It is not a challenge anymore. It’s a lifestyle.
I wake up at 4:30 am on weekdays and at 5 am (max) in weekends.
I do this because I can’t afford not to do it. This is the time I feed my mind and spirit and take care of my body to be prepared for the day.
My current routine is as follows, I hope it helps you create your own:
- Read one lesson from a course in miracles and a year of miracles by Marianne Williamson.
- Do 3 sets of power breathing, 20 breaths each.
- Do a 15-minute sitting meditation.
- Do a 7-minute exercise of yoga stretching (still shy on this part as I believe it could use more focus from me) and jumping jacks if I’m still sleepy.
- Have my coffee while starting my 20 minutes of journaling which consist of the below:
- Read one entry of the daily stoic by Ryan Holiday
- Write the morning gratitude entry in “The Five-Minute Journal“
- Write a one sentence entry about each of my 2 kids in the one-sentence journal for mothers by Grtechen Rubin (second year to do this, one journal for each kid).
- Write a one-page entry about my dominant thoughts and the happenings of the previous day in my Moleskine daily diary.
- The next 20 minutes are dedicated for making progress in reading. I read one or two books at a time, 10 minutes each. I started recently to rely on number of pages to read per book, so If I want to finish a certain book within a month I need to read x pages a day.
- The next and final 20 minutes in my routine are dedicated for learning by doing, so I aim at moving forward in some courses I subscribed to. Current focus is The Marketing Seminar by Seth Godin, so I watch the lessons’ videos and do the homework.
I sometimes use the last 20 minutes to read and update my goals and set reminders and the to-do list for the day. I love that I have a longer time during weekends which I usually use to read more and reflect on the past week’s entries and achievements (ideally).
After that I feel so energetic and satisfied and ready to wake up my family to start the routine of leaving the house and facing the day.
When does the morning routine fail?
- It fails if I check my email or social media, I get absorbed by them and minutes get stolen from one of the above steps. Solution? keep the mobile out of reach during all this. I use it to read the morning spiritual entries and to time my mediation and then leave it on the yoga mat usually.
- It doesn’t feel as good to wake up if I sleep less than 6 hours the night before, therefore I need to prepare for it every night by respecting my bedtime.
When does it work best?
- If you have a 5 am club like the one I joined, a group of people who share the same interest and wake up at the same time, so we say good morning to each other through this club (group) and go about our routine. It makes you feel less alone and less inclined to go back to bed.
- If you believe that all successful people have this in common: they wake up before the world does to work on their personal development goals.