Elevate Your Mornings
What if every morning instead of connecting with your phone and the outside world, you connected to yourself and your inner world? What if you started out each day with focus and intention, designing how you want your day to go rather than just reacting to whatever happens?
People who take the time to manage their minds first thing in the morning statistically get better results from their day than those who don’t. Maybe it’s time to emphasize the importance of a morning routine so that you can start living your life on purpose, not by default.
The three foundations of our morning practice are: Meditation, Journaling, and Gratitude.
There’s a common myth that meditation is about stopping your thoughts. That would be impossible, as anyone who has tried and failed to meditate that way in the past can tell you. Meditation is actually about observing our thoughts and choosing which ones to engage with and which ones to let go. It’s a mindfulness practice and about being conscious of our thoughts because it is our thoughts that are creating our life. Thanks to this little thing called the Reticular Activating System (RAS) our brain is trained to look for and find what we tell it to focus on. Quite literally, what you focus on, grows. Take charge and tell your brain what to focus on instead of letting your monkey mind jump from branch to branch.
If you’re new to meditation, don’t feel like you have to jump in and start doing it for 20 minutes a day. Start with two or three minutes, then go up to five minutes, ten minutes, and so on. Once you commit to a meditation practice as part of your daily routine, I promise you’ll start looking forward to making that connection with your inner self.
The best way to get to know your inner landscape is to get it out on the page. A journal practice helps you gain awareness of your daily thoughts and feelings and can clarify where you tend to put your focus. Once you have that awareness, you can begin to clear out the mental clutter, set powerful intentions, and reframe your thoughts. Getting what’s in your head out on the page is one of the most powerful ways to get in touch with your inner knowing and learn to recognize your unconscious patterns.
It can also help you integrate knowledge you’ve been absorbing or work out things you’ve been working through. One of my favorite things about journaling is going back to things I’ve journaled about in the past and seeing how far I’ve come and all the changes I’ve made or dreams I’ve manifested. It’s also a helpful place to store any of those bright ideas and revelations that come to us. Having them all in one place can help organize your thoughts and provide future inspiration.
There is always something to appreciate and be grateful for. For one, you’re alive. You woke up. Your heart is beating. Start with finding 3 things every morning and write them down in your journal. The real power behind this practice is getting into the feeling of gratitude. Our brains have this thing called the negativity bias, and it tends to seek out the negative, which, in turn, is working with the RAS to keep bringing more negativity into our focus. If we can train our brains to start looking for the things we love and appreciate, then the universe will respond to our frequency and keep sending more things for us to appreciate, and our brain will be focused on recognizing what we want more of in our lives, rather than what we don’t want. Imagine how powerful it is on a daily basis to feel real gratitude for all the things you love about your life and you want to create more of. Remember, what you focus on, grows.
When it comes to my morning routine, I like to do some yoga or stretching first thing. Then I can sit and meditate. I’ve built up to a 20-minute daily meditation (10 minutes on busier days). Then I get my coffee, and I have a special place I like to sit where I light a candle, burn some incense, and play some music. Here I’ll take about 10 minutes to journal. This is where I check-in with myself and decide what I want my day to look like. I think about what I’m grateful for, which always feels good, and after that, I’ll read something inspirational (I always have a stack of books nearby).
I recommend that you use your favorite journal (or buy a new one just for this purpose) and use the format from the Morning Journal worksheet to get you started.
If you already have a strong morning routine and you’re looking to add more to your mornings, here is a great list to get you started:
Want extra inspiration to add to your daily journal practice? Here are some ideas:
- Brainstorm dreams and goals
- Collect empowering quotes
- Write about your future self
- Write a love letter to yourself
- Work through beliefs that are holding you back (shadow work)
No matter how you choose to start your day, what matters most is consistency. Results come from what you do every day, rather than what you do on occasion.
Stick with this practice for 30 days. If you can give yourself this twenty-minute head start in the morning, imagine what the rest of your day can feel like. This isn’t just about building a morning routine, it’s about creating your best life, one morning at a time.