Health & Wellness,  Personal Development,  Rituals

The Best Morning Rituals

From my own personal experience, starting my mornings on the right foot has served me tremendously in my life and business over the years. I think of the domino effect. After you’ve tipped over the first domino, it creates a chain reaction of falling dominoes. I look at morning rituals as the first domino. Starting the morning with clarity and intention sets the tone for a more focused and productive day. Engaging in morning rituals consistently can shift the course of your life, because you are creating great habits.

Brian tracy says,

“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”

I have outlined some of the best morning rituals that I use to kickstart my day. I know that all of these morning rituals, will not compliment everyone’s lifestyle. Therefore, use this as a guideline and add to or subtract from this list. Craft the morning rituals that serve you best. Start your day successfully, so that you can excel!

Rise Before The Sun

Some of the most successful people in the world are early risers, Benjamin Franklin, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bessos, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Jay Z just to name a few. Knowing this was enough for me to want to add waking up early to my morning rituals.

Benjamin Franklin is quoted to have said,

“Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.”

Oprah said in her wellness diary and I quote:

6:02 A.M. I have never set an alarm, I don’t believe in them. They are … alarming! I put the number in my mind and I wake up before that, usually between 6:02 and 6:20, because the dogs are trained to go out around that time. My first thought in the morning is, “Oh, I’m alive. Thank you!” I hop up, brush my teeth and go take the dogs to do their thing.”

Oprah’s Wellness Diary

Jeff Besos said,

“Go to bed early and wake up early. The morning hours are good.

When you wake up early, you give yourself time to prepare for the day ahead without feeling rushed, anxiety or frustration. Additionally, you can increase your productivity because there are limited or no distractions during this time. How you use your new found waking hours is up to you. Choose to use them wisely and efficiently.

Meditation and Prayer

You may have heard that “Meditation is listening to God. Prayer is speaking to God.” This is spot on. After I wake up and brush my teeth, next is time to do my morning meditation. I use Dr. Joe Dispenza’s guided Morning Meditation. It’s 25 minutes in duration, which is perfect for me. It is great for first timers or more seasoned meditators. There are many forms of meditation with different durations. Try a few out to find which is best for you.

What I enjoy about meditation is that I am able to reflect on how I want my day to go before it even starts! This increases my awareness and makes me proceed more intentionally throughout my day.

Make Your Bed

“How you do anything, is how you do everything.”

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US Navy Admiral William McRaven, author of Make Your Bed expressed this so precisely in his 2014 commencement speech. He started with a bold statement,

“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” He continued, “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task…and another…. and another,” He added, “Making your bed helps to reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter . If you can’t do the little things right, you will never be able to do the big things right.”

The University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Speech

I definitely feel a sense of pride after I make my bed in the mornings.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who reported making their bed in the morning were 19 percent more likely to get a good night’s sleep every night. They assume this is the case because people feel good about where they sleep so they have a tendency to sleep through the night.

Therefore, making your bed not only helps you to feel accomplished in the first hour of your day, it also helps you to get the best quality of sleep. I would say making this a morning ritual is definitely a win!

Exercise

Exercise should absolutely be a part of your daily rituals. Some people prefer to workout in the evenings, which is fine. However, I find that people are more likely to be detoured from their goal because they have more distractions in the evenings. Things are more likely to pop up unexpectedly; you forgot to send that time- sensitive email, your spouse had something come up so now you have to pick up the kids from school. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. I prefer the mornings because there are usually zero distractions. I feel more empowered knowing that I am taking care of my health and doing what I said I would do.

Some people believe that they have to workout for hours at a time, so they never think to include it in their morning routine. How much time do you you need?

According to the World Health Organization,

Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.

World Health Organization

That’s just 30 minutes a day over 5 days. Absolutely doable!

Additionally, there are many health benefits associated with working out. Some of these benefits are:

  • weight loss
  • improvements in mood
  • decrease in feelings of depression, anxiety and stress
  • increase in energy levels
  • helps with brain health and memory
  • sleep quality

Remove the resistance of working out by getting it done in the morning. Your future self will thank you for it!

Gratitude

Close your eyes and think about your loved ones, that you don’t have to dive in dumpsters to find food, the fact that you are alive and you still have time to go after your goals and dreams. When you think about all that is right in your life, you cannot help but feel grateful. What does that feel like? For me, it’s like electricity pulsing throughout my entire body. I feel warm and overwhelmed with immense joy.

Every morning, you should take the time to tap into this feeling. In fact, tap in as often as you want or need to during your day. The more positive vibrations you exude throughout the day, the more positivity you will attract to yourself and the more positive thoughts you will have. Be grateful and expect that great things will happen to you and for you. Expectations are the breathing grounds for miracles and those expectations can be manifested faster when you are in a state of gratitude.

Affirmations and Incantations

Affirmations are words or phrases you repeat to yourself over and over with the goal of embedding them into your subconscious mind. You want to write out your affirmations in the present tense because you want speak as if you already are and have what you are saying. If you do not believe that these words are true, your affirmations will not be as effective. Thus, you will not do what is necessary to become aligned with your affirmations.

Incantations are like supercharged affirmations or affirmations on steroids. Incantations utilize emotion and physical movement to juice up the affirmations. Before you begin speaking your affirmations, first make sure that you are in a peak state. I often imagine myself as an Amazonian warrior queen that just conquered a city, energized and ready to conquer the rest of the world. I use my very essence to reinforce my belief that what I am saying is indeed true.

Below are some of the affirmations I use in the mornings. Feel free to use them as well.

  • I always do my very best.
  • I am powerful beyond measure.
  • I always attract great people into my life.
  • I am the most consistent person I know
  • I am always punctual.
  • I am happy, healthy and wealthy.
  • I am the best wife and mom in the universe.
  • I am a Queen Boss.

You can also record yourself while you are in a state of power and doing your incantations. This will save you some time in the mornings because you can play it while you are making breakfast or on your drive to work.

Tip 1: Speaking your incantations directly after your workout is effective because you are full of energy and feeling like an unstoppable beast.

Tip 2: Speaking your incantations after you have reflected on what you are grateful for is also effective because you are in a state of gratitude.

Healthy Breakfast

You should never skip breakfast. Let me back up…you should never skip a healthy breakfast! Eating breakfast is simply not enough. The kinds of foods you eat are equally important. It’s considered the most important meal of the day because it’s the first food and drink you consume. Eating breakfast helps to jumpstart your metabolism helping you to lose weight. Additionally, it provides the necessary fuel you need to burn in order to be productive. Skipping breakfast, will cause you to feel hungry, irritated and lackluster. That is no way to start your morning.

Personal Development

You must feed your body healthy foods so that it can serve you until the end of your time. In the same way, you must feed your mind and your spirit positive and useful knowledge so that it too will serve you for a lifetime.

I don’t believe that anyone that is successful, would be where they are if they did not develop themselves. You will soon see that those who rose to great heights, but did not rise in their development, soon found themselves right where they started or much worse, rock bottom. Some form of personal development should be a part of your morning rituals or at least your daily rituals.

Read or Listen To Audio

The advice from one of my mentors was that I should read the top 10 books in my field and I would be more knowledgeable than my competitors. You should follow this advice as well. However, you should also include books in areas or skill you want to develop or enhance like Leadership, Finances, Positive Thinking and more.

Most people don’t have an hour in the morning to read a book. Don’t let that stop you! I would suggest reading 10 – 15 pages of a good book every morning. You would have read cover to cover before you knew it! Another options would be to listen to 10-30 minutes of the audio of that book instead.

Today, we also have podcasts so you can listen to a great podcast on your way to work as well. There is really no excuse as to why you are not expanding your knowledge in areas you need to grow daily.

Journaling

You can jot down anything that stood out to you during your morning read, maybe a lesson you don’t want to forget.

“The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory.”

Old Chinese Proverb

The average person has about 6,200 thoughts a day! There is no way to remember everything so don’t try to. Instead, write it down. This will help you to better remember the important points and find these lessons quickly if needed for a reference point.

Shower with Relaxing Music

According to the UPMC Health Beat website,

“Some studies have found that listening to music you enjoy may increase the release of pleasure-causing substances in the brain like norepinephrine and melatonin.” They added that, “It may also decrease stress-causing hormone production in the body. As a result, music therapy has the power to reduce stress, improve sleep, lessen depressed mood, create positive mood, boost self- confidence and increase energy.”

UPMC Health Beat

I have a shower soundtrack. It consist of nature sounds because the idea of being in nature gives me a sense of tranquility and freedom. I suggest you make one. After my shower, I am ready to begin the day.

In conclusion, I consider morning rituals foundational to having a productive day. Time management is key to ensuring that you have a transformational morning. Therefore, you want to give yourself enough time to complete each ritual successfully. You may need to get up a few minutes earlier. It takes me about 2 hours to complete my rituals. However, I have friends that it takes them way less time. There is no rule on the amount of time each should take.

Create the best morning rituals for you. Next, try them out. Observe how much time each ritual took. Finally, make the necessary adjustments.

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