Updated: Jan 27
we have all read that plenty of successful people shout that waking early to start their day is one of many habits that make them tick even though they have super busy schedules. i am a big fan of an early start and one that is primarily focussed around me to allow me set the tone for my day. for magic to ensue
i get it. its hard. but I also know its achievable and will change your game, big time. we all have 24 hours in each day. make it count.
does this sound like your morning:
alarm clock goes off. you know you have limited time to get all the things that need doing done and are reminded of this over and over as you wade through the multi snooze stages of your alarm clock. your first thing to do is check your mobile phone to catch up on the non-essentials. you then manage the slow walk to the bathroom to do your bit and then sluggishly venture into the kitchen to put on the kettle before you then wake up the kids and fix them up for the morning. check phone again. before you know it your in a mad panic thinking of all the stuff you still need to get done – and even with your partners assistance, you find yourself still stressing about being able to get things done on time. you finally sort the kids with the sharpest of farewell wishes for the day as they leave and now it’s time for the quickest shower to be ready and in the car for the office jaunt all whilst trying to pick off the odd whatsapp message, email and downing lumps of burned toast. when finally at the office you desperately need another brew and by 9am you feel you can finally catch up with yourself BUT your in a total reactive state and fully exhausted with not much go in you. and then you realise you have forgotten lunch and not made any of the beds…….yuk. nein danke.
a second scenario:
the alarm gently sounds. this time you do a 5-4-3-2-1 count, switch it off and get up – no snooze (partner is happier). stand tall. you check in – gifted another 24 hours to achieve and give your best– look forward with a smile. whilst the house is under silence you feel in your body whilst walking to the kitchen to boil the kettle (for a nice cleansing hot water and lemon drink). you pull open the blinds. take in the natural morning light. stretch and move your body in gentle small motions all in the time the kettle is taking to boil. your circadian clocks are in tune! alexa is asked to play soothing morning music and your priming yourself for the early morning meditation or maybe some light exercise or breathwork. you are enjoying this time. afterwards you then take out your journal and put some thoughts and feelings down and follow by writing out your master list for the day whilst sipping your drink. pro-active. ready. in control. now you can hold your phone. then take a cold shower before you embrace waking the kids and sorting them for the day. on the front foot. the kids even notice your energy. its infectious. you proceed with your day, getting stuff done.
the picture here is you take control of your day. start with you and drive your day forward. make it happen. your terms. swimming in the sea of change.
its not your fault. the way you behave in your jammies every morning is a pathway to your norm and is a simple set of actions, or lack of, and what you have learned. perhaps you are happy with this. that is good. but know this; the morning holds the power that is a stage setter for the rest of your day so how you act during the blissful morning hour determines how the remainder of the day will pan out for you. this goes as deep as how much you give your own interests versus simply responding to others as the day goes on. just existing. many psychologists will say that willpower is strongest in the morning and is like a Bank account (there is only so much of it) and if we don’t respect this, before you know it your on the battlefield (office floor) dealing with the variety of issues and tasks as a result. doing anything for yourself later in that same day is then highly unlikely. in fact the living quarters post work is not a battlefield but just simply sucks you up. what a shame. chew the wood – get it won. take back control!
further, science shows that that the morning holds some fine benefits too from the natural elevated cortisol in the blood (the body’s get go fuel) which helps crushing those harder tasks earlier on as opposed to trying to manufacture this later on. don’t waste this. also elevating cortisol via good morning habits early on will also ensure your on your way to a better night’s sleep that evening (another blog). likely lower levels of this fuel later on in the day makes productivity, responsibility and dealing with the difficult, that somewhat harder for some and will drain the physical and mental tank. we also know that working harder in the morning or even working out can be achieved in a fasted state which helps ramps up fat loss and regulate hormones without the need to count how many eggs for brekkie because its 8am. cool right?
whilst known common results from those that achieve, and personally speaking, having a well structured morning makes you more inclined to make better decisions through the day since you are already swimming in a sea of positivity and momentum. law of attraction. you seem to flow easier with bolstering better choices in relation to foods, movement, play, work ethic, our reactions to things and what you do for others. its mileage under the bonnet knowing you devoted a section at the start of the day toward you and your dreams. no-one can take this away. a result.
don’t get me wrong, a crippling 1-hour cross-fit session isn’t necessary to extract the benefits of early a.m. successful achievement and mundane tasks like making your bed are equally rewarding. i was fortunate enough to have had this instilled into me at a young age by my mother (thank you mam), but this was reinforced when i came across a speech delivered by Admiral McRaven, a former Navy SEAL veteran. William McRaven said:
if you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
by making your bed this reinforces the little things in life matter.
if you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
making your bed in the morning makes sure you accomplish your first task.
this gives you a sense of pride and encourages you to do another task…and another….and another.
at the end of the day that one task completed turns into many tasks completed.
if you have a bad day, at least your returning home to a made bed!
if its new for you. start small.
the morning is mother natures way of inviting you to stamp your authority on your day (and life) by achieving well-meaning tasks. by putting you first, to create. to create balance. purity. providing you a chance to use your body and to line up some good hours ahead and to ultimately ensure this aligns with optimal health.
there really is something about the morning start and what you go on to produce as a result. the mind body connection and allow our bodies to do what they are capable of doing. the cellular rush lasts for hours into the day knowing your first chunk in the morning is built the way you want it to be – the feel good hormones circulate and the bad, withers. we underestimate the power of the body and the body is more capable and more powerful than we can understand. start the synergy and start your morning the good way. the lie in may be preferred. I get that at times. but variety is key, just like how diverse nature is. if you win the morning long enough you will install the feeling that will change this into a regular habit. the reward. the way forward.
often I am asked what my morning win is – i'm a sod for experimenting, but mainly it consists of:
- wake & smile
- walk with dog & oil pull
- breath work
- stretching or workout
- coldness – shower or dunk
not convinced? convinced? sounds selfish? already crushing your morning wins? getting 3 or 4 mornings a week? give it a try. what will your morning ritual look like. you create by design and play with it – nothing bad will happen. that is another true beauty of life, we have the choice. the choice to change and trial things and experiment to see what works for us. allow you to be the director of your day as opposed to responding to it. tomorrow produce your golden hour, make a bed – do some yoga – or some breathwork – a cold shower – punch the air – write down your thoughts. give it a go. feed it back.
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