The Magic of a Morning Routine

fall colours, trees, julie boyer, daily gratitude projectAfter having lived without an alarm clock for over 5 years, I recently began setting it again for 6:30 am on weekdays. I imagine that some of you belong to the 5 am club but that’s not a time I’m very eager to see. However, there is something very special about waking up a bit earlier than necessary to make it to work/school/business on time.

Gratitude Tip: We are creatures of habit. Our habits either enrich us or send us down the wrong path. Having a solid morning routine allows you to start your day on track and hopefully, with a few moments of gratitude for this gift of another day.

My morning routine has shifted since the summer, I am no longer able to go for a walk as soon as I wake up as I prefer not to walk in the dark. What’s really amazing is that as long as I go to bed at around 10:30 pm (give or take 15 minutes) my body wakes up before my alarm, usually about five minutes before it’s set to go off. One of the biggest challenges of waking up earlier for many of us is getting enough sleep, so planning to go to bed earlier is essential so that we can still aim for a full 8 hours.

What I do now is write my blog post each morning at around 7:30 am. It’s a great time for me to write and it’s now become a habit that I look forward to. I realize that writing a daily blog might seem like a huge task for many of you, but just like anything, it’s a habit that can be created. As the days get shorter and the mornings darker, there is just a little bit of magic in those first few dark hours of the day. Sometimes I find it harder and harder to get out of bed during the long winter nights, but having something to look forward to – writing this blog – makes it easier.

What would you like to do if you just had that extra half hour a day? Would you consider setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier so that you could get up and do it? I’ve blogged a lot of about value of our time and the excuse of being ‘busy’. What is something you’ve been putting off doing because you’re too busy? Here are a few ideas of what you could do in the first 30 minutes of the day, should you choose to get up a bit earlier:

  • Read from an inspirational or personal growth book
  • Stretch or do a short yoga routine
  • Sit quietly with a cup of tea, coffee or lemon water
  • Write in your gratitude journal
  • Set up your day for success by creating a priority list of 2-3 items for the day
  • Write a blog post
  • Spend quiet time with your kid(s) – perhaps you have one child that is up before the others
  • Exercise at home
  • Go for a walk (depends on your hemisphere this time of year)
  • Meditate or pray

What is something that is a sacred part of your morning routine? What is one great morning habit you already have?

Thank you for all of the feedback from yesterday’s post, Can We Find Gratitude in Grief? And welcome to all of you who are receiving this daily gratitude project for the first time in your email inbox. Did you know that you can subscribe to receive these every day at 10 am EST? Yes, that’s all 7 days of the week.

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