If you had to choose, would you say that you are a morning person or a night owl? Most people can identify themselves as one or the other, with the overwhelming majority saying that they are night owls.
Until recently not only have I not considered myself a “morning person,” I was nowhere near close to being one. I was the type of person that would set 3 or 4 alarms and still find a way to sleep through all of them.
For years I would avoid scheduling anything early in the morning because I convinced myself that there was no way that I would ever wake up on time.
But recently I decided to try to become a morning person. Why? Because so many influential people talk about the power of a morning routine. People such as Tony Robbins, Hal Elrod, Tim Ferris, Michael Hyatt, and Jon Acuff all stress the importance of creating a morning routine, and starting your day off in the right way.
Two weeks ago I have created a new morning routine, and starting my day in this new way has been amazing. I now begin each day by spending time focusing on the following three things:
Focus On My Spirit
As a Christian I believe that two of the very most important things I can do are to spend time in Gods word, the Bible, and spend time in prayer. I now begin every morning with bible reading and prayer, rather than saving it until the end of the day like I did before.
It doesn’t take long, I set aside the first 30 minutes of day day to spend wih God and it has become something I look forward to every single morning. Reading the bible is no longer something I look at as a requirement, rather it is now something that I am excited to do.
I also spend time focusing on the things that I am greatful for. By focusing on these things I believe that I will attract more to be greatful for in the coming day.
If you are not a Christian I would suggest that you take some time to learn a little bit about Jesus.
However, if you choose not to spend your first 30 minutes in Bible reading and prayer, you can still focus on the spiritual aspect of you by taking quiet time to reflect on the things you are grateful for.
Warm Up My Mind and Body
After finishing time on my spiritual growth I move onto my physical growth. Each morning I spend my second half hour in a combination of movement and education. I believe that reading or listening to growth minded material first thing in the morning will set you up to chase after success all day. I usually try to walk or do some form of physical movement while reading, or listening to an audio book, so that I can get my body and my brain warmed up for the day.
Prepare and Focus
Once I have spent time with God, and I have worked on myself, it is time to focus on my goals. I set aside the next thirty minutes, or hour, to do three things:
- Forage for my tribe. I learned this from Michael Hyatt. This is the time where I read blogs and news sources that I follow to see what I can share with my followers on social media, or with my friends and family when I am with them during the day. I only spend about 15 minutes doing this. There are some great tools that help with this such as Feedly, Pocket, and Buffer.
- Organize my day. I am a strong believer in the saying “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” I spend time each morning reading my goals, reviewing any projects I am working on, and planning out my day. It only takes me a few minutes to become organized and set out a plan for the day since I keep all my to-do tasks in Nozbe. (You can read more about how and why I use Nozbe to manage my tasks here.)
- Work on my goals. After going though Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever course I came up with 9 goals for 2015. For me to be able to achieve these goals I know that I will have to set aside time each day to work on them. Since I have a busy schedule during the day, and want to spend time with my family and friends at night, I have realized the best time to work on my goals is early in the morning. Jon Acuff says in his book Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, Do Work That Matters, “be selfish at 5 am.” And he is right. Early morning is a great time to be selfish with your time. Nobody gets upset that I can’t hang out with them or respond to their questions or emails early in the morning. It allows me to work on my goals without being bothered or feeling guilty that I am missing out on something else.
After I have had a chance to work on my spirit, warm up my body & mind, and take action on my goals I am ready to start the day. I can then shower and have breakfast and head to work.
No matter how you have seen yourself in the past, you can become a morning person. It’s not going to happen overnight but some day I know that you will become one of you want to be.
I am still naturally tempted to stay up late and sleep in, but I have seen the benefit of the morning routine over these past few weeks and have no intention of going back to my old schedule.
If you want to achieve more this year, start training yourself to become a morning person.
It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. I now get more done before most people are awake than I would some days in an entire day before I started my new morning routine.
By choosing to wake up for my agenda, rather than waking up for someone else’s, I now begin each day with more purpose and excitement than ever before!