Meredith Moore knows a lot about tenacity. Six weeks after giving birth to her son in 2005, she was diagnosed with glioblastoma, the aggressive brain cancer that took the life of John McCain. In the midst of experiencing three brain surgeries and a lifetime dose of radiation, Moore lost her mother to breast cancer. Her marriage unraveled. She went through a contentious divorce and surprised herself by falling in love with a close female friend.

“My life came to a screeching halt. I wondered if I would be alive a year from now,” said Moore. “I had to come to terms with being dealt a lot of trauma. But essentially, my metamorphosis was to become the person I am right now.”

Moore also defied the odds. According to the Brain Tumor Charity, only 25% of glioblastoma patients survive more than one year, and 5% of patients last more than five years – while she has been in remission for over 15 years.  These days, Moore, the Founder and CEO of Artisan Financial Group, is a nationally recognized financial expert who frequently speaks and writes about issues related to gender, money and power.  Living in the Atlanta suburbs with her wife Kathy, she relishes spending time with her now teenage son. With her dynamic personality, it’s easy to forget Moore ever grappled with brain cancer. She attributes much of her success today to building a Morning Success Ritual that is integral to her well-being.

Every morning, Moore reads her quarterly game plan, which is about two-pages long. It includes evaluating where she is in life, the people around her, her business and other factors that matter the most.  She asks herself powerful questions, visualizes success and how she helps others, and evaluates her personal and business development goals. Moore also uses that time to repeat positive affirmations like a powerful mantra.

“I remind myself that I’m a highly competent expert in my field, a giving person who is admired by others and am capable of reaching my goals,” notes Moore. “That I’m a mom, spouse, leader, a driver of positive energy in every room and deserving of self-care time.”

Afterwards, Moore usually writes in her journal, might stretch a bit and aims to exercise five times a week. She gets more done in a morning than most people might accomplish in an entire day – and then manages an incredibly busy work calendar on top of that. However, fatigue is a real threat that needs to be managed. As a residual effect of the brain tumor, Moore can be susceptible to seizures that can be prevented through medication and diligent stress management.

“I’m so motivated, but I have to be careful with understanding my limits,” adds Moore. By diligently practicing well-being and listening to herself, she continues to thrive, explore new interests and live a fulfilling life.

If you are interested in creating a Morning Success Ritual, here are a few ways to get started.

  1. Realize it’s not too late to become a morning person. I deliberately made the shift over 25 years ago and now mornings are the best part of my day. You can start by waking up 20-30 minutes earlier than normal for a few weeks to get used to creating an extra pocket of time for yourself and expand that as desired.
  2. Decide how you’d like to use that window of time. Are you focusing on a specific goal or trying to change a behavior? Let’s say you are interested in incorporating exercise to give you a boost of energy and mental clarity for the day ahead. Take a 30-minute walk, jog or run – or maybe you hit the gym and tackle the elliptical or rowing machine for a 20-minute burst.  
  3. Savor the quiet. Getting up early before family, friends, work and other commitments start demanding attention is a gift you give yourself. Use that quiet time to start drafting a business plan for a side hustle, work on the book you’ve always dreamed about writing, plan your next vacation or whatever floats your boat.

What morning rituals advance your well-being?