Every successful person has a unique story. A fascinating patchwork made up of opportunities, intelligence, social skills, hard work, and lucky breaks. Even though the stories may vary from person to person, there is a commonality that nearly all successful people share: a morning ritual.
How we spend our mornings can set the tone for the entire day. When we are rushed or surrounded by chaos, then the day will feel rushed and chaotic. Successful people conquer their mornings and make the day work for them.
Since this seems to be a formula that works, I have compiled the top 5 morning rituals of successful people that you can integrate into your life:
- Start Early
An early start is the closest thing to a surefire way of avoiding a chaotic morning. The early bird not only gets the worm, but it also gets peace and quiet. There are many ways to help train yourself to get out of bed in the morning even when it seems impossible.
- Put the alarm clock across the room so you have to get up to turn it off.
- Drink a full glass of water right after waking up. This will wake your body and give you a short-term energy boost.
- Go to bed earlier. This one will become easier once you start waking up earlier.
Your body, much like a car, needs to be warmed up before it is ready for a day of moving around. Now that you are waking up earlier and giving yourself more time in morning you can move your workout (or start working out) at the beginning of your day. Physical activity will not only give you a boost, but it has been shown to increase brain function – which could come in very handy during those early morning meetings and conference calls.
Just 10 to 15 minutes of activity in the morning is enough to notice a significant improvement in energy and mood.
This one would seem obvious, but I am always amazed by how few people actually eat breakfast and, when they do eat, how it is hardly ever anything nutritious. Just like how exercise is the equivalent of warming up your car, eating a balanced breakfast is the equivalent of putting gas in your car.
Morning meals (your fuel) should consistent mainly of lean protein with just a small amount of carbohydrates, especially if you are eating after exercise. Carbohydrates like bread and flour can weigh you down; while lean proteins like turkey sausage and egg whites help your muscles recuperate while increasing energy levels.
An example of a good breakfast would be: whole wheat English muffin, turkey sausage patty, and egg white with a side of fresh fruit. It is also a good idea to snack on a handful of almonds or some turkey jerky around mid-morning to keep your energy and metabolism up.
I realize your first instinct is to immediately skip over this section because most people view meditation as some hokey spiritual mumbo jumbo as opposed to an effective habit of highly successful people. I am here to tell you that the practice of mindful meditation is definitely not hokey and, according to most truly successful individuals, it is the most important part of their day.
There are a number of phone apps that you can use to guide your meditation (Calm and Headspace are just a couple of examples), but even just sitting quietly for 10 minutes and focusing on your breathing and clearing your mind can be an extraordinarily effective way of relaxing your mind and preparing for the day ahead.
Before I explain, let me just say that I am not going to ask you to write “Dear Diary” or start writing your memoir. Simply take an extra 5 to 10 minutes of your morning to write down all the things in your life you are thankful for and all of the reasons you have to be happy. A gratitude journal sets you in the right frame of mind to go out and achieve your goals with a positive attitude that will attract success.
These are just the top five morning rituals that most successful people have in common. Of course there are many other morning habits that can get your day started off on the right foot. Writing down all of the goals you hope to accomplish that day and reading a self-help book are certainly honorable mentions that should be squeezed into your morning once you have mastered the first, and easily the most difficult, task on our list (it is “Start Early” in case you do not feel like scrolling up).
You will definitely not regret attempting to integrate all, or even just some, of the above suggestions into the start of your day. Stop letting a chaotic morning turn into a chaotic day by emulating the habits of those individuals who are winning the game of life.