How do you start your day? Do you proactively start it or do you let it happen to you? For instance, what wakes you up the alarm, a kid, another person, or do you wake up automatically. Do you hit the snooze and roll over for 5 more minutes or are you out of bed ready to start your day?
These little choices we make in our lives truly make all the difference. Think about the mornings that you get to take your time sipping your coffee, look outside and see the sun rising, and feel the day emerge. Versus that alarm blaring at you or kids coming and startling you awake from your dreams. When you let the outside world start your day, you give up that choice. You could have more sense of calm or you could have the hurried startled feeling of wondering if you are getting everything done. It does matter how you choose to start your day.
Your head start in the morning could be anywhere from 5 minutes to 60 depending on what you have going on in your life. If your mornings start early or you need to get the kids ready, then all you need is 5 minutes before them to get your mindset for the rest of the day. You hear the word morning routine and your first reaction might be that doesn’t work for me or I’m not a morning person.
For so long, I believed those excuses because they were engrained in my brain. Repeating in my mind, “Not me, that’s too hard. I can’t do it.” That is until Day 73 of the 75Hard Challenge, two days away from finishing Bootcamp. Instead of feeling relief or excitement for being so close to the finish line, I felt lost. I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, I lurched forward wondering what was next. I’m almost done, but where do I go from here. I’ve lost 25 pounds, eating healthier, exercising more, and even reading again. Am I just going to slide back into my old habits, what am I going to keep, how do I keep growing? I’m not ready for the next phase with cold showers just yet. I planned to make it through the holidays and find my way back on the other side, but how do I make it through the holidays? When you identify a problem and start to look for a solution, typically one shows up. For me, it was The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod that fell into my lap that day.
What is the morning all about? The words were still echoing in my head even after working on so many different habit changes, “I’m not a morning person, I can’t get up, I need all my sleep, and I need coffee.” But this day, I devoured the book wondering, “Can I actually take control of my morning?”
I signed The Miracle Morning contract for myself on November 13, 2020, and haven’t looked back. My routine has ebbs and flows and adjusts to the day at hand. I’ve adjusted the SAVERS (Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribing) described in the Miracle Morning to fit my own needs. My ideal routine at the moment is set up for the full hour to include mediation, journaling, affirmation, and reading. Granted physical activity isn’t always my calling first thing in the morning, so now many a day’s exercise is moved to after the kids get on the bus. I do better with a quieter, gentle wake-up and stopped filling that push to force myself to exercise first thing. I will get it done, just later.
Again, that is my ideal routine which does not always happen. However, in making the effort to invest in my morning, I learned in this process there really is only one thing that truly matters. I must make an effort to set an intention for my day before I have to face the world in terms of my phone, my kids, or anything that will alter that state for me. And some days, that simply means taking a few deep breathes looking around, and finding a few things I’m grateful for to help me set that intention. Other days, I can embrace and complete my ideal routine. The key is to make it work for you with the amount of time that you have in as little as 5 minutes.
There is not a specific right activity to start your morning. The actions can change to fit your lifestyle, but sticking with waking up with your intention to find the right routine for you is the key. Therefore, this will involve a little experimentation and separating what actually helps you start your morning with intention versus what you think you should be doing. For me, meditation was the furthest thing from my mind, and now that is my go-to. The one thing I work to get in before I do anything else, but for you, it could be exercising, journaling, or even a high five in the mirror.
Take a look at this list. When you look at it, what is the first thing to pop out to you at this moment? Always remember each day, each moment is different, so even if something didn’t work out in the past, doesn’t mean it won’t now. If you find something that works for you, leave it in the comments to help others.
10-minute ideas (cut in half if you only have the 5 today)
*10-minutes of Meditation
* 5-minutes of Meditation & 5-minutes of Reading
*5-minutes of Reading & 5-minutes of Stretching waking up your body
*5-minutes of Stretching and 5 Minutes of High Fiving in the mirror: telling yourself what you are going
to do today and Affirming your abilities
*5-minutes of Journaling, 5 minutes of Affirmations (choose affirmations that you can believe such as I deserve to have a good day, I will figure this out, I am growing each day)
*5-minutes of Gratitude & 5-minutes of Deep Breathing
*10-minutes of Exercise while thinking about the things you are Grateful for
*10-minutes of Exercise while Affirming how much stronger you are making yourself
*10-minutes beauty routine while High Fiving in the Mirror
The possibilities are endless, but one of them will work for you, you have to choose it. And as 10 minutes becomes comfortable and you have 5 more then you make it 15 minutes.
The most important part is your intention. You are choosing how you want to start your day. If you let your phone, the news, or someone else starts your day for you, then you lose control over one of the few things you can control. It does matter how you choose to start your day, so choose wisely.
**A little note**
Upcoming blogs will include details ways to express Gratitude & Affirmations