Rushed…unprepared…disconnected… that’s how most people admit they feel every morning when they begin their day. You know the feeling too don’t you?
It’s feeling like you’re behind before you’ve even started your day because you snoozed three times this morning. It’s feeling like you’re lacking energy because you skipped your morning workout and grabbed a donut for breakfast at work. And worst of all, it’s feeling like you didn’t really connect with God today and you can’t remember the last time you actually did.
To me, there’s nothing worse than starting off my day in a frenzy…feeling rushed, unsettled and unprepared before the day has even begun. THAT IS THE WORST!
But the flip side is this: nothing feels BETTER than having a great morning. Getting up early… spending time in prayer… eating a healthy breakfast and working out… diving deep into my Bible and feeling like I’ve spoken with God today! Nothing feels better than “winning” in the morning and feeling ready for the day ahead!
My belief is this: if I can win in the morning, then I can win with the rest of my day.
If I can control the first 1-2 hours of my day and accomplish the most important things during that time (important ≠ urgent), then the chances of having a “good day” are pretty high. But if I lose with the first hour of my day – if I fail to get up when I wanted, and fail to spend time in prayer, and fail to read my Bible in a quality manner, and fail to do the things I need to do to get ready for my day – then it feels like I’m playing catch up before the day has even begun.
I’m not alone am I?
That’s why I place great value on MY MORNING RITUAL and I think you should too. It has the power to transform your entire day. Trust me. I’m speaking from experience.
My goal today is to share my personal morning ritual and then help you get started towards creating one that works for you.
Here is the process I went through in establishing my morning ritual:
STEP ONE: IDENTIFY MY CURRENT MORNING RITUAL A ritual is ‘a prescribed procedure for specific result.’ It means anything that you do over and over again.
Whether you realize it or not, you already have a morning ritual. You may not refer to it as such, but it’s there. It’s what you do on most days and it’s what will continue to do unless you choose to create a new routine.
What do you do most mornings? Do you get out of bed right away or do you snooze once or twice? Do you spend time in prayer, or do you say “I just woke up late today but I’ll be better tomorrow”? Do you eat a healthy meal and pack a healthy lunch, or is it just rush-rush-rush and grab whatever you can on the way out?
STEP TWO: EVALUATE YOUR CURRENT RITUAL How does your current morning ritual make you feel? Rushed? Prepared? Confident? Connected to God? How would you describe your feeling as you leave the house every day?
STEP THREE: DETERMINE YOUR DESIRED RESULT Now determine how you WANT to feel every morning. Set the goal of what you’d like the outcome of your morning ritual to be.
STEP FOUR: DESIGN A NEW RITUAL WITH DESIRED OUTCOME IN MIND If you want to feel connected to God, then you need to include prayer. If you want to feel energetic, then you need a healthy breakfast. If you want to feel prepared, then you need time to get to work early. And if you want any of these things to continue for more than a day or two, you need to incorporate an earlier bed time so that you can wake up when the alarm goes.
Figure out where you want to go and then come up with a plan to take you there.
What does a plan look like?
Below is a copy of my current morning ritual. The ritual changes every so often but this is what I am currently doing.
1) Start with prayer (1 minute) First thing I do is start my day with a prostration and a short prayer – “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us” – as soon as I wake up.
2) Get dressed (9 minutes) Brush my teeth, get dressed, and drink two tall glasses of ice cold water (breakfast of champions).
3) Silence (2 minutes) Hardest part of all. This is my way of obeying Jesus’ command: “when you pray, go into your room, and WHEN YOU HAVE SHUT YOUR DOOR, pray to your Father who is in the secret place…” (Matthew 6:6)
4) Prayer (20 minutes) Starts with structured prayer (book of hours) and then concludes with personal (both written and spoken).
5) Read Bible (15 minutes) Read 2-3 chapters, 2-3 times
6) Journal (7 minutes) Don’t ask “what do this say” but rather “what does this mean?”
7) Concluding prayer (3 minutes)