Are you a night owl or an early bird? Do you fall asleep by 9pm and wake up in the morning like a red-bull fueled, whirling dervish checking all the items off your To Do list by 8am? Or do you find you have to force yourself go to bed at night ("Okay, I know I've said goodnight five times but this time I'm really go—is that a two hour episode of the Voice?") and then you have to force yourself get out of bed in the morning with self-bribery involving hot caffeinated beverages? The latter has definitely been my pattern for as long as I can remember.
I always thought it was just how I was wired. That I was a night owl and would never be able to get up early and function well throughout my day. But I think I've been wrong all this time. I don't think it's because my body is wired that way. I think it's much more to do with how I structure my day and my ADD brain and the way it functions (or doesn't function in this case...you can read my last post for more about that.) I think the number of hours of sleep a person needs is quite individual. But let's say it's 7 hours for me. I think as long as I'm getting the amount of time my body needs, I can do that from 10pm-5am just as effectively as 1am-8am. My body will adjust if I'm consistent and I can actually turn myself into a morning person. (Okay, still not the whirling dervish type...and I still need my caffeine, but I can get up earlier!)
For the last two weeks I've been getting up at 5am most days and I'm still alive. I know...it's hard to believe. But it's true. The sky did not fall and I haven't been arrested. All is well. As a matter of fact, it's better than well. It's pretty amazing. (Those who know me are now wondering if I've been abducted by aliens and replaced with a confused clone.) I can assure you, I'm me, and I can say that I actually (mostly) really enjoy getting up two hours ahead of my crew. Because it gives me time to start my day in a way that sets me up for success rather than blearily stumbling through getting the boys off to school and then contemplating going back to bed for "just a bit." (Not that I ever did that. I'm just speculating what might happen to some people.)
Now granted, I work from home and make my own hours so in theory, it shouldn't matter if I use my time at the beginning of the day or the end of the day. But it does matter for me because it takes me a while (forever) to wake up fully. I am not that chipper, jump out of bed and clean the house before breakfast kind of girl. I am the, "Why are you still talking when I haven't had coffee yet?" kind of girl. So, if I'm going to be fully awake and able to contribute to conversation and make chocolate sandwiches skillfully, I need to be up well before my people so I have that gentle, gradual wake up time and I'm not growling at people when they enter the kitchen with their loud voices and long to do lists with all their obnoxious check marks.
The key is to have a plan for how to wake up and start the day. If I were just getting up at 5am and going right to work on my computer, I wouldn't be helping myself much because I would likely be konked out, drooling on my desk by 7am. But instead I'm doing a specific morning routine that sets me up for success. And I guess that's my main point for today...that having a great morning routine sets you up to have a great day. Sounds simple but so many of us don't do it regularly and I know I pay for it when I don't.
I got started on this kind of early morning routine a couple years ago when I read the book, Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod yet after a while I fell back into old patterns. But recently a friend invited me to join an accountability group that was reading that book. Knowing I needed to gain control of my days again, I agreed.
The book recommends Morning SAVERS:
- Silence (Prayer, Meditation, etc.)
- Affirmation (Positive statements about what you're committed to and why)
- Visualization (Picturing not just the big goal but also todays activities toward it)
- Exercise (Any movement that wakes your body up)
- Reading (something that stimulates your thoughts...Bible, growth books, etc.)
- Scribing (Basically, journaling but SAVERJ didn't work)
I would highly recommend reading the book if you need some motivation to get a morning routine going. You can also check out the Miracle Morning website for more info, here.
And I think I'll write my thoughts about each one of those SAVERS over time. But the basic idea is to spend anywhere from a few minutes on each one, to as much time as you need, but to do it every morning. I don't spend a ton of time on the first three because the last three are my favorites and they take most of my morning time. And the surprising one that is really saving me right now is the Exercise portion and my new obsession: Yoga. (I promise, it's really me. I have not been abducted by aliens.)
I have wanted to try yoga for years but I just never found the time—and that's really the magic of these early mornings, by the way; it's found time—but now I have the time and more importantly, it wakes me up. My whole body and my mind feels awake after a 30 minute yoga practice. And then I'm ready to move on to the other SAVERS.
I've always avoided going to a yoga class because I'm incredibly un-flexible and to start going to a class right now feels like too much of a stretch (pun intended). I can't touch my toes..I can't even sit on the floor with my legs out and get a 90 degree angle. Don't even get me started on dogs and cats and cow poses. I'm sure I look ridiculous with my bent knees and shaking core. I look nothing like the adorable little yogis plastered all over instagram. But one word rings over that statement for me.
I never believed I could get there before. If I couldn't do it right, fresh out of the gate, I would give up. If I couldn't do perfect, I'd rather do nothing. But no more. I've learned there is no fail, only forward. I don't have to do it perfectly, after all, it's called a yoga practice which indicates that you need to keep working on it. So I found a great online class on YouTube called Yoga with Adriene, and I'm being gentle and kind to myself. Assuring myself that I might not be able to do it beautifully YET but I will see progress and I will gain flexibility as I continue to show up.
Yesterday I was sick so I did't get up early and do my savers. And I actually missed the yoga. What?! For all you fitness gurus out there...I know this sounds elementary but I'm a girl who would much rather read a book than work up a sweat (and I'd much rather take a nap than do almost anything 😂), so this is revolutionary for me. (Recently, in a game that asked,"If this player (me) were the 8th dwarf, what would her name be?" my friend said, without hesitation, "Nappy!" #truth #hesgotapoint)
How about you all, what is your morning routine? How do you get yourself out of bed? And what is your favorite morning exercise? Would you like to hear more details about the SAVERS? Leave me a comment! Let me know your thoughts. And feel free to subscribe below if you'd like these weekly blog posts to hit your email.
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P.S. I just have to give a shout out to Yoga with Adriene. I'm a new fan but the fact that I want to get up every morning and spend 30 minutes with Adriene walking me through a yoga practice is a huge testament to her ability to make you feel comfortable and her encouragement for taking it at your own pace. If you've never tried yoga before, click here for a great beginner video. Namaste. 🧘♀️