Last post, we looked at why waking up even ten minutes earlier could benefit you. In case you missed that, I will give you a quick recap. In my own life, I was able to work in some mild exercise to get my blood pumping and my mind moving. I was also able to make my coffee, get dressed and do everything else in a less stressful fashion. Anytime you can reduce stress in your life, that is a win. Not hitting the snooze may sound like additional stress, but it really is not. Do you know what is stressful? Hearing the alarm in the first place! When you hit snooze, you get to have that stress an additional time…or two…or three. Not to mention the 5 or 10 minutes between hitting snooze and the alarm going off again are not filled with blissful slumber. In fact, most of the time it is filled with the dread of hearing the alarm.

The stress of waking up only lasts a moment. Once you are out of bad and standing up, it usually dissipates fairly quickly. Unfortunately, if you have hit snooze too many times it is usually replaced by the stress of running late and trying to get ready. The key is to fill your morning with things you look forward too. These are morning rituals. There have been many listed in the pictures above. We will look at what some high achievers do in the picture below. In the meantime, think of what rituals would work for you. Would some simple stretching help to get your body limber before your morning commute? How about being able to make your coffee with time to enjoy the aroma and maybe even a sip or two before you head out the door? How would reading something inspirational affect your mindset first thing in the morning?

After you make a list of morning rituals you would like to incorporate, then decide how long each would take. Set your alarm accordingly. If you hit snooze, you will know that you will have to forgo one of these items that will make your life better. That may help get you up and out of bed. After a few days of going through your morning rituals, you will feel how starting your day less stressed and more inspired will feel. Do this for a week and you will not want to stop. I can speak from personal experience. When I did not hit the snooze, my mornings, and by consequence my days, were a lot less stressful.

Here are a few of the things some people you may recognize do with their mornings. You may notice it is a nice blend of productivity and stress relief. I suggest the same for us. If you are thinking, “Neil, this all sounds great but that would mean I would have to get up an hour early!” I would tell you two things. First, there is a great book called Miracle Morning that I would recommend you check out. It will have you realize that an hour early could change your life. It will also show you how to do this in as little as 6 minutes. The other suggestion is to divide it up by day. Your Monday morning ritual may involve something to get you fired up. Your Tuesday may involve something to ground you. You can switch between exercise, stretching, meditation, journaling and just five minutes of meaningful silence. Before you know it, you may want to do a few of each and find yourself setting the alarm a few minutes early!

I would love to know what your current morning ritual is and what you would like to add to it. As for me, when I go back to work, I am going to get back to my planks, squats and reading my motivational day by day calendar. I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

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