Did you know that how you start your day sets the tone for the rest of your day and determines how you perceive and react to everything that happens within the day?
It can literally be the difference between taking the time to understand why a client left a negative comment on your brand’s social media page and going all ballistic on them.
Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs have realized this, which is why most of them have a morning ritual that they follow every day to help them set the tone for their day and allow them to attain prosperity.
Google any successful person you know with the words “morning ritual” next to their name, and you’ll discover that most of them have a morning ritual that they follow every day.
Various studies have shown that practicing gratitude can lead to improved physical and psychological health, better sleep, increase in empathy and reduction in aggression, more social connection, enhanced self-esteem, and improved mental strength.
If you are a busy entrepreneur, creating a simple morning gratitude ritual that takes you no more than 10 minutes can help you reduce anxiety and increase your chances of overcoming all the challenges that life throws at you. The ritual I am talking about is gratitude journaling.
The Gratitude Journal
One of the most preferred and effective ways of incorporating gratitude into your daily routine is by creating a gratitude journal. People like Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, and Arianna Huffington all keep a gratitude journal.
Gratitude journaling is as simple as it sounds. Every morning when you wake up, simply grab your gratitude journal and write down the things that you are grateful for that day. These could be your health, your family, your job, your house, your bed, or anything else that you are appreciative of in your life.
Doing this simple exercise every morning can have a dramatic impact on your life and allows you to focus on the good things and opportunities in your life rather than the challenges you’re going through.
Below, let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to get started with this morning gratitude ritual:
STEP 1: Get A Dedicated Gratitude Journal (Notebook)
To achieve the greatest benefit from your gratitude journal, it is always recommended that you journal using pen and paper rather than typing on a device. The connection between mind and body when handwriting magnifies the benefits of the process.
Therefore, the first thing you need to do is to get yourself a notebook that will act as your dedicated gratitude journal. Even if you have other journals that take stock of, say, your achievements, progress, and projections, the gratitude journal should just be that – for nothing else but gratitude.
STEP 2: Get Specific With The Process
Since you are doing this to build your body chemistry to release the feel-good hormones and expel anxiety and nervousness, you have to design the ritual in a manner that fits you. You need to come up with a detailed, tailored plan on how you will go about your morning gratitude ritual.
You can adapt Tony Robbins 5-minute gratitude meditation as a start to help you identify the things that you are truly grateful for that will help improve your overall happiness and mood.
He recommends starting by feeling grateful for your heart – the gift of life – by literally placing your hands where your heart is and taking a deep breath.
The second step is to think of one moment that would give you a feeling of tremendous gratitude and step into that memory for a minute, feel it and enjoy it.
Repeat this for a few other moments you feel so grateful, including coincidences – instances when life happened for you. For example, a spontaneous meeting that led to a friendship, partnership, a business opportunity, or very valuable insight. Then think of what you can do, or that can happen to make the day great.
This can help you come up with things to journal that truly make you feel grateful and boost your mood for the day.
STEP 3: Attach The Ritual To Distinct Cues
If you want to create a habit out of your morning ritual, identify something that already is part of your daily morning routine to append your ritual to. This will make it easy for the ritual to easily fit into your morning routine if you have a well-defined one. It can be anywhere between making your bed, showering, exercising, reading, meditating, and making breakfast.
For example, you could decide to write your gratitude journal before you make your bed or while you wait for your coffee to brew.
Linking your gratitude ritual to something you do every morning will make you less likely to forget to do it.
You should also have a specific place to always keep your notebook, a place where you are certain not to miss it. For instance, you could place it on your nightstand or next to your coffee machine.
STEP 4: Set Intentions And Track Progress
Be intentional about the specific amount of time that you’ll spend on your journaling each morning. In the beginning, it might take a little longer, and that is fine. With time, as you get used to your ritual, you will be able to do it even in as little as 5 minutes.
To keep up the ritual, you must be ready to acknowledge to yourself whether you are on track or not. You need to have the presence of mind to track your progress, but also do not be too hard on yourself if you skip a day or two. Just focus on getting back on track. With time, it will become an ingrained habit.
STEP 5: Make It Enjoyable
If journaling feels like a chore that you must complete, you will abandon your morning gratitude ritual in no time. It needs to be something that you look forward to, so you have to design it in such a manner that it gives you pleasure. This includes adjusting the cues, time, and so on to keep it from getting boring.
Just write what comes to mind without thinking too much but, always be very specific since what you are journaling is a feeling. You should focus on what you feel while journaling rather than the event itself.
You might have heard of Tim Ferris’ saying ‘win the morning, win the day.’ This is a principle that most successful people live by. Many CEOs and entrepreneurs, including Tim Cook and Jon Braddock, incorporate an element of gratitude in their morning rituals.
Sticking to your morning gratitude ritual will undoubtedly help you get through your day with fewer distractions and positive momentum; therefore, if you’re yet to, get yourself a notebook and start building your morning gratitude ritual today.