Start your mornings the day before
Have you ever heard about the phrase, "Success is a habit"? Well, it's true.
Have you ever thought about how your morning rituals influence the rest of your day? How the ripple effect of the first ten things you do in the morning impacts the rest of your day?
And also when, where and how you do them being just as important.
The past few months have been really hectic for me (the same as everybody else, I think). But I do not believe in surrendering to the idea of a "busy" life, simply because busy does not automatically equal productive. So something had to change. Now, let me be upfront and honest with you, changing one's self is hard. Changing your mind's attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, preferred comfort and habits are not the same as changing your clothes, car or a job.
Changing my daily rituals was difficult because they were ingrained in me but what I can say though is that morning rituals start the night before. That's the trick! For me, to start seeing a change, it was important that I first defined my daily priorities before aligning them to my goals, I first checked how each was contributing to my everyday successes or failures. So defining my morning rituals meant knowing the activities that influence them and vice versa.
So I started doing the following.
Before I go to bed, I make sure that my gym apparel is on the sofa - I mean everything, socks and undies inside my sneakers and my gym bag has everything I will need. My work clothes are ironed the night before (Credit to my dad for this habit). This may sound elementary to you but I am not sure if you know that one of the main time wasters in the morning is looking for stuff around the house.
The second thing I do the night before is that I prepare material for my heart, mind and spirit - audiobooks (inspirational devotion or bible chapter), motivational videos (these are great to listen to while getting dressed). I read at night and during the day, in the mornings I only listen. These are very important to me because if my heart, mind and spirit are alright, then I am alright and this has an effect on the energy I choose for my attitude that day.
The last thing I do, I write down my to-do list for the day. Some people just go with the flow, I like predictability - because it can be measured. I have observed that the flow is nothing but the current of other people's agendas, if no one around you has an agenda, you will remain stagnant. Thus my list. I follow it, ticking-it-off as the day goes. A to-do list helps me to manage my time a little more effectively. It demystifies "busyness" by ensuring my productivity is defined in simplified tasks. Without a to-do list, I sometimes feel too busy only to realise I am just disorganised.
Growth is nothing but a series of productive habits compounded. So, assuming that you already have a plan for your life or some goals you want to achieve before the end of this month, the year or whenever.
Here's my suggestion, if you want to start paying attention to your morning rituals. Start by monitoring yourself on these three things;
For seven days I want you to just observe the following;
How you spend your time between 05h00 - 12h00 and then 18h00 - 22h00. If you say that you're not a morning person, then what are you? Are you productive at night, why?
Where do you spend your money? Our expenditures are an expression of our mind-sight. In the words of Floyd Mayweather, "Men lie, women lie but the numbers don't lie," so check your bank statements, they will give you an honest opinion about your focus, interests and areas of improvement.
Who have you chosen to associate yourself with? What is the substance of your conversations - do you discuss ideas or people? Are your conversations constructive or critical, optimistic or pessimistic?
At the end of the seven days, measure your observations against your goals. What you find will tell you the truth about what needs to change or improve.
First published 4 July 2019