We, humans, are funny creatures. We walk around in malaise unaware of the real impact our daily habits, behaviours and actions have on our lives.
Our ‘busy’ lives see us wake in the morning, hit snooze a few times, go straight back into an induced comma (it's a sleep cycle thing, and I will post about this another time), and eventually roll out of bed half dead and going into our day thinking - fuck!
Well, that is very likely to be your story if you do not have an effective evening and morning 'ritual'.
In this post, I am going to focus on the morning ritual first. A daily priming exercise that can set you on a path for a smooth day. It also massively reduces our stress response and potential anxiety we can carry into our morning.
Starting your day with a morning ritual sets off a 'domino effect'.
Last year I listened to a fascinating podcast on the power of making your bed. It seemed like such a trivial thing, why not just throw the duvet up and 'tada', I'm done??
Well, here's the magic. The act of making your bed sets off the domino effect mentioned above. It's your first win of the day, your first task ticked off and your first 'productive' habit completed. It then paves the way for you to build momentum, in turn giving you your first release of dopamine (Happy drug) and setting the platform for the day.
So what might a morning routine look like?
The great thing with this is you can experiment and make this your own. I like the idea of experimenting until you find something that works for you. Then the next step is simple, the repetitive, daily, 'rinse and repeat'.
As an example, here is my morning ritual.
5:30 am - Wake
5:35 am - Dream Journal (A great to practice if you delving into the subconscious)
5:45 am - Shower with 30sec cold exposure (Great way to wake up and has a host of benefits - again, another article)
6:00 am - Make the bed
6:05 am - Do 20 push ups, meditation and state priming (Geek stuff)
6:25 am - Morning citrus 'cleanse' - either lemon water or Haley's concoction of ginger, turmeric, lemon and filtered water
6:30 am - First coffee and ready to tackle my day.
Times can slide if I;
a. Have a late night
b. Have an inadequate sleep for some reason
c. Some random spanner gets thrown in the works
I use a cool little app called Habitify, which I use as a checklist and progress metric and find helpful for cementing my rituals.
I don't aim for perfection; I just aim for progress and consistency.
As a closing note, I have been following this practice consistently for the last three months, and it is amazing how much it has positively impacted my life.
Your results on this programme simply come down to how consistently you repeat positive behaviours.
Make this your mantra.