Good morning sunshine! 🌞
Whatever we do first thing in the morning sets the tone for our entire day. So it’s important to start off in a positive way.
Not only that but establishing good morning habits means you’re more likely to make healthy choices throughout the day.
“Win the morning, win the day,” Tim Ferris
If having a morning routine is an essential for the most successful 1% of people in the planet then why not give it a try?
Imagine this. You get up in the morning knowing that you’re going to step straight into your morning routine. That means you don’t need to make a single decision first thing. Not only does that help ease you into the day, but you can save that brain power for when you need it later in the day.
Each day we only have a certain amount of willpower. That willpower is strongest when we waken and lessens as the day goes on. Ah… so that’s why I’m more inclined to demolish the family size chocolate bar at night-time. It’s because my willpower reserves are depleted! 🍫😋
When I follow my full routine, it takes less than an hour. Under an hour and I feel more grounded, focused, centred and it clears my mind for the day ahead.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always do all of it. But I always do some of it. When I first waken, I list three things I’m grateful for before I get out of bed. Even if one of those is just being thankful for my warm, comfy bed.
The most important thing is that you choose to introduce what will suit you. That way you’re more likely to stick to practice long term and reap the benefits. So here are some of the options you might choose from to start your day as you mean to continue.
Rising Ritual Daily Practice Options
Silence allows your body to wake up slowly and naturally, easing you into the day. It helps you to centre emotionally and brings you a sense of calm. You don’t have to sit and do absolutely nothing while you’re silent. Sometimes my silent time is my walking time. I try to avoid thinking about the day ahead while I’m walking each morning. In fact, I try to avoid thinking too much at all. I allow myself to be fully present and enjoy the sights and sounds.
Sometimes I’ll have my moments of silence back on the balcony with my coffee.
Meditation helps focus, concentration, mental health.
Sitting in meditation has never been very achievable or enjoyable for me. I’m a chronic overthinker, my mind is always racing. I spend most of the time wondering when it will be over or making lists and plans for the day ahead!
For me, daily pranayama (breathing exercises) and yoga practice are my best forms of meditation. And walking meditation is the best! I practice being fully present on my morning walks.
Gratitude and appreciation is the key to happiness.
Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy — because we will always want to have something else or something more. ~ Br. David Steindl-Rast
Many people are on a lifelong search for happiness.
When I get this, have that, reach that destination or key moment in my life, I will be happy. But when you get there, you will start searching for the next thing. I believe that happiness is now, that there is happiness to be found in small moments. Gratitude is a choice to start the day with a positive mindset and recognition of the good things that are already in our lives. Practicing gratitude helps you replace negative thoughts with good thoughts and stops you living in a place of ‘lack’ and move into a zone of abundance.
Gratitude is a choice. We can choose to be grateful or we can allow ourselves to be ungrateful. It’s choosing to recognise the value that’s already in your life.
Positive affirmations are statements that help you overcome or steer away from negative thoughts. Positive Psychology explains the psychological theory and neuroscience behind this powerful practice. 🙏🏼Visualisation Visualisation is a technique to manifest your goals and desired outcomes.
If it’s a new concept to you, I know it sounds wacky but it’s widely practiced by super successful people. Jack Canfield explains it brilliantly here.
Take a moment to set an intention for the day ahead. Intentions can be whatever you want them to be. Think of them as a roadmap for your day. Try to focus on the positive and make it uplifting. For example, if you’ve been feeling stressed, rather than setting an intention of “I will overcome this stress today”, instead use “Today I will find peace and calm”. Using the negative word will have the opposite of the desired effect, reminding you throughout the day that you’re stressed. Once you’re practiced at this, it’s good to stop at several points during the day to remind yourself of the daily intention.
Pranayama is a yoga practice of focussing on your breath, essentially some breathing exercises. The goal is to connect your body and mind, boosting physical and mental wellness.
I light a scented candle or burn oils and warm a few drops of essential oils in my palms to inhale while breathing. Gorgeous start to the day.
Spiritual reading was recommended to me by my ayurvedic therapist as part of my daily practice.
Reading just a page or a chapter each day helps me pick up a ‘thought for the day’, giving me something new to consider and lots to learn. Sometimes I open a book randomly and see where it opens, believing it will guide me to what I need to know that day.
My journaling encompasses almost all of these practices. It’s a daily checklist that guides me through each step.
I also practice free writing, letting the pen flow wherever it takes me. If something is troubling me, I write through it. If good things are happening, I like to capture those too.
Journaling helps clear my mind, organise my thoughts, capture ideas, reflect, make decisions, prioritise, plan and gain new perspectives.
Yoga gently wakens up your body and muscles. It’s good to relax your mind and nervous system, prepare your body for digestion and gently rouse your circulation immune system for the day ahead.
🙏🏼A walk in nature
If I only did one thing each day this would be it. I can have my silence, be grateful for everything around me and be inspired by nature. It’s good exercise, great to breathe fresh air and I find nature grounding.
🙏🏼Keeping it a tech free / email free zone until a certain time
We spend so much time on our screens. As soon as you check the news, or messages or emails, your mind is racing into the day ahead. Give yourself some time before entering the busyness of the day. It’s good to have a set cut-off time to switch these off at night too.
🙏🏼Mindful coffee / tea / juice / smoothie / lemon water
Sometimes this is when I sit in silence. Sometimes I have a coffee when I journal. But I do it mindfully. Taste it. Smell it. Be present. I literally do wake up and smell the coffee ☕
🐶 Cuddles with the dog
Or is that just me?
MY DAILY PRACTICE ESSENTIALS
I always journal in a LEUCHTTURM1917 and I’ve been using these notebooks for years.
I like the size and it has a hard cover which helps it keep its shape. I carry my journal everywhere and the cover stops the corners of the pages getting dogeared and battered while the notebook is being bounced around in my handbag. It has an elastic fastener, numbered pages and a blank table of contents to help you organise whatever way you like.
These LEUCHTTURM1917 come in every colour under the sun, many different sizes and with plain, ruled, dotted or squared pages. They also have a great range of planners.
I tend to switch between this fancy Metallic Edition Medium (A5) in Silver and I’ve just bought my third A5 Lemon Dotted journal. They may call it lemon but it’s a vibrant yellow which always makes me smile and is never hard to find!
I personally never use journals with ruled pages as my writing is enormous and I find that plain pages allow me to creatively use the pages however I want. Planning, writing, journaling, mind mapping, lists….
I’ve got very distinctive handwriting, which is impossible for anyone but me to read – maybe a good way to keep my musings private if anyone finds my journal.
I’m hooked on these Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens. I’ve been using them for years, always stock up on a pack of 12 and keep them stashed everywhere!
For me, it’s really important to create the right environment for my Daily Practice of yoga, pranayama (breathing) and journaling.
Before I start, I always light a few tealights and a scented candle.
My absolute favourites are these St Eval Tin Candles. They have a wonderful, lasting fragrance but aren’t overpowering. They have some quirky fragrance combinations and come in tealights, pillar candles and diffusers. The diffusers are great, they really seem to last forever.