Early Riser...Work in Progress

As the summer winds down and the regular back-to-school schedule solidifies, I realized I was needing some additional time for myself in the mornings. So the task of becoming an early riser starts again.

It’s not the first time I’ve practiced the art of regularly waking up early. I’ve done it for periods of time, with pretty consistent success, but the summer schedule allowed me to sleep in a bit so I’ve gotten later in my natural wake up time. What I find is that I need more time in the morning to be able to start my day off as I would really like to - calm, centered, focused, energized and ready (emotionally and physically) for the day ahead. Here’s how that process started…

  1. I came to the realization that my mornings where not really going the way I prefer. I was finding myself rushed, feeling a lot of to-do items were on my plate, but not really being sure what they were or what I needed to tackle first. I was prepping for the day ahead, but not in an intentional way. I was running out the door and into my day, without a sense of where I was headed.

  2. I recognized one of my most cherished beliefs wasn’t being carried out in my own life. Create what you want more of in your own life. I was wanting more down time, a way to start my day calm, organized in my thoughts and focused on some intentional goals. I recognized my need and then my ability to create that by choice.

  3. I journaled what I was seeking more of. I got specific with what an ideal morning would look like for myself. In reality I already know that most days won’t look ideal, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t get closer to it than where I currently am. So I thought specific and ideal…it set the stage for what I was wanting to create.

  4. I identified small, but meaningful, actions steps that I could immediately start taking that would get me a little closer to that ideal morning. I prioritized a few things that would help me make shifts incrementally rather than all at once. I committed to the overall process of creating more of what I wanted. This is key! I didn’t commit to having an ideal morning the very next day or attach my success to a specific outcome right away. I committed to the process. The many choices I could make over a period of time that would all eventually lead to creating what I was seeking. As humans a lot of time we commit to an outcome or to an overarching goal and we forget about the process it will take to get there.

So where am I now? I’m waking up earlier and I’ve started a consistent ritual of how I start my day off. Will the time I wake up change. Yep, it sure will. I’ve set the goal of moving my alarm clock back early by ten minutes until I reach my general target time. Will I then wake up at that time every single day? Nope. I will allow myself to be flexible according to my needs. Will my ritual change? Yep, it already has. As my morning routine changes, I am finding that the order or amount of time I need to do things is shifting. So while I am working to be consistent in aiming for that ideal, I recognize the value of adjusting and tweaking along the way. Will I follow my ritual every morning even when I get it worked out? Nope. I will practice listening to my needs on any given day and make the adjustments I need to honor or support myself in the way needed. So where is the consistency then? It’s in my commitment to myself to listen, value and respond to my own needs the will increase the amount of calm, focused, centered energy that I invite into my life.

Here’s to all the other early risers out there! I hope you catch tomorrow’s sunrise.

What are you committing to yourself today? I’d love to know!