Morning Rituals are a simple way to start every single day full of energy and ready to take on the world.
Evening Rituals are a simple way to finish every single day peacefully, to fall asleep easily and to have a great night of sleep.
That’s the magic of rituals and routines.
What Is A Ritual Or Routine?
A ritual or routine is a set of scripted actions or habits that you do on a regular basis to get you into a certain performance state.
When we talk about rituals, we usually refer to morning rituals and evening rituals.
You can also construct a daytime ritual, but this will be dependent on what you do for work.
Morning Rituals And Routines
A morning ritual spans the time from when you wake up to when you are ready to start your day.
You simply wake up, and start on the first action, then the next, and the next… until you are done and ready to go.
Essential Morning Ritual Parts
The most important parts of a morning ritual are:
- Drinking water. 500ml is enough.116.9 fl oz for Americans, Liberians and the Burmese.
- Using the bathroom.
- Reviewing your goals. Simply sitting, looking over and thinking about them is enough.
- Getting dressed and ready. This should be the last thing you do before you head out the door or sit down to work.
All four items are self-explanatory and simple enough that you can do them starting tomorrow.
Optional Morning Ritual Parts
There are also some “nice to haves” in a morning ritual, such as:
- Mindfulness in the form of meditation or affirmations.
The Biggest Problem With Most People’s Morning Routines
The biggest problem most people have with their mornings, is that they pick up their phone.
Or sit in front of the computer.
Or turn on the TV.
Nothing will kill your morning ritual and momentum faster than distracting yourself with one of these things.
The best thing is to ignore all these things completely. Hit your chosen morning ritual items one after the other, then get on with your day.
How Long Should My Morning Ritual Take?
If you are doing a barebones version of a morning ritual (water, bathroom, goals, get ready), it should not take you more than an hour.2The reason for this is most people usually take ten to fifteen minutes to stumble out of bed.
If you are adding in optional items, it may take you up to three or four hours.
Yes, that’s correct – three to four hours.
That may include one to one-and-a-half hours in the gym, thirty minutes of meditation and an hour of reading.
All these things are good for you anyway and may be necessary depending on your goals. The simple way to make sure you get them all done is to wake up earlier.
If you implement morning rituals consistently, you will find yourself having great starts to all your days.
Even if you wake up groggy or a bit out of it… you can trust in the power of your morning ritual to pull you through to effectiveness and readiness.
Evening Rituals cover the time from when you start winding down to when you fall asleep.
Essential Evening Ritual Parts
The most important parts of an evening ritual are:
- Preparing for tomorrow. This could be physical items like your gym gear or lunch for work, organisational items like your task list or simply reviewing how your day went.
- Reviewing your goals briefly, much like you did in the morning.
- Using the bathroom. All the normal hygiene stuff.
- Turning the lights off and going to sleep.
These are self-explanatory.
Optional Evening Ritual Parts
A couple of “nice to haves” for your evening ritual are:
- Foam rolling or stretching to loosen up and relax your body.
- Some light reading to wind down.3Some people relax reading fiction, others relax reading non-fiction. Just pick the one that helps you unwind the most.
- Dim/red lighting or blue blockers.
- No electronic devices. I am not as much of a stickler about this as most people are, so long as you are not sitting there scrolling social media for twenty minutes or something similar.
- Sleep aids. Whatever works for you here – ZMA, melatonin, or chamomile tea. I would not recommend alcohol.4Standard disclaimer: talk to your doctor before taking anything.
How Long Should My Evening Ritual Take?
Your evening should take about thirty minutes to one hour.
Remember that the purpose of your evening ritual is to help you fall sleep easily.
Simply the act of purposefully undergoing a “ritual” to finish your day, can help you settle your mind, calm you down and put you in a state conducive to rest.
How To Implement Morning Rituals And Evening Rituals
Simplicity is best when implementing rituals.
You can keep a recurring list in a task management app on your phone.
Or you can simply write/print out your rituals on a piece of paper and refer to them at the appropriate time.
Eventually the actions in a ritual will become automatic, and that’s when it becomes fun.
You will start to recognise how long it takes for you to get ready or wind down, and be able to factor that into your decision making for going out at night, or waking up early.
Frequently Asked Questions About Morning Rituals And Evening Rituals
Do I really have to do this every day?
Isn’t this morning ritual too long?
There are a few ways to tackle your morning ritual being too long.
The first is to make sure that it actually is taking too long, not that it just “feels too long”.
You can do this with time tracking and also note if you are doing anything other than your morning ritual items, such as checking your phone or reading the news.
The second is to cut out the optional items and add them back in one at a time, seeing which you can make time for and which you cannot.
The third is to do your morning ritual items faster. This will naturally happen over time as you become familiar with each of the items.
The fourth is to recognise that this is just what it takes. A longer startup time in the morning is the cost you pay for the benefit of a fully productive day.
I woke up at a different time – what do I do?
Simply do your morning ritual as per normal, or run a barebones version.
What happens when I’m travelling?
You can do your normal morning ritual and evening ritual, or simplified versions.
This seems too hard/complicated.
Morning and evening rituals are not supposed to be complicated. They are purposefully structured to take minimal amounts of willpower to complete, and should be fairly automatic.
In the beginning it may seem complex or difficult, but you can exercise a bit of self-discipline to help get you through the first thirty days or so until the ritual becomes second nature.
I still have problems falling asleep or getting good sleep.
It is absolutely fine if you don’t get a perfect night of sleep every night – that’s why you have a morning ritual to help with your grogginess in the morning.
You can also try adding some optional items such as sleep aids to your evening ritual, to improve the quality of your sleep.
It is also worth asking if you are exerting yourself enough on a daily basis. Have you lived with purpose and moved continuously all day?
You can also take a look at your sleep hygiene. Though it is a separate topic, it covers things like setting up your bedroom or making sure that you don’t take caffeine too late in the day.
What To Do Next
Morning rituals and evening rituals are not complicated.
You now have enough information to organise your own rituals – so give it a try and let me know how it goes.
For more on productive flow techniques like morning and evening rituals, grab your 100% free copy of Evolution below.
- 16.9 fl oz for Americans, Liberians and the Burmese.
- The reason for this is most people usually take ten to fifteen minutes to stumble out of bed.
- Some people relax reading fiction, others relax reading non-fiction. Just pick the one that helps you unwind the most.
- Standard disclaimer: talk to your doctor before taking anything.