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Shivani Gopal

Shivani Gopal

August 08, 2019
| Career

Own the morning – why morning rituals make you more successful

Have you ever heard the phrase “win the morning; win the day?” Well, this saying has has stuck around ever since serial entrepreneur, Tim Ferriss, claimed that it was the key to his success. Here’s the crazy part – it works. Most people don’t take it seriously because of how bland and simple it sounds. And, it reminds of something our mum would say to us– so there’s that working against it, too. But, the most successful people live by this very simple principle – because time and time again, winning the morning creates a powerful domino effect of success, reduced stress and more productivity.

“It will give you a small sense of pride that will help you complete another task, and another…and another. And, by the end of the day, that one task completed, will have turned into many tasks completed"

Why wining the morning is so powerful

The morning is a special time of day. You’ve just woken up from a relaxing sleep and you’re staring down the possibilities your day may bring. It’s the only time in your day that you truly own, because there’s no incoming requests from work, family or life in general. The morning is yours, so start seeing it that way. When you do, you’ll find that it’s the best time of the day to center yourself and mentally prepare for all the possibilities ahead.

6 ways to win your morning

1. Wake up early

The first step of winning the morning is waking up early. There’s something mentally powerful about waking up early and realizing that no-one else is up, and that you’re ahead. When you wake up early you’ve given yourself the first victory of the day. And, the best part is that you don’t have to do anything besides get out of bed – though it can be harder than it sounds. Waking up early has its own challenges; you have to go to bed early and make sure that you’ve had enough sleep. You have to pre-prepare the things you need for your morning like setting out your clothes and preparing lunches. You don’t want to deal with those kinds of minutia in the morning because it’s your time to focus on winning the day.

2, Make your bed

Making your bed is the second big win in your morning. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and sets the tone for the upcoming challenges in your day. This simple task often gets overlooked because of how unnecessary it seems in the context of all the other stuff you have to do in your day.

Here’s what Navy Seals Admiral William McRaven has to say about making your bed:

“It will give you a small sense of pride that will help you complete another task, and another…and another. And, by the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed also reinforces that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And, if by chance, you have a miserable day; you’ll come home to a bed that is made…And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”

3. Drink some water

In the morning, your body is really dehydrated. That’s why it’s bad to reach for the coffee as your first choice of drink. Coffee gives you a big hit of caffeine to help you feel awake, but it also flushes out your kidneys, leaving you with less fluids in your body. Have a bottle of water ready to go, and reward yourself with a coffee once you’ve finished it. After 8 hours of sleep, the body is in much need of fluids and electrolytes, so mixing your water with a teaspoon of healthy Himalayan pink salt is a great addition. If you don’t like the taste, try adding some fresh lemon juice into the mix to spice up the taste. This will also get some vitamin C into your body.

4. Do some exercise

Movement is an essential part of waking the body and brain up. It’s important to do what you can manage. If you’re an exercise junkie, then try to schedule a solid work out upon waking, but if you’re a light exerciser, a brisk work is more than enough. Exercise primes the body and brain for high performance. Studies show that 20 minutes a day of walking is enough to activate more of your brain, create new neural pathways for memory and learning, drop your stress hormones and boost your metabolism which provides you with more energy.

5. Have some 'you' time

We all know what it feels like to roll out of bed after hitting the snooze button 3 to 4 times, only to be in a tizzy because we are racing against the clock to get to work on time. No one likes mornings like these. Have at least 15 minutes in the morning to yourself where you can think, meditate, journal read or watch something inspirational. This gives you a sense of control and calm and primes you to function from a calm mental state during the day – instead of starting your day feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

6. Plan and strategise your upcoming day

Write down the most important things for your day. Include all your goals and all the things that you want to achieve. Then, plan out the actions steps that will best help you win the day. When you do this every morning, you’re creating a daily blueprint that based on yesterday’s learnings. You’re strategising and tweaking as you go. It’s a great way to grow and improve, as well as to hone your focus toward the important tasks in your day – the ones that will get you the most gains.  

Try doing this with a ‘roles and goals’ concept. This is where you write down your roles in your career and personal life, then tie them to goals and aspirations that you’re aiming for. It’s helps to give you a sense of cause and effect; showing you that there are real gains to be had if you consistently work on your goals.

The morning is an amazing time in the day. If you can own it, you’ll find that the rest of your day becomes more manageable and productive…and days soon lead to weeks, months and years. Owning the morning is really the training ground for owning your life – so start owning it today.

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