This is why you need a morning ritual.
By Amy Crawford
As a virgo I tend to nail structure and routine; if anything I try to be conscious of letting go of the rigidity of my days and leaving space for spontaneity and a softening of habits. However, if there's one part of my day that will remain forever sacred, it's as soon as I wake and the morning rituals that follow, the first hour or two that I fill with those bits and pieces that invigorate me and leave me feeling in control and ready to tackle the day.
And it’s not just me. Morning rituals are a not-so-secret sauce for many of the world’s most successful and effective people - actors, spiritual leaders, even world leaders. I recently listened to this great podcast by Tim Ferris which inspired me to write this article, maybe you'll enjoy it too.
They’re the golden key to having those incredible days where you end up in bed at the end of it all thinking to yourself ‘wow. That was a good day.’
Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. - Buddha
What is a morning ritual exactly?
I’ll start by saying what it isn’t - it’s not getting the kids ready for school, or having a shower, or even doing your makeup.
It's not just a morning routine - it's a morning ritual. A personal routine of self-care and self-love that is motivating and invigorating, and prepares you to take on the day. It’s a sacred time for you to focus on the daily habits that help make your life amazing. It also:
Boosts your focus, productivity and happiness. This is the window designed for those daily habits that you otherwise forget about, like meditation or journal writing.
Gives you control of your day. While everything else around you might be chaotic, mixed up, and changing, your morning ritual remains solid.
Lifts your mood, every morning. Visualise, do things you love, warm your soul each and every morning. You’ll start feeling happy about the day whatever the circumstances.
Starts the day with achievement. Even if it’s just pouring the same cup of tea in the morning, at the end of the day, you can always say 'at least I got something done!'
How to get started with a new morning ritual
Implementing a powerful new morning routine into your life could not be more simple. Sit down right now, pull out some paper and walk through these easy steps with me.
- Choose how long to make your new nourishment routine. 20-60 minutes is enough, as you don’t want to take up your whole day. If you’re getting started, try starting with 20 minutes. Once your body gets used to it you can always extend.
- Set a new alarm. If you normally have a set waking time for work this is pretty obvious - just set your alarm earlier by however long you chose for your new routine. If you don’t have a set waking time, choose one. When on the clock you do your ritual is just as important as what.
- Choose what activities you want to add to your routine. Do a mixture of what makes you happy, and what’s going to really add to your health and wellness. Some effective options are meditation, journal writing, a walk outside, and even making yourself a cosy delicious tea. (here’s a good place to find good ones)
- Write it down on paper. So you don’t have the excuse of saying ‘I can’t remember’, write your answers to 1-3 down somewhere and set an order for the activities you’ve chosen. There’s no right or wrong, so just choose whatever feels right and change it later if you want to.
That’s it - now start running through it!
Every day gets easier as your body and mind adjusts, so if you’re struggling at first, don’t worry - just push through. If you’re dreading the routine then maybe try choosing some new activities that make you happier or have a better effect on you for the rest of the day.
If it’s still hard, try visualising the night before. Do a mental run-through of your perfect morning the night before as you stare up at the ceiling, including all of the warming, welcome sensations that you’ll get from it.
It’s important to allow yourself the time to get this done. This is your time. If some of the most effective and centred people on the planet can find the minutes to look after themselves, so can you!
Stay tuned because next week we will walk through more specifically how to create your morning ritual and what you may include in it. I'll also be sharing my own.
In the interim, what's your morning ritual? I'd so love to hear what you include in yours?