There is a point in the morning when the haze of sleep wears off and I am beyond groggy and realize that I had for some reason set my alarm the night before for 4:20 a.m.
When that time arrives, my mind has no idea what the hell is happening, who actually thought it was a good idea for me to get up at that time, and I inevitably head back under the covers for the false hope of sleep.
I’ve written about snoozing a lot lately, because it’s been a massive challenge for me to overcome as of late. It’s a consistent, never-ending battle, getting up at the ideal time (which for some reason is inching back earlier and earlier in the day — current “ideal” time is 4 a.m. on the hour).
Photo: AndreBeukes via Pixabay
The idea here is to rise early. Really early. It’s a romantic idea for me, one that I’ve aspired to for some time and at times have successfully achieved. That notion of rising with the break of dawn, the early-morning light, a drink for the soul.
But it’s been sporadic, and the lack of consistency is detrimental for any kind of notable progress (more on the lack of consistency coming this week). And so as part of this current push I’m following the guidance of Hal Elrod and The Miracle Morning. I’m not announcing any formal plans in terms of setting a habit or routine here. This has been, and will continue to be, a constant evolving process, but I am working on chipping the stone away to hopefully find, deep down, that something is there and I can get this going. I’ll explain why in a minute, but before I do, let me explain a bit more about what I’m trying to do.
What does this early-morning routine look like? Well, first, here’s what Elrod offers in his incredible and eye-opening book: The Life SAVERS Routine from The Miracle Morning:
- S (Silence)
- A (Affirmations)
- V (Visualizations)
- E (Exercise)
- R (Reading)
- S (Scribing…that is, writing, or journaling)
I’ve had a fair mix of these in my routine at various points. The idea, however, is to follow something consistent, while potentially mixing up the elements of the SAVERS. I’ve scribbled down possibilities for this and have realized that due to my schedule with day-job and parental duties (the kids rise early, you know), my routine is sort of shaping up to look like this:
- S (Silence/meditation, 10 minutes)
- A (Affirmations – pre-written and recited silently, 5 minutes)
- V (Visualizations – visualizing the day ahead or completing book, 5 minutes)
- S (Scribing/journaling – bullet journal/morning pages hybrid approach, 10 minutes)
- R (Reading, usually nonfiction for this part, 5 minutes) — NOTE: This does not make up all reading for the day; rather it’s a snippet to get the mind turning.
- E (Exercise/Running, 30 minutes) — NOTE: The exercise part has its own routine: run six days a week, with the seventh being held for stretching/yoga/strengthening. All runs/workouts will end with The Five Tibetans.
The start of all of this is really to get up early. Really early. Why? Because that’s the time when the soul is fresh, when it is raw, when the subconscious mind is most accessible and not filled with the busy mind-fuzz of the day. From a scheduling standpoint, it’s actually easiest for me to get this kind of stuff done. By day’s end, even after the kids are in bed, I’m an exhausted mess and writing or creating, while I can and certainly do allow for it, is usually a slow-pull through the quicksand of exhaustion. I need more energy, and the kind that doesn’t come from coffee — it comes from the source, and how the day begins.
Again, I know I’ve belabored the early rise to no end, but I keep coming back to the pain and the ideal goal of it all, and why I’m determined to push through and get at least this kind of routine solidified. It starts with this, but given my INFP personality and the mosaic-like way my mind works, I’ve learned flexibility, while remaining consistent, is key. I need to keep a strange rotation of it all. I know I usually wake the kids when I’m back from exercising, which is why I kept it for last in the lineup, but in terms of my running routes and the order of the “SAV” part, I may mix this up. The key is to do each of these things consistently every day.
This, I should note, isn’t just about writing or routines. It’s about mindset. It’s all about tapping into the subconscious flow of it all, getting the mind primed for the creativity of it all.
And it all starts with getting up at that ungodly hour of 4 a.m., breaking through the birth-pain of waking, and moving forward.
Movement, my friends. Movement.