Feeling Grateful to Remember Why I Wake Up Before 6AM

Mindful Wellness / Friday, September 23rd, 2016

I Was Feeling Rested, Recharged, Energized and Optimistic 4 Hours Into My Day at 9:30AM

I sat down at WeWork in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to start my “work day” at 9:30AM today. It’s Friday. I was already 4 hours into my day. It felt fantastic and is a big change to where I was a few years ago.

A few years ago I would have started my “work day” about now. It might have been a bit later. I would have felt sluggish. I probably would have been mildly hung over from a big meal and bit too much wine on Thursday night.

Feeling Fortunate the Mornings are Much Different Now

This morning felt different. I felt like the day was starting from healthy and solid foundation. I felt rested, recharged, energized and optimistic about the day ahead. I didn’t start the day counting the hours until happy hour.

It’s noon now. I’m not trudging through the day just to get through it. My lunch is a healthy mix of organic vegetables, fats and sprouted grains. I had time prepare it before leaving the apartment this morning. I won’t be grabbing for a greasy lunch, to satisfy a hung over stomach.

Today reminds me why I’m feeling grateful to wake up before 6AM. I’m up between 5:15AM-5:3AM now. I’m waking up after getting what feels like the right amount of sleep (almost 8 hours). Going to bed between 9:30PM-9:45PM makes that possible.

Seems Like a Lot Looking Back, Didn’t Seem Like So Much in the Moment

Here’s what I was able to do with the first four hours of my day —

  • Eat a light breakfast of organic bananas, almond butter and shredded coconut
  • Prepare my son’s first bottle of goat milk, so it’s ready when he wakes up
  • Complete my morning Five Minute Journal entry
  • Get ready for a cycling workout

(The previous four activities all take place in the 30–45 minutes I have of alone time in the morning. This is the time when I’m awake before my wife and son. It’s special time for me. I don’t feel the need to fill it with to-do’s. It helps me wake gradually, which sets a healthy tone for the day.)

  • Go for a quick cycling workout up to, around and back from Prospect Park
  • Curse (whoops!) at truck driver who was parked in the bike lane, had his door open further into the bike lane AND blindly walked from around the truck INTO the bike lane 3 feet ahead of me

(OK, so I’m not proud of the cursing!)

  • Take over parenting responsibility from my wife, so she could finish getting ready for work
  • Connect with my wife, before she left for work
  • Spend 1.5 hours with my son, feeding him, playing with him and taking him on a walk
  • (This feels particularly special. I was able to be present with him during this time. My mind wasn’t racing back and forth through the day’s schedule and to-do list.)
  • Prepare breakfast, Part 2, my daily vegan bulletproof coffee
  • Say hello and connect to a bunch of people in the neighborhood
  • Arrange the weekly payment for my son’s childcare provider
  • Prepare a simple and healthy lunch to take with me for the day
  • Meditate for 20 minutes

(I usually try for 30 in the mornings and 20 in the evenings. Today I’ll reverse it.)

  • Walk a couple blocks to my WeWork coworking space, mindfully and not rushing, stopping for a Lurisa sparkling mineral water at Depanneur along the way

Wow. That feels like a lot as I write the list.

The magic to me is it didn’t feel like an overwhelming amount of activities, since I had 4 hours to complete them. I’ve learned allocating enough time helps me stay in the moment. Not allocating enough time causes me to race through each activity to get to the next one.

It’s morning’s like these that remind me how fortunate I am to wake up before 6AM.

P.S. — Need some help waking up earlier?  Join our always free community of mindful entrepreneurs. We’ll help you get there!