Merriam Webster defines ritual as an “act or series of acts regularly repeated in a set precise manner”. Rituals are habits and practices that can be used to anchor us spiritually and emotionally, bring deeper meaning and insight into our lives, and to prepare us mentally to deal with life’s daily ups and downs.
There’s no perfect ritual only that whatever you do it needs to work for you. Here are the four practices that form my powerful morning ritual and that I will continue throughout 2019.
My Powerful Morning Ritual
To get started I made a commitment to myself to get up 30 minutes earlier. Yes, sleep is precious, but so are the hours in our day. I made a tradeoff. And wow, what a difference. So much so, that I’ve been getting up 1 and ½ hours earlier than I used to. It only took about a month to adjust. And yes, I go to bed earlier to make sure I get enough sleep because my body and brain need it to function well.
During my morning routine, I eliminate all distractions. No phone. Just a quiet space.
This is a great way to settle into your own ‘being-ness’ to prepare for the day.
For example, I do a meditation to ground myself and tune into how I’m feeling – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Often I’ll do a simple mindful meditation on the breath to focus my awareness. It’s my way of taking inventory of my ‘state of being’ and helps me bring my mind and body in sync. I find it to be very calming, yet vitalizing too.
This is a great way to bring the heart and mind into alignment and for daily self-direction.
I use it to express what I’m grateful for in my life, things and people I appreciate, declaring affirmations, and setting intentions for my day.
Simply take the old-fashioned pen to paper approach or use an app if you prefer a digital version. (I use Penzu. Another app is Day One. There are a variety of apps on the market.) Whatever works for you.
Although I allow the thoughts to flow, I make sure I am very deliberate in my focus when I write in my journal. I don’t allow negative thoughts in, only positive. We are what we think and you only want to manifest good things.
For example, take a few minutes to jot down what you are grateful for. This is a great way to acknowledge the blessings in your life and work. It helps me shift my focus to a state of “abundance” rather a state of “lack” because what we think and focus on shapes our reality.
Consider what you appreciate about others or things in your life and work. I use it as an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of others, and to focus on the positive aspects of my life versus the negative.
Take some time to affirm who you are and what you believe in. I look for things that have meaning and heart for me, or behaviors and thought patterns to work on cultivating more of, such as being flexible to changes or unexpected events in my day.
Use the journaling time as an internal compass to solidify your intentions. Think about the 3 or 4 most important things you want to focus on that day – personal or work.
Setting intentions by writing them down helps me be more conscious of what is most important. Hopefully with less distraction, while being mindful of the need for being resilient when the day doesn’t go as I planned.
Remember to allow your thoughts to be positive rather than admonishing. No “should have this” or “should have that”. Journaling is a great way to not only be reflective but also proactive and purposeful in what you want to create in your life.
This is ideal to activate the “happy chemicals” in the brain like serotonin and dopamine.
Some form of light physical activity in the morning is generally good for everyone. Take a short walk or hike, do some yoga or just stretching. When combined with the first two activities of grounding and journaling, a light exercise routine uplifts my mood and makes me feel happier.
For me, light exercise lets me ease into my day. I’ll do a gentle style of yoga or stretching. I save the harder core gym work-out for later in the morning because of the time and intensity required.
This is a great way to prime and pump the brain.
I usually read a chapter or two from a variety of books that focus on self-improvement or read a post or two from some of my favorite bloggers/writers. If I’m short on time, I’ll listen to a podcast when I’m at the gym later in the morning to get my learning activity in.
Sometimes I watch a short video on YouTube. Do some research. Or if I’m taking an e-course, I’ll do a module or two as time permits. It’s a great way to jump-start my brain.
Alternatively, you may have some sort of creative outlet that you could incorporate during this time. Maybe you’re an artist, you like to draw or have other creative interests that you could fit into this early morning time.
Bonus Tip: Start each day with a success.
For me, I strive to always make my bed and wash up the breakfast dishes!
I remind myself that we are the “totality of our daily habits”.
In my experience, how I start my day affects how I feel about life, my success, and overall well-being.
Rather than a New Year’s resolution for 2019, think about how you can adapt or incorporate habits and practices for a powerful new morning ritual to start every day in a better way.
What would you like to change? Take the time to explore and experiment. Start slowly as I did. Do what feels right for you and give yourself time to allow a ritual to settle in.
Feel free to change the ritual from time to time. This year I’ll be adding a longer segment for meditation. I find that going into the silence strengthens the connection with my Higher Self ensuring balance, harmony, growth, and daily insight into life’s challenges and opportunities.
What is essential is that you incorporate activities into a morning ritual that best prepare you to be more heart-centered, energized, focused, inspired, and productive for the day.
Give it a try. Start the New Year with a powerful new morning ritual. You’ll be amazed at the results.