The Benefits of a Morning Routine
I never fully understood the benefits of a morning routine, until I started my own.
An easy way to get started is to wake up and immediately do one-hundred jumping jacks. No kidding. Try this for a couple of weeks and see how it changes your day. This is how I started down the road of forming a morning routine.
Next, I decided I was going to wake up fifteen minutes earlier to start writing one-page in my morning journal.
After a while, I started to realize that writing for fifteen minutes in the morning is the most important fifteen minutes of my day.
Finally, I added meditation to my morning routine. I have always struggled to get out of bed; I would hit the snooze button on my alarm clock at least a couple of times before rolling out of bed. This became a habit of procrastinating the inevitable: I was going to have to get out of bed!
Then, one morning, while I was writing in my morning journal, I decided to start meditating again.
I made a resolution not to procrastinate getting out of bed by hitting the snooze button. I woke up threw my legs off of the side of the bed, sat straight up and meditated there for fifteen minutes.
Now, my meditation practice is essential to me. I always choose an intention of a positive mindset for the day. Some days I may meditate about what I will accomplish that day, or that week, or that year. I may meditate about what makes me happy, or thoughts of gratitude.
When I have finished meditating, I continue my morning routine of jumping jacks, push-ups and writing in my morning journal. A good start for the day!
Sixteen Hours of Consciousness
As I see it, I have been gifted about sixteen hours of consciousness each day.
Think of all of the things you can accomplish in sixteen hours!
My morning routine has slowly evolved into a valuable tool to provide me the best day possible.
If today is truly a gift, then why wouldn’t I spend the first hour of my day clearing my mind in order to maximize my day.
Every Day is a Gift
That’s right. Look at each day as if it was gift wrapped especially for you. When opened, there will be a surprise. It is totally possible that the only consciousness our body or vessel will ever know is the brief time we spend in it.
Think back when you were a kid on Christmas morning.
Do you remember how excited you used to get? That is the feeling you should get from each day. If you don’t, then start working towards recapturing that kind of excitement.
Make Small Changes to Find the Gift
Now that you have finished your morning routine you are ready to start your daily adventure.
If you don’t feel like each day of your life is an adventure, making a change may be what is needed to make your days happier.
The change you make doesn’t have to be a dramatic life-changing event. It can be something as simple as listening to a new podcast on your way to work each morning. Or if you are not into podcasts, then maybe dig up the list of Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 100 albums and start listening, album by album.
The idea is to surround yourself with creativity and learning.
Lately, I have been listening to a podcast called Coffee Break Espanol. Each morning on my bike ride to work, I listen to a new episode and it has taken my Spanish to the next level. I am living abroad in Spain and this podcast has helped me immensely to acclimate to the culture and the language.
Help Others and Let Others Help You
Another important concept of treating every day as a gift is making sure you give a gift to others throughout the day.
Living and teaching at a public grade school in Spain, I have kids from second to sixth grade.
Teaching others is the most positive and happiest part of my day.
It’s amazing, that I feel like a kid again. I smile and joke with the kids as if I am one of them.
All the really good teachers I can remember were fun and entertaining and truly enjoyed their teaching. My gift to the three hundred students I teach is to make learning English as a second language an adventure and to have fun with it.
In return, the kids are a positive influence on me by reminding me what it means to be happy and carefree again.
Every day I witness what pure happiness looks like. By smiling and being comfortable in your own skin, others will feel comfortable and want to engage with you.
There's no judging each other in grade school! We’re just all there to learn and to ensure that everyone else is happy.
Change It Up
As an individual, we all live different lives and our gifts come wrapped up in different shapes and sizes.
If you are having a hard time seeing each day as a gift, then I suggest starting by changing small things in your life.
If that doesn’t work, then really go for it and make an even bigger change in your life.
Maybe that looks like changing your career path, taking a long trip or even moving abroad as I did.
The gift of life is precious and there is no reason for any of us to be wasting our time on mundane routines.
Only you can bring happiness into your life.
Experiment with a morning routine. Start by doing one-hundred jumping jacks each morning.
My Morning Routine (40 minutes):
Meditate (15 mins)
100 jumping jacks and 20 burpees (5 mins)
Write one-page in my morning journal (20 mins)