You start every day with the best of intentions. Within seconds, your determination to have a productive day vanishes at the sound of a blaring alarm clock.
You drag yourself out of bed, and reluctantly stumble through your morning. You open your email, and the downhill slide begins. The minutes turn into hours, and the day is done before you know it.
You look back at the day and wonder: what did I accomplish today? Where did the time go? Why didn’t I manage my time better?
You need a ritual that sets you up for success. Each morning, thousands of thoughts compete for your attention. One email reminds you of something, which reminds you of something else.
Before you know it, you find your day spiraling out of control. You spend every minute reacting, instead of living on purpose and accomplishing what’s important to you.
Today, let’s set up a morning ritual that puts you back in the driver’s seat of your life, where you belong.
What does a ritual look like?
Ever watch athletes when they come to the plate, take the field, or get ready to shoot a free throw?
World-class athletes understand the power of a ritual. At the free throw line, a shooter may motion with his hand, practicing the shot in the air. He dribbles twice, and then he shoots.
Some people call it superstition. It’s actually a ritual that trains the shooter’s brain to perform on command. Wave, dribble, dribble, shoot… nothing but net.
You can experience this same certainty every day by creating a routine you follow every morning. Train your brain to start each day with unstoppable momentum.
Your ritual starts the day before
What does a championship ritual look like? It starts the day before. Before you leave the office today, think about the projects you have going.
What’s the most important thing you need to accomplish tomorrow? Write that down. What’s second? Third? Write those down, too.
When you arrive tomorrow, you’ll hit the ground running. You decided your focus before the emails, worries, and distractions crowded out the important stuff.
Get to bed early enough to get a full night’s rest. When you skimp on sleep, you don’t give yourself a fighting chance the next day. Well rested, you’ll perform better and make better decisions.
Before bed, get everything done that you can. Prepare your lunch. Lay your clothes out. Find your car keys, so you’re not frazzled before you leave the house.
That way, you can start your morning at a relaxing pace that feels great.
How to set up your own personal morning ritual
What works best for you won’t work for everyone. But here are a few ideas to get you thinking, as you decide what to include:
- Drink water
- Eat a healthy breakfast
- Write in a journal, or list things you’re grateful for
- Spend a few minutes with your family
- Go for an energizing walk or run
How to make your ritual work for you
To develop your own personal ritual, ask yourself: “What would make my day easier? What hassles do I face in the morning, and what can I do to ease the pressure?”
Finally, start small. Start with 1-2 changes to your morning routine that help you to feel more productive. Add a small change each week, until you’re satisfied that your routine supports your success.
Start your day with a smile and unstoppable momentum. What changes will you make tomorrow morning, to start your day on your terms? Make tomorrow count with a morning ritual that makes productivity automatic.
by Jesse Lanclos