Everyday I get up just after 5am. I meditate for 25 minutes and then exercise for another 25 minutes. I spend another 25 min journaling and select the 3 actions for the day that will move me toward my goals. I will then spend the rest of my early morning time learning something new. Perhaps reading a good book, watching a TED talk or completing a module in an online course.
At 7am it’s time to get ready for work. I will shower, get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast, pack up my stuff and be out the door before 8am.
In this time I make a point of connecting with my kids as they get ready for school. This brief interaction is probably my favourite part of the morning. It usually involves a morning hug, a quick conversation, maybe a tickle fest, and perhaps a game of who can get out the door first.
I will then get into the car and head to the train station. This part of the commute can take between 15 to 25 minutes depending on what crazy Canadian weather might be happening at the time. While driving I usually listen to my favourite playlist on iTunes.
Arriving at the train station I have the choice between a express train that is standing room only or the slower train, making all stops train that takes longer and I can always get a seat.
Can you guess which train I take?
Yup, the longer, able to get a seat train. This is the time that I pull out my MacBook Air to write. I write articles, speeches, workshops and products.
I’m writing this post sitting comfortably on the train as a severe Canadian rainstorm is moving over the area.
Writing is my work on purpose. It is the work that I do before my paying work. It’s the time that I can express my thoughts and musings and shine the light on my purpose as I turn my thoughts and ideas into words of influence.
Once I arrive downtown. I pack up my laptop and walk to the office. Along the way I stop at Teavanna to pick up a non-caffeinated, unsweetened tea. In the summer it’s usually an ice tea and in the winter I drink a hot apple cider.
I then arrive at the office relaxed and ready to start my paying work.
As you may have noticed, I have a very disciplined routine to ease into the day. I make a point on not being rushed and at the same time taking care of my mind, body, personal growth, and important relationships all while serving my purpose through writing.
Up until this point I have NOT looked at email, reviewed messages or checked any social media. I have a rule that I don’t do this until after 9am.
I have the same routine on the weekends. Yes, I still get up at 5am on Saturday and Sunday. I meditate, exercise, journal, grow and serve my purpose each and every day.
I find something comforting in this routine.
The benefits of meditation, physical exercise and personal growth are numerous. Meditation calms my mind and exercises my intention and attention. Physical exercise improves my flexibility and strengthens my body. Personal growth feeds my mind and fuels my soul.
The keystone to accomplishing my goals can be found when I journal. I have a specific set of questions that I ask myself. I review what happened yesterday, I reconnect with the goals that I have set for myself, and I choose 3 appropriate actions that will move me forward. Finally, I check-in with how I feeling right in that moment and shift into the state that will support the completion of my 3 actions.
The fact that I’m able to carve out time each day to serve my purpose through writing is probably the most challenging and the most rewarding.
I find that after each morning that I complete this routine I expand. I feel a little more confident, a little more stronger, a little more smarter and, a little more connected with my purpose.
Every so often, something happens that throws me off my routine. I don’t let that stress me out. Life happens. The important thing is that at the next opportunity I allow myself to step back into this routine. It is a part of me. It is who I am.
I didn’t build this routine all at once – it’s evolved over a number of years. Slowly building up, removing parts that didn’t work, and adding in better, more advanced practices.
I encourage you to look at your own morning routine. Do you make time to meditate? How about physical exercise? Do you reconnect with your goals and set your 3 actions for the day? Are you carving out time to learn something new? Do you have a time reserved to serve your purpose?
The point is not to do each of these things perfectly. That’s an impossible expectation that you are putting on yourself. The point is to take action. Go at your own pace. Make small incremental improvements each day.
There’s an extra benefit that is very difficult to express in words. This benefit does not appear right away. It arrives slowly over time. If I needed to use words, I would include self-confidence, centred, relaxed, peace and focused. It is all of these things and more.
I get so much more out of this routine then the time and effort I put in. I know that I will be performing this morning routine for the rest of my life.
I encourage you to start your own morning routine. It will be the wisest investment you ever make.