Creating and maintaining good morning rituals
Actualizado: 29 de abr de 2020
Back in September last year, I embarked in a little personal project. I named it: Creating And Maintaining Good Morning Rituals. I was hoping to have this final push that would help me set a strong base for my meditation practice and in general, to be more mindful at the beginning of the day, as I do believe that the way to start the morning can have a huge impact in the rest of the day.
For as long as I can remember, I have tried to stick to a stable meditation and mindful routine, only to discover that at some point, my good intentions would be trampled down by different life circumstances like unexpected events, too big of a workload and let’s be honest, even lack of motivation.
Now I can say that this little adventure has a happy ending so far. For the last few months, I have been able to meditate regularly in a very joyful manner, apart from discarding some habits that were hindering my progress in the past.
Here is my recipe to create and maintain good morning rituals:
1. Sit down and think carefully what your goal is
Before you even start trying to change something, you need a clear idea of where you want to arrive. Making a list of the different steps to get there is very helpful. Try to make this list as detailed as possible. If you can clearly visualize the goal you want to achieve and the necessary steps to get there, you’ll have a good foundation to reference to when doubt and complications arise.
In my personal list I added things like ‘meditation’, ‘silence’, ‘hot lemon-ginger’, ‘cleansing ritual’, etc.
2. Add a list of negative things you want to avoid
This part is decisive. We often overlook the little things that get on the way of our success. They might seem like little harmless distractions at first, but in fact, they can have the power to dismantle your whole project. Acknowledging what are the things that are keeping you from reaching your goal, will allow you to see a red flag and correct the direction when the moment comes.
In my to-avoid-list I wrote things like ‘technology devices’, ‘listening or reading the news’ or ‘sitting to work directly’.
3. Marked steps will help you consolidate the routine
When I started my little morning ritual challenge, this part seemed a bit strange at times. I felt that it might not be so relevant to take into account trivial things like how exactly I brushed my teeth. However, in time I realized that this process helped me internalize the routine as something natural. It became unthinkable to not do every little part of a ritual, because then it would feel incomplete. Once you start cutting corners here and there, you are more prone to give up as a whole in the end. Give importance to every single detail in the process.
4. Keep track of your progress
After you have completed the whole ritual, write down what you did and how you did it. At first you will write down everything with a lot of detail and in time, you may want to create generic blocks for several parts of the ritual. When the time comes, this will feel natural.
5. Give yourself space for exceptions
Weekend arrived and you skipped one step, or the order of your ritual was upside down. So what? Remember that you are doing this for yourself. You don’t have to show for anything, to anybody. See the little exception as a mere variation on a bigger picture. Just because you did it differently one day, doesn’t mean you have to give up altogether, or that the other days don’t count.
6. Connect positive thoughts with the rituals
Morning rituals are a wonderful way to stay present. Is there anything more positive than that? With practice, these routines will become such an intrinsic part of yourself, that you will create the perfect conditions to be able to maintain them. At this point, your morning ritual is a treat and not an imposition.
7. Take a moment to sink in
There is no point in doing something just for the sake of doing it. Once it feels like you are forcing something upon yourself and remove the joy out of it, you start taking the steps to quit. Bring meaning to the practice, whatever it is. Feel it as something sacred, however insignificant it might seem at first glance.
8. Allow yourself to make changes
As you become more and more confident in your morning ritual, give yourself space to make changes, as long as they don’t compromise the spirit of the ritual. Life circumstances will change and challenge your morning routines, so being too strict can have the opposite outcome you were looking for.
9. Journal your feelings and impressions
Finally, take a little time to write about the experience. You will see how the morning ritual becomes second nature to you, as you discover how it moves you. Besides, you will have a beautiful memory of the adventure you started.
I hope these ideas inspire you and help you live more mindfully. Don’t hesitate to share your own experience and stay in touch!