Sometimes its the only thing that I get right all day, but mornings have become my new “me” time. I get to make some organic coffee. I get to drive while listening to a brilliant podcast to my barn. I get to feed and groom my horses. I get to either head to the gym and indulge in wonderful workout, only to finish by laying on a hydro bed before hitting the showers. Or I get to head home and spend some time with the family before getting into my office bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, on time if not early.
No matter what I do between the hours of 4:30 and 9 am, it all begins with 1.) Preparation the Sunday before the week. 2.) 10 minute preparation the night before, and 3.) A major breakfast. Aside from those three things, it also takes one more thing; flexibility.
In the past two weeks I haven’t been to the gym, nor have I ridden. But what I have done is slow wayyyy down and not beat myself up about it. In the past year my morning routine has changed over 12 times. Twelve times! Yet, everything still gets done. The piece that makes it all work is flow. For instance, I could have gone to the gym after feeding the horses yesterday, but as I was getting ready to head downstairs to make coffee and leave, Dylan woke up. I thought it would be much more fun to take him with me to the barn and make a memory rather than go to the gym. It wasn’t a cop-out either because I really enjoy my gym routine, but I would rather him come with me and feed the horses on a quiet morning than him watch and electronic for an hour before breakfast. Therefore the gym can wait.
I used to hate mornings. I would be up too late the night before and then hit the snooze too many times. I used to tell everyone that I wasn’t a morning person, and all of those habits helped to make that my reality. Slowly but surely, somewhere around having an infant and then wanting to come home after work instead of run errands, I began to change. Then one day I had no choice as I found myself the sole provider of three horses in the dead of winter. I was forced into becoming a morning person and for awhile I just had to make the most of it. Then one day I caught the sun break through the clouds in such a way just as my horses were nuzzling me to come in for their grain, and the next thing I knew, I couldn’t live without my mornings.
If becoming a morning person is something that you want to do – then I encourage the habit because you get 4 more hours in your day. If you venture out to go to the gym or to hit the grocery store early, you will find some of the most efficient and relaxed drivers at that time in the morning than you ever will any other time of day. Most people out at that time walking their dogs or getting the paper and a coffee…they’ve figured out something about the morning stillness as well. It takes some getting used to, and you will have to play around with what works for you, but don’t turn on the TV and make checking your phone the last thing that you do. Fill that time with as much nurturing for yourself as you possibly can because the morning…it whispers. All of the secrets of the Universe can be heard. Your ideas, your dreams, your ambitions…they all seem not only possible, but like they’re right around the corner.
Aside from grooming and handling my horses, tidying my barn and making my Scarlett her morning “smoothie”, here are some of the things that I do;
- Ride my horse while listening to classical music with my ear buds
- Throw a load of laundry in while my coffee brews
- Read from A Course In Miracles
- Read a page from the book 365 Dalai Lama: Daily Advice From The Heart
- Take my dog to the barn and race him across the field
- Make a high powered breakfast (See notes below)
- Meditate (not in bed, I’ll fall back asleep!)
- Write in my journal
- Write in my planner
- Say some prayers
- Dust the furniture & Wash the floor downstairs (Only because I find a clean home comforting)
- Sleep (Sometimes I will take the time to sleep in depending on the weekly activities)
My last piece of advice for having high powered mornings is to understand that things will change and it is more than fine to allow a small period of time to allow everything to organically fall into place. If you want to start but just don’t know how, start by getting up 30 minutes earlier, but have a plan. I find that the mornings that I don’t have a hard deadline for waking up so that I can be somewhere or get something done, I’m more prone to sleeping a little later. Every so often that’s fine, but that doesn’t make for keeping a healthy habit.
The point is that mornings should be peaceful and they account for such a huge part of how the rest of the day will go, focusing on healthy morning habits – no matter what time they begin – is key for a fruitful life I have learned. You’ll end up paying yourself such dividends. Remember that no CEO or high performance executive sleeps in. All of those kinds of people are up by 5am. You won’t find them flying around the house yelling and angry 10 minutes before they’re supposed to be in a major meeting. In actuality, routines and habits are easy to form, whether they are good for you or not, they use the same energy. As such, why not make good habits to grow on?
Until next time,
Tell me now, are you a morning person? If not, tell me all about the magic that happens after midnight. No really, tell me because I forget!