I have come to learn that what I do first thing in the morning will set the tone for the rest of my day, which in turn sets the tone for the rest of my life. Think about it. If I keep doing the same thing over and over again, isn’t that an indicator of the quality of my life?
If you think about your mornings, you’ll probably realize that you already have a set ritual, whether you like it or not. Maybe it goes something like: wake up, check emails, check social media, brush your teeth, drink coffee, get lunch ready for the kids, then rush out the door in a hurry. But have you stopped to notice how that ritual makes you feel?
If you’re in a bit of a slump and want to make some powerful changes to your life, committing yourself to positive rituals every morning will do just that and more. You will not only nurture your body and consciously create the life you want, but you will be cultivating the most important relationship in your life—the one with yourself.
Here are 11 morning rituals that will transform your life for the better:
1. Wake up earlier
It might sound counterintuitive to some people as you may lose a little sleep and think you will be less productive, but it will pay off in the long run. Being able to spend time with yourself before the rest of the world demands your time is absolutely essential for a happier life, one in which you feel like you are thriving. Start by waking up just a little bit earlier each day until you have enough time to do some of the following rituals (or an other of your own) without feeling hurried, usually about an hour to an hour and a half before you need to be out of the door. Go to sleep earlier to get the rest you need. Nurturing the relationship with yourself will translate to everything else in your life. Don’t skimp on this.
Spending some time in a state of gratitude is a very basic, yet powerful way to start your day in a positive way. It can be so easy to fall into a trap of negativity and “ to enough.” By practicing gratitude, you focus on all the good things in your life, not matter how small. Spend at least a few minutes thinking, writing or verbalizing all that you are grateful for that morning, the day before, the week, the month. You’ll be surprised how much this practice can lift your mood and possibly even notice things you hadn’t before.
Much can be said about clearing your mind of mental chatter. Just a few minutes in the morning can do wonders for the rest of your day. There are so many ways to meditate, so keep experimenting until you find a style that works best for you. You don’t have to do anything like completely zen out (but if you do, make sure to set a meditation timer). Simply sitting comfortably in silence while focusing on your breath for a few minutes can be enough to recharge you.
4. Drink 2 cups of warm water
We are already dehydrated upon waking. Our bodies lose about 2 cups of water every night, so replenishing its water supply first thing in the morning is very important. Not only does it hydrate the body, water also energizes the body and elevates mood, boosts immune system, aids in detoxification and in digestion, as well as slows down the signs of aging. Adding some lemon to your water will not only enhance the flavour, but it will also add many of its own benefits for your body.
5. Revisit your written goals
Have your goal written somewhere that you can remember to see it every morning. Take a moment to visualize this goal already happening in your life. For a more powerful effect, write a very compelling, emotional and positive “WHY” you want to accomplish this goal and use this reason to drive you towards your goal everyday.
6. Focus on how you want to feel
Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel today?” And whatever the answer is, what actions can you take today to feel that way? Because at the end of the day, everything falls back to your emotional state.
7. Write the 3 most important tasks to get done today
To do lists can be endless. Prioritize and pick the top three things that absolutely need to get done today. The confidence and motivation you will get from getting 3 major tasks done will carry over to the next day and eventually drive you to strive for even greater tasks.You’ll also notice that you’ll still get all the little things done throughout the day or you’ll realize that they really weren’t as important as you once thought.
8. Get motivated
Listen to a TED talk or an uplifting podcast. Spend some time reading a book that will improve your life (or listen to the audio version). Feeding your mind with something positive every single day will improve your overall well-being and how you relate to the world.
9. Get active
Do something to get your body moving, whether it’s yoga, a HIIT workout, jumping on a Reformer, a morning jog, etc. Whatever your preferred workout, just move. It energizes your body, elevates your mood, and boosts your metabolism. If you are really short on time, at least do some light stretching to get your body ready for the day.
10. Eat (a healthy) breakfast
Starting your day by nourishing your body is vital. It’ll kick start your metabolism and give your body and brain the fuel it needs for a productive morning. If you’re short on time, opt to prepare your breakfast the night before by pre-cutting your green smoothie ingredients and setting them in the fridge the night before so all you’ll have to do is pull it out and blend. Overnight oats is another grab-and-go option, as is having a protein shake among so many other healthy options. Just don’t skip out on fueling your body!
11. Smile at yourself
Look in the mirror with your shoulders back and smile at yourself with a great big smile. Changing your physiology, then smiling and seeing a smile will initiate a positive response in your brain. You have acknowledged you. And with everything that happens everyday, with all the directions we can get pulled by people and things, it can be pretty easy to forget to take that moment to acknowledge and reconnect with the deeper part of yourself.
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