I have always been a morning person. I attribute that to the fact that I am a light sleeper and my parents were morning people. I remember having sleepovers as a child and in the early morning hours I would lie staring at my guest's closed eyelids with laser focus, willing them to wake up so we could get on with the day. At 9 years old, I recall being awake, of my own accord, to witness the marriage between Prince Charles and Lady Diana, which must have aired in the U.S. between 5-6:00 am.
I do love the mornings. It’s that time that belongs to me, alone. Everyone is usually sleeping, it's quiet and no one is expecting much of me. I mean...there were those days when my kids were really young and I felt like my time began only after I put them to bed. In hindsight, those were unhealthy years...it just went against my nature, really...but I had to take what I could get.
A couple of years ago my friend, Trisha, referred a book called, The 5 am Miracle, by Jeff Sanders. Trisha is always challenging herself in the coolest ways. I never bought the book because it turns out Sanders does a free podcast by the same name; listening just felt easier.
The 5 AM Miracle is a weekly podcast dedicated to dominating your day before breakfast. The goal is to help you bounce out of bed with enthusiasm, create powerful lifelong habits, and tackle your grandest goals with extraordinary energy. Omigawwd, sign me up!
Here’s how my ideal morning would go for an optimal day:
5:00am Wake up. Prayer of gratitude for 5 minutes
5:10am Yoga or meditation followed by drinking 1 liter of water to re-hydrate
5:30am Personal development reading or podcast listening
5:45am Facetime my husband (he works away) and tidy kitchen for the day
6:00am Creative Writing
6:30am Get ready for the day, make bed, greet and feed the dog
7:00am I’m ready to take on the world and give it all I’ve got!
See? This looks and sounds so lovely, doesn’t it? Doing all the things that really feed my soul BEFORE the rest of my day gets started. I’m just a better person throughout the day...operating from a really grounded place, on an even keel. I’m able to handle the spontaneity and challenge the rest of the day brings. Calmly putting out fires, talking my kids of the ledge, rollin’ with the punches.
But here’s what my mornings really look like :
5:22am Wake up and pray shit doesn’t go sideways
5:23am Go straight to the coffee pot and make myself a cup of BLACK joy-less coffee
5:25am Check my phone
5:30am Open the laptop and start to write, but end up checking my email
5:35am Nerved up because I’ve gotten distracted and begin to do some writing
5:45am Facetime my husband, Bless his heart, he’s looking at the toaster because I’m halfway into the fridge hurriedly finding something to pack for lunch or emptying the dishwasher
6:00am Go back to the laptop and stall for 5 full minutes trying to decide if I should write or edit or create posts or…
6:45am I get the writing in but am RACING up the stairs to get ready for the day.
6:50am Using my phone as a flashlight I creep through my bedroom trying to put together an outfit for work (my daughter is currently my bedmate), skip the shower and get ready for the day.
7:00am Leave for work, text the kids to feed and let the dog out (that I have once again, run out of time), eat my breakfast while recklessly driving with my knee.
So, clearly, this has just gotten all out-of-whack. I’m wanting to re-group so I can get back to feeling like a sane person again. It has dawned on me exactly what’s missing here.
A night-time routine.
It seems to me, when I back up from this whole picture, for all of these activities or blocks of designated time to happen, the preparation for them needs to begin the night before. Laying out the yoga clothes or meditation cushion, filling my water bottle and placing it beside the chair next to my book, pre-packing a healthy lunch, getting out my tea bags, mug and putting water in the kettle, organizing my work outfit, setting my alarm and turning all electronics off 30 minutes before I go to sleep.
Now, truthfully, I have to be careful to not wait until it’s too late in the evening to do these tasks, because getting up at 5am can make for a loooooong day. I start to fade around 7:00pm. (In other words, I don’t get many invites to a late night movie or dinner and dancing. I simply can no longer hang with my night owl friends).
If the very thought of 5am makes you cringe, I think the key here is to be very intentional about your time, productivity and your self care whether your 5 am Miracle happens at
5 am, 7 am, 10 pm or 1:00 in the morning. The point is to identify when you’re best energy of the day occurs, or where you could most easily carve out the time to do those things that ground you, feed your soul and allow you to become the eye of the storm.
Tip of the Day: Set the timer as you move through your morning routine. This allows you to fit it all in and avoid distractions. It may seem mechanical at first, but pretty quickly you will flow through it with ease.
What to Avoid: Checking your phone or email is an imminent rabbit hole...taking us on a wild ride through the internet far far away from our morning intentions. Try saving the activities that require reaction or response until after you’ve finished your morning routine.
Jeanmare and Cristy are creators and contributors of the Living Simply Nourished Blog. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee!), find a cozy spot, scroll around, read some stories, find some inspiration, and enjoy!
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