The MORNING POWER RITUAL / Ultimate Morning Routine | Dr Alex Ritza Yorkville Chiropractor
The start of each day is like a metaphorical fork in the road. The mindset you step out the door with will often determine the course of your day and the level of achievement you attain. If you have ever woken up on the “wrong side of the bed” you will be able to attest to the difficulty required to shift your yourself back in a positive direction once you have walked out the door.
Creating a MORNING POWER RITUAL (MPR) automates the start of every day consistently and repeatedly reproduces the same mental and physical conditions for success. A great MPR shifts the control to you, where you determine how successful your day is going to be. When you define your energy and what success and failure mean for your day, you will “win” every time.
To RECOVER successfully every day, you need all your mental and physical capacities primed and working at full capacity.
What your MORNING POWER RITUAL should entail and achieve
It should transition you to an energized state prepared for the day
It should include some movement to prime your body
It should prime your mind with the values and attitude you want to uphold
It should review what tasks are most important to complete
It should include a task you can accomplish during your MPR
It should be enjoyable, repeatable and energizing
It should expose you to lots of light and fresh air
It should be something you eventually cannot live without
It should be about 30-60 minutes and not be rushed
Follow these suggested steps in your MORNING POWER RITUAL
NUMBER 1 – let there be light
Immediate and increasing light exposure will promote a regular circadian rhythm, reduce morning fatigue and help to prime your nervous system. Just as sleep is enhanced with less light exposure, waking is enhanced with more light exposure.
It can be a challenge in non-equatorial regions of the world with varying sunrise times to create consistent and, especially in the winter, early exposure to natural light. The Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clocks are a great investment to make your bedroom “screen-free” and provide gradual and strong natural light exposure in the morning. In their absence, ensure to open your “blackout blinds” immediately upon waking and turn on the lights in your home.
…and fresh air
Beyond the health benefits of walking and biking to work, fresh air exposure in the morning will help to physically RECOVERY your body and mind for a more healthy and successful day.
NUMBER 2 – get an early success
Listen to your mom’s advice and make your bed.
Completing this 1-minute task enables you to consistently and repeatedly initiate each day with an accomplishment. If you make your bed upon waking you have achieved something each and every day no matter how insignificant it is. If you are metaphorically starting each day at a fork in the road, making your bed is the mental kick-start down the path of success.
This is a habit adopted by some of the most successful entrepreneurs around. Also, consider the fact that it is the first routine that any soldier practices to kick-start their day and mind. If that isn’t enough, consider the fact that studies have shown performance is improved in a tidier environment than a messy one.
NUMBER 3 – prime your body with movement
The majority of information reaching the brain is from proprioceptive nerve fibres telling the brain about the musculoskeletal system. The brain and body are awakened and energized by movement. The morning is one of the best times to practice the material from your MOVE Curriculum to ensure your body is moving as it was designed to.
Follow the links below to watch each of the instructional videos.
I. Joint-to-Joint Movement
Watch the instructional video here
II. Soft tissue integrity
Watch the instructional here
III. Corrective Exercise Stage 2
Watch the instructional video here
NUMBER 4 – prime your mind for success
Forming a positive and engaged mindset is arguably the most important part of any morning ritual. This requires three things:
- Reviewing your purpose
- Review your mission statement, value list, and/ or daily goals as discussed in the RECHARGE component of the RECOVERY Curriculum
- Priming the mind
- Sync your mindset with the values you would like to demonstrate during your day. This is the mental equivalent of warming up your muscles and body prior to a big race, whereby your mindset is ready and aligned with your ideals. Taking a few seconds to focus on being purposeful with your intent can make a tremendous difference in how you react under pressure.
We recommend you start by using a product called The Five Minute Journal to help with this.
You may also follow this approach and write out the following 4 things:
- I am grateful for:
- Something that happened yesterday
- An interaction or relationship you have
- Something you are excited about today
- Something you are physically experiencing or feeling at that moment (i.e.: the soft carpet on your feet or the breeze on your face)
- Today would be amazing if I ________ (Something you can control)
- The one-to-three things you would like to do or work on today
- e. you might want to carry a particular mindset or attitude of being “unrushed” or being kind to yourself
- Practice a mantra of “I am …..”
- Whatever mindset you identified as your focus, put it in writing. It might look something like “I am unrushed, I am patient, I am grateful, I love everyone”
- Calm the mind for the day’s tasks
Engage and sync the mind with the present moment with 5-20 minutes of mindfulness. The CALM MIND section helps with this.
NUMBER 5 – review your agenda and prioritize tasks
Whether digital or a Moleskin, review your itinerary for the day and ensure that it contains times for breaks (see PLANNED REST), prioritizes the most important tasks early in the day or during peak productivity hours, includes only 1-3 “must-get done items” to focus on, and time for FUEL and MOVE Curriculum items.
Dr. Ritza’s MORNING POWER RITUAL
5:50 am: Wake up with Philip Light Alarm Clock and immediately consume pre-brewed coffee
6:00 am: MOVE curriculum Joint-To-Joint Movement Routine with one of my favourite podcasts
6:20 am: Make my smoothie and pour coffee
6:30 am: Morning journaling: review day & week tasks, mindset initiatives, “gratitudes”, “what would make today successful”
6:40 am: 10 Minutes of mindfulness/meditation
a few important notes…
Create a Morning Power Ritual that is right for you. Please do not just recreate ours because it was the example provided. Yours might include some pump-up music, an early morning workout or something that was not included. That is okay!
It is really important to create a morning ritual that readies your mind and body, and that is right for you. What energizes and optimizes you, could be completely different from what is best for someone else.
Unless your energy is always perfect, please consider that some sort of standardized MPR could give your health and energy level a huge boost. Just because you feel okay now does not mean that you couldn’t feel a whole lot better.
Give it 6 months. It can take at least one month to instil any new habits and with so many components in a MPR, it can take many months until it becomes second nature.
After 6 months, you will notice that the days in which you miss your MPR might not be as productive and energized.