Do you ever find it challenging to get up and going for the day? You're not alone. Me too! I am definitely NOT a morning person. I find myself most creative and alive at night...and maybe that's because I am a caffeine addict with an overly analytical and creative mind and I'm just jacked by the end of the day. #ExcitmentInsomnia is also a very real struggle!
Here I give you 5 main practices that help me "Arise and Shine" ready to conquer a new day:
1. Reverse Engineer the day
I have become a master at time blocking. It's a method I've learned while working with Keller Williams and while reading "The One Thing" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. (Highly recommend). The idea is to insert all important dates and tasks in your calendar like appointments, birthdays, meetings, vacations, and events as well as your "big rocks" which are your MUST DO's for the day or week. These are often recurring and strategically scheduled tasks that you absolutely MUST get done without distraction. Maybe it's scheduling one hour to respond to all unanswered texts, Facebook messages, and emails. Maybe it's scheduling your exercise time. To date, I currently manage 8 separate color coded calendars with alerts (sometimes 2) that sync with my phone. Although I'm not 100% flawless and sometimes deviate from my tasks, I find that I run a pretty highly efficient life and before deciding to take on new tasks and projects, instead of saying "No way, I'm too busy" I have adopted a "Let me consult with God and my calendar and get back with you" response. Christine Caine and friends taught me in the Propel Women teaching series that "Saying 'yes' to some things will mean having to say 'no' to other things." And that it's best to ensure I'm staying in sync with God's will first then my calendar of tasks second.
Before starting a new day, I prep the night before by checking my calendar and work backward from when I need to turn the lights out and then I set alarms for the next day.
2. Set Alarms
I set multiple alarms in the morning and throughout the day. I find it helps keep me on pace for success. Here's an example of alarms I set for an ideal day:
- It's a Beautiful Day.........5:50am
- Jesus & Bible Time........6:15am
- Get Ready........................7:00am
- 7 Minute Workout..........10:30am...... Read more about one of my fave fitness apps!
- #MiddayBabyMidday.....12:00pm......As part of the global #SisterHoodFightClub
- Fruit Check.......................3:30pm........SEE BELOW!
- Wrap the Day & Pray......8:45pm
- Lights Out.........................10:15pm
*What is "Fruit Check" you ask? Well, it's my daily reminder to do some internal prayer investigation of the fruit of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22-23. It's just my way of checking in with myself before God and having a midday alignment meeting with my Father. What needs tweeking and adjusting?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;
3. Bedside Light
When my first alarm goes off, I reach over to flick on the bedside lamp. And then, I will more than likely roll back over to catch a few more minutes of rest before my snooze alerts me again. I don't like an abrupt beginning to my day. I intentionally craft my morning to allow me to awaken and arise gradually. (I know what my mom friends are thinking..."Enjoy it while you can!". Oh, I am. I am. I can't wait for the day I get to be a mom and have human alarms and intend to enjoy every moment of autonomy until that blessed day comes!) I find that the light is another sensory way to allow my body to transition from night to day.
4. Light a Candle or Oil Diffuser
I love smell goods anyway but lighting a candle first thing in the morning also stimulates my senses and helps me awaken nicely. I've also started using an essential oil diffuser (pretty much all day, at night and in the morning!)
Sometimes when I find myself in a particularly hard season...you know those times where you are incessantly praying and approaching God with bold, audacious prayers...sometimes I use a prayer candle. Now before you go on assuming I'm some religious wack job, please know I've been rescued from that nonsense...it's just that sometimes I've found it helpful to implement different systems and tools to assist in keeping my head and heaven and my feet on the ground. I'll go buy a white sanctuary candle from the dollar store and light it in the morning. I'll light it and spend some dedicated time in prayer and reflection. In my Catholic upbringing, we learned the symbolism of white candles: White = purity. Flame = Holy Spirit. Smoke symbolizes intercession. For me it's not about religious ritual as it is a help to keep me focused on the Majesty of God.
Once prayer and devotional time are done, I often need a jolt to my day. I brew a Nespresso (also on my bedside table!) and put on some motivational tracks. A few years ago I came upon Steven Furtick's motivational piece, "I Will Fight" and committed it to memory. I have saved it on my YouTube Favorites as well as in my "Motivation" playlist in Apple Music so that it's easily accessible. I sometimes start my day with this scripture saturated mantra and even midday if I need an extra shot of strength and courage. I hope it blesses you!
What are YOUR morning motivational tips and tricks?