I know they say the early bird gets the worm, but I say the early bird finds her peace. Embarking on this journey presented me with something I needed to decide – when could I dedicate time to focus on daily practices and routines necessary to be successful in my life in a more holistic way? Gone were the days of solely focusing on my success in terms of just business. I knew I had a lot of work to do from the inside-out if I was truly going to find contentment and the happiness I wanted to achieve in my life as a whole. So I decided mornings would be the best time because the way my days are set up, the morning is really the only time that I can grab an entire block of time all to myself.
In going back to my vision for my life and the goals I set for myself over the first quarter of 2020, the first order of business would be to bring some structure and sanity back to my life by tackling two areas: my health & overall wellness and my spirituality. Both of these areas have been needing a major overhaul for quite some time. I was pretty confident that if I could kickstart the decade focusing on these two areas, I could get my days moving on the right track and positive energy flowing into all the other areas of my life that also needed work.
I never use to understand how people could get up and start their day at 5am, but I am now learning that there are huge benefits to being a member of the 5am club. For starters, most of the world is asleep at that time. There is a level of peace and serenity that comes with being an early riser and I wanted to take full advantage of that. Auntie Maxine may be reclaiming her time, but I am reclaiming my inner peace.
Early mornings also gives you time to find clarity and set intentions for your day – to get yourself fully grounded and anchored before all the demands of the world start to come your way. Up until now, life seemed to have a way of coming through and knocking me the f*ck out by 10am and that just had to stop. My mornings would need to become a time that I dedicate to myself fully to do whatever it takes to ensure my day will get started on the right foot. I am a person who loves to hear positive messages. They do something for my mindset and energize my soul. This was something I knew I needed to incorporate from the moment I am getting my day started.
It’s amazing how we will start our day ready to show up for someone else whether it be our jobs, our significant others, our kids, our parents, our friends, etc. before we show up for ourselves. So this time around it was important for me to start showing up for Sandra first. That’s essentially what being a morning person all boils down to for me. I had to stop making excuses as to why everything else was more important. If I wanted to do better, I had to acknowledge my own faults and commit to making the small changes that needed to be made.
This has been a huge mental shift that has taken me from the narrative I was feeding into about never having enough time and everything under sun being the reason why I couldn’t do this or that to a narrative of needing to hold myself accountable for my poor habits and give myself a framework to take control of the situation rather than letting it control me. Some things I learned through the process of making this mental shift are:
- To be intentional – I had to learn to be intentional about my day and figure out what part of the day I would reserve just for me to allow me to operate at my best.
- Consider what gets you going – I had to consider what activity(ies) I could do for myself to get me in the right mindset to optimize the day ahead (for example, working out, journaling, reading a book, listening to positive messages via podcast). This isn’t about getting business done. It’s personal.
- Kick tech to the curb – Technology is a great thing, but can also be used to our detriment. I knew I needed to refrain from the urge to grab my cell phone first thing in the morning to check social media or jump on my laptop. This is a huge distractor, so I only use tech if it’s absolutely necessary to what I need to be doing as part of my morning routine (e.g. listening to a podcast, music playlist, etc.). Here’s the scoop on my morning routine I kicked off the new decade with.
All in all, being part of the 5am club is something I have to work at every single day. There are days that I would love to just stay in my warm bed rather than walk to the gym in the brisk NYC cold, but I just keep reminding myself of the importance of showing up for myself first and always. An affirmation as simple as that has been enough to keep me going another day.
What are some things you are prioritizing in your life and giving attention to in order to optimize your day? Let me know in the comments.