I am not a “morning person”, but after my daughter was born, I took advantage of the opportunity to work flexible hours and opted to work 7am – 3:30pm, so I could spend more time with her in the afternoon/evening. This means getting up at 5:30am, which doesn’t come naturally to me.
In order to get up at that hour, I try to be in bed by 9pm. I am a night owl, so I’m fighting my body’s natural tendencies to live this way, and it’s not easy. But, the payoff is time with my precious girl, so I have a huge incentive to make it work.
Working out on a regular basis really helped with getting to bed at a decent hour, as I was actually tired enough to hit the sack at 9pm, and I believe the quality of sleep was better, as well. After a decent amount of restful sleep, waking up is much easier.
An article on Goodlifezen.com that I read very recently also has had a positive effect on my mornings. Once I read it, I practically smacked my head, the advice was so obvious and spot on. The article, by Robert D. Smith, was about how to start the day with maximum focus. The very first piece of advice he had was to start the day with gratitude.
That one nugget right there changed a lot for me. Robert points out that waking up isn’t something we should take for granted – it’s not guaranteed to us when we go to bed each night – and we should be grateful for the chance we are given each morning. I use my iPhone alarm as my morning alarm clock, and I’ve changed the messages on my alarms to notes of gratitude. They serve as reminders to stop feeling entitled to a few more minutes of sleep, and to simply be glad that I woke up.
Robert also recommends meditating on the things you want to happen that day. I love this idea, though I haven’t incorporated it yet. I think it will be helpful in setting my intention for each day, much like I set my intentions with the Feng Shui experiment at work. I feel like that worked out really well for me, so I look forward to beginning my morning meditations, in order to help shape my days in a more direct way.
I’ll be setting my alarms a little earlier starting next week so that I can take a few minutes each morning to explore these morning meditations. I’m not yet quite sure what they will look or feel like, but I think they’re going to be good for me.
Do you make time each morning to set your intentions? Or are you more like me, just going through the morning motions?
- The Most Successful Techniques for Rising Early (zenhabits.net)
- 10 Tips for Meditating (aprilbradham.wordpress.com)
- How to Start the Day with Maximum Focus (goodlifezen.com)