I ran into another journal entry, this one is from 4/26/14. Reading over these entries, I wonder why I never followed through on any of them. Seems like I was in a good state of mind back then, or at least trying to be.
My Morning Routine –
I am in an interesting time in my life. I have decided to make some necessary changes, so that I can find some happiness. There are a number of things that I am doing differently and I wanted to write about my favorite so far.
The truth is I hate mornings. I have never been one of those people who could get out of bed and jump start their day. Most mornings my desire for anything other than staying in bed was non-existent. I tried everything I could think of to wake up early, or even just on time, but nothing seemed to work. On time for what? Work most days and that was not a great motivation.
I started thinking about why I don’t have much of an issue waking up on the weekends. Even though I could sleep in, my body suddenly did not want to stay in bed. I blamed this simply on me not liking my job, but the truth is I really didn’t like who I was on the weekdays. It wasn’t until I started looking inward that I was able to find the courage to tackle the monster of early morning.
I want to say up front that this has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life, but also incredibly rewarding. I should also say it is still a work in progress, but for me the key was to just do it and worry about the details as I went.
The first thing I did was set a goal to wake up every day at 6 am, even on the weekends. I needed a reason though to get out of bed and when a friend of mine challenged me to begin the P90X3 at the same time as him, I had my reason. I liked the idea of having a program to help me get my heart rate up and that would also wake me up. The biggest problem I found was being sore the next day when the alarm went off. Because I have a buddy who is keeping tabs on my progress, I have been able to convince myself to get out of bed every day so far.
The first month I was incredibly sick and thought I wasn’t going to make it. After my second month, those moments became less and less. I am realizing the more I do this, the more my body is adjusting and I am getting stronger physically and mentally. As I exercised each day I began to realize that I needed to adjust my breakfast diet as my next step. This is what has worked for me so far.
Prior to the workout I drink a protein drink to put nutrients in my body. I wait about 15 minutes before I workout. Throughout the workout I have water with me that I drink during the breaks. Once done, I drink another glass of water, eat some Greek yogurt and take a multi-vitamin. I also drink a green smoothie. In my mind they taste really good, but that could just be me.
I have a Vitamix blender and this is my recipe for my smoothie. I fill the blender with 4 cups of water then I pack the blender about ¾ full with spinach, kale, or both. With the remaining ¼ I have some mixed frozen fruit from Costco that I put in with a banana. It takes about 5 minutes or less to fully mix together into a smoothie. I then poor it into a plastic picture so I can store what I don’t use in the fridge. This makes about 3 or 4 days’ worth of smoothie. You will have to stir it prior to drinking once it’s been in the fridge overnight. Most days this is sufficient for breakfast, but on days when the workout is really intense I may eat some eggs or toast to go along with it.
After breakfast I have about an hour before the kids are up getting ready for school and I need to go to work. This has been a fantastic time of the day for me to work on my spiritual side by reading. Mostly in the mornings I read scriptures and other uplifting materials to put me in the correct mindset for the day. The quiet time allows me to study ponder and pray each morning and has really opened my mind up to what really matters for that day. How can I benefit others? What are my goals? Who needs my help? These are examples of questions I ask myself during this time. It is a lifesaving practice and helps give me purpose. This is also enhanced when I make sure to write down my thoughts and review them from time to time.
So that is my morning routine. My next goal is to get myself up at 5 am so I can have even more quiet time to meditate and think. I am only a few months in it and again I can’t overstate how difficult it has been (the sore muscles, aching back, fatigue and lack of desire), but I notice I am different. I am no longer feeling inadequate about myself and I am getting things accomplished, more so then I ever thought possible. This is leading me to feel happier as I go about my day to day. I encourage anyone and everyone to try it out, to conquer early mornings, and write what works for you.