Years ago, I was a master at studying what the successful entrepreneurs do.
But just because I studied it, didn’t mean I actually did it. (Even though I was convinced the key to my happiness and peace of mind was becoming more of a success, somehow I never could find the time to actually create and use the success habits they had.)
Having a morning ritual was one of those success habits I knew about. It sounded easy enough, and yet I somehow never managed to actually do it.
First, let’s talk about what a morning ritual actually is.
Morning rituals are things you do in the morning to set your day up for success. They vary from person to person, but most of them consist of some sort of combination of:
* Meditation — there’s lots of different types of meditations and ways of mediating out there so it’s just a matter of picking out the right one for you.
* Reading — this can range from personal development or spiritual development or something else that’s uplifting or inspiring or even just informational.
* Exercising — this can mean anything from taking a walk, doing some stretches, dancing around the living room or an actual exercise routine.
* Journaling — maybe it’s doing your morning pages (courtesy of the “Artist Way”) or God Writing or filling out a pre-created journal or whatever your fave form of journaling is.
* Planning — generally this boils down to taking a few minutes to plan out your day.
It’s up to you if you want to try and do all of these every day (which would be a little overwhelming so I wouldn’t recommend it, especially if you’re new to a morning ritual) or only one, but let me share a few combinations of what this would look like:
* One of my entrepreneurial friends meditates (I don’t know for how long but let’s say 20 minutes) and then turns on Van Halen and dances for 10 minutes.
* Another one of my friends takes a 30-minute walk and listens to personal development/inspirational books while she walks.
* Another successful entrepreneur I know spends 20 minutes meditating and then 30 minutes doing some sort of combination of journaling and planning.
So the point here isn’t the specifics of what you’re doing but that whatever you ARE doing feels like you’re successfully setting yourself up for an awesome, accomplished, abundant day.
Now, if you’re currently not doing a morning ritual and you’re reading this, I suspect some form of Resistance is running through your head right now. Your mind may be chattering at you things like:
* I don’t possibly have the time to do this.
* I don’t know how to do any of this/I don’t know the right way to do any of this.
* I hate meditating/journaling/exercising/reading (or all of the above).
* I’ll be able to do this when the kids are out of school/back in school/next month/etc.
Or whatever else your mind is busy saying to you (and I also suspect your mind is making an excellent case for how a morning ritual can’t possibly work for you).
So here’s the thing. The reality is none of those excuses need to be true. While yes, most successful entrepreneurs spend between 20 minutes to an hour on their morning ritual, if 20 minutes feels too overwhelming, start with 15 minutes. Or 10. Or even 5. The point is to do SOMETHING. If you only have 5 minutes, close your eyes and do some deep breathing while visualizing how you want your day to go, then look at your day to see if you’ve set yourself up for success.
If you can’t do it first thing in the morning, then do it after you’ve dropped the kids off and before you actually start your work day.
You also don’t have to do anything you hate — you can pick and choose the rituals you want AND you can pick and choose the HOW. I personally struggled for years to try and meditate. But what finally worked for me is getting some meditation tapes because when I listened to them it would help quiet my constant mind chatter.
So, what gives? If all the excuses go away and you know this is something that could really help you be more successful, why won’t you do it?
That is the million-dollar question, isn’t it?
I’ve seen a lot of theories around why this happens — you have mindset blocks that are keeping you stuck, it’s Resistance, your mental mind really doesn’t want to change and will do whatever it takes to keep you at your current level, etc.
All of these could be true, none of them could be or maybe it’s some variation. But, the point is, whatever is holding you back from the success you crave in your business and your life is winning right now.
And that is truly a shame.
So, if you’re willing to try a different way, here’s what I would recommend that worked for me.
First off, get clear this is something you’re ready to do for yourself. In other words, make a decision that it’s time to incorporate a morning ritual into your day.
Now, if this is something you’re NOT feeling ready to do for yourself, that’s perfectly okay. Maybe this isn’t the right time for you. And if that’s the case, don’t beat yourself up. Accept it and move on. Perhaps you’ll want to set a date when you reevaluate your decision or perhaps you don’t even feel ready to do that. But the important thing is to make a decision one way or another — do this or don’t do it. No trying, no being wishy washy, no wasting your energy in some sort of in-between, hedging your bets thing.
Now, once you made a decision, pick something and do it for 3 weeks. That’s it. Then reevaluate and see where you want to go.
(My suggestion is to carve out at least 20 minutes — if that is absolutely just bringing up all sorts of Resistance, then start with 5 minutes and go from there.)
If you want to throw in some coaching and whatnot as a way to break through your blocks, that’s cool too. But for me, what worked is to make a decision this is what I was going to do for the next 6 months (and then I would re-evaluate) and then playing around with different combinations until I figured out what worked for me. (Also, to this day I still play around with different combinations depending on what I’m trying to accomplish.)
I’d love to hear how this works for you!© Copyright 2015 Michele Pariza Wacek (Michele PW)