The alarm goes off. I snooze it.
It's been going off for the last half an hour.
By the time I finally get out of bed, I'm in a hurry. I don't want to be late, so I set myself a frantic pace to make sure I get everything done before I leave for work (A job I don't like, but don't have the time to consider how I could take the steps towards getting a job I love). The list of what I need to get done done races through my mind.
- Organise Breakfast
- Brush Teeth
- Pack bag
- Drive to work
- Finish breakfast as I drive
- Run to office
- Don't let anyone see I'm late
- Act calm
Way too much going on. No where near enough time.
An intense start to the day. I'm exhausted before it really even begins.
Have you been there?
Maybe you're like I was for far too long, and this is just your standard morning.
It's strange way to start the day though.... Don't you think?
Let me explain.
The most basic tool we can use to improve any area of our lives, is to invest our time into it. But with everything on our 'to do' list, and so little time to do it, we often find ourselves avoiding the only thing that can actually get any of our jobs done;
After going through these mornings, and the stress that accompanied them for far too long, I decided to try something crazy.
I decided I was going to get up at 5.00am each morning.
As a 'night person' this was a huge decision.
I loved my nights.
But I felt like I could get more from myself throughout my day by being more intentional with my mornings. For me, part of being more intentional meant getting up earlier and creating the space I so often craved.
I made a commitment to set up a great, personalised morning routine. After looking at what others did, and considering what I felt could help me, I set myself a list of five things to get done each morning.
Here's what my list looks like:
Exercise: Have you ever felt the great sense of accomplishment that follows working out? It's the most amazing high. The most natural anti-depressant. There's a great sense of accomplishment found in this space of time. I decided to start my day with this awesome sense of fulfilment. What i do each morning varies between a run, yoga or a gym session. Even 15 minutes makes a huge difference.
Meditation: My mind is racing with thought as I wake up. Not being aware of this impacted what dominated my mind, and the emotion I felt as I attached meaning to the thoughts. Taking some time each morning to meditate, and observe that my thoughts need not rule my day, allowed me a greater sense of peace, which provided clarity of mind before I move on. If you're interested in trying meditation, I recommend you try the Headspace app. It's a gym membership for your mind. The first ten days are free and it will set a great foundation for you as you learn to meditate.
Clarify 3 Priorities: I hated finishing my day and not knowing if I accomplished as much as I needed to. Taking five minutes each morning to write down my top three priorities for the day allows me to know whether I got what needed to be done, done.
Healthy Breakfast: Just like a car cannot run on sand, our body cannot run on rubbish. I have made my first meal a nutrient dense, healthy meal. My personal preference is a frozen banana smoothie with hemp seeds, oats, coconut milk, honey and cacao. Once I finish this, I'll make a green juice. You can't beat kale, spinach, apple, lemon, garlic and ginger. Your body will thank you immediately.
Coffee: Honestly, this is my favourite part of the morning. I make a coffee, sit down outside and enjoy 15 more minutes of quiet time before I start the rest of my day.
Some mornings it's easy. I spring out of bed ready to launch into my day.
Sometimes though I'm really tired and it's hard to get up.
But let me tell you something. Since starting this routine there has not been one day that i haven't felt great by the time I've finished my routine. The most beautiful part of a morning routine is that it's not one size fits all. In fact, your list will probably be very specific to you.
Some of the steps I've implemented you might love. Others you may hate. But it's something I recommend you consider figuring out for yourself.
So what do you think?.
What are the five steps you could make, to make your morning more meaningful?