***See the all the tips from the Fantastic Family Series here.***
Wouldn't you love a 'secret weapon' ensuring that every single day was the best it could be -- with plenty of patience, perspective and happiness?
Family -- and life in general -- offers so much richness, if only we know how to extract the goodness that is already there.
Life is -- and should be -- AWESOME! Our family relationships can be rewarding and meaningful. That's what we're after. And that's what #FANTASTICFAMILYFRIDAYS is all about!
Last week we discussed the critical importance of seeing the 'big picture'. Do you know what it is? The bit picture, I mean.
If not, you need to go back and watch last week's episode. (Seriously, you need to do it... it was such a great session!)
This week it's time to start putting the puzzle pieces into place, and one of the most important pieces is what we're discussing today.
This 'puzzle piece' to creating a fantastic family culture is so critical that Greg created an entire audio program about it -- it's a process that he's been following for 17 years.
How's your day?
Can you relate? It's Tuesday morning. Your toddler is waking you up, requesting something to eat. The kids are getting ready for the day or for school, asking for this and that.
Immediately, you're jumping right into it, answering life's urgencies as they come. There's barely time to think, only time to respond. Most of your day passes this way, until you finally fall into bed, exhausted, only to start it all again the next day.
What about your goals? What about those 'want to's' on your list? What about time just to think? For many parents, there's very little of it.
That's why what we're discussing today is so powerful. It creates a space in your life where you can focus on becoming your best self, working on your personal goals, pondering on challenges you face, and providing the opportunity to think, create and have time that is just your own.
The most amazing part? This daily 'space' or daily routine, has a powerful, positive impact on the rest of your life. It gives you the tools to be a better spouse and parent, and the mindset to help you face challenges with patience and perspective. It helps you achieve your personal goals, and even can make you happier, resulting in better interactions, which produces better relationships and an overall better life.
Enter the Morning Ritual
So this incredible tool of sunshine and rainbows? It's something we simply call the 'Morning Routine' or 'Morning Ritual'.
If you really want to change your life, your family, yourself, you must improve today. Daily habits are the key; the lock will not open any other way. What you and I do today, tomorrow and every day will determine who we become, and therefore, whether or not we succeed.
"This is the rudder. It's the way you set your sails. It determines your day, and, I've said it so many times, the way we live our days is the way we live our lives.
We've got to start the day off right because the way you start it, for the most part, determines how it goes. This is HUGE!"
This is that determining factor between the 'so busy' don't have time, and the super productive get-things-done-ers.
The morning ritual is what puts first things first. "Literally, this small habit will make the biggest difference."
You mean I have to get up early?!
The truth of the matter is, "Yes."
If you want to implement this powerful ritual, you're going to have to get up earlier than you currently are. It's the only way to fit it in. That can be a challenge... but do you want to reap the benefits or not?
Because seriously, it is so worth it.
Any friends we've mentored or 'coaxed' into implementing the morning ritual have nothing but great things to say about its effects. These are people who usually got out of bed around 7 or 8 a.m. and are now getting up at 4 a.m. (yes, that's right!) Do you know what they say about this drastic life change?
"It's worth it! I am so amazed at the difference it makes."
Why get up earlier? Because if we want a time and place to get more of the most important things done, there's no better time than quiet, early mornings... there's a power in those quiet hours while the world sleeps. You can channel that power to improve your life.
Your morning ritual is there to help you set the tone of the day, to prepare yourself to meet it's challenges. When you give yourself that time before the rest of your family wakes, before you begin your 'work', then your mind, body and soul are ready to direct (instead of react) to life.
"You've got to get centered, to get your life in the place where you want it to be. That's what the morning routine does for you."
What do I do during the morning ritual?
You have goals and dreams, objectives you're working on. They can only be accomplished by being broken into smaller, 'day-size' chunks. The morning ritual gives you a time and place to fit in the chunks.
Maybe you have a parenting book you want to read, or would like to start doing yoga or meditation. Here's the place where you can spend 15-30 minutes working on each of those things.
What are some of the ingredients we recommend for your morning ritual?
Nourish your body
You're dehydrated after sleeping all night. Your body and brain need water, so have a large glass or two first thing in the morning. This also helps your body to flush out toxins. All of this contributes to a healthy mind and body, and a happier life.
Nourish your spirit
Meditate, pray, connect with God. For the most part, our souls are starving. You need a time and space to nourish yours. You should also study some spiritual literature -- scriptures, the Tao, the Bhagavad Gita, the Quran -- they all contain great words of truth and peace.
Read great literature
You've heard us say it before -- "Input determines output".
Putting great ideas and thoughts into your mind and heart help make you into a better person. You should regularly be reading great books -- biographies, history, personal development, parenting. Here's a time and place to make it happen.
Need some book recommendations? Start here.
Write down your thoughts
Writing has power (read Accidental Genius by Mark Levy.)
As you're reading great literature, ideas and inspiration will come to you. Writing it down helps you to capture, and remember. You can type on your computer, or write by hand in a journal or notebook. The important thing is that you spend a few minutes recording your thoughts.
We all talk to ourselves. That self-talk is called endophasia. We can learn to direct that self talk so that it produces the results that we want, and helps us to effectively face challenges. You have to shape your thoughts, and the morning ritual is a crucial part of that process.
Gratitude and goals
If you do nothing else, then at least do this. Every morning, take a moment to reflect on what you're grateful for and what you want to work on achieving that day. Having this daily reminder -- of your blessings and your current pursuits -- helps keep you on the right 'path'.
You need to get your body moving! Exercise and movement produces endorphins and dopamines, which are the chemicals that make you happy. It increases blood flow, and exercising can actually give you more energy! We all need that, right?
Consistency is the bridge
My husband likes to say, "Consistency is the bridge that spans the gulf between mediocrity and greatness."
You have to be consistent. This is where champions are made. This is where personal growth takes place. This is where you receive your education, and make progress and improvement. This is the difference between talking about it, dreaming about it and actually getting it done. And it happens with consistent application of these principles.
Are you ready to implement your morning ritual?
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