I am a big believer in the power of daily rituals.
As some wise guy said, The day is your life in miniature. As goes your day, so goes your life.
I know when I feel great that it’s because of the consistency of my rituals. I know when my life sucks that I have been unfair to my daily rituals.
I am not as consistent with my rituals as I would like to be, but I am at it.
Every single day.
Here’s a quick list to get your started. Tested. Proven. Replicable. Try them out for a week (not more) and see if it doesn’t inspire you for more.
Hint: You don’t have to try all at once. Get started with any 3. After a week, see if you can add 3 more. And so on.
1. Begin your day with movement: only 5 minutes of stretching with some breathing exercises can set the tone for an awesome day.
2. 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation: This single practice will earn you 2 hours later in the day. How? By giving you the power to do 2 hours of brilliant work instead of 4 hours of lack-luster drudgery.
3. Eat a healthy, refreshing breakfast: Fuel up on proteins. Get some healthy fats too. Avoid empty calories (fried, fatty, sugary….no no).
4. Become thoughtful by being thankful: Reflect on some at least 3 beautiful aspects of your life. Feel it. And smile.
5. Play out your day in the mind: review your calendar and narrow down on your 3 MITs (Most Important Tasks) for the day.
6. Spend 30 minutes in reading something that instructs, inspires or uplifts: You didn’t forget to charge your smartphone last night, did you? Do the same justice to your brains, will you?
7. Write in your journal: Dump your thoughts in there. Jot down 10 good ideas. Make plans for a venture or adventure.
8. Plan for at least 3 Peak-Flow Time Blocks: these are 50-90 minute sessions where you are single-mindedly focused on a single important task….a crucial report, an important presentation, an article or simply preparing for a talk you plan to deliver.
9. Keep a master-list of things-to-do: As and when you think of stuff, put them in there. Then transfer them to relevant sections of your calendar. Every now and then, look at your list, and see what you can eliminate. Not everything that seemed important is actually important.
10. Keep clearing your mind throughout the day: The best ways to do that:
- breathe deeply for 2 minutes;
- close your eyes and meditate/ become mindful/ visualize;
- have a stimulating conversation with someone interesting;
- write (in your journal, on scraps of paper, back of envelope, coffee-napkins….anywhere that allows you to transfer your thought from mind to surface).
11. Get a 30-minute intense exercise session in the evening: run on a treadmill, do some HIIT, yoga or weights. Only for half an hour. You will go strong for another 3 hours at least.
12. Read. Again. For 30 minutes: Fill your bucket with good stuff. Let it crowd out mediocrity.
13. Plan tomorrow on paper today: Take 5-10 minutes at the end of your day to think about how tomorrow should play out. You decide. Be intentional about it.
14. Recap today. Rewind the last 18 hours: How did you occur? Where were you exceptional? Where could you have done better? What’s your plan to fix what you can fix?