Why Mornings Matter: How Waking Up Early Revived My Mindset

How do you start your day? We all have different methods that fit our lives best. Some start with a bang: out of bed, out the door...hustle, hustle, hustle. Others need time, coffee, and calm to ease into the routine of another 24 hours.

I roll out of bed much earlier than I have for a great many years. Back when I was a teenager, I rose in the wee hours to suit up and head to the pool for early morning workouts. Throughout my high school days and part of my college years, this remained the same. I may have grumbled about it from time-to-time back then, but I knew that was necessary to keep up in the competitive swimming world.

Of course when my children were babies, I experienced all of those odd hours of waking and sleep deprivation that parents of little ones live through. But as they grew older, my wake up time grew later too; always up in time to sneak in some exercise and see the kids off to school, though nothing like those swimming years when I would pull out of the driveway when it still dark outside.

Until about six months ago, that is. It was at that time that I stepped up the exercise activity and reassessed some goals. This little increase included adding in an hour of running with Mr. Steve. When we began our jogs, we would head out when he got home from work in the evenings. But trying to cram in dinner, tidbits of work left to do, helping the kid with homework, and the normal chaos of the eve proved a little tricky. We enjoyed the activity so much though that we still wanted to include it on a consistent basis; and so we devised a plan to get up earlier. A LOT earlier.

Since I do a little weights and pilates routine before we bundle up for our run, that puts my alarm clock buzzing time at around 3:45 a.m. nowadays. I know that plenty of people get up MUCH earlier than that, so it's not a record-breaker, that's for sure. But let's just say that it's a lot darker outside the window than I have been used to for quite some time.

Here's the kicker though...I actually like getting up early. I mean, I really like it. Yeah, I know it seems a little loopy, right? But I really do. In fact, I look forward to that time every night before, and am surprising myself with just how much I've taken to it.

There is something about the peace and stillness outside when we head out the door. Hardly any cars are out. The lights in most houses are still off. The morning is calm and our voices are the only sounds around. It's so fantastic to have this uninterrupted time to just be able to talk to each other, with no distractions, no phones, no emails, no noise. In fact, the effort of the run is much less demanding because the whole adventure itself is so enjoyable.

Who knows how long we will continue this morning routine. I hope for a long while, because on the few days when we can't keep our pattern in place I feel like I'm being gypped out of this fabulous little portion of my day. It works for us and it's been an eye-opener into what great benefits shifting priorities can sometimes be. You never know what rewards hide behind doors that you are hesitant to open.

What is your morning routine and why do you dig the way your dawn goes down?

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