothes out. Place a quick breakfast snack out on the counter. Another way to remove friction is by jotting down the most important tasks and meetings for the following day in your planner. This helps you wrap your mind around what you have for the next day. (Yes…your day will change, but this added clarity will instill confidence to tackle what lies ahead.) Document Your Routine Your morning routine will evolve over time, but it’s helpful if you document it on paper. By writing out your routine, along with the estimated time to complete each part, you get a big picture overview of the entire process. For the first couple weeks of your routine, it also gives you a “cheat sheet” to reference (which reduces the amount of willpower and concentration you need to carry it out). Do Your Most Important Tasks First If you want a successful start, you need a purposeful routine that’s simple and effortless. There’s a great study on this, actually. You can read about the full study here , but I’ll give you the CliffsNotes version: The takeaway is pretty simple: Those who ate the radishes exerted so much willpower eating the pungent vegetables that they no longer had the focus and engagement to perform another challenging task. Those who ate the tasty cookies – which required no effort – did just fine on the puzzle. What do radishes have to do with your morning routine? Well, nothing…hopefully. But it does give us a keen insight into the concept of willpower. Willpower decreases throughout the day. So if you want to get something done, you should do it at the start of the day! Sometimes it’s helpful to see someone else’s morning routine to get a feel for how different tasks can mesh together to create a solid framework for the day. So here’s a sample routine to review: Again…your routine won’t look exactly like this. The hope, however, is that it’ll get your wheels turning. We’re Backkk! Did you know that prior to the pandemic, just 2 out of 100 insurance and financial advisor meetings took place online? Well, the script has officially flipped in a matter of 10 months. Today, 98% of meetings are conducted over a platform like Zoom. If you attended the Virtual Financial Advisor Summit 2020, then you should have been WAYYY ahead of the curve. We went into GRANULAR detail with tools, frameworks, and strategies you could use to SHIFT to virtual advisory. But what if you weren’t there? Or maybe you made a masterful pivot, but now find yourself searching for the next steps? Whatever the case may be, you’re going to want to CLEAR your calendar for Wednesday, February 10, 2021. Advisorist is once again teaming up with Broadridge Advisor Solutions to host the LIVE 1-Day Virtual Financial Advisor Summit 2021: NEXT . And as this year’s theme suggests, we’re taking DEEP dives into the proven growth strategies you need to scale your financial planning virtual practice in 2021 and beyond. I don’t want to say too much just yet…but we already have some MAJOR names lined up…including Ed Slott, Tom Hegna, and people from Facebook, J.D. Power, and MORE! It’s going to be EPIC. Grab your FREE pass today to Acquire the Sales and Marketing Techniques the Top 1% of Advisors Are Using to Win Big in the Virtual Arena. We’ll have even more details regarding the speaker lineup and schedule as we get closer to February 10!