Hello! Seiiti Arata. Creating a successful morning ritual is one of the most valuable actions you can take to improve your life.
Today I will share a framework for you to implement and create your own morning ritual. But first I want to explain to you why the morning ritual works so well to improve life in general. The advantage of morning ritual is that it is simple and therefore has a high chance of being put into practice.
Instead of spending hours studying and trying to implement mind-bending productivity and personal development techniques, you can simply adopt a simple idea: Changing your life is nothing more than changing the way you spend your days. And the way you lead your days is greatly influenced by the way you start your days.
A good life is made of good days. And a good day begins with a good morning.
Think about it: A good life is made up of good days. And each day starts with a new morning, when your battery is fully charged and you are fully able to do what needs to be done. So don’t waste the huge potential you have in the morning!
What is wasting your morning potential? It is doing what most people do:
Pick up the phone, read messages, view photos on social networks. Turn on the television and start being bombarded with negative news. Eat foods that are low in nutritional density and disrupt your metabolism, such as sugar in coffee, cereals, bread with margarine. Not to mention the rush caused by having used the snooze function of the alarm about three times and now being super late to leave home.
It does not have to be like that.
You may well decide to start your days in a different way. Start your day in a way that helps you overcome your biggest life challenges.
The key to starting this little revolution in the way you live your life is to adopt a good morning ritual.
The first few minutes are the starting point for you to have a productive day.
If you waste the first few minutes of your morning on mediocre activities, you are likely to have a mediocre day as well. And with the accumulation of days, have a mediocre life, mediocre meaning medium, on the average.
A productive morning routine is a set of predetermined tasks that you choose to do so that your days happen to bring you closer to your biggest goals.
The great secret of extraordinary morning ritual is to get you out of inertia. It is getting you moving early in the day so that all other activities follow the same level of quality. Consistency is a very powerful force that we can use to our advantage.
In concrete terms, the morning ritual should be a kind of script tailored to your living conditions and goals.
This script should be so detailed and clear that if someone else took the script, she would know exactly what to do early in the morning.
A ritual helps you maintain consistency around habits that produce results, putting you on the path to meeting any challenge, generating more clarity, awareness and control over your body and mind. Sounds good? So now write down five steps for you to put in place.
Five steps to setting up a morning ritual
Creating a morning ritual doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you can follow five simple steps to set up your routine:
1. Put your writing ritual on paper
Remember that your morning ritual should be scripted. This script has to be so detailed that if someone else caught it, they would know exactly what to do on waking up.
This means that your extraordinary morning ritual cannot be just in your head. You need to write.
Ideally, this script is not too complex. Choose about five to ten simple activities that you can do within one hour at the beginning of your day.
The purpose of your extraordinary morning ritual is to get into action easily and effortlessly. We want to get moving and in the right direction early in the day.
You can write your ritual on a sheet of paper that is always visible, in a note app on your phone, or even in task management or habits tracking apps.
2. Prepare everything the night before
A successful morning ritual begins with an evening routine that paves the way.
The night before, take a look at your to-do list and select your most important task the next day. What’s the most important thing you can do the next day to get closer to your big goals?
Write down this task and have a genuine intention to accomplish this task the next day.
Also, prepare everything you will need to perform your ritual the next morning.
For example, if you have decided that you are going to exercise in the morning, organise the clothes you are going to wear, the shoes, the music you will listen to, the breakfast ingredients…
Keep in mind that you can wake up with a very different kind of mood and intention than you had when you went to sleep. You can go to sleep well intentioned, but you can wake up with laziness, bad mood or any other obstacle that disturbs your morning ritual. So the less friction there is in the morning, the better.
3. Determine how much sleep you need
To choose what time your morning ritual will begin, you first need to know how many hours of sleep you usually need.
The amount of sleep each person needs varies according to factors such as age, diet, stress and genetic load. Usually this time is between six and eight hours.
All you have to do in this third step is set the time you want to wake up, identify how many hours of sleep you need, and go to bed at a time when you can get that amount of sleep.
For example, if you want to start your morning ritual at six in the morning and need eight hours of sleep, you will have to go to sleep at ten at night.
You can even put a night alarm clock on to get you to bed at the right time. When the alarm rings, prepare everything and go to sleep, avoiding contact with light-emitting electronics, such as mobile or tv screens, and preferring more relaxing activities such as reading a book, drinking chamomile tea or listening to quiet music.
4. Make a commitment to yourself
Once you have set the time for your morning ritual to begin, make a commitment to that time. That is, do not use the snooze function of your alarm clock.
Our sleep works in cycles. If you use the snooze function you may miss the most appropriate time to wake up. The result is that you end up waking up even more tired.
Remember that you made a strategic plan to start a great day with an extraordinary morning ritual. It’s not worth ruining everything for another five minutes lying in bed with a poor sleep.
One hack to get you up without using the snooze function is to use the tip from the book The 5 Second Rule. In a nutshell: Whenever you find yourself procrastinating to do something, do a five-second countdown. Five four three two one. Get out of bed.
Another trick is to use mobile devices or applications that record your sleep and wake you up in the lighter phase of sleep. You can find several of these smart alarm clocks with a simple search on the internet.
Regardless of anything, respect the commitment you made to yourself. Respect yourself. Get up on time and start your big day!
5. Review and refine your ritual
It is very likely that the first version of your morning ritual is not ideal. You may make a plan bigger than what you can accomplish. You may not have time to do everything you planned. Or you may not enjoy doing some of the activities you thought you would like to do.
This is all perfectly normal. The morning ritual is not a rigid thing. On the contrary, it must be flexible and adapt to your routine. Remember that the goal is to make you start the day well and become a more productive, healthy and satisfied person.
Each time you perform your ritual, you will notice improvement points. Simply jot down your script and test these changes until you find the perfect routine for YOU.
Wanting to fit into the ritual of someone famous is not ideal, as each person has their own routine, their own facilities and difficulties.
Even so, if you need some ideas for your routine, here are some suggestions.
Ideas you can adopt for your extraordinary morning ritual
Before I come up with some ideas for your ritual, I will say again that each person’s morning is different. Some of these ideas may make perfect sense to you, while others can look absurd.
Remember that your morning routine should be tailored for you and build motivation to pack your day. If you choose an impossible ritual to do in your daily practice, the effect is just the opposite of the intended one. You will feel defeated early in the day.
Don’t fall into this trap, okay? If you agree, let’s now see some ideas.
Put your phone in airplane mode
If you start your day with the bad habit of reading messages, viewing photos on social networks, or checking emails on your phone, it is a good practice to put your phone in airplane mode when you go to sleep.
By doing so, you can still use your phone as an alarm clock, you can still use some apps, and you still have access to your notes or habits app where you wrote your morning ritual.
But you will not have internet, notifications, social networks. Nothing to distract you. This will allow you to focus on successfully completing your new morning routine.
Pack your clothes and breakfast for the next day
Every decision you make throughout the day wastes some of your energy. So don’t waste energy early in the morning making unnecessary decisions.
When you anticipate such decisions, you gain the advantage and time to devote to your most important tasks.
Specifically regarding diet, you can select the best foods in advance to give you more energy and health. A similar approach to simplifying your morning is to practice intermittent fasting.
Start the day with a glass of water
After spending about eight hours sleeping, your body is certainly not as hydrated as it should be. So a good way to start the day is to drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up to leave your body hydrated and ready for action. If you want some extra flavour and vitamin C, add some squeezed lemon.
There are proven benefits around the habit of giving thanks.
By simply including a gratitude routine in your morning ritual, you can receive benefits such as having more patience, increasing your self-care and alleviating stress symptoms.
To structure this, you can have a paper journal or use the journal app.
Meditation is the most cost-effective habit you can have in life.
With just ten to fifteen minutes a day, you can control anxiety, increase focus, sleep better, have more creativity, lessen body aches, reduce blood pressure, slow brain aging, and improve your memory.
And all these benefits have been scientifically proven. If you need more support, you can use specific meditation apps on your smartphone.
Enjoy the sun
Vitamin D is critical to your well being.
Controlled exposure to the sun, a diet rich in vitamin D foods, and exercise improve the quality of life and help prevent many diseases.
Since it is almost impossible to get enough Vitamin D just through food, we need to “make it”. And this is done by exposing the skin to a sufficient amount of sunlight.
The human body ideally produces about ninety percent of the Vitamin D you need. The other ten percent comes from food.
If you experience problems such as insomnia, moodiness, depression or chronic fatigue, you may simply be deficient in Vitamin D.
So, if possible, add to your morning ritual the habit of exposing yourself to sunlight for fifteen to twenty minutes early in the morning.
Practice physical exercises
The beginning of the day is the best time for you to exercise if your routine allows. You can combine with the previous point and do the exercises outdoors, sunbathing.
See which exercise suits you best and include it in your morning ritual. It can be bodybuilding, running, walking, yoga, swimming.
It can even be a mere ten minutes at home and with body weight if you use short, intense exercise programs like high intensity interval aerobic. The important thing is to start moving.
Take a cold shower
A great way to end your extraordinary morning ritual is to take a cold shower.
According to several scientific studies, taking a cold shower has benefits such as making you more alert, stimulating weight loss, accelerating muscle recovery and reducing stress.
One trick to getting some of these benefits without giving up your warm shower is to take your shower normally and, in the end, change the water temperature to cold and finish the shower with the cold water.
A good morning ritual can change your life.
These are just a few ideas, but you should set up your own ritual, test and improve over time.
Remember to follow the five steps: writing the script, preparing everything the night before, setting your bedtime, making the commitment to wake up on time, and always reviewing and refining the ritual.
That is all. It’s just a predetermined sequence of actions that will take you where you want to go. A simple habit, but one that has the power to change the way you lead your days and thereby change the way you lead your life.
As with any change of habit, it is natural to face difficulties. Sooner or later you will find situations that seem to try to get you out of your ritual.
However, with due persistence, the ritual becomes a habit and willpower is less and less required to maintain the routine.
The best way to persist in your morning ritual until it becomes a habit is to simplify with the small steps you can take, using the time, money, and material conditions you have today.
To make even more sense of your morning ritual, it is ideal that it is part of a larger plan, a plan that will make you have the life you want and deserve to have.
In the Planning Your Life course, we teach you step by step how to build such a plan. You can start creating a plan today that will bring you closer to your biggest life goals by visiting a special personal values class at https://arata.se/planningyourlife