Have you heard of Clocky, the alarm clock that leaps off your nightstand after you hit snooze twice and rolls around until you chase it down and turn it off? (I’m not kidding!) That thing is designed for people like me – night owls who would really prefer to wake naturally at noon, but still want to be part of society and therefore get up earlier.
Once I manage to stop hitting snooze, I usually promptly check my email. I know this is considered to be one of the worst possible ways to start a day. I also know that (theoretically) starting your day ‘right’ can set the tone for the whole day. So this week I’m challenging myself – and you, if you’re game – to switch it up and try a positive morning routine.
Because I’m really not a morning person, my goal for a morning ritual is ten minutes, max. In order to motivate myself to actually do this, I’m promising here that I will be back every day this week, leaving a comment on what I tried for my morning routine and how it went. (If you don’t see any comments from me, feel free to give me crap about it at [email protected]!)
Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/ freedigitalphotos.net
Here’s some ideas to try this week:
Julia Cameron’s famous morning practice from The Artist’s Way: write three pages, stream of consciousness, longhand first thing in the morning. (On the rare occasion that I have practiced this, I can say firsthand it’s amazing.) It’s almost a form of meditation – you get all of your rambling, crappy thinking out on the page – and then throw it away. This is not meant to be a journal – get rid of it once you’re done.
Write out a page – or just three things – for which you feel genuine gratitude. I have done this in the evening, and it’s awesome. I can’t see any reason it wouldn’t be awesome in the morning too.
Go for a ten to twenty minute walk first thing. Supposedly this helps to clear you head and energizes you. (I wouldn’t know! The only time I came close to this is back when I was smoking and walking, and I don’t really think it counts.)
If you’re not comfortable just sitting still and observing your breath, you might want to try a guided meditation. I really like this one on YouTube. I also have several MP3s in my free library for you try – sign up below for instant access.
Want to try something different? Try leaving out crayons and paper the night before and just allowing yourself to doodle for five to ten minutes in order to relax and allow your creativity to flow.
T-Tapp Hoe Downs
Three minutes of anaerobic exercise that still gets your heart pumping and, according to Teresa Tapp, integrates your right and left brain. (It certainly feels true, try it!) As a bonus, this is supposed to be carb-busting, but the reason I’m including it here is because it makes me feel really good. Teresa has a free demo of it on YouTube here.
Wake up with a yoga routine – sun salutations are a series of poses, done in succession, that warm up the whole body. You could start out with three salutations, and work your way up to ten or more (depending on your time limit.) You can easily find a great YouTube demo of these. I like this one.
Pick the three things you are going to focus on today. Picking only three helps to prioritize and eliminate distractions. As a bonus, there is some hope of you actually doing all three things, creating a great sense of completion and accomplishment.
Design Your Day
Spend five minutes writing or just saying out loud what you plan to create that day, how you intend to show up in the world, and the top three feelings you’d like to experience throughout the day.
Are you ready to join me in the morning ritual challenge? Leave a comment announcing what you’re willing to try tomorrow, and then come back and tell us you did it! (Public accountability never hurts!)