5. Let's Talk Routines: Morning Ritual
"A damn good reason to get up is the best alarm clock there is."
Read Time: 4 minutes
This is what it's all about – the damn early morning.
More than just getting up early, this is about to winning at your own game and creating space to focus on what matters.
This is about doing you – the best way you know how.
Having a ritual you follow each morning will help make sure you have a plan to follow and are able to keep out any distractions.
YOUR MORNING RITUAL
Even amidst the temporary grogginess, most people are more productive in the morning (fresh mind / no distractions) and setting a morning ritual will help ensure you can get into your groove, morning after morning.
Having a good system for when you wake up takes the thinking out of it. It will let you start the day right, set the tone for the rest of the day, and build good habits that creep into other areas of your life.
We've got some rules that'll help you design your ritual.
Designing Your Morning Ritual
We’re not just getting up damn early for the hell of it. We're doing it to get the most out of life.
Making sure it’s worth the time, energy, and struggle starts with designing a ritual that pre-dictates what you will do with your time.
Golden Rule: Have something in mind each morning that you know is worth getting out of bed for.
Maybe it's sipping hot coffee and finding some quiet time or maybe it's lifting weights with a friend. Whatever it is, make it something you actually care to do and make it something that’s going to get you out of bed when the alarm clock rings hours before anybody else.
- Make your routine matters to you and isn't what you "think" you should do. It should include stuff you actually want to do.
- Include the check-in, but make sure to shut your phone back off after.
- Feel free to be as unique and creative. This is your space. Create whatever you want out of it.
- Have your Motivation and Muse (see https://www.damnearlydays.com/program/whats-your-summit) readily available for the days you don't want to get up.
- Do not snooze. Ever. Just don't do it. We'll have more on this later.
- Don't include things that you know will become mindless, time-sucking distractions or things that aren't core to what matters to you.
- Don't get caught up in things that feel urgent, but are not important.
Some necessary inclusions:
- A quick win – Include making your bed right away. It's a small, but quick win that sets the foundation and makes getting back into bed more difficult.
- Wake yourself up – Include 5 to 10 reps of something (jumping jacks, dance moves) to wake your body up.
- Become aware – Include at least 2 minutes of mindfulness/meditation. It can be as simple as focusing on your breathing for 2 minutes.
- Re-affirm your vision – Review your goals and remind yourself why you're doing this. Do this daily.
- Explore yourself through journaling – Include some time to journal. Explore your thoughts and emotions.
- Grateful AF – Include some time to write down what you're grateful for. Across the board, gratitude is one of the simplest and most powerful ways to improve your quality of life. Take a few each morning to write down what you're grateful for and why.
Here’s a sample of what a designed morning looks like. Write yours down and keep it close to you. Follow it, step-by-step each day until you know it so well you don't even have to think.
I ended up creating a morning ritual that looks like this:
Alarm goes off at the same time each day. I use an off-number as the brain remembers them better.
Get out of bed, stand up for 60 seconds and stretch, then shut off alarm.
Turn phone off airplane mode and check-in.
Load The Daily Dose for the day and turn phone back on airplane mode.
4:30AM to 5:00AM
Make my bed.
Brush my teeth.
Water – Drink 1 large glass of lemon water.
Coffee – self explanatory, but always high-quality and always bulletproof.
Move – 5 to 10 push-ups to wake my body up, followed by 2 minutes of stretching.
Goals – Read over my goals & why I am doing this. This helps put me in the right headspace.
Gratitude – Write and reflect on what I'm grateful for, for 5 minutes.
5:00AM to 6:00AM
Mediate – Mediate for 5 minutes. Clears my mind and gives me time to reflect before I write.
Write – Write without editing until 5:50AM or at least 500 words.
6:00AM to 6:45AM
Mediate – Mediate for 5 minutes. This clears my mind and transition me from writing to physical movement.
Movement – Switch over to yoga/movement in my apartment gym [most studios don't have 6AM classes around me.
6:45AM to 7:15AM
Get on with my day having already done the two things I really want to do.
The Second Golden Rule: Don't Snooze
As soon as the alarm rings, get out of bed to start your morning – and we mean like actually up, feet on the ground, standing tall.
You will eventually wake up and feel better that you've persevered through morning drowsiness. Hitting snooze is the equivalent of stumbling out of the gate. It's never worth the extra few minutes.
keep your mornings pressure-free.
One thing we tend to lose as adults is the feeling of freedom we had as kids. When we had no sense of schedule, deadlines, goals, or pressure, we were always emotionally available and our imaginations made us feel like anything was possible. I’m not sure when this became “uncool,” but it’s definitely the best way to start your day.
Ask yourself: What are the things you always want to do but never get to do?
Build what you love to do into your morning ritual and don't feel guilty about it! Not only will you start your work day refreshed and motivated, you’re more likely to wake up early when you’re pumped to do so. When you start doing exactly what you want to do in the morning, your attitude toward everything changes and you become better equipped to handle future stress and challenges. You also set the foundation of your entire life, focusing on your priorities first.
From there, everything good flows.