If you get to know me at all on a personal level, it is very quickly known that i struggle with getting an early start to the day. I have never been a good sleeper. The better part of my life has been fuelled by late bedtimes which become broken, interrupted sleeps and groggy mornings. Crappy sleep carries over into a day where I am dragging myself through the day rather than really making use of my time. It’s become a vicious cycle of sleeping till the very last minute – rushing to work without good food for breakfast or lunch and then coming home so hungry and grumpy I devour the first thing in sight (and then some) and pass on exercise because I’m grumpy and tired. It leads to a lot of self resentment.
This has always been an issue I have with myself. It goes without saying. Sleep is so important. There is constantly new studies confirming this, and regardless of what all these scientific journals tout, I think everyone on a personal level can testify to it as well.
I have become somewhat of a personal growth junkie. I’ve been absorbing myself in ways I can better myself, continuously learn, heal, and fill my cup. It’s been really fulfilling to get on track with how I can be at my best self. There is of course one huge road block in my way. I have felt for a long time that starting my day off on the right foot is the missing link to living at my best for myself and others.
As much as I want the shift from being a life long night owl to an early morning bird it sometimes feels like an insurmountable feat.That said I think I’ve reached a point where it just feels necessary and something I really need to devote myself to – I am really tired of not being at my best and feeling rushed and unproductive with my days.
I am a firm believer that if something is not working, then something needs to change. We can’t expect a different ending if we keep reading the same story over and over. And although that seems easier said than done, I’ve recently stumbled across someone named Hal Elrod who wrote a book about what he calls the Miracle Morning. Hal researched what the most successful people do in the morning, combined the most common practices and fitted them all into a neat little acronym: SAVERS: Silence (for me, this means mediation. For someone else it could mean something like prayer), Affirmation, Visualization, Exercise, Scribe (journal) and lastly Read. The reading is focused on a book that you will gain something from so no fluffy fiction for this part. Something that will be thought provoking and educate you to some capacity, whether it’s a self help personal growth book or something relevant to what you do or where you want to go. Right now I am reading The Big Leap. I was immediately intrigued behind the concept and since then I have been giving bits and pieces of concept a try. The time spent on each is flexible – but ideally an hour total, 10 minutes per habit. So many of us set the alarm clock till the very last second so we can get ready and fly out the door. Hal makes a strong argument for allotting ourselves at least an extra hour to help start the day with a full cup full of intention, gratitude and a healthy state of mind and body.
I think it’s really time for me to put all the pieces together and put forward a real attempt at breaking bad habits and creating this shift in my life. I’m fortunate that my job doesn’t start till mid day, however I have so much more that I would love to accomplish in a days time, including this blog, finishing my nutrition certification and side passion projects. And despite my job not starting till mid day, given my sleep issues I have taken to making up for lost hours of sleep in the morning and sleeping until I absolutely had to get up. For the next 30 days, I will be following Hal’s Miracle Morning concept to see how setting the tone first thing in the morning carries through with the rest of my days and nights. Hal says an extra hour is all that is necessary – but I want to push it a step further and wake up with a few extra hours to spare. I know I’ll be able to put them to good use.
I’m posting this because I think putting this out there for a few extra pairs of eyes will help me in some way feel accountable to persevere through bad nights of sleep and impossible-feeling mornings. Whatever the outcome, I will check back on a weekly basis so that if you have a similar story, perhaps you can follow suit and experience the difference a morning routine creates in your life.
Hal Elrod has an incredible story – I highly recommend checking him out. You can learn more about his book here: http://halelrod.com/books/