The first part of waking up is something I find extremely interesting. That moment upon waking when you choose how you start your day. Do you immediately grab your phone? Is there a child/pet in your face? Gonna have some morning sex? Toss on the clothes and hit the gym? Rush to your laptop? Mediation? The list is vast and deep.
And if you pay attention at all to this topic, which I do, there are hundreds of posts with variations on the theme of Morning Ritual. Here are a few from some of my favorite authors on the subject:
8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 A.M by Benjamin P Hardy
Top Morning Routine to 10X Creativity & Boost Your Focus [in 2018] by Jaeden K Schafer
10 Successful Women Share Their Morning Routines by Genevieve Fish
Author and superhuman, Tim Ferriss of Four Hour Work Week & Tools of Titans (who I love) has written this same post with different titles and adding to it and evolving it at least ten times, reworking it to the present of his world each time.
Some authors have five steps, some three steps, some an entire page checklist that involves exercise, certain foods, beverages, and vitamins. Many have meditation, writing, reading, prayer, orgasms, gratitude, thankfulness in their checklists and Tony Robbins throws in the cold plunge to get into what most of these writers all reference as a “peak state.”
I’ve written about my Morning Ritual, a couple of times as well, updating as I learn what works for me. My writing coach Rachel Resnick had me work this out for myself — she calls this the Morning Making Ritual, which for me included writing a Creativity Prayer, something to recite out loud to connect to my life goals. I also read Marianne Williamson’s, Our Deepest Fear to always quell any negative lizard brain thoughts that once in a while rear their ugly head.
The thing about starting your day is that whatever your Morning Making Ritual/AM Activation/Morning Wake-up is, IMHO it is good to have one. Well, let me say, I believe you will do better, feel better and do more with a ritual than without.
“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” So sayeth Mr. Robbins by way of the motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar and the more you practice, the better you become at something. The example I always hear and use about practice is: how does an Olympic swimmer become Olympic? They swim and swim and swim and swim, more than anyone else. Why not practice the best way of waking up and starting your day? Make it a practice.
Starting every day doesn’t have to be perfect, but an attempt to have a ritual counts. Many days you will get it right, some you won’t. There are many factors in creating the perfect Morning Ritual, but again it’s not about being perfect.
If you live to be 85 years old you get 31,025 attempts at starting your day, so why not put a smidge of process around the start to every beautiful day on this big blue spinning sphere?
I begin all sessions of my Creative Maven Personal Brand Workshop with digging into what clients do to start their days to get a sense of a few things:
- Do you already have good habits? Do you have a ritual and not realize it?
- What is your dedication to yourself for your best start?
- Are you a caretaker of everyone else’s morning ritual in your life, and not your own?
- How likely will you be to “practice” a morning ritual?
Realistic Mornings for Most
Many authors (people who write these lists) are single white guys or are someone who has a partner who helps take care of getting the kids or let’s say “the household” ready. And yes, Hollywood power couples get more done than most, but they also have an entourage helping them.
Having a luxuriating 2 hour wake up extravaganza isn’t realistic, for most people I know waking up goes like this:
A child has crawled into bed with you and starts kicking you, or you cannot get said child/children out of bed (yours or theirs). You manage to get on some yoga pants or sweatpants; you let the dog out to pee. You pick up strewn about clothing, backpacks, socks, and shoes while starting a load of laundry, making lunches and getting breakfast on the table and checking your email for random meetings and responding to an errant text from your Mom, Dad, or sibling who also needs something from you. Coffee, this usually involves coffee. And you have to be at work after the school drop-offs, so there is getting ready, hair brushing, showering, makeup and looking presentable without forgetting laptop, keycards, etc. And some jackass wants you to be on a conference call where you have to see slides during your commute. Sound familiar?
10 Minutes of Me Time, a Suggestion
So do you get up a 3:30 AM to meditate for 20 minutes, write in your journal, do 30 pushups and have your sip of freshly squeezed lemon water or green tea, before your coffee, but after you get in your 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up? Before the scenario above kicks off? I mean why don’t you have time for you to do you?
I poke fun because I’m a believer in this ritualistic behavior, but I also believe it needs to be realistic. You have to find what works for you.
I often say to my clients — pick one thing that will set you right for the day. One thing. Start there, then add to it in two weeks, but don’t ever make it too complicated.
And oh what one can get done in one minute. The little list below may seem simplistic, but it’s a start — fill in the things that work for you but here’s a suggestion:
- 1-minute meditation
- 1-minute journal entry
- 1 article to read
- 1-minute of push-ups or whatever gets the blood flowing
And hey that’s not even 10 minutes. Here’s the thing. USE your timer on your phone or your microwave. I know that sound ridiculous but 1 minute is a long time. You will be surprised at what you can do in one concentrated minute. Lock yourself in the bathroom if you must.
Depending on the research you read, habits take between 10 and 21 days to form. Try the 10-minute method above, see how that works for you, or go back up to one of the myriads of articles above and use one of them and see what you think.
Love to know if you have a morning ritual, what it is and if you think this is something that is worth doing or just another thing on your list of things that you will do, someday.
With fingers crossed, I have about 15,000 more days/chances to start my day the way it helps me be the best version of me I that I can. Sounds like a lot of chances/days but we all know how you blink and it is a year or five years later.
Good morning sunshine.
Wishing you that good start, every day.