We have the power each morning to set ourselves up for a day of success, focus and growth. Each day comes with new opportunities, a new attitude and a new outlook on life. We have the ability to prime our mindset at the start of each day, so that we’re setting ourselves up to “win”.
This can easily be forgotten due to the large volume of distractions that have the potential to crop up in the first hour of our day without us consciously realising - Instagram notifications, checking emails and generally a lack of movement are just a few examples of “barriers” that can hinder levels of success.
By consciously creating rituals, at the start and end of the day, we’re setting up dedicated space, with minimal distractions, to give ourselves precious “focus time”. If you think about this for a moment, aside from your work commitments, how much of this sort of quality time do you honour yourself each day? Time that you’ve consciously created to focus on yourself.
So, what is a ritual? By definition, it’s a set of fixed actions and sometimes words performed regularly. Delving deeper, a ritual has intention and rhythm. A ritual exists within a certain time frame and within a specific environment. Rituals are bespoke to each of us. They are an intentional action, that we choose to do and that we enjoy. This last point is key - that we enjoy. The aim of rituals is to bring the connection to ourselves and tune in to what’s important, be that increased energy, greater focus, clarity or raised levels of joy & peace within.
Firstly, we need to acknowledge what is meaningful to us? What makes you feel connected? What is your intention for the day ahead? This could be something like:
My intention is to spread kindness today
My intention is to create results for my business today
My intention is to forgive others, and myself
My intention is to show up 100% to my team today.
By setting an intention, you home into the present self and set your direction for the day. It’s how you want to show up for the day ahead. Think of it as the introduction of your story, where the day ahead is the story about to play out.
It’s, therefore, your job to consciously create an environment that’s conducive to this mindset. Think of activities that’ll boost your mood, that’ll inspire you, that’ll fuel you with energy for the day ahead. Meditation? Yoga? Fresh air? Perhaps it’s writing down three things you’re looking forward to that day?
The key is to be realistic. If you’ve not done meditation before, start with a 5-minute morning guided meditation on YouTube, and build it in gradually. It’ll take conscious effort & reminding each day, as it takes at least 21 days to form new habits, so therefore we need to choose activities and actions that we enjoy, that are sustainable and that work for us.
Have realistic expectations. If you focus on three elements to incorporate into your morning ritual, then you can start to generate self-love around all the things you’ve ticked off and all that you’ve achieved.
Enjoy the mornings, look back after a few weeks and acknowledge how this made you feel, and the difference compared to previously.
Now let’s fast forward to the evening, we want to curate a ritual for the end of the day too. It’s an opportunity to reflect on what you’ve achieved that day, what small wins you had and what you’re grateful for. Once again, removing screen time is key. The aim is to settle yourself down, relax and unwind in a comfortable space. Perhaps is reading, journaling, writing down your three “wins” of the day?
It’s also a great time to consider your priorities for the day ahead. By focusing on these tasks in advance, our unconscious brain has a way of thinking and working on challenges that are bought to its attention. This will cause more creative thoughts to flow around so that when you sit down to work through these priorities tomorrow, you’ll be in a better state of mind.
A keyword to pay attention to throughout this process is consciously. We need to make time for these positive morning habits and create space for them in our day if they don’t exist already. The benefits will result in a more positive mindset, a greater sense of happiness and achievement, increased feelings of confidence and a better ability to focus. We’re taking control of our mindset in each of these small rituals, setting ourselves up for a great day ahead and limiting the chance of distractions or barriers that may have otherwise been present on a regular basis.
I invite you to take the time now to think of your morning ritual for tomorrow if it helps jot these down on a piece of paper and place it on your bedside table or dresser. Make it easy for yourself to remember these rituals, and look forward to them, knowing you’re starting the day with a big win!
About the Author:
Nicola Charlotte is the founder of Nicola Charlotte Coaching - a coaching business that supports ambitious women who are ready to step out of their comfort zone and create lasting change in their life. Nicola works a lot on mindset in order to build confidence, resilience & focus so that they feel empowered and fulfilled in all areas of life. She's a firm believer in the power of positivity & passionate about helping women "up-level" in their life - we shouldn't be "living for the weekend"! In her spare time, you'll find her planning her next adventure or scouting out quirky restaurants to try. Margaritas are her drink of choice, and Middle Eastern food is her go-to cuisine.