How to Build the Best Morning Ritual for the Best Life Ever
Does your morning feel like a race to get out the door the second your alarm goes off? A sleepy haze of ‘where are my keys’ and ‘what the hell do I wear’.... All mixed in with the stress of what the work day might bring.
What if I told you it didn’t have to be like this. That our mornings didn’t have to just be the prelude to our work days. That they could be our time to take back into our own hands. And no, we don’t have to wake up before the birds to get this time back. This all begins with creating the best morning ritual that aligns with your unique life.
There is no one-size-fits all when it comes to your morning. It's also important to note to start small when making changes so you have a higher chance of sticking to them. A study from Colorado State University found that the science behind motivation explains how creating 'tiny habits' will help you achieve your goals in the long run.
What's the Difference Between a Ritual and a Routine?
I find that in most humans, a lot of internal resistance pops-up when we try to cram our lives into a routine instead of mini rituals. Describing our typical morning dance as a 'ritual' gives way to more joy.
A blog post from Ultima puts it best, "a ritual is when you can experience life one moment at a time, with deep intention, using as many of your five senses as possible. To put it another way, a ritual provides energy and enjoyment to your life and is backed with intention and meaning. Rituals are internally motivated, where routines are often externally motivated".
Having the morning coffee becomes a sacred ritual where we get to fill the house with the smell of coffee, nestle with a delicious warm drink in our hands, and we get to sit in silence for a few peaceful moments.
Doesn't that ritual sound so much better than filling up a to-go cup and heading out the door for work?
Here's an example that differentiates the difference between living out a routine and experiencing a daily ritual:
For example: Making the bed
In a routine...
In a routine we make the bed everyday because we feel like that’s the right thing to do. Also our mother told us to do it everyday and now we feel guilty if we don't do it.
In a ritual...
We make our bed because it signals the beginning of a productive day. It also helps our future self when we get to crawl into a cozy bed at the end of the long day. We do things in a ritual because we appreciate the value it adds to our lives.
How do I Build a Morning Ritual?
Here’s a quick checklist you can follow to ensure you set your morning up for success
The night before...
Set up the coffee (or) tea station and have it ready to brew for when you wake up
Put your fully packed bag by the door along with your keys
Set aside an outfit that makes you feel comfortable and confident. There's nothing worse than having to make ten outfit changes while trying to get out the door
Clean the house: Pick up the clutter off the floor so you have a clear path to run out the door
Fill up your emotional support water bottle with ice cold water and pack it in your bag so you can't forget it
Lay out your vitamins, precious plant potions, and functional mushrooms. When they're right in front of you, there's a much higher chance you'll actually remember to take them
Now that we’ve learned the basics to set ourselves up for the best morning of our lives. Let’s talk about how we’re going to fill all this new free time for our greater enjoyment and productivity. Now to note, productivity does not mean work, it means anything other than laying in bed. Anything.
The best morning ritual should aim to nourish your mind, body, and spirit. In this busy culture we live in, it's typical to neglect the importance of tending to these areas of our life. It's time we give into the morning and experience it in a whole new way. A morning of joy and simple pleasure not stress and rush.
How to nourish your mind to be more productive in the morning
Nourishing your mind during your morning ritual primes your brain for the rest of your day. If you want to get a good idea on how your day will go, take a good look at how you spend your mornings. Typically a stressful morning will not lead you to an afternoon of zen. Let’s look at ways we can nourish our mind. Try picking 1-3 out of the list that resonate with you and try incorporating them into your daily life.
Listen to your favorite tunes or plug into a podcast
Incorporate a brain boosting supplement like functional mushrooms, Vitamin D, and/or a fish oil
Work on a crossword puzzle, complete the daily Wordle, read a chapter from your book
Journal: Try stream of consciousness journaling or jot down some things you're thankful for. Putting pen to paper is a great way to connect with ourselves first thing in the morning
Splash some cold water onto your face to clear away the morning grogginess
How to Nourish Your Body to be More Productive in the Morning
The second area we need to nurture is our body. Here are some ways to give some much needed love to your body first thing in the morning to be more productive. And no, you don’t have to complete the iron man challenge by 8 am.
Get a nice biiiig stretch in
Try some intentional breathing exercises (Youtube is your instructor)
Water. Imagine you are the the tin man from the Wizard of Oz. You've gotta oil that machine if you want it to work for you!
Whether or not you're a breakfast person is none of our business but if you could just do us a favor and have a bite of protein we'll get off your back
Get moving. Have a dance party with your dog, talk a walk to the coffee shop, or jog 10 miles. You do you.
How to Nourish Your Spirit to be More Productive in the Morning
Feel the morning sunlight touch your kin and bask in the warmth it brings (good for your sleep)
Do something fun JUST for yourself. Go get that bacon egg & cheese that's been screaming your name and eat in bed. Play video games while you drink your coffee. This is your time to spend however you want.
Take time to be still and move slow. Watch the birds out your window. Watch the golden sunlight creep into your room. Savor these last moments before you have to go out into the world.
Try a meditation
Make your bed. Not because your mom always used to tell you to do it, but because it makes you feel good
In conclusion, building a morning ritual can be a powerful tool for increasing productivity and achieving your goals. By taking the time to establish a routine that aligns with your values and priorities, you can set yourself up for success each day. Some key tips for building a morning ritual include doing things that bring pleasure and benefit to your future self, prioritizing sleep and relaxation the night before, and incorporating activities like meditation, exercise, and healthy eating into your routine. While it may take some trial and error to find the right combination of activities for you, the benefits of a morning ritual can be significant, including increased focus, motivation, and energy throughout the day. So why not give it a try? By committing to a morning ritual, you can start your day with intention and purpose and take a step towards achieving your goals.