“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive-to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”Marcus Aurelius
Yes. But ONLY if you do something meaningful with that time.
In today’s fast-paced world, getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life can be all too easy. With so many demands on our time and attention, it can be hard to find a moment to pause and reflect. However, during these moments of reflection, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.
One powerful way to create space for reflection is by waking up early. While this may seem daunting, it is possible to do so by gradually adjusting our sleep schedule. Rather than trying to wake up early all at once, we can start by going to bed half an hour earlier and waking up half an hour earlier. Over time, we can continue this pattern until we reach the desired wake-up time while ensuring we get 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night.
Why Wake up Early?
Waking up early has many benefits, both physical and mental. It allows us some quiet time before the day’s activities begin. We can use this time to engage in activities that bring us joy and fulfillment, such as exercise, reading, or meditation. Starting the day on the right foot can set a positive tone for the rest of the day.
Another benefit of waking up early is that it allows us to regulate our circadian rhythm. This internal clock regulates our sleep-wake cycle, and it can be disrupted by various factors, such as exposure to artificial light at night. Getting up early and exposing ourselves to natural sunlight can help reset our internal clock and improve our overall health.
The Benefits of a Good Morning Routine
Go for a Walk
What should we do with this extra time in the morning? One great way to start the day is by going for a walk and getting sunlight in our eyes. This can help regulate our circadian rhythm, which is crucial for maintaining good health. In addition, getting outside and moving our bodies can help us feel energized and ready to take on the day.
Journal or Meditate
Another activity that can be beneficial in the morning is journaling or meditating. This allows us to take some time to reflect on our thoughts and gain clarity about our goals and priorities. By setting intentions for the day, we can better focus our energy and efforts on what is truly important.
Read Something Meaningful
Reading something meaningful is another excellent way to start the day. For some, this may be a religious text like the Bible, while others may prefer a book like Leo Tolstoy’s A Calendar of Wisdom, Ryan Holiday’s The Daily Stoic, or Robert Greene’s The Daily Laws. (Why not try all of them!) Reading something that inspires us or challenges our thinking can expand our knowledge and broaden our perspectives.
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Set Yourself up for Success
While adding all of these activities to our morning routine may seem overwhelming, it is possible to keep things simple and manageable. For example, start with this one-line-a-day journal to reflect on your thoughts each morning, even if you only have a few minutes to spare. Making small changes can create a meaningful morning routine that sets us up for success throughout the day.
Waking Up Early is Just the Beginning of a Meaningful Life
Of course, waking up early is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to living a meaningful and fulfilling life. We also need to be mindful of how we spend the rest of our time. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of mindless scrolling on social media or engaging in busy work that doesn’t get us anywhere. Instead, we should strive to use our time wisely, focusing on activities that bring meaning and purpose to our lives.
For example, we might decide to spend our free time pursuing a hobby or learning a new skill. We might volunteer our time to help others or spend time with loved ones. Whatever activities we choose, it’s important that they align with our values and bring us closer to our goals. This requires a certain level of intentionality and mindfulness, but the rewards are worth the effort.
Waking up early and using our time wisely is a powerful way to create space for reflection and purpose. By gradually adjusting our sleep schedule and incorporating activities like walking, journaling, and reading into our morning routine, we can set a positive tone for the rest of the day and improve our overall health and well-being. Of course, it’s important to remember that waking up early is just one piece of the puzzle – however, it’s an important place to start.
So will waking up change your life? Yes. But ONLY if you actually do something meaningful with that time. Don’t spend it on your phone scrolling. Don’t spend it on busy work. Use the time wisely.