16 Jan Force Multipliers
Article by Evan Pham.
Rituals to Jumpstart Your Morning
It’s Monday, 7:30 am. I’m on the train heading to work. I seem like the only one stoked to tackle the day. That one guy bobbing his head up and down to some tunes, dancing his way up the stairs, and racking his bike to a whistle… yeah, that’s me. Every morning has been like this since I adopted a few new habits.
I’ve been studying the real bosses, the ultra performers. They all have their unique stories, motivations, and strategies for taking on life, but there’s a common denominator they all value and stress with utmost importance: morning rituals. A strong set of morning routines or rituals is a force multiplier. Why? How you start off your day sets the tone for the rest of the day. It’s the rudder to your motorboat, the ignition to your Lamborghini, or the launch pad to your rocket. Creating, testing, optimizing, and mastering morning rituals will multiply the effectiveness of all of your day’s activities by several folds. The rituals I’ve listed below are the ones I’ve found to force multiply my effectiveness and fuel me over the top to tackle on the daily grind.
Wake up and decide to be awesome
We choose to press the snooze button and sleep for ten more minutes. But do you really want to start the day by procrastinating first thing in the morning? What kind of tone are you setting for your day? We often check our clocks, but rarely our compasses. In turn, many people are going nowhere fast. If we’re jumpstarting our morning for a non-noble purpose, then it doesn’t make a difference to the world if you’re up ready to rock and roll or not. Make the decision to be awesome. Decide that today will be awesome because you’re going to go out there and leave everything you have on the field.
As I make the decision to be awesome, I look upwards at my ceiling and take a few deep breaths and appreciate where I am in life. I have a roof over my head, I have a place to sleep, and I have a place to work—a place where I can serve others to better their lives. First thing in the morning, most people out there complain that it’s too cold or hot outside; that their houses or apartments aren’t good or big enough; that it’s Monday or not Friday. It’s psychologically impossible to be stressed or unhappy when you’re grateful. Again, we are always at choice. You can choose to wake up as a bitter, angry, unpleasant, ungrateful, and harsh person who will let the past define his or her future. Or you can choose to wake up as a grateful, happy, and kind person.
Ditch the infinite scroll
Unless you’re the President of the U.S. or an executive of a company, I’m going to bet my paycheck that there’s nothing so important on your phone to look at first thing in the morning that it cannot wait until later. If you’re checking your Gmail, then Google has already made plans for you. If you’re reading your newsletters, then the publishers have taken your fresh attention span. If you’re playing video games, then you’ve already contributed to their goals instead of your own. By waking up and checking your phone, you’re allowing others to dictate your agenda.
Take a cold shower
I’m not perfect. I make mistakes, too. I may grab my phone and start checking social media or go right back to bed. One of the most dangerous forms of procrastination is creative procrastination; it’s when you start inventing things to do so that you can avoid doing what must be done. Most things that we’re scared of really aren’t that bad. They’re perceived dangers made up by our creative imaginations. It’s become easier over time because I’ve learned to recognize my hesitations; now I tackle procrastination immediately upon noticing. I’ve been able to apply this to all areas and obstacles in my life.
Drink your morning tonic
So, you’ve had your morning cold shower that cleaned, shocked, and rejuvenated your system on the outside. Now, you need what I call an internal shower, to cleanse your inside. You’ve been sleeping for 6-8 hours with nothing to drink. Your body needs it. Here’s what I put in my morning tonic:
- Filtered water: To eliminate the 40+ compounds floating around in our tap water system.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Add about 2 tablespoons.
- Pink Himalayan Salt: 1 teaspoon of crystals taken as pills, not mixed in, to activate your adrenals.
- Glutamine: 1 tablespoon to help fix the gut lining.
- Activated charcoal: if I need to detox from a previous day of eating toxins or drinking.
- Lemon or lime: great for Vitamin C.
- Probiotics: best taken on an empty stomach.
Meditate your mind
Interviews with high performers show one activity that most, if not all, of them do. That’s meditation. I think they’re onto something, and it works for me, too. Because of meditation, I’m less irritable. Interruptions and unpleasant surprises don’t bother me. I’m calm under stressful circumstances. I recognize when I have the urge to procrastinate. Learning how to meditate doesn’t happen overnight. There’s a reason people call it a practice.
Exercise your body
This goes without saying, really. You’ll burn more fat, especially after doing some exercise on an empty stomach. You’ll be more productive for your day. You’ll feel awake and alert. The adrenaline, endorphins, and cortisol acts like natural caffeine, which lets you ease off of the processed and refined caffeine in your cup. The best exercise is the one that you stick with. Do something. Anything that you like, but just do something. I bike for 20 minutes in the morning. If I don’t bike, then I can’t get to work. Therefore, exercise for me is a non-negotiable, automated, and integrated activity. There’s no second-guessing.
These are just a few of many morning rituals I’ve studied, experimented with, and adopted. The morning rituals are called that for a reason. They are sacred and you should treat them as so. The work you put in today will probably not pay off tomorrow, or the next day, but it will pay off eventually. For me, this list will change over time as I continue to test new ones and adjust according to my schedule and commitments. Nonetheless, remember that your morning rituals are a force multiplier to reckon with that will maximize the ROI for all your day’s activities.
If you want to check out more of my daily habits, check out my profile on Coach.me.