From Tim Ferriss, to Tony Robbins, to Elon Musk, pretty much every high performer you know about, has something called a morning ritual. This is usually a series of simple, quick activities that help set you up for a productive and efficient day. For example- a list of Tim Ferriss' activities can be found on the link here (http://www.inc.com/chris-winfield/5-morning-rituals-that-help-you-win-the-day-.html).
I love how Tim puts it- if you can "win the morning- you win the day". This and the evening are usually the only two times during your day that you probably have the most control over. Once the middle of morning hits through late afternoon- life is too choatic to always hope things go according to plan. Take advantage of the control you have over this block of time and set yourself up for a successful performance day!
What rituals should you choose to set you up for a successful morning ritual? You have an example above- but that is what works best for Tim. What works best for you?
Lets keep it to the 4 categories we use for our MNMR weekly posts- Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery.
Here is my list of morning rituals to help me "win the day".
While I don't always get all of these things done- if I were to spend the time it would take me MAX 20 mins. Pretty manageable for creating good habits first thing in the morning.
Like anything else- how you start your day mentally is incredible important. Our mind is the only thing we truly have control over- and this effects how we perceive the world around us. So- instead of waiting for the morning to happen to us- take the bull by the horns and make the morning happen for us.
-Take 2-3 minutes to visualize how you want your day to go. Many high level athletes use visualization techniques to increase performance for upcoming games/competitions. The trick is your brain doesn't know the difference between the real and perceived world (this is why your anxiety can be so powerful!), so by taking control and seeing the perfect day in your head- you are more prepared, focused, and primed to make those things happen for you!
-Remember you IT statement? If not reread my first MNMR blog post here (https://www.haltonperformance.com/single-post/2016/10/24/MNMR-MONDAY--MINDSET). This is your WHY. Your true internal motivation to succeed- the thing that keeps you working hard when all you want is to turn off.
- No better video to explain the benefits of making your bed then this youtube clip by Admiral McRaven at the University of Texas commencement speech back in '14.
Food is your fuel to start your day. You have been in a fast for the last 6-8 hours, your cortisol has risen (stress hormone- don't worry everyone's levels rise during sleep), and you have become slightly dehydrated. To boost your energy and provide the necessary fuel to start your performance day- get a really solid breakfast and make sure to hydrate!
- Get a good mix of protein (20-40 g based on your size), carbs (1-2x's protein), and a little bit of fat (almond butter, olive oil, avocado) for a great mix of all your macros. If your not much of a breakfast person, try a nutrient/calorically dense shake with protein powder, fruit or oatmeal, and a little nut butter.
-Keep a bottle of water or glass ready to go next to your bed or next to your toothbrush. This way you don't have to think about it first thing in the morning.
Your body hasn't moved much over the last 6-8 hours, and while you haven't been sitting, laying down in on your stomach or side isn't much better (On a side note- try elevating your head/neck slightly with a big thick pillow under your knees to support your low back. Best thing I ever did for my own sleeping!). Getting some blood flow, moving the fluid around your joints, and warming your body is the best way to combat this.
- I list mobility as an open ended idea here. It might be rolling a foam roller for a few minutes, holding a few static stretches, but what I really like it doing a few submaximal CARS (controlled articular rotations). Check out Frank Duffys blog from some good ideas on how to do these (http://www.frankduffyfitness.com/blog/). You can even do some light calisthenics like squats, lunges, or planks.
While you may have been regenerating all night sleeping- I look at this one is more mental prep work. By taking a few mins to settle your mind from whatever dreams you may have had and refocus on the upcoming day- you are mentally prepared for whatever curve balls may come your way. This has been hugely important for me in making sure I stay positive and grateful for the things I have, instead of complaining and being envious of other people or things.
-The meditation and minute of gratefulness are easy to comprehend- but the power breathing is slightly different. This is more of waking up your nervous system, giving you energy and quick pick me up. Take a big breathe in (all the way in), hold for a few, and FORCEFULLY exhale every last drop of air out. Repeat for 8-10 breathes (about 2 mins). See how much more ALIVE you feel.
Take 10-20 minutes- think of 1-3 items in each of the 4 categories that you can write down and get done quickly first thing in the morning. Think of things that you typically don't make time for but really need to. That way you get them done early and you feel good about it.
Don't be afraid to experiment either. Try a routine for 2 weeks, and if it isn't working you-adjust!