I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my morning routine so I wanted to share with you my updated – new and improved – routine that I’ve been testing out for the last few months.

Parts of this routine have been included in my morning routine since day one, which is about eight years old now, but I’ve updated some new things I do every single morning.

It’s no surprise to you (if you’ve been with me for a while) that my morning routine has been critical to my life feeling full and successful.

Having a solid and meaningful morning has directly led to things like financial and professional success, self-confidence and self-trust, abundance in love and peace of mind, health, relationships, etc. It’s crucial and the thing that supports me throughout the day.

You can watch the video I did two years ago about my then morning routine here – watch it here – and see how I tweaked it. Refining and tweaking are TOTALLY necessary as you keep learning about yourself and what works for YOU. Not them. Not her. YOU.

In upcoming posts I’ll share my afternoon and evening routines, but here’s the a.m. routine. Note: video recorded on a serene Monday morning;)

Routines are so important because:

What gets tracked gets improved.

Watch today’s video to see what I do every morning.

You MUST measure and pay attention to your life if you want to improve it. @ishitagupta
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If you’re in your 20’s or 30’s you should know this by now, even if you’re not doing it. There’s lots of neuroscience and data on why measuring is important and how it helps us break bad behaviors and implement new, better ones.

I’ve been doing it for years and can unequivocally say that it WORKS. And I’m only interested in sharing with you what works.

To summarize my routine: I first start by writing down my primary desires for the week. This helps me get my EMOTIONS involved, not just my head, which deludes me into thinking that only GOALS GOALS GOALS are important.

Next up:

1) Say Affirmations
When I wake up I say, “I trust myself. I trust myself and the universe” even before my feet hit the ground. Sometimes the version of what I say changes, but giving myself a dose of self-trust never does.

2) Drink Water
I drink two glasses of room temperature water (sometimes with lemon) when I first wake up. Then I drink about eight glasses (or 64oz) throughout the day. Recently, I incorporate Athletic Greens, a vitamin/nutrient supplement into my first glass of H20 and it is WILD how much energy it gives me throughout the day.

3) Meditate and Breathe
a) I meditate for ten-fifteen minutes in the morning, sometimes a bit longer. Then I do alternate nostril breathing for five-ish minutes.

4) Journal or Write
a) I write in my gratitude journal for three minutes and my regular journal for twenty minutes, give or take. Some days I do more writing and I try to get the other parts of my routine (without compromising quality) down quicker.

5) Read Inspiration
a) I read an inspirational book, whether fiction or non-fiction for fifteen-thirty minutes.

6) Write down ten ideas
a) I mentioned this in another video, that James Altucher talks about how writing down ideas leads to abundance. “Write 10 ideas a day and you will jog your brain and your mind in a super-creative way.” Now that I’ve been doing it consistently for a few months, I see that he’s 100% right.

7) Eat breakfast
a) I usually eat ninety minutes after waking because I don’t feel hungry when I initially wake up. This includes a banana, raw almonds, a smoothie or some eggs. If I don’t eat something, especially with protein, I get super hungry throughout the day and eat like a crazy person at lunch or dinner. Eating ninety mins after also makes me eat healthier, because I’m not as hungry as I would be at lunch if I didn’t eat. I make healthier choices instead of just reaching for something because it’s right in front of me, it’s tasty, or it’s fast!

So that’s the basics of the routine, and it’s varied over the years. It usually takes me about one-two hours, which I’m trying to shorten. Right now it’s okay that it takes me that long because it SUPPORTS the rest of my work day in a huge way. It’s one of those big wins all the exercise and fitness gurus tell you: focus on the big wins and the keystone habits that underlie all the others.

One thing I consistently write about in my gratitude journal is that I’m VERY grateful to have my time in the morning to set my day up, trust myself, and START by making decisions that feel good. I feed my mind, body, heart, and spirit and they NEED loving attention.

If you don’t have a morning routine in place, start one.

Even if it’s just drinking a glass of water or writing for five minutes; it doesn’t have to be as extensive as mine, but START your day by supporting yourself before the madness begins. If you’re a busy mom or have to commute, it will be harder, but still try to incorporate some part of a routine into your life. You WILL feel better if you do.

Here are some ways to help you get started:

1) Think about how you can implement a morning routine for yourself. Even if you have to wake up twenty mins earlier to drink water and write three things down you’re grateful for, just start there. It WILL support you and don’t take my word for it. Try it!

2) Only try to do ONE thing at a time. I’ve been tweaking this system for years and some of it has stuck, some hasn’t. But I STARTED with one thing at a time and one thing only.

3) Figure out a tool for tracking. You need to track your progress some way, even if it’s just hash marks on a stickie.

Wakey wakey.
xx Ishita

Ishita Gupta is an entrepreneur, speaker, and business breakthrough strategist. Building her business from zero to multiple six-figures in one year, Ishita helps entrepreneurs get the confidence they need to run their businesses like a Pro. Her programs help business owners lay foundations to make money, create systems to increase productivity, sell with confidence, and do high-impact marketing that gets results. Ishita speaks at conferences around the U.S. on entrepreneurship and leadership, including World Domination Summit, TEDx Detroit, Columbia University, and more. You can also follow Ishita on Twitter.

Image Courtesy of Anthony Quintano.