Effective morning rituals can set you up for massive success – and these five will make a huge difference.


It’s within those first moments upon waking that you can set your day up to win. To own your time and make the best use of it, setting up an intention for your life and future is very important. The first step towards this is developing a morning ritual.

 “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius. I am always intent on spending a few hours on my morning routine, even on the weekends, so I can make sure those seconds and moments count. I want to ensure that I will win in life no matter what is happening to me at any particular time. Practising this makes it easier as the weeks, months and years progress. It’s when you’re going through tough times when things get even more challenging. You’re battling the beast in your mind, and maybe your heart is breaking right now. As hard as it may be, these will test your resilience, stackability and the amount of control you have over what goes on inside your head. Without the following five small things every day, I would be lost and achieve very little. My emotions would get the best of me and cloud my decision making. I want to be a person who makes everything stretch to its limits and tackle the challenges to prove that I can do anything. We all can do whatever we want, but sometimes we procrastinate or don’t believe in ourselves enough. It can hold us back from achieving a whole lot more in life. If you would like to prove to yourself that you can, too, may I suggest the following targets to help move you towards achieving your goals faster? 

Ritual one: Upon waking – Instead of looking at your phone, decide on three things you’re grateful for from the day before + drink a glass of room temperature water.

 Reflecting on the good that may have happened – no matter how simple, can start to infiltrate powerful intentions into your mind. When we wake up, our mind is fresh and hungry for some feedback. What could be better than little things that occurred yesterday which brought a smile to your face (even the sunshine or rain). Without looking at your phone, get into your first glass of filtered, room temperature water. Then follow it with some other warm beverage (I always prefer a pre-workout black coffee). The mind can wander into a negative memory or towards something in the future – bring it back to earth by imagining how you wanted the outcome instead. The imagination is a potent tool, and you can always use it to imagine the outcomes you want – any time of day. As hard as it may be at first, you will soon build the imagination muscle to create anything instantly in no time. Keep practising every day when these negative scenarios come into mind. Then, completely turn them on their back. P.S. Water is great because we’ve just spent many hours sleeping without any – and hydration revitalises our whole body – it’s refreshing, and for added cleansing benefits, add some lemon or apple cider to the mix. One step further would be a tablespoon of olive oil as well. Olive oil provides the ultimate cleanse. “Smell the roses. Smell the coffee. Whatever it is that makes you happy.” -Rita Moreno 

Ritual Two: Exercise – but first coffee (or tea). 

Having a jolt of caffeine helps me waking up and give me a boost of energy for the exercise routine I’m ready to tackle. I can’t do much at all without moving my body, working up some sweat. So I need to wake up and warm up the body, setting it up to drive more energy. Your exercise can be meditation, walking, lifting weights or going for a long run. Exercise should be a blissful time, where you forget about the world and focus on yourself. Make it a time when no one can interrupt this peaceful moment that belongs to you. I believe we all need this time to ourselves for our sanity, if anything! It also gives us a break from all the thinking we do. It is exhausting when the day finally ends. I usually package up all my problems and anything that’s bothered me and throw it all away whilst working out. It’s so much easier to do this when you’re focusing on moving your body, lifting weights or trying to make it through a hard run. “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn. 

Ritual Three: Breaking up the day or play the shuffle.

 I usually break up my week and then my days on a Sunday – but in the morning, I like to reflect on the tasks at hand to see if anything needs adding or deleting. Having intentions for the week is excellent, but anything can happen and be flexible is very important. When researching other peoples morning routines, I came across this fascinating breakdown of Benjamin Franklin’s day. I want to share it with you because of its simplicity, and any of us can take this blueprint and make it our own:  

It’s amazing what you can achieve when you set out the intention on paper. Your brain automatically goes into super productive mode and aims to hit these goals at the exact times you want it to. I recommend breaking your day up like this and adding the critical things you should work on. Notice how he included things like sleep and eating – follow that ritual too and see what happens.

 “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” -Mark Twain.        

Ritual Four: What is the most important thing on my list – pick one only and target that until completion

I always get caught up in writing too many things on my list until I had enough of failing miserably every single day. Now, I intend to tackle one big thing every day, be the essential thing and follow through on that no matter what. It’s whatever needs the most focused attention first. Maybe it’s a task that will take a couple of hours or a couple of days. If this is the case, use your circadian rhythm to judge the best time for doing this. Perhaps you have more clarity of thought in the morning rather than the evening:- or vice versa. Aim to do the most important thing at that time. -always. If need be, take minor breakups in between. For example, break your state with a cup of tea, talking to your dog for a walk. Looking outside your window is also fantastic. Allow your brain to recuperate for a little while and get back into focusing again. I find that when I break the state, it helps me re-evaluate what I’ve done with a lot more clarity. Focusing too intently for long periods can lead to making mistakes or losing my precious flow. When it comes to creative work, fatigue sets in and leaves me unmotivated to conceptualise anything new. “Lovely days don’t come to you; you should walk to them.” – Rumi. 

Ritual Five: Decide what NOT to do & write it down for your grey matter

I know a lot of people might say, focus only on what you need to do. But what about all those things that get in the way of the “doing?” I never used to pay attention to the Not Do List until it’s too late, and I just realised the way too much time getting eaten away! This is one of my weakest links to date. That’s why I make a list of all the things I will NOT do – such as:• Iron clothes when I have a spare moment• Clean anything in my house from Monday to Friday• I won’t scroll social media for no reason whatsoever• I will not answer calls unless it’s related to the task at hand• I will not be an Uber driver on Monday to Friday for anyone• I will not waste time grocery shopping – I’m all for online shopping• I will allocate a “Do not disturb” icon on my Teams app to make sure everyone knows I’m focusing on a deadline, and their task can wait Sometimes I don’t follow through, and things do happen. But, I always like to make sure that my brain is aware of the things which won’t’ serve our desire. I guarantee that about 80% of the time, you won’t’ do these things! But it’s incredible how well it works & I’d love you to try it out. “You have a bad day; you go to bed, you wake up, and work a little harder.” -Michelle Obama. 

BONUS RITUAL: Fire up that discipline

When you figure out that one task and are committed to finishing it off, decide then and there that nothing else matters until you’ve completed it. That’s a rock-solid discipline for you. Distractions can make it challenging to focus, but when you schedule your day and eliminate distractions that eat away your focus time, you will feel more in control of your life. Then, when the interruption arrives, decide if this will move you towards or away from your goal. Whatever the answer is, tackle or eliminate it right away. Moving the needle in the direction you want to go is one of the most important lessons I’ve learnt. Sometimes we get caught up in the noise that goes on all around us every single day. By the time it dies down, all our energy is zapped, and we become demotivated and maybe suffering from procrastination. Keep busy doing the things that will move you towards finishing what you start – and that means cultivating rock-solid discipline daily. I know how hard this can be, especially when you’re in a lockdown period or it’s school holidays. Everyone seems to interrupt the flow. During these times, stand your ground. I like to put in my headphones and listening to some loud electronic music. If someone is talking to me, I wouldn’t know at all – I keep on going until what needs to be done is finished. Then I’m ready to listen. Re-prioritising based on the outcomes you achieve is inevitable. If something is eating away at your time, making you unhappy or exhausted, then it’s essential to decide how to tackle it. For instance, I have given up on doing a lot of personal shopping. With lockdown, we aren’t allowed to do much, but only buying what’s needed online and getting it delivered wastes a lot of my time. Instead, I should spend time doing the things I enjoy, which will help me achieve my purpose. I also get to spend those moments with the people I care about most. Use your unique situation and change up this morning routine according to your own rules. I prefer to plan my week on Sunday evening and use my lists daily to shift priorities around. It’s essential to be as realistic as possible without sacrificing the big picture. This should be something that transitions towards an automatic behaviour after a lot of focused practice. You will soon realise just how much these rituals affect your life and how much progress you’re making. But, of course, it’s always the little things we do daily that make a whole lot of difference a year from now. So just wait and see when you look back. You might not even believe you’re finally here. “This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” -Maya Angelou.

Leave a Reply