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Morning Rituals: Setting Yourself Up for Success

Updated: Mar 2

In a meeting with my team last week, I was introduced to a concept called "The Miracle Morning." This popular (but previously unknown to me) concept comes from a book by Hal Elrod. In it, he goes over his method of devoting a portion of your morning to a specific set of tasks aimed at enriching your life. A few members from my team swear by his methods, and I can see why.

As I listened to a presentation going over the steps Mr. Elrod suggests, I found that most of his recommendations are already part of my morning ritual. I don't have a clever name for my method, and it doesn't come with an acronym, but it works for me.

I have nine core elements that are included in my morning every day. If I have more time or if I feel like I need something extra, I also have a few things that I will add in every once in a while.

It may seem intimidating to try to add nine things to your morning, but you can honestly devote just a minute or two to each and still reap the benefits. I work for myself right now, so I have plenty of time in my morning to devote a full hour to my rituals, but that won't be the case for everyone.

If you are still convinced you can't find even one more minute in your day, I recommend you try this fun and crazy exercise that will help you find that precious time you don't think you have but desperately want.

And now, to my morning.

1. Morning pages. As soon as I open my eyes, I reach for my notebook and purple pen and start to write. In these pages, I will sometimes visualize my day or my future. I will make to-do lists if something is pressing on my mind. I will write down my dreams and maybe analyze them for myself. Whatever is going on in my brain, I dump it out on paper.

Read more about why I do this here.

2. Tongue scraping. Our mouths are breeding grounds for bacteria. Overnight, we create an amazing petrie dish that gives us a lot of information when we wake up. I use my stainless steel tongue scraper every morning. It feels great to forcefully remove those toxins. If you're looking at this from a purely dental perspective, tongue scraping helps to: improve your sense of taste; remove bacteria; reduce bad breath.

If you want to dig a little deeper, you can start to think of it from an Ayurvedic perspective. The color and viscosity of the film on your tongue can tell you a lot about what your body needs or has too much of. Here's a good article by Lauren Gernady that gives an easy to understand overview.

3. Meditate. Take a few moments (or much longer) to get silent each morning. While my morning pages are also a meditative practice for me, I also include another period of reflection in my morning ritual. I have been using the Calm app each morning as a good starting off point. I'm a fan of guided meditations. I then allow myself to sit longer in silence if I have time.

If you think you can't meditate or that meditation is not for you, reach out to me. I have some suggestions that will help you get into meditation in a non-traditional way. You don't have to sit cross-legged uncomfortably for hours at a time or stop your brain completely in order to benefit from mindfulness.

4. Express gratitude. Each morning, I make sure to write down at least three things I am grateful for. Sometimes I will do this in my planner; sometimes I will do it in my morning pages. The ability to put positive energy out to the world not only opens you up to receive positivity from the universe, it also allows you to approach your day (and life) with a smile.

5. Make the bed. I never used to be a person who made the bed. I didn't understand the point of putting sheets and a comforter in place just to mess them all up again at night. I have completely shifted my perspective on this.

What does making your bed accomplish?

- a sense of accomplishment. Each time I look at my nicely made bed, I know I've done something. It's visible- right there in front of me. That one accomplishment only propels me to want to achieve even more.

-a feeling of peace and ease. Do you want to go end your day in a state of disarray or be able to drift off into dreamland in a world that is curated to your needs? We can't control much in this world, but we can control the environment we choose to be in. I choose a welcoming bed.

6. Take care of your face. Get yourself a face roller and your favorite serum and allow yourself to take in your own beauty. This isn't completing a task. Yes, you have to wash your face (or at least, you understand that you probably should wash your face). Just because you have to do something, doesn't mean you can't make it something special.

Breathe in. Look at yourself. Smile. Use a nice washcloth. Light a candle. Do what makes you feel great.

I have sensitive skin, so after I cleanse, I like to use this serum from Arbonne's SuperCalm line. Whatever serum you choose, grab your face roller and gently glide it over your skin. Face rolling promotes lymphatic drainage, massages your face, and often reduces puffiness. Some studies even show that it helps with anti-aging. Can't hurt! It also feels great. There are a lot of rollers out there, but I use one made of rose quartz. Rose quartz is said to spread love, and that's exactly what I'm trying to do for myself with this ritual.

7. Affirmations. This isn't something that has come easily for me. I have found it difficult in the past to speak positive things about myself. The thought of saying things in the mirror each morning used to feel not only silly, but terrifying. I got over it, and I'm so glad I did.

While I did work with affirmations in some form, I didn't have a good system for them until I heard about the Miracle Morning. This prompted me to create something that worked for me. I'll just pause here to say that I am so grateful for the people in my life who push me to learn and grow.

Back to the affirmations. I like to keep a hand-written list of affirmations taped to my bathroom wall. I use the same ones for a month at a time, adding things if I feel like I need to. I then peel them off the wall and put them on the bathroom mirror. I speak them aloud while looking myself in the eyes.

If you don't know where to begin with this, here is my current list of affirmations:

-I am worthy of success

-I am worthy of love

-I have everything I need right now

-I am powerful

-I am transforming myself and others

-The universe has my back

8. Get moving. My grandfather would do 100 sit-ups every morning as soon as he got out of bed. He did this until he was in his mid-80's. He was one of the happiest people I knew, and I think part of that had to do with his morning exercise routine.

I practice yoga every day. Sometimes it's in the morning. Sometimes it's in the afternoon with a friend over Zoom. Even if I don't have time for a longer practice, I make sure to stretch in some way first thing in the morning. It might be a few sun salutations or jumping jacks. It might also just be child's pose- low back pain is a real thing, folks.

If you're looking for a short workout you can do each morning, I have a series on YouTube with yoga classes that are 8 minutes or less and accessible for even the most beginner of beginners.

9. Read something. Let it be something that will expand your mind. Some people would say this can't be a piece of fiction, but I beg to differ. There is something to be learned from everything you read, so if poetry or the latest John Grisham is your thing- dive in and let it expand your mind. Just read.

These are my every day items. I also sometimes add in: oil pulling; dry brushing; a warm cup beverage or detox drink.

It also should be noted that some of these things can be done simultaneously. If you don't have time to read and exercise, put on an audiobook or a podcast while you stretch. If you don't have time for your face routine and affirmations, do them at the same time.

Starting your day off with a habitual and ritualistic routine will not just fuel you for the following 24 hours, it can truly transform your life.

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