Throughout my life I have consistently chosen activities that require morning participation, as if I want so badly to be a morning person I create a life that requires me to be! being a competitive Figure skater beginning at age 6, I was on the ice by 6am, in my twenties I was a store manager for Starbucks, that alarm went off at 3:45am multiple times a week.
Growing up, I remember watching my dad every morning reading his devotional and sipping coffee from 5-6 am, I watched my dad and began to affiliate success with a consistent morning routine. I remember cold snowy mornings in Wisconsin, I was 5 years old, I would wake up and sit with him, if my memory serves me, he would let me sip coffee and I sat with him watching him read.
Sometimes, I feel like My life has been a journey of case studies around morning routines.
When I talk to people about morning routines, it tends to be a hot topic. I am not sure why, I can tell you that while the pull my bed has on me when my alarm goes off feels almost magnetic, there is great reward in standing up and taking action vs staying put... hmmm feels like a metaphor for life doesn't it? In the spirit of sharing, here are a few theories I am currently undergoing and how they are going.
- Favorite things first!
My feet hit the floor, I drink a glass of water, take my vitamins, and curl up with a cup of coffee and my journal. Post caffeination, journal, meditation and visualizing of what I want to go down that day. Then I prioritize what I really love first. I have heard a host of people say to do the hardest things first, I totally disagree! If I am excited about something, why wait? I want to put all of my fresh morning energy into what I am most excited about!
- Exercising before 8am!
My most recent tug of war is when to prioritize physical activity. In the book miracle morning, Hal Elrod discusses what he calls the savers and the magic recipe of what to do first thing in the morning to have a successful life. I myself practice a very similar routine except my "E for exercise" is sometimes done first or last in my morning routine. But my favorite days are the ones that I run before 8am. There is something magical about knowing that by 8am I have nurtured all of my most personal needs. is it easy? Hell no, is it rewarding, yes!
- Starting with this question: If you had no one to answer to, how would you behave?
Think about it this way... Are You enough of a reason to prioritize your morning? I believe that my circumstances are always chess pieces in my own personal game of life. The people I am around, the places I go, they are always changing. My consistency and care for myself is my variable to manage. If I want to be smarter, I can read and write while others are sleeping the wee hours of the morning. If I want to be healthy and in good cardiovascular health, I can eat egg whites and go for a run each morning. My belief is that it's when others request these changes of us that it's harder to execute and sustain, making the activity fuel for future resentment with the person requesting the change.
Choosing to take action because I want to and because I can is highly lubricating for one's self esteem. And in my experience nothing creates more love towards myself, than self care first thing when I wake up. The upside for your relationships? The irony is this, the more balance and care you turn toward yourself, the more you can reflect outwardly to nourish your relationships. Acting as a mirror effect.
In closing, creating sustainable, thoughtful rituals that are not people or place dependent is the most powerful way I can create a consistent loving relative relationship with myself, giving breathe to my other activities and endeavors throughput the day. I know one of the largest adventures that I can take on each day is knowing myself on a more intimate level. This hot pursuit of me, has a ripple effect allowing me to be my best for the people I love and the ones I have not even met. Is it always easy, no! have I experienced more trial and error than consistency, at many times! The point is to keep at it, try new things and most importantly do what works for you! I would challenge tho that sleeping in probably works for everyone to a degree, so hold yourself to the measure of your best self and work up form there.
I would love to hear from you, what morning rituals light your soul fire?
Lindsey Rainwater is an experienced consultant and coach to the fitness and wellness industry. She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping Health Club owners all over the south central region of the united states propel their business forward via group exercise solutions. For more information about Lindsey, follow her@lindseyrainh2o