Week 3 Spark Insight: Morning Rituals

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Critical Concept: Wake-Up Earlier
Now that you’re getting to bed earlier, it’s going to be much easier to wake-up earlier.

The alarm goes off; you drag yourself out of bed, jump in the shower, skip breakfast and rush out of the house into traffic – barely making it to work on time. If this is sounds like your routine, you are not alone. This stress filled morning fills our body with an early dose of Cortisol, Catecholamines and other stress hormones that push your entire physiology into the Sympathetic State of Fight or Flight – where you are likely to spend the rest of your day. Eventually, you make it back to the cave and crash, psychologically exhausted from another day.

Get out of your rut. If your morning routine looks more like survival of the fittest and a race against the clock, it is time to take back your morning. Get into a groove. It is time to get up earlier and create your morning ritual. Create a compelling reason to get out of bed. Read, stretch, workout, surf, meditate, or journal. Start your day with some time for yourself. Keep it relaxed, inspiring and fulfilling. Enjoy something that you’ve been missing because you “don’t have the time”. Create the time. Do something that connects you with your bigger purpose.

Routines are the things that you have to do; rituals are the things that you get to do.

“Before you master your life, you must first master your day. Before you master your day, you must first master your morning. Before you master your morning, you must first master yourself. In order to make time for morning rituals, you must get up earlier.
- Dr. CJ Mertz

A best practice for ensuring an enriching start to your day is to allow 20 – 30 minutes for yourself. Determine how long it takes for you to shower, dress and eat a nutritious breakfast and add this additional time for morning rituals.

Utilize the 21 Day Rule to click back the alarm clock for an earlier morning wake-up. A new vital behavior involves the same 15 minute increment – set your alarm for a 15 minute earlier wake-up for 21 days in a row. Repeat this until you have achieved your target time.

Every day you get to decide if you will start rushed, anxious and stressed or relaxed, connected and inspired. Earlier mornings start the night before with earlier bed times. Get your 7 hours, maximize your sleep cycles and design a morning that gets you up and at it before the alarm clock ever rings.

Best Practices and Vital Behaviors

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One of the terms used extensively throughout the Bonfire Health Experience, Best Practices refers to the concepts or strategies common to successful results or consequences.  When researchers look for the road map to success (hence the old adage “success leaves clues”), they study “positive deviants” - those characteristics or behaviors that are more likely to result in a successful outcome.  For example, within the area of personal finance, there is the known successful strategy (i.e. best practice) of saving 10-15% of your income.  But, knowing what the Best Practice is and doing the best practice often requires identifying and employing another action step or tool – a Vital Behavior.

Vital Behavior is defined as a high leverage action step or trigger that leads directly to the desired outcome.  In the saving money example above, the Vital Behavior would be to set up a regularly scheduled (i.e. weekly or monthly) Electronic Funds Transfer that transfers money into an account, which is difficult for you to access.