30 Aug Joe’s Nine Morning Rituals to Improve your Mindset, Productivity and Health
Did you know that most of the world’s most impressive movers and shakers, from world leaders to entertainment kings to sports gods, practice morning rituals to help keep them focused, on track with their goals and to live a better, happier and more productive life?
Morning rituals should start the night before. When you set your alarm set it for five minutes after you want to get up. Before you go to sleep, picture yourself waking up exactly when you want to… before the alarm goes off, leaping out of bed, fresh and excited for a new day.
So here is the routine I follow every weekday, Saturday morning and most Sundays.
Ritual Number 1: Start the day right
Make your bed (and change the world!) I took this from Admiral William H. McRaven who gave an awesome commencement speech at the University of Texas in 2014.
Most days I have to get up an hour and a half earlier than my wife, but on days I’m home I make the bed straight away. Given the time I rise, I practice this on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings.
In the words of McRaven: “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”
Every day I do the following: (this whole routine takes me exactly 1 hour)
Wake up and turn the alarm off before it goes off 3:55am (alarm is set for 4:00am)
Ritual number 2 (4:00am): Drink Water
Drink 1 litre of good quality water with 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan Salt and half a lemon
Ritual Number 3 (4:05am): Breathe!
There are several breathing exercises you can do. I have practiced for a long time Tony Robbins power breathing technique. However, more recently I’ve switched over to doing two rounds of the Wim Hof method. I often follow this up with doing his push up exercise on the third round.
Ritual Number 4 (4:15am): Movement
This is not a big workout but just moving, to change state and increase Chi (energy). I may do one or two rounds of sun salutes or a round of push ups and a round of bodyweight squats. Like I said before, this doesn’t replace a proper workout or getting outside and getting some fresh air; it is just to get the blood pumping and joints moving.
Ritual Number 5 (4:20am): Practice Mindfulness
I spend 15 minutes meditating either unguided or using the Headpsace App. I won’t go too much into the benefits of meditation as they are now unequivocally proven to help our mental health in soooo many ways. For me, meditating everyday has really been a real game changer. I have ADD/ADHD which, as you might not know, gives me thought processes which are highly advantageous at times but left unchecked can also be a hindrance. Mindfulness helps me disassociate, it stills my mind and helps me focus, and at the same time it can also stop me from getting too focused. My productivity definitely suffers on days that I haven’t been able to practice my meditation.
Ritual Number 6 (4:35am): Cold Shower
I’ve had a completely cold shower (no hot tap on at all) every morning for the last two years now. This is great for a number of reasons: it improves discipline, reduces stress, helps sleep patterns, relieves depression, increases alertness, increases heart health, increases immunity, could help with arteriosclerosis, stimulates weight loss, and helps speed up recovery and reduce muscle soreness… and to top it all off it improves your libido. I like to stay under for exactly 4 minutes.
When first starting out you might want to start with the hot tap on and just do 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.
Ritual Number 7 (4:40am): Journal
I use a handwritten journal to do Rituals 8 and 9 (I use a smart Moleskine notebook with Evernote functionality).
Ritual Number 8: Practice Gratitude
In just 21 days you can rewire your brain by practicing a couple of minutes of genuine gratitude every day. I write a minimum of three things that I’m grateful for and spend a minute or two thinking about why I am grateful for each and really engaging with those feelings.
Ritual Number 9: Set your intention for the day
Don’t just let the day happen. Ask yourself, how will you approach the day? “Today I am strong” “Today I shall be focused” “Today I shall be open and non-judgemental.” Say to yourself exactly how you want to be and allow it to sink in. Feel it!
4:50am and I’m off to work, big grin on my face, listening to something positive on a podcast on the way in, such as Robin Sharma, Tony Robbins or Tim Ferriss.
The start of another awesome day!!