Morning Ritual

freeHaving a positive and productive day starts with a mentally stimulating morning. A great resource for developing a morning routine, check out the book, “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod.

Here’s an excerpt from Hal’s website talking about his book:

“What if you could miraculously wake up tomorrow and any—or every area of your life was transformed? What would be different? Would you be happier? Healthier? More successful? In better shape? Would you have more energy? Less Stress? More Money? Better relationships? Which of your problems would be solved?”
“…Enter The Miracle Morning. What’s now being practiced by thousands of people around the world could perhaps be the simplest approach to creating the life you’ve always wanted…”

His book and website are based on the premise, that to you start your day largely determines the quality of your day, your work, and your life. The Miracle Morning book gives you an awesome morning ritual format to follow and adapt to you. Elrod has broken the morning routine into 6, “life-changing personal development activities.” Here they are, and I will include an idea of what I do during each step.

  1. Silence. Here I like to sit and meditate (start by focusing on your breathing) if stressful thoughts start to occupy my mind I focus on the good things and breath slowly in and out. I’ve been thinking about experimenting doing Tai Chi during this, but I would need to practice it more first so I could focus on my breathing, not learning the techniques.
  2. Reading. The goal of this step is to help you feel more motivated, I would not suggest reading a book that would suck you in, sometimes I will read an article I printed out (I don’t read from the computer, to eliminate distractions). You can also read a motivational book.
  3. Affirmations. This is the step I struggle with the most because I always felt weird doing this. Partly because I have struggled with self-esteem in the past, and I still allow that feeling to get the best of me sometimes. One of my favorite affirmations is: “I will focus on progress, not perfection. Each day I strive to be better than I was yesterday and as I continue to put one foot in front of the other I will be able to tackle anything no matter the obstacles. I am a bad a…” well you get the idea.
  4. Visualization. This came easiest for me since I have always been a planner (sometimes to a fault.) I sometimes visualize my day and some obstacles I may have to overcome. I also visualize what I want in the future, I try to make it as visceral as possible.
  5. Journaling. This is a skill I have fluctuated with since high school. Some days I lose myself in the words and before I know it I had knocked out a couple of pages, and other days I struggle to finish. No matter how much I write I still feel like I knocked it out of the park, because I focus on what I am grateful for and the recent wins I have accomplished.
  6. Exercise. Saving the best for last, if you remember the Smart Sleep part of the site I mentioned that good sleep starts with your morning workout. It feels great to get active early in the morning for both your mental and physical well being.

I have done this morning routine in the past and it really works, but lately, I have been tweaking it to better fit me and what I am drawn towards. Needless to say, when I finish my morning routine I feel supercharged and ready to go. Some days I may not be able to devote time to each thing, but I always give myself some quiet time to reflect and say what I am grateful for, and I always get a little exercise even if it is just a quick burst of jumping jacks or jump rope.

As a quick note: This was my pre-mama and overnight worker morning ritual. Needless to say, it has REALLY changed. If you want a look at how it has changed, you can get The 7-Day Startup Guide, it touches on how to implement a Morning Ritual into your day, as well as some other other goodies, I will be putting up a post about it later in the month.

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