Fancy becoming a better version of you? Do you want to feel unstoppable throughout the day (not just with brief bursts of energy)? Do you want to achieve more than you ever imagined possible?
While these may sound like wild claims, there is one thing you can start implementing that will incrementally change your life until you become a new you.
A motivational morning routine
Sounds too easy to be true, right? Or perhaps you’re thinking, “That’s not for me, I’m not a morning person”.
Don’t worry. Most people aren’t naturally “morning people”. You have to train yourself to get used to a morning routine before you can begin to thrive.
That’s why these 5 steps to morning success will have a powerful effect on your life. Follow these to the letter, and you’ll begin to notice the difference within just a day or two.
1) Drink a pint (or half a liter) of water daily
Let’s start with a quick win. The reason most people feel groggy or even unwell, first thing in the morning, is that they’re dehydrated. If you’ve slept through for a good night’s sleep of 7 to 8 hours, your body will be crying out for water. Don’t make it wait. Chug down a whole pint of water when you wake up to give your body that much-needed H2O hit.
You won’t feel better right away, but within 5 to 10 minutes you’ll begin to feel more awake and alert. Use this 5 to 10 minute period to do some light activity such as making your bed, getting your clothes ready, or simply taking a little stroll around your house or garden.
2) Awaken your body with the 5 Tibetan Rites
The 5 Tibetan Rites are a form of yoga that concentrates on a continuous flow of movement to rejuvenate the body. The 5 movements are all reasonably simple to learn and practice, and aim to stretch and awaken the different parts of the body and chakras. You’re supposed to repeat each movement 21 times, but you can build up to this. Start with as many repetitions as you can comfortably do, then add 2 more each week until you reach the 21 target. Once you reach the maximum number of repetitions, it should take around 10 to 15 minutes to complete. For full visual instructions, simply search for “5 Tibetan Rites” on YouTube.
3) Keep a journal
Many people write in a journal last thing in the evening before bed to reflect on the day’s events. While there’s something to be said for this way of keeping a journal, it’s more effective to do it in the morning. Why? Firstly, you’re more likely to do it in the morning compared to the evening when you’re beginning to wind down. Also, you can use it as a way to both reflect on the previous day and also set yourself up for the day ahead.
It’s good to set a loose structure for your journal. Start with a gratitude statement – pick one thing you’re incredibly grateful for in your life and write it down, as well as the reason why you’re so thankful for it. Then write about the previous day’s events and how they affected you emotionally. Writing about your emotions is a good way of processing them and helps you to start the new day with a fresh perspective, rather than letting residual bad feelings build up over days, weeks, or months. Finally, write about your hopes and expectations for the day ahead. This helps you to mentally and emotionally prepare for the day, especially if you have demanding or challenging things ahead.
4) Meditate or pray
You should try and incorporate meditation or prayer (or both) into your morning routine, even if you’re not religious or spiritually-inclined. Just think of it as resting an engine that has been running on high gear for many hours. Even when you sleep, your mind is still working as you dream and process thoughts and emotions. Meditation gives you a chance to rest your mind and also to become in touch with the present moment. Contrary to what many people think, meditation should be an alert practice. If you feel like you’re falling asleep while doing it, you’re likely too tired and should try to get more sleep through the night.
The Buddhist practice of meditating on your breath, the rhythmic inhalations and exhalations, can be a great place to start. Alternatively, light a candle and meditate on the flame. Try to think of nothing else but the flame, how it flickers, how it burns brightly. If other thoughts enter your mind, just let them pass through, like clouds drifting across the sky. Don’t try to force them out, just surrender to the thought, then let it go and try to get back to a focused state.
This final step is designed to set you up nicely for the day, whether you have a day’s work ahead or some more leisurely activities. The idea of affirmations is to help you to be your best self. We are all a mixture of good and evil, worry and serenity, caring and care-free, mindfulness and mindlessness.
The goal of repeating some prepared affirmations (usually at least three) to yourself is to channel the higher self, the part of you that displays your better characteristics. Make sure they are personal to you, and you repeat each one out loud to yourself at least five times, preferably in front of the mirror.
Try to focus on things you want to improve, so if you’re naturally an impatient person, try saying something like, “I’m a patient person. I don’t get upset at delays or minor inconveniences. I realize that I can’t control every situation and will remain patient and calm.”
You will start to feel great shortly after beginning a positive morning routine like this. But you’ll quickly get used to this feeling. Then you may think to yourself, “Do I really need to do all these things every morning?”
The trick to staying motivated is to make it a habit. You don’t question whether you should brush your teeth in the morning, do you? You know it’s good for you, and you know the consequence of not doing it consistently.
Apply the same principle to your morning routine. Remind yourself daily of how good it is for you, how much healthier and calmer you feel. Also, remind yourself of the consequences of not following it – more stress, less healthy, unhappier, etc. Conventional wisdom says that once you’ve done something for 90 days or more, it becomes an ingrained habit, so keep going for the next three months and see how much better you feel.