Over the last several weeks I have made a big jump, and taking a big risk with my professional life, one that I am convinced will be for the better. As I take in these new endeavors I kept thinking of how I can make this a fresh start, really an exciting opportunity that we don’t get often in life. I figured I would write about a fresh start, but not as a point in life, but a fresh start to each and every day. What I am going to talk about is my morning routine, and how I was completely shocked at how wrong I was treating my morning, until a couple months ago.
I am not a morning person. In fact, that might be putting it lightly. On my phone I use to have 7 alarms set to wake me up. I took long showers in the morning, because my brain just wasn’t ready to function enough to differentiate the shampoo and the body wash. In the past, the most you would get from me until I am halfway through a cup of coffee is a grunt.
I never understood why the world insisted that my day should start at 7:00. The thought of waking up a second earlier than I absolutely had to is just an idea I was not ready to entertain. I have friends and colleagues that claim to have woken up an hour early so they can start their day with a workout at the gym. Now, I’m not totally against the idea of working out (although running strikes me as rather pointless sometimes) but to do anything productive at 6:00 seemed totally out of the question. That all changed when I was introduced to “The Miracle Morning.”
Now for those of you that aren’t aware, The Miracle Morning is a book written by a motivational speaker, rock-star salesmen, and now bestselling author Hal Elrod. Now as a quick sidebar, I would encourage anybody to give his books, and system a chance. I would also encourage anybody to at least look at this guy’s life, it truly is incredible what he has been able to endure, and bounce back from. I was introduced to him by one of my wonderful mentors and at the time current boss, Peter Hynes. This will sound corny, and hopefully not pathetic, but this book changed my life for the better. Being late to work has never been an issue for me. I was brought up to believe that being on time means being there 15 minutes early, and showing up at time, meant you were late. However, this book changed my mindset for each new day.
While I don’t follow Hal’s system to the tee, I have tailored something that works for me that is very similar, and I am so glad I started it. I wake up an hour before I otherwise would (I know it seems crazy, but at least try it for a day.)
This is what I have found works for me. I wake up and do some reading for 15 minutes. Now this might be different everyday. Some days I will read a book to help me become more professionally prepared. Some days I will read and think about a list of motivational quotes that I have found work for me. Some days I will read my Bible, I take my faith seriously and enjoy reading the Bible without any outside commentary so I can form my own opinions of what I have read. I have found that if I get out of bed, and lean up against a wall or on a chair to read, my mind get’s started much quicker than it had in the past.
The next thing I do is think, 5 minutes of thinking without checking twitter or last nights score of the ballgames. I think about goals I have in my life. I think about the things that I want. I think about the things that would benefit me. I think about what I have just read. I will also send up a quick prayer. I have found that this part of the morning has made me more effective in the opening hours at work. Critical thinking is a big part of my job, and I like to think this short time of meditation exercises my critical thinking.
After I finish this part of my morning, I go into a light workout. Now for those of you that have already met me, you know I have never taking working out very seriously. For those of you I will meet in the future, you might not even guess I work out at all. Nonetheless I have incorporated a light workout for the last 40 minutes of my routine. Not that I go to an actual gym, or really even have much equipment at my house, but just enough to get my blood really flowing. I will do a couple sets of push-ups, until my body is tired. I will do some sets of sit-ups until my stomach starts to fight back. I might do some workouts with a resistance band. When the weather is optimal I might go for a quick jog. Again, nothing to strenuous or serious, but after I have worked out and gotten out of the shower I find that I am actually excited for the day.
The first day I tried this, I set my alarm had a bottle of water ready on my nightstand table, and went to sleep determined that I would give this a routine a try, even if it was just lasted one day. As weird as it sounds the next day I woke up a couple minutes before my alarm went off with a confusing feeling. I woke up with that “Christmas morning feeling” that I haven’t had in years. I woke up with an excitement that I never had until at least lunchtime. I haven’t looked back since, and I am so thankful that I was introduced to, and gave this system a chance.
So, to break down my routine, I believe that it gives me the correct mindset, an optimal attitude, and even an excitement for the day. To be ready to crush my morning chores at work that my coworkers find mundane. I have noticed that while most people are still drinking their coffee, and stalling or delaying the inevitable, I am cranking out my normal morning tasks, and setting myself up for a successful day. This is my fresh start, my miracle morning. I hope you’ll consider giving it a try.