Oh, how I despise Daylight Savings and springing ahead.
Why am I losing an hour of precious sleep? For what?
How is this relevant to my life?
Oh, to live in Hawaii or Arizona where they don’t give a &^%#@$.
For many years this was my thought process. I dreaded the Monday after Daylight Savings. It became a day of excess caffeine and longing for my bed.
Inevitably, a few days later it was all over and I was back on track. My body and brain were used to the new time and all was right again.
What a different tune I sing today…I actually like springing ahead.
Man, I never thought I would say that, but when I move the clock forward now, I know spring is on the way and there will more early light for me to enjoy the outdoors.
I know I am still losing an hour of sleep, but its impact has lessened as I’ve slowly shifted my habits towards being an early riser.
Like so many others, I have discovered the incredible benefits of getting up at 5:00 AM and spending the morning time on self-development.
Giving myself this 1-2 hour window to focus on my goals, journal my thoughts, read high quality books that feed my brain and meditate with the sunrise has provided me tremendous daily focus, productivity and happiness.
Oh yeah, I also put in an ass-kicking workout…
All this before most people grab their first up of coffee and rush out the door to work.
I have to give big props to Robin Sharma for introducing me to the practice and its benefits.
Without further ado, here is what I do.
My morning routine:
- 5:00 AM, get out of bed and drink 32 oz. water
- 5:10 AM, Journal for 20 minutes (Gratitude, dreams, thoughts and ideas, review my goals, top 5 tasks for the day that move me towards my goals and commit to doing 1 thing that scares me)
- 5:30 AM, Eat snack and read for 20 minutes
- 5:50 AM, Meditate for 20 minutes
- 6:10 AM, Prep for gym
- 6:15 AM, Go to gym for 30-45 minute workout
- 7:30 AM, Arrive home from gym and drink protein shake
- 7:40 AM, Shower and prep for day
- 8:00 AM, Breakfast
- 8:30 AM, Work my dream
Benefits of an early morning routine:
- I’ve set the day right by giving myself inspiration and the proper mindset.
- I make my physical and mental well being a priority.
- I’m more focused towards achieving my goals and living my mission and vision.
- My productivity is higher because I know exactly what I am going to accomplish.
- I am always stretching my limits by doing one thing, no matter how small, outside my comfort zone.
- I’ve filled up my tank and am now ready to help and serve others at my absolute best.
For more benefits check out this excellent Forbes post.
The benefits of being an early riser far outweigh the costs of sleep and as Ben Franklin said, “There will be plenty of time to sleep when you are dead.”
Tips and Don’ts:
- Practice rising earlier in 30-minute increments over a week until you hit the magic 5:00 AM.
- Set your alarm 30 minutes faster and trick your brain.
- Reward yourself, as I do, with a shot of espresso!
- Don’t hit snooze! Every time I hit snooze I start making up reasons why my bed feels so good and I deserve more sleep, then I wake up late and my whole day is off. Just get up!
- Let the first thoughts that enter your mind be of gratitude. This has made a huge impact on my mental state. No matter where I am at in my life when I wake up with gratitude I’m in a more positive productive state.
- Never check email or social media until after your routine is complete. These disrupt your focus and mental energy.
- Multitasking is for suckers – only focus on one practice at a time. Read when it is time to read. Journal when it is time to journal. Etc.
- Workout hard. Don’t sit on the bike and casually read a book, thinking you’re getting it done. Put on some music, push yourself and get the endorphins rolling.
- Habits can take 21, 30 or 90 days to implement. Realistically, it takes as many as days as you need in a row for you to make it a habit. With that said, give yourself at least 21 days as the bare minimum and go from there.
- Don’t take weekends off when you first get started. Only after your morning routine is rock solid should you take it down to 5 days.
Ok, so now you know how I do it and some tips and tricks to help you get started.
One last thought, make you morning routine your own and focus on these main elements: gratitude, reflection, goals and physical/mental self-care.
So embrace Daylight Savings and start rising early.
Give yourself time to focus, create self-awareness and live to your full potential.
I’d love to hear from you
Now in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
What is your morning routine?
Make your comment specific as your stories, ideas and experiences help us all.
Thanks for being here, for contributing — for listening and for being a part of my journey.