Start your day like a leader, not a zombie
Do you ever feel like a “Walking Dead” zombie hitting your snooze button several times in the morning? You hide under your pillow protecting yourself from all the bologna that lies ahead. If it wasn’t for the coffee aroma, you would never get out of bed. You shower with your eyes closed hoping you rinsed all the shampoo out of your hair. You pick an outfit that you didn’t wear last week (if you can remember anything from last week). You let the dog out. You drink your coffee on your commute while listening to the DJ gossip about Kanye West’s latest outburst. You arrive at your desk, review the calendar and see the fifty emails waiting to devour your soul. You leave the office just as you woke up, a zombie with no major outputs and little left for the family. Sound familiar?
High-Performing Leaders Have Morning Rituals
But what if you design a morning ritual that sets you up for maximum success. The former president, Barack Obama, started his day with a workout/basketball from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on most days (Inc Magazine)? He also only wore blue or gray suits because it was one less decision he had to make in the morning leaving more room for more important decisions. Benjamin Franklin had a three hour morning ritual which was themed with “What good shall I do today?”, (FastCompany). According to UnderArmour, professional runners have similar morning rituals; they are early risers, never hit snooze, start with coffee and put on their running shoes.
Why should you care about morning rituals?
Morning rituals create a foundation of stability. They create energy and ground you for the day which allows you to focus on the most important things. There are many benefits to morning rituals such as increased clarity, productivity, confidence, and satisfaction, all of which are characteristics of an Authentic Leader. How do you energize your mind, soul, and body in the morning? What’s your morning routine? I’ve been asked this question and ask my coaching clients this question all the time.
My Morning Ritual
I’ve been experimenting with my morning rituals for over six years now and found a formula that works for me. My morning ritual includes activation of three energy sources: mind, body, and soul. Doing my morning ritual makes me feel like I’ve already accomplished so much before I enter the real world. It gives me a grand perspective on the three most important factors of a great day: how I think, how I feel and how I take action. I feel energized and excited about the day.
1.) Before I open my eyes in the morning, I give gratitude for one thing. Gratitude activates my spirit and emotions. I pick the first thing that comes to mind (sun, family, health, clean sheets, forgiveness). When I first started, 3 out of 7 times it was my bed. Over time my gratitude shifted to a variety of things.
2.) I activate my body by doing cat/cow pose. It creates energy at the core and releases stiffness in the back.
3.) Before my feet hit the floor, I ask myself, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how great of a day do I want to have?” This activates the mind and sets the intention for my day. Having a great day is a choice. It doesn’t happen all by itself.
5.) While I drink my coffee for 20 minutes, I read which activates my mind.
6.) I finish it up with a 3-minute to 20-minute meditation which pulls it all together.
I then move forward with my day by going to the office, hitting the gym or writing a blog.
Your Life xSpearmint: Morning Ritual
I want you to look at your morning rituals like powering up your laptop. You need to activate the hardware (body), software (mind) and security (spirit). If you don’t activate all three, your laptop will not function properly. You are going to design a morning ritual that activates all three energies, preparing you for an amazing day. The order of your rituals does not matter. The important thing is to activate all three before you engage with others.
Step 1: Activate your Mind
Do something that sparks your thinking in a positive way. This can mean setting intentions or exercising your brain power. Setting intentions and powering up your mind brings you clarity. You are making a conscious choice to have a great day. Only you know what a great day looks and feels like. Here are a few ideas to activate your mind: – Use Steve Jobs ritual. Look in the mirror and ask yourself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? – Read something that makes you feel good for 10 minutes – Write down your top three goals in your notebook. – Take 5 -10 minutes to visualize what a great day looks like. Write down one action you will take in the day.
Step 2: Activate your Body
Activate your body means get the blood circulating throughout your body. Stretch and contract muscles. Physical activity increases the feel-good endorphins. Examples: – 10 Minutes of yoga – Go for a run/walk – Go to the gym right after coffee – 10 push-up, 25 squats, and plank for 1 minute
Step 3: Activate your Soul
Activating your soul means tapping into that higher intelligence where you gain insights, inspiration, and purpose. In order to tap into this realm, you need to reduce the noise and make more room for receiving. This is the lever that determines the quality of energy you allow into your day. High-quality energy is typically associated with positive emotions like happiness, gratitude or satisfaction. Do something that reduces the noise and sparks high-quality energy. For example: – Play music when you get ready for work and dance or sing (Happiness) – Meditate (Peace) – Say thanks to someone or something (Gratitude) – Tell someone you love them (Love)
This is something I passionately believe in and find makes an incredible difference in my leadership presence as well as those of my coaching clients.
“Like” the blog article if you learned something or willing to xSpearmint with it.