According to The Morning Miracle by Hal Elrod, if you want a fulfilling and happy life, your morning routine or ritual is the place to start. A morning ritual describes what you do from the time that you wake up until the point where you start your day, whether that’s at work or elsewhere and it sets the tone for the whole day.
Here’s some things to consider doing in your mornings:
To start the day well, stop hitting the snooze button and change how you think about sleep.
Hitting snooze keeps you from waking with a sense of purpose. Each time you hit snooze, you’re subconsciously telling yourself you don’t want to rise to your life, your experiences and the day ahead. Resisting waking up reduces your chances of having a satisfying day.
I know it’s hard to resist especially when it’s so dark in the mornings but the ‘extra’ sleep you get after the alarm goes off is not quality sleep. So either set your alarm to the time you absolutely need to get up and have extra quality sleep or resolve to get up and implement your new morning routine.
Know also that the first thought you have in the morning is usually the last thought you had at night. If you go to bed thinking this isn’t enough sleep and you’re going to be tired tomorrow, you’ve spoiled the morning before you have even gotten to sleep. So, before going to bed, affirm to yourself that you’ll rise the next morning feeling refreshed. If you can look forward to the next day, waking up will be less painful.
If you need help with this whole stop hitting snooze thing – put your phone/alarm on the other side of the room so you actually have to get up to turn it off. Once you’re up, well, you may as well get going.
Once you’re up, rinse out your morning breath then drink some water. Dehydration can make you feel tired, so rehydrating is a good thing in the morning. Maybe even add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or native or Swedish bitters to your warm water to get your digestion going.
Purposeful silence in the morning is a great way to keep your stress levels in check. You can call it meditation if you want, it’s very trendy right now. It doesn’t have to be for long and you don’t have to chant.
Five minutes is a good start, find a place to get comfortable, set a timer, close your eyes without falling asleep, and focus on taking slow breaths and filling your belly with air. There’s lots of phone apps that can guide you through it. If you fall asleep, you need to get to bed earlier.
Set your intentions
It’s easy just to go through each day without giving any thought to what it’s all about or why you do what you do. So take some time to articulate your goals, motivations and what you’re committed to do to get there. This will help to you set your intentions for the day.
What do you want to achieve today to get you to your goal? If you have this in mind for the day you have some direction and you’re more likely to get it done.
Reading and writing
Reading or writing in the morning to focus on personal growth is also a great thing in a morning routine. Even if it’s just reading 10 pages of some personal development book (that’s 3650 pages a year – about 18 books) or writing for five minutes it will accelerate personal growth. Writing each day helps you to review what you learned, gain clarity on problems and achievements and acknowledge progress.
I also think mornings are the best time for exercise (before things get in the way). Whether it’s a few stretches or a walk to get you going, or a high intensity gym workout, it will help to increase your energy through the day.
I’m not saying spend hours on these things, just start with 1 or maybe 2 of them, or do several of them for a few minutes and find what works for you. You could have them all covered in a few minutes (2min quiet time, 1min intentions, 2min writing, 2min reading 2 pages, 2min stretching).