I’m one of those people who is always searching for new ways to hack life. I want to do more, see more and accomplish more. It’s in my DNA.
I recently stumbled across a few articles touting the sanctity of a morning routine and the power of morning habits and they intrigued me. Both authors boasted rigorous and meticulously scripted mornings.
Now, I’m a free spirit when it comes to practically everything in my world so the thought of schedules that regimented gave me anxiety. But it also left me curious and wondering if I could adopt something similar. I mean, could it really be THAT life changing? I wasn’t convinced.
So I decided to take it on as an experiment. I wanted to test their claims and give myself a short term goal. Worst case scenario? It doesn’t work and I move on. No big deal.
In order to accomplish it and make the timing work with my professional schedule, I calculated I would need to start my day at 3:45am. Yep, you read that right. THREE FOURTY FIVE AM IN THE MORNNG.
So here’s what happened…
“I love the smell of possibility in the morning.”
3:45am = up & out
Yes, I really set my alarm that time. Because my goal was to the gym quickly, I always set up my gym clothes and necessities the night before. I knew that if I had to search for items in the dark I’d never make it.
4:00am – 5:00am = work out
I’m lucky enough to live a mile and a half from and Anytime Fitness so as long as I can get myself into the car, I can make it to the gym super quick. As you can imagine, there is not a huge crowd at 4:00am so I wasn’t fighting for machines which meant I was able to get in and out in one hour.
It’s worth pointing out that this is not an arbitrary time. (Because who in their right mind would choose 4:00am?!) I actually worked out with a friend who has an early commute so we coordinated our schedules so we could keep each other going. Peer pressure at its finest!
5:05am – 5:30am = shower, water and makeup
Once I got back home I’d pour a huge bottle of water and head straight into the shower. I’m really bad at staying hydrated so I forced myself to drink a good 16 ounces before 5:30am to try to get on track. I also used this time to put on makeup and get partly ready for work. Hydration was a key part of their recommendations.
5:30am -6:00am = husband and food
It may seem weird to structure my husband into my morning but I did. I kinda like the guy, you know? Michael and I have been trying to be more intentional about our food choices so we used the time to pack our lunches and catch up on the upcoming demands of the day.
6:00am – 6:40am = laying a foundation
This was my favorite time of the morning. Once my husband left for work I poured myself a cup of coffee and grabbed some time for myself.
I tried this a few ways but settled on a ritual of reading a faith-based devotional followed by recording daily gratitude and writing out my long-term goals. I follow the “Start Today Journal” model which means that I wrote out my 10 life goals every single morning. You can hear more about the model here. I know this seems like a lot of repetitive writing (and it is) but it goes by quicker than you think.
Once I finished my devotional and journaling I would either listen to an inspirational podcast or watch a Ted Talk or something of that nature.
6:40am – 7:30am = off to work
The rest of the morning was spent getting myself ready for work and making sure the household is where it should be before I walk out the door.
I was at my desk by 8:00am.
Overall, it was a positive experience. I really felt like it made my days more productive. Surprisingly, this free spirit actually liked the structure and repetition. There is something to be said for knowing exactly what you need to be doing at exactly the same time every day.
It definitely started each day off on a positive footing!
Also, there is something to be said for writing all of your high-level goals out every single day. Kept me clear and focused. Which is great for this ADD girl.
By the way, a side bonus of the schedule was that I had way less time to get caught up on social media in the morning. It made me realize that I wasted a good amount of time scrolling through Instagram first thing in the morning.
Things to consider
To be fair, I’m a morning person so I realize this routine wouldn’t work for anyone who dreads the alarm going off before 8am. That being said, I had to be very strict about my evening habits. If I went to bed later than 9:30pm, I was miserable when that alarm went off and way more inclined to hit snooze.
It is worth noting that my kids are teenagers so I don’t have to worry about too many interruptions. I only had to deal with the dog and the cat. My husband was pretty respectful of the process so it worked.
So the big question is will I keep it up?
Yes and no.
I love most everything about this schedule but I find it way too challenging for every day. 3:45 is early, y’all! I’ve decided to alter it slightly to incorporate two days of rest from the workout. I think the morning workouts on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays will stay but with evening workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That gives me two days to sleep in until 5:00am. For me, that is much more practical. Everything else, especially my foundational time at 6:00am will stay.
So to wrap this up, I’m just as surprised as anyone that I now enjoy a regimented morning. Who would have thought? And while I don’t necessarily recommend the super-early wake times, I think everyone could adopt an element of routine and find success. You can’t beat the way it makes you feel!