I’ve been reminded this week how important a Morning Ritual is to start your day right – so you can finish it the same way.
It’s really easy in this busy world to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life- of meeting deadlines and getting things done.
But, if you’re even close to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, it’s possibly because you’re starting your day that way – and setting the scene for the rest of it.
What Is A Morning Ritual?
A Morning Ritual is something you do every day.
It’s about YOU.
It’s about taking the time to connect and look after your self and set the intentions for your day – to slow down before every thing starts going
I’ve had some kind of morning ritual or routine for the last 6 or 7 years, but kind of got a bit erratic with it, and as a result, a bit erratic with my days and my entire life – energy, stress, productivity, health…
For the last 5 days I’ve reinstated it rigorously…with massive results.
I’ve remembered how beneficial a Morning Ritual can be in so many areas, and I’m committed to making it a priority in my life.
Why A Morning Ritual?
- A Morning Ritual gives you a reason to get out of bed in the morning – Once you get the right mix of action and stillness, you’ll never want to miss your Morning Ritual.
- Starting with a few tasks is a good way to set your day up for success – When it hits 8am and you’ve already been going a few hours, you really start to get the momentum you need for a productive day.
- It becomes a habit – The more you do this, the more you wire your brain to get up and get going at a certain time. It becomes as much a habit as sleeping and eating.
- A Morning ritual is all about YOU – There may be other people around, but if you design it right, your Ritual can be focussed 100% on you and what you need.
Designing Your Ritual
My morning ritual has changed a lot over the years. It’s depended a lot on what’s going on in my life at the time.
Some things were experimental. Some things just weren’t quite the right fit – for me. Some things ended up fitting into other parts of my life, at different times of the day or the week.
I’ve listed a whole heap pf activities below that I’ve tested and tried out over the years.
The key to designing your Morning Ritual is to figure out what is right for YOU and what is best going to serve you in your day and your life.
At present, my Morning Ritual is about 1 and a half hours and consists of about 5 or 6 activities.
When you’re starting out, I’d pick 1 or 2 things to do each morning until they become a regular habit – then you can expand from there.
01 – Go To Bed On Time
Get your Morning Ritual going before it even starts.
We have natural Circadian Rhythms which are a critical part of our health and wellbeing. You may not notice them, but when you’re not living to your natural rhythms, you’ll feel it.
Many of us in the modern world are suffering from adrenal stress, if not fatigue. You go all day long and often don’t “switch off” until you lay down to sleep. Insomnia, a racing mind and that “tired –and-wired” feeling can keep you on edge for hours.
To ensure you’re going to be in optimum condition the next day, It’s really important to:
- Turn off all stimulus (bright lights, computers, TV’s) an hour or so before bed and let your mind “wind down.”
- Get to bed at a reasonable time and ensure 8 hours sleep.
- Create a space that induces and encourages sleep – darkness and a good bed.
02 – Wake Up Earlier
If you’ve gone to bed on time, you can wake up earlier and give your self the time you need to undertake your Morning Ritual.
Waking up earlier has a number of benefits:
- You get to do your Morning Ritual.
- You start to align your body with your natural rhythms;
- You get a shite-load more done.
If you’ve had enough sleep, the only challenge with waking up earlier is getting out of bed. Once you’re up, you’re up.
I get up and start with meditation and yoga, which ease me into the day and help me wake up comfortably and naturally.
03 – Meditate for 5 minutes (or more!)
I started with 5 minutes a day and did get up to about 45 minutes a day. I’m back at 25 now, ‘cause I stopped this for a while – and I felt it. Meditation is one Morning Ritual that I see the benefits of the most, and am committed to a daily practice.
If you have an even remotely wandering and busy mind, then meditation is exactly what you need to start to calm it down.
A busy mind creates stress and worry and exhaustion. The key to regaining your energy and reducing the chaos and overwhelm is to calm and relax your mind.
Meditation is the perfect way to do this.
04 – Yoga for 10 minutes (or more)
Yoga works hand in hand with Meditation and it’s a rally lovely practice to follow your Meditation with Yoga.
Or, if Meditation is not quite working for you, you could try yoga instead.
Yoga has been practiced for centuries, and it’s not like other exercises. It’s about connecting with both the body and the mind, and it can have a huge impact on your energy levels and how your body reacts for the rest of the day.
05 – Oil Pulling
Some of the practices I’m describing come from Ayurveda – a 5,000 year old system of natural healing from India.
Oil Pulling is one of these practices.
It involves taking a teaspoon (or tablespoon if you can get there) of coconut oil into your moth and swishing it around for about 15 to 20 minutes.
The idea is that you do it before you drink any thing and that the “swishing” will remove all the bacteria that has settled in your mouth overnight. It essentially removes toxins from your body through the mouth, which is full of really absorbent tissue.
06 – Scrape Your Tongue
This is one I have not yet fully embraced – I’m not perfect!
But, like oil pulling, this is exceptionally good for clearing out all the bad bacteria that has settled in your mouth.
This is the sort of thing that you don’t have time for when you’re in a hurry, but, when you have the time, it can become a critical part of your oral hygiene routine.
The trick is to buy your self a good tongue scraper.
07 – Warm Water And Lemon
When you’ve just woken up after 8 hours sleep, you;ve gone without water for all this time, so it’s important to give your body dome water and rehydrate it.
Drinking a glass of warm water in the morning is an awesome way to get your body going.
You want the water to be warm so it’s not a shock to your system. The lemon helps your digestive system get ready and adds a bit of taste.
You can add honey or ginger to taste.
08 – Good Breakfast – Green Smoothie
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!!!!
How many time have you heard that?
I used to take this with a grain of salt –yeah, yeah.
But truly, it is. After my own body kind of fell in a heap, I realise how important it is to give your body the nutrition it need sot start the day right.
I’m not talking sugar-filled cereals. I’m talking natural, whole healthy foods – this is the perfect time to make your self a green smoothie. Jump online and find your self some simple, easy recipes.
09 – Write
Writing can be such a cathartic experience.
In the very early days of my Morning Ritual I used a practice from “The Artists Way” called Morning Pages. This involved writing 3 continuous, stream-of-consciousness pages about any thing.
Any thing that ran through your mind – jumbled, ranting, positive, inspiring, negative, dumping – your crappy boss, your bitchy best friend, whatever. Just getting it out on paper provided a process of release and surrender.
It is a processes that allows you to dump out every thing that you might be botting in. After a year or so I reduced it down to one page, and now it’s kind of on an “as-needs” basis.
This is a really therapeutic process to help you get out all of the “Stuff” that you’re bottling up, without therapy, and without having to tell any one else.
You may want to use writing really differently. You may be writing a novel, and choose to write 500 words a day, or you may write a blog or be creating some other writing project – it’s up to you.
10 – Journal
A daily journal is another thing that really helps you keep track and reflect on what’s going on in your life. There’s a whole heap of different types of journaling that you can try:
- Gratitude Journal – 3 Things that you are grateful for each day (beyond the flowers and the birds and the sky). You can go really deep with this and really start to get grateful for your life.
- Daily Activities Log – You can log all the different things that you did that day, like a list. This is a more curt and dry type of journal.
- Visual Diary – Keep track of your life through photographs, sketches, collage or any other kind of visual representation that inspired you.
12 – Food Journal
I’m not a fan of food journals for losing weight. I’ve tried them on and off for years, with little or no result.
When I’m talking about a food journal, it’s about tracking what, where and when you are eating in order to become really aware of how you are treating your body. Are you really nurturing your self the way you deserve.
I’m not talking about rigorous deprivation and dieting here. I’m just talking about developing an awareness, in a really gentle, nurturing way.
This is NOT about beating your self up and stressing. This is about awareness and self-care.
13 – Review Your Goals
What better way to remind your self of your goals than to read them to your self every day.
If you’ve got your goals written out, have them on your desk or pinned up on a wall so that you can read and refer to them every day.
Another place to have them is on the outside of your shower glass. This is a great way to review any kind of goals or words of inspiration that you want to be reminded of.
14 – Set Your Daily Intention
Taking the time to set a Daily Intention is really good for helping to create what it is that you actually want.
In order to create, you have to first know what it is that you want.
An intention is different to a goal – an intention is an outcome that you desire. It could be something that you want to experience or feel that day, or something that you want to complete or achieve. It’s up to you. And it’s about what feels right at the time
Set an intention and write it down. You may wan to include it in your Journal or a daily Diary as a reminder.
By writing it down it’s in your consciousness for the day.
15 – Daily Top 3
Identify your Top 3 Tasks for the day.
Just 3. That’s it.
The 3 things that you are going to do, no matter what. The 3 things that must happen today.
Not the Urgent stuff- but the really Important stuff.
Write them down, and make sure they happen – before any thing.
16 – Plan Your Day
Plan Your Day.
Figure out what needs to happen when, and schedule it in.
Take the time to really think about what you want your day to look like.
Don’t cram a million things in – be realistic and
17 – Inspiration Passage
Find your self a book of Inspirational Passages and work through them one at a time.
Or, sign your self up to a Daily Website that drops one right into your email box every day.
Whatever works for you, that exposes you to a positive and uplifting thought to start your day.
I’ve currently just started “A Course In Miracles” which includes 365 passages for inspiration. They’re a little longer, but it’s a big book I’ve wanted to read for a long time, and it’s a good way to do it.
18 – Exercise, Walk
Even 15 minutes around the block can really get you going in the morning.
If you’ve got one busy day after another, then building in your exercise before you get going ensures that you’ve looked after your body first and foremost, in case things get away from you.
Whatever exercise is for you – running, swimming, walking the dog, a quick walk around the block – consider including it in your Morning Ritual, especially if you have trouble getting going in the morning.
19 – Listen To Uplifting And Inspiring Music
Switch on the iTunes or Spotify and get some gorgeous music pumping, especially when you’re getting ready, cooking, showering, making the bed.
Uplifting music is a great way to get your cells pumping with the right energy for the rest of your day.
Pick something that works for you – and it might be different each day. It could be Chill out or Dance music – whatever.
And if the mood takes you, dance.
What Next? How To Use This Information Now!
- Start your Morning Ritual now – The time to start a Morning Routine or Ritual is now. The first thing to do is:
- Figure out all the things that you do now and that you have to do each morning –and how long they take you to do in a calm and comfortable manner. Not rushed and crazy and last minute;
- Figure out what time you have to get up to make this happen;
- Pick 1 or 2 activities to add to your Morning Routine, and how long these will take;
- Get up that much earlier; and
- Figure out what time you need to be in bed to wake up for your Morning Ritual and get the right amount of sleep for you.
- Leave a comment below – What’s in your Morning Ritual? How do you find this practice works for you? How does a Morning Ritual improve your life?