Habits and Rituals Like a BOSS:: How Deliberate Habits and Rituals are Changing My Life

Life before a morning routine felt a lot like this!

As I've grown in awesomeness, I've developed an affinity for having routines and/or rituals in place for constants in my everyday life. I have found that rituals keep my focus and energies from becoming distracted as easily and losing site of my goals. In other words, rituals help me get more things done. Rather I was aware or not, I had habits/routines/rituals in my life that weren't all intentional or productive. Last year I decided to take a more proactive approach towards my life so that I could live more intentionally and not be as skittish and reactive. I started small by turning my attention to how I started my day and created a morning routine. Why this was important was because before creating this, my morning ritual was one of a reactive and chaotic nature. It normally included hitting the snooze button ten million times, almost oversleeping and then running around like a crazy person with clothes, soap and lotion flying everywhere while getting ready so that I wasn't late for work. This is not a good way to start one's day with their energies frazzled from jump. Since I was doing this everyday, it would spill over into work and at the end of the day I would come home spent.

Late last year, I decided to take control of this chaos and give it orders. My intention behind it was to end the chaos I was beginning each day with and instead start my day on a more peaceful and empowering note. I wanted to get ready for work at a pace that was fair but wasn't rushed and I wanted to leave the house feeling ready to take on the world. So the morning ritual was created and I've been doing for a few months now. I wake up between 5 and 5:30am (I can thank years of being a corporate pigeon for that!). Early, right? But it's very true, in my case, that the early bird catches the worm.

My Morning Ritual

Alarm goes off at 5:30am and I get up. No hitting snooze, get up, Milan. Before getting out of bed, I take my basal body temperature reading along with checking my cervical flui ang log it into my [reproductive] cycle tracking apps on my iPhone. This takes less than 5 minutes. Then as each foot touches the ground to get out of bed, I say out loud "thank you". From there, I sleep walk into the kitchen and heat up water in the kettle for my morning tea of ginger, turmeric (the root), lemon and honey. While the water heats up, I normally have to pee. By the time I've done that, the water's ready. Then I make and take my tea back to my bedroom and sip on it in bed while I read a book and/or write in my journal until 6:45- 7 am-ish.
Now I start my days feisty, fiery and fierce. Rwrr!!! (Circa 2013)

Once 6:45- 7 am-ish hits, I get back out of bed and get ready for the day. I turn on a podcast or music that moves me while I get ready. James Brown's music is great music for waking up and a quick dance party may even ensue. Lately, though, I've been listening to podcasts. Some of my favorites to listen to in the morning are from Dave Ramsey and Smart Passive Income. They help keep me focused and driven and I always learn things from them. If it's a work day, by 8am I am ready and out the door.

The weekends, depending on my schedule, closely resemble this format in the morning, but the wake up time and time allocated to read or write may vary. If it's a lazy Sunday with no plans I may not get dressed until a little later. No matter what the day though, I do not allow myself to check any emails or social media before 8am regardless the day of the week. I am not allowed to check my email or social media before 8am ANY day of the week. I made an exception for viewing Pinterest boards of mine because they inspire me but I limit that and normally don't get on there before 8am now.

What this morning ritual has done for me is allowed me to wake up and be present before really getting to my day. It's added more peace, vitality and energy to my everyday life and has had a very effective impact on my concentration and energy at work. I get more done and work more efficiently and my life and overall health feel so much better. Now I'm working on a more deliberate night time routine/ritual. The intention behind it also will be that of relaxation and winding down before resting. How you end your day is just as important as how you start it.

Do any of you have conscious rituals/routines that you have created for yourself? How have they helped you?

Milan is a New York City based, creative writer and the founder of AGrlCanMAC. She's a self proclaimed accessories junkie who's passionate about healthy living, adventure, books, crystals, the Law of Attraction and arts & crafts. AGrlCanMAC is a resource for women of color all over the world who want to look good, radiate good and feel good at the same damn time.

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goalsandbudgets said…
I have been reading a lot about the importance of morning rituals. Listening to music/podcasts was one I had not seen before. I created a routine about a week ago and waking up is always the hardest part. I have, however, noticed that I am more irritable when I oversleep instead of waking up right away. My (soon to be concrete and effortless ;-) ) morning routine consists of waking up at 5:30am, drinking two glasses of water, eating a small breakfast, doing a work out, meditating, then getting ready for my day. I would like to add in a book, music or podcast at some point.
Milan said…
Hey P! Morning rituals have revolutionized my life! I love them and I get so much done. It's awesome. Glad you've got a good one in place that works for you! Thank you for sharing it.