What is the Perfect Morning Ritual? Let’s Define Your Morning Ritual.

November 16, 2023

by Travis WrightWaking up in Morning Ritual

Ok, Seems like we have been talking about it for years. Seriously. What is the best morning ritual in which to start your day? What would be the perfect way to wake up each morning? The optimal way to start your day.

Do we get up at the ass-crack of dawn and abide by Benjamin Franklin’s most known mantra, ‘Early to Bed, Early to Rise… Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.’

Well, damn. I want all three of those things. I want to be able to live optimally, in a peak state and secure my goals and live the life I have always dreamed about. Sure. Tell me more. But I tell ya… Its a hard thing to define.

And for some, myself at the top of the list, Waking up early in the Morning is my master. Mornings own my ass. My head, in the past, does not want to wake up from the sleep funk. heh. That is no lie.

So, for me, it seems that I have always known that getting up early in the morning is the way to go. And it seems that I have never listened to reason, and begin waking up early.

Action Step: Get a pen and paper… step AWAY from the keyboard and define your perfect morning ritual. Do this by asking yourself optimal questions. Instead of disencouraging statements to yourself, during self-talk… ask optimized questions. Ask and it is Given.

Write down what would make you most happy in the morning. What would happen? How would your morning be? What song would your radio alarm play to start your day? And maybe, if you heard more music to start your day… would you feel better immediately? Think of that!

Questions to Ask yourself on How to Wake in the Morning and create your perfect morning ritual.

How can I wake up early EVERYDAY!

What is the BEST Way to Wake in the Morning?

How can I FEEL GREAT in the Morning?

What could I do that Would Feel AWESOME in the Morning?

If you ask yourself these type of questions. You can customize your day, everyday… starting from the get-go.

So, if I were to ever follow through and enjoy the perfect morning. It would go something like this.

  1. Wake up to the Tom Petty Song, “I Won’t Back Down”
  2. Then immediately save three dollars in the Million Dollar Savings Club, $1 Investing Pile - $1 Savings Pile - $1 Charity Pile
  3. Brush My Teeth! Take care of your smile. Take care of your tongue. Take care of your health. Take care of your life….
  4. Go take a nap
  5. Just kidding on the last one. I want you to define your own perfect morning schedule.

    Perhaps you want to go for a run or for a walk first thing? Perhaps sitting in a chill place with a cup of coffee and complete silence might make a morning companion. Java and Meditation. Can they coexist? heh. Im not a big coffee fan, but I know there are legions of people out there, loving them some coffee.

    Maybe you have some fresh coffee brewing by an alarm and you wake to the smell of fresh coffee in the morning?

    Perhaps you have a ritual of taking your dog for a run/walk first thing in the morning. Maybe you should get up at 5am and start your morning like Personal Development Blogger, Steve Pavlina does… in his article “How to Become an Early Riser”.

    Many of the members of his forum are also getting up at 5am. I tried getting up at 5am, and I just aint feelin’ it yet. So for me, I wake up still at the very last possible minute, and jump in shower… grab a quick bite to eat, either cereal or a local fast food breakfast. And miss out on all the amazing great things that I could be doing to start my morning routine.

    I do listen to Tom Petty in the morning though. That one is easy to do. I just hear it 5 times each morning. In fact, I think Im kind of sick of that song now. Maybe I need a fresh song. Ha Ha.

    Damn you mornings! Why must you make it so tough on us Night time people!

    Anyway, if you want to create your perfect morning each morning, do so. It will probably be one of the most rewarding things to conquer in your life. If it is, let me know how it works out for you.

    Please add some suggestions / blog comments to help us all form our perfect morning. This is part of the reason I wrote this entry, was to have you guys HELP ME with ideas about waking up. So feel free to shoot them our way, so we can share our ideas, and formulate our perfect custom morning ritual so we can have the BEST LIFE EVER!!


    Much Love-

    Travis Wright
    Cultivate Greatness | Personal Development

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30 Responses to “What is the Perfect Morning Ritual? Let’s Define Your Morning Ritual.”

  1. Mycroft on November 16th, 2006 12:36 am

    Excellent article Travis. For whatever reason, perhaps 20 years of military life (although there were plenty of folks in the military who couldn’t easily get up early), I can pretty much get up when I want.

    What I like to do is put on a pot of water to boil for oatmeal, start the coffee pot, and scoop the litter boxes. By the time I’m finished the litter boxes, the oatmeal water is boiling and I can fix that. I buy oats in bulk at the local Cash & Carry. 5 minutes on low heat and it’s done. No fuss, no muss. It tastes great with brown sugar and if I’m feeling frisky, I’ll sprinkle on a little cinnamon. :D

    Then I have my Oatmeal, some OJ, coffee, and my morning paper.

  2. Define Your Pefect Morning Ritual - Personal Development for Smart People Forums on November 16th, 2006 12:46 am

    [...] Define Your Pefect Morning Ritual Hey everyone… thought this might be an interesting topic for Personal Effectiveness… some might say health and wellness might be better, but wuh-eva, right? Anyway, What would be the most perfect way to start your day? I wrote a blog tonight, as I thought about the 5am barrier that mentally stands in my way. I look forward to reading your thoughts! What is the Perfect Morning Ritual? Lets Define Your Morning Ritual. I think if we all brainstorm, we might come up with and share some really exciting ways to start off our day. __________________ Travis Wright | CultivateGreatness.com [...]

  3. Ann on November 17th, 2006 3:39 pm

    Always early wakenings make a better day!!
    First of all, lift the shades to watch the sea caress the shore (that’s a tip for energy fuel). Barefooted walk to the kitchen and grab a couple of fresh fruits while listening to almost any kind of music… no words, just sound in my patio, while trying to do some stretch exercises, slowly, smoothly.
    In about 15 min. I’m ready for a coffee and ready to face whatever kind of day there is ahead.

  4. Windows Shopper on November 17th, 2006 4:44 pm

    Getting an early start to the day for me, means that I can putter around lazily, until my neurotransmitters start to fire at their peak! Each day is like a blank slate and hold so much promise. I like to rise slowly from my bed, get up, shower with something pleasing to the olfactories, get dressed. Once this is accomplished I sip some OJ, eat some fruit and yogurt and I’m ready to ease into productivity. Weather permitting, I take a stroll around the garden for a breath of air and just to process my surroundings.

  5. MikaLa on November 17th, 2006 4:58 pm

    Bread and coffee for breakfast. After that: a 9 point match of backgammon on the internet.

    Never fails.

  6. LeisureGuy on November 17th, 2006 6:08 pm

    This is an easy question for me, because I’ve actually thought about it and worked it out. It starts with a shower and then a leisurely morning shave, using a good razor, a badger brush, and an excellent shaving soap or cream. Then I make a fresh pot of coffee in my vacuum French press and sit down at the computer to find out what’s happened in the world—and what moves my Go opponents have made on DragonGoServer.net. Very satisfying.

  7. Richard Blumberg on November 17th, 2006 6:28 pm

    I’m an old fart, closing in on 70, and my morning ritual has, indeed, become ritual.

    I wake up between 5:30 & 6:00; go to the computer, where I find the daily specials at the Brew House in an email from the proprietor, Jack Cameron; I use a couple of python routines to clean those up, convert them to html, and send them to the web; that takes just a couple of minutes.

    I then sit in meditation (cushion, zabuton, the works) for 15 minutes. I used Will Henderson’s neat little Meditation Timer program to put a pair of tibetan bell sounds on my iPod and use that to time the sitting.

    I then walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes; I put my laptop in the treadmill reading stand and watch a DVD; I’m currently about half way through the first season of M.A.S.H.

    Stretch for 15 minutes. Essential at my age.

    Go downstairs and ice my knees for about 20 minutes, while watching last night’s Tivo’d Daily Show.

    Then shower and off to Starbucks, for 20 minutes to an hour or more. An interesting group of people has coalesced: all liberal, all ages, several genders, mostly atheist tending to Buddhist in world view, each with a surprisingly deep knowledge of at least one field of learning. Any subject is up for grabs: politics, religion, education, movies, what I did on my summer vacation. And since the restaurant next door has free wifi and is closed in the morning, we have Wikipedia to settle disputes.

    By then it’s 9:30 or 10:00, and I’m up for whatever the day delivers or I take from it. Retirement is very good.


  8. D.Bourjade on November 17th, 2006 8:58 pm

    I wake up.
    I kiss the floor.
    I say “serviam” (I will serve).
    That’s enough to be sure the day will start in a nice manner.
    Then I rush to the church for the morning mass.

  9. josh on November 17th, 2006 10:17 pm

    Richard you are awesome! I hope I’m able to do that when I’m your age.

  10. stradivaribe on November 17th, 2006 11:18 pm

    Everyday when I wake up is a little different. I go to school and work, so my schedule is a little wacky. I know the first thing I do is go pee. Then I usually walk around my apartment, opening the blinds to let the light in. Then I usually put the coffee pot on, or my stomach is a little shaky, I’ll drink ome water. Then I get dressed and get on with it, whether it be going to class, work, or sitting down to study.
    I’d like to change it, though. Good post. Making me think about what I should do in the morning.

  11. Doug on November 18th, 2006 12:09 am

    One would expect a blog called “Cultivate Greatness” to know the correct spelling of Benjamin Franklin’s name, as well as know how to use posessive nouns correctly.

  12. Travis Wright on November 18th, 2006 1:33 am

    Hey Doug, Good point. Heh. I edited the doc… Late nights with no editor will do that to you occassionally.

    Benjimin, Benjamin, Benji… it’s all good.

  13. Paul Courtney on November 18th, 2006 6:19 am

    My morning ritual:
    -4am Make coffee, go to the computer, and Journal for 30 minutes. You’d be surprised by what your mind is like when you first wake up.
    -5am Drive to the Y listening to Tibetan chanting. At the Y I go to the steam room for 10 min and stretch, take a cold shower, swim10 minutes, sit in the hot whirlpool for 3minutes, another cold shower, and I’m ready to be served.
    -6am Drive to a meditation hall and sit for 45 minutes. It clears my mind.
    -7am: Drive home, prepare a hearty breakfast for myself and daughter., take her to school and go for a 2mile walk with the dog at a local park. I’ll be thinking about what I’m going to be doing that day.
    -8am Back on the computer and GTD my day. I’ll have a next action list in my shirt pocket when I’m done. Make some phone calls and then I’m out the door.
    -9am At work. I’m a self employed carpenter.
    -I do a weekly review that includes ths morning ritual and a montly review where I ‘ll tweak the ritual by adding or subtracting something; this helps keep it from getting stale.

  14. What price “leisurely”? Saturday shave « Later On on November 18th, 2006 10:54 am

    [...] Yesterday I happened across a blog that asked what one’s ideal morning ritual would be: the actions on awakening to start the day with a positive experience. My answer: This is an easy question for me, because I’ve actually thought about it and worked it out. It starts with a shower and then a leisurely morning shave, using a good razor, a badger brush, and an excellent shaving soap or cream. Then I make a fresh pot of coffee in my vacuum French press and sit down at the computer to find out what’s happened in the world—and what moves my Go opponents have made on DragonGoServer.net. Very satisfying. [...]

  15. pbasra on November 18th, 2006 11:58 am

    My perfect morning ritual:
    Wake up and stretch
    brush the teeth etc.
    a set of push ups sit ups leg curls and squats
    make breakfast (eggs and fruit)
    check the compy for email and hit the blog circuit

  16. vince on November 18th, 2006 2:30 pm

    Good post! I am definitely not a morning person but I’m willing to give it a try. I wish I could be more productive in the morning, maybe going to the gym or something so that I don’t have to spend my evenings working out. Live longer! Sleep less! Or something like that.

  17. LeisureGuy on November 18th, 2006 2:43 pm

    Doing the 30 minutes of journaling reminded me of Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, which has one write 3 pages non-stop the first thing each morning for 12 weeks—a kind of structured exploration. Quite good if you try it. Also important are the weekly exercises: the writing is a pouring out, and the exercises provide a taking in. And, while I’m mentioning books, let me also recommend Joanna Field’s remarkable A Life of One’s Own. Really worth reading.

  18. Kolz Blog » Blog Archive » Ask the Readers: Your perfect morning ritual? on November 18th, 2006 5:50 pm

    [...] Ask the Readers: Your perfect morning ritual? November 17th, 2006 by Lifehacker The Cultivate Greatness weblog wants to perfect the morning ritual. The motivation: Perfecting your morning means an improved outlook and enhanced energy for the day (which, if my arithmetic is correct, equals increased productivity). So, since you’re all a bunch of productive Petes and Pamelas, why don’t you share your perfect morning ritual. Remember, it doesn’t have to be what you currently do; just let us know what kind of (realistic) morning would give you the best positive start to the day. Bounce some ideas around, and maybe you’ll get your perfect morning all sussed out. — Adam Pash What is the Perfect Morning Ritual? [Cultivate Greatness] [...]

  19. gst on November 19th, 2006 1:50 am

    This is what I actually do, when not due in court:

    1. Rise, brush teeth, put on gym clothes, drive to club while listening to NPR lefties (8 minutes from home to club)
    2. 30 minutes on stationary bike or elliptical machine while listening to book on iPod
    3. Hot shower, wash hair
    4. 20 minutes in sauna reading paperback spy novel
    5. Shave twice, first with, then against the grain
    6. Cool shower
    7. Anoint and dress myself
    8. Drive to work, dictating letter (15 minutes from club to work)
    9. Arrive at work, eat kippered herring and OJ and read Wall Street Journal at my desk
    10. Start kicking ass

  20. crackhammer on November 19th, 2006 5:58 am

    Good to read other comments apart from the article.
    I am close to 30, I go to bed at sharp 10.30 and get up between 5 and 5.30 (using biological alarm clock)
    Immediately answering nature’s call, I head on to brushing teeth and to my stereo. I put on Gayatri mantra CD (Times Music) I brush my teeth by sitting in Vajrasan pose of Yoga on the carpet (yes, even my wife thinks I am weird but it helps little bit of stretching) That takes about 5 mins.
    Drink 500 ml of water from copper container(kept overnight).
    Now little bit of stretching, mainly Yoga stretches, thats about 20 minutes total and then 10 minutes of deep breathing exercise. (If I miss these breathing exercise, I really feel lethargic) [Be warned about the Yoga DVDs you get in the market, its risky to learn Yoga from DVDs, you need to have a teacher there.]
    Shaving and grooming takes another 20 mins or so.
    Breakfast includes müsli and yoghurt or bread with chocolate spread and I am off to work at 6.50

  21. ranger on November 19th, 2006 9:26 pm

    I go to bed at 10 pm and get up at 4 am.
    I then take a 30 minute walk; followed by 20 minute meditation.
    I then have an hour yoga routine.
    This is followed by a big breakfast and a shower.
    I am then ready to start my day

  22. Fenglyph » Blog Archive » Morning Ritual on November 20th, 2006 5:42 am

    [...] I am a night owl, but staying up late usually means I wake up weary and unrefreshed. After reading What is the Perfect Morning Ritual? Let’s Define Your Morning Ritual at cultivategreatness.com, I’ve decided to try to become an early bird. [...]

  23. satorimedia on November 20th, 2006 10:09 am

    Morning Ritual…

    Funny how easy it is to get OUT of rituals. Not just the religious kind. I grew up Mormon; rituals were a major part of my daily routine, including 1 hour of scripture study every day. I don’t do that…

  24. Gray Miller on November 20th, 2006 10:10 am

    Interesting food for thought-made me write about rituals I’ve fallen out of in the past, as well as ones I have started. Here’s the shortlist (more about it on my blog)

    # Wake up to eye gaze with my wife.
    # Lift weights for 1/2 hour, or do yoga.
    # Sit zazen for 15 minutes.
    # Grab the cup of coffee that was brewing, notebook, pen, and write for 15 minutes.
    # Shower, dress.
    # Check emails, blogs, etc. for 1/2 hour.
    # Make breakfast for my daughters, eat with them, drive them to school.

    Note: I don’t/can’t do this yet. But this would seem ideal to me.

  25. Heidi Miller on November 20th, 2006 10:41 am

    Fascinating stuff! My own ritual is not satisfying (it includes waking up to NPR, showering, coffe and either email or recording/editing a podcast before heading out), and these responses have given me all kinds of ideas on how to center myself before starting the day. So, my ideal morning would be:

    1. Wake up naturally feeling refreshed (I said “ideal,” right?)
    2. Take a shower, makeup and set hair
    3. Meditate for 5-10 minutes
    4. Sit outside on my gracious porch sipping coffee for 15 minutes and watching the world go by (I love to do this, but I only have a fire escape overlooking an alley and never 15 minutes to spare)
    5. Enjoy a fresh continental breakfast in a beautifully-appointed breakfast room

  26. Angela Acosta on November 20th, 2006 4:40 pm

    My perfect morning:

    5.00 wake up and do yoga, or go for a leisurely run.
    6.00 shower and change
    6.30 breakfast with fruit and milk
    7.00 write out my GTD
    7:30 bike to work

  27. David on November 20th, 2006 11:18 pm

    Ideal morning routine:

    Well lets start with the evening.
    Possibly bed by 9-9:30.

    Morning about 5.
    Up, bathroom, good splash of cold water on my face.
    Throw some loose clothes on, go for a 1/2hr walk, recording thoughts.
    Come in, meditate 15-20 mins.
    Yoga 1/2 hr routine, sauna 10-15 mins
    Draw, sketch, or write for another 1/2 hr.
    Eat some fresh fruit and plan out my day.

    There ya go!

  28. Rasheed on February 8th, 2008 2:42 am

    Great post Travis!

    Richard you rock at 70! Ann, I look forward to owning property near the shore to have that energize me in the morning.

    Travis…I’m more like you though…I read that someone wakes up at 4am…that’d be tough for me considering I’m more of a night owl. I really need to change this habit though cause at 9:30am it does feel like I’ve missed out on something…

    So Travis…what’s the night time ritual for getting to bed early??

  29. saymorre on February 20th, 2008 1:37 am

    This is a great post! I love everyone’s responses. For myself I intend on waking up earlier everyday; 6am sounds good. But for now my morning ritual is:

    7:00 am turn off alarm & think of at least 3-5 things I’m grateful for (and I continue to do this as I get ready for my day)
    7:05 am mirror work - positive affirmations and what not
    7:15 shower, eat breakfast, brush teeth
    8:30 pack my lunch, read something inpirational - a blog like cultivate greatness or one of my self-help/ personal or spiritual development books
    9:45 head to school while listening to “Golden” by Jill Scott on my iPod

  30. Ron on May 30th, 2008 1:24 am

    Travis — This is an exciting post!

    My morning is…
    6:45am wake up - get son ready for school
    7:25 am out the door to drop off son
    7:35 Return home play with baby - and wife
    8:30 Give thanks
    9:00 take care of business and head out into the world.

    Ron’s last blog post..How to Create Certainty within Your Organization

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