Get up and create. Save the consuming for later.
You might have heard that making a list is a good thing. And, nothing ever gets done until we take action to make it happen. However, if you are like me, there are multiple things in my day that get in the way of accomplishing the things I set out to do. My intent is good, but there are so many distractions throughout the day that can take me from success to a plain Jane mess.
If you are by nature the productive type, you have likely taken action on your sweet list of to-dos more times than not. Perhaps you are the procrastinator that doesn’t make a list, completely wings it, and waits until the last minute to produce the thing you promised to produce while getting by in life by the skin of your teeth. Or, maybe you keep those ideas in your head, forget about them until someone else does it, and bite your tongue again and again with regret for not taking action.
We have all found ourselves in one or all of these categories at some point in our life. Sometimes we may even teeter between them throughout the day. Wherever you are on the taking action spectrum, I wanted to share one powerful thing you can do to tune into and spread the awesomesauce into your day.
Start a morning ritual. It’s good for your brain.
Yep, that’s it. Wake up and give yourself some time to get centered and grounded. Get up and start your day with you first. The hustle and bustle of the day will get you if you don’t get it first.
So what does a morning ritual look like?
Each person’s morning ritual will vary depending on your unique needs, but there are some basics that are important to include. I’m going to list them here with a brief explanation.
~ No phones
Don’t crowd your brain with information upon getting up. Let your phone sleep as you get yourself mentally prepared for the day. Your brain will be attracted to the immediate feedback that our phones give us. Don’t get caught in the phone trap. Save it for later once you’ve organized your day.
~ Drink some warm lemon water
Drinking warm lemon water gives our digestive system a good boost and lemons are packed with Vitamin C and great detoxifying elements. Plus, our brains and bodies love water!
~ Make a list/plan
Plan your day. Write down the things you want to accomplish for the day. The list doesn’t have to be your life plan or even your yearly plan, but make it feasible. Focus on 3-7 things you want accomplish. Then get busy doing it.
Move around a bit. You don’t have to make this your full-fledged workout, though you can. I usually do my morning yoga practice during my morning ritual and get my cardio in the afternoon after work. Moving for 10-15 minutes is great. If you have more time, go for it.
Grab a journal and start writing. There are a lot of strategies out there, but here are two that I like a lot – stream of consciousness and gratitude journaling. For stream of consciousness you just write what comes to your mind. Don’t think about it. Just write.
Gratitude journaling is a way to incorporate loving-kindness into our lives. Make it simple and then explore more options here if you want. Write 3-5 things each morning you are grateful for. That’s it.
~ Meditate or Contemplate
Sit and focus on your breath for a few minutes. Don’t be scared of this. Your mind is going to go all over the place. It’s supposed to. When that happens just bring your attention back to your breath. Make your breath deep and slow. Also, you’ll need a timer. Set it for 3-5 minutes.
~ Eat a nutritious breakfast
It’s vital to give our brain and body the proper nutrients to start the day off right. A good rule of thumb is to eat within two hours of waking (also giving yourself a full 12 hours if possible between dinner the night before and breakfast to fully digest your food). Eat some good whole grains, protein, and fruit packed with antioxidants (think berries here).
For a little extra dose of why starting a morning ritual will help you wake up to success, check out Jim Kwik’s inspiring talk on the power of having a morning ritual. He’s a world expert in speed-reading, memory improvement, and optimal brain performance. Here’s the YouTube link –
Give yourself an hour to get into the right mindset before the hustle and bustle of your day. Break up each of the activities I’ve listed any way you want. Sometimes you may require more meditation/contemplation time and other times you may feel more drawn to spend time writing. But, everything I’ve listed here can be done in an hour. Set a timer for each to make sure you make it through all of them.
Like anything new, take small steps each day to get your morning ritual in place. What matters is that you commit to some action each day. Once you establish a morning ritual, you will no doubt notice big shifts in what you are able to accomplish.
As Kwik reminds us, “Our brains operate on creation, not consumption.”
Have fun tuning into and creating the awesomesauce each day and notice the shifts that make your heart and mind shine a little brighter.
Have an awesomesauce day!