The more I understand what it means to choose the kind of day I want to have, the more I realize the importance of what I do when I wake up. I’ve struggled with waking up early or on time for the longestttt. I would snooze my alarm a few times to get more sleep at the expense of running late. I’m still trying to break the habit of waking up and starting my day rushing through things. Rushing often leads to me forgetting, having to skip essential activities like breakfast, and leaving my home feeling a bit anxious. My grandfather has always been someone who stood by waking up early and making the most out of a day. I never understood it growing up. Late nights and later mornings were my favorite. But the older I get the more inclined I feel to wake up early to get a head start on my day, which in turn sets the tone.
Developing the habit of waking up earlier has been such a huge challenge for me. I still haven’t mastered it completely (sleepy girl probs) but I am working on it! It takes a lot of discipline but is definitely possible. On the mornings I have started my day earlier I’ve felt SO different. The extra time lifted a huge weight off my shoulders I didn’t even know was there. I felt really peaceful and still. There was now time for me to actually relax and think. Rushing doesn’t allow for either action. I now had time to decide how I wanted the rest of my day to feel. That was powerful for me. That meant no matter what the day ahead of me would bring, I had prepared myself to take it on with a refreshed mind and spirit.
Waking up earlier gave me time to begin putting together a morning routine. I believe routines in general are super important. But in the morning, routines are a necessity. A morning routine can be as simple as cleaning yourself up and eating breakfast or as complex as doing a skin care regimen, journaling, sweeping, and going to the gym. It all depends on what YOU need. What do you need to get going when you wake up? How do you center yourself? What are you looking forward to? How will today be better than yesterday? These questions have helped me personally determine what I need to set the tone for my day.
Being intentional during my morning’s means utilizing my time to achieve some grounding through gratitude, meditation, prayer, and saying my affirmations. Those acts are what I need personally to start my day in a positive headspace. Having intentional mornings also meant taking time to listen to my body. Your body will tell you things if you listen to it. Sometimes my body needs the bathroom immediately, sometimes it just wants fruit, and sometimes it needs water and something light to eat. It depends, but I listen. This definitely made a huge difference in my ability to focus. It was amazing how different I felt with a morning routine before leaving home even if it was to go somewhere I didn’t want to be.
Our mornings count for so much more than we know. I’ve learned that we are most clear in the morning when it comes to our thinking and reception to information. But this clarity is only of value if we tap in. Implementing small changes at a time eventually add up and make great impact. It might be waking up 45 minutes early, waiting an hour to get on our phone, or skipping turning the television on.
Not only do the start of our day’s impact how we physically feel, they impact how we mentally feel. The sacrifice of waking up earlier gives us more peace of mind because we don’t have to rush. We are able to just be. We are able to start our day more mindfully and attentive when we have time to think. Waking up late leads to lots of autopilot taking place in our brains. I know for me, having a rough start in the morning carries over to the rest of my day and it sucks. Why not work to change that? It’s always baby steps at first when it comes to progress. The results will bear fruit though, one morning at a time. Like my high school principal used to say “make it a great day or not, the choice is yours”.