“Well I don’t have a choice, my kids wake up early! But I find the few days that I am able to wake up before the kids, it is nice. I feel like my day is started on my terms, not theirs.”
I am NOT a morning person. This is absolutely no secret. You would know what I mean if I told you that the other day when I refused to get out of bed my toddler started throwing pillows at my head and proclaiming that he was past ready for his breakfast. If you’ve ever spoken to me in the morning you probably think I despise you after being met with my morning tone. It’s not very welcoming. I don’t mean it, but I’m just not a morning person. I was blessed from the beginning with a child who slept through the night. I remember checking on him multiple times as an infant wondering why he hadn’t cried yet or woken up. When I became a mom my own mother started calling me earlier in the morning. I remember her calling me at 7:00 in the morning once and asked what I was doing. She quickly ended the conversation after an unpleasant “SLEEPING” from my end of the phone. Motherhood hadn’t molded me into a morning person, and with my college degree out of the way and moving to a job with afternoon hours I simply chalked it up to having no need to be up before my child.
Rebekah makes a good point! Most of us have and should exercise the opportunity to start our mornings on our own terms. Now I know some of you are thinking; I have a family to support I have to be up at 5:00am. That may be true; but even you can decide to start those early mornings with scripture, your favorite type of music, or even with a good quick yoga session. You may not be able to control the time your day starts but you can determine that attitude that you start it with.
Over the past few months I’ve ended serval days pondering over the things that didn’t get done. Now don’t be hard on yourself there will almost always be something that didn’t get done. But when I looked at my day and constantly saw a comparison between my moments of fruitless time and the time needed to complete task that would help enrich and provide positive growth in my days, I realized I needed to better utilize my time. Create a full timeline of your day! This will help you get a full 360 look at where you utilize and where you waste time. Be very descriptive. What time did your alarm go off, verses what time you actually got out of bed? For me there use to be anywhere from a 20-45 min lapse between the two. Did you plan your breakfast and your outfit the night before, or did it take you 35-45 minutes just to decide what to eat and wear before even actually getting to the process of eating and getting dressed? These moments may not seem to have a big effect but when you add them up and multiply by 7 days a week you’d be surprised at how much more time you have. Only YOU know what your day should look like; because only you know where your goals and aspirations lie.
For me photography is a very important part of my life. Yet when I looked at the detailed timeline of my day I spent hours watching television (mostly at night trying to relax after work and catch up on the DVR) and some days I barely even looked over my camera or studied anything regarding photography. That’s a clear indication that though photography may be very important to me I made television a higher priority. So write out your priorities and what’s important to you and build your day from there. Consider work a part of importance. Many of us have families to support and going to work says to our families that we value their security and well-being and want to provide for them the necessities that they need.
Remember to carve time out of your day to spend on other people. Use 15minutes every day to call and check on loved ones, write a sweet card to someone in your church in need of encouragement, or even spending 10minutes just praying for the people on your prayer list.
Here are a few of my goals and how I intend on tackling them:
Wake up time: 6:30a.m. This means climbing out of bed at 6:30 not just opening my eyes or cutting my brain on at that time. Physically moving my body to a standing position and starting the day!
Nutrition: Start each day with 20oz of water and 8oz of mint tea. Mint tea relaxes my muscles and soothes my stomach. (You will find what works for you and helps you look forward to your mornings; but I highly encourage you to think outside the coffee filter.) I love The Republic of Tea’s orange ginger mint tea flavors especially with a little honey!
Fitness: Start each morning with a 20min boxing workout (4-5days a week) with 5 – 10mins of lifting and kettlebell reps.
Knowledge and Spiritual Growth: ALWAYS nourish your brain and soul. If you love books like I do consider starting and ending your day with reading and meditation. Even if your meditation is only 60seconds of controlled in tune breathing. Consider this: knowledge in the morning, creativity in the aternoon. Start your morning with God’s word and then move on to other mind empowering books to prepare yourself for the day.
“Read your bible and pray!”
For some of us there will be days, maybe even seasons, that will seem like a battle. Prepare yourself for the battle. If you have a fictional book or DIY/ craft book on your reading list consider reading that in the evening. Allow yourself to escape a little from any possible stress of the day then end it all with a deep, relaxing breathing session (maybe light your favorite candle! I love a good lavender scent!) I also plan to start each day by saying a prayer for each member of my household.
When I look at each of these task typed out on my screen it seems like a lot to tackle before my toddler even wakes up. It may actually be a lot; but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Sure there will be days when I’m met by a wide-eyed, ready to eat 3 year old before I even get to the nutrition part of my morning. And, there will be days when I give in to my exhaustion and revert to hitting the snooze button until it finally gives up and stops going off. Still, there will be more days when my day is started on my terms if I determine and decide to be intentional with my time. As corny as it sounds I want to own my day not let my day own me. Think of every waking morning as your curtain call; and instead of viewing your alarm as an ear piercing irritant, think of it as your moment.