March, 27th 2023
I recently made the decision to change my morning routine and become a morning person! There are several reasons for this, all with the intent of improving my overall productivity. Here is how the challenge of becoming a morning person started, and what I have learned so far about embracing discomfort!
Becoming a Morning Person: Challenge Accepted 👌🏽
Last night, I told my husband that I wanted to magically become a morning person the next day. He replied by challenging me to a bet. If I could successfully wake up early for a certain period of time, he would treat me to a spa day which includes the massage I’ve been desperately wanting! 💆🏽♀️
Say no more: my competitive side was already bustling with excitement for this new challenge! However, what I hadn’t taken into consideration was that going cold turkey into my new goal would prove challenging.
Waking up in the morning has never come naturally to me. When I was a teenager, I showed up late to high school so much that I got in-school suspension. A couple of years later, I was late so often in college that I failed several classes. The worst part is that I still make excuses when fumbling over words before noon – as my brain just hasn’t “turned on” yet. As a result of this, I never feel fully in flow and focused before noon. This is frustrating considering that the kids roll in at 3:30 in the afternoon and my husband calls at 4:00 PM. The worst part is that most days I even struggle to get a run in, which would benefit me greatly, especially after I’ve noticed that I’ve recently gained some weight back. In other words, it’s an endless cycle of frustration!
Becoming a Morning Person: Breaking the Cycle ⭕
Yesterday, I finally decided that I’d had enough of all this self-pity. I really needed to push myself out of my comfort zone.
One motivation for changing my morning routine is my struggle with getting pregnant. I have just started seeing a fertility doctor who has prescribed me the Mediterranean diet and other lifestyle enhancements. Among them is having a more regular sleep routine. Since this has been an emotional rollercoaster for me, I am truly willing to do whatever it takes to improve my fertility and overall health!
Additionally, during a recent family vacation to the beach, I realized that I’ve gained some weight since getting married last year and it made me feel depressed. I didn’t realize it was a problem until that moment, but now I am determined to address it. It’s uncanny how you suddenly “wake up” one day and realize you’ve “crossed your boundary “let yourself go”. However, this was the final push I needed to break the negative cycle I was in!
Revealing my New Morning Routine! 🌅
In order to succeed with my goal of becoming a morning person, I immediately realized that I needed a new morning routine. I’ve decided to not only wake up every day at 6:00 AM but also to make a schedule for myself. This will help me ease into changing my lifestyle habits.
Here’s my new schedule:
First, I wake up and check in with my global team for Spacebar Sorcery (our sister company). This works very well as we are in opposite time zones and the beginning of my workday coincides with the end of theirs. Then, I make myself some coffee and get settled in for 15 minutes of meditation. After meditating, I plan my upcoming day and answer a couple more emails.
Next, I decided to make a really bold move – taking regular cold showers. I had lunch with my friend last Friday and he really inspired me to take the plunge (Pun not intended!). Well, the first time I almost couldn’t breathe when I did it, but then I quickly understood the appeal. I immediately felt like I inhaled a shot of espresso but without the negative effects of it. Plus, I’ve learned, it’s great for managing depression and anxiety, improving blood circulation, reducing inflammation in the body, and much more. It can even help in having shinier, healthier hair!
After that, I go for a 30-minute run. I am really proud of this new step I’ve added to my morning routine because I’ve struggled to get myself back into the habit of running lately. With my hormones being all over the place during this fertility journey, starting up another business, getting back on medications for anxiety and depression (which unfortunately make me lazy), and the usual struggle with kids and finances – life has been a little more challenging lately! But I finally feel like I’m heading in the right direction.
Lastly, I make myself some breakfast. Funny enough, I’ve gotten a little obsessed with having AI help me with some aspects of my workflow. I recently experimented with having ChatGTP generate a meal plan for me, based on the macro splits and calories from the Precision Nutrition calculator (the tool we use as nutrition coaches, I have linked in this article). For example, today I had an incredibly satisfying breakfast consisting of whole-grain toast with avocado, and Greek yogurt with berries. At lunch, I had chicken on a salad with a lemon cracked pepper vinaigrette, enriched with some feta. For a snack, I had a handful of almonds and a banana.
I am still on day one, but I can proudly say that I managed to stick to it! However, there is still one big challenge on my way: going to bed early!
The Biggest Challenge of All: Getting to Bed Early 🛌🏽
One of the biggest challenges for me is getting to bed on time! First of all, I really like my hour of TV at night. This allows me to wind down after a busy day working and taking care of kids. However, there is only one way I can still enjoy this “guilty pleasure”, have the 8 and a half hours of sleep my body requires, and still manage to get up by 6 a.m… settling down and going to bed earlier!
This part is kind of a nightmare for me. As a family, we have a very strict evening regimen, consisting of getting the kids through chores, making their lunches, bathing, cleaning their room, and so on. Getting them to have it done by 8:00 PM is a feat – to say the least. We have to micromanage them with constant reminders to make sure they are staying on task with what they are supposed to do.
So how am I to supposed to find some time to watch my totally R-rated thriller crime horror TV shows and still manage to go to bed at the same time as the kids? This is one of the hardest challenges for me – but I’m determined to figure it out. Mostly for myself, but also for the spa day – IFKYK 🤣!
What I’ve Learned So Far 📕
Although I am still at the beginning of my personal challenge, I’ve already learned a couple of things!
First, going out of my comfort zone is never easy! If I want things to change, I need to change something first. In order to do that, I found that identifying the things I struggle with the most is extremely helpful. Then, I try to replace the “bad” habits with good ones. I noticed that this way it’s easier to let go of the first.
Second, I’ve learned that making some compromises is key, as long as I stick to my final goal. I might not always be able to watch my favorite TV series or have my kids go to bed by 8:30 p.m., but this is fine. I cannot always have it all!
Finally, rewarding yourself is one of the most powerful motivators. Thinking about the incredible massage I will receive at the end of the challenge (and winning a bet against my husband) is truly helping me to commit to my final goal.
And we are just beginning! In the next lifestyle journal entries, we will find out how my challenge is going, and what I’ve learned from it! 💗