Power of the Morning Ritual

Power of the Morning Ritual

Do you have a morning routine? If so, is it a routine that you consciously built out to reach your daily potential? Or do you float through your early hours by smashing the snooze button and catching up on the most recent noise on your phone? If you’re one of those people who find it hard to get out of bed and start moving right away then this post is for you. 

Constructing your balanced morning ritual is perhaps one of the best strategies available for adding more productivity to your day, adjusting your perspective on life, and reaching a higher level of satisfaction. And the best part about morning routines is that you can build them in such a way that you look forward to starting your day when your alarm goes off. This ritual is all about doing the things that you love, in order to start your day on the right foot.

When mindfully building out your morning process, there is a great model by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, which he calls “The Three M’s of the Morning Routine.” These three practices in any form or order you like will be sure to set your trajectory in a positive direction for the day. They are listed below:

  1. Mindfulness - There are many forms of mindfulness. Breathing practices, meditation, and journaling are my favorites. Any strategy that you like to clear your thoughts will work. Going for a walk or sitting in the sauna or cold tub could even get you into a calm state of mind.
  2. Movement - Movement is a crucial aspect of your life regardless of your age or fitness level. This does not necessarily mean that you need to do an excruciating workout every morning. The key is that you move in order to wake your body from the previous night of rest. This morning movement could be anything from walking your dog to yoga or a stretch. The purpose is just to get your blood circulating after being stagnant all night. 
  3. Mindset - The last element of the morning routine formula is perhaps the most important aspect of the process. Mindset refers to anything that can mentally stimulate and prepare you to attack the rest of your day with the right attitude. This could include reading, prayer, visualization exercises, or reviewing your affirmations or goals. Basically, the main thing to keep in mind is that this practice should be used to evaluate where you are in life, and where you would like to be. Everyone has a future state that they want to work towards. Make sure you allocate time and mental space to think about your goals and plans every day. Remember, you become what you think about.
Set aside time to hit all three of these key areas, and you will strategically alter the course of your life. It is never too late, but the sooner you implement these strategies, the more impactful they will be in the long term. If you have a busy morning, these can be accomplished in as little as ten minutes. Or if you have time in the morning, these can be enjoyed over the course of several hours. It is not about how long you practice, but how frequently you practice. Keep in mind that these are supposed to be things that you look forward to doing every day. Have fun building out your routine. Make a list of the things that are important to you, and work towards them in small increments. Be sure that your list supports your higher values. And learn to enjoy the process, because if you repeat it enough times, it will become second nature. 

A fun way to build out your process is to make up an acronym. For example, my acronym is SHMARY (Sun, Hydration, Meditation, Affirmation, Read, and Yoga). Every morning after I wake up I begin going through my acronym. I immediately go outside and begin hydrating in the sun. After a 10-15 minute meditation practice, I will go over my goals and set my mind for the day ahead of me. Afterward, I will read for about 30 minutes to an hour, and follow it up with a morning yoga routine to get my body loosened up after a night of rest. I am lucky enough to have time in my mornings to enjoy this process. I know many people might not have much free time, but these things can be done within 10 minutes if need be. Again, they will be different for everyone, but your routine should consist of things that you enjoy. Get selfish with the process, because it should get you excited to get out of bed in the morning!

Setting aside 10 minutes of your morning to set the stage for your day will not just set your mood for the day ahead of you - building the process and consistently acting on it will compound over time and change the very person that you are. As James Clear says, “your life bends to the shape of your habits.” The next chapter of your life begins tomorrow morning. Take some time to think about the person you want to be, and affirm that future state by crafting your morning routine in that direction. 

I will leave you with three final tips:

  1. Wake up at the same time every single day. Studies have shown that this simple strategy can improve both sleep quality and mental health throughout the entire day. Avoid hitting the snooze button. Don’t try to rationalize five more minutes of sleep. Just get up and make your bed right away. That way you accomplished your first task of the day within the first 5 minutes. Good job!
  2. Anchor your wake-up call to the morning sunlight. The closer you can tailor your circadian rhythm to the natural rotation of the Earth, the easier it will be to get out of bed when the sun comes up. Implement this, and pretty soon you will be able to throw out your alarm clock.
  3. Do not look at your phone right when you wake up! Your brain is most susceptible to external information in the early hours of your day. Remember, YOU BECOME YOUR THOUGHTS! If the first piece of input that you get in the morning is the Tik Tok that your friend sent you last night, then your thoughts are instantly being guided by online influencers! Learn to control your own mental state. This is the first step to breaking free of unhealthy lifestyle habits. 

Do you have a good morning routine that you think our community could adopt as a model? Are you hitting all three M’s? Are there any other methods that you look forward to while starting your day that were not mentioned? Let us know in the comments!

P.S. Enjoy this motivation from Dr. Jordan Peterson on the importance of having routines and schedules:

“In your lifetime, you’re gonna directly influence at least a thousand people. And each of those thousand people will influence a thousand. And so that’s a million people one person separated from you, and a billion people two people separated from you. We live in a network and we’re really tightly associated with one another. And if you hold your head high and you confront the future courageously, and you put your life together and you develop an integrated and valuable plan and you implement it, and you’re a trustworthy person, you have an unbelievably positive effect on everything around you.” 

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