Have you ever really achieved your full potential? Are there things in your life that, if you only had more time, then you would blow them out of the water? Things like exercising, writing your blog, reading more self-help books, meditating….the list goes on.
I have always been one of those people that fall into the trap of ‘Not enough time’ and I think a lot of people suffer from this concept too nowadays. We all seem to be so ‘busy’ doing things, working daily grind, catching up on social media, cleaning the house; whilst having these dreams and ambitions that continuously go unfulfilled.
After all, it takes so much energy just to survive the average work day. There are just so many demands on our time that when we even think about adding in the morning work out or trying to schedule in a daily novel writing session, we feel a cold sweat and self-doubt edging in. There is so much to do! I don’t want to overwork myself. It can wait until tomorrow! I’ll feel like it tomorrow…
Those are just some of the lies we tell ourselves. And let’s be honest, they are lies. We kid ourselves and that’s why our dreams get left stagnant by the wayside.
We also seem to believe that one day we will simply feel like it and want to springboard out of bed and not only be the high achiever, completing everything on our to-do list but also committing to everyone else’s deadlines as well.
But it never happens.
As Mel Robbins says; “Motivation is garbage!” It doesn’t work when you need it to.
But what can we do to change this? How do we overcome the lie of ‘no time’ and move forward in our lives? How do we create the time for self-development, exercise and the fulfillment of our dreams? Or even just the time to look after ourselves a bit more so that we can perform with peak productivity?
We get a little thrifty, that’s all.
In the past six months, I have transitioned back into full-time employment after being ill for quite some time. It was hard getting back into the routine, but not only this, the job I have is one that demands a lot of attention and thought on my part. It often involves clearing my weekends and being available in the evenings. But I was determined that even with these new demands on my time, I would keep studying my Degree, I would continue to run my freelance writing business, and that by years end my novel would be with a publisher.
Despite being a highly organized individual, I know there is only so much I can squeeze into the hours of any day. And the physical aspect of my new job leaves me feeling rather worn out by the time I get home, that its just enough to cook and clean the kitchen before I want to pass out. As a result of this, I was struggling to keep on top of my business, my motivation to study was nonexistent, and as for my novel, the binder was developing a covering of dust.
It was easy to feel my dreams slipping away as I figured, this is just my life now, I am doing the mature thing and working the demanding job that pays better than my fledgling startup. But that is not enough to satisfy in life.
So I knew I needed a change. And as motivational speakers worldwide often indite ‘ Nothing changes unless you do’.
Telling my husband that I wanted to improve myself, I asked him to back me up in my attempts to wake up early by giving me the encouragement I needed not to get back into bed. As he is an early riser anyway, needing to be in work for 6:30am, this was not too much of an inconvenience for him as he would already be up. But he did look at me as though I was crazy when I told him what I wanted to do. He asked me why I wanted to be up so early and did I really need an extra three hours before work each day to write a novel and feel productive. Hell yes, I do! I got one life to live – I’m gonna make it great! I mean wouldn’t we all want to have extra time to ourselves?
I’ve had varied success in my new morning routine. I had planned it meticulously and although it took about a week and a half before I was actually able to make it happen, I am so pleased I did.
Recently I joined the 5am club…well the 5:30am club to be more exact.
Ok, I am a little bit crazy (a good thing) and get up at 5:30am, get on the cross trainer, worked out, had a healthy breakfast, read some self help ( at the moment its ‘The Morning Miracle’ by Hal Elrod, my motivation behind the crazy), watched some personal development videos, saw my husband before he went to work (I am usually still asleep when he leaves), and sat down to write this post.
And its now only 7:22am. I still have an hour and a half before I have to go to work.
But I will tell you one thing – I FEEL AMAZING!
I thought I would be a dribbling mess of depressive sleepiness, shreaking like some yeti to get back to my bed, cursing productivity and morning rituals to the deepest depths of Tartarus.
But I’m not. I have a huge smile on my face, I feel calm, relaxed yet energized. I’m looking forward to some meditation, a shower and then some more writing time. I feel productive and as though I am somewhat unstoppable.
Oh, and did I mention? It’s not even 7:30 yet!
Don’t get me wrong, the common sense part of my brain has always told me that getting up early would give me that much needed time for focus and self-improvement. But like most of us, I always hit the snooze button. I’ve done the 6am starts at the supermarket, I’ve even done the 2am ones, I’ve worked 12-hour night-shifts, and I hated them all. I love my bed, I love dreaming, and the feeling of warm, cozy blankets, and the fact that my cats like to cuddle its sheer bliss.
But it also keeps you stuck.
I’m not saying that getting up at 5:30am is going to be the cure-all for everyone. But I have a really positive feeling about this. And forgive me if I am being nieve but I believe this is the beginning of success, however you want to term it.
Now, its only been a month and a half and my commitment has been a bit patchy so far, so you may ask how I can be so confident that I will continue to get up early henceforth. Well, for one thing, I want to. I am determined. I want this, I want to have time to write, to read and improve myself. I want to lose the weight I gained when I was sick (already lost 2 stone!) and I want to revert to my old energetic self. I have dreams, and I am bloody well going to obtain them!
And I also have accountability; in my husband, a work college, myself and of course now the blogosphere (thanks guys!).
So I’ve told you a little bit about my morning so far, but I think its also a good idea to map out the perfect morning for yourself. It’s doubtful that you will hit these goals every morning but I want to share mine with you now so you can have an idea of how I have structured my morning for success:
5:30 am get up
Easy enough right?
Make the bed
So I don’t get back in it!
Not only does drinking water first thing in the morning help to rehydrate you and wake you up, it is good for your skin and will help you maintain your energy.
Exercise 20-30 mins
Look good, feel Great!
A tidy house makes for a tidy mind.
Breakfast and Vitamins
The correct start to every day.
Self Improvement / Personal Development
This can be a self-help book, listening to podcasts, or watching coaches like Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn on YouTube.
Helps to de-stress and focus the mind.
Skin Care and Brush teeth
Hygiene is important, as it creates first impressions and aids in maintaining a healthy body.
Otherwise, rats might move in.
Wipe down bathroom and kitchen so things are clean and tidy when I get home from work (I am a housekeeper so I know I don’t want to do it later!)
One load of washing
I have expressed this one before in my blog on ‘Breaking things down’.
Novel Writing 1hr min
The whole reason I wanted to do this in the first place.
Because I hate not having time to do something I love so much.
Visualisation / Journal
Imagining and writing down my purpose, my dreams and reinforcing these beliefs and wants with images and mantras that will really motivate me to keep going.
This may all seem like a lot but in truth, most of the things on this list don’t take very long at all. Some things can even be done two at a time, such as listening to self-help whilst working out or eating breakfast. The main reason behind writing this down though, is it allows one’s self to not have the stress of figuring out how to use my time first thing in the morning and what needs doing. It cuts down on the decisions I have to make as I start my day and allows my mind to focus its efforts more on the creative side of things, such as writing.
So what are your thoughts? Do think a morning ritual such as mine could help you be more productive and get you closer to your goals? Or do you already have a morning routine that aids you in getting things down? If so I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
I hope this blog has offered some inspiration for anyone else struggling to find the time to do the things they want or even getting up early. I will keep you posted on my progress and updates but for now –