If you win the morning, you win the day.
Each morning when we wake, we have the power to choose how we would like to enter into our day, in one way or another.
Some of us may have more freedom than others, but focusing on what you can control is the key to living an effective life. Over the last year, I have lived in multiple different locations with little to no routine along the way. With that said, this experience has provided an opportunity for me to become more flexible in my daily life, as well as develop simple habits or “daily rituals” as Tony Robbins calls them, in order to establish certainty in uncertain situations, and maintain structure in any given amount of chaos. I am going to share with you my simple habits that I currently use each morning, as well as the morning routines of a few highly successful individuals.
If you take one thing from this blog post, let it be that your rituals can be simple yet highly effective. Look to those that are living in a way that you admire and then apply their habits to your own life and see what happens. Taking conscious control of my morning routine has been transformational for me and allows me to move throughout life with more fluidity and ease. I hope the same happens for you.
My morning MUSTS:
1. Conscious breathing exercise. This can be as simple as taking three deep breaths first thing when I wake up before doing anything else. I sit up in bed and I focus my attention on my chest and belly rising on the inhale, and falling on the exhale and I think to myself “I am breathing.” This practice can be as simple as these three conscious breaths or you can try something a little more elaborate and effective such as a Kundalini exercise like this one-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eeuswb2O00 Either way, the benefit of this morning “must” is that it allows you a moment to just gather yourself and be easy before the busy energy of the day flows in. If you are used to popping up and grabbing your phone right away, this may be difficult at first. Be patient with yourself and start small. If you forget to do this one day, it’s never too late to notice the breath at anytime in the day. Bring your attention to your breath, and feel instant mindfulness and a sense of calm.
2. Make the bed. “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.” – Navy Admiral William McRaven. At a very young age, I noticed that my mom would always make the bed wherever we were living or staying, and I liked the way it felt to get into a made bed at night. So, for as long as I can remember, I have been making my bed every single day. It doesn’t need to be a fancy, hotel-like job, just a simple organization of the pillows and blankets. If you’re not already making your bed every single day…start now. It will change your life.
3. ONE-page Mind Dump. Each morning we wake up with a mind racing with thoughts and ideas about our dreams, yesterday’s unfinished business and today’s tasks ahead. Taking a few moments to handwrite one full page of everything that’s on your mind with no filters, helps to dump the nonsense of the mind before beginning your day. This concept is based off the practice of “Morning Pages” from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. You can learn more about her philosophy and the details of this practice here- http://juliacameronlive.com/basic-tools/morning-pages/
4. H2O Bae. This daily practice is making sure that I drink a few large glasses of room temperature water before anything else. The importance of drinking water is tremendous for the digestive system, the brain and the entire body. Be sure that the water is room temperature or warmer so that you don’t shock the body, and instead you soothe it awake. You’re also re-hydrating yourself after a long period of time with no fluids, and you’re helping your brain reawaken as well. The water you’re drinking first thing before ingesting anything else is helping to detoxify and purify the colon so that it can prepare to better absorb any nutrients you will ingest throughout the day.
Here are a few individuals that seem to be doing all right in life. Take a look at their routines and the philosophies behind them, and I guarantee you will take away a gem or two. I know I have. Enjoy!
“I made a deal with myself: If you don’t have 10 minutes for yourself, you don’t have a life,” Robbins said. “There’s no excuse. So I have 10 minutes, and I do this little ritual.”
“If you see distraction externally, you end up creating an internally distracted state.” – Tim Ferriss
The Miracle Morning– Hal Elrod
“Based on the premise that how you start your day largely determines the quality of your day, your work, and your life, The Miracle Morning gives you the ultimate morning ritual and teaches night owls how to beat the snooze button, even if you’ve never been a morning person.” – Hal Elrod