I love morning rituals. I’m borderline OCD so my love for them is probably unhealthy. But regardless, I think they’re great.

I even read an entire book titled, Daily Rituals about all these famous people’s rituals. It was both creepy (like I was spying on them) and interesting.

And over the years I’ve experimented a lot with my morning ritual. I would read about all these other people’s rituals and would be like, “Oh, that’s a great idea, I’ll do that too!”

And before you knew it I had a very busy and complex list of things to do every morning. Initially, I liked it but after a while it became such a chore and the life got sucked out of it. So I stopped waking up early and abandoned my ritual altogether.

But I realized that on days when I wake up early and do something I enjoy my day goes much better. So I started doing morning rituals again, except this time I kept it simple.

And I want to suggest to you that it’s better to simplify your morning ritual so that you can enjoy it and actually do it.

Here’s what my morning ritual used to look like:

6:00–6:10 Brush teeth, drink water, make toast & coffee
6:10–6:25 Read Bible
6:25–6:45 Pray/Meditate
6:45–7:00 Journal
7:00–7:20 Exercise
7:20–7:30 Shower/Shave
7:30–8:00 Breakfast
8:00–8:30 Coffee w/ Lacie

When I look at that now I just think, “Man, that feels so rushed.” And it was. I love how I gave myself precisely 20 minutes to pray and mediate. I can remember setting the timer on my phone and when it dinged my eyes were opened and I was reaching for my journal!

“Aint nobody got time for this!”

The problem with this type of ritual, at least for me, is that I would fall behind just 5 minutes and feel like I was already losing! Which sucks because one of the main benefits of having a morning ritual in the first place is so you start your day off winning.

I’m not saying you have to simplify your morning ritual like I did because maybe you love doing 10 little carefully planned tasks in 2 hours.

But I realized I enjoy going deep into something and not being rushed. I also like to give 100% to the task at hand and walk away knowing I gave it my all instead of just checking something off a list.

Results are also important to me so if I’m doing something, like say working out, praying or writing, I want to see results from my efforts. I’m not cool with just “putting in the time” without any idea if what I’m doing is working.


CrossFit Helped Me Simplify

Let’s take working out for example. In my complex ritual days I would workout for exactly 20 minutes (that included stretching). It was efficient but not effective. My goal was to get stronger and bulk up. And it wasn’t helping me do that.

Then I started doing CrossFit. And I love it! (well I love/hate it to be honest). I love it because I can see the results. I’m getting stronger, bigger and faster. Plus, I feel like I’m finally working out the right way. I’m giving it 100%.

But, like with everything in life, there’s a tradeoff. I can no longer only allocate 20 minutes to working out like I did before. Doing things right requires more time. And I’m OK with that.

So on the days I do CrossFit (3 days a week) I have to simplify my morning ritual and I love it. I never get done working out and think, “I could have spent this last hour doing three 20-minute tasks.” No, instead I think, “That was a good workout.” And I actually feel happier and better prepared to face the day.

After I work out I shower at the gym and drive to my favorite coffee shop where I order a delicious breakfast burrito and a vanilla latte. I’m usually done eating and ready to write by 8:00 a.m. and I love it. I get my first block of writing done before 9:00 a.m. and feel like I’ve already killed it for that day!

On my CrossFit days I also have drive time to and from the gym which I use to pray and meditate and review my goals in my head. And when I’m eating my breakfast burrito I usually have a few minutes to read. So I actually do all the tasks I did before but it just feel much more simple and enjoyable.

What about you?

Is there one or two things you enjoy that you could do every morning? Maybe it’s yoga, writing, CrossFit, reading or going for a walk.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just pick ONE thing you’ll do every morning. One thing you enjoy and want to do. And if you’re a results-oriented type of person then choose something where you can measure results.

My challenge right now is that my CrossFit gym only offers 6:00 a.m. classes on Tues and Thursdays (Saturdays it’s 10:00 a.m.). So I either have to switch gyms or find other things to do on the rest of the days. I love playing hockey and I used to do Tai Chi which I enjoyed, so maybe I’ll see if I can find some options there.

Hope this got you thinking of some good ideas for your morning ritual.