Oprah Winfrey has one, Ariana Huffington has one, even Richard Branson has one. The morning ritual. It’s the key to surviving stress AND keeping sanity intact. While these icons are clearly running global businesses – surviving a typical mama day and trying to juggle our own hopes and goals, is not much different in terms of its challenges.
So, just like these smart thought leaders, we mamas, more than anyone, need to also kick-start our day with intent and serious ‘tude.
Many people believe that one of the most effective ways of changing our habits and beliefs is through maintaining a morning ritual. Done consistently, a ritual can be one of the most self-empowering activities at your fingertips, offering a sense of calm control where there is chaos.
A morning ritual is so much more than just a routine. A routine is reactive and done without thought; a set of things you HAVE to tick off – brush teeth, drink coffee, drink more coffee. A ritual is proactive and done with intent, where YOU choose the emotion and purpose. ‘What can I do this morning that is good for me?’
Kids can throw a curve ball at the best laid life plans, don’t we know it. But your morning ritual is yours. Non-negotiable. It’s where your actions, beliefs and expectations are encoded into the day. It’s about having a plan and sticking to it; about setting the day up for success.
1 // EXERCISE
The morning is the perfect time to exercise and some of the busiest people in the world have exercise as part of their morning ritual (Barak Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, to name a few). It could be yoga, a walk on the beach, trampolining, or hill sprints. Whatever it is, when it’s part of your morning ritual, it’s a commitment you make to yourself to rise 30 minutes earlier and get that exercise in before you have chance to be distracted.
2 // WRITE DOWN YOUR 3 MOST IMPORTANT TASKS
If you are more of a practical sort, before starting the day write down your three most important tasks for that day. These tasks should be ones that align with your goals, purpose, direction in life, rather than simply being chores. Once defined, aim to accomplish them as early in the day as possible. This helps you to focus your day onto what’s really important and to simplify your life.
3 // MEDITATE
We all know the value of meditation, and rising just 10 minutes earlier to fit in a sitting meditation can make a world of difference to your day. Tuning in and finding a little mindfulness at the beginning of every day will allow to you start your morning with clarity and keep that busy mind in check, leaving you feeling less stressed whatever the day throws at you. Meditation can also release endorphins, giving you a nice energy boost every morning.
4 // GET CREATIVE
The morning is a great time to unleash a little creativity, when the house is quiet and your time is your own. It could be as simple as keeping a journal, pursuing a creative hobby, or start a little project for yourself, this uninterrupted time can be your most productive.
5 // PRACTICE GRATITUDE
If you aren’t a morning person and the thought of hitting the treadmill at 5.00am sparks a cramp, gratitude is a great way to start your day in a positive frame of mind. A simple, yet powerful ritual, gratitude reinforces happiness by shifting focus to the wonderful things – big or small – in your life. Write down three things you are grateful for every morning when you wake up, and see how different you begin to feel each day.
6 // CONNECT WITH YOUR PARTNER
At the end of a busy day, it’s all most parents can do just to collapse into bed, and finding time to connect with a partner is tough (let’s be honest, we all crave our PJs by 9pm!). Waking up earlier to chat about the day (or maybe just some early morning cuddles… mmm) is a simple yet important ritual to introduce into your relationship.
7 // WORK ON YOUR SIDE HUSTLE
Got a burning desire to launch a business of your own? Then maybe your morning ritual is to rise an hour earlier and spend that time working on the business. Get that website updated, schedule your social media posts, use the quiet time to focus and pursue your own passions.