Faith & FamilyOn Becoming a Morning Person – March Habits March 1, 2019 “I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” -J.B. Priestley I’ve never been a morning person. For a long time, I just attributed it to how my body was wired. I liked having my longer stretch of downtime at night and waking up later. Especially once kids came, I wanted that downtime at night to unwind after a long day. When Rosie was younger, she was an incredibly late sleeper. So often, I could sleep until I woke up naturally around 7:30 or so and still have some time before she did. I know, I was incredibly spoiled for awhile. But even during that time, I knew that for me personally, I wasn’t using my time as well as I wished. At night, I wasn’t interested in doing anything productive. I wanted to rest from the day I’d just had! I’d watch television later than I should and fall into bed long after my husband (early to bed, early to rise champion) when I could no longer keep my eyes open. I’m a firm believer in rest and not every minute has to be productive! But as my margin has continued to decrease, I realize that I have to shift my focus here. If I’m filling all of my downtime with something that isn’t truly restful to my soul, something has to shift. I was using all of my quiet for numbing instead of filling myself up in ways I enjoyed. Even on days when I could sleep until I wanted and still have thirty minutes or so before the “Mommy!” started, I was tired. Even if I’d gotten eight hours, I was tired and my whole day felt like I was playing catch-up in a way. As Rosie’s gotten older and we’ve added Dax, someone is always up by 7am (these days it’s become 6 or so). I know, some of you mamas are like “Finally! You’re catching up with the rest of us!” And I found myself still in this unhealthy rhythm (for me) of staying up too late just because and not using that time well and then sleeping until their first cries jarred me awake. I was in a terrible mood at the start of each day and it was very hard to shake as the day went on. For the last two years or so, I’ve felt like I wanted this piece of me to change. I could see from looking at my husband that I’d likely feel better if I went to bed early, rose early, and had some quiet time before they got up. I could see how I was setting myself up for failure with my current habit. But I kind of always thought that if I was meant to be a morning person, it would be my default. It would feel easy. Then, this past fall, I heard about a book. I watched a video about someone’s testimony after reading this book and one thing really stuck out: “Morning people aren’t born. They’re made.” Hmmm…maybe, just maybe, I could change this part of myself. Or at least I could try it and see if it made my days any better or solved any of the current issues I was facing. So, I ordered that book and decided it didn’t hurt to read it. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) I read this book early last fall and there were so many shocking things that confirmed I wanted to be a morning person! Facts like how you spend your 5am – 9am dictates how you spend your 9am – 5pm (Those specific times may be different for you, but the idea that our morning dictates the rest of our day rang true for me. I’ve seen evidence of that for years!). The whole premise of this book in a nutshell is that all “successful” people have a morning success ritual that jump starts their day. The book talks about exactly what I was facing…that when you don’t wake up to quiet and are rushing around attending to others’ demands from the minute your eyes open, the rest of your day and your long-term “productivity” and mindset is affected. Now, as a mom of young children, I fully realize there are so many seasons where we’re all just doing the best we can. And I’ve had those and don’t feel guilt over them. But, I started to see that I’m in a season now, where I could carve myself out a bit more margin if I shifted these habits. I resonated with the idea that if you work to establish a miracle morning ritual that starts everyday, you’re set up for success from the start of the day. And I want to be set up for success! Success to all of us may mean different things, but I know many of us want to be “successful,” probably all of us. That word tends to have worldly implications, but I want to be successful not just at work, but in my spiritual life, as a mother, as a wife, the list goes on and on. I want to have the capacity for the callings of my current season. I want to feel whole. I talked in my last post about my goal for this year: creating habits of wholeness. And for me, I know that filling my well first when I can and carving out margin where I can is my way to create out of a place of wholeness. I immediately started trying to implement a miracle morning routine in my life and have made progress. But it doesn’t feel like a complete habit yet. But I’m ready to turn this morning vision I have that happens halfway most days into an everyday habit because I have SEEN the benefits of it in my days when I actually do it. I’m going to do a video next week breaking down this book and what my morning routine is that I’m working to turn into a solid habit over the next 31 days. I’m not starting from scratch. I’ve made major progress in this area from where I used to be, but it’s haphazard and not quite as consistent as I want. I still snooze too long. My gut is to still push the bedtime later than I should some days. I’m so excited about this specific habit, knowing it won’t be easy, but also knowing it’s worth it. In the book, he talks about the habit cycle. The first 10 days may feel unbearable. The next 10 days will feel uncomfortable. But the last 10 days, you’ll feel unstoppable. And this mama is ready to feel unstoppable…atleast in one area of my life! With all habits I’ll tackle this year, I want to say these are things I’ve felt God stirring in me for sometime that I want to (and feel convicted to) be more intentional with. These are personal to me, my season, my personality, and my goals. They may not be for everyone, but living a more intentional life is for sure for everyone! So I hope that sharing this journey inspires you to take a look at your life, ask God where some shifted habits might make your days better, your joy deeper, your wholeness more intact and aligned with how He sees you. And then to have the intention to tackle them! All you morning people out there, feel free to send me all your tips! I’d love to hear what your morning routines look like and ways that you fill your soul so you can pour out to everyone else.