"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." -Marcus Aurelius
Is it important to have a morning routine? Well that depends: do you want to have the most successful day possible? How you start each day has a tremendous impact on how successful you are all day long. From your mood to your mode, to how much energy you have, to how creative & productive you are, to how easily you can connect with others, a morning routine sets the tone for your entire day- and, cumulatively, for your life.
Yet, as big of a game-changer as it is, it's not necessarily easy to get (and keep!) it going. Like all worthwhile pursuits, developing a solid and steady morning routine takes effort. In my own experience, I've found that the biggest struggle lies in occasionally getting disconnected from the core purpose of my morning routine: to live my days with clear intention, energy and purpose. I can get distracted by how nice those few extra minutes of sleep will be, or I'll start a movie late into the evening and stay up way past my chosen bedtime, too tired for my power start the following day. I allow much less important interests to take precedence over my interest in maximizing my success each day. As a result, I'm left feeling throughout the entire day just as I do at the start of it- frazzled, disconnected, and rushed.
"Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it." -Richard Whately
And that sucks! But luckily, I found a great solution to my habit of forgetting how important that morning routine really is- I have a 5-minute pep talk with myself.
I begin each day reminding myself in the most powerful way possible why getting up, drinking my lemon water, taking some deep breaths, exercising, practicing gratitude and reading before I get to work matters to me so much. The most powerful way to remember how much starting each day with a solid routine impacts your success goes like this:
- Prepare to make a video. Choose your preference for how to video record yourself. I chose Photo Booth on my laptop. Select whatever device and program makes the most sense for you.
- Clarify your purpose. If you've worked with a coach before, pull out your values, strengths, goal list, and definition of success (or what I call the M.U.D. (my ultimate desire) statement). Otherwise, take some time to reflect on what really matters to you, what strengths you have that you want to put to use to make a difference, what you want to achieve now and in the future, and what being successful means to you. Clarifying these things super effectively takes time and an organized format, but do your best and know you can evolve on them progressively until they reflect your deepest truth.
- Imagine the perfect (and feasible!) morning ritual. Think about how you would like to start your day each day: what kind of morning ritual will prepare you for a day of focused intention, optimism, presence & courage? Will it involve meditation, reading, exercising, having a peaceful breakfast, dancing, walking, journaling? It's up to you! Decide what you would like to do each morning, how much time you will spend, and how you will begin and end it. I begin my ritual sitting quietly on the sofa drinking my tea or coffee. I end it with walking my dogs. What will you do to open and close this precious & powerful time?
- Record your video. Once you've achieved some clarity around the above things, start your video recording, look into the camera and speak to your own heart for up to 3-5 minutes. Yes, it sounds so weird. And I won't lie to you- it is! It feels really weird. But it is also extremely empowering! There is no greater motivator than facing yourself. You may find that you get emotional (I did!). You'll definitely find that you are your own greatest source of wisdom for your own life. Focus on answering these questions:
- What's most important to me right now?
- How do I have to stop getting in my own way?
- What can I do today to support my own growth and success?
- How can I show up fully today- for myself? for others?
- What am I great at and how can I share that more?
- If today is my best kind of day, what will that look like?
- What's the best advice I can give myself right now?
Once you record your video, you will have created the 5-minute morning routine that will change everything- the difference between the outcome of a day begun in intention forming ritual vs. the outcome of day without it is truly everything.
Every morning, before you do anything else, watch the video. I usually get a glass of water or make tea before I watch it. But sometimes I just grab my computer and watch it in bed. Any reluctance to get up and get to fully living my life vanishes after I look into my own eyes and hear my own voice reminding me of what really matters to me and what I know I have to do to be fulfilled, healthy and happy.
Give this 5-minute morning routine a try! It's incredibly effective. And not just to motivate you to get on point for the day, but it also serves as a power tool for deeply internalizing your beautiful vision for your life so that you never forget or disconnect from it. By connecting with yourself on this level every day, you'll be helping yourself to live consciously and progressively evolve into the person you are meant to be.
What do you think? I want to know!
Would you like to increase your self-knowledge and identify what really matters to you and what you're truly capable of? Work with me!