Reading as many books as I do and listening to the wide variety of podcasts, there is one common thing I hear from many different successful people. They all have morning rituals. It’s long been said that if you win the morning, you win the day. I am a believer in this and I think you can be to if you’re not already doing it.
It wasn’t long after I bought the first Apple iWatch that I got rid of the alarm clock I had by my bedside for many years. I then started to use my watch, still by my bedside, as my alarm clock. I don’t think I am alone in saying most mornings I would hit the snooze button 2-3 times.
One day I was reading Resisting Happiness by Mathew Kelly where he talked about hitting snooze on your alarm clock. He said this, “The alarm clock goes off. It’s time to get out of bed. This is your first decision of the day. You press the snooze button and roll over. What just happened? Resistance just kicked your butt.” I found this to be an interesting way of looking at whether or not to hit the snooze button. This is the first decision you have for the day and you are putting it off another 9 minutes! I heard something else shortly thereafter on a podcast about moving your alarm clock to a place in the bedroom where you cannot reach it from your bed. For me, it meant moving my iWatch to the other side of the room. Now when it goes off, I have to get out of bed to turn it off. This may be one of the best pieces of advice I can give you if you struggle to get out of bed.
What is great about morning rituals is there is no right or wrong way to do it. Each of us can customize it to what works best for us. For me, I have different rituals for different days of the week.
- My alarm is set for 6am 7 days per week. Yes, even on Saturday and Sundays. Some of my best time is when the house is quiet on a weekend morning and the rest of the family doesn’t wake until later.
- I have 2 big glasses of water as I am getting the kids lunches (listen to podcasts) for school even before I think about making coffee. Drinking a glass of water in the morning after going hours without a sip is a good way to hydrate your body. You may even consider adding lemon to a warm glass of water, as it helps remove toxins from your digestive tract that may have built up overnight, provides a good source of vitamin C, freshens your breath, supports weight loss, and stimulates metabolism and digestion.
- Depending on the day of the week, I either go for a 1.5 (25-26 minutes) mile walk around the neighborhood to get the juices flowing before work, or I will attend 7am Mass. (listening to podcasts while I am walking and while I am driving to/from church)
- This brings me to around 7:30-40, at which time I will read a book, read the daily readings for the Catholic Church, write a blog post, catch up on a few personal emails, check social media, etc. This is also the time I will enjoy my first cup of coffee, which will bring me to about 8am, at which time I head into my home office to start my “work” day.
I can assure you this is an action packed two hours! This morning ritual makes me feel like I am starting my day out with a bang, as opposed to hitting snooze 2-3 times. People often ask me, “how do you find the time to read so much, or listen to podcasts as much as I do?” As you see from above, I take advantage of time to do two things at once. It’s not that hard to do, it just takes some planning on your part.
Another thing I hear from successful people about their morning rituals is meditation. This is something I do not know much about. I have heard some podcasts where people have talked about what they do, but I’m still not there yet. I plan on learning more about how to best go about this. I know that you can start with as little as a few minutes each day and build from there. I hope to provide feedback on this topic as I learn more. I welcome any and all feedback if you are already practicing meditation.
Remember, the beauty of the morning ritual is they are 100% your own. Figure out how best to start your day. Play around with different things. Try to wake up a little earlier each day if that’s been something on your mind to do. Do it in small 15 minute increments. Train yourself slowly and over time you will do it.
At the very least, your morning ritual could be like what Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, did for many years of his life. He would get up, make his bed, shower, and then look himself in the mirror. He’d look himself in the eyes and ask, “If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do today?” If that’s not a powerful way to start the day, I don’t know what is!!