Self-made millionaires swear by these 5 morning routines—and they all take less than 10 minutes

Elon Musk
Joe Skipper | Reuters

Could the secret to your success be as simple as setting the alarm clock an hour earlier every day?

In a five-year study of self-made millionaires, author Tom Corley found that almost 50 percent of them woke up at least three hours before their workday began. Interested in putting this to the test? Start by setting your alarm for the same time each day and commit to it.

Next, take a look at how successful people take advantage of their time before the workday.

1. Do a morning workout routine

Exercise is good for the body, brain and soul. Oprah Winfrey sets aside one hour every morning to exercise. She'll go for a run or do some resistance flexibility training. Arianna Huffington begins her day with meditation and yoga. And the good news is that your morning routine doesn't need to be more than an hour. A study from 2018 found that setting aside just 10 minutes for a light workout significantly improve your memory throughout the day.

What it's like to walk 5 miles to work like CEO Jack Dorsey
What it's like to walk 5 miles to work like CEO Jack Dorsey

2. Recharge your motivation

Devote time in the morning to relaxing, thinking and feeding your soul. Steve Jobs used to begin each day by asking himself, "If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I'm about to do?" Tony Robbins does a 10-minute form of meditation called "priming," which he defines as "the act of taking time to adjust your thoughts and emotions, so you can live your life in peak state." Meditating, reading and enjoying a podcast are all ways to help reinvigorate your motivation.

Treat your friend like a billionaire with one of these gifts
Treat your friend like a billionaire with one of these gifts

3. Spend time with loved ones

Start the day by prioritizing the people you love. Richard Branson makes family time a morning commitment. Our relationships affect all aspects of our lives, and making time to cultivate and care for them will impact your success. A 75-year study led by Harvard Medical School found that life success depends more on warm relationships than anything else, including intelligence. The simple act of sharing coffee with a treasured person can make you feel more grounded and supported.

4. Make a plan

Elon Musk is extremely precise in how he plans his day, and schedules his activities in 5-minute blocks. Making a solid plan for your day can help you prioritize and stick to what you need to accomplish. Determining when during the day is the best time to tackle your toughest jobs can help reduce stress and increase performance.

5. Spread positivity and joy

This can be as simple as saying "good morning." Sending good vibes to others will not only create a positive start to your day, it will also boost your performance. A combined study published in 2011 by Wharton School and Fisher College found that people's mood in the morning affects productivity throughout the day. Entrepreneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuk's morning routine includes making a call to his family in the car on his way to work. "I catch up with them and catch up with them," he wrote in an article for Business Insider. "I really value those small moments,"

Healthy routines are essential to a successful life

Committing to a healthy morning routine is a step toward a more productive and successful life. Routines are a matter of personal choice; successful people have varied morning routines, but they all commit to following them. Choose activities that will energize and inspire you to become a stronger and better person both personally and professionally. Set your alarm a little earlier tomorrow and see what you can accomplish.

Elle Kaplan is the founder and CEO of LexION Capital, a fiduciary wealth management firm in New York City serving high-net-worth individuals. She is also the chief investment officer and founder of LexION Alpha. Follow her on Twitter @ellekaplan.

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