I admit it: I’m the mythical ‘morning person’ who is cheerful and bubbly before their first cup of coffee. I reliably wake up perky and enthusiastic, I love meeting friends for coffee before work, and on weekends I am often home and showered from a decent hike by 11 am.
Granted, my enthusiasm for morning has waxed and waned over the years (currently we are pretty much at full moon), and my morning habits/rituals/routines have gone through many iterations. I was inspired by the concepts articulated in The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrond (full disclosure: I haven’t read the book – I usually watch a few summaries on YouTube to get the highlights, rather than read the original text. I’ll get to it eventually…) and have been experimenting more actively with my morning habits over the past year. I try to set my morning up so I start out with a series of small successes. Each task is quick and easy, and allows me to snooze a bit longer with a guaranteed signal that it is time to move on.
My alarm, which I keep in a different room, goes off at 5 am. I rush to turn off the alarm so as not to excessively disturb my sleeping partner and shuffle into the kitchen to put the whistling kettle on for coffee. I then snooze on the couch until the shrill kettle makes it undesirable to sleep through the boiling water. I get up to pour the water over the ground coffee in my Bodum, set the kitchen timer for four minutes — what I consider the perfect amount of time to let my coffee steep — and go back to napping on the couch. When the timer goes, my coffee is ready to press. The entire process takes me twenty minutes and gives me an excellent opportunity to ease into the morning.
I then sit on the couch, drink my coffee, and read. I read a bit of everything: news articles, professional development books, or novels (although I try to stay away from social media). Sometimes I just review my budget. At 6 am, I move on to my yoga practice, which includes some meditation and visualizations. I usually follow along with a video, but when I am feeling inspired I just do my own thing. After yoga (which lasts anywhere from 15 – 45 minutes), I take my dog for her morning walk. She is a bubbly little puff of terrier energy and it is always a joy to walk with her.
By the time my dog and I get home, my partner is up and we shower, eat breakfast, and head to work.
I love the way I start my day. I seem to have converged on a happy medium, balancing productive, relaxing, structured, and flexible. It’s something that I look forward to every evening, and I relish in the fact that I have this wonderful opportunity to prioritize things that make me happy and healthy (like yoga, reading, and time with my dog), without risk of interruption. I take great comfort in the fact that my routine can be, and is, the same regardless of where I travel, and where I am staying – a familiar way to start my day.