My Morning Ritual

Ritual: an act or series of acts done in a particular situation and in the same way each time

What does your typical morning look like? Are you an early-riser who follows a ritual to set the tone for the day?  I’ve read that successful individuals have morning rituals focused on taking care of their mind and body to increase their productivity and tackle the day’s challenges.  It’s about being proactive and taking control of the morning.  Heard of the saying, ‘When you win your morning, you win your day’?

I’m always looking for ways to improve so I can be a better version of myself.   This is what I aim to do with my morning ritual – five acts I do in the first hour of my day.

The alarm sounds off at 5:40 am.  Quite honestly, I hit the snooze button but limit it to only one time.  It’s a force of habit and something I’m working to change.

First act:  Sing a song 

While still laying in bed, this song plays repeatedly in my head:  Psalm 118:24

🎤 “This is the day (this is the day)
That the Lord has made (that the Lord has made)
I will rejoice (I will rejoice)
And be glad in it (and be glad in it).” 

It’s a song, a short prayer that fills my mind with positive energy.  My 6yr old went to a Christian preschool and this is a song they sung during one of their preschool performances.  In my head, it’s not my voice that I hear but my daughter’s. A soft sweet melody ringing in my ear that sets my day off right.

Second Act:  Make the bed.

It’s the easiest thing to do to feel a sense of accomplishment.  Literally, it takes me maybe two minutes to straighten up the bed sheets, place the duvet cover on top and fluff the pillows.  I am an organized person who dislikes clutter. I used to be borderline OCD with regards to cleanliness and organization. However with kids, I had to simmer down and explore a new normal.  As long as there is a period of time when the rooms in the house are clean, I’m fine with it.

Two years ago a Navy Seal Admiral, ADM McCraven, 9th commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, delivered a commencement speech to graduates of the University of Texas.  His one of many words of advice was to Make Your Bed!

He stated: “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day.  It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. 
Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”

Who knew that making your bed in the morning can have such a powerful effect?

Third Act:  Vinyasa Yoga Sequence

(Note – I didn’t include my morning hygiene routine but I do it before my movement practice)

Photo credit: Bombayroomyoga.com

I’m not a dedicated yogi but I prefer to do this sequence of movements instead of something more intense.  I like to focus on my breath, allow for it to flow through and awaken my body. To me, it’s a form of meditation to be in tune with my breath, my mind and body.  I usually have too many thoughts in my head – a list of to-do’s, but when I execute these movements I always bring my focus back to the breath and push any other thoughts aside for several minutes.  It’s invigorating and relaxing. After several repeats of the sequence, I’m ready to head downstairs and start my day.

Fourth Act:  Drink and Prepare a Healthy Breakfast

I drink one full glass of water to hydrate and energize my body.  Then I spend the most time (at least 10-15min) to cook my favorite meal of the day.  But before I cook mine, I prep the girls’ breakfasts first.  They love fruit so it’s always fruit with either waffles or low-sugar cereal or yogurt.  I’ve been trying to convince them to eat eggs but it’s a hard battle. They used to prefer oatmeal but somehow their taste preference have changed.  Why do kids become picky when they get older?

As I cook my breakfast, I like to tune in to health/fitness/personal development podcasts.  A few of my favorites include The Tim Ferris Show, Model Health Show, The Fat-Burning Man and many more.  If a particular topic is of interest, I search for it and listen to a few episodes regarding the same topic.

Final Act:  Journaling

By 6:40am, I’m ready to sit, sip coffee and enjoy my breakfast before I wake up the girls at 7am.  And while I eat breakfast, I spend the next twenty minutes to write in a journal that helps me focus on what I need to accomplish for the day to move closer towards a specific goal.  It’s called The Freedom Journal, Accomplish your #1 Goal in 100 Days. The creator of the journal is a successful podcaster, John Lee Dumas.  His podcast EOFire is rated in the top ranks of the business podcasts where he interviews successful entrepreneurs seven days a week!

Unfortunately I don’t write in it everyday.  I like to take the weekends off.  And I also took a couple of weeks off while I was on vacation.  But I can always pick it up  and continue to do something small every day that will eventually lead me to my #1 goal.

Photo Credit: EOFire.com

Photo Credit: EOFire.com

 

So this is how my morning looks on the weekdays, however the weekends are totally different (Saturdays – I wake up earlier to go for a long run and Sundays are for sleeping in!)  I am also exploring other ways I can make my morning even better.

Do you have a morning ritual?  Making your bed – Aye or Nay? 

I am linking up the DC Trifecta Ladies, Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Mar at Mar on the Run and Cynthia at You Signed up for What for their Friday Five.

DC-Trifecta-Friday-Five-linkup