All of us have the same hours in each day, yet some accomplish way more than others.
Your mornings set the tone for the rest of your day. For years, the snooze button would be my best friend until a couple of years ago when I started my personal growth journey. I studied many successful people such as Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Benjamin Franklin, Robin Sharma, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Tim Ferris etc.
What I discovered was that each of them had carved out their own morning rituals to kick start their day so that they can tackle on whatever the day ahead threw at them.
Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, we all start our day at some point. Give yourself a minimum of 10 minutes of “ME TIME” when you wake up every morning to carve out a ritual for yourself to jumpstart your day on a positive note. Tony Robbins said it best,
“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.”
The worst way to start out each morning is worry about our to do lists, check emails, scroll through facebook and instagram, have negative thoughts about ourselves or others, complain about not wanting to go to work, snoozing our alarms, not eating breakfast, waking up and digging right into our tasks etc.
Which morning routine might be best?
While there’s probably not an ideal morning routine that fits everyone, we can learn a lot from the morning routines of successful people as well as from the research and inspiration behind starting a morning on the right foot.
STEVE JOBS’S MORNING ROUTINE: ONE SIMPLE QUESTION
In a commencement address he gave at Stanford back in 2005, Steve Jobs revealed the motivational tactic that he used to start each and every day.
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something”.
I suggest you carve out a minimum of 10 minutes each morning and create your own morning ritual from the list below.
Add any one of these 8 Practices to your mornings to transform Your Life:
1. Lemon Water & Green Smoothie
Drinking a glass of warm water with lemon first thing in the morning is an excellent way to get your body going. The lemon will help get your digestive system ready for the coming meals.
Starting off your morning with a green smoothie for breakfast is just what you need to kickstart your day full of energy. The green part of the smoothie is what’s really going to help boost your energy levels this morning. That’s because it will likely be spinach, kale, or some other leafy green providing phytonutrients, fiber, and minerals.
There’s no better time to sit and clear your mind for a few minutes than in the morning. There’s also no right way to meditate, so if you’ve tried specific methods and didn’t really like it, it’s time to develop your own personal style. Choose a position that you find comfortable, and decide if you’d like music or not. Just sitting and listening to the silence can be enough for most. You don’t need to go into a trance or spend an hour in the lotus position to meditate. You can get the benefits from just a few minutes and you’ll see a marked improvement in the upward trend your days start to take.
3. Morning Pages
We wake up with a ton of stuff floating around in our minds. We need to channel that energy and get it out. Morning Pages act as a ‘brain dump’ that will clear your mind to focus on other things. Whether it’s the small distracting thoughts that can take our attention or bigger, more challenging issues that can at times hijack our thoughts, Morning Pages allow us to “dump all the stuff”, making way or more constructive and creative thinking.
Morning pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, ideally done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages. They aren’t even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.
Morning Pages have become an integral part of my morning routine and ultimately have made me a better person. Here are some of the benefits:
- They center you and clear your mind.
- They help you discover your creativity.
- They help to silence your biggest enemy: Your inner critic.
- They make you less anxious.
- They will help you become a better idea generator.
Daily morning exercises even for a few minutes will significantly boost your energy. Some of the benefits of morning exercise can be helping you sustain higher levels of energy throughout the day, enhance your mental clarity, help you think better and concentrate for a longer period of time. How you use your exercise time is up to you. You can go to the gym, go for a long walk or run. But every morning try to dedicate some time for exercise. Don’t convince yourself by saying ” I don’t have time” or “I’m so tired” to ignore exercise. Even simple stretches or short workout will go a long way. There is an iPhone APP called 7 MINUTE WORKOUT if you are limited on time in the morning.
Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.
A common method to develop the practice of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal. This exercise basically consists of writing down every day a list of three to ten things for which you are grateful; you can do this first thing in the morning or before going to bed at night.
Reading every morning will help you transform your life. It’s the method of acquiring the knowledge, strategies and ideas needed to radically accomplish your goals. Don’t Just read random books, read the books about the people who have already done what you want to do. Model these successful people’s strategies and techniques.
If you lead a busy life chances are things fall through the cracks on a daily basis. To help stop this from happening you should list the three things you really want to get done today, and above all else, make sure they get done. Once you establish the habit of getting the most important three things of the day done, you’ll be able to build up confidence and go for bigger and bigger things. I recommend a book called EAT THAT FROG to overcome the habit of procrastination.
A funny thing also happens, all of the smaller stuff that you thought needed to get done either does get done without being on your list of three, or fades away because it wasn’t that important to begin with. If you start getting carried away and adding more than three, you’ll find you won’t get to the fourth and fifth and so on, and then you’ll get discouraged. Force yourself to come up with three good ones, even if your day is largely unstructured. You’ll feel better at the end of the day knowing you at least got 3 important things done. Always think, “What are the three tasks that I can finish today that will get me closer towards my goals or make me feel that I have had a productive day.” Make sure you don’t include any CHORES in this list such as doing laundry, cleaning, cooking etc.
“If you can see it and believe it, it is a lot easier to achieve it.” — Oprah
All top performers, regardless of profession, know the importance of picturing themselves succeeding in their minds before they actually do in reality. When you think of a big goal or dream that you want to achieve, it’s natural to think of all of the obstacles that will come your way. The problem is that we allow these obstacles to become so big in our minds that it stops us from moving forward with our goals. This is when many become satisfied with mediocrity.The truth is, if you can’t picture yourself achieving a goal, chances are you won’t. That’s where Visualization comes into play. It requires you to want something, perceive it, and believe in it. You don’t need to spend endless hours. Simply get in the habit of putting together a positive vision into your everyday life. Visualize yourself succeeding, achieving every goal, completing every task. Over time, once you are working in a direction towards your goal, the process and energy you put into visualization will begin to shift your life in a positive direction.
Carving out a morning ritual gives you a space in the morning where you know you can be mindful to help you strive for mindfulness for the rest of your day, and it also kick starts your body and mind.
Before long, I found that I felt more focused, patient, and peaceful. I gained a clarity and presence that had previously eluded me. I became much more intentional and productive, without changing much other than my morning routine. My mornings felt more purposeful and the effects lasted throughout the day.
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Thank you for reading!