Create Your Morning Ritual
Let’s pretend you just got up. Yay! You made it out of bed.
How are you feeling?
Chances are, you feel like you just woke up. The last thing you want is to have a ton of choices to make. Do I go to the gym or not? Do I brush my teeth now or later? Do I really need to make my bed? Which book do I read today? What do I have for breakfast?
If this is what awaits you in the morning, eventually you’ll choose to stay in bed instead. No doubt.
The secret to having a great morning every morning is to create a morning ritual. A ritual is a series of automated habits that carry you through positive choices without you having to think about it.
To create your morning ritual, choose your habits. What are the positive actions you are going to take consistently every morning? For example, I use a gratitude journal every morning, drink 600ml of water (my inner bath), take my supplements and a green juice, then meditate. I don’t have to think about it. It happens. Every single day.
A word of warning: don’t do too much at once. Start small and build your habits up over time. The difference between doing no meditation and meditating for one minute is greater than between one minute and 10. The first is an infinite increment, from non-existence to existence. The second is only 10x.
Start small and be consistent. What’s the one habit that would have the greatest impact on the rest of your morning and your day? Start from that, get comfortable, and build up.
For every habit, create a specific trigger, a fixed behavior, and determine a reward.
Let’s use journaling as an example:
• Having the journal on my bedside table, sitting between my pillow and my alarm clock, means I see it as soon as I wake up. That’s the trigger.
• Writing in my gratitude journal every day, using a specific format, the same pen, and being in the same place (in bed) every day is a well-rehearsed behavior.
• The smile and positive feeling I get from going through my journal every morning is my reward.
It makes me miss it and crave it every morning.
Sometimes the trigger can be the previous habit; this is called concatenating habits. By following your ritual in a specific order, completing a particular habit will trigger the next one. And so on. Other times the trigger will be external; you can give yourself a treat when you complete something positive. But most of the time it’s just a case of being mindful. Enjoy what you are doing and the reward will be built in.
Your turn now. Identify your first habit that would have the greatest impact on the rest of your day.
Tomorrow, we will look at the impact that sleep has on your morning, how to track it, and a few quick wins to improve it.
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