My alarm goes off at 5:00 AM on weekdays, so I am in bed and on my way to sleep at 10:00 PM. On weekends, I sometimes sleep in as late as 6:30 AM. I set my coffee pot the night before, and I know it is safe to get out of bed as long as I can smell the coffee brewing.
Mindfulness Meditation: For the first fifteen minutes I am awake, I do a mindfulness meditation. I like to use brain wave tracks from iAwake Technologies, but recently a friend of mine told me about an app called Headspace. Headspace walks you through a meditation, which is nice, especially if you have monkey mind (and it’s likely you do).
Affirmations or Incantations or Whatever: I always want to set my mental and emotional state for the day (you do know that you can control this, don’t you?). I have a list of eight affirmations, or incantations, or meditations, or something that I recite every morning. They are all positive, and they all remind me to bring my best self to my endeavors for the day, whatever they happen to be. I’ve made very deliberate choices regarding what infections I allow into my mind, and I use these positive infections to crowd out weaker, disempowering ones.
Journal Entry: I used to only write about what I was grateful for each morning. But now I am writing more and more observations. I always wanted to keep a journal, but it was worthless to me to invest the time since even I can’t read my writing. I use an app called Day One (for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone). This ten minutes kickstarts my writing.
Writing: I have written something like 1.7 million words over the last five years. That wouldn’t have been possible but for the habit of writing every morning when my brain is fresh, and the world hasn’t yet started making demands of my attention. It used to take me an hour to write a post. Now it takes me something closer to 25 minutes. I always let a post sit and edit it later at night, before I post it.
Running: I started running last year, and I now run 6 or 7 days a week. I have a coach, and some days I run more (I ran an hour and forty minutes today), and other days I run less (tomorrow will be 35 minutes). Your physical health is the key to having the energy and vitality to produce results.
These are my morning rituals. What are your rituals?