So now that my birthday has passed, it has given me time to reflect deeply on this past year. When I look back on the many, many changes that have taken place, I find there are a couple of newfound routines in my life that have been real game changers. One of which is my morning ritual.
I will fully disclose here, that I have always been a morning person. Never a snooze button hitter! That alarm goes off, and POOF! I am ready to start my day with bells on. Don't get me wrong, of course I want my coffee and me time before sharing that energy with others. Morning is my best time of day. My body is well rested. My head is fresh and clear. And I enjoy prepping myself for a day of endless possibilities and accomplishments. (Even if I only actually get to a few of them. 😉 )
Mornings are twice as magical now that I have a set ritual in place. Over this past year, I have been busy finding what works and what doesn't in my life. Since I was easily able to identify that first thing in the morning is my most prime time, I decided it should be filled with things that will set me up for success. I tinkered around with a few things that I enjoyed in the morning. I estimated a short time frame for each. And I then began to follow a schedule of sorts.
How can you create your own magical morning routine?
I feel compelled to share my magical morning rituals with you in hopes you may be willing to give something similar a try. Starting each day with time set aside specifically and only for you is an act of self-love. Everyone wins when we put our own needs first.
I can already hear what you are saying in your head. You don't have time for this, right? I am here to tell you that is a bunch of bullshit! You and only you are in charge of what you are willing to give your time to. If you want a magical morning, you will make the change. If you normally get up at 7, start making it 6:30. This small sacrifice will actually benefit the hours throughout the rest of your day. And you certainly don't have to start with a huge commitment. Start with whatever is doable for you! Baby steps! Pick one thing.
My personal ritual takes about an hour each day. Yes, that means on a work day my alarm goes off at 5 am. Some people head to the gym for a physical workout. I head to my sacred space for a mental clarity and focus. I faithfully dedicate time for this one hour ritual before even getting into the shower. Disclaimer: This routine didn't come about overnight. It took a couple of months before I found what felt natural for me.
So what does my morning ritual look like?
There are 4 things I do religiously each morning to set my day up for success. I am living proof that these additions can and do make a huge difference in creating peace with the day ahead. The key is adopting them and making a commitment. Remember, repetition creates habits, good or bad. I begin these practices the moment after I let the dogs out and begin the coffee pot.
I meditate first thing. Hear me out before you pass judgement here. I used to have ill feelings toward this word myself. I didn't think it was something for me. Now I know, meditation is for everyone! Me... you.. kids... we can all benefit. And it most definitely doesn't look the same for everyone either. There are so many variations of mediation. It's not just about sitting cross legged on the floor. I wish I could say that I had the stamina to meditate in silence for a long period of time. However, that is not the case at all. I am a busy body and clearing my mind chatter is next to impossible. But... with daily practice I have come a long freaking way. I search out 5-10 minute (quick) guided meditations on sites such as Youtube or Insight Timer. I prefer "guided" ones as it just helps me stay the course when I am listening to someone speak. There is a vast variety of them available out there. They can range from one minute to hours long. Meditation is all about connection to your breath and appreciation of being present in the moment. I turn on my salt lamp and essential oil diffuser and do it right at my desk. Try a few out to find what works best for you! At the end of any meditation, I say a little prayer of thanks as well.
I write in a gratitude journal every single morning. It takes just 5-10 minutes as well. I am currently using Rachel Hollis' Start Today Journal and I freaking love it! I do have to give you a funny little back story here. I ordered it from Target online back at the start of the year and when it arrived I was quite disappointed. Each page was exactly the same! (It is designed this way on purpose.) I thought, "this is boring! I don't want to write the same thing over and over." I carefully placed it back into the packaging and set it aside to return. Fast forward to just a few hours later. I sit down and stumble upon a podcast that came out that day from Marie Forleo (whom I adore!) I press play because I could listen to her speak all day. (Mind you, she is not affiliated or promoting Rachel Hollis in any way.) Her talk that day was about the repetition of goals and affirmations. And how repetition is absolutely necessary to see things through. Coincidence? I think not. You bet I walked right back over to the package and opened that journal up once again. I grabbed my pen and started filling the beginning pages. These are "90 Day" gratitude journals and I am proudly addicted and on my 3rd one!
Pulling an Oracle or Mantra card might be one of my favorite things ever! I get so excited about this part! I have several different decks. There are literally hundreds to choose from out there. Many Oracle cards are based on angels and divinity. But there are also many decks that provide daily mantras and affirmations. The two decks I use the most are Shannon Kaiser's Find Your Happy deck and Sonia Choquette's Ask Your Guides. After spreading the cards out, I simply ask, "What will you have me know, see, say, do, or remember as I go about my day today?" I then choose the one card I am drawn to. A small booklet is included with each deck to tell you it's meaning. I put it on display on my desk to look at and reference throughout the remainder of the day. It is amazing how spot on these cards can be! A little reminder or dose of reality, delivered just for you. 💌
I end my morning ritual by checking in with or finalizing my daily planner. I have mentioned before that I am a list lady. That means I thrive on scheduled time or at least knowing what lies ahead for the day, even if it is not a workday. I have spent more money than I am willing to admit to find the perfect planner. I have tried just about everything out there. Just recently, I decided to create my own daily planner page. I do use the Happy Planner base for housing my pages. It is disc bound system. I feel the pages are just much easier to manipulate and flip with this kind of binding. I have the monthly calendar view to plot in all appointments and events. I also have the daily planner page (8.5 x 11) that maps out what I have going on for each individual day. This page includes a "must-do" list, my daily mantra written out, an hourly schedule, a spot to pick one fun thing I will do for myself, and a day end gratitude space. These sections were inspired after listening to a podcast with life-coach Kara Lowenthiel on how to "Rock Your Day!" I will include the link below if anyone is interested in purchasing the PDF from my Etsy page. (Less than a dollar!) You can print it out in any size and use whatever binding system works for you.
All of these rituals take anywhere from 45-60 minutes when you factor in coffee and doggy distractions. People often ask me about my positive outlook every day and this is one way I keep myself on track. Even when my daughters were younger and still living at home, I treated myself to sacred quiet time before everyone would wake. It is all about committing time to yourself.
Did anyone catch that I haven't checked my phone or social media AT ALL during this time? There is absolutely NO scrolling through the phone or social media access until these rituals are completed each day. Morning sets the tone for your entire day. I encourage everyone to take the time to cultivate habits and rituals that will benefit all the hours in your day!
*Please share a morning ritual you faithfully do to start your day!
And don't forget to copy and paste this link below or click the sample to download and print my Custom Daily Planner Page to set your day up for success!