My Morning Routine

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At first, I didn’t want to share this…

In fact, even after making the video, I almost decided to cancel the whole post because it’s kind of personal..

But it’s Thanksgiving today, and I’m thankful for all of you.

Because each of you is fighting to live your life the way you want to.

I really value that and I want to support it.

And so, I want to share this personal part of my day (my morning routine) with you because I feel it’s the key to what gives me a productive, happy and awesome day.

I actually mentioned this in a previous blog post and after that went live I got a flood of requests to get into more detail.

So watch the video below, then check out the rest of the post if you’d like to hear more…

When I was first starting my entrepreneurial journey, I’d often wake up with all sorts of crap on my mind that would weigh me down…

  • What if I can’t find a problem worth creating a product for?
  • Will people think I’m some greasy salesman or scammer?
  • What if I f**k up and my friends see me fail?

These things left me with a feeling of fear that stopped me from getting my work done.

The stuff we do as entrepreneurs is HARD. We’re going against the grain and running into lots of limiting beliefs and emotions on a regular bases…

The good news is, I’ve come up with a daily process that helps push me through these challenges…

And I believe it can work for you too.

The routine I go through each morning helps me to remember WHY I am doing what I am doing, how my actions for the day get me closer to the life I want, the person I want to be, and tie into what I value as a person.

What’s great is that no matter where you are, what happens to you or what life throws at you this one thing remains in your control.

No one can take your morning away from you.

My Morning Routine…

So, what does my morning routine look like and how does it set me up for inevitable success?

For me, it comes down to 3 main things – Reading my direction, writing my action plan for the day, and journaling about how those actions tie back to what I value as a person.

Now I’m going to give you a personal look at my routine.


Breakfast & My Direction Statement

The first thing I do when I wake up is walk into the kitchen and make breakfast.

I make my own coffee, sometimes I go Bulletproof and once I’ve made my coffee, I make 4 eggs, and sit down to eat.

While I’m eating, I read through my direction statement.

Maybe you’ve heard me talk about this before, maybe not… But in short my direction statement is a list of the things I value in life. What I want in my life and What I don’t what in my life.

This document has changed over time as I accomplish things and different stuff becomes present for me…

A lot of you may know this process as “Your why?”… And I’ve found a lot of people make it way to complicated for themselves.

So here’s how you can start your own direction statement quickly and easily…

  • Write the things you want from life.
  • Write down the things you don’t want in your life.
  • Write out your reasons for why you are doing, what you are doing, what you’re aiming for, your motivation and your core values.

When creating it, don’t overthink it… It’s not set in stone… Add to it and change it overtime… The more you do, the more powerful it will become.

Read your direction statement every single morning. Without fail.

My direction statement lists the reason why I am an entrepreneur, why I exist, why I am pursuing my goals, and my core values. Having a clear picture of what I value helps me make fast decisions that I am happier with because they align with who I am and what I care about.

Planning My Day

Longer term planning is a whole different subject that can not be covered in enough detail here… In the video, you heard me talk about my M.A.P. which is how I plan my quarter, month, and week. This is important because it allows me to focus on doing instead of thinking about what to do. It’s too big a subject for here…

But in short, you should always know the ONE highest leverage activity that will move you towards what you are trying to accomplish.

During the week I already know what this is because I have it planned out ahead of time. So I focus on breaking my day down by the half hour on my calendar. Putting the most important things first.


After I’ve read my statement and eaten breakfast I like to journal. Here’s what I write:

  • 3 things I am grateful for
  • 3 things that would make today awesome
  • Declare that I will take 100% responsibility for the one highest leverage activity that will get me where I want to go.
  • How that one highest leverage activity connects to my values (For me – this is the most important part)

The first two are pretty obvious so I’m not going to explain them. You may have seen them in the 5 minute journal (which I used to use and got away from because I found it too restrictive).

Taking 100% responsibility. Each day I take the time to write out the one highest leverage activity I can take to get me to where I want to go that we talked about in the previous section. And I declare I’m going to take 100% responsibility for it.

Then for me, this is the most important part.

I take a look my highest leverage activity for the day and journal about how it aligns with my personal mission and values. I find that if I make decisions based on what I truly believe as a person, I make the decision faster and act faster.

That’s why it’s so important to go through your direction statement on a daily basis; it’s the basis for all your decisions.

Note: If I wake up with a limiting belief, issue, or feeling, I also journal about it to try to understand where it came from and if it is valid. I break it down and ask myself if this belief supports what I really want to be doing with my life and the person I want to become. If it doesn’t, I throw it out. Again another subject for another time, but it’s worth mentioning because sometimes it’s part of the process.

Meditation & Affirmations

I’ll used do some meditation, but lately I’ve been doing something awesome instead…

Peak State Fitness by Scott Britton.

Peak State Fitness is a 15 minute workout mixed with vocal positive affirmations. It’s made specifically for entrepreneurs and is incredible. It’s been great because when you’re working out your mind is most receptive to positive affirmation so you can reprogram yourself in that state (or so the science says!).

Scott’s combination of positive affirmations with workouts has been great for me. There have been days where I woke up feeling lousy. I didn’t want to do a single thing. Then I did this workout and I was pumped and ready to go for that day.

So that’s it. For the record it takes me about 30 minutes.

I can’t stress to you enough the importance of a morning routine.

I suggest you build one today and stick to it. Even if you can’t do all the different parts listed, at the very least make sure to read your direction statement every single morning. That’s a great place to start.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and watching the video, I’m not always comfortable talking about my personal life, so I really hope this has given you some insights into what I do everyday so that each and every day is a success.

I’d love to hear from you and connect with you in the comments down below. I want to hear about your morning routines – if you have one. Or about your direction statement – if you feel comfortable sharing.


PS: Exactly what I do is not for everyone… Everyone is different and it may take you some trial and error to find yours. Experiment with different things and have some fun. When you find yours you will know – you will feel amazing, unstoppable and pumped… day after day.

PPS – If you can think of someone this might help, please share it with them 🙂

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  • Soli Bee

    Hey Carl,

    Thank you for sharing. I’m in the process of figuring out my morning routine too. I hear it from people all the time about how their morning routine sets the tone for the day. John Rockerfeller was also huge on a strict routine throughout his day (thanks to Dane’s book report of “Titan” I know this)..

    I’ve also had experience with the five minute journal and now it crashes when I open it up on my iPhone 🙁

    I’ll have to go back to review this blog and cherry pick what I can utilize.

    I really connect with your story and thank you for sharing it with us. I hope you had a happy thanksgiving!


    • Carl

      Thanks Soli! Glad you liked it 🙂

  • Peter Arnott

    Thanks for this.

    after reading this you’ve got me realising I need to get my direction statement more detailed and read it more. Usually read it once a week on Sunday but now going to make it part of my morning.

    Routine that works for me is: wake up, pint of water, 30 secs of exercise to get the blood going, cold shower, bulletproof coffee and a non-fiction book for 30 minutes, then I finish off with journaling and reviewing my days to-do list. Looking forward to adding in the direction statement now.

    Appreciate you sharing Carl

    • Carl

      Thanks man! Sounds like you’re on the right track 🙂 Let me know how the direction goes for you.

  • Isi Ojeabulu

    I’ve heard a lot about the power of positive speaking. I think there’s something really powerful about reading your direction statement every morning. I’m going to write one this weekend and start incorporating into my mornings.

    I’ve always made the excuse that I can’t have a morning routine because everyday is different and different people need me for different things. I’ve always felt that my mornings weren’t mine, but this post is helping me understand that they are. So along with building a direction statement this weekend, I’m also going to build out a solid morning routine. I’m really looking forward to the results.

    A friend of mine is buying me the 5 minute journal 🙂 (read your post and had to ask for one). I’ll start with that and modify if necessary.

    Thanks for this! I’m definately sharing it with all my friends.

    • Carl


  • JackMSVaughan

    People always say to only focus on what you want and not focusing on what you don’t want. The logic being that reminding yourself of what you don’t want would attract more of it & keep you fearful & negative.

    Until now, I’ve never thought about how running decisions through both could massively help things. I’m definitely going to try it 🙂

    Super cool to hear your process man. I’ve been doing something similar for a couple of years now & have been putting it together in Scrivener (image below). As you say, it evolves, necessarily. Each morning, I go down the list of different things: My purpose, my fundamental question – whole load of stuff, I even write stories about my ideal future – in full detail! It helps…! 😉

    Obviously I don’t ‘do’ all of it every morning, just follow my nose. However, it’s become an amazingly rich process. Currently I’m also doing a lot of The Work (Byron Katie) around limiting beliefs. Often I think we need to break through our shit first before we can really let the positive stuff flow!

    Thank you Carl, so awesome to hear about your morning routine.

    • Carl

      That’s awesome! Good to see what you’re doing too.

  • Ryan Jett

    Carl, your posts are ALL extremely helpful. Thank you for further inspiring me to actually put into practice focused journaling daily. It’s a great addition to any daily practice. I’ve been focusing lately on “wanting it badly enough”. You’ve inspired me quite a bit and I thank you for that and opening yourself up to help others.

    • Carl

      Thanks man!

  • jpwf

    Love the idea of combining morning exercise with mindset stuff. At the minute I’m doing through my Mission statement and goals, then doing 30 mins of yoga, combining the two sounds interesting. Also really like the idea of writing down how your big goals are connected to your values & goals, seems like that’ll keep the focus really well.

    • Carl

      Nice man! Let me know if you try it out!

  • Steve Shimwell

    Thanks Carl, I have a routine where I do my 20 minute workout first after I’ve woken up – its a low impact workout, 5 days a week, and can be done in 2SQM of carpet, anywhere. Then I take my kid to Kindy, then I’ll do my reflective time, like a walk on the beach, or mental affirmations and gratitude exercises, then I have breakfast, then I look at my goals and schedule for the day. I’m just about to add journaling and the direction statement reflection, as I think you’re absolutely right, nothing makes you more motivated than making that connection between the activities you need to do for the day and your purpose/values/beliefs. I think it might be the bit I was missing on the days I didn’t take action, so thanks again, I’m sure it will help!

    • Carl

      Let me know how the journaling helps you.

      • Steve Shimwell

        Hi Carl, two months later, I can tell you the journaling is helping me by keeping me on mission, putting me in a better mood, makes me grateful for the things I have, and acts as a continual reminder not to avoid the important tasks I have resistance to.

  • Jan Koch

    Hey Karl,
    found your site through a video of yours that got shared on FB. Your message in it was that building a business is tough and you need to want it bad, so that you do the work that’s necessary. I loved that you didn’t sugarcoat anything!

    Your morning routine is a bit similar to mine (which makes me confident that I might be able to reach your level someday). The first thing I do in the morning is to look at my compass. It’s a document reminding me of the principles I want to life by, my goals for the next 3 months and contains affirmations at the end. I learned that from Chris Brogan and it really was a game changer for me.

    Looking forward to read more of you!

    Happy holidays,

  • Katie

    Hi Carl,
    Thank you so much for this post! I’m in the Foundation November 2014 class and I keep changing up my morning routine to find one that works for me. I like to work out first thing in the morning, but I wanted to be proactive by getting my work done first, but then I read that it is good to meditate first…so basically I’ve tried it all and nothing seemed to fit. Reading this post just felt right to me, so I’m going to try it. I just received the 5-Minute Journal as a gift from The Foundation, so that should fit right in. I love the part about aligning your high-leverage activities with your values. Great stuff and thanks again for the inspiration!

  • Will Schatz

    Hey Carl can you link to the 15 min audio you mentioned that you use when you workout? Thanks for the great post!

  • samoina wangui

    Fascinating to have read through this. Done with chaotic mornings!