Top Tips To Start Your 20 Minute Morning Ritual

Many of our morning rituals and routines are composed of the following; alarm, coffee, Whatsapp, news, dress and leave.

We tend to think that finding spare time in our morning routine is harder than finding Nemo. To take a breath, let alone schedule in a daily 20 minute morning ritual seems tiring enough.

Think again.

Busy entrepreneurs, doctors, philanthropists and TV personalities such as Oprah, Tony Robbins and Dr Jockers have beyond busy schedules and they work on their self-improvement and mindfulness each and every morning. Their focused mindsets are induced by habit, morning ritual and repetition.

“That’s been one of my mantras—focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” – Steve Jobs

Mindfulness, Meditation And Success

Why is a morning ritual important?

A person is relaxing in a hammock, reading a book and creating her own morning ritual to encourage mindfulness and meditation.
Meet your new morning ritual. Read, recuperate and meditate.

Plotting in a 20 minute routine is pretty effortless. It just takes a tiny bit of focus and getting used to a new rhythm in the early hours. Are you up for it? If so, read this article, as we’ve tried, tested and are now hooked on this simple 3-part morning ritual.

A study mentioned in Charles Duhigg’s book ‘The Power of Habit’ describes how in a study of 266 participants who habitually exercised, the majority grew to “expect and crave the endorphins and other neurochemicals a workout provided… (giving them) a sense of accomplishment… that self reward was enough to make the physical activity into a habit.”

You’ll find that with a morning ritual, you too will get a similar sort of buzz and automatic craving.

Let’s get started.  

How to find time for a morning ritual

Go to bed 20 minutes earlier and wake up 20 minutes earlier, here’s how:

  • Try having your evening meal earlier
  • Unwind without the help of television or any screens
  • Remember that the best morning rituals are those you look forward to
  • Start with a Bulletproof Coffee. This delicious drink is enough to get anyone up in the morning. Over to Dave Asprey to show us how to make it.

The 3 steps to a new morning ritual:

Step 1: Jot down a gratitude list (2 mins)

A person is jotting down their gratitude list whilst enjoying a cup of coffee or green tea. This is a part of their morning ritual which only takes 20 minutes and encourages mindfulness, relaxation and mediation.
Write a gratitude list each morning as part of your ritual. Photo by Green Chameleon

This has to be one of the top 3 easiest and most satisfying things a person can do. Almost as satisfying as pushing a pencil through jelly and beating the rest of your age groups’ brain score in Peak – Brain Training!  

Jesse Cannone, author of ‘The End to All Disease’ describes gratitude as “a key contributing factor to human health, happiness and social connection.” This is backed up by numerous studies including those carried out by Dr. Amen (author of ‘Change Your Brain Change your Life’) in which he discovered the power gratitude meditation has on the brain, leading to a much more optimistic outlook on life and faster goal-making progress.

So how do you write a gratitude list?

Grab something to write with, something to write on and start jotting down all the things you feel grateful for/happy with/open to in your life. An example might be:

Tuesday’s Gratitude List

  • I’m grateful for my beautiful warm house
  • I’m grateful for the love my dog gives me
  • I’m grateful for the nutritious food in my fridge
  • I’m grateful for the app Peak Sleep – Sleep Better helping me snooze

It’s up to you how many ideas you write down, as a starter stick with 3, although you’ll find you won’t be able to stop once you’re in the swing of things!

Checkout UJ’s Five Minute Journal app for more ideas – one of the best morning ritual apps out there.

Step 2: Meditation (10 mins)

A person in a cup underneath a cloudy blue sky looks up with his eyes closed. They're taking time to meditate, relax and begin an easy morning ritual.
Take 5. Breathe.

The meditation we’re referring to takes 10 minutes and focuses on your breath and your mind’s focus.

The best short 10 minute meditation app audio for beginners can be found in our app Peak Sleep – Sleep Better. This sleep, meditation and mindfulness app features meditation, hypnosis audios, sleep tips and much more.

Click/tap here to find out more.

The audio to start with from the Peak Sleep – Sleep Better app is called ‘Meeting Your Mind’ by co-director of the Mindfulness Training Institute Martin Alyward. This 10 minute meditation audio for beginners is free for all users and super easy to do.

In the must-read guide book to stress called ‘Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers’, the writer Sapolsky highlights the benefits of meditation when done on a regular basis: “Meditation seems to be pretty good for your health decreasing glucocorticoid levels, sympathetic tone, and all the bad stuff that too much of either can cause.” Sapolsky goes onto mention that there are many variations out there, so choose wisely and try before you buy.

Step 3: Boost your brain (8 mins)

Someone playing a game of chess in the morning as a part of their morning ritual.
Gaming online or offline trains your brain.

Test your brain in the morning.

After a good night’s sleep you should be in the mood to crack on with a few early morning challenges.

A number of studies have shown that expertise with word games like Scrabble correlates with benefits in language-related cognitive abilities.

If you’ve got a spare 15 minutes, we’d seriously recommend reading about this study here or if you’re in a rush read this condensed version.

Spend 8 minutes each morning as part of your morning ritual playing a brain training, challenging game. This could be a classic sudoku, a quick-fire word association game with your housemate, jotting down a wordy poem or getting stuck into a brain training game over in Peak – Brain Training.

Our language games like Babble Bots, Word Path, and Word Fresh are similar to Scrabble in challenging word detection and verbal fluency skills. Check out why Techlicious rates us as one of the best Brain Training apps that actually work.

Peak contains more than 40 games that tap into 7 cognitive domains. These domains include Memory, Focus, Mental Agility, Problem Solving, Language, Emotion and Coordination.

Play today to benefit from these incredible brain gym workouts.

For those ready to launch themselves into a new morning ritual, check out this inspirational quote from self-help guru Tony Robbins on how to stick to this new routine:

“For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent.” – Tony Robbins

Want to read more mindful articles? Check out this article on your easy contribution to Earth Day. Click here or choose from the below:

Earth Day

Sources cited:

Maisie Bygraves

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