According to Google Ngram, the concept of having a “morning ritual” reached its highest peak in 2004, with the publication of The Power of Full Engagement, by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz.
The concept of establishing a morning ritual has been widely spread throughout productivity blogs, books, systems, conferences, and seminars.
And it’s really no surprise…
Creating your own morning ritual is by far one of the BEST habits you can ever create to improve your effectiveness & satisfaction in life.
Now why is this? Let’s use an example.
Most diets prioritize a healthy breakfast in the morning, stating that it’s THE most important meal of the day.
It ensures you start the day with the nutrients, sugars, and calories your mind and body need. But there’s a hidden psychological benefit: breakfast subtly determines your eating pattern for the rest of the day.
Imagine Sweet Tooth Steve. He’s a 35 year old programmer and slightly overweight, so he wants to improve his diet and eat better.
But this particular morning, he didn’t plan well and so he’s in a hurry to get out the door. To make sure he’s not late for work, he scarfs down a frosted donut and a coffee to start the day. While Steve knows this a poor choice of breakfasts, he swears the rest of the day will go better. That he’ll “make up for it”.
He ends up slogging through work since he’s pretty tired. A doughnut doesn’t really suffice to keep your energy going. Between the rush of the day and utter need for some food NOW, it’s easy to justify to himself, “Well, I already broke my healthy eating habit today, so I’ll have some pizza and a Coke.”
Eventually 5pm rolls around and he’s already hungry for dinner. How likely will Steve change gears and eat a healthy dinner?
If you guessed “A snowball cookie’s chance in hell”, then you’re today’s winner.
He didn’t eat healthy for the entire day, so it’s easy to continue eating unhealthy… figuring he’ll try again tomorrow.
Only to have it go on for months like this.
After a while, Steve is overcome with guilt that he didn’t have enough discipline. When actually, a keystone habit like eating a great breakfast would’ve easily set him on the right path.
If he started the day eating a balanced breakfast, it’s a lot easier to stay with the diet. Heck, he may even go a bit out of the way to ENSURE he stays on track.
This concept engages the psychological principle called The Consistency Principle. You start the day healthy and you want to keep acting consistently.
This same principle works in productivity, as well.
Starting the day on Youtube is like starting with the doughnut. It’s much easier to justify that you’ll do better tomorrow. Until you’ve gone weeks or even months without working on your goal. And you’re left feeling guilty, discipline, and willpower, when a strong morning ritual could really set you straight for the rest of the day.
And therein lies the irony. Excellent morning rituals have the ability to boost our productivity, focus, and overall satisfaction… but this probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard this. So why do so few people do it?
Because it takes DISCIPLINE & WILLPOWER.
It also takes a lot of FOCUS at first to build it… focus that we’re trying so hard to gain! Wow, the smell of Catch 22 in the air is so overwhelming…
So rather than give you a 10 step program or some other silly list-oriented article on how to build a powerful morning ritual, we’re taking a different approach.
Using your computer, you can AUTOMATE your morning ritual instead.
HOW MY MORNING RITUAL EVOLVED FROM HABIT TO AUTOMATED
So I began by writing down my morning ritual. It started from a simple 3 step ritual and slowly evolved to the routine below.
I added each habit one at a time until it became a short list of tasks that helped me stay happy, focused, and healthy.
I follow this routine every weekday. Usually. Hey, everyone scarfs down an occasional “morning donut” once in a while.
My philosophy in building habits like these is two-fold:
- I start by making a habit REALLY easy, then ramping up over time. My breakfast began with Tim Ferriss’s 3 Minute Breakfast because it eliminated my greatest barrier to cooking – cleanup. Over the course of 6 months, I began cooking scrambled eggs then finally poached eggs.
- If I find myself doing the same work more than twice in the same week, I try to automate as much of that process as possible. In short, I never habitualize what I can automate.
In this sense, the last 3 steps of my morning routine were on my computer, so I wrote a script that would automatically open the webpages & tools I needed:
- Headspace for meditation,
- Weather.com to check the weather,
- My Amp Your Results writing folder in Google Drive.
My first “edition” of this hack were met with excitement for students of Primoz’s Success Systems course.
The Windows batch script made it somewhat difficult to implement, as this edition required users to learn a bit of batch. And while some of us totally nerd out on programming their own tools (read: me), not everyone enjoys it so enthusiastically.
I’ve created my own software package that makes this easy for you. And I’m offering that tool to you for free.
INTRODUCING AMP YOUR MORNING, YOUR MORNING RITUAL AUTOMATOR
Put simply, you set your Windows Task Scheduler to automatically run AmpYourMorning.exe at 5am or whenever you wake up. Amp Your Morning then reads a text file of links, programs, and folders you want your computer to open for you every morning.
- Get your software below & set it up following my User’s Guide you’ll also receive.
- Type your files, folders, & links into ayr-config.txt
Here’s my text file:
Along with the links I mentioned earlier, it also automatically opens my Freedom software, my Spotify playlist I like to listen to as I write, and CoolTimer so I can do a burst of work (like a Pomodoro).
In a sense, I’ve automated my automatic flow system I’ve covered earlier.
GETTING YOUR MORNING RITUAL ON AUTO-PILOT
If you’d like to take control of your mornings, and thus your workdays, then:
- Get your copy of Amp Your Morning below (and stay up-to-date on more automation tools & tricks)
- Follow the 15-minute instructions to get started
- Start using it to make getting moving early in the morning easier