“We are what we repeatedly do, excellence, therefore is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle
Your life is based on your rituals…
And if you want to have a great life, you must start with great rituals.
Because it’s the little things you do each day that can propel you towards your goals or keep you stuck in a downwards spiral.
The funny part of it is that rituals get programmed into our lives without us consciously choosing them, and before we know it many of us have filled our lives with a set of rituals that are holding us back and keeping us playing small.
Wake up, hit snooze, rush to work, skip the gym, eat fast food, jerk off to porn, watch too much TV, smoke some pot, and go to bed.
These are the rituals of the average man.
But if you are reading this… I know that you are not average, and it’s time for your rituals to reflect this reality.
It’s time to take back your life and it all starts by taking control of your rituals.
So without further ado, here are 11 rituals that will make you a stronger man.
1. Start Your Morning Off Right
“Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase them.” – Unknown
Of the 400+ guests we’ve had on the Knowledge for Men podcast, almost all of them have discussed how important it is to have a powerful morning routine.
From NYT Best-selling authors, former Navy SEALs, and millionaire entrepreneurs, every single one of them has a high impact morning routine that gets them ready for the day by priming their mind and body.
Those precious hours that you have prior to starting the day are one of the biggest factors in determining the success of your day, and it’s hard to make the most of your mornings if you are sleeping through them.
So the first way to start your morning off right is to wake up early. We all have the same 24 hours, make the most of them by getting your ass out of bed.
How many times have you hit snooze on your alarm, wake up stressed out and in a rush, skip the gym, don’t eat breakfast, and dash to work like you’re being chased by a bear?
Probably quite a few right?
That changes today. Instead or sleeping in, make it a habit to wake up early so you can:
- Work on a side project
- Review your goals
Spending time in the morning to exercise and meditate (more on both later) is one of the easiest ways to stay centered and start your morning efficiently.
If you work 8-10 hour days and have a commute then you are probably exhausted by the time you make it home which makes your mornings a prime time to work on side projects that you would otherwise neglect because of your bigger goals.
The morning is also a great time to review your goals. Spend 5-10 minutes looking at what you want to accomplish and what action you need to take to accomplish your bigger goals.
Visualize your goals as already being complete, picture yourself earning the big commission, finishing your first ever iron man, or buying your first home.
The morning is the time to get ahead of the world as it is an uninterrupted time where you can do exactly what you want.
Start taking back your mornings and you will take back your life.
2. Hone Your Body
Strong men must be strong mentally and physically.
You must have some sort of exercise ritual if you want to consider yourself a strong grounded man.
“Blood, sweat, and respect. The first two you give, the last one you earn.” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Once you begin waking up earlier, start your day with some sort of exercise. Whether you run, lift weights, bike, swim, or play basketball get your body moving early.
Exercising early is a habit that most successful people share, but to truly reap the benefits you must be consistent.
Here are a few easy tactics you can use to make working out automatic.
Find a Workout Buddy
Once you have a workout buddy you will be much more motivated to make sure you show up every morning. Showing up is the hardest part, once you get there it’s no problem.
By having someone that will hold you accountable each morning you will be much less likely to hit snooze and probably speed up your results.
Plan Your Workout
Have you ever walked into the gym without a plan? It’s like walking into the grocery store without a list, it can spiral downhill pretty quickly.
Instead of falling for the “Unplanned workout trap”, plan your workout the night before. Decide what time you will wake up, how long you will exercise, and what your workout will entail.
Set A Fitness Goal
To stay consistent with your fitness ritual create a goal so you are always motivated and have a reason to get out of bed. Whether it’s a goal weight, body fat percentage, or competing in a triathlon….make sure you have a goal.
As with any goal, once you complete it make sure to reward yourself. It could be new gym gear or a reward in your personal life. Once you’re done celebrating reset your goals to stay consistent.
Start your day early with exercise to create a daily ritual that will give you energy, confidence, and motivation to crush the day.
If you can read this, you have a lot to be grateful for… Even if you don’t feel like it.
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” – Tony Robbins
Gratitude is a very effective yet underutilized ritual and set your day up with a positive tone.
Spend 5-10 minutes practicing gratitude in your life. You can do it in the morning and before you go to bed.
Tony Robbins refers to this as “morning priming” and is a great way to start your day with mental clarity.
In a quiet atmosphere spend the time to reflect on the following:
- What you are thankful for (family, relationships, friends, job, pet, etc.)
- What you have accomplished (think of the recent promotion, reaching your fitness goal, or finishing a side project)
Another great way to practice gratitude daily is a gratitude journal (more on that soon).
You can practice gratitude in a multitude of ways, the important thing is that you appreciate all that you have so you can welcome more of it in your life.
4. Take a Cold Shower
James Bond did it, the Spartans and Apache warriors did it, and you should do it too.
Nothing like some testicle shrinking cold water to start your day off right.
Taking a cold shower every day has so many benefits. It’s the reason so many athletes and top performers use ice baths, cryo chambers, and cold plunges.
Some of the benefits of cold water therapy include…..
- Increased energy
- Increased testosterone
- Strengthens willpower
- Reduced stress
- Increased alertness
- Increased immunity
“Standing under freezing cold showers every morning, — I did that. I got up to seven minutes most mornings and it actually works. It immunizes your body and your body starts getting used to the cold. It really works.” – Liam Neeson
You don’t have to sit there and take a freezing shower for the entire time. Instead, shower like normal and make it cold the last 3 or 4 minutes. Make it freezing cold and work your way up.
Besides all the benefits, who doesn’t want to be more like King Leonidas and the brave 300 Spartans!?
Strong grounded men must take time to find their center and their peace before attacking the tasks of the day… Meditation is the best way to do this.
It doesn’t have to be you sitting cross legged humming in a garden like most men think of meditating.
Meditation has been a struggle for me as I’m a person who loves a fast paced environment.
When I first got started I thought, what am I supposed to do just sit here and stop thinking?
Do I just sit here and focus?
Focus on what specifically?
Like anything new, it will feel weird and awkward at first. But stick with it as you will gain a ton of mental clarity and awareness in your life.
The regular practice of meditation will help you clear out distractions and help you recognize impulses inside you.
When you make meditation a habit you are aware of the sounds, sensations in your body and can find inner peace. You might find new insights on challenges you’re having, intuition to make change and wisdom to look at a situation differently.
“Meditation can reintroduce you to the part that’s been missing.” – Russell Simmons
Start by downloading one of the many self-guided apps out there (I recommend Headspace) for full tutorials that will teach you the process. These programs are short and will help you use meditation for different areas of your life.
Meditation can help filter out all the noise life brings upon our busy lives and eliminate negative self-talk to lead a more clear, powerful and productive day.
Try to meditate as soon as you wake up to start your day on a positive note.
6. Read (a lot)
A strong body without a strong mind is like a Ferrari without an engine… It might look nice but it isn’t going anywhere.
Make it a habit to read every single day. Shoot for at least 30 minutes but preferably one hour if possible.
I’m not talking about Barstool Sports, Yahoo, or Buzzfeed. I’m talking about reading books in hard copy and Kindle form.
Whether you read fiction to feed your creative mind or nonfiction to educate yourself on a certain topic, make reading a consistent daily ritual.
“Miss a meal, but don’t miss your reading.” – Jim Rohn
The education system conditioned us to dislike reading as we had to memorize textbooks for a test then forget about it afterward. But reading is one of the best ways to invest in yourself and learn something new quickly.
People spend years developing all kinds of skills to put them in a book that you can read in less than a day or week
Humans are the ultimate adaptation machine, spend time feeding your brain new, useful information to keep adapting and growing.
Check out some of the books we published to help men deal with some of these common topics:
Reading is great but make sure to act on what you learn by applying at least one principle or habit from every book you read.
Carve out 30-60 minutes for reading to exercise your mind just like you do your body.
7. Plan Your Day
You need to know where you are going and what you are going to accomplish each and every day.
“No one ever wrote a plan to be fat lazy or stupid. That’s what happens when you don’t have a plan.” – Larry Winget
If you don’t plan every day the night before you are setting yourself up for failure the next morning.
Create a plan to figure out when you will exercise, what you will eat, what you need to complete at work, and any other tasks.
Not only does this help you become more organized, it will give you satisfaction when you complete everything the following day.
There is nothing worse than feeling busy but when you look back on the day you don’t really know where your time went.
Don’t be pulled into pointless meetings or focus on busy work instead of meaningful work because you didn’t have a plan.
Spend 5-10 minutes the night before creating a plan to accomplish everything the following day.
I promise that it will change your life.
8. Save Your Earnings
Look, money isn’t everything, but it’s hard to show up in the world powerfully and completely if you are constantly stressed about finances (trust me I have been there).
You can earn a million dollars a year but if you are an idiot with your money you won’t be any better off than someone earning a fraction but saving more.
“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” – Warren Buffett
Don’t just save to save, have a plan or goal for each dollar you earn. If not you will spend it on impulse buys or an extra night out.
Once you have a plan automate your money so you never have to worry about willpower again. Whether it’s a 401K or automatic savings with your bank set it up so you don’t have to transfer it yourself.
When you automate your paychecks you will get in the habit of paying yourself first and ensuring you are saving or investing every single paycheck.
For more great money tips make sure to listen to our T. Harv Eker podcast to learn how he was able to go from zero to millionaire in 2 ½ years!
Get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper.
Make this a part of your morning routine so you don’t forget great ideas or insights as the day gets busier.
You can journal so many different things; goals, ideas, or things you are grateful for (see section two).
When you document your accomplishments, relationships wins, and losses you declutter your mind and find answers to make every area of your life better.
“Keep a journal, record your thoughts, learn what’s happening with you. We get 3-4 thoughts a year that would change our life if we acted on them.” – Les Brown
When you journal you will have improved mental clarity and evaluate your life on a macro scale instead of being stuck in the daily stresses of life.
Journal writing will help clear your mind of all the mental clutter and make positive strides in your life.
Your journals can also help track your development so you can look back in the future and see what worked, what didn’t, and how you turned any situation around.
10. Do One Thing That Scares You
Life begins where your comfort zone ends.
Call the client you have avoided all week. Talk to the girl who always smiles at you in Starbucks. Have the tough conversation at work.
The longer you put things off, the harder they will become.
When planning your day the night before identify your hardest or “scariest” task to complete first thing in the morning.
Accomplishing your hardest task first thing will knock off your biggest priority, make it “less scary” and free yourself to focus on other goals the rest of the day.
“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” – John Maxwell
Remember, your comfort zone is where your dreams go to die.
Find ways to constantly do things that scare you to grow and become a better man.
11. Help Someone Else
Being a strong grounded man is also about being a good man.
Do something every day to help someone else.
Whether you donate your time, pay it forward at the coffee shop or help someone carrying their groceries up the stairs.
The little things matter, you never know who is watching your good deed.
Try to commit at least one random act of kindness every day.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” – Muhammad Ali
As Tony Robbins said, “Your life is determined by your rituals.”
Practice these daily rituals and I promise you will be happier, more successful, and confident.
The majority of these rituals will take place in the morning to ensure they don’t get lost in the business of the day.
Start waking up earlier to give yourself enough time to meditate, exercise, read and take a cold shower.
As the morning progresses do something that scares you or your hardest task to start your day on a productive note.
Throughout the day make sure to practice gratitude, keep a journal, and help others.
At night look back on your wins, plan the next day, and read to exercise your mind and sleep great.
With diligence and practice, you can make these rituals part of your everyday routine.
I’m confident by doing these rituals you will be ready for any challenges the day will inevitably bring.
Remember, it’s all about the little things.
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