Disciplined Mornings

Mornings, eh? The paradox is we love them but we hate getting to them. That climb out of bed can be impossible, no? Well, you’ve got a friend in me, because I understand the struggle of mornings. I’ve gone through periods of getting up impossibly early, but it’s never been this…easy…? What? I’m not saying it’s easy, because it’s still work and intention and discipline and prayer.

I used The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod as a springboard last month. It was a short and easy read that I would recommend to people who are really struggling with mornings or people who are struggling with depression. As literature, I would critique its writing style and simplicity, but its purpose is to convey a very simple message and it does achieve that.

The book ultimately did inspire me by showing me

  • an early morning routine is possible
  • an early morning routine is possible for people who are “not morning people”
  • no need to reinvent the wheel: copy best practices from others

Early mornings are possible

My wonderful, quiet, purposeful, solitary mornings start with

1. Bible Study:

We were taught in “Sundee school” (if you’re over sixty) or Bible class (if you’re not), “God first, others second, self third.” It was overly simplistic, but, with the whole city sleeping, I can pursue God before anything else. His words are my salvation and my comfort. Why would I start with anything besides Him?

2. Prayer:

I have a friend who calls it, “Word in, word out.” It is the practice of listening to Him and then speaking to Him. Study and prayer are my first two priorities.

The rest come in no particular order and are subject to shrinkage, spillage, and swap-age depending on the morning.

3. Affirmations:

This one was slightly tricky for me. The only thing I could think of as I told myself, “I am beautiful; I am strong,” was a collage of my strictest critics’ faces laughing at this pitiable, pathetic grasp at excellence. Whew. It was rough. However, over time, I have noticed affirmations’ almost instant impact. While I still hesitate to share my affirmations with certain members of my life for fear of whiplash, my first response to negative inner dialogue is to pen a few affirming sentences. It can calm my anxiety and fear in moments and clear my mind in seconds.

4. Visualizations:

I love this one. This one comes to me naturally. I am visual in nature, so when I think of getting my homework done, I see the moment in which I come downstairs after a solid, heads-down study sesh, free of the burden of to-do, because everything is to-done.

5. Journaling:

Elrod calls this “scribing,” to preserve his acronym, but it’s simply an exercise in writing. Some mornings it’s my to-do list, other mornings it’s a journal prompt, other mornings it’s questions that stem from my Bible study. Almost anything counts here, although in the future I’d like to make this a little more directed and a little less free style. Maybe I’ll try morning pages? Lavendiare highly recommends them. (Check out her videos on how-to and the benefits of!)

6. Exercise:

No surprise here that this is here. Everybody knows that getting moving is important. Doing it in the morning ensures that it gets done. Merely transitioning from an afternoon workout to a morning workout increased my consistency and, even though I’ve been going to the gym since 2013, the four weeks of morning exercise have been the most impactful. The changes in my strength, stamina, and physique have been the most noticeable in these four weeks than possibly in the last year.

7. Tidy & Breakfast:

Now, every day, I start with the house in order. The dishes are done (thanks to Hubby). My coffee is hot. The living room is as much like a magazine as the hand-me-down furniture can be. It’s marvelous. Also, breakfast. How have I missed that most of my life? It’s the best meal of the day.

8. Dress for the job:

You’ve all heard it, “Dress for the job you want not the job you have.” Yes, I work from home, but I still dress up. I dress up because when the mailman comes, I look like the powerhouse that I am. When I go to school, I look professional. When I hop out of the car, I am taken seriously. It rocks. Also, breakfast is invaluable quality time with the Hubby, in which we sit at the table, calmly drinking coffee and planning out the day.

9. Power hour:

Finally, I get started on my day. I do the most important task first. I focus and I kill it and then to-do items fall into place in the face of my momentum.

Let me know what you think in the comments! What is your morning routine? What’s your biggest obstacle to conquering your mornings?

This post does not quite match the YouTube video because I am covering slightly different points of my morning, and I did forget one point in the video.

This post contains an affiliate link. Clicking on the link and purchasing items from Amazon will help me put my kid through college (or trade school or start a business, whatever she wants).

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