Did you know that many of the goals you have in life that aren’t being accomplished may result from the way you start your day? It’s true! I wish I could have a dollar for every time Marc has said to me “I’m a night person.” For years we’ve been under the belief that Ann is the morning person and Marc is the night owl. But, after research and Marc finding his days in ever ending catching his breathe without a break, we have both come to realize the importance of how we start our day. Did you know that the first 5 minutes can determine your attitude for the entire day. With that in mind who wouldn’t want to make some changes?
When we first moved to Cambodia, I found it difficult to wake before the day began. Khmer, like many Asians, rise with the sun which is 5 AM. Many days, I would wake to sick people at my gate or the phone ringing with needs. After that, came kids and the day was racing forward before I felt I had any control! Months and years flew by like this. “Me time” or time for meditation became less and I reached the end of my flame.
After this feeling of not ever catching up, Marc and I both made a change. We knew that in order for our days to be productive, full of joy, and attitudes right, our mornings need to be “ours” determined by us not by the world around us.
I enjoyed reading this helpful article: Why Creating A Meaningful Morning Routine Will Make You More Successful as it describes many of the routines needed to prepare for the day. Today, I would like to share with you my morning secrets. The reason that I feel that I can be successful at reaching my goals each day.
Based on my experience, this is the best morning routine to get the day started right.
- First 5 minutes is time for stretching and smiling. This may sound weird but smiling lifts the spirits and frowning is internalized. Therefore, begin each day with a smile and a good stretch.
- Quick prayer of thanking God while walking to the coffee. Beginning with gratitude or even a song of worship can set your mood.
- Drink a full glass of water and if available add a lime or lemon. There is a lot of research showing that most people begin their day dehydrated which sets us up for fatigue.
- Coffee in a quiet spot. I once read about Susannah Wesley (the mother of John and Charles Wesley) who needed her own alone time to meditate and pray. She would sit in her kitchen corner, pull her apron over her head. This was a known cue that the children were to leave her alone because she was having her “me time.” It’s amazing to think of the power of those prayers for her children. I relate to this but aprons won’t work for me. A quiet hillside, closet, or even bathroom will often give me the peace I need. I spend an hour here in meditation on God, the Bible, but I always keep it simple. Full of praise and love for Him and His creation. I find peace.
- A good breakfast with protein and fruit. Try starting your day with eggs instead of sugary cereal. I think you will find that by 11:00 your still ticking!
- Dress nice for the day even if homeschooling, resting, or working from the house. I put on clothes I like and a little makeup. I found that this makes me feel good, I’m ready for surprise visitors, and I’m ready to jump and run any last minute errands with ease.
- Lastly, plan for the day. I write or think about the goals that I want to accomplish. I pray over those goals knowing that its not my power but His to accomplish it. Realize that thoughts about the day don’t even get rolling until over an hour of awake time!
Many days have gone from good intentions to chaos,
therefore there is also a list of do nots!
- Don’t touch the phone until at least an hour in positive meditation. I choose other ways to provide music, Bible, reading because my will power is too weak and I’ve just gotta check out those notifications from the night before!
- If at all possible, don’t sleep later then the kids no matter how early that might be. I know that waking up to kids fighting or needing breakfast can start my days off in a rush and I then lack the peace I need.
- Don’t stay up late so that the next day will be just as fun. Get in a routine of an earlier bedtime. This can’t be emphasized enough!
- Reconsider exercise in the morning. As of late, I don’t exercise in the mornings. Personally I have found that this puts my focus on my health and weight instead of more positive thinking. This will depend on you.
Lastly, I don’t tend to pray for personal needs and intercede for others in the morning. I have other times that I do this. Personally, lists of needs increases my anxiety and but lifting my needs up to God as the day goes on works for me on most days. I put aside a personal time to pray for others usually after a good lunch and a glass of tea. This also keeps my mind from worry as I have already set the day with worship knowing that God is in control.
Most days this plan works but some mornings I wake to this:
The monkey escapes!
Malachi finds a Pit Viper in his sand pit!
Or Brooke discovers her poop, again.
Its amazing the things that can happen before 6 AM.
Do you have a morning routine? What do you find most helpful to begin you day? It’s not too late, what changes would you like to make for 2017?