I’m sure you have heard of the different things successful people do to start their day. I’m sure you’ve heard of the 5am Club, the people who get more things done before you even get to work and people who say that doing things soon after you wake are the best times to ensure success.
Myself, I’m a big believer of morning rituals. How you start your day really does shape how you see your day. How you start your day can be what impacts whether or not you’re in a good mood or a bad mood, able to see the positive or the negative, whether or not you’re calm, relaxed and easing into the day or whether or not you feel rushed, anxious or already overwhelmed before you even enter the workplace.
It’s the morning rituals that we go through that not only shape our day but also shape us, they allow us to check in with who we want to be and they allow us to ensure that the path we start on at the start of each day is the path we end on. Morning rituals are more than just a ritual to get you out bed and out the door quickly, they are designed to become our habits, the things we do consistently.
Morning rituals are about checking in with yourself, they are about tuning into your brain and your thought patterns. Morning rituals are designed to ensure that you’re healthy, energised, feeling positive and have everything you need to start your day. Morning rituals are like lesson starters, a tuning-in activity. What you doing your morning ritual allows you to set the scene, it allows you to capture your audience, it allows you to get your brain ready and prepared to take on any obstacle with ease. If you ask any successful person they’ll tell you that a morning ritual isn’t just about making sure that you’ve had a strong cup of coffee and checking your Facebook feed, morning rituals include things like setting your goals, revisiting goals you have already set, exercise, meditating taking your vitamins, habits which ensure that you able to take on your day in a way that will move you forward.
Imagine someone who has a morning ritual which goes like this; their alarm goes off but they hit snooze three times before they have even managed to roll out of bed, when their feet hit the floor they’re tired, they yawn, they slouch over, they stumble and fumble as they try to get up and slowly make their way to the kitchen. Here they boil the kettle, and before they’ve even really opened their eyes, they down a cup of coffee. A second cup of coffee follows them into the lounge room, where they sit down and turn on the morning news and watch headlines, they see nothing but sad stories, doom and gloom, and things which just don’t inspire us. Before long they realise they are already running late. They rush to have a shower and throw whatever clothes on they can find, they search for their car keys and head out the door, their lunch is still in the fridge, their laptop is on their kitchen bench. Then, because they’re rushing, they find themselves stuck in traffic, they find themselves racing against the clock and realising they’re going to be late. When they arrive at work they are already filled with stress, overwhelm and are annoyed at themselves because they’ve allowed themselves to start their day like this. Now because this person has started the day in such a bad place, everything else that happens to them during the day is going to be even harder, even more stressful, even more overwhelming, because if we don’t start our day in the right place, everything else that comes our way seems even harder to manage.
Here’s a different story. This person starts the day out with their alarm going off, as they hit snooze they know that they have 5 minutes to lie in bed and practice their affirmations and some deep breathing. When the alarm goes off again they know that they need to get out of bed. They gently stand up and stretch, walk towards the kitchen boil the kettle and make themselves a cup of hot water, green tea, lemon and water or apple cider vinegar, something that is good for their insides and for waking up the body. This is followed by some journalling, some writing of gratitude or writing goals and things are they aiming to achieve. Some days this is even followed by 5 or 10 minutes of meditation where this person gets to check in with themselves, do more deep breathing and focus on what it is that they are driving towards achieving, maybe this is a goal, maybe this is clarity, maybe this is success, maybe this is acceptance, maybe it’s confidence or maybe it’s trust. By doing this, this person is now in a calm state and it means that when they have their shower and get dressed they can do it being calm and mindful. This person heads out the door grabbing everything they need, their lunch, their water bottle, their keys, their work items, and they calmly and easily make their way to the car. This person has left that was more than enough time to get to work on time and when they’re there, they have time to grab another cup of coffee, check in with friends, colleagues and people in the workplace. They’re able to set up for their day and when they’re ready they can begin their work in a calm, happy, mindful state. Because this person has started their day with solid rituals and their body knew what to expect, it means that this is the habit of how they feel and their brain naturally feels calm. Whatever else comes during the day, they approach in a more mindful, positive, vibrant way because they’ve allowed themselves to set this up right at the start of the day before they even leave the house.
So, thinking about these two examples, how do you start your day? What are your morning rituals? Do you have any morning rituals? Maybe you’ve never thought about this, and this is OK, but now you have read this article, ask yourself, how do you want to start your day? What changes could make? Maybe start with not pressing snooze three times? Maybe get things ready the night before? Maybe it’s starting the day with a drink that’s going to energize your body; some hot water with lemon or a cup of green tea and following that with some journalling or some goal-setting or just a few deep breaths.