Winston Churchill is a lot of things.
An incredible leader. A talented speaker. Impeccably quotable (“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it”). And an unmatched drinker.
It’s estimated that he drank 42,000 bottles of Pol Roger Champagne over the course of his life. A typical day for Churchill included six or seven whiskey sodas, a bottle (yes, bottle) of champagne with lunch, Hine cognac in the afternoon, and two to three brandies before bed.
But a man with a productive morning routine he was not. What he’s perhaps most famous for is his morning “mouthwash,” which was, essentially, a watered-down shot of whiskey at 9:30 am. Because no one says good morning better than Johnnie Walker, right?
The point of that story is this: some of the world’s greatest leaders had terrible morning routines. Others like Ben Franklin followed virtuous routines. Both made history. You’re about to read tips to improve not only your mornings, but hopefully your entire days, and subsequently, your life.
But if you get bogged down in the details, remember this: Winston Churchill took a shot of whiskey every morning. And he won World War II. Do with that what you will. In the meantime, here are tips for a better morning routine that don’t involve whiskey.
Pick your time to wake up
Sleep experts say that waking up at the same time every day, on both weekdays and weekends, will not only improve your sleep, but it will help you feel more alert during those first few minutes of the day when the snooze button is at its most alluring.
You can find plenty of articles arguing for why every successful person should wake up at 4 am, but that’s their morning routine. Yours should be tailored to fit you. If you’re an early bird who likes some peace and quiet, shoot for 6 am. But if your morning routine would be better if it started later, do you. Knowing your chronotype will help you understand your body’s natural tendency to wake up and fall asleep at specific times.
Just pick your time and stay consistent. Your morning routine is just that, after all—a routine.
Start the morning with water
Again, we don’t recommend whiskey here. A glass of water right out of bed will help you rehydrate and studies have shown that water can help aid digestion and clear toxins. Both of which sound like good things to us.
Make fresh coffee
It actually doesn’t have to be coffee. Adding the ritual of making any drink to your morning routine will help you slow down and force yourself to practice a few moments of mindfulness.
We’re not against popping in a K-cup every now and then (though the office coffee snobs are shaking their heads at this), but boiling water for a French press or pour-over will take a few moments. And that’s exactly what you need in the morning.
Use this time to breathe, clear your head, and let your body begin to wake up before making plans for whatever’s coming next.
Cook a healthy morning breakfast
We’re using the words “cook” and “healthy” pretty loosely. Whether your go-to breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal or even just an apple, it helps to get some food in your system. If you’re tired of getting hangry during that 11 am meeting, scrambling a couple of eggs in the morning alongside a piece of toast may change your life.
It doesn’t need to be a five-course breakfast, but digesting some calories during your morning routine is a great way to kickstart your metabolism for the day and let your body know it’s time to get up and get going.
Just like making coffee, creating an intentional space to slow down and center yourself is key to making your morning routine that much better. The above habits are interchangeable, and it’s important to find which one is best for you.
If you hate writing, don’t journal. If you can’t keep your thoughts in line without a pen in your hand, well, a journal can help with that. And if you have the ability to mix in some light yoga to your morning routine, all the better. Or maybe you want even more physical activity…
Make exercise a part of your routine
Your morning routine should always match your personal preferences. Don’t add CrossFit to the list if you hate going to the gym. But whether you’re running, swimming, biking, stretching, lifting, or any combination of the above, a half an hour or more of exercise is a great way to start the day off strong.
The benefits of morning exercise are bountiful, but one of the unspoken highlights is the ability to go into work having already accomplished something. Sitting down at your desk and feeling your muscles soften with the effort is a glorious way to start the day.
Make a checklist (and check it twice)
If you still have the time, incorporating your list of priorities into your morning routine is a great way to make sure everything is in order. Everyone knows that one of the meetings in your back-to-back-to-back calendar will more than likely run long, so instead of scrambling to catch up in the moment, make your list beforehand.
Knowing what the horizon looks like and understanding your priorities makes entering the day with confidence a whole lot easier.
Speaking of confidence, what you choose to wear can set the tone for the day. At Mizzen+Main, we’re all about comfortable clothes that make it easier to walk into every day feeling like yourself.
We’ve got dress shirts for the office, polos for the casual workers, and pants for, well, everyone. If you want to end your morning routine with some Mizzen, we wouldn’t feel too disappointed about that.
Because whether or not you incorporate these ideas into your morning routine, you deserve to look and feel your best every single day. We can help with that. Shop our best-selling clothing collection.