Your daily morning routine or “morning ritual” is extremely vital for success in all areas of life.
A morning ritual is like the secret key that unlocks your hidden potential and unleashes maximum productivity.
If you don’t have a morning ritual yet, I highly recommend you read on. Missing out on this could easily be costing you half your entire day. (Image by HilaryQuinn)
Why a Ritual?
Tony Schwartz explains it best when he says:
Will and discipline are wildly overrated. As the researcher Roy Baumeister has found, none of us have very much of it. The best way to insure you’ll take on difficult tasks is to ritualize them – build specific, inviolable times at which you do them, so that over time you do them without having to squander energy thinking about them.
Tony Schwartz: 6 Keys to Being Excellent at Anything. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-schwartz/six-keys-to-being-excelle_b_695333.html
How Does a Morning Ritual Increase Your Productivity?
A lot of what we do every day happens unconsciously. In other words, we do things without even thinking about it.
This can be both a good and bad. But for most of us, it’s a bad thing. It takes up a lot of valuable time, and the actions usually don’t match up with the goals you have in mind for yourself.
Understanding that these unconscious behaviors happen daily, is the first step to fixing it.
Let’s begin by talking a bit about some of the dangers of not having a morning ritual.
3 Ways NOT Having a Morning Ritual is Robbing You Blind
By choosing not to have a morning ritual:
1. You are negatively affecting your own physical health.
Your first meal is your most important meal. It sets the context for every other meal that day.
You wake up in the morning and you decide to have a delicious, but it’s not the most healthy breakfast. You know in your heart that you probably shouldn’t have it, but you rationalize in your head that it’ll just be a “cheat meal”.
The time for your next meal rolls along, and you start thinking to yourself, “well, I’ve already cheated today, I might as well just have this this (another unhealthy meal) and tomorrow I’ll get back on track for sure.”
What just happened here?
Have you ever experienced something like this before? I know I have.
This is just an example of how your mind likes consistency and will always try to rationalize your actions, in an attempt to remain consistent.
Now imagine this scenario.
You wake up in the morning and you already have a morning ritual in place. As a part of your ritual, you have yourself a healthy breakfast, and you feel great that you didn’t have that other meal. You’re off to a great start.
The next meal of the day comes along, and now you subconsciously think to yourself “I’m on a roll, I have to keep this great day going.” So you end up having another healthy meal, and it took little to no effort at all!
This is just an example of how your mind can either work with you, or against you.
Your mind is always trying to either maintain consistency, or resist change. If you start off your day well, your mind work with you and give your reasons why you should keep going. However, if you start it off bad, your mind will rationalize why its okay to keep going too.
2. You are negatively affecting your mental state.
In the same way your first meal sets the context of the day for the rest of your meals, the mindset you slip into each morning also sets the context for the rest of the day.
The state that your mind will be in for the entire day, is usually determined within the first hour after you wake up.
Just like you set the context of the day with your first meal, you also set the context of the day depending on the mindset you allow yourself to slip in first thing in the morning. You might have even heard of the phrase “looks like someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.” This could just mean that they set the context for their day wrong.
Setting the context for the day is very important. If you set a good context, then you’re going to have a good day. If you have a lot of good days, it means you had a good week and if you have a lot of good weeks, it means you had a good month, and so on.
We are always spiraling. We either spiral upwards or downwards towards our ideal situation/self on any given day. By not having a morning ritual in place to help shape your day, you are leaving it all to chance and this can cause you to spiral downwards, away from what you want in life.
Always keep in mind that the first few things you do after you wake up have the biggest leverage on the rest of your day. This takes us to our next point.
The first things you do after you first wake up have a very high leverage on your entire day. This takes us to point 3.
3. You are negatively affecting and limiting your highest leverage point
Your mindset, or the way your think, is the highest leverage point in your life. It’s one of the single most important thing that guides all your actions, decisions and even reactions throughout the day.
This is why it’s so important to have a morning ritual. A morning ritual allows you to renew, refresh and recharge this leverage point, potentially doubling your productivity.
Start your day off with a morning ritual that makes you feel strong, and you’ll be ready to take on whatever the world throws at you. Not having a morning routine that sets you in the right direction each day is very time consuming because you unconsciously carry out tasks which tend to be counterproductive to what you want for yourself.
Your morning ritual doesn’t have to be perfect, it only needs to address the areas where you want to improve on. If your main concern is health, create your ritual to include health routines which set you on the right path each morning.
If you’re new to all this, you can start with something really simple. It’s all about taking action and implementing the things you learn. Go ahead and create a 10 minute morning routine if that’s what it takes for you to get started.
In my next post, I’m going to talk about the 3 steps you have to follow to create a successful morning routine. I’m also going to give a quick example of a morning ritual that I’m currently using.