There are infinite ways to start the day. Are your first few moments aligned with your highest self and deepest callings, setting you up for success? They can be. We’ve researched what several prominent thought leaders have to say about rituals to greet the day. From an intentional prayer to a sitting practice, here are 11 ways to cultivate a morning routine that will kick-start your day and keep you energized.

1. Gratitude with Pema Chödrön

“[My morning ritual] has a lot do with gratitude and being thankful for everything that I have and dedicating the merit of my good fortune to other people so that they don’t have to suffer.”  (source: Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday)

2. Putting Yourself First with Guru Jagat

“Try do something in the morning, even if it’s just, ‘All right, I’m going to live this day in the way I want to live this day. Not the way that someone tells me to live this day. Not how my traumas tell me to live this day. Not the way that the great programmers called [my] parents, or religion, or money tell me to live this day. I’m going to live this day the way I want to live this day.’” (source: Well and Good)

3. Tuning Into Your Core Self with Deepak Chopra

“Listen to what is happening around you. Be alert to the slightest influence; the whole body is silent and poised in a delicate balance.… Use early morning as a time to tune into your core self. The core self is where deep fulfillment arises from.” (source: Times of India)

4. Tim Ferriss’ Journaling Practice

“The five-minute journal is a therapeutic intervention … that allows me to not only get more done during the day, but also feel better throughout the entire day, to be a happier person, to be a more content person—which is not something that comes naturally to me.” (sources: CNBC, and Ferris’s book Tools of Titans)

5. Seane Corn Dedicates Her Practice

“I drink tea (as I have every morning for almost 20 years), read the news and think about what circumstances or what being I’m going to dedicate my practice to for this day. Using my practice as an embodied prayer has always given more meaning to the experience of yoga for me.” (source: Seane Corne to her Facebook followers)

6. Setting Intention with Arianna Huffington

“A big part of my morning ritual is about what I don’t do: When I wake up, I don’t start the day by looking at my smartphone. Instead, once I’m awake, I take a minute to breathe deeply, be grateful and set my intention for the day.” (source: MyMorningRoutine.com)

7. Conscious Breathing with Yogi Cameron

“Something I start with every morning is … I step out of bed on the foot that corresponds to which nostril is open. That way, I am expanding my awareness with the universal energy so if my nostril on the right is open, I step out on the right. I stand there, take a few breaths, inhale, exhale and then I get on with my day. Any time we’re following the nostril that’s open, that means the universal energy, the bigger picture, is flowing, that prana is flowing within our body on that side.” (source: Yogi Cameron to Bodhi Tree)

8. Gabby Bernstein Wakes Up with a Prayer

“The moment that I wake up, I say a prayer: ‘What miracles will you have me perform today?’ It’s a message from A Course In Miracles. It brings me right out of, ‘What can I get? What do I need to do? What are my problems?’ and ‘What did I go to sleep worrying about?’ and right into, ‘What do you want to move through me today? How can I be of service today? What can come up for me today that can elevate me and inspire the world?’… It’s a pretty good way to win.” (source: GabbyBernstein.com)

9. A Sitting Practice with Jon Kabat-Zinn

“I wake up and I do yoga and I sit.… I have a routine that I’ve developed over the past 50 years that’s what I like to do, and I do that mindfully. So it’s mindful yoga, and … when the time is right … I drop into sitting and … rest in wakefulness and awareness and mindfulness and heartfulness.” (source: Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday via Mindful.org)

10. Morning Pages with Julia Cameron

“Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages—they are not high art. They are not even ‘writing.’ They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind—and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page … and then do three more pages tomorrow.” (source: Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way)

11. Jill Willard Connects to Family

My morning ritual is waking up, centering my thoughts on a positive focus for a new, clear day unfolding, then I deepen my breath. I usually look for light in the room or outside. I wash my face with cold water, and hug/touch my husband and children. Then usually change a diaper of our youngest child or help our daughter make her hair vision for the day. (source: Jill Willard to Bodhi Tree)

For other ways to start your day off right, read 13 Apps That Will Get You into the Zen Zone and The Best Podcasts for Motivation, Inspiration and Wisdom.

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