Focus on learning and creating rather than entertainment and distraction.
Those of you who have been following me and reading my posts know that one of my goals this year is to wake up early. And I must say, I have been very successful these days in reaching that goal. And in doing so, I have never felt more alive and amazing than I do now since I started this routine.
Ever since high school I have always been a night owl. Sleeping late every night either gaming, studying last minute like I always do, procrastinating or just being my lazy self. It never once occurred to me to sleep early let alone be productive. I was just too focused on working and finishing school and the only free time I had was spent on leisure. Back in college, I would work late nights on the weekends at a karaoke lounge and only finish at 4 or 5 am. I would also like to mention that I lived on the outskirts of Montreal, off island in Laval so it would take me quite some time to get home. I also didn't have a car and had to rely on public transportation. Metros only opened at 6 am. so what would I do during this time? I would go to a net cafe with my coworkers and simply play League of Legends. I was usually the only girl there.
As you can see, waking up early was never a priority to me. I never stopped to think about what it would do for me or how it would change me to become a better person until only this year. Moving out was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me. It gave me a chance to reevaluate my life, my goals, my career and really allow me to take control of my life. As a result, I started to eat better, get active and wake up early to actually focus on myself.
Time For A Change
I only started getting into this whole self development thing about 3 years ago. It was kind of an on and off thing. One year I simply lost motivation because I realized I was reading too much and not taking any action. That's one take there guys, if you don't put what you've learned into action it's very easy to lose motivation. As a result, I decided last year would be a year of experimentation and ever since then I have never felt so fulfilled.
This year I've decided I would continue experimenting, taking on new skills and developing good habits. The most important habit would be taking over my mornings. Actually waking up early and working to build on the life I want for myself and I would suggest you do the same. You'll feel like a new person!
What has this done for me? Well, one thing is for sure. I have a lot more energy and am much more productive than I've ever been. There is also something so calming about quiet mornings. The time I have for myself is like my meditation. Since I now live with my boyfriend, after work is not the same since there is so much distraction going on. He is often on his PS4 and I have to prepare dinner and lunch for the next morning. Time just flies and I have very little time to work on myself during this period. That's why I prefer mornings when he's asleep and I get my alone time.
My Daily Morning Routine
My alarm wakes me up by emitting a light to simulate the sunrise 30 min before my desired wake up time. Once the alarm time hits, it opens up the radio. I love waking up to the radio every morning and listening to Freeway and Natasha have their hilarious morning conversations. I find it wakes me up with knowledge and/or a smile. This makes the waking process so much easier. I also have a final jazzy alarm from my phone 15 min later to make sure I wake up on time.
I know it's not a good idea to use the phone first thing in the morning but I find that for me, it really helps. However, the difference for me is I try not to go on social media at all. I use it to read motivational articles on my Medium app. Medium is a website that publishes user-generated articles that you may customize to your interests. The more you use it, the smarter it will become and will continue to link interesting articles to your feed according to your reading history.
I start my mornings by putting on my jazz, lofi hip hop or classical music. My favorite Spotify playlist is called Lofi Hip Hop beats created by Chillhop Music. I try to create the atmosphere I want to work in that would make me most productive. I'll link the playlist link down below.
I prepare a quick breakfast depending on what time I actually wake up. I've been waking up between 6 am and 6:30 am lately depending on what time I go to bed. I do find it's been quite hard to go to bed early but it's definitely a start! I usually go to bed at around 11:30 pm but I hope to change that to 10 pm and wake up at 5 am so that I get at least 3 hours every morning.
I start first by getting ready for work just so I won't have to think about doing it later. My usual morning routine like washing my face, putting on my makeup and getting dressed. Sometimes if I wake up early enough I even put on a face mask and start working on my task list.
Then I get to work. Sometimes I work on my blog posts, I do some amazon product research, I read my book or watch some Udemy or Skillshare videos to work on my skill of the month. I sometimes even make a task list for my boyfriend for when he wakes up just to get him a little motivated and give him purpose of what he needs to do for the day. I know he won't do it so I just help him out by writing up a small list.
I hope to be able to wake up early enough to do some quick workouts to loosen up my body before a long day of sitting at my desk. I also hope to eventually incorporate 10 min of meditation to help clear the mind.
I also give my boyfriend kisses every morning before I leave. Love that sleepy smile. It makes me so happy and gives me that warm fuzzy feeling every morning. What better way to start your day than to give a loving kiss to the love of your life? If you don't have a boyfriend, that's fine too. Kiss your pet. No one to kiss? Take a few seconds to be thankful of the people and everything in your life.
Then, it's off to my day job for me. This includes taking 2 buses to get to work. Sometimes in bad weather conditions like this morning the bus just never comes or arrives very late. I try not to let these situations affect my mood. After all. you already had a happy morning why should you let these things upset you and ruin your day?
You Can Do it Too
I've already mentioned this before but working gradually to build up to your goals sticks better than suddenly making drastic changes all at once. I started getting into this habit about 3 weeks ago, waking up 10 min earlier every day. This made it much easier for me to stick to my habits. They say that in order to develop a habit you must stick with it for at least 20 days.
Having a purpose every morning also helps. What I like to do is take a few moments to formulate a to-do list the night before. This helps you to organize the most important tasks you would like to accomplish so you won't have to do the guesswork the next morning. Make sure to prioritize and try to finish them in order. If possible, try to add a time frame for completing each task. This helps greatly as you will need to wake up at the time specified in order to complete all of your tasks on time.
Think about what helps you get up every morning. Whether it be the radio like me or using your phone in moderation to get those eyes to open, do what makes you happy and motivates you to get up (as long as you don't get too distracted and end up using your phone the whole time).
Take on your mornings with positive vibes. There will always be times where things may get a little difficult for you to handle but allow these mornings for you to reflect on your life regardless of the situation you may be in. Things go wrong all the time but the way you perceive and react to every circumstance will allow you to live your life in prosperity. Every little step will put you on the path to success if you choose to take it so start by waking up early.
Time is a scarce commodity and something you can't take back if you lose it. You are only getting older so make good use of the hours you spend. Use your time wisely and focus on the things that make you grow as a person. Trust me, you will get that sense of fulfillment once you begin waking up early. You will feel like you've accomplished so much in so little time and this will set the tone for the rest of your day. If you give up the first time, don't give up. Get back on your feet and try again.
I would definitely recommend reading The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod if ever you are serious about taking your mornings to the next level. I was entirely inspired by this life changing book and cannot recommend it enough! Every day has been a complete LIFE CHANGER ever since I've started taking my mornings into my own hands. It gives me ample time every day to work on my dreams without getting distracted throughout the day. And as life progresses, I find it increasingly difficult to dedicate time in the afternoon or evenings to focus on my projects.
You are in control of your life.
Why not start every morning with a smile?
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