By Sam Makhoul
Developing a ritual for the first 30-45 minutes of your day can be the difference between a mediocre life and a motivational one. I (Sam Makhoul, founder of A Higher Branch) created a morning ritual that sets me up mentally and emotionally to tackle the day like an athlete.
I follow this ritual no matter where I am in the world – workdays, weekends or on holidays. You should develop a set of rituals that work best for you.
Check out the go-to seven-morning rituals that set me up for a day of success.
Morning Ritual 1: Deep Breathing:
Start the morning by going outside, barefoot on the grass. Breathe in for three seconds, hold in for four seconds and out for five. Do this five times and set reminders to do this throughout the day to combat shallow breathing.
Deep breathing oxygenates your cells and signals your mitochondria to release energy. Do it frequently with tall stretches to really feel the benefits.
Morning Ritual 2: Morning Detox Elixir:
Drink your first litre of water within the first hour of the day, dehydration means low energy. Don’t reach for a coffee when you wake up, water is cleansing and helps activate your metabolism.
My morning elixir recipe has helped me to avoid cold and flu for the past 12 years. It’s made up of:
- A cup of warm/hot water
- Lemon juice
- Crushed ginger
Sip this during your morning routine before you leave the house.
Morning Ritual 3: Supercharge Your Central Nervous System:
Either jog for 15 mins or do five minutes of push-ups or squat jumps, followed by a semi-cold shower or a swim. It’s cold in winter, but the effects of cold water are invigorating and much more sustainable than caffeine.
Morning Ritual 4: Meditation Is Detox For The Mind:
Spend 10-15 minutes meditating using the Headspace app. This helps you filter out any background noise and helps you zone in on what’s important. It also helps you live in the moment for the rest of the day so you can really listen to people.
Morning Ritual 5: Journaling Is Clarity:
Spend five minutes re-reading your goals and your bucket list and then write and visualise what you want to achieve for the day. Not just for work but in all aspects.
For example; what you will eat, when you will exercise and plan your social agenda with family and friends. You should also use the journal to reflect on how you feel if something is bothering you.
It helps you witness and process your feelings. We all experience negative emotions, the key is what you do with them.
Morning Ritual 6: Prepare And Pack:
The most common reason people don’t eat well or exercise is that they are unprepared. Taking 20 minutes to prepare food and workout gear is probably the best thing you can do to set up your day. My prep includes a superfood smoothie for breakfast that I sip throughout my morning containing a combination of nutrients.
Morning Ritual 7: Podcast Your Commute:
Podcasts and audiobooks are a great way to learn and grow whilst making use of dead time like travel time. Some of my favourite podcasts are The Tim Ferris Show, TED Talks Business, TED Talks Health and Comedy Central Stand-Up.
At A Higher Branch, we also have our own podcast that features many thought-leaders from Australian and across the globe. There are thousands of podcasts and audiobooks to choose from.