A morning ritual could be the secret to a more productive and satisfying personal and work life. What you do after waking and before going to work or meeting your obligations to others can make a difference in your entire day. It’s a way to practice being in charge of yourself, rather than letting the clock or calendar define your day.
Plenty of high achievers have morning rituals, like Oprah Winfrey, Tony Robbins, Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, and Tim Ferriss. Each follows a morning routine before facing the world . They do it because it gives them time for themselves to think and reflect. Setting aside time for yourself, whether it’s 20 minutes or two hours, might help you too.
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How to Start a Morning Ritual
Owning Your Time
Following a ritual or schedule that you’ve individualized to your own preferences and responsibilities gives you sense of ownership over your time. Even if you have interruptions or make deviations, carving out time for yourself to commit to furthering your goals gives you practice focusing your attention. Learning to focus gives you a tool that increases your productivity for the rest of the day.
Appreciate the Day
How you acknowledge the life you have is as individual as you are, but it’s important to look at your situation daily and be grateful for what has come your way. This gratitude will spill over into your attitude, which forms your approach to almost everything you see and do on a daily basis.
Whether you look out the window and appreciate the beauty of the yard or have some playtime with the kids, being conscious about the good things helps you move forward in a positive direction.
Whether you get up at 5 or noon, it’s important to schedule time to eat a healthy meal. It may not be your conscious preference, but your body needs it. After hours sleeping, blood sugar drops and your body requires an infusion of calories to convert to energy.
Denying it this natural boost of food and nutrition wreaks havoc with its metabolic rate. As a result, the body may go into starvation mode, when it slows itself down to conserve energy. When you finally do eat, your body may conserve those calories instead of burning them.
As long as you eat nutritious food, you’re providing the necessary protein, vitamins and minerals all systems need to perform optimally. Instead of reaching for processed breakfast food, try to include whole grains, healthy proteins, fruits and even vegetables to your morning breakfast lineup.
If a five-mile run doesn’t strike you as a good way to wake up, do things around the house or yard. After hours of rest, your body craves some activity and there’s no better time to stretch than first thing after rising.
Exercise increases your endorphin level, which lowers your pain level, increases your sense of well-being and improves your mood. Starting the workday with natural feel-good hormones gets you off to a good start, especially if you’re managing properties on your own or facing deadlines associated with leasing activity.
Putting It Together
Taking time for yourself before the activities of the day makes its demands might be the ticket to a happier and more balanced life. Craft the time around what’s important to you and you might be able to reap many benefits from this small, but important, investment in yourself.
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