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Get up! It's firing! Photo: Shutterstock

Get up! It’s firing! Photo: Shutterstock


The Inertia

We often hear people complain about not having the time to do everything they want during the day. They would like to be able to go to the gym and stay fit but find excuses in their busy life for not taking care of themselves.

They lack the discipline and strength to change things and create the time for their self-care practices. Though, successful people like Richard Branson, Tim Ferriss, Elon Musk, and even Laird Hamilton are all a lot busier than us and still manage to operate at an optimal performance level.

The secret most often lies their morning routines.

The way you feel the moment you first open your eyes dictates how your day will turn out. The emotions and the thoughts that you will have in the morning are painting the picture of how your life will be now and in the future. If you’re the type of person who habitually hits the snooze button, you are subconsciously telling yourself that it’s better to sleep than to wake up to your life.

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This morning routine impacts your life in ways that you may not realize. It can either power up your day or prevent you from achieving what you want out of life. Precious early mornings hours are your best moments of the day. It is then when you can do anything you want and be ahead of everyone else. Becoming a better surfer isn’t just about the time you spend training in the water; setting up good routines and getting into the right mindset is just as necessary if you want to perform at your best.

My days start at 5:00 am. I drink a big glass of water with apple cider vinegar or a hot lemon juice. I stretch for 15 minutes while listening to a podcast or an audiobook. Without interruption, I start doing strength and high-intensity workout for 30 minutes on the balcony of my house. I use resistance bands and body weight. Then I meditate for 10 minutes. I jog to the beach to check the surf and I’m back home at 6.30 to pick up my surfboard and go for a paddle. All this is done and wrapped up by 8 am. And of course, no emails or social media interfere with that time.

The beliefs we have about sleep influence how we feel when we wake up. When we go to sleep thinking we are not getting enough of it and that we will feel tired the next day, we’re already ruining the morning after before even falling asleep. But when we start conditioning ourselves that we will feel great in the morning, we will be energized upon waking up despite having just a few hours of sleep.

Remember the excitement you had as a kid when you knew you were going to Disneyland the following day? Did you hit the snooze button?

Time management for surfers

Here are 3 steps to breaking these habits and waking up early: 
To wake up early and make the best out of your morning, you need to increase your wake up motivation level and your eagerness to face the day ahead. Here are the three steps to power up your morning routine:

-Declare that you’re going to wake up feeling energized and refreshed. The key is to believe that the next day will be a great day for you. Look forward to waking up to a positive day.
-Place your alarm clock or phone far away from you, preferably in another room. This habit will force you to get up to turn it off in the morning when it rings.
-Set your alarm at 5 am and don’t worry about the rest. Your internal clock will adjust. Remember that by waking up early you will also start going to bed earlier.

Building Better Morning Routines
As a surfer, what are the optimal performance practices that you should include in your morning routines? Ideally, you would perform activities that are both energizing and mentally stimulating. Moving your body in the morning is your all-natural cup of coffee. It wakes up your muscles, brings oxygen into your cells and brain and prepares your mind for the day ahead. Engaging in mentally stimulating activities further sets the tone for a positive and successful day and leaves you feeling empowered and ready to take on the world. We will talk more in-depth about what specifically to include in your morning routine in the following episodes of this optimal performance for surfers series.

In summary:
-Wake up early (preferably at 5 am, but it depends on your lifestyle).
-Instantly start your optimal performance practices.
-Set a goal for the day and plan your day accordingly.

Why do it?

-To have an energetic start to the day.
-To release dopamine and feel happy.
-To set the right priorities and have a purposeful day.
-To make the best use of your time.
-To have a more alert and focused mind that can concentrate on the things that matter.
-To get ahead.
-To become an optimal performance surfer

How to do it:
-Set the alarm for 5 am and place your alarm clock away from your bed.
-Go to sleep eight hours before the alarm goes off.
-Turn off electronic devices and notifications two hours before going to bed.
-Jump out of bed immediately when you open your eyes!
-DO NOT HIT SNOOZE!
-Smile, stretch and start being active.
-Make your bed.
-Plan your day.