40 Day Morning Ritual Challenge
Recently I finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project. If you haven’t read it, Grechen’s happiness project was all about how to change her life, without changing her life. Over the course of one year she took on implementing one new habit each month that would have a positive effect on her happiness.
What I loved about this book was the idea that it’s often the small consistent actions we take on a daily basis that have the biggest effect on our wellbeing. These actions when done repeatedly turn into habits, which ultimately determine the quality of our lives.
Habits can be described as repetitive behaviors which form specific patterns in our reality. At the time you form one of these patterns you would have seen it (either consciously or unconsciously) as a desirable way of being. Maybe it supported a goal you had at the time or it could have been a protective defense mechanism to aid in your survival in some way.
As you evolve and gain greater awareness you might start to realize that habits that once served you no longer do. The great thing is, with this awareness you can be in choice to choose different habits, ones that serve you now.
In the yogic tradition it is believed to take 40 days to break old habits and to build new ones. In this 40 days you will be retraining your mental process and nervous system to behave in a different way.
According to this tradition it takes 40 Days to change or break a habit, 90 Days to confirm a new habit, 120 Days to integrate the new habit into who you are, and 1000 days to master the new habit.
Now My Challenge For You: A 40 Day Morning Ritual Challenge
Out of all of the habits you can have in your life a morning ritual, in my opinion, is one of the most influential and important. What you do in the morning hours sets the foundation for the rest of the day.
How do you spend your morning hours?
There are some great books out there, like Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning on the exact activities that “should be” in a morning ritual. However, I’m much more inclined to invite you to explore and create your morning ritual for yourself rather than give you a prescriptive script.
Using the following 7 questions as a guide begin to craft the morning ritual that will be in best service of you and your life now and in the future:
- What activities give you the most energy?
- What activities help you gain clarity?
- What are you already doing in the morning that works?
- What are you already doing in the morning that doesn’t work?
- What activities are you curious about trying?
- How could you combine activities to get the most out of your time?
- How much time do you need spend to set your day up with intention?
After answering these questions you are going to have some data to work with.
What morning ritual could you implement daily that would set you up for success?
A model that can help you implement a killer morning ritual is The Habit Formula popularized by Charles Duhigg.
In this model there are three components you need to be super clear on: The Cue, The Routine, The Reward
The Cue is the thing that will trigger you to begin engaging in the habit. As an example it could be simply setting an alarm that says “start my morning ritual”.
The routine is the exact process you will go through to implement your habit. If we look at the morning ritual as one habit your routine would be the order of activities along with the timeline for each activity in your morning ritual. The more specific here the better.
Finally, the reward. In order to move your new habit from something that is hard to do to something that you crave doing there needs to be some sense of reward for your actions. It can be as simple as a checkmark on a habit tracker as you complete your ritual or it could be connecting to how you are going to feel once you complete your morning ritual. Everyone is different when it comes to what is motivating for them. Find your thing and have it support you in implementing your new morning ritual.
At this point if you still have no idea what your morning routine could look like I’ll share mine to get some ideas flowing. I’m definitely not perfect when it comes to the execution of this ritual but more often than not I do it in its entirety and when I can’t I pull out the non-negotiables from it to set me and my day up for success
My Morning Ritual:
5:30am wake up with alarm that is across the room so I have to get out of bed
5:40-6:00 Drink a mug of hot water with lemon and journal any thoughts and capture the top priorities for the day
6:00-7:00 Move – this could be yoga, a walk, an exercise class I book these in at the start of the week so that I’m not deciding in the morning that never works for me
7:15-7:45 Get ready
8:00 Coffee (this is my reward)
So, are you up for the 40 day morning ritual challenge?
Remember, you may not hit this out of the park the first time around. And, that’s ok. You are creating a new behaviour which isn’t easy, you are rewiring your brain. So be compassionate with yourself if you have a false start or fall of the wagon, you can always start again.
Once again, it takes 40 days straight to change or break a habit. 90 days straight To confirm a new habit. 120 days straight to integrate the habit with who you are. 1000 days straight to master the new habit.
When you think about it even the 1000 days is a small sliver of time in the timeline of your life and there is no better to time than now to begin.
A Quote To Inspire Your 40 Day Journey:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit”– Aristotle