A Morning Ritual − Not a Morning Retreat

Many clients ask for an ideal “morning ritual” − a routine series of activities meant to inspire and motivate you to make the most of your day. Some clients have their PhD in morning rituals and come in with a different routine for each day. Others, in search of the Holy Grail of morning rituals, bring in a hodge-podge of activities that take the average person till noon to complete! These elaborate and lengthy routines can be self-deceptive and feed the procrastination monkey that is always hanging around looking for distraction. I suggest a morning ritual that meets three criteria: an exercise component, a focused activity (e.g. reviewing your goals, planning), and a meditative or thoughtful activity. The morning ritual that works for you should refresh your mental and physical strength, and boost your intention for the day. It should build resistance to procrastination, negative thinking and all the other snags that deter you from your goals… in under 90 minutes.  My morning ritual is:  up at 6:00a.m. meditating on the day’s entry of “The Daily Stoic” by Ryan Holiday (10-15 minutes),  a short series of Ki-Hara stretches, made famous by Dara Torres the Olympic swimmer, for 10-15 minutes, a half hour of a high intensity bike workout (preferably outdoors in the West Newbury countryside, followed by a review of my schedule where I picture a day in which every moment I act in accordance with my goals and helping others to the best of my ability (20 minutes). My morning ritual is not in stone and varies a bit depending upon weather and the season, but that’s pretty much it. It may take a little fishing around to discover your optimal routine for jump-starting your day, but as you develop it keep the purpose in mind.

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