This is part two of my series on Morning Rituals. You can read part one by clicking here.
Every morning that I’m alive, I finish my Morning Success Ritual.
It’s the most valuable thing that I do every single day, day in and day out. Throughout this series of blog posts, I’m going to lead you by example on building your own kickass morning ritual.
I’ve done my morning ritual in one form or another for a couple of years now. It’s constantly evolving— this morning’s ritual isn’t the same one I did a year ago, and next month’s ritual will be different from the one I do today. I’m constantly learning, optimizing, and tweaking the best way for me to start each morning with some oomph.
In the last post, I talked about how I stretch my creativity muscles with the 1/10/1000 exercise. There are some other muscles in your brain that need to get worked out too— just like you don’t only do bicep curls when you’re at the gym, you need to work other muscles besides your creativity muscle.
Mind contro.. err.. Mind Games
What we want to do is play with the neuroplasticity of our brain— the idea that our brain is more than just a warm lump of putty.. that it’s actively engaged and changing during our lifetime. It turns out (based on current understandings), that we can actually influence the memory, problem solving, and speed of our mind.. Kind of like upgrading the CPU.
The easiest way that you can do this is by training daily with a “dual n-back game”. You can find a ton of them online, my favorite is the (free) Brain Workshop app that works on Windows/Mac/Linux.
BUT, really, my absolute favorite way to workout my mind is by doing a daily practice of Lumosity (no affiliation) every morning. I do 5 different brain games every morning and, over time, I’ve seen my memory and problem solving skills really increase. It has made a noticeable difference in my life. I notice when I’ve skipped Lumosity for a few days because my memory isn’t quite as sharp.
I’ve done Lumosity for around 425 days now. They actually have a really neat tool to track your progress and graph the changes over time. While the critic in me says this only shows that you’re getting better at the games, not improving your memory, I’ve personally noticed a dramatic improvement.
I used to have the worst short term memory. I’d constantly forget things, miss deadlines.. just because it’d fall out of my mind. While I still forget things (I’m not superhuman.. yet), I’ve improved so much since starting Lumosity.
Daily Time Commitment: 10 minutes
Command your subconscious
Affirmations. It’s such a loaded term. When most people hear it, they run for the hills. They think of some new-agey bullshit like “The Secret” (I won’t waste your time with a link— it’s that bad), where you “command” the universe to give you what you want by thinking about it, and you just get it free of charge. “Checks just start appearing in the mail”.
If you think that form of affirmations is bullshit, you’re right. Of course it is.
What affirmations REALLY are, though, is a tool to reinforce your subconscious with positive, constructive daily advice. Think of it as.. the self-talk that you -want- to have.
I’ve studied a bunch of successful people and I’ve noticed a common theme.. people that’ve had a “rags to riches” type of story almost always talk about daily affirmations.
So why do most people squirm like a caterpillar (I did the first 1000 times) when we talk about affirmations? I think it just seems weird. That’s probably because it is. It’s super fucking weird. But most incredibly successful people ARE weirdos. Do you think Bill Gates isn’t a weirdo? I’m sure he is! And that makes him incredibly successful, because he doesn’t think or act like everyone else. He’s unique. Stop being just average and give it a shot.
Affirmations are super easy. Spend a few minutes writing out the self-talk of your “ideal” or “future”-self. Every morning, read them to yourself out loud. With passion. Don’t just skim them. Announce them.
I’m going to totally embarrass myself, for your benefit, here are my REAL daily affirmations. I say these every morning.
I am a finisher. I am a person that gets everything done, no exceptions all of the time. I am fast. I am productive, I find the most efficient and simple way to conquer anything that I put my head to.
I’m insightful. I make connections and create thoughts that bring simplicity and understanding to those around me.
Money is not my priority in life, but I enjoy the spoils of my success.
I’m successful. There isn’t anything that I put my mind to and don’t find success in. While it doesn’t come easy, it comes naturally. Things often go the way I plan because I steer the motherfucking ship.
Yes it feels fucking weird, but that doesn’t make it less awesome.
Daily Time Commitment: 1 minute
The last exercise is easy.. it just takes a minute. Read through your todo list and turn it a movie. Close your eyes and visualize yourself doing each item, one by one. See yourself doing exactly what you have to do, as specifically as possible.. Sitting with your laptop at your desk. Chrome is open.. WordPress is loaded, and you’re writing a blog post.
Once you visualize what you plan on doing, you’ve kind of “already did it”. It removes that little bit of resistance that makes you afraid of starting.
Daily Time Commitment: 1 minute
Good luck! Add Lumosity, Affirmations, and Visualizations to your daily routine. I’ve got more coming
P.S. What’s the biggest thing holding you back from doing your morning rituals? Not enough time? Does it just feel.. weird? Comment below.