Mornings are a magical time. When you wake up before the world starts, it’s as though you’re existing in a universal moment of stillness and reflection. Mornings have so much to offer you if you manage to wake up in time to smell the roses (or the coffee!).
Creating a morning routine is one of the best things you can do to enhance your day, and ultimately, your whole life! By sticking to a morning ritual, you are setting yourself up to have a day that consists of higher productivity and generally happier moods. Do something kind for yourself and start exploring morning rituals today.
What is a Ritual?
A ritual is more than just a routine. A ritual is a conscious effort or set of actions which lead to a desired goal and outcome. By engaging in a morning ritual, you are choosing to prioritize feeling energized, clear-minded, motivated and focused throughout your day.
Creating a ritual looks different for everyone; everyone finds pleasure and tranquility in different activities. Everyone finds engagement differently. Do not fall prey to the misconception that your morning ritual has to emulate your neighbor’s or your friend’s! The only thing that matters is how it works for you.
Some examples of activities to add into your morning ritual are meditation, making and enjoying breakfast, taking a shower, spending time in your garden, listening to your favorite music, or enjoying some fresh air. The thing that all of these activities have in common is that you are making the time to prioritize doing something you enjoy. Do it for yourself.
Enjoy your Day Sooner
The first, and arguably the most important, part of your morning ritual should be waking up bright and early. When you wake up early, you have time to simply exist before anyone needs anything from you. You can enjoy your breakfast, take some time to exercise, or do something that makes you happy before endeavoring upon the tasks of the day.
If you’re looking for the opportunity to have more energy and motivation throughout your day, look no further than your alarm clock. According to research conducted by the Universities of Birmingham and Surrey in the UK, people who adopted the habit of waking up early experienced feeling less stressed and depressed; waking up early has shown to improve your general mood and sense of productivity throughout the day.
“My quiet time between 4 and 6 am is when some of my best work is accomplished,” Gardenuity Co-Founder, Donna Leiter shares. “It is my time to be present with me – to energize and to find much needed focus. Taking a few minutes to reflect on my blessings, to exercise, and to nurture good things is the perfect way to start a productive day.”
The sooner you expose yourself to sunlight in the morning, the sooner your brain is stimulated and prepared to process information. Give yourself the time to clear your mind, and find new ways to be present. Take a look at this article by healthline, that provides 8 ways to make waking up in the morning easier
Find an Intention for the Day
When you wake up with barely enough time to get yourself dressed and fly out the door, you are not doing yourself any favors; you go through your day feeling perpetually tired, unfocused, and disconnected from your interactions and obligations.
Waking up and following a morning ritual is a fantastic way to set your intention for the day. This helps you streamline your goals, desires and plans for the entire day. This practice brings a sense of purpose to you as you go through your day; you know what you are striving to accomplish, and there is a peace of mind that comes along with this preparation.
Tomorrow morning, consider giving yourself time to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while you plan out your intention for the day. This is a great start to putting together a morning ritual; you’re up early, you’re finding time to do something you enjoy, and you’re creating a structure that will lead to a productive day.
Avoid Mental Fatigue
Morning brain is a real phenomenon! When you wake up in the morning, your brain only has so much space to take in new information and make decisions. This is why you should stick to a ritual for the first 60-90 minutes of your day; think of it as saving up your energy for use throughout the day, instead of burning yourself out before your day even begins.
According to this article by Huffpost, having a strict structure for the first hour of your day drastically affects how you experience the rest of the day. Create an environment that includes fewer situations that necessitate you making early-morning decisions; giving yourself that window to allow your brain to wake up will result in less anxiety, and more productivity.
We can look to some incredible leaders for the connection of a consistent morning routine and success; Apple CEO Tim Cook starts his mornings at 3:45 am, Marie Kondo is up by 6am, Howard Schultz is awake by 4:30, Gary Vaynerchuk is up by 6am, and Michelle Obama is up at 4:30 every day. The important thing to note is that their daily routines don’t vary much; rituals in the morning are the way to set your day up for consistent success. From early morning runs, yoga sessions, garden walks these successful leaders all have time for them as part of their early morning rituals.
Start your Ritual
Growth is a ritual, in the same way that taking the time to make a ritual is a sign of growth. Learn more about growing with your morning ritual in this article that highlights Why Rituals Work.