• J Putnam

Top 5 Things That Should Be In Your Daily Routine

The headline got you didn't it?

Marketing 101, people love lists. Sorry, but I didn't make one. People really do love headlines like that one, though. Almost everyone will take the bait and see the top 5 anything they should be doing for whatever. This post is about daily routines and some advice that I have to offer for anyone who doesn't have a daily routine.

I'm not sure why I started doing it, but since the first of January, I started posting pictures of the clock on my coffee maker with the words, "Time to lift." For almost a year now, I have been rolling out of bed at 3:45 am and rolling out to the gym by 4, and I do it 7 days a week. Whenever I get back to the house from the gym, I tweet, "Chest and arm day completed," or whatever muscle group I worked on that morning, and then, "Time to write."

I was writing my first book, Empire Divided: A Modern Man's Path Back to His Tribe, and trying to get it finished and published on Amazon. In 2020, I had declared that in 2021 I would have a paperback book published and for sale. When the new year came around, I created a system that I could follow to actually write the damn thing and get it published.

I'm a stickler for doing the things that I say I'm going to do, and sticking to that has served me pretty well in the past. I figured that if I just followed the system, I could get it done and keep my word. I did, and I did. After sitting down to write every morning after getting back from the gym, I wouldn't stop until I had written at least 1000 words. Once I was done, I would take a picture of my word count and tweet it to track my progress.

However, after doing this for a few days, I started to get many people asking me about what time it was that I went to bed and what my daily routine looked like. Here's the thing, I'm not normal. What works for me will most likely not work for everyone else, and that's ok. I get up at 3:45 am and then hit the pillow again at around 11 pm or so at night with no naps in between. Once people found out that I was hit with all kinds of articles, people telling me that I needed to sleep more, and others telling me that I wouldn't be able to sustain it for very long.

Some would ask me what my daily routine was because they wanted to try it for themselves. Here's the thing. I don't have a job. What I'm doing right now, writing this post, is what I do for a living. I'm sitting here in a pair of gym shorts while my kids run around with bubbles and remote control cars. Wanting to copy my morning routine isn't the right way to go about it because my life is different from everyone else's.

That said, I do highly recommend that you get some routine that you will stick to. One of the hardest things for me after leaving my 9-5 was structure. I wasn't obligated to stick to any schedule, and one hadn't been written out for me, so I had to create one for myself. I'm the kind of guy that unless I make something non-negotiable, chances are, I'll put it off or make some excuse.

Other people are the same way and what I recommend for those people is that they make whatever it is that they want their morning routine to be mandatory. By that, I mean unless they're dead, they have to get it done when it's supposed to be done. There's plenty of days where I don't feel like going to the gym or writing when I come back. But I look at it as it doesn't matter what I want. It has to get done, so I go and do it. It doesn't have to be enjoyable, but it does need to be done.

That leads to the next question that I get a lot. How do I stay motivated? The truth is that I don't. In fact, I'm hardly ever motivated. I look at it, again, like a non-negotiable task that needs to get done. However, there is one thing that keeps me from taking a day off, and that's the accountability circle that I have created with my social media followers. I can guarantee you that if I miss a "Time to lift" post, at least one of my followers will call me out on it, and I can't have that.

That's my advice for anyone who wants to start a morning routine. Make whatever it is mandatory and be hard on yourself every time you want to take a day off. My routine has allowed me to write not two but now potentially three books because I created a system that worked for me and followed it. People can do the same thing for whatever their goal is, and there's no way that they won't accomplish it if they stick to their routine consistently.

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