The Ideal Morning [Habit Mapping]
The Ideal Morning
SUPERHUMAN SCORE: 8.75
Have you ever heard of customer journey mapping?
It's a method used by businesses to map customer interactions with their brand.
By viewing each touchpoint through the eyes of the customer, businesses can see improvement opportunities. Then, they can hack the journey to deliver remarkable experiences.
Now, here’s my idea:
What if you “journey mapped” your daily habits to create remarkable experiences…for yourself?
You can start by mapping the first hour of your day.
In every edition of System Sunday, I assess the featured system across three superhuman dimensions: impact, setup, and maintenance.
Unlike your typical review, I focus on factors that influence personal growth. Get to know the evaluation system.
The first hour of your day dramatically impacts how the rest will go.
Here’s what I discovered when I first completed my habit map:
I used to wake up, reach for my phone, be either happy or disappointed about the notifications I got (or didn’t), and then mindlessly scroll through social media in bed.
So, what did I do about it?
I moved my phone’s charger outside the bedroom, eliminating the undesired prompt of my phone—and with it, the unwanted behavior.
The results were so immediate that I created the Phone Charger Challenge.
(You’ll discover that once you’re standing—as a result of turning off your alarm in the other room—it’s much easier to stay vertical. And the day is on!)
Keep an eye out for ideas like this in the setup.
- Lay down in bed (I’m not joking).
- Pretend it’s time to wake up in the morning.
- What’s your ideal next action? And then what? Get out of bed and physically walk through your house step-by-step.
It’s like a dress rehearsal for theatre or a pregame walkthrough for sports. Make a note of the sequence in a journal or digital note.
Habit theory teaches habit formation is a function of frequency, not time. So, by rehearsing your morning routine, you’re taking steps (literally) to encode the habits.
The first 5 actions for me are:
- Turn off my alarm in the other room
- Put on athletic clothes
- Take an “internal shower” (drink a big glass of water)
- Jump rope for 2 minutes (wakes up mind and body)
- Grab my journal and write down 5 things I’m grateful for (primes an abundant mindset)
I’m less interested in prescribing a set routine. Instead, I’d prefer to enable you with a flexible toolkit like the morning mapping.
Pro Tip: Consider actions you might take the night before to reduce the tasks the next morning (like laying out your exercise clothes). Often the best morning routine starts the night before. Again, we return to the question: How can you design delightful experiences for yourself?
There’s likely no such thing as the “perfect morning routine.” We all need to figure out what works best for each of us. I like jumping rope, but you might prefer some light stretching.
- Walk through the ideal first hour of your day (see the above setup).
- Test it in the real world the next morning.
- Keep what works.
- Discard what doesn’t.
- Return to Step 1 and keep refining.
Sidenote: I don’t have kids yet…I imagine parenting duties might make it more challenging to design your mornings! So I spoke with some friends who are parents. Here’s the consensus: Waking up an extra 20+ minutes earlier (for alone time) can go a long way in priming a great day.
BRINGING IT HOME
If there’s one takeaway from today’s newsletter, it’s this:
Live by design, not by default.
All systems go,
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