Improve Your Day with a Morning Routine

By January 21, 2018Blog

Level up in every way by adding a short, efficient morning routine to your day. 

Some would say I’m kind of into personal development.

Okay, everyone who knows me would say that.


My current reading list… Oh, and Tools of the Titans – a mammoth by Tim Ferris.

I’m also the type of person that loves to look for trends or small, seemingly insignificant nuggets that may be hidden, but all successful people seem to have in common.

In my travels of reading, listening to podcasts and talking to every person more successful than me, I’ve found two things to be universally true:

  1. The most successful people on Earth ALL do some sort of daily mindfulness practice, often known as meditation. NOTE: I still haven’t fully grasped this concept for myself, but I know it to be true.
  2. Everyone whom I want to emulate has a daily morning routine that they complete every single day. 

Today, I want to take you through my morning routine, which has been developed and honed over recent years. For the past few weeks, I finally feel like I ‘ve cracked the code and have a solid routine that is efficient and incredibly beneficial.

So, what constitutes a morning routine?

You make your coffee every morning and scroll instagram as the water boils, right? Is that a routine?

It is.

Is it a good one that will serve you well?

Not so much.

The Night Before

A well planned morning begins the night before. You can make your groggy morning self’s life a lot easier by planning ahead and setting everything up before you actually hop out of bed.

First, set everything up so you have to make as few decisions as possible, saving that brain bandwidth for later. I’m talking clothes for the morning and any journals, books or otherwise (discussed in more detail later).

Second, you can write out a to-do list, but those can become cumbersome and anxiety-inducing, especially if you have a lot on your plate.

I have found much more success in writing down ONE THING that needs to get done that next day, a la my good friend, Zander Fryer.

Make sure you read the caption below the pretty picture. Often it’s the scariest thing you have to do, but that’s how you know you can’t ignore it.

If you can do the scariest, most difficult thing first, what else can hurt you today? Nothing can beat you after you’ve already created a win like that in the morning.

Feet on the Floor

It’s been said that there are two types of people in this world: those who hit snooze and those who do not.

Looks a lot like my girlfriend’s phone…

One of the major things I attribute my success to is putting my feet on the floor as soon as I hear that alarm.

But here’s the thing…

You shouldn’t just be expected to ‘flip a switch’ and be able to do this if you’ve been pressing snooze for years.

This all comes back to something I’ve written about almost ad nausem, finding your greatest purpose in life, or your why.

I get my feet on the floor because I know that every minute spent sleeping from now on is a minute lost from writing articles, writing programs, training clients, or otherwise serving my audience.

Find your why, choose the one thing you can do to move closer towards your goals, and watch yourself jump out of bed when you hear that crazy iPhone alarm bouncing around in your head.


Doing some form of physical activity first thing in the morning is obviously beneficial in terms of boosting metabolism and helping to move just a little bit more.

It ‘gets the blood flowing, so-to-speak.

But there are a few other things I love about completing a quick morning movement flow.

First of all, it “wakes up” your nervous system; meaning that in addition to making you feel energetic, it’ll increase neurological activity. In other words, this primes the Central Nervous System for activity and allows recruitment of both nervous and muscular cells for everything from activation to power output.

Second, I mentioned a mindfulness practice earlier and how I haven’t quite nailed one down. Even though this doesn’t cover that in so many words, it is a daily ‘practice’ that forces me to focus on one thing and can serve a bit of a double purpose.

Below is the form to grab my favourites, the Weekend Warrior Hip & Shoulder Savers. You can swipe these directly, or create your own, but consider one that perpetuates joint health, particularly getting the spine moving in many different ways after a restful sleep.

This is something that ABSOLUTELY needs to be done every single day. Before coffee. Before the gym. Before brushing your teeth.


After my morning movement flow, I lay on my stomach and write in my 5-minute journal.

WTF is a 5-minute journal, you ask?

It’s basically a gratitude journal that guides you through a very short morning and evening routine. It includes either a quote of the day or a weekly challenge, then begins the daily routine.


  • What are three things you’re grateful for?
  • What are three things that would make today awesome?
  • Write two daily affirmations, beginning with “I am…”


  • What are three things that made today awesome?
  • How could you have made today even better?

Basically, you’re shifting your mindset from the default, which is to look for faults and problems in the world and yourself. You’re committing your consciousness to positive thoughts and forcing your day to start and end on the right foot.


The final, and often most difficult part of my morning routine is hydration.

After six to eight hours of fasting and not consuming water, our body is in a fasted and dehydrated state. It’s imperative to replenish that water as soon as possible, especially before driving coffee into your body, which only adds to the dehydration.

I drink one full bottle or glass of water before my first coffee, allowing my body to fully wake up before pumping it full of caffeine.

In conclusion, there are a few crucial activities, done first thing in the morning that can make or break your day.

Can you get by and have good days for the rest of your life without any semblance of a morning routine? Absolutely.

But if you want great; if you want to truly level up your game and step into a whole new world of truly taking life by the balls, then you need an efficient and productive morning routine.

To winning your morning,


If you want more exclusive content, access to lots of FREE shit, and to better understand the twisted mind of a former goalie turned fitness pro, sign up for the McHale S & C email list. Once you join the team, I will harass you with musings on hockey, lifting heavy shit, and fitting alcohol into your macros.


Gavin McHale

Author Gavin McHale

Online training and nutrition coach, retired semi-pro hockey goalie, and ex-skinny kid. Currently a beer league superstar, and lover of lifting heavy things, Gavin will help you reclaim that athletic, dead sexy body, and shrink your clothing budget. Because tarps are always optional.

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