Morning rituals are sacred.
I know mine are. The second I have my piping hot cup of coffee and stretch out my neighborhood newspaper in front of me, I know it’s going to be a great day.
But that’s just me.
Maybe you like to take the dog for a walk when you get up. Or maybe you roll out your yoga mat. Some people even love to make themselves a proper breakfast.
We all have our morning “thing”.
But we don’t all do it right.
Here’s a test for you. See if you recognize yourself in one of these two examples:
You wake up and check your phone before your feet even hit the ground. You get out of bed, turn on the news and wander into the kitchen for coffee. Then you start answering email and voicemail. Check social media. Look at comments on your last blog post. Maybe you grab some breakfast or maybe not. By the time you get to your desk, you’ve spent the most productive hours of the day on trivia.
You wake up and totally ignore your phone, computer and the television. You take a cool shower, drink a whole glass of water and then make coffee. While you’re coffee’s brewing, you take time to move your body. Doesn’t matter what you do – a ten-minute walk, a few yoga poses, a quick bike ride, calisthenics –whatever it takes to get your body in motion. Now you have your coffee and some breakfast. Still ignoring all the intrusive devices, you think about the day. What tasks will you start and finish? What is the priority for that day? By the time you arrive at your desk, you’ve spent your morning on activities that really matter.
You guessed it… Morning A is a morning gone wrong. Morning B is exactly the type of morning you want to have.
With Morning A, you let your day control you.
With Morning B, you control your day.
Starting the day right means that you are more focused, more nurtured and more confident.
The secret I tell all my clients?
Your morning ritual makes all the difference between whether you are a good or an excellent entrepreneur.
Yes, I feel that strongly about mornings.
Let me explain why.
A morning ritual doesn’t begin with the alarm clock. It starts at bedtime. -Taki Moore [Tweet This]
I’m here today to not only give you some tips on how to get the most of your day the second you hop out of bed, but also to give you a slightly paradoxical twist: your morning ritual starts at night.
Here’s what I mean.
First, you need to get good sleep.
In a dark, quiet room.
That means you don’t take your cell phone, your tablet or your laptop to bed with you.
And you don’t fall asleep in front of the TV.
Again, I won’t quote the studies at you, but we all know that peering at those glowing screens right before bed makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
You don’t want any of that nasty blue light from electronics polluting your sleep.
Plus, you shouldn’t be thinking about work or social media or the latest crisis on the news.
You should be thinking about your day.
Do a mental recap.
What did you do today? What didn’t you get done that you wanted to? How successful was the day? What might you do tomorrow to create the day you want to have?
Don’t get up and write any of it down, just let your mind wander until you fall asleep.
You’ll wake up more refreshed and focused on the day in front of you.
Morning Do’s and Don’ts
No matter what time your alarm goes off, you’re more productive right after you wake up than any other time of the day.
Having a morning ritual means that you can capture and develop that productivity long into the day.
So use your “morning mind” to set yourself up for success.
Instead of getting bogged down in a bunch of random activities that swallow your morning before you realize it, follow my three big rules:
- Feed your body
- Nourish your mind
- Design your day
So now you ask… alright Taki, how exactly do I do that?
Well first off, let me re-assure you: there’s no formula that fits everyone, but everyone can fit a ritual into their mornings.
Here’s a short list of things you might want to start with. You don’t have to try them all at once. Just pick one, two or three things that you can easily do.
When you wake up in the morning, your body is dehydrated. Coffee first thing dehydrates you even more. Start your morning with a full glass of cold water. Add some lemon for a tangy wake up call.
If you’re used to working out at night, try switching to the morning. It’s easier to exercise when you’re not already beaten down by your workday and it helps get blood flowing to your whole body – including your brain.
You need to fill your tank. If you skip breakfast, you start your day out running on fumes. You need protein for your brain and carbs for energy, so eat.
Take a few minutes to just think about anything at all. It doesn’t have to be work or family related. It doesn’t have to be serious. Just let your mind wander for a while and see where it takes you. Some of the best ideas are born out of unstructured “think time”.
Sort of like thinking, but with deep breathing added in. Meditation has you focus on your body, balance, your breath and your thoughts. Most people think you have to chant a mantra and focus on some specific thought, but the truth is it doesn’t matter where your thoughts go.
Go back over your week, month and year and take stock of where you are. Are you where you wanted to be? Where you planned to be? What went right? What went wrong?
What do you want to accomplish today? How will you do it? When will you do it? What will it take to make you say, “This day was a huge success”? Make a plan to get to the end of that successful day.
Even if you’re not a morning person, you need a morning routine.
It will help you start your day with clear intentions, you’ll get more done and you’ll feel less crazed and worn out at the end of the day.
So get started on designing your ritual, but don’t start tomorrow morning.
Start tonight by ditching your phone, tablet, computer and television before bed.
Turn out the lights and get a good night’s sleep.
Crack your morning routine and you’ll crack your business.