An Improved Morning Ritual

February 11, 2010

Before the holidays I was feeling very focused and energized by my goals for the new year. Lately though, I’ve been feeling a little like I tripped, tumbled and slid all the way into February.

What the heck happened? Though I had taken the time to think about the need for a schedule which also included a personal day, I never really got around to implementing it. Sure, I limited my contract work to set hours for about a week and a half, but next thing I knew, I was bumbling through my days feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and disorganized. Part of the problem is that I’ve been sleeping in later than usual, diving straight into my work day, working out when I can and then plowing into more work. By the time work is over I’m feeling stressed, tense and fussy to the point that I don’t seem to accomplish very much of the things that really matter to me.

What’s the solution? Easy. Figure out my schedule and stick to it. In addition to that I am also implementing a new Morning Ritual. Morning Rituals are great ways to prepare for the day and get your energy where it needs to be. For myself, it also means accomplishing some of the important things I want to do each day like meditation and yoga. These are also things that help calm my stress, settle my mind and energize me for the day ahead.

The Improved Morning Ritual:

1. Wake up and get to it! No more snooze for me… I’ve found there are times when I’ve woken up completely to the first alarm only to wake up groggy after habitually snoozing it many more times. My new ritual will include jumping right out of bed to greet the day!

2. Freshen up. I have fairly oily skin and it’s really only in the mornings. First thing on the list, hit the bathroom to brush my teeth (not a fan of anything smelly including my own morning breath) and wash my face.

3. Breakfast. I almost always wake up hungry unless I’m a little off on my schedule or in a different time zone. Once I’m freshened up it’s time to make some breakfast. I like to start my days with some peanut butter and organic jam on a whole wheat something, usually pita bread. Included in breakfast is my daily vitamins 🙂

4. Journal. While I’m enjoying breakfast I will work on my morning pages. Six pages longhand in my medium sized journal (roughly three 8.5 x 11″ pages). This is my time to reflect on dreams or the previous days events, unload frustrations, focus on priorities and just drain my brain.

5. Meditate. This is a new addition to my morning routine and something I’ve wanted to add for ages. After I’ve drained the brain and quieted the tummy… it’s time to sit and focus on my breathing. Be in the moment, calm my body and prepare for the busy day ahead.

6. Yoga or Pilates. I’m not the most energized morning exerciser, but I recognize the benefits. Working out in the morning sets the tone for the entire day. My metabolism gets moving, my body warms up and I have a much healthier mindset. I would like to start rotating between Yoga and Pilates for at least 30min each morning.

7. Focus and actions for the day. Lately I’ve just been diving into my workload and it is causing stress. I’d like to take a moment to look over my list of goals for this year and pick out three action steps for the day to move forward. This will give me something to look forward to once I’ve conquered the less inspiring work that must be done within my newly set hours.

8. Gym. On the days that I’m not planning to play tennis with the boyfriend or take a class… I will be heading off to the gym. By now I will be warmed up and ready to get my weights or cardio in!

9. Shower. I am so very grateful to be able to shower every day because it is really one of my favorite starts, especially after I’ve gotten my workouts in. Once I’m all cleaned up and ready to go, it’s time to tackle the day!

Do you have a morning or evening ritual? What helps you to prepare for the day ahead?

My writing has moved to Substack!

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