Why having a morning ritual will make you happier
I realize as you read this you’ve already self-selected yourself as either:
A. I’m a morning person and this is going to add more awesome to my mornings!
B. I hate morning so she better have something really good to say or I’m going back to bed…
Regardless of if you are an ‘A’ or a ‘B’ I promise to deliver info that will make the rest of your day better whether you wake up at 5am or 11am.
I’ll admit to being a morning person.
Not only do I like to be an early riser, I’m usually pretty happy in the morning and tend to be productive. However, when my husband works nights his morning happens sometime around four in the afternoon. It took us a while to work this out. Not only is he not a morning person, he’s certainly not a morning person late in the afternoon after being awake all night. He would say, “I’m just getting up and you’re going full speed in your day, just give me some space.”
This past year I’ve been in a mastermind group with some wonderful woman. A few months back Amber, who is a rock star financial guru, made a comment about how she had started the habit of having a ‘golden hour’ in the morning. She explained it a bit and now that I’ve been using it the last couple months I feel like I’ve witnessed enough positive results that I can share this – I’m confident that what I’m sharing will create a powerful shift in your life.
Amber learned about the ‘golden hour’ from a book she read, and she explained it as: 20 minutes of journaling, 20 minutes of reading and 20 minutes of meditation. I was immediately sold. This ‘golden hour’ included the exact three things I always say I want more of in my life. Yes, sign me up!
Before this my mornings were a random combination of some journaling, checking email and/or facebook, maybe writing a blog, or setting up some social media posts for the day. Meh… pretty unintentional, and unproductive to be honest.
With it being summer (read: don’t have to get the kid out the door to school) I felt like I could try this ‘golden hour’ thing. So I started using the 20/20/20 method. Here’s what I learned:
- Journaling for a full 20 minutes was often as hard as meditating for 20 minutes!
- The time flew by. Before I knew it an hour was over.
- Reading was always the easiest and I always wanted more of that time.
- I learned how different the quality of my mind was each day because I was intentionally checking in with it. Some days’ meditation came easy, others… not so much!
- I felt fully grounded and ‘awake’ on the days I did it AND
- I was more productive with less anxiety… booyah!
But here was my biggest take away…
It’s the consistency of the ritual, not the exact time of each that made the difference. There are some days in my life that I don’t have 60 minutes in the morning (I know you understand that!). Three of my running buddies want to run before 6:00am. I won’t bore you with the math, but the golden hour isn’t happening if I have to run at 5:00am.
On days where I didn’t have an hour I played with different versions. Sometimes 10/10/10, sometimes 15/15/15…. And, yes even 5/5/5. And that’s where the biggest a-ha happened!
It didn’t matter what the ‘dose’ was the effect was the same. Regardless of whether it was a ‘golden hour’ or a ‘golden fifteen’, I felt more grounded in mind, body and spirit. It’s like washing the widows on our internal house.
It allows us to see clearly using our own true self, instead of dust and dirt of the outside world. Feeling connected to our own true self and being clear on what we need in the present moment is the key to living a fulfilled life. If you’ve taken the ‘Conscious Clarity’ workshop then you’re familiar with what powerful things shift when we get clear on what our heart & soul desires in order for us to live in alignment with the most true version of ourselves. (Click here for more info on that workshop)
Time for you to take action!
Choose a day in the next week that you can commit to creating your version of a ‘golden hour’ for a full seven days. Remember, the magic is not in the length but in the consistency.
How to set yourself up for success:
- If you’ve never done anything like this before I would encourage you to start small…. Very small – like five minutes (or less) of each segment. Especially if you are someone who has the mindset you will never change, you always fail, or other self-deprecating self-talk. Prove to yourself you can do this by focusing on simply doing it, not doing it ‘perfectly’
- Be more committed to the consistency than the time of day. Maybe your ‘morning ritual’ happens before bed or at your desk during lunch or between meeting.
- If you miss a day, just get right back to it the next. You are still a radiant person. I’ve missed days and I’m still a good person!
- Don’t buy an expensive journal, use a fifty cent school notebook from the drug store. Although I love aesthetics and beautiful journals as much as the next girl – again be committed to the process, don’t use the excuse of having to buy a new journal to procrastinate putting this off. The magic comes from within you – not from what you can buy.
- Do read a book that helps you reflect. No ‘Shades of Grey’ or Danielle Steele novels. Click HERE for a list of my favorite books.
- Don’t make meditation hard. Initially your mind will run around like a puppy at a dog park – enjoy the ride and don’t judge it. Simply say, “wow look at my mind run around!”, and come back to your breath.
Ok, I can’t wait for you to try this transformative habit.