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"3 Questions, 5 Minutes a Day: Make leaps towards greater balance in one single week with the Shicka Boom 5 Minute Morning Balance Ritual"

This article is dedicated to a woman that I've never met and probably never will. Tall with dark, dark hair, she was perfectly manicured in a tailored suit with high-heeled pumps. We shared a subway car in Manhattan two years ago. She was standing, holding onto the subway car strap and meticulously applying three coats of mascara as the train bumped and shifted. With my jaw dropped in reverence of her talent, I imagined this to be her morning routine because she was REALLY good at it. (I can barely put on clear lip gloss in a moving vehicle.)

We all have morning routines and daily repetition makes us experts at them. What’s your morning routine? Does it help to balance and center you for the day – or leave you feeling scattered?

I invite you to try a powerful five minute morning ritual to set your day off with awareness and consciousness, moving daily towards the balance and fulfillment you desire. The ritual is very simple, consisting only of three simple questions. The secret is to be honest, give yourself the 5 minutes… and to ask the questions.

Question 1: What am I grateful for?

This question holds astonishing power. If you only remember one thing from this ritual, please remember this question! Write it down and put it in at least three very visible places. Maybe you will choose your bedroom dresser, your desk or the dashboard of your car. This question has the capacity to change a mood and soften a heart in seconds.

What are you grateful for? WHO are you grateful for? What are the gifts you've been given in your life that you sometimes take for granted? What are some gifts that are so obvious that you may never even notice them?

Question 2: What are my intentions for today?

Where are you now and where do you want to be at the end of the day? Meaning, what do you want to accomplish today? Beyond the “doing”, how do you want to feel? How do you want to be or conduct yourself during the day?

Close your eyes and imagine your day is set on a theatrical stage. How do you want the audience to feel about you as they watch you “play”? What do you want them to notice about how you are being? How do you want to be if things don't go as planned?

Asking yourself this one question may be the most powerful way to achieve what you want in life. After all you can't get to where you want to be if you don't know where that is.

Question 3: What's most important today?

Keeping in mind your gratitude and intentions for the day, consider again all the aspects of your life: personal development, your intimate relationships, your family, friends, finances, career, health, recreation and


Now, close your eyes and imagine yourself 10 years from now. What does the future you say is most important for you today? It's really easy to come up with what SHOULD BE most important (as defined by society) but resist the urge to give into that voice. Take a deep breath and listen deeper. Trust that you have all the answers inside.

Some find that it helps to ask this follow-up question: What ONE THING can I do today to significantly improve the quality of my life? Don't concern yourself with the size or magnitude of your answer. It changes. Some days it might be “apply to graduate school” and other days it might be “organize my office”.

Helpful Tips to Make It Stick
To make this ritual “stick”, create a fertile “habit-forming” environment:

1. Fly solo. Use the five minutes as valuable alone time to ground yourself. Once this ritual is second nature, then I invite you to use these three questions in conversation with your family, significant other, and even work teams.

2. Be consistent. Select a specific time and location to perform your morning ritual. For example, lying in bed from 7:30-7:35am or on your morning commute from 8:30-8:35am.

3. Take it lightly. Have fun. Unpleasant tasks don't become habits. The morning ritual isn't a task. It's a way of consciously looking out at your day. Set the intention to create a daily ritual; to create a habit. But don't sweat it if you miss a day.

4. Start small. Stick to five minutes in the beginning. Perhaps you’ll expand to 10, 15 or 30 minutes. Maybe not. A new program quickly gets abandoned when if feels like a burden, especially in the morning!

5. Keep no secrets. Tell someone about your morning ritual and ask the friend, coach, significant other or whomever to support you in keeping on track. This might sound like, "Terry, I've started a morning practice to keep myself balanced and focused on what's important during the day. It would be really helpful if you asked me how it's going every now and then. It just really helps to have you know what I'm up to."
Experiment and have fun. I’d love to hear how you’ve experienced the ritual and any other morning ritual ideas that work for you!


© Copyright Shicka Boom Inc. 2004 unless otherwise indicated

About the Author

Laura Lallone (pronounced Luh-lohn) helps people achieve their personal and professional goals more quickly and thoroughly. By asking questions, offering insight and providing action-oriented guidance, she helps you uncover your highest priorities and redirect your talents and energy to move towards your goals.

Written by: Laura Lallone, Certified Life Coach

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