I love the expression “If you win the morning, you win the day.”
I first heard it said on a Tim Ferriss podcast, and then another variation of it at a Tony Robbins event. Every day can be extraordinary if we consciously set that intention through our actions. The creation of key steps combined amounts to a morning ritual. Morning rituals stack the deck in your favor because they plug you into deeper consciousness shortly after waking.
The critical component in creating a morning ritual is to be true to you. Don’t try and mimic others who sound like they have it all figured out. It MUST be enjoyable and something you look forward to doing. I have a knee-jerk aversion to anything with the word “morning” in it. As I mentioned in my Bulletproof Coffee post, I am NOT naturally a morning person. I could sleep til nine happily if I didn’t have children who needed to get to school. Creating a morning routine that works for your schedule and biochemistry is essential. The thought of waking up at 5am makes me anxious and miserable. Most people who share their morning rituals talk about waking up and meditating as the sun rises. Great for them, and no thank you. I look forward to my morning ritual because it works for me.
I wake up between 6:30-45; this is the latest I can sleep and get the kids to school on time. I make my bulletproof coffee while I feed the kids and then put it into a Yeti cup, which I am obsessed with because of their size and functionality. Here it is:
I only drink water with lemon squeezed into it at that time. The kids eat, and I leave the Yeti on my desk before I walk out of the apartment with my son at 7:45. His school is close to our apartment, so I am back home by 8. I then check my phone and return any texts or emails that are a priority or that I must address to clear my headspace. People that say they don’t look at their phones in the mornings don’t have young kids. Next, I make my bed. Then I sit in a comfortable chair in my bedroom or living room. For the next 15-20 mins, I either do Transcendental Meditation or I Prime, which is a Tony Robbins guided meditation. I select which version according to how I feel that particular morning. If my head is noisy and negative, I do TM (growth story about TM to come). If I feel down or tired, Priming gives me the energy and gratitude necessary to shift. Here is the link to the Priming mediation:
Then I take a quick cold shower (not wetting my hair) and listen to “Rise Up” by Andra Day. I highly recommend finding a theme song that you play every day. “Rise Up” makes me feel courageous and expansive. Yes, it’s corny, and it works. To get into the cold shower, I make a few power moves which I describe in Power Moves or Crazy Lady post. Then I sit down at my desk to drink my bulletproof and write. I have found that drinking coffee before meditating prevents me from sinking into a more expansive space, which is why I wait until after to drink it now. It’s around 8:45, and I write for the next 3 hours.
The days that I take on my morning ritual entirely and the ones when I half-ass it are remarkably different. Of course, I don’t always “feel” like doing it, and my AA training becomes invaluable at this juncture. When I first stopped drinking and working with my AA sponsor, she would tell me regularly when I complained that my feelings weren’t facts. If I wanted to see results in my life, I had to put 100% effort into getting sober. She said I needed to develop smart feet that would take me to meetings even when my head didn’t want to go. Day by day, my life started changing because I went to AA meetings, called my sponsor, and read the literature- no matter what. These were all simple action steps that done daily created enormous change in my mental state and life. I view my morning ritual the same way that I did my early sobriety, it’s a no matter what. When I am traveling or have an early start to my day, I do an abbreviated version that still gives me a boost.
Great days add up to great years and produce great lives. Thirty minutes is well worth this equation.