I missed the feeling of waking up with energy. Ready to attack the day. I was already eating and sleeping better, I was exercising. Something was still missing.
I would set my alarm to wake up early and change it during the night. I would take advantage of changing time zones to wake up earlier and then slowly slip back to my old routine. I was even passively worried at one stage that I was sleeping too much, I told myself that it was fine, sleep is good, which it is. I just thought that with all the changes I’ve made to my life, that I would wake up with more energy, I thought to myself perhaps I am still making up for my sleepless decade.
I had even hung a motivation print above my bed –
Why wake up early
To do anything with conviction, understanding “the why” is preferable, even crucial. Exploring successful, there are three traits or habits that are common, the first is they practice some sort of mindfulness usually meditation, the second is some form of reflection to make the past for valuable for the future, usually by writing in a journal and the third, is being an early riser. I do the first two to varying degrees, ironically as part of my morning routine.
It works well because I am not fatigued from the day, there is nothing scheduled, there are no “urgent” matters that need to be dealt with.
It is quiet.
Time for a change
I had already learned to sleep again, I had changed my focus and balance. Having clear reasons and focus as to why I wanted to get up earlier. I tried various things such as setting the heating to warm up the flat. I realise that we are often looking for the one thing that will make it better, but there are many ingredients for a cake, most necessary, but vary according to taste and preference.
I came across two more ingredients, while reading the Tools of Titans, to add to my morning routine. Firstly, as the kettle is boiling I do some active exercise, something simple, with a low commitment, usually 10 push-ups. Secondly, I go outside for the first sips of my coffee. If it is cold this may have only been for a short period.
Within a week of adding push-ups and going outside, it was already easier, I was conditioning my body to wake-up quickly and with more energy. It’s easy to tell yourself that you need to snooze, when you tell yourself…that you need to snooze. Hitting that snooze button may feel great, but psychologically short changing yourself.
Good habits enable a good night’s sleep and energetic wake-up, there will still be mornings where the snooze button is hit or alarm is set for later, but fewer.
The Morning Miracle
Lauren Green mentioned this book to me for a third time, she has gone through her own transformation. Given the magnitude, I pay careful attention to what triggered and enabled it. This book was a key factor, I decided to give it a read, well, actually a listen. My reading list is pact with my Personal MBA and I need to remain focused on my priorities, so I added it to my audible “listening” list.
As I listened, I realised how much overlap the writer (Hal Elrod) and myself have, both in philosophy and experience:
- Who you are becoming is the most important factor.
- If we want to be different, we have to do something different.
- Going for a run is not just for exercise, it’s great for clearing the head.
- Jim Rohn fan – Personal development needs to be a priority.
- Likes to call out the “I don’t have the time” proclaimers. We all have the same 168hrs in a week.
- Not a morning person – is a limiting belief.
Becoming a morning person
After listening to the Morning Miracle, I didn’t make many changes to my routine, but it did give me a strong affirmation that I was on the right track. It encouraged me to reinforce my routine, so much so, that I am now a convert to the terminology and I call it the Morning Miracle, because it is a beautiful and transformative period.
The key is to start slow and not overwhelm yourself. Make it easy. Spend a few minutes doing a few things. When you fail. Try again. Why do we expect perfect at first go? – Factor in failure.
On weekends, I am not as rigid on my morning routine, I want to avoid it becoming a chore that I’m just going through the motions of. I just do what I feel like doing. I’m writing this on a Sunday morning, having already achieved so much today and it’s only 9am. I have drafted two blog posts and done a lesson towards learning to draw.
I wonder to myself how many people are still sleeping. To be honest, I was a little naughty this morning, being a Sunday I set my alarm for 15 minutes later and I woke up at 6:15. Better, not perfect 😉
Are you ready to create your own morning miracle?
My current Morning Miracle routine (it evolves depending on focus):
- Wake-up at 6
- Make coffee, 10 push-ups and go outside for a few moments (or more)
- Stoic reading and journaling
- 10 minutes of meditation (currently I find if I try for longer I end up not doing it, a good plan I do is better than a perfect one I don’t)
- 30+ minutes of Personal Development – Learning to draw lesson and/or read
That can comfortably be done in an hour. It is not about cramming it in. If I am working from home, I will then read some more and perhaps write, before showering and starting my work day. If I am going into the office, I read and write on the train instead.
I plan to add (back) some yoga or Tai Chi when the time is right. I don’t want to overwhelm myself, so that I end up doing nothing. Targeting being better, not perfect.