Although I’ve been participating in some type of morning ritual for years, I never noticed their popularity until recently. There are plenty of choices as to the type of morning ritual (routine) one subscribes to resulting in a more grounded foundation for your day.
I started a conscious morning ritual over three decades ago. A ritual that definitely laid a great foundation for my life. Morning prayer, meditation and journaling.
Hitting Bottom Turned Me Around
It was recommended by my first sponsor in AA. Having come out of a turbulent situation that included daily blackouts, a life of chaos fueled by behaviors that are night and day from what I do today, the morning ritual laid a foundation for a quality of life I never dreamed would become the norm for me.
Fast forward to today, and morning rituals are still part of what gives me a quality of life that is beyond anything I ever imagined during my days of desperation resulting from out of control drinking.
Desperation Can Work Wonders
My initial willingness to develop a morning routine was based on desperation. The desperation one experiences when they have very little to lose because they’ve pretty much lost it all due to poor choices.
Today, with well over 34 years of sobriety under my belt, my routines and rituals are fueled by inspiration. The inspiration that comes from knowing my thoughts, attitudes, actions and beliefs, create a life that holds amazing experiences.
Experiences I get to watch unfold based on my level of commitment to my morning routines. Although I may not always feel like doing my morning ritual, when I do, my day is more grounded. When I don’t, it’s very evident.
There’s a clear distinction… for me.
Successful People Have a Morning Ritual
What I find most interesting about morning rituals, are the number of successful people who participate in their own morning process.
Here’s a glimpse into my routine. Before retiring for the night, I set my alarm for 4:44 a.m. This assures I will get up with enough time to get very grounded for the day.
As an avid student of life, I’m constantly reading, listening to and watching inspirational books, audios and videos. I’ve been doing this for decades.
A few months ago I came across the works of Hal Elrod, author and creator of The Miracle Morning. It’s amazing the community of people Hal has created with his simple process.
I incorporated his teachings into my morning ritual. In essence, it’s an hour of what he refers to as the SAVERS routine.
Basically, it’s 10 minutes each of…
In a nutshell it is…
- Focused silence. Breathing. Grounding.
- Affirmations that support my goals.
- Visualizing the life I desire.
- The SAVERS exercise is aerobics and later in the day, I do more intense exercise.
- Read something inspirational. I just finished Joel Osteen’s book – Blessed in the Darkness. Now reading The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. Next is The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins.
- Scribing is simply journaling.
The SAVERS process is followed by a minimum of 30 minutes of working on my memoir. By the time I finish SAVERS and working on my memoir, I’ve accomplished quite a bit.
And…the foundation is set for a productive, joyful, gratitude filled day.
It’s Not Always Easy
Do I always feel like hopping out of bed at 4:44 a.m.? No, I don’t. Every so often I succumb to my desire to pull the covers over my head and get a little more shuteye. Yet, I can always tell when I do this, which, by the way, is very infrequent.
The more I see the benefits of a morning ritual, the more I stick with it.
I often have people ask me how to have a better quality of life. When I share with them what I do, often they respond with, “I could never do that.”
And truth be told, if they tell themselves that, they are right.
I hear this a lot around my love of running in the morning. “I would love to do that but I’m not a morning person,” has been said by more people than I can count. Or, “I’m not a runner, so I guess I’ll never get in shape.”
Folks, I’m NOT a runner. I go at a slow, steady pace, but I do it nonetheless.
Whatever you say you want, don’t expect it to just happen. You have to make it happen. It’s really that simple.
Direct is GREAT
What attracted me to The 5 Second Rule and the teachings of Mel Robbins is her direct approach. “If you wait to be motivated, you’ll be waiting a long time. You won’t feel motivated to do what you know you need to do. So you have to force yourself.”
I paraphrased, but that’s the essence of what she is teaching. You have to force yourself. I LOVE how true this is.
People are constantly waiting to be inspired to eat right, exercise, make those all important prospecting calls, work on the book they say they really want to write, clean the house, or even make their bed.
I Could Have Thrown in the Towel
It comes down to how much you want something… or not. When I trained for the sprint triathlon, I had no idea how tough it was going to be the day the tri finally came around. The minute I jumped into the water, I realized it was going to be up to me to not stop. By the time I finished the nearly half mile swim, I was exhausted. And yet, I still had a 13 mile bike ride and 5k run to do.
Sure, I could have thrown in the towel. People would understand. After all, this was my first sprint tri and I am 64. Who would blame a 64 year old woman for giving up? I WOULD!
So I stuck with it. I kept telling myself one more stroke. One more stroke. One more stroke. One more push on the peddle. One more step. After nearly three hours, I crossed the finish line.
Did I win any medals? NO! Not at all. But I won my mind wanting to make me quit. I won my own personal race that came as a result of training for months. I won the battle of the chatter in my mind that I was able to overcome as a result of morning rituals that laid a solid foundation.
The fact is, life is a result of what we do day in and day out. We can definitely skate by and settle for a life of mediocrity or we can push ourselves to see what we are made of.
With my current morning ritual, I’m able to reflect on what I want, what I’ve done, where I’m going and what I’m really made of.
What about you? Are you settling for less than you know you are capable of or are you pushing through your own limitations to create a life you are really amazed, proud and in awe of?
The choice is yours and yours alone. What will your choice be?