How you start and end your day matters.
I get a lot of questions from listeners about what my morning routine, daily habits and nighttime routines look like.
So I decided it was time to record a solo episode answering this exact question so that anyone who asks can get a quick answer 🙂
The truth is, I believe that healthy, consistent routines make a massive difference in our daily performance and our long term health and happiness.
So even though I’m not perfect at following mine every day, I know what a big impact it makes when I do.
Keep in mind that these are just my routines.
I’ve developed them over years of trial and error. Some I got from playing sports, some from studying optimal health, some from going to meditation training, and some from friends.
They all serve me, but what I hope you do after listening to this episode is choose habits that serve YOU.
Habits are only as useful as the results we get from them, so I invite you to experiment with your own habits until you find ones that work.
Here are my favorite ones in Episode 589.
Lewis Howes: This is episode number 589 on My Success Habits, Rituals and Morning Routine.
Welcome to The School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now, let the class begin.
Welcome back, you beautiful individual, you! I am so grateful that you’re here, and no matter where you’re at in the world, no matter what city, state, country you’re in, no matter if you’re on the treadmill, you’re lifting weights, if you’re cooking for your family, if you’re driving to work or if you’re working right now and you’re listening to this in the background, I want to remind you that you’re here for a reason.
You were put on this planet for a specific reason. Your dreams matter, and you matter, and I hope you remember that. And I hope this serves as a friendly reminder of how important your life is and how important your life is to the people around you. Even if you don’t thing you are important. Even if sometimes you may be forgetful of this idea. You matter. And your dreams matter. And I hope this brings you some inspiration today.
It’s a solo round. I keep getting so many people saying, “Lewis, I love, love, love the interviews that you have on with people, but we want to learn more about you, and how you do things as well.” And I get this question all the time. Every single week someone asks me, “What’s your morning routine? What are your rituals? What are your success habits, Lewis?”
So, I thought I would share. That way I don’t have to copy and paste the same thing any more to everyone in reply. Now I can send everyone to this episode to listen to. So, I’m going to break it down. And I’ve had different things that I’ve tried and tested over the years. Different things that I used when I was playing sports, that helped me achieve incredible results, that helped me break world records, that became All American in two sports, that helped me achieve success at a professional athlete level, on the USA National Team in handball and to make the USA National Team within nine months.
So, I had a lot of different things that supported me to gain athletic results in my life. And I’ve used some of those things and added new habits and routines, for business results, health results, relationship results, spirituality, things like that, since then. But I thought I would break this down into really three core parts.
First, my morning routine and breaking down exactly what I do. The actions I take the things I think, all that. Then talk about the night routine, what I do at night, and then also kind of go over an overview of general rituals, before podcast interviews, before I do big press myself and go on bigger press like the Ellen Show or Good Morning America, or the Today Show, things like that, or doing a business meeting, interviews, other type of partnership deals, before I go on stages, things like that, in front of five or ten thousand people. What are those routines that I do there?
So, I’m going to talk about these three core areas of my life. And I’m super pumped to share with you, because I don’t think I’ve actually shared it all in one place before.
Before we dive in, got to give a shout out to the Fan of the Week. Again, every week we give a shout out to someone who leaves a review over on iTunes. So, if you want to get shouted out on the podcast, just leave us a review. You can do it on your podcast app as well on your iPhone, or over on iTunes, and just search The School of Greatness.
This is from Sarah Justice of the Peace, who says, “This podcast is a must-listen! Lewis brings on the best guests and he empowers all his listeners to do great things. He started off as a pro-athlete and now he’s a lifestyle entrepreneur, it proves that anyone can do anything, and you can always reinvent yourself.” Absolutely you can, and Sarah, thank you so much for being the Fan of the Week and for leaving us a review. It really helps us spread the Message of Greatness to more people.
And before we dive in, I want to give a shout out to our sponsors and that’s Shopify. If you’ve ever been thinking about selling a product online, or you’re an entrepreneur that wants to launch a product, or you need a better system for your current online store, you know, I currently sell multiple products online, both physical goods and digital ones and I love the checkout experience that Shopify creates for my customers.
They are really at the top of their game with the front-end and back-end design of their online shopping platform. I recommend Shopify, because selling online has never been easier, faster, or more scalable. What is rewarding about being an entrepreneur is the freedom that it gives, right? The ability to be your own boss, to travel and to do more. But what can be draining is picking up all the tools to get your business up and running.
So, do yourself a favour and use Shopify to get your whole store set up in one place and get it thriving. I’ve created multiple online businesses and I can tell you from my experience, that choosing the right tools, like Shopify, makes a massive difference in those businesses’ successes. If I was going to start all over from scratch, this is one of the areas I would make sure to invest in. So, if you’re thinking about your big idea and launching something online, then make sure to visit shopify.com/greatness and get started on it with a free 30-day trial. Again, check out shopify.com/greatness for a free 30-day trial, today.
And also a big thank you to Bench. Now, I just had a conversation with a dancer friend of mine who is launching his own online business and he also has a successful dance choreography business and also classes where hundreds of students come every single day, to learn from him. And one of the biggest challenges he said was bookkeeping.
And I said, you got to check out Bench, it’s the online bookkeeping service for your business. They give you a team of bookkeepers, to do your books, and simple, elegant software to track your financial results. Every month, your Bench Bookkeeping Team turns your data into tax-ready financial statements. You can monitor all your business’ financial health, download your financial statements and chat with your bookkeeping team via any time on the Bench app.
There’s thousands of entrepreneurs trusting Bench to do their books and they’re the largest bookkeeping service in North America. Today you get 20% off for the first six months of bookkeeping at bench.co/greatness. Again, School of Greatness listeners, you’ve got to have your books in order if you want to optimise your business, make sure to go to bench.co/greatness for 20% off your first six months today.
Again, thank you to both our sponsors, Shopify and Bench, for helping us spread the Message of Greatness even farther in the world.
Alright guys! I’m very excited! Let’s go ahead and dive in, again, make sure to take a screenshot of this and share it with me on Istagram right now. Tag me and tell your friends to check this out and listen, lewishowes.com/589 to get all the links and information that we talked about from this podcast as well.
Here we go! Let’s dive in to My Success Habits, Rituals and Morning Routine.
I wanted to talk about the morning routine first. Now, this would be the ideal routine. In no way, shape or form and I perfect or an ideal human being, I am flexible with a lot of this stuff. I travel a lot, I’ve got different things that come up last minute, and as much as I would like to say, at this stage of my life, that I’m super disciplined and follow this to the T, and everything is perfect, it’s just not.
In some seasons of my life I’m much more disciplined, and other seasons, for instance, when I’m on a book launch tour, travelling around the country doing multiple cities in a few weeks, my rituals in the morning may not be as regimen because of the travel time of early morning call times for press and interviews and things like that, so this is definitely a seasonal thing.
But I find myself, when I follow through on these habits, rituals and routines, that I am definitely much more prepared, productive, and optimal in my life, my business, my relationships and everything. So, I think it’s okay, for me if I get off for a couple of weeks, or perfect for a few weeks. But I definitely notice if I’m off for a month or two, or if I’m not doing any of my routines or habits, that things are just a lot harder.
Things don’t come as effortlessly. I struggle to create those results and really struggle to have that balance and inner peace and fulfilment. I feel a lot more anxious, stress, anxiety, things like that, and overwhelmed. So this is really an opportunity to feel a sense of clarity in your life, peace, sense of balance. I definitely believe that the habits you create, the rituals, the routines, support you feeling of balance in the world.
So, here’s my morning routine, again, at the optimal, ideal situation. I like to wake up at 06:30am. Now, I love to sleep! I love sleep! So, for me, if I can sleep in till, shoot, 07:30, 08:30, 09:00 I would, every single day. And this is probably one of my biggest challenges. Going to bed early enough so that 06:30 isn’t too hard for me to wake up. And that’s one of my biggest challenges, but when I do go to bed early enough, I wake up at 06:30, ready to go.
And the first thing I do is breathe and give thanks that I’m alive another day. I am constantly reminding myself that tonight could be my last night. That it could be all over for me. And I ask myself, “Did I give everything that I wanted to give? Did I try everything I wanted to try? Did I at least go for the things that I’m passionate about? Or was I living in fear today? Did I hold back? Did I not give my gifts to people? Did I selfishly confine myself inside, afraid, scared, and worried about what people will think about me?”
So I remind myself this. And when I wake up in the morning, I just say thank you, a quick thank you, I give thanks that I can breathe and I’m alive another day and I have an opportunity to give my gifts and to pursue my dream. I express my gratitude. I express gratitude throughout all of my day, whenever I think about it, but I try to express as much gratitude as I can, because I believe that fulfilment inside comes from gratitude, and when we aren’t living in gratitude, the opposite is, not enough, fear, resentment, anger, ungratitude and that isn’t fulfilment.
So, if you want to feel fulfilled, live in gratitude. I get up, drink water. I think water is, again, the more I learn about the body, the mind, the soul, and how much we’re made of water, I try to replenish it as much as possible, because water is energy, water is life. And I could easily not drink water and then start to feel light-headed later in the day, so I try to just drink it right away. I use the restroom pretty much after I drink water, I usually have to go the the bathroom, and I clean my teeth. It’s important to clean your teeth, and I’ll talk about that in a second.
But I clean my teeth and then I make my bed and I create a clean space in my room. Doing those three acts, really, cleaning my teeth, drinking a glass of water and making my bed, it really cleanses me, right? It’s a cleansing mechanism early on. You’re cleaning out your mouth, your teeth, cleansing it. It also feels like and act of completion. For some, cleaning your teeth feels like a job, it’s like, “Uh, I don’t want to clean my teeth,” so, if that is the case, then doing a great job cleaning your teeth for two minutes, you have one completed act for the day. One productive act that improves your health and your life and makes you feel a sense of completion.
Then, when you drink water, you’re optimising your health, right? And I don’t take supplements right now at this season of my life, but sometimes I do, it just kind of depends. So, if you want to drink a glass of water, take supplements, I will do a green juice where I’ll put some green powder in, in the morning, after my workout, usually. But if you want to do your supplements then, that’s fine.
And then, a clean bed. That’s a clean space. You want to create clarity in your life every single morning, and I believe having a clean bed creates a sense of clarity and also, that’s your third act and accomplishment in the first ten minutes. Drink water, you’re completing something for your health. Clean your teeth, you’re completing something for your health. Clean your space, you’re completing something for your life. Three powerful things right away.
It may not seem like a lot. It may not seem like anything, but it’s very powerful and it’s something I do every single morning. Then I head out to a workout. My workout is one of the most important moments of the day. It really is where some of my greatest ideas, in business, in life, in solving any problems come from.
When we are moving the body, the blood flows through the body, the heart is pumping, we are exfoliating and, again, cleansing the body through sweat. The body is cleansing itself, you’re getting out any toxins, any negative energy, any side-effects, you’re cleansing it out, lubricating the joints, strengthening the muscles, and your brain is now getting activated. When in doubt, always work out.
The brain is now activated, so I can start thinking clearer, I can start having better decision-making skills. Again, all of my ideas, some of my best ideas, come from moving the body, working out. It is important. You are really cleansing yourself, in four different ways when you do that in the morning as well. Some people don’t think of it that way, but if you really look at it, all that you get done in the first hour, hour and a half, of cleansing the body, the mind, your space, the teeth. You know, if you’re fuelling with water, that is a powerful, powerful thing.
After the workout, and listen, the workout can be whatever you guys want to do. For me, I’ll do a lift, I’ll do a hit workout, I’ll run. I like to mix it up, and, again, it all depends on the season of my life. Then when I come back from the workout, I typically do a smoothie, and again, different ingredients based on the different season of my life, what I’m doing. Some is more protein rich, some is more recovery, it all depends. But I like to fuel myself with a smoothie.
And sometimes I’m actually intermittent fasting, like I’m doing right now, and I’m not eating until about one o’clock. You know, I test different things, so some of these things change over time. After that I take a shower, right? So now, I cleanse myself again. I clean the body, shower, shave, whatever it is I’m doing for that day, cleaning, cleansing the body so that I’m fully ready for the day. After the shower, I meditate.
And the meditation is another way to, again, cleanse the mind, cleanse the soul, and get clear on the intention for what I want to create that day. To visualise everything that I look to manifest that day. Who is the human being that I’m trying to become. What does my best self actually look like? If I looked in a mirror right now and I saw my optimal self, the human being that I idolise as myself, the person that I’ve never become, but he’s looking at me back in the mirror, it’s actually a reflection of everything I want to be.
The way I want to look, the way I want to dress, the way I want to carry myself, the things I want to speak about, the energy I have in my heart, the smile I have, the confidence I have. If I can imagine that during meditation, then I become more of that person. I become more of the person I’m looking to be, when I imagine and visualise that, and I put myself in a place of calm, during meditation, so that I can stay in a place of calm, during confusion after meditation.
Because we don’t know what’s going to be happening throughout the next fifteen hours, until we go back to sleep. We don’t know if we go out into the street, if someone’s going to cut us off, or if someone gets mad at us, or if someone sends us a nasty e-mail, or if someone close to us gets upset at us, or whatever. We don’t know what’s going to happen in life.
During my meditation process, it’s a very specific process, that maybe I will do a entire podcast around exactly what I do in my meditation. It’s about twelve to fifteen minutes long, depending on the day. So, if you’re interested in actually having me go through my entire meditation process of the actual steps, the process, the things I think, the place I go in my mind, and what I put myself into and through, then send me a message on Instagram, @LewisHowes, and screenshot this and let me know you want to hear me share my meditation someday, so you can have it as well, then I’ll do that.
But during this meditation, I’m visualising, who is the human being that I want to become? What is the dream that I have in my heart, and how am I going to bring this to life, today? And I also reflect on, again, when things go wrong, how am I going to respond? Do I want to be a human that responds out of frustration and anger, or from a place of peace, calm and love. And that’s what I do during my meditation, and at the end of that, I move my body a little bit, to kind of come out of the meditation, and then I’m off to taking on the most important task for the day.
Sometimes I’m meeting with my team, other times it all depends on what I wrote down in my journal the night before, of the three big things that I’m looking to take action on that day that will support my vision getting closer and closer. And so this is all based on the vision I have for that season of my life, that six months or that year that I’m in, in that moment. And I’m intentional about what I want to create, based on the vision of my life.
And that’s my morning routine. Simply put. It’s really about getting yourself ready to handle anything that comes your way. All the good, all the challenges. Prepare your mind, your body, cleanse yourself, optimise every element of it, while keeping things simple at the same time.
You don’t have to do a million different things because then that will feel overwhelming, and you’ll be like, “Eh, I can’t do any of it, it’s too many things. But if it’s simply, wake up, breathe, give thanks for another day, express gratitude, drink a glass of water. It takes 20 seconds. Use the restroom and clean your teeth, takes two minutes. Make a clean bed and space in your sleeping room. That takes maybe five minutes.
Then after, a workout! This can be thirty minutes guys, it doesn’t have to be two hours. You know, I do hit workouts that last 22 minutes sometimes. So, you can spend thirty to forty-five minutes total, in and out, stretching, everything. You don’t need to be in there forever. If you want to, you can be in there longer, awesome. Then you come back, drink a smoothie or another glass of water, then shower and then meditate for twelve to fifteen minutes, and then I’m ready for the day. And that’s a powerful way to start my day.
Now, let’s cover the night routine. The night routine is, I would say, shorter. I have completed the day, I’ve done my best, I’ve given my all. I’ve followed through with the strategy and the schedule that I have for the vision of my life and I have executed, right? I’ve showed up, passionately, powerfully, maybe I had a bad day, maybe I had a good day. But I’ve given my best, and what I like to do, is I like to reflect in my journal.
I’ve got a journal that I use, you can go to projectevo.org, again, project E.V.O. dot org, is the journal that I’m using, and you go through a little test to see what your brain archetype is so that you can see which journal works best for your kind of brain and the way you think. And I track how I performed. I scale myself on how I perform, I track it, I see if I completed the things I set out I would do. I see if I added some adventure and play in my life, if I tackled the top priority that I had for myself, and I cover it all in that book, just so I can reflect and see what I did.
I think sometimes we get into a place where we just go through the motions. “You know, I had a busy day!” but did you actually do what you said you wanted to do? Did you actually move anything forward towards your dreams or toward the vision of your life right now? In your health, your relationships, your career, did you move things forward, or were you just busy. And I think a lot of times people are just busy and they’re not doing anything that is actually helping them in their vision.
So, you want to reflect on those things and not just watch TV and go to bed and then do it all over again and have no vision. But I’m reflecting on if I did those things, I rate myself, one to ten, how did I rate on those areas in my life. And then I give myself notes, you know, feedback, like, “Okay, this happened where someone got upset at me and I reacted and I wasn’t my best self,” so my commitment to myself tomorrow is to be intentional about that. If that situation arises again, then I’m going to come with a place of calm, come from a place of joy, or at least a place of neutral response. And that’s what I like to do, is to reflect.
And then I schedule out the next day. I look at my calendar, and I write down in the journal, okay, what am I going to do the next day? What are the top three priorities? What’s the thing that I’m going to do that’s going to bring me joy tomorrow? What’s the thing that I’m going to do that’s play for tomorrow? What’s going to bring me the most fulfilment and fun? And I write down those things that I want to do. I think if we don’t schedule things in our life, then they’re not going to happen.
So, I really try to plan those out for just the next day. And then, you know, I brush my teeth, I use the restroom, I do all those things, I come into a clean space! My bed is made! It looks amazing! The pillows are fluffed, the sheets are tight, and the comforter is clean and spotless and folded perfectly, and I look at that and I go, “That’s right! I did that this morning! I made that look great this morning.” And it feels so comfortable to just pull back the comforter, pull back the sheets and just slide my feet into this perfectly made bed.
It feels so good, to know that I finish, where I started. I started the day with a good mindset, with a completed task, where I took care of my personal space, and I reflect back on that and I say, “Yeah! It feels good to come back to this space that I created earlier today. It feels really good.”
Then I ask my girlfriend, I say, “Tell me the three things you’re most grateful for from the day. She reflects to me on those things she’s most grateful for. I reflect to back to her things that I’m most grateful for. Then I pass out. And I dream, I dream. I allow myself to dream and visualise, the person I want to become. And that’s my night routine. I try to keep it simple, you know.
And again, based on the season of my life, the ideal time to go to bed, for me, is right around 11:00pm, 11:30pm. I’m more of a night person anyways, so any time before midnight is a good time for me to go to sleep, but I like to stay up late, so that’s where I get to work the most, is you know, shutting down in my mind from business or the things I need to do, or what I want to create, because I feel like I could work non-stop, 24/7. That’s just my, fuelled by my desire to impact the world. To make an impact and help people and to use my gifts to the highest of my ability.
So, for me, it’s more of a shut down from the phone, shut down from the computer, and relax and allow myself to wind down a little earlier. That’s the thing that I get to continue to work on. But, that’s my night routine.
Now let’s talk about before an interview, a big meeting, press, going on stage, podcast interviews, things like that. What do I do? What do I do during those things? Now, if it’s an interview, right? If it’s an interview where I’m interviewing someone, then I really set my attention. I think the key is to be prepared and do my research on the person that I’m interviewing, or really, the person I’m meeting, if it’s a meeting. I research them, find out who they are, what they like, how many friends we have in common. What are the things we have in common that I may not know about?
I’m constantly wanting to be prepared and to be knowledgeable of those things, and if you’re doing any type of interview or meeting with a big potential business deal, you want to do your research. Do not go in blind. Try to do the best you can. I’m not perfect at this, but I try to watch a few videos, I go on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on Twitter, on Instagram, see their likes, find out if we have any other people in common, things like that.
It’s just good to build that relationship first and it helps with everything else later. It shows people you care, that you want to know about them. And people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. So that’s why it’s important to do the research.
Before I do any type of press, media, or any type of interviews where I’m promoting myself, I take a chapter out of Brendon Burchard’s book, where he talks about, a lot: bringing the joy. Bring the joy. And I remember when I went on The Ellen Show for the first time, I was terrified out of my mind. I was so nervous and, “What if I mess up?” and “What if this is my only opportunity?” and “What if she doesn’t like me?” and “What if I stumble over myself?” and all these things went through my head, because this was a big opportunity, to go on The Ellen Show, it was a dream of mine, and I just went back to this feeling, of I need to just come with my childlike self, be happy, be joyful, be passionate.
And I think, when you bring the joy and the passion it’s hard to fail. And that’s what I do. I set my intention of joy. Before I go on stage, how can I bring the joy? How can I bring the passion? Before I do an interview, how can I bring the passion? Before a business meeting, how can I bring the passion? Be joyful!
People don’t want to be around serious people all the time, they want to be around joyful experiences, and they are much more forgiving if you don’t have all the answers, or you’re not that smooth in your words, if you’re joyful, and passionate, people are usually just going to want to be around that energy. So bring the passion.
I also set a clear intention for a win-win outcome. Again, if I’m doing a media or a press or a business meeting, how can I create a win-win experience? How can I add value to the person who’s interviewing me? Value to the audience that’s listening or watching this interview, or value to the business partnership that I’m going into? What’s the win-win experience out of every one of these situations.
If I go on stage for a big speech, where is that win-win? How can I add value to the audience and add value to the person who brought me to speak at this conference, or this event? Where’s the win-win? Don’t make it about you, make it about win-win-win, all around. And set a clear intention for that win-win outcome. Don’t just say, “How can I get the most out of this.”
“How can we all rise collectively, as a group, as a community, as watchers, as viewers, as partners, so we all achieve what we want. And come to these meetings, or interviews, or stages, with a giver’s mentality.
I try to say, “How can I bring the passion? And how can I bring the joy? And how can I be the biggest giver in the room?” And, based on the setting, the biggest giver in an interview, or the biggest giver in a meeting, is someone who is curious. Someone who asks great questions and who listens. You know, on stage, someone who is not trying to make themselves look amazing, trying to add value to the audience.
Sometimes, before big events, I’ll call a coach of mine. You know, I’ll call Chris Lee, who’s spoken on the podcast many times, when I’m just kind of overwhelmed, or stressed, then I’ll just give him a call and have him ground me and say, “Here’s my intention, here’s what I want to create, I’m feeling a little nervous here, a little nervous there,” and he just sets a clear intention and reconnects me to my vision.
I think when we are clear on our vision, then our intentions are that much clearer and our actions are that much more profound in these meetings, interviews, stages and things like that. And that’s the way I think about things. Really, before any of these big opportunities unfold, you know, press shoots, media, stages, speaking, big meeting opportunities, I just want to be valuable to people And I think the way you are a valuable asset in someone’s life is if you’re loving, giving, joyful, passionate. You smile.
And I think I use my smile. I mean, you use what you can. I use my smile, I use my joy, use my passion to connect to people. And at the end of the day, life is about connecting, it’s about relationships, and the key to those successful relationships is about being yourself, is being real, vulnerable, honest, open, joyful. That’s what we all want. We want to connect with real people who see the good in us and who want us to succeed as well.
These are some of my success habits and rituals, and morning routine and night routine. If you have any other questions about any of this. Just ask me, let me know, again, share a message over on Instagram or Twitter, @LewisHowes. Let me know if you enjoyed any of these. What you enjoyed the most, where you got the value from this, and share with me your morning routine as well, over on Instagram, @LewisHowes. Again, screenshot this and post it out, share it with your friends, lewishowes.com/589. We’d love to hear your feedback, and it means the world to me that you continue to show up and listen.
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You mean the world to me. Your dreams matter because you matter. And, as always, you know what time it is: It’s time to go out there and do something great.