Developing a ritual for your first 30-45 minutes can be the difference between a mediocre life and a motivational one.
The following is my morning ritual that sets me up mentally and emotionally to tackle the day like an athlete. I follow this ritual no matter where I am in the world. Workday, weekend or on holidays.
You should develop a set of rituals that work best for you. For example, some people like to hit the gym first thing in the morning whereas I prefer midday or after work.
- Deep breathing. I start my morning by going outside, barefoot on the grass. I breath in for three seconds, holding it for four and out for five. I do this 5 times. I also set a reminder to do this throughout the day because I find myself shallow breathing in front of my computer. Deep breathing oxygenates your cells and signals your mitochondria to release energy. If you do it with tall stretches it will make you feel even better.
- My morning detox elixir. Drink your first litre of water in the first hour of the day. Dehydration = low energy. Don’t reach for a coffee when you wake up. Go for water instead. It’s cleansing and helps activate your metabolism.
This is my morning elixir recipe that has helped me avoid cold and flu for the past 12 years: Cup of warm/hot water, lemon juice, turmeric and crushed ginger. Sip this during your morning routine before you leave the house.
- Supercharge your central nervous system. I either jog for 15 mins or do five minutes of 100-150 push-ups/squat jumps, followed by a semi-cold shower or a swim.
Yes, it is cold in winter. But the effects of cold water are so invigorating and much more sustainable than caffeine. It really is amazing. Google Tim Ferris who did a body hack on this.
- Meditation is detox for the mind. I suggest you spend 10-15 mins meditating using the Headspace App. This helps you filter out any background noise and helps you zone in on what is important. It also helps you live in the moment for the rest of the day so you can really listen to people.
- Journalling = Clarity. Spend 5 minutes re-reading your goals and your bucket list and then write and visualise what you want to achieve for the day. Not just for work but in all aspects e.g. what you will eat, when you will exercise, and planning your social agenda with family and friends. You should also use the journal to reflect on how you feel if something is bothering you. It helps you witness and process your feelings. We all experience negative emotions. The key is to what you do with them.
- Prepare and pack. The number one reason why people don’t eat healthy or workout is because they are not prepared. Taking 20 minutes to prepare food and workout gear is probably the best thing I do to set my day up. It puts me in control. My prep also includes a liquid breakfast (i.e. superfood smoothie) that I sip throughout my morning. Please email me if you would like the recipe. It contains a powerful combination of nutrients.
- Podcast your commute. Whether I am driving, or on a plane I am always listening to a podcast. For me, it’s the equivalent of reading three books per week. My favourite podcasts are The Tim Ferris Show, TED Talks Business and TED Talks Health. And Comedy Central Stand-Up. There are hundreds more podcasts to choose from.
I hope you use these tips to help you fly through your day. And remember that people who think they have no time to eat well, exercise and recharge will sooner or later have to find time for illness.