It’s a common belief by many that the secret to a successful and happy life often lies hidden somewhere in a person’s morning routine. Popular books such as The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (before 8am) by Hal Elrod and My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired by Benjamin Spall reinforce this idea by studying and dissecting the concept of morning routines and how they may be leveraged to uplevel your entire life.
At Ritual Energy, we too believe that a morning ritual sets the tone for your day; it can help focus and energize you or leave you feeling depleted and scattered before the day has even really gotten underway. As a small team of four, our days are often full and challenging as we work to solve the unique obstacles a start-up of our size faces. So for us, it’s even more important that we use our morning routines to ensure we approach each day feeling prepared and happy. However, only half of our team would consider themselves “morning” people!
Read on to learn what both the early-risers and night owls do to prepare for the day ahead...
Operations / R&D
Good Morning! Haha, ya...no. Junior here isn't a morning person at all. I’m naturally a “Night owl”. So getting up at 5:30 am isn't my favorite thing in the world. But, you gotta do it! So, being a night owl, you can say my morning routine starts the night before. The night before, I begin preparing for the next morning by first start picking out my clothes and steaming / ironing them. I’m one of those terrible people who like to shower before bed and again, when I get up in the morning. So after hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock a few times I drag myself into the shower as it helps me wake up. After showering, I go through my usual face/skincare routine, brush my teeth, and comb my hair. When I'm done getting ready, I take my two wonderful puppies out to play for a good 15-25 min. When they seem tired enough for the day, we come back inside and eat breakfast or they do.
The next step in my morning routine is to commute to work. My commute takes about an hour to an hour and a half so I like to take this time to listen to an audible book or podcast. I listen to a wide range of content - anything from health and history to everything in between. When I get to the office, I like to check the news. I like to see what’s going on in my community and what the latest trends in the health and wellness world, which helps me ideate on research and development for Ritual Energy products. After that, I fall into a flow with my work and set off to have a great day!
I make each morning a successful one by starting the night before. I set my clothes out for work, meal prep, and make a to-do list for the following day all the night before I go to sleep. That way, when I wake up, I am organized and ready to start the day running...which is another thing I do first thing in the morning. I choose to workout every morning before heading into work. As someone who isn’t naturally a “morning person,” working out is something I truly enjoy, and so by adding exercise to my morning routine, workouts add a level of enjoyment to each morning. Plus, each workout helps me wake up and prepare for the rest of my day.
My morning routine start by going to bed early! Good pre-sleep hygiene helps me guarantee a good night's rest and makes waking up that much easier. One of the first things I do after turning off my morning alarm is take some deep breaths and start to move my body a little (much like waking from a savasana for those yogis out there). Immediately after that I make a point of drinking at least one (1) full glass of water before getting into the daily chores of grooming. If I’m not on the road, I do a nasal cleanse with a Neti Pot almost every morning. This helps moisten and open up my nostrils so I can breathe easier (ever since I was a kid, I’ve had trouble breathing through my nose and this is one of the only non-invasive/non-drug-related remedies that works for me). Before or after this, I’ll often do some light stretches (especially for my neck) and some rolling out. Rolling out (myofascial release) is critical for my back. I have a pair of rubber massage balls that I use along my spine that releases a lot of the tension from the night and loosens me up for some even deeper stretching! Next is breakfast, which usually consists of steel cut oats, some sort of fruit, milk-alternative, nuts and spices (right now it’s blueberries, bananas, almond milk, cinnamon, cardamom, honey, and walnuts). I don’t always drink coffee or do caffeine in the mornings, but when I do, I try to wait until 2-4 hours after waking to avoid an early caffeine crash. Out of everything that I do, the most helpful thing I’ve done to make waking up easier has been to wake up at the same time every day (yes, that includes Sat and Sun). This makes waking up on Mondays just like any other day for me and keeps me from going out or staying up too late.
The exact order and timing of my morning routine vary from day-to-day, but I have a few practices I pick and choose from each day, depending on my schedule, mood, state-of-mind and energy level.
However, most mornings look something like this:
5:30AM - 6:45AM: Wake up! My body tends to naturally wake up somewhere in this window, so I usually don’t set an alarm (which is something I am tremendously grateful for). I typically only set a back-up alarm to make sure I’m not late for my morning workout class.
6:00AM - 7:30AM: Morning workout. My workout changes daily depending on my body’s needs and schedule, but I tend to frequent the yoga studio.
8:00AM - Make breakfast. My go-to is usually avocado toast with over-easy eggs or a spirulina green smoothie. I find both of these options keep me full and fueled up for the day.
8:30AM - Shower and get ready for the day. Some wellness practices I try to incorporate into most days include using all natural products for my face and body, dry brushing, and jade rolling. I also have a skincare routine I go through every morning that helps product clear, glowing skin.
9:15 AM - Morning pages or 5-20 minute meditation. Truth be told, some days I’ll move my meditative practice to later in the day. I’m extremely type-A and when my brain needs to go, it needs to go… so sometimes it suits me better to dive right into work and to meditate later in the day when I’m starting to feel my energy and mood dip. I also LOVE morning pages. It helps my mind purge all the useless, repetitive thoughts, concerns, worries, etc. to create space for the thoughts I actually want to be focusing on.
9:45 AM - Cup of coffee or golden milk. If I’m drinking coffee that day, I’ll make often make a cup with collagen powder and some pea protein half and half. If not, I have a turmeric tonic mix I love to use with some collagen powder and cashew or macadamia nut milk, sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon to make the day extra special.
10:00 AM - Get to work!
Photos by: Matthew Henry, Isaac Davis, Alvan Nee, Marion Michele, Johnathan Daniels