In my last post, I mentioned the 3 reasons why NOT having a morning ritual is very time consuming.
If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, I highly recommend you do that first because it’s going to explain exactly what a morning routine is and how it’s going to affect your entire day. (Image by The Hamster Factor)
Consciously Taking Control of Your Day
Did you know that having a morning routine is probably one of the simplest, yet most overlooked things you can do to take control of your day?
Having a morning routine is like having a solid foundation where you build the rest of your day upon. It helps you avoid that ‘reactive state’, which a lot of people find themselves falling into. This is where you REACT to everything life throws at you, instead of properly responding to it.
How to Create a Successful Morning Routine
To put it simply, the best morning routine is always going to be the one that caters to your specific needs and goals. What’s best for one person isn’t necessarily best for you.
You want to try and follow a ritual that’s specifically geared towards your current situation and needs.
For example, if you want to be healthier, consider adding a balanced meal each morning as a part of your morning ritual. If you want to be more focused throughout the day, consider incorporating a bit of meditation or morning stress-reduction mantras. The best morning routine is one that’s made to address whatever it is you want to focus your attention on.
Creating a good morning ritual involves figuring out what you want to attain/achieve in life, and then setting up actionable steps that point you in the right direction. Here are the 3 things you must do in order to create a successful morning routine.
1. Narrow Your Focus
It’s extremely important to avoid distractions and focus only on completing your ritual each and every morning. Remind yourself that you’re only going to focus on completing the task at hand. Nothing more.
This should help steer your mind away from a lot of doubt and inner resistance.
It’s easy to get excited and motivated when you first start out, but once the motivation wears off, it’s going to take a lot of will power and discipline to keep it up. The good news is, knowing about this is half the battle.
2. Create a ‘Buffer’
Unexpected things happen all the time.
The best way to prepare yourself against this, is to expect that it’s going to happen. This is why I recommend having some kind of ‘buffer’.
In other words, set aside a bit of extra time or leeway whenever you can, and anticipate that unexpected events can and probably will occur from time to time.
Having said that, I recommend allocating a bit more time for your morning routine than the actual length of your routine. This extra time will act as a cushion in the event that something “unexpected” occurs.
By having a buffer, you can avoid many situations that would normally disrupt your “rhythm” or flow.
Another way to create a buffer is to allow yourself 1 or 2 “cheat days” each week. This means that if you happen to miss one of your morning routines, instead of feeling bad about it and letting it affect your entire day, you simply mark the day down as one of your allotted “cheat days.”
The fact is, none of us are perfect, and that’s why I recommend having these preventative measures. We can’t control everything that happens to us, but we can control how we respond to it.
These strategies are meant to help you stick to your morning ritual until it can become a ‘success habit.’ Something that you can carry out almost automatically each morning without a lot of conscious effort.
3. Be Specific and Stick to It
It’s important to make sure that the morning ritual you create is very specific.
Don’t leave any room for guessing.
It’s been shown that people are more likely to stick to a plan that’s more specific as opposed to one that’s vague or incomplete.
Although it can be a bit difficult at first, especially once your motivation starts to dwindle, if you can stick to your plan for at least 21 days, it will start to become a habit, and momentum will begin to take over for you.
My Current Morning Ritual
I know some of you learn best through example, so I’m going to share my personal morning ritual here.
Although it changes from time to time depending on where I am in my life, it’s always geared to my specific needs.
I recommend you do the same too and use this only as an example.
Before I begin, I’d like to mention that within the first hour of waking up, I always avoid eating any kind of solid food.
I’ve learned that from the moment we wake up until our first meal, our body is fasting and detoxifying itself. Hence our first meal of the day is called “break fast” (The fast that occurs while you sleep).
Anyways, here is the simple morning ritual I follow for maximizing my day:
- Drink a liter of water (You might feel a bit sick until your body gets used to it) along with a scoop of Vegegreens to alkalize and rehydrate my body.
- Spend 10 minutes focusing on deep breathing and clearing my mind of any other thoughts. I inhale for 2 seconds, hold it for 8 seconds, and then exhale for 4 seconds.
- Spend 15 minutes doing static stretches to increase blood flow, stimulate the lymph system, and eliminate toxins.
- Spend 15 minutes listening, watching, or focusing on something motivational to create the right mindset that I can build my day upon.
- Proceed with my day.
As you can see, my routine isn’t complicated at all.
I simply do this every morning right after I wake up. I spend less than 45 minutes on it, and it doubles my productivity for the entire day.
You can build your own routine any way you like, but just be sure to mix in as many “good” practices as you can. Tailor it towards your own life and the areas you want to focus on.
I hope you’ve found this post useful in one way or another. Don’t forget to take immediate action and turn this into something that could benefit you for life.
Do you have any suggestions, or even a morning ritual of your own, that you’d like to share? Use the comment section below and let us know.